SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Let’s Start Again is a timely new book addressing racial tension in America, written by Evangel University graduates Alex & Angela Bryant. The foreword is written by Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King.
The genesis of the book was a three-minute video produced by the Bryant family in 2016 titled, “I Have No Words, But I Will Not Be Silent.”
That viral video has been viewed on Facebook more that 35 million times.
“In response to our video we received messages from thousands of people, letting us know that it touched hearts,” said Alex. “It appears that many people are tired of the division between the races and want to see us come together and unite.”
That message is especially important today.
“Even though there are still racist people who demonstrate bigotry on a regular basis,” he continued, “our country is not full of racist people. And we must not allow the isolated beliefs and actions of a few to determine how the majority of us think, feel and act toward one another.”
While Alex was working on his master’s degree at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary at Evangel University (AGTS), the Bryants expanded the message of the video and the stories that were received from viewers, resulting in this book.
Let’s Start Again was written to give insight and information that will empower the reader to get in on the conversation.
“Real change will happen when enough of us realize that the old way isn’t working, and we have to make changes in order for us to survive,” said Bryant. “We have a choice about who we are becoming. We are either going to unite in love and in the light, or continue down the path of darkness and disunity.” *
Alex Bryant travels nationally as a speaker and also serves as student life coordinator for AGTS.
• KOLR-10 (CBS News) interviewed the Bryants on June 9, 2020 — https://www.ozarksfirst.com/local-news/local-news-local-news/biracial-couple-in-springfield-writes-book-about-racial-tension-in-america/
Endorsed by Dr. King
“When you know your purpose in life, and choose to fully embrace it, you will find yourself doing hard things in order to fulfill it,” says Dr. Alveda King in the forward to Let’s Start Again.
“You will have hard conversations, you will address the elephant in the room, you will confront injustice and buck the status quo,” she continues. “Even if it makes you feel uncomfortable, you will take action because you realize that some things are too important to leave undone.”
In her forward, Dr. King addresses the racial tension in our country and explores the notion of “races” versus the Biblical perspective of “one human race.”
“The God of the universe, who creates ALL men and women in His likeness, wants the world to know that He has the answer to the problem,” she emphasizes.
“As you read Let’s Start Again you will gain fresh insight into why it’s important to our Heavenly Father that we, His Church, get this ‘race’ thing figured out.”
The Bryant’s viral video
How did a former Evangel University football player, businessman and pastor arrive at this point?
“While watching the news on July 7, 2016, I was grieved by the report of 14 police officers shot in Dallas. Five were killed. The shooter was angry over another police killing of a black man in Louisiana days before,” said Alex, who was serving as executive pastor at New Life Church in Oak Grove, Mo., near Kansas City, at that time.
“I took my son Trey to physical therapy the next morning, and in the car on the way back, the song ‘Who Am I’ from Annie came on. As I listened to the words of the song, I felt like God gave me a message,” he said.
In response to the racial violence and tension in our country, the family made a video with the message of starting again.
On the video, Alex does not speak, but uses flip cards, facial expressions and the well-timed appearance of his interracial family to make the point he felt compelled to write.
That Facebook video has been viewed 35 million times, so far.
“Hundreds of people have told us they cried when they watched it,” he said. “Me, too! I feel like this is a message for everyone, and God allowed me to view it first.”
Alex attended Evangel on a football scholarship and graduated in 1995 with a double major in Business Management and Biblical Studies.
He has put both degrees to use, spending nine years in corporate business with MCI and the last 16 years in vocational ministry — including stints at James River Church in Ozark, Mo.; First Assembly of God in Ft. Myers, Fla.; and the Dream Center in inner-city St. Louis.
Angela is also a graduate of AGTS at Evangel, where she earned a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy in 1995.
“Our country needs more of the love, forgiveness, and peace that we discuss in this book,” said Angela. “Let’s Start Again will help you see an option that unites rather than divides. Trust me, you will want to help spread the message to everyone you know.”
About Evangel University
Evangel University, which includes the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary (AGTS), is a comprehensive Christian university committed to excellence in educating and equipping students to serve the church and society globally. Evangel serves more than 2,300 students from all 50 states and numerous foreign countries, offering 70 undergraduate majors and 19 master’s and doctoral degrees.
Let’s Start Again (back cover summary)
The race conversation is going to take place with or without you. Don’t allow fear to stop you from engaging in it. Too many people have allowed activists, politicians and the media to frame the parameters of the conversation. A loud minority of voices would have us believe we must pick a side — that there is no room for common ground. Let’s Start Again will help you see an option that unites rather than divides. As you read the stories that Alex and Angela share about their experiences, you will see where you fit into the race relations dilemma. You will be empowered to get in on the conversation.
Christ followers have a unique perspective that empowers us to speak with a loving tone that works to unite rather than divide across racial lines. We have a different objective than some of the other voices speaking out about race. Jesus told his followers that the world will know we are Christians by our love for one another. We need to get busy loving and representing Him well to this world that needs to know Him and His reconciling power!
To book the Bryants for your service or event, you may email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
• Link to the viral Facebook video: https://www.facebook.com/alexbryant72/videos/vb.1070739478/10208378424792801/?type=2&video_source=user_video_tab
• The video is also now available on YouTube: https://www.alexbryant.org/lets-start-again
* Scriptural reference: 1 John1:5-7 (NIV) — “This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with Him and yet walk in darknes, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.”