Keeping the Faith, Pastor Daryl Horton of Mt. Zion
Q: Our community and the world at large have been in deep in physical, emotional, and social justice crises that seem to continuously evolve. What role does a faith community play in weathering these storms?
A: In moments of challenge and crisis, I believe that faith can provide a sense of peace, comfort, and calm—it can help people feel less vulnerable in situations where they feel they have little control. It offers an opportunity to embrace the idea that there is a greater being who is watching and aware—even if the world does not seem invested in righteousness and social justice, there is always a presence who is.
This has been a very interesting period of time. The death of Mr. George Floyd, as well as a global pandemic, have motivated people in our community—congregants and clergy–to reach out to each other and express how much they care and are thinking of them. I believe these crises have given all of us an opportunity to appreciate the importance of family.
Q: What impact has the AMEN project had on the community during these difficult times?
A: We have a number of lay health workers who have been under a tremendous amount of stress in the past weeks and months—understandably, as they support the health of the community. AMEN has provided them a safe place of release, where they can safely express what they’re experiencing and feeling, where others understand what they’re going through and are willing to listen. We have a faith community to serve our congregants’ spiritual needs, and the School of Nursing has provided programs for physical health. The AMEN project is the piece that allows us to serve the whole person—physically, mentally, and spiritually. For a community, the church is a very sacred place; inviting people in who are not a part of it gives both groups the opportunity to appreciate the others’ perspective, and to foster a sense of mutual trust.
- As a pastor and community leader, you wear many hats. You’re a spiritual leader, mentor, educator, counselor, and advocate for social justice. You care for so many people—how do you take care of yourself?
A. I do make an effort to take care of myself. Despite my public roles, I’m really an introvert at heart—I really enjoy reading, video games, listening to music. I enjoy peace and solitude.
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE AMEN PROGRAM VISIT: