I grew up mostly in Carlyle, IL, in the 70s. I was raised Methodist and had to go to Sunday School and church every Sunday.

One of the other churches in town was the Second Baptist Church, which was predominantly African-American.

There must’ve been a mutual agreement on visitation, because one Sunday, when I was about 10, folks from their church were invited to our church, and vice-versa.

My parents told me about it and asked if I’d like to go. Of course I said yes. Had to be better than my boring church.

So I went to a service at Second Baptist Church. I don’t remember my parents being there, but a few other members of my church were there, so I wasn’t the only white dude.

Wow. First of all, there’s an energy to everything. Anything spoken or sung is passionate.

The music is rockin’. And the choir is totally into it.

The minister is enthusiastic and invokes the spirit in you. He gets many “amens” from the congregation.

It was surprisingly different than my usual hum-drum hymns and mundane minister.

In summation: If you get an invite to attend an African-American church, go. It’s fun.