Black church's challenges discussed at conference

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The future of the black church will be examined at a Vanderbilt University symposium.

The Kelly Miller Smith Institute on Black Church Studies at Vanderbilt will host the meeting April 3-5.

Institute director Forrest Harris -- an assistant professor of ministry at Vanderbilt's divinity school -- said prominent scholars have argued the black church as it has been known is dead. Yet, says Harris, the church is still a necessary institution for social uplift and spiritual empowerment among African-American members.

The conference is free and open to the public.

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