Ten Ways to Build the Beloved Community


Baltimore Pastor C. Anthony Hunt lifts up Martin Luther King, Jr.’s powerful vision of the Beloved Community, calling on individuals and churches to continue to promote peace with justice. He provides ten suggestions for heightening our commitment to community building and social engagement.

A universal human striving is for authentic community. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was among those who framed the conception of community in what he termed the Beloved Community. King asserted that “all life is interrelated.” This interrelatedness was rooted, for King, in the fundamental belief in the kinship of all persons. He believed that all life is part of a single process; all persons are sisters and brothers, and we all have a place in the Beloved Community. Because all of us are interrelated, one cannot harm another without harming oneself.

We can continue to pursue Dr. King’s vision of the Beloved Community by making a sincere commitment to community-building and social engagement.

King also said “everyone could be great because everyone could serve.” In these uncertain times, churches and our broader society must make a sincere commitment to engaging in acts of compassion and justice as means of living out our faith and loving our neighbors. Individuals, churches, groups, organizations, institutions and even governments can continue to pursue Dr. King’s vision of the Beloved Community by making a sincere commitment to community-building and social engagement.

Here are ten ways that individuals, churches, and other organizations can promote peace with justice.

  1. Support and develop community-wide plans aimed at expanding economic opportunities for racial-ethnic persons and women specifically in the areas of housing, banking, and employment practices.
  2. Actively participate in programs that reach out to help those in the most need — the hungry, the homeless, and the unemployed.
  3. Do your part to assure that every inner city and rural young person can look forward to an adequate education. Adopt an inner-city or rural school. Offer your skills where appropriate.
  4. Encourage schools, colleges, and universities in your area to include the teachings of Dr. King and other freedom fighters in their curricula and programs.
  5. Take specific actions to deal with the problems of drugs, alcohol dependency, teenage pregnancy, and family violence in your community.
  6. Advocate for the removal of all weapons from our streets, homes, and schools. Support causes that promote freedom, justice, and peace abroad.
  7. Help extend human rights, dignity, health, and economic well-being to all persons.
  8. Actively oppose groups that promote hatred and violence. Vigilantly oppose racism, homophobia, xenophobia, and other forms of hatred in our communities.
  9. Sponsor and participate in programs that encourage interracial, intercultural, and inter-religious goodwill and unity.
  10. Read the Social Principles of your denomination, and strive to make them an integral part of your life and the life of your church and community.

Related Resources:

About Author

Tony Hunt

Dr. C. Anthony Hunt is pastor of Epworth United Methodist Chapel in Baltimore, Maryland. He is the Supervising Pastor of the Beloved Community Cooperative Parish and the founder and project director for Hope for the City: Transforming Urban Leaders, both in Baltimore. He is also Professor of Systematic, Moral and Practical Theology, and Dunning Permanent Distinguished Lecturer at St. Mary’s Seminary and University, Baltimore. Dr. Hunt also teaches on the adjunct faculties at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC, and United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio.

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Discovering God’s Future for Your Church

Discovering God’s Future for Your Church is a turn-key tool kit to help your congregation discern and implement God’s vision for its future. The resource guides your church in discovering clues to your vision in your history and culture, your current congregational strengths and weaknesses, and the needs of your surrounding community. The tool kit features videos, leader’s guides, discussion exercises, planning tools, handouts, diagrams, worksheets, and more. Learn more and watch an introductory video now.