Statement on the Civil Unrest Following the Murder of George Floyd

Mt. Zion United Methodist Church (Georgetown) 
June 5, 2020

   Mount Zion UMC is the oldest African American Christian congregation in Washington, DC (Est. 1816). As such, our pastor and leaders feel obligated to respond to the current unrest. We stand with the protesters marching for justice and equality however we condemn the random violence and looting that is going on simultaneously.

   We condemn, first of all, the violence against Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Christian Cooper and Omar Jimenez and all of the other kindred spirits before them who have been brutalized by police. We also condemn the repeated violence against African Americans that has been going on in this country for over four hundred years. Our hope and prayer is for a nation that will live up to its creeds as Dr. Martin Luther King declared. We believe that all human beings are created in God’s image and pray that all people will have the opportunity to become all that God created them to be. We are praying for God to emancipate us from the mental slavery of white supremacy and anti-black racism. We are also praying for deep structural and radical systematic changes in America that will ensure these changes come to fruition.

   We do, however, also have to condemn the current violence that has been associated with the protests surrounding Floyd's murder. We believe that a separate element, outside of the protestors concerned for justice, has taken advantage of this unrest by looting, stealing and vandalizing. We do not condone these activities. We know that people’s emotions are running high right now. We understand that people are burning with anger, fear, hatred, frustration and grief. Confusion and chaos are reigning and that makes many people vulnerable to indiscriminate violence. Therefore, along with praying for the changes we so desperately need, we are also praying for a way to implement them peaceably. We pray for the protection of all people. We pray for our nation to become a place where all people are accepted as equal and where justice and equity prevail for all. We believe that America must manifest love for all humanity – God’s call upon our lives.


Rev. Selena M. Johnson, Pastor

& Mount Zion Leadership