Just over a year ago, Ken Parker was at the Unite the Right rally held August 11 to 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Parker, a neo-Nazi, was there along with other members of the extreme right including neo-confederates and the Klu Klux Klan to stand up for whites and protest the pulling down of Confederate statues in that city.
Parker was wearing a black shirt with a stylized SS on the collar signifying his involvement with the neo-Nazi group.
They fully expected trouble. And when people showed up countering their protest, the rally quickly turned violent resulting in the death of one person and the injury of 19 others when a member of the extreme right drove his car into a crowd of counter protestors.
Parker had originally been a member of the Klu Klux Klan (KKK), a group he joined in 2012. He even had a robe with holes cut out for the eyes and by the time he left Parker had risen to the position of grand dragon.
He left the KKK because he did not consider the group hateful enough. Parker hated blacks. He hated Jews. He hated gays.
But something happened in Charlottesville that profoundly impacted Parker. After police broke up the rally, Parker had a brief encounter with Deeyah Khan, a Punjabi woman, who was producing a documentary entitled the White right: Meeting the enemy. She was there to film the rally.
Even though she had darker skin, what struck Parker was the genuine concern she expressed for Parker who was suffering from heat exhaustion having been marching the full day in a black shirt.
Khan interviewed Parker who spewed his hatred, but nevertheless Khan’s kindness challenged Parker’s beliefs.
God had other plans for Parker and he could not forget how Khan treated him, despite all Parker stood for that day.
A few months later, Parker and his fiancée saw a group of black people having a party near his home. He asked if he could ask them a few questions.
The party was actually a gathering of the All Saints Holiness Church and Pastor William McKinnon III agreed to talk to Parker. They would meet several times after that, and eventually Parker agreed to attend McKinnon’s black church.
Parker repented of his sins and hate, became a Christian and on July 21st. Pastor McKinnon water baptized Parker in the Atlantic Ocean.
Parker said the members of this Black church were stunned by his testimony:
“I said I was a grand dragon of the KKK, and then the Klan wasn’t hateful enough for me so I decided to become a Nazi — and a lot of them, their jaws about hit the floor and their eyes got real big.
But after the service, not a single one of them had anything negative to say. They’re all coming up and hugging me and shaking my hand you know, building me up instead of tearing me down.”
Since becoming a Christian Parker also decided to remove three tattoos, a painful procedure, representing his hateful past including one representing the Klu Klux Klan, a swastika representing the Nazis and a Confederate flag.
The Old Testament prophets spoke of the Messiah being a light to the nations who would be drawn into the Kingdom of God (Isaiah 42:6). Amos spoke of a day when the Tabernacle of David would be rebuilt so a remnant of all the nations could become part of the Kingdom of God (Amos 9:11-12).
In his letter to the Galatians, the Apostle Paul said there is neither Jew or Greek in the Kingdom of God. All races are one in Christ. No race is superior. All racial barriers will be broken down:
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28 NASV)
All those promises of people of every color coming together will be fulfilled through Christ and in the church. The Holy Spirit is moving to bring races together in these troubled times and because of this I think we will start seeing more mixed churches.