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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Today We Celebrate A New Baptist Covenant

The New Baptist Covenant Celebration opened up earlier tonight. According to Lance Wallace of CBF Communications, the World Congress Center seats 15,000. The place was near capacity.

Bill Underwood, President of Mercer University opened up the Celebration with a powerful message. The website of the New Baptist Covenant (www.newbaptistcovenant.com – click on Videos) will be showing the plenary sessions. Watch Underwood’s WELCOME there.

Here are a few snippets from President Underwood:
"After generations of cleaning up wrongs between us. After generations of separation. After generations of division. Divisions by geography. Divisions by theology. But most of all divisions by race. A new day has dawned. Today in this place from the North and the South, from Canada, from Mexico, from throughout the United States and around the World - Baptists who are Black and Baptists who are White, Baptists Who Are Brown, Baptists who are Conservative, Baptists who are Moderate, Baptists who are Progressive. Today we all sit down together at the table of Christian brother and sisterhood. By coming together here in Atlanta, we acknowledge that the things that have divided us should not and these thigs must not obscure what we share in common...and that is our commitment to follow Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Today we Celebrate a New Day. We Celebrate A New Baptist Covenant. A Covenant that We Will United Together To Create An Authentic and Genuine Baptist Voice in These troubled Times. A Covenant that we will Unite In Our Commitment to Traditional Baptist Values including sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ and its implications for public and private morality. We will unite and honor the commandment of our Lord and Savior that we will love our neighbor as God has loved us."
Now, that's some good stuff!

After President Underwood began the Celebration by reading Luke 4, Sonny Perdue, the Republican Governor of the State of Georgia and a Southern Baptist Sunday School Teacher, addressed the crowd. Representing the “Bald Baptists” (his joke), Perdue proclaimed to the audience his “joy to stand up in front of you as a Baptist.”

Dr. David Goatley who serves as the President of the North American Baptist Fellowship of the Baptist World Alliance offered a few encouraging words. He said, “never before have Baptists...sought to explore possibilities of cooperation for missions and ministries - something that has never happened before. We're glad you're here.

Babs Baugh of the Baugh Foundation (Texas) was also recognized for her contribution of over 500,000 dollars to make the Celebration possible! So, thebigdaddyweave.com gives a big thank you to the Baugh family who is always generous especially in the arena of religious liberty!

Shirley Franklin the mayor of Atlanta also spoke. Franklin who I had the privilege of meeting a few times during my time with Congressman John Lewis is in her second term and is considered by TIME Magazine as one of the five most effective big city mayors in the United States. She was the first woman elected mayor of Atlanta and the irst African-American woman elected as mayor in any major city in the South.

The Scripture readings were:
Isaiah 9:6-7
Micah 4:3-4
Romans 14:17-19

Charles Wade, the outgoing Executive Director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, gave a stirring prayer that really excited the audience. Amens were heard from every corner of auditorium. Wade denounced "evil men and women who exploit children" and "religious leaders who suppress conscience and the soul as though they are not aware that you God are Lord of the soul."

See my next post for commentary and snippets from Dr. William Shaw and President Jimmy Carter.

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Blogger Christa Brown said...

If Charles Wade really wanted to denounce "evil men and women who exploit children," he could start by making public the names of the child-molesting ministers reported to the BGCT by churches and for whom the BGCT determined there was "substantial evidence the abuse took place," in accordance with the BGCT's own published policy at the time. The fact that the BGCT has such a file is no secret - it's been written about in numerous published articles and in the BGCT's own brochure, "Broken Trust." But the names within that file - names of ministers for whom there is "substantial evidence" of having molested kids - are kept secret from the people who most need to know - people in the pews.

My own perpetrator was in that file at the BGCT, and he continued to work in children's ministry in Florida. And Charles Wade received my substantiated report of childhood abuse by certified mail, as shown by a signed return receipt. And the BGCT's response was to send its own long-time attorney out to help my childhood church, and he immediately threatened to sue ME. How many more clergy abuse victims do you think have been silenced by such bald intimidation tactics inflicted by the BGCT's lawyer? Meanwhile, my perpetrator continued to work in children's ministry, and no one at the BGCT did diddly-squat to help me or to warn parents in Florida. The details of my own case have been reported far and wide, but I'm far from the only one who has had similar experiences with the BGCT.

Easy enough for Wade to talk about "evil men who exploit children." But it's just talk. Where are the deeds?

2:14 PM


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