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(Photo/Screenshot: New Destiny Apostolic Church; Google)Pastor Adam and Dawn Medina (inset), leaders of the New Destiny Apostolic Church in Maplewood, Mo., announced on Oct. 7, 2018, that they are leaving the United Pentecostal Church International to protest racism in the leadership ranks of the organization.
A controversial debate about racism in the United Pentecostal Church International is now raging in the denomination after an interracial couple who led one of the denomination's churches in Missouri for 15 years announced their exit from the group on Sunday.
Congregations - Members - UPCI - World - Oneness
With some 42,000 congregations globally serving nearly 5 million members, the UPCI is the world's largest Oneness Pentecostal denomination. It emerged in 1945 after racism and Jim Crow laws caused white Pentecostals to split from the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World — an interracial organization at the time.
While the UPCI has since opposed "racism, prejudice, and segregation" and proudly states that it is an organization that is predominantly non-white globally, Pastor Adam Medina of New Destiny Apostolic Church in Maplewood and his wife Dawn say the church body isn't doing nearly enough stateside. And that's why they are now part of a group called Apostolic International Ministries and have renamed their church the New Destiny Worship Center.
Protest - Racism - Pastor - Medina - Video
"We are leaving as a protest against racism," Pastor Medina said in the video announcement that has been viewed more than 80,000 times and triggered more than 2,000 comments since it was published Sunday.
"Many black Apostolics are having to readjust their thinking just to maintain their positions in the church. Many that we have talked to are having to continually bite their tongues and talk amongst each other to vent but not see change happen," he said.
Medina - Wife - Video - Decision - Years
Medina and his wife said in the video that they had been praying about the decision for five years and tried unsuccessfully to get...
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