The late Rev. James Bevel, an adviser to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., referred to preachers like Father Divine (pictured) as “religious entertainers.” (St. Louis American File Photo) Has the African-American Christian church lost its influence? Has it become weaker? Do some pastors spend too much time hiding in their churches? These are questions many people are asking, so it is time to examine and consider the power the Black church and Black preacher have had on our lives and history.