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Rev. Ricky Woods of First Baptist-West spent Sunday morning preaching to a different congregation, a very different one, according to a story. Instead of delivering his usually sermons at First Baptist West, Woods, a black minister, preached at Temple Israel.

In the pulpit at First Baptist was Murray Ezring, a rabbi at Temple Israel. The swap is one of many that have occurred throughout the city for the last month as part of the Xchange Sermons. At least 24 houses of worship have participated.

“We hope it’s not a one time thing, but rather the begging of building relationships between diverse congregations across racial, ethnic and faith lines,” said Maria Hanlin of Mecklenburg Ministries, which co-sponsored the series with Crossroads Charlotte.

Johnson C. Smith University president Ronald Carter kicked it off MLK weekend by speaking at Temple Beth-El. The swaps range from exchanges such as the Temple Israel and First Baptist West to lunch conversations between people of different faiths.

Upcoming swaps include:

Sunday: The Rev. Flo Watkins of Seigle Ave. Presbyterian, 10:30 a.m., Spiritual Living Center of Charlotte, 650 E. Stonewall (at Actors Theatre of Charlotte). The Revs. Renee’ Leboa and Christy Snow of Spiritual Living Center, 11 a.m., Seigle Ave. Presbyterian, 600 Seigle Ave.

Feb. 28: The Rev. Stephen Shoemaker of Myers Park Baptist, 10:30 a.m., St. Paul Baptist, 1401 Allen St. The Rev. Gregory Moss of St. Paul Baptist, 11 a.m. Myers Park Baptist, 1900 Queens Road.

March 21: The Rev. Dennis Williams of Faith Memorial Baptist, 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11:15 a.m., Grace Covenant, 1800 South Blvd.

April 18: The Rev. Farrell Lemings of Grace Covenant, 11 a.m., Faith Memorial Baptist, 211 Lakewood Ave.

April 25: The Rev. Ben Devoid of Dilworth United Methodist, 10:30 a.m., First United Presbyterian, 406 N. College St. The Rev. Greg Busby of First United Presbyterian, 11 a.m., Dilworth United Methodist, 605 East Blvd.

For more Xchange Sermon stories go to