DESOTO – It’s a voting block party, with a tagline “Believers and the Ballot.” Critics might ask, should church and state (i.e. politics) come together in a central theme or should these two topics remain apart?
During the March 2018 primary elections DeSoto’s Disciple Central Community Church (DC3) boasted the second largest voter turnout in Dallas County. Now they are seeking to expand their impact on the community. DC3 will be holding a Super Sunday event this Sunday, in conjunction with 14 other area churches, encouraging members to be informed, take part in the democratic process and vote.
Beginning at 1 p.m., there will be food trucks, DJs, bounce houses and face painting, but overall, the shindig is about making your voice heard.
“Our members are voting because they understand that faith without works is dead,” said Marcus D. King, Senior Pastor, Disciple Central Community Church. “We can pray to God for help to make things better in our world and he uses us to help bring about that change. It is our Christian duty.”
Civic Minded Christianity
More than 3,000 members from all over the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex call Disciple Central Community Church their spiritual home. For years they have been some of the most active in the Southern Dallas County political scene.
“I’m not saying anything to them any differently [about voting] than I have been in the last 10 years we’ve been in existence. I’m simply giving them more resources, educating them on some of the key issues, and challenging them to take responsibility for themselves, their families and their communities.”
In fact, the church has an app with an entire section dedicated to the November mid-term election, “So they can have all of the answers to their questions at their fingertips any time of the day,” King adds.
The DC3online app is available on the Apple App Store or Google Play.
As for the big Super Sunday event this weekend, the main message is to exercise your power, and help make a difference by voting.
“Change happens by action.” King said, “In the Bible we see characters that were in political positions making major changes.” From Pharaoh to Pontius Pilate politics have played a significant part throughout the gospels.
In fact, King believes “We can’t separate government and God when we read the Bible. God’s people have always been involved in government.”
He goes on to say that it is the church’s responsibility not only to offer a place to vote for all, but is also an opportunity to love those who might need encouragement too.
“We are in the people business. It’s a great way for people to come to a church and feel the love of Christ by being served. At the same time having a polling place that is organized, in an environment where you are free to vote differently, believe differently and yet still love each other the same.”
Super Sunday Tradition
This is not the first year for Super Sunday, but this is the first voting block party for the church.
Actually, Super Sunday is an old tradition. In the past it was an effort to get as many people to vote after church before the last week of early voting. In some instances organizations celebrate the Sunday before Election Day. But in any case it is the melding of two of this country’s most powerful and polarizing institution, church and politics.
State Senator Royce West who represents South Dallas County in the Texas Legislature commends the DC3 congregation and its commitment to service.
“Obviously, there’s a historical perspective to the participation of the Black Church as a focal point for civic participation that pre-dates even the Civil Rights Movement. In recent years in some states, there have been efforts to dismantle what has come to be known as Super Sunday events,” explains Senator West. “Given the current political landscape and the mood of some to roll back gains made over past generations, it is more important than ever for the church to re-engage and re-emerge as a voice for the African American community. I’m excited that Disciple Central Community Church has chosen to take on this task and has joined with other area churches in this endeavor. I encourage even more churches and organizations to also step forward.”
King intends to keep this momentum going.
“We’re keeping the tradition going and expanding it while partnering with several churches to encourage congregations and the community to vote together on that day as a show of unity,” he says. “We just turned ours into a block party because voting is an amazing thing to do. Get out and vote. Your vote still matters … because you matter.”