Photo submitted by Valerie Hayes
NASHVILLE (BP) -- One-month-old Luke Molette was the nativity centerpiece, an African American baby portraying Jesus in the arms of his mother as a white "Joseph" sat at their side, flocked by an interracial chorus.
The 2018 Christmas parade float was the latest collaboration between Nashville First Baptist Church, a majority white congregation led by senior pastor Frank Lewis, and nearby First Baptist Church Capitol Hill, a majority black church led by senior pastor Kelly Miller Smith Jr. The longtime friends point to a shared church history predating the Civil War, when Nashville First established Capitol Hill as a mission congregation.
At a college dinner announcing two scholarships in honor of their leadership in racial unity, the pastors explained the Christmas float's creation. Molette is Smith's grandson, born in November to Smith's daughter Valerie Hayes. Read More