Southern Baptists Hope to Turn a New Page on Race Relations

The headquarters of the Southern Baptist Convention in Nashville, Tenn., is seen in this 2011 photo. SBC president, the Rev. Ronnie Floyd, has organized a denomination-wide discussion of racism ahead of the Southern Baptists' annual meeting next Tuesday. (Mark Humphrey/AP)
The headquarters of the Southern Baptist Convention in Nashville, Tenn., is seen in this 2011 photo. SBC president, the Rev. Ronnie Floyd, has organized a denomination-wide discussion of racism ahead of the Southern Baptists’ annual meeting next Tuesday. (Mark Humphrey/AP)

The Southern Baptist Convention, which was founded following a rift with northern Baptists over slavery, plans to hold a denomination-wide discussion of racism during its annual meeting next Tuesday.

Two years ago, when Ferguson, Mo., exploded with racial unrest, the Rev. Ronnie Floyd, then newly elected as the president of the Southern Baptist Convention, was inspired to act.

Together with an interracial group of his fellow ministers, he wrote an article entitled, “Now is the time for the racial crisis to end in America,” addressing racism as a sin and calling on pastors and churches to address the issue in their congregations and communities.

Since then, the denomination has held several events on the issue, culminating in the SBC’s annual meeting on Tuesday. The meeting will focus on a “national conversation on racial unity.” Leading the conversation as a featured speaker will be the Rev. Jerry Young, who serves as president of the National Baptist Convention, USA, the largest black Christian denomination in the United States.

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SOURCE: The Christian Science Monitor
Olivia Lowenberg

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