The Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) will host a special conversation about race and church next week featuring gospel singer Kirk Franklin, according to CBN.
The announcement comes several months after Franklin boycotted the Gospel Music Association’s Dove Awards and TBN when comments he made about race and police shootings during the awards ceremony were edited out.
“Today, I feel like quitting. I am heartbroken that I even have to share this with you,” he said in an Instagram video posted in October after the awards. He detailed his speeches both in 2016 and 2019 where he highlighted black deaths by the hands of white police officers, as well as the five police officers shot and killed by a black man in Dallas. Both of those mentions were taken out of his speeches when aired, despite his protests in 2016.
Other artists, such as Lecrae, Tauren Wells, Jeremy Camp, and Mandisa joined the singer’s decision.
Earlier this week, Franklin posted another video announcing “a conversation…that was long overdue” about race and the church. The clip showed TBN president Matt Crouch, Pastor Tony Evans of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship and Pastor Robert Morris of Gateway Church in Dallas with Franklin.
“I want to know the conversation that needs to happen. If I’m ignorant, would you help me?” Crouch asked in the video.
“It’s a conversation about race and the church. It was a painful but necessary conversation and I think you’re going to want to see this,” Franklin said.
“What I realized was I’m ignorant of this issue,” Pastor Robert Morris also said in the clip.
“Find your racial pride first in Jesus Christ, not first in the culture,” Pastor Tony Evans chipped in.
“This is not a conversation of me attempting to make white people feel bad for being white,” Franklin said. “It is to give a bigger perspective on the heartbreaks and the hurts, that black and brown people in America are looking for the church to be a safe haven but at times it isn’t always answering the call.”
The special will air on TBN on Thursday, March 12 8:00 pm Eastern/7:00 pm Central.
Kirk Franklin Says He's Boycotting TBN, Dove Awards for Failing to Acknowledge Diversity Concerns
The Gospel Music Association Apologizes for Editing Kirk Franklin's Acceptance Speech: 'We Accept the Responsibility of Our Error'
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Bennett Raglin/Stringer
Mikaela Mathews is a freelance writer and editor based in Dallas, TX. She was the editor of a local magazine and a contributing writer for the Galveston Daily News and Spirit Magazine.