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Role of the Church in the Lives of African Americans


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Role of the Church in the Lives of African Americans

Assignment#2: Annotated Bibliography

Baumann, R. (2016). Political engagement meets the prosperity gospel: African American Christian Zionism and Black church politics. Sociology of Religion: A Quarterly Review, 77(4), 359-385.,

In the journal article, Baumann undertakes a comprehensive examination of impact of religious doctrines and beliefs on the political organizations of the African American churches. The article undertakes a step-by-step analysis of the relationship between religion and social liberal politics. The sociology of Religion explores how religious beliefs shape the political ideals of the minority communities across the states. According to the journal article, various African American churches such as Christian Zionism Church have undergone tremendous political and religious changes due to underlying factors such as racial ideologies. The study utilizes a survey to generate crucial data. The study surveyed the Christian Zionism Church and examined the influence of religious organizations on shaping the political ideologies of the church. Baumann argues that the operations of the African American churches have been influenced by the national political. One of the underlying factors that has influenced the political organizations of African American churches is perceived racial inferiority. Since Blacks are considered to be inferior race, they are targeted by the white political leaders. The journal article therefore effectively traces the role of political ideologies in shaping the religious doctrines of the African American churches.

Blum, E. J. (2012). Through the Storm, Through the Night: A History of African American Christianity God’s Almost Chosen Peoples: A Religious History of the American Civil War Tri-Faith America: Sociology of Religion, 73(2), 233–235,

Blum explores the history of African American churches since the American Civil War. By examining the changing religious ideologies and political expectations of the Black Church, Blum effectively investigates the role of the African American churches in White majority American community. The journal article further explores the religious history of the African American in regards to the theory of the tri-faith. Blum argues that the Blacks were God’s almost chosen people. This shows that God had the intention of redeeming African Americans. However, the Blacks continued facing different challenges that have affected their religious beliefs. During the American Civil War, the Black church underwent tremendous changes as most slaves were freed. After the Civil War, African Americans began establishing new churches across the Northern and Southern regions. During the civil war, most of the Southern states had been destroyed. Therefore, after the war, the African Americans started building churches which led to an increase in the number of Christian adherents. The journal therefore posits that African American churches have increased across the United States since the American Civil War.

Edwards, K. L., & Kim, R. (2019). Estranged pioneers: The case of African American and Asian American multiracial church pastors. Sociology of religion, 80(4), 456-477.

The journal article examines the role of race in shaping the operations of African American and Asian American pastors. Racial discrimination has been the major challenge that has hindered effective relationship between the dominant majority and minority cultures. The whites believe that the Blacks are inferior. The prevalence of racial discrimination has indeed hindered the African America pastors from spreading the Word of God. Therefore, pastors from minority communities have become estranged pioneers in their own land. Even the local communities do not respect the pastors. Therefore, the pastors have to navigate their way out and spread the Word in a hostile territory. The article therefore sheds light on the prevalence of racial inequality within the United States. The article undertakes a comprehensive survey of African American churches and Asian American churches. Edwards and Kim finds out that racial discrimination has hindered the religious tolerance within the United States.

Nelson, T. J. (2001). Fire in my Bones: Transcendence and the Holy Spirit in African American Gospel. Sociology of Religion, 62(3), 408-408.

Nelson in his journal article, examines the transcendence and the gospel among the African American churches. The perception of the gospel or the word of God affects the interpretation of the God’s work and the Bible. According to the African American churches, God is the supreme being who provides guidance to the people. The people are expected to follow the will of God. Through the Holy Spirit, God is able to manifest Himself to the people. In essence, the article argues that the Holy Spirit guides the people and teaches them to do moral activities.  By surveying, the African American churches spread across the states of Ohio, New Orleans and California, Nelson sought to generate evidence-based information on the perception of the Holy Spirit. The article further explores the relationship between God and His People. Due to the varying interpretation of the gospel, the faithful have adopted various meanings to the gospel. The study hence sheds light on the role of the Holy Spirit on understanding God’s Word.

Sanders, C. J. (2008). Righteous Riches: The Word of Faith Movement in Contemporary African American Religion. Sociology of Religion, 69(1), 118-120.

In the journal article, Sanders explores the significance of prosperity gospel in the contemporary African American church. In the modern society, most of African American churches preach about wealth generation as opposed to inheriting the Kingdom of God. Prosperity gospel has brought a great impact on the modern religious organizations. While other people believe that pastors should preach about prosperity gospel, other adherents believe that the focus should be on how the people can improve their relationship with God. African American pastors believe that the concept of righteous riches has prevented the pastors from preaching the Word of God. The contemporary African American church has adopted various strategies of generating financial resources. By preaching prosperity gospel, the Black churches have managed to generate sustainable financial resources. The journal article has undertaken survey of the African American churches. The journal article has effectively examined the significance of prosperity gospel in the modern African American Church.


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