Rate Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

difference between black and white church
When we first came to the United States, I was in a complete state of cultural shock. Right from the airport, things were so different. I was shocked to see people queuing up to purchase coffee. Why would anyone scramble to buy some black bitter drink? I was shocked at the amount of sugar in muffins we bought to temporally quench hunger. Did they add the dough to the sugar or they added the sugar to the dough? I was equally shocked at how polite the people in uniform where. Instead of giving clear-cut instructions, they said things like, “you may want to..”.

But nothing shocked me more than how different the church services were. The first white church I attended was a Baptist church my brother-in-law took me to. Coming from an African orthodox to pentecostal church background, I found their way of doing things quite interesting. Since then I have attended a few other white churches. Their way of preaching, dress code and offering time are significantly different from that of African pentecostal churches.
Here are eight real things that differ in both churches!

1. Dress Code

White Church: Jeans, tees, snickers and other forms of casual clothing are worn to church. It is church, not a ball.
African Church: Heels, large hats and big scarfs (AKA canopy), sparkling clothes and suits. You are going to the God of the universe’s house so you have to up your dressing game. How would you dress if you were going to see a president? How much more your Father in heaven? Ha.

2. Energy during service

White Church: Everyone is seated, quiet and paying attention. Everything is solemn and calm. It is church, not a party.
African Church: There is shouting and making of some “Holy Ghost noise.” There is looking at your neighbour eye ball to eye ball and saying things like: “You better respect me now! Next year my level must have changed!”

3. Service length

White Church: Service begins at 11:00 am and ends at 12:13. Some songs are sung, the word is preached and people go home. The end.
African Church: Service begins at 11:00 am and ends at 9:00 pm. The spirit always moves beyond the time. Who are we to stop the move of God? There is also testimony time in which the sister starts by singing a special song to God and asking that we don’t mind her rough voice. She then proceeds to say a twenty-minute story before finally relaying what the Lord did for her. There are long announcements, exhortation before preaching, altar calls and prophecy time.

4. Music

White Church: Singing is calm and sometimes lullabylike. There might be lifting up of hands if the church is evangelical. There may be some moving of the body but no significant dancing.
African Church: Hands are lifted up, there are screams, there is kneeling down and there is shouting at God. There is also passing of commands: “If you love Jesus, put your hands on your head! Shake am! Hold am! Bend am! Shake am! Eh! Eh! Eh! Eh! Ayayayayaya!” You have to zenge for Jesus.

5. Preachers

One preacher who shall remain nameless perambulates the altar in his suit, sweats, opens his eyeballs and shouts things while the other preacher who shall also remain nameless stands at the same spot and says things calmly.

6. Response to preaching

White Church: Messages are received silently. If a member is touched, they’ll sob, remove their hanky and wipe their tears.
African Church: We do not wait to leave church before talking about how much we appreciate the message. We agree to the message right there before the preacher by saying things like: “Tell them! Amen! Ride on! Yes Yes Yes! “Preach Sah!”

7. Offering time

White Church: One offering time

African Church: Many offering times: thanksgiving offering, tithes (without which things will be tight!), mission offering, seed sowing (to seal your miracle), project offering, special offering plus normal Sunday offering!

8. Way of collecting offering

White Church: Offering collection is  mentioned then a bag/basket goes round or you drop in basket on your way out. You can even give online if you choose to.
African Church: Semi-sermon with quoted scriptures is preached about the importance of giving, then you dance out with joy to drop your offering. God loves a cheerful giver!

Bonus point: After service meetings

White Church: You go home after service

African Church: There is women’s meeting, ushers’ meeting and building committee meeting after service. After that you engage in “greeting ministry” or “fellowship after fellowship.” There is no hurry to leave the church.
Writing this post has made me so nostalgic. What difference did I leave out?

About Precious

Welcome to my core! I am Precious Nkeih, the recipe developer and writer right here on my blog, Precious Core. My goal is to show you insanely delicious recipes you can replicate in your kitchen. And I love to tell stories too. Hope you find recipes here that will make cooking easier for you! Check me out on YouTube at YouTube.com/PreciousKitchen.

You Might Also Like

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. I found this interesting but have white churches changed this much? I stopped going to church over four decades ago so admittedly I haven’t been to one in a mighty long time but… t-shirts and jeans! I’m horrified. Are white churches really this casual now? I doubt even then we dressed up as much – the woman who wore hats wore these small little pill box things, for instance, sometimes with netting. But you dressed in your Sunday best – suits for the men and pretty dresses for the women, usually in subdued shades for both but I’m shocked at the casualness of white churches. Doesn’t exactly inspire me to return. Maybe the denomination. I went to Alliance then Dutch Reformed then Weslayan growing up so the comments I make are based on experience in them in the 60s and 70s and common to all three.

    I found most of the rest about white churches accurate except that I wish the services actually started that late and were that short. They started around nine and you hoped to be out by noon but usually dragged out to one. Children had Sunday school before the service and a week long vacation Bible school in summer (which was fun because crafts).

  2. Hahahaha at it was a "special" Sunday. Every Sunday is special ya.

    Make we really chop! Thanks for stopping by, dear!

  3. Hahahaha auntie Pre, the jeans part is still hard for me oh. The way church service di take stay at times, I just di wonder if them combine two Sundays into one.

    There's a short exhortation before everything from announcements to praise and worship. Then by the end of the service the pastor will apologize saying the service stayed longer because it was a 'special' Sunday and then I begin di wonder whether na which sunday no special because all di ever stay pass. I usually ask why the Holy Spirit always exceeds time? Can't the Holy Spirit just permit us go home early just this one Sunday?

    Make African churches dem chop ya!