Former ‘terrible racist’ gives big donation, apology to black church

Posted at 5:04 PM, Jun 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-01 17:04:13-04

(CNN) — Amid recent incidents involving nooses, graffiti and racially-motivated assaults, a black church in Greenville, South Carolina, has shared a much-needed moment of humanity.

The Rev. Michael Sullivan of Nicholtown Presbyterian Church says he was heartened by an anonymous letter that was sent to the church — along with a sizable donation.

“I am white and used to be a terrible racist,” the letter read. “… Due to Christ’s teachings, I am appalled at my former thoughts and words.”

The note wasn’t all talk. It contained a check for $2,000.

“I send this donation as a heartfelt apology to the African-American community, as a sign of God’s love for you, and as a sign of my love for you as well.”

Sullivan told CNN affiliate WSPA he believes the anonymous donor’s words, and hopes the gesture will show others that love and understanding can prevail, and people can come together despite ugliness in the world.

“I don’t care whether we are talking black or white, whether we are talking about Christian or Islamic,” Sullivan said. “if we can hear the heart of this man as being a heart that represents all of us, I think all of us can become better.”

Sullivan hopes the donor comes forward at some point, but until then, the pastor says the donation will go towards youth outreach programs and church costs.

“When I read the letter, I said ‘Wow … Look at how God works,'” he said.

The letter also talks of miracles:

“If you were ever looking for proof that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are alive and well today, and that miracles, just as in Biblical times, still happen today, this is it!”

It’s up to the reader to decide what kind of “miracle” is being discussed — the real good that a few thousand unexpected dollars can do for a church, or the simple idea that a heart really can change for the better.