Black Wall Street — Biblical Financial Principles at work

How can Christ Followers (really anyone) be the most Productive, Prosperous, & Generous people in the World?

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Acts 2:42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Acts 4:32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need. 36 Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”), 37 sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.

Luke 16:9 And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings.

Black Wall Street, former byname of the Greenwood neighborhood in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where in the early 20th century African Americans had created a self-sufficient prosperous business district. The term Black Wall Street was used until the Tulsa race riot of 1921.

O.W. Gurley, a wealthy Black landowner, purchased 40 acres of land in Tulsa, naming it Greenwood after the town in Mississippi. Gurley is credited with having the first Black business in Greenwood in 1906. He had a vision to create something for Black people by Black people. Gurley started with a boarding house for African Americans. Then word began to spread about opportunities for Blacks in Greenwood and they flocked to the district. O.W. Gurley would loan money to people who wanted to start a business. They had a system where someone who wanted to own a business could get help in doing that.

Other prominent Black entrepreneurs followed suit. J.B. Stradford, born into slavery in Kentucky, later becoming a lawyer and activist, moved to Greenwood in 1898. He built a 55-room luxury hotel bearing his name, the largest Black-owned hotel in the country. An outspoken businessman, Stradford believed that blacks had a better chance of economic progress if they pooled their resources.

On Greenwood Avenue, there were luxury shops, restaurants, grocery stores, hotels, jewelry and clothing stores, movie theaters, barbershops and salons, a library, pool halls, nightclubs and offices for doctors, lawyers, and dentists. Greenwood also had its own school system, post office, a savings and loan bank, hospital, and bus and taxi service. In addition, it provided the backbone for greater civic and political participation by Tulsa’s African American residents.

Greenwood was home to far less affluent African Americans as well. A significant number still worked in menial jobs, such as janitors, dishwashers, porters, and domestics. The money they earned outside of Greenwood was spent within the district. It is said within Greenwood every dollar would change hands 19 times before it left the community. The community thrived throughout the first half of the century, even during the Great Depression.

Acts 2:47 — “And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”

“Then word began to spread about opportunities for Blacks in Greenwood and they flocked to the district.”

Excerpts from ‘Becoming Your Own Banker’:

“Economic problems are best solved by people freely contracting with one another and with government limited to the function of enforcing those contracts. The absolute best way to do so is through the magnificent idea of dividend-paying whole life insurance. It has more in common with banking than it does with life insurance. A better name would have been a ‘banking system with a death benefit thrown in for good measure.’ It has been around for over 200 years and stood the test of time. It is not compulsory. It is not a government sponsored idea. It preceded the income tax idea by a long time. It is Private Property! Also, the only people who participate in this idea are people who truly care about other people. What a great group of people to be engaged in business with.” — R. Nelson Nash

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Founder of Disciple Wealth Strategies. Serve God & Master Money (Luke 16:13)

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Austin L Garner

Founder of Disciple Wealth Strategies. Serve God & Master Money (Luke 16:13)