Two Nashville mega churches bridge cultural divide supporting education, healthcare for Nashvillians of all races

(l-r) Bishop Joseph Walker and Rev. Mike Glenn

(l-r) Bishop Joseph Walker and Rev. Mike Glenn

Two of Nashville’s largest mega churches, Mount Zion Baptist Church and Brentwood Baptist Church, are joining forces to host the ‘We’re Better Together, Back-to-School and Healthcare Outreach’ event on Saturday, August 5 at Hadley Park, inviting families from every background and community to start the school year off right with free backpacks and health screenings—and get to know and enjoy one another in the process.

Mount Zion is a predominantly African American church that is rapidly diversifying its membership, and Brentwood Baptist is a predominantly White, community conscious church. The collaboration of the two churches originated from the friendship of its pastors and their desire to address the racial divide in our city. ‘We’re Better Together’ will be one of many future partnerships between the churches that will serve as model for faith-based organizations committed to healing the racial divide across the country.

Bishop Walker, who originated the Back-to-School and Healthcare Outreach event more than 10 years ago and has seen it grow exponentially in popularity ever since, is thrilled that it will take place at one of the country’s historic African American public parks, and hopes it gives families whose knowledge of Nashville’s Black landmarks may be limited a chance to see a different side of the city. This year, as Bishop Walker celebrates his 25th anniversary as senior pastor of Mount Zion, the ‘We’re Better Together’ statement serves as a yearlong theme for all activities throughout the year.

“We live in a special community where people have historically tended to build bridges rather than walls,” said Walker, who began serving Mt. Zion in 1992. “But Rev. Mike Glenn and I believe we still have many left to build, and we want to do our part. Our congregations are growing by leaps and bounds. So is this wonderful city. It is our responsibility to grow together and support one another. That’s what ‘We’re Better Together’ is all about.”

“The diversity of the church reveals the nature and character of God in a way that no one person or church can by themselves,” Rev. Glenn said. “We’re excited to have the opportunity to work with Bishop Walker and Mt. Zion Baptist Church to serve our common community in the love of Jesus Christ.”

This first-of-its kind event, which will be held at Hadley Park from 10 am-2 pm, is also an opportunity to alleviate the financial burdens many families face preparing for the school year, and to make sure both children and their families get off to a healthy start in order to perform at their best. Healthcare providers will be on-site for the event, including the Brentwood Baptist Medical Dental Unit, to provide the following free screenings: dental, blood pressure, HIV testing, and immunizations, as well as health education counseling.

To learn more about the event, visit the website at bettertogethernashville.com.