Interesting SBC Followup

The Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in the United States, had their annual convention in Phoenix, Arizona this wee. Baptist Press has a good roundup from the event. What I find fascinating is the election for First Vice President of the Convention. First Vice President is generally a stepping stone to the Presidency of the Convention. The two candidates were both minorities, Pastor Fred Luter of senior pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans and Rick Ong, a deacon of First Chinese Baptist Church in Phoenix. Luter won the election with 77% of the vote. For church founded pre-Civil War for Southern Baptists to continue support slavery, to come this far racially is awesome. As Luter himself put it at the Convention, “Here’s a convention that started on slavery. Years later you have an African-American one step away from the presidency. I can’t deny that.”

The Executive Committee of the SBC also signed the following pledge:

— “We pledge to maintain a relationship of mutual trust …

— “We pledge to attribute the highest motives to those engaged in local church ministries and those engaged in denominational service in any level of Convention life …

— “We pledge to affirm the value of cooperative ministry as the most effective and efficient means of reaching a lost world …

— “We pledge to embrace our brothers and sisters of every ethnicity, race, and language as equal partners in our collective ministries to engage all people groups with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

— “We pledge to continue to honor and affirm proportional giving through the Cooperative Program as the most effective means of mobilizing our churches and extending our outreach as Southern Baptists ….”

I don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty good to me.

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