Arthur Dark, member of NCS East, came to know Christ as a teen. He accepted Christ at age 16 as a junior in high school at Goler AME Zion Church. He recalls making the conscious decision to follow Christ and walking down the aisle to the alter by himself, as his mother had been killed in a car accident when he was 12 years. His aunt raised him, and Dark remembers her saying, “I wish your mother could have seen you this day when you accepted Christ as your savior.” Dark’s aunt was always there for the special occasions in his life.
Fast forward to adulthood, and Dark heard about NCS East from Guy Morgan, who had asked him to speak at one of their meetings. He and Morgan went to church together, with Dark serving as Morgan’s Sunday School teacher. Living in Winston-Salem throughout his high school years and returning during adulthood, Dark found that he knew a lot of the men who were already in NCS East. And with Winston-Salem being such a segregated city when Dark was growing up, he knew a lot of the people in the Black community at that time.
Coming back to Winston Salem in 2008 after living in more diverse cities, Dark noticed that Winston-Salem had changed since he left in 1969. The city was comprised of more than just Black and White – other races and ethnicities were represented. Dark’s desire to be a part of a fellowship that brought diverse men together with Christ as the common ground drew him into NCS. He’s been a member for about three years.
“It’s necessary for races to try to understand each other. If you meet people in a spiritual way then you can learn from each other. If Jesus is the common ground, you can have conversations you may not normally. When you get to know people, you can discuss things intelligently and understand each other and get rid of biases.”
In his faith journey, Dark points to James 1:22 for a piece of wisdom that has shaped his way of life. ‘Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.’ Dark takes this literally and has decided not to simply talk about what God has said in scripture but live his life by the Words themselves. Taking that a step further, he states that you have to relate the Word to what Jesus would mean for today.
“Iron sharpens iron and that’s what we can do for each other as men. There’s something about hearing relatable stories and encouragement from other men. It takes a man to help another man with some things because they experience similar situations.”
Dark went on to share, “If I live out what Jesus said to do then everything will be all right. Love one another, love your neighbor as yourself, love God first…that’s all you need. I’m not saying it’s easy to love, but that’s the commandment Jesus gave, we are called to do that. And who is our neighbor? Everybody.”
On a personal note, one of the most exciting events of his life was when his daughter finished at MIT with a PhD in Physics. She was only the fifth black woman to accomplish that. Seeing her graduate when his own father only had a sixth-grade education was a very proud moment. She was the first to receive a PhD in his family, although Dark and some of his siblings did graduate with college degrees.
If Dark had endless amounts of money, he would improve the education system in this country for those who are less fortunate.
“I believe that without education, you will suffer the rest of your life. I want to improve the life of others who are less fortunate and haven’t had the right opportunities come their way. You have to get people to want to do better and encourage them to do better. You can’t just give them something without educating them on what to do with what has been given,” he states.