For this week’s episode, we were honored to bring on Alice Faulkner Burch, General Editor of Deseret Book’s new collection of essays by Black American Latter-day Saints: My Lord, He Calls Me. The title of the book comes from an early Black American spiritual called “Steal Away to Jesus.” The book shares contemporary experiences of Black Americans in the Church, and stories from every era of the Restoration.
The essays found in the book are extremely personal — the type of stories you’d only hear as a trusted friend. Alice says that these stories are offered “as a gift for Black Americans and an invitation to white Americans.” In the interview, she shared really important perspectives on not just the experience of Black Americans in the Church, but what it means for each of us to be part of the body of Christ, and how we can more fully embrace the gifts of the Spirit, even “charismatic” ones like those shared in some of the remarkable stories in this book.
Alice was baptized into the Church in July 1984. She served as the first African American in the Chile Santiago South Mission from 1987 to 1988, and in 1989 she was called as the first African American ordinance worker in the Salt Lake Temple. She has served the community as secretary of the Utah Chapter of Afro-American Historical & Genealogical Society, secretary for the Utah Black Roundtable, and a member of the annual Utah Juneteenth Committee.