Africa-centered Christianity argues that the charge of the Christian is not just about their individual eternal salvation, but also their treatment of others in their lived experience. That makes church the place where you should be able to go for raising public and social need and the church should (while it cannot itself be a social welfare or public defense agency) be the staging ground for mobilizing leaders and others in the community towards that cause. King’s movement was actually calling and challenging the historical church in the Afrikan community to come back to its traditional role. From during the enslavement period to about the 1950s the churches had been THE major social service, political organizing entity. It was during the 50s and 60s that some churches began to move towards a lack of engagement and King condemned it, as I do today, and he was, as I am, condemned for it by those who see church as a safe haven from sin or as a profitable business venture or as vehicle for self-glorification and enrichment, rather than an activist organization on behalf of the people for Christ.
A lot of institutions that call themselves churches are NOT churches in Christian terms, but in legal terms. If I build a “church” to glorify ME and MY members and OUR buildings and such things, Christ says that’s NOT a church and anyone who joins that AS a church that is deluded and being led astray confusing the worship of man and his world for the worship of God and His. We need to cultivate a generation of Garveyite ministers and encourage young believers going towards the pastorate toward our own institutions rather than these Eurocentric seminaries. If we do not build our own institutions, then to be certified as ministers, unsuspecting believers will end up at the Eurocentric ones and learn errant ideas which collectively constitute a serious challenge for their graduates to either collectively possess any coherent true faith in Christ and certainly to any real service on behalf of the masses of the people. As much as we can condemn the human church, those who condemn usually don’t join, involve themselves, do scholarship, or train. If we are not going to build these new institutions for revolutionary Africentric theology, just as in education generally and economics and so on, then we can expect what the system gives.