Dr. Robert Record, Christ Health Center CEO and a staff member at Church of the Highlands, says the drive-thru testing “may take some reworking” now but will continue regardless of patients’ ability to pay. Pastor Hodges publicly thanked the Birmingham Housing Authority for the opportunity to serve them, adding that the church wants to “continue to support their work.”
Racial Controversies Have Emerged Before
When Church of the Highlands announced a new church plant in a poor, high-crime area of Birmingham in 2018, some people questioned their motives. Michael R. Jordan, pastor of New Era Baptist Church, posted two messages on his church’s signboard: One side read “Black Folks Need to Stay Out of White Churches,” and the other read “White Folks Refused to Be Our Neighbors.”
Jordan called the new plant “a slavemaster church,” where “the white rich folks start a church and put a black pastor in charge of it.” He also accused Church of the Highlands of wanting to put “a white church in a black neighborhood [because] they have too many black folks at their main campus, and they want them to leave and come to a church in their inner city.”
On June 2, when Church of the Highlands tweeted a black square in support of Black Lives Matter, some commenters called them out. One criticized the church’s “bigotry in leadership,” while another tweeted: “How dare you, @HighlandsAL. This is beyond insulting. You don’t get to hide behind virtue signaling when your pastor OPENLY SUPPORTS Donald Trump and Charlie Kirk. If you are truly committed to equity, you would fire Chris Hodges.”
Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son, weighed in, tweeting it’s “absolutely insane” that people are “canceling” Hodges for liking Kirk’s posts. Other social media users praised the diversity at Church of the Highlands, as well as Hodges’ acts of service throughout Alabama communities.