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Former Klansman Finds Forgiveness at Black Church

Former Klansman Finds Forgiveness at Black Church

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By    |   Monday, 12 February 2018 10:29 AM

A former Klansman has found forgiveness in a black church, Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Millville, New Jersey, where he works as head of security and is close friends with the pastor and parishioners.

Joe Bednarsky said he is a different person than he was at 18, when he officially joined the Ku Klux Klan, The Philadelphia Inquirer noted.

The 63-year-old grew up fighting with black youths near his Wade East apartments just south of Philadelphia, so he was initially drawn to the KKK because he said it sold itself as a patriotic movement, with "people who were proud of their race that did things for the white community."

Bednarsky often made headlines as he climbed through the ranks within the KKK, and was charged with assault in 1996 after he shot a black woman holding a baby in the leg with a slingshot.

After a year in Cumberland County prison, Bednarsky was back on the streets but he began questioning his role within the KKK, and in 2007 he resigned.

Two years later Bednarsky began showing up at the soup kitchen of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

His appearance drew raised eyebrows.

"People were not very trusting of him, so needless to say people didn't get the warm and fuzzies about him serving them a meal," said the church's pastor, Charles Wilkins, according to SNJ Today.

However, Berdnarsky proved his worth and earned the respect of the congregation.

"I've seen him get up in the middle of the night and take a family someplace to get shelter," said Wilkins. "I've seen him fill his car up with groceries and go to the projects and give out food. He's become more than a friend to me. He's become a brother."

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Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Millville, New Jersey, offered forgiveness and a job to former Klansman Joe Bednarsky, who is head of security and close friends with the pastor at the black church.
klansman, forgiveness, black, church
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2018-29-12
Monday, 12 February 2018 10:29 AM
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