The pastors represented Christian churches from different areas of Fresno. Pastor Paul Binion of Westside Church of God, Jim Franklin of Cornerstone Church and Brad Bell of The Well were among those on the panel.
The pastors gathered at Westside Church of God in West Fresno to discuss their views on church segregation, racial bias and diversity. The dialogue was open to the public, but the pastors asked that we not record their personal responses.
"To my recollection, I've never seen or heard anything of this magnitude and so everyone is excited about the potential and opportunity for this to open and expand a larger dialogue and really start to get to the root causes of our differences and find out that they're not that different," coordinator Jepahl White said.
White said the catalyst for meeting came after the George Zimmerman verdict in the death of Trayvon Martin. According to White, pastors across Fresno were having issues come up in their congregations on how to deal with the topic of race. Organizers said Thursday's dialogue will continue as pastors take information gathered back to their own churches.