TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI) - It’s Sunday morning and the 11 o clock worship service at Crosspointe Chuch is underway.
As members and guests are welcomed, the church’s mission statement is proclaimed.
“We believe every human being deserves to be loved and ministered to unconditionally, regardless of race, how much money you have.”
While most Northeast Mississippi congregations are predominately white, or black, East Tupelo’s Crosspointe Church has a diverse membership.
“I think God has favored me cause I get to see a little bit of heaven before we get there,” said Pastor Kevin Rae.
Pastor Kevin Rae and his wife Lisa started Crosspointe almost nine years ago. Fifty four people were at that first service, now the church has more than 11 hundred members .
And in these days of church growth seminars , strategies, methods and conferences, Pastor Rae says having a racially diverse church has never been the main focus.
“There are no restrictions, so we’re not pole fishing here, we’re net fishing. When you cast the net you’re going to get all kinds of stuff,” he said.
The church’s diversity, along with a dynamic youth program helped attract Tony and Joan Kelsie to the church. They moved to the area from Delaware and joined joined Crosspointe a year ago. The couple says Crosspointe is helping to break down some stereotypes about the Magnolia state.
“When we talk to people back in Delaware, Joan’s from Jamaica and everybody has this preconceived notion about Mississippi but there’s one thing that we have noticed, for all the bad everybody notices, there’s a compassion about Mississippi everybody misses out and that’s the story that doesn’t get talked about,” Tony said.
Crosspointe members and staffers know that their multi ethnic congregation is the exception, rather than the rule.
“This isn’t for everybody, I know that and we’re not blind enough to think it is but for the ones it is for, I think you’re missing out on something if you’re not here,” said Care Pastor Ryan Lovvorn.
“I think one of the reasons it’s so segregated is we don’t understand this whole thing is spiritual, in the spiritual realm there is no male or female, it ‘s just the spirit, so I believe people are still looking at color, we look at how big our churches are, how much money we have, I believe that’s one of the reasons we’re segregated cause we’re not in the spirit,” said Associate Pastor Reggie Miller.
“Here we live it, it’s about us living a naked life in front of God and allowing Him to use us, we feel like, what God has created here at Crosspointe, it’s not about a black or white issue, it’s about a Jesus issue,” said Youth Pastor Ron Cottom.
“When it comes to church some of us feel like the white have to go one place, blacks go one place, hispanics go one place and we don’t believe that, we are all one in Christ Jesus and if we can come together and fellowship together, oh how great the joy,” said Joan Kelsie.