Black History Month: Bob Woodson’s Strategy to see “God’s Radical Grace in Action”

2Peter 1:2 Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and our Lord Jesus.”

“Nobody ever asks poor people about their capacity … all we do is failure studies, both left and right. I wanted to ask different questions.” Christian activist Bob Woodson started the Woodson Center, and the “1776Unites” website, to “transform lives, schools, and troubled neighborhoods, from the inside out.”

We describe Bob Woodson as a Christian activist because this is how he describes himself: “I became a Christian 38 years ago when Leon Watkins showed me how he handled the Crips gang in Los Angeles. He put signs up that he wanted to meet with the Crips leaders who were terrorizing the neighborhood.

The Crips show up with their guns, wanting to know what Leon wanted. He said, ‘I want to talk with you about your life.’ Leon sat on a trash can with the leader for 3 hours sharing the gospel and had him in Bible Study 2 days later. In just a week, the whole gang was in Bible Study. This gang was transformed from predators to protectors of their community. I witnessed this first-hand! I asked ‘Leon, how did you do that?’

He started reading to me from the gospels. I started calling him whenever I had a problem, asking him ‘What do the gospels say about this?’ Soon after, when I saw the secular consequences of Leon’s faith in Christ in action, I became a Christian, because I saw the walk of a true disciple of Jesus Christ.

My wife and I would sit in his living room for hours at a time, in Bible Study. I soon realized Christianity has a practical application! I witnessed many instances of Jesus Christ touching peoples’ lives, their ministries, and then my own life. Once you experience this, you know Jesus is real. It is God’s radical grace in action.”

Bob Woodson’s transformation from social justice warrior to disciple and activist for Jesus Christ is the message in this week’s verse. In his second letter to the church, Peter greets all believers with the truth of God’s radical grace multiplied in their lives through the knowledge of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. The Woodson Center, and ‘1776Unites’, are fruit out of Christ’s transformation of Bob Woodson’s life.

Once a leading figure in the 1960 Civil Rights Movement, Woodson explained why he started the Woodson Center: “Around the time of Dr. King’s death in 1968, I became disenchanted in the Civil Rights Movement when I led demonstrations because a lot of the people who had sacrificed the most did not benefit from the changes. I soon recognized the leaders had no relationship with the actual people on the streets.

In our picket lines were janitors, hairdressers – ordinary folk. But when desegregation finally came, the Movement hired nine black PhD’s to represent them. When we approached them, they said they got these jobs because they were qualified. But these new leaders put their own interests above the interests of the people in the communities. So, I left and began to work on behalf of low-income people of all races, helping them promote excellence within their communities so they become agents of their own uplift.”

In a recent interview with Eric Metaxas, Woodson laid out the difference between the Leftist Marxism of Black Lives Matter with the Christian principles behind the early days of the Civil Rights Movement led by Martin Luther King and the Woodson Center and ‘1776Unites’: “These leaders are profiting off their ‘racial grievance training’ programs and their ‘confronting white guilt’ seminars. And now, the 1619 Project is being taught in our schools that ties the issues within the black community back to slavery and Jim Crow.

Our ‘1776Unites’ Program counters the 1619 Project with facts that undermine it. For example, from slavery’s abolishment in 1865 until 1962, 80% of black families were 2-parent households! It wasn’t until the government implemented welfare programs that black families degraded into one-parent households.

Also, from 1930-1940 during the Great Depression, while black unemployment was at 40%, blacks had the highest marriage rate of any group! So, if we were able to maintain strong families during a time of severe economic downturn, and when racism was the order of the day, how can anyone claim today that the out-of-wedlock issues in the black community are due to racism? We want to take race off the table.

Racism prevents us from moving beyond our skin color to get to real solutions that are moral and spiritual in their substance. The more we demonize each other because of race, the more divided we remain and the more we limit these incredible opportunities for redemption. To learn more about Bob Woodson’s incredible work in advancing the Gospel as the means to unify America, visit his website “1776Unites”.

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