An effort to bring together several Goldsboro churches to explore issues at the forefront of society, including racism and division, will be discussed during a Friday night symposium.
Antioch Missionary Baptist Church will host the Unity Day Symposium: A Voice of Oneness in a State of Confusion, starting at 7 p.m. at the church, located at 601 W. Elm St.
The main topics of separatism, division, racism and isolationism will be discussed by five speakers, which will be given 10 minutes each and followed by a time of questions. The event is open to the public and expected to last about 90 minutes, said Jerry Burt, event coordinator and administrative assistant to the pastor of Antioch Church.
"The purpose of the symposium is to address these issues from the perspective of the body of Christ," Burt said. "It is an effort for the church community to weigh in on these sensitive topics and to give the community of Goldsboro a different perspective on these issues."
The lectures will focus on issues prevalent in society and offer Christians a biblical perspective on each topic.
The lectures will delve into whether isolation makes people stronger and more prosperous, what the driving force behind racism is and whether life, liberty and happiness can be achieved through division.
Also, why people believe separatism increases resources for the few and what cultural differences keep white and black churches from coming together.
"Our event is not a political event," Burt said. "It's an attempt to address these critical issues in our nation from a biblical perspective.
"These are intended to give the city of Goldsboro kind of a corrective perspective on these major issues."
Event speakers include the Rev. Danny Johnson, Goldsboro Worship Center pastor; the Rev. Louis Leigh, First African Missionary Baptist Church pastor; the Rev. Joy Howell, Church on the Rock pastor; the Rev. Linda Grider, Ebenezer United Methodist Church pastor; and the Rev. Mike Willard, Pineview Baptist Church pastor.
"We have churches that don't normally come together," Burt said. "We have white churches. We have black churches that don't typically come together, don't fellowship together.
"This is an attempt to get us together, listen to these lectures and discover that we are more alike than we are unalike."
Music during the event will be provided by the St. James Disciples of Christ male chorus.
The Rev. Dr. Kenneth Tate, Antioch Church pastor, will host the symposium, and the Rev. Wes Johnson, Harvest Baptist Church pastor, will serve as the master of ceremonies.
The symposium could become an annual event in the city.
"I think definitely if will be next year because I believe this is going to be very successful," Burt said.
The symposium will take place in the church's Faison Event Center, which has the capacity for 250 people.
The event is also part of the church's Unity Week, which includes a gospel concert and a revival service.
Keith "Wonderboy" Johnson will be in concert in the event center tonight at 7 p.m. The Rev. Timothy Dortch, senior pastor of the Word of Truth Christian Fellowship Church, will hold a revival service Thursday, at 7 p.m., at the church.