by Nicole Nielsen | CBS 11

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – After weeks of unrest across the country due to concerns about police brutality and racial inequality beginning with the death of George Floyd, two Dallas churches came together Wednesday night to have “a conversation in black in white.”

It is the name of their live stream, but is also a reflection of their congregations and their communities.

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Rev. Richie Butler of St. Paul United Methodist Church said, “One of the last places people would perceive or where a conversation about race would take place is in Highland Park. We wanted it to be the first place.”

The churches are only seven minutes apart, but face different worlds.

St. Paul UMC started project unity back in 2017, an initiative meant to bring his congregation together with Pastor Paul Rasmussen’s congregation in Highland Park.

It was all in response to the five officers who were killed in the Dallas police ambush in July 2016.

Since then, the conversation has continued.

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“Pastor Paul and I have been talking about this for a couple of years. But sometimes, events, tragedy, challenges…sometimes push us and force us to do what we should have been doing a long time ago,” said Rev. Richie Butler.

Rob Crain, a member of Highland Park UMC said this is the perfect moment for this type of conversation.

“People are ready for it now. I think Paul and Richie understand that we just have to tap into this,” Crain said.

Rob Crain and Pastor Richie Bulter (CBS 11)

CBS 11 asked Pastor Richie, despite the color of their skin, what the difference is between the two churches? His answer is simple. “The difference is, I sweat when I preach. Paul doesn’t!”

Crain had similar answer that had nothing to do with race.

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“The messaging at its heart is the same. The congregations look very different of course, and that’s historical…but I think as we go forward, I think we will see a lot more people joining these churches of different colors,” he said.