A black pastor from Charlotte, North Carolina says the church must be the “healing agent” for America to overcome its increasing racial divisions.

“I believe that the church can be a healing agent, that the church can be a classroom to teach the world what unity and love looks like because of the gospel of Jesus Christ,” Derwin L. Gray, pastor of Transformation Church, told TheBlaze.com.

Gray said, however, that the church needs to realize that it, too, is divided. According to a 2015 study, 86 percent of church congregations are made up of mainly one racial group.

He said the church is the “most segregated institution in America.”

Gray has also partnered with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and the Lancaster Police Department in South Carolina.

Said Police Chief Kerry Putney of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department: “We [black Charlotteans] need to get our house in order, too,” he said at the time. “We have to take some of the responsibility for some of our actions, knowing that the decisions we make will have consequences. I’m not saying … police officers are perfect. We’re not. Guess where we recruit from? The public. All of us come from regular people.”

At Transformation Church, Gray teaches a message he calls, “color blessed, not colorblind.”

“It’s more empathetic and compassionate to say, ‘You know what, yeah, you’re right,’” Gray said. “And so as a pastor, I teach our people at Transformation Church not to be colorblind, but to be ‘color blessed,’” a principle he said is found in Revelation 5:9, which asserts that the Christian faith is for “every tribe and language and people and nation.”

At the end of the day, Christians shouldn’t be picking sides, but celebrating diversity,” the pastor said. Christians should be “on Jesus’ side, not police’s side, not — tragically — the victims’ side, but Jesus’ side,” he added.

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