In a recent post, Microcosm of American religion in one small town map, SIU:C political science professor Tobin Grant has made a study of the geography and demographics of Carbondale’s churches. It is insightful, helpful, and convicting. Dr. Grant notes,
The membership of churches in green on the map [which are almost all located in the north east quadrant of the downtown, an area with 95% African American residence] are almost exclusively black; other churches in town are nearly all white. The town and community are integrated, but Sunday remains segregated.
Biblical texts such as Isaiah 60 and Revelation 21-22 depict a renewed, perfect, future world in which we retain our cultural differences (“every tongue, tribe, people, nation”). This means every human culture has (from God) distinct goods and strengths for the enrichment of the human race. (Keller, The Reason for God, 45)
There are two notable exceptions [to the fact that Sunday remains segregated]. The Vine (a Vineyard-like church) and Calvary Campus (Assembly of God) are remarkably racially diverse, in part because they each draw sizable number of college students. Both are also relatively new congregations.