The Word Carved in Hearts

Carter Conlon

When African American and forward-thinking white pastors in Alabama streamed the services live from Times Square Church, they were astonished to see over one hundred ethnicities worshipping together in peace and Christian love. One glance at our choir loft confirms that. So the Alabama pastors contacted Times Square Church and asked me to come speak in Selma and bring our multinational choir.

The evangelical rally in Selma was packed, the message God gave me to deliver was powerful, and there appeared to be genuine breakthrough.

Afterward, though, when the mixed group of white and black pastors gathered together in the home of a prominent Selma socialite for a meal, the white pastors ate in the elegant dining parlor, and the black pastors ate on the screened porch. 

It was as if no one heard the message. They simply left it behind when they left the auditorium. I was shocked by the seating arrangement and took my plate out to the porch and sat with the black pastors. This, I was told, offended our white, socialite hostess. 

One lesson I learned from the evangelistic rally in Selma, Alabama was that the need for spiritual awakening and unification exists in our own backyard in the United States. A pastor I know from Rwanda would have heard all of this and nodded his head. I could almost hear him saying, “You see? Preach and celebrate without carving the Word into people’s hearts, and the old evil comes back.” 

Consider what the scriptures say: “But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard him and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:20-24, NKJV). 

Carter Conlon joined the pastoral staff of Times Square Church in 1994 and was appointed Senior Pastor in 2001. In May of 2020, he transitioned into a continuing role as General Overseer of Times Square Church, Inc.