Healing from Trauma & SBC Diversity Entering a New Age
Alameda County, Calif., across the bay from San Francisco and including cities such as Oakland and Berkeley, probably wouldn’t be the first location Southern Baptists associate with a sign of the Convention’s future. And, about five years ago, Lynnette Ezell and a friend walked into a north Georgia Department of Family Services office bearing diapers.
As we take a look back at 2022, we’ll be remembering some of our favorite stories from this year.
Alameda County, Calif., across the bay from San Francisco and including cities such as Oakland and Berkeley, probably wouldn’t be the first location Southern Baptists associate with a sign of the Convention’s future.
However, it contains 127 Southern Baptist congregations. That’s more than any county in Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri or Louisiana. Oklahoma, Alabama and Georgia each have only one county numbering more. Another notable distinction for Alameda County – 44 of those congregations are African American, followed closely by 42 that are Asian American. Anglo congregations are a distant third at 24.
That’s not all. Five other California counties have more churches than Alameda – Los Angeles (593), San Diego (203), Orange (163), San Bernardino (133) and Riverside (133).
Those findings and much more can be discovered at the GCRM Ethnic Research Portal. Accessing the information is free upon registering with the site.
About five years ago, Lynnette Ezell and a friend walked into a north Georgia Department of Family Services office bearing diapers.
“I made an appointment and said, ‘How can we help?’” Ezell told Baptist Press in a phone interview, recalling the moment she sat down across the desk from a social worker.
“I decided before I went in there that whatever she said, we were going to do,” Ezell said. “She leaned forward, and she said, ‘You know that God and Jesus and all that that you all talk about at your church? The only time our children hear the name of God is when someone’s swearing at them.’”
That forthright statement from an overworked social worker went right along with the lessons Ezell had learned in her journey as an adoptive mother – many times physical needs must come before spiritual ones.
The Ezells had three biological children and then adopted three children internationally – children Lynette calls “special gifts” that “God grafted into our lives.” The children were different ages upon their adoptions, but even babies can have internalized trauma.
Developmentally, children who have endured trauma may be years behind their chronological age. And pushing them to learn and behave the way they “should” for their age is “setting them up to fail,” Ezell said. Churches should keep this in mind when placing children who’ve suffered trauma in Sunday School classes or other age-specific activities.
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