House of God
Teen Works’s song House of God highlightS the influence that New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church has had over the Monon 16 neighborhood throughout the years. Now known as one of the oldest African-American churches in Indianapolis, it was always a beacon of hope for the African-American community. During the time when Jim Crow laws segregated the country and strictly limited what people of color could and could not do, all-black churches were common.
However, it was invaluable to African-Americans to be reminded that the highest power in their lives was not the oppressive legislation of the time, but a loving God that created all humans as equal. It was easy to become disheartened, when your were told every day that you weren’t good enough, that the color of your skin dictated that you deserved less than others. But the church reminded its congregation that none of it was true. It told them to be proud of who they were.
The song House of God emphasizes the resilient spirit of the members of the church by incorporating the lyrics of the hymn Great is Thy Faithfulness, which echoes the same triumphant message that despite earthly troubles, God’s provision for His people never fails. Since its establishment in 1875, the church has overcome years of difficulty, including four building fires, political turbulence, and the day to day challenges of living in community. They have not lost their grasp on what binds them together, however, and continue to trust that God will provide.