LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) For years, the city of Harrison has fought a reputation of hate and racism, one they acquired when the Ku Klux Klan began sending out their monthly literature from a Harrison address.
But Sunday, Harrison residents took another step towards breaking their negative image. With plates of collard greens and corn bread, Harrison teens like Teila Creekmore spent Sunday at St. Peter's Missionary Baptist Church in Little Rock.
"They are very lively and very nice," says Creekmore when asked about her new friends she made while visiting.
Creekmore says their visit is part of a confirmation class at First Presbyterian Church, a nine-month journey for young adults learning more about cultures and faiths different than their own. They are cultures and races some believe are unwelcome in her home town of Harrison.
"Visiting teams come in and they know about us already, but I mean it's not true, but that's what they've heard and that's what they think," says Creekmore.
"There is definitely a perception that we feel like, the citizens of Harrison feel like is incorrect and how we can change that perception maybe one step at a time, we are willing to try," says church elder, Dave Morgon.
While Sunday's trip focused mainly on their spiritual differences, Pastor Billy Burris say by spending time together, the two flocks began to bridge the cultural divide.
"We are all here together and so we ought to be working together and doing things together to further mankind and not just our own selfishness," says Pastor Burris.
It is a small way to bring a bigger goal to fruition.
"We've got to start somewhere and this is at least in our mind part of that start," says Pastor Burris.
Pastors from both churches say not only was today's potluck a lesson in culture but also faith. Despite their differences in denomination and doctrine beliefs, there is at least one thing that ties them together, their love for each other and God.
Sunday's trip also included a black history program during the service. The Martin Luther King Jr. commission who helped arrange the service says they plan to do more meetings like it in the future.
For more on Harrison's fight for an image overhaul, click here.