Southern Baptist and The Civil Rights Movement: A Great Legacy Missed: Reflections fifty years later from a Christian and a fellow Southern Baptist.

The Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant Denomination outside the Roman Catholic Church, centered in the heart of the Bible Belt. and it’s role, or lack thereof oin the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

Comparatively, we have the strongest Bible teaching program of any denomination. We have committed ourselves to take the Gospel to the entire world. Our mission efforts are relentless to accomplish this goal.

A self-examination of our roots:
A statement of apology was issued in The Southern Baptist Convention one hundred and fifty years after the founding of the SBC.

My question is as a church and a people, have we come to terms with our complacency and contribution to a tragic past in the African American community.

Questions to ponder:
Yes, Southern Baptist have changed but why did it take us so long? Why is the subject of racism in its past history and lack of leadership thereof so difficult; even today in 2014 for Southern Baptist to address?

I grew up Southern Baptist. I do not recall a sermon on racism given by a white minister ever. The subject was missing from Broadman Press, Sunday school, VBS materials. I was a student at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in the early 1980’s. The subject was rarely discused. Topics on race and diversity in the landscape of American History and Christian values were not offering in the early 1980s.

Southern Baptists AWOL in the 1960s and beyond:

Does the church change society or does society change the church?
The Southern tBaptist mission since it’s formation has been Acts.1:8.

8. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

The Christian Church was instrumental in the Civil Rights Movement but were Southern Baptist? AND THAT IS THE REAL TRAGEDTY IN THIS STORY!



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