Please enjoy this recording of our inaugural lecture of our Faculty Lecture Series from 12/26/2018!

Abstract: For my lecture, I’d like to argue that during the era of suburbanization and white-flight to the suburbs, many churches chose to follow their more wealthy and white constituents out to the suburbs in the name of needing “more space” that the suburbs afforded. In many ways, this was what propelled the mega-church movement of the 70s and 80s. I would like to draw attention to how the church failed to work in the best interest of urban communities that needed it most during this time of transition to the suburbs. Cities are making a comeback in this era of gentrification and churches are once again “following the money” back into urban areas through urban church plants. While many of these churches are motivated by a desire to love the city, ironically, they are perceived as being part of the gentrifying process that is displacing minorities and transforming neighborhoods, marked by a reverse white-flight back to the city centers.  I argue that the current era of gentrification mirrors the earlier era of white-flight. In both eras, the urban church took the convenient option. This lecture will shed light on how organizations undermine or contradict their sincere intentions to collaborate with and for their urban environment.