I performed my first mixed race marriage ceremony in the heart of Dixie (Pleasure Ridge Park on Dixie
Highway) shortly after the busing riots in the 70's. I also, gathered the funds and opened a business (on the side)
to help pay for medical school so my wife could become a physician. In this same era, I was one of the first United
Methodist Ministers to recommend and sponsor the ordination of one of the first female ministers in the Louisville Conference
of the United Methodist Church. None of these decisions were popular or acceptable by many of my church members and
colleagues in the church at that time. I personally wish I could have been able to wiggle out of all three of these
major acts and decisions. But, in my heart, I knew all three were right and if I refused to help I would be on the wrong
side of history and God. I did what I did because of love. But, at the time, I did not know there where thousands
of other people like me all over America making the same decisions. Our decisions on the local level changed America
on the national level. As a result we became a different country and I believe we became a better country. The
photo below depicts my daughters wedding. She married a young man from Nigeria who is a nanotechnology engineer.
They have five children. My two daughters both chose men of color for to be their husbands and both have children that
are mixed race. Recently, my two oldest grandsons were maried to women of a different race. I love my children,
grand children and their families. When I relax after a long day and reflect about my children and grand children, I
do not see the color of their skin or race. I see love. I feel how much I love them and my heart is warm.
There is no room for the words mixed and race in the words children and grand children... just love. People of different
races will continue to marry one another and America will continue to change. As this change continues the words tolerance
and diversity will be replaced with one word...LOVE.
Writer, John Rodgers
Rodgers was ordained a minister in 1975 and is a 1980 graduate of the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.
He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Campbellsville University in 1975. He served 12 different churches in
the Louisville, KY area before he retired. After retiring from the ministry he developed several successful businesses
and currently is a volunteer for Hikes Point News.