Southern Baptists elect leader focused on bridging racial divide

The largest Protestant denomination on Tuesday resisted a push from the right in a divisive leadership vote.

6/16/2021 10:29:00 AM

Southern Baptists elect a new president who has worked to bridge racial divides in the church and defeating an effort to make an issue of critical race theory.

The largest Protestant denomination on Tuesday resisted a push from the right in a divisive leadership vote.

“From time to time, every family has disagreements and tensions,” he said in a campaign video. “Because we’re a family, we don’t give up on one another.”Among Litton's notable attributes are a long record of hard work promoting racial reconciliation, and his perseverance in the face of personal tragedy. Litton’s wife of 25 years, Tammy, was killed in an automobile accident in 2007; two years later, he married Kathy Ferguson, the widow of another SBC pastor killed in a 2002 car crash.

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Alan Cross, an SBC pastor from California who has worked with him on racial reconciliation projects, evoked those attributes in endorsing Litton’s candidacy.“He will do a good job because he has character and integrity, he operates in humility, he trusts and lifts up Jesus, he has suffered and experienced the love of God in the midst of great grief,” Cross wrote on the blog SBC Voices.

Litton, 62, earned a bachelor’s degree in religion and theater from Grand Canyon University, a private Christian university in Phoenix, and later received a Doctor of Ministry from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.He spent the early years of his ministry in Texas and Arizona, and since 1994 he has been senior pastor of an SBC church — now known as Redemption Church — in Saraland, Alabama, a suburb of Mobile.

For the past six years, he’s been active in a Mobile coalition called the Pledge Group, a movement of leaders from different racial, religious and vocational backgrounds who want to shrink the city’s racial divide.Litton was nominated for president at Tuesday’s SBC meeting by pastor Luter, who in 2012 became the SBC’s first and thus far only Black president. Luter said he’d known Litton for more than 20 years, initially teaming up to preach on behalf of racial reconciliation.

That cause has been an enduring one for Litton, who has built strong relationships with many Black pastors.Late last year, racial tensions in the SBC were heightened when the presidents of the SBC’s six seminaries — all of them white — issued a statement repudiating critical race theory, a term used to describe critiques of systemic racism. In response, a diverse group of Southern Baptists, including Litton and Luter, co-signed a statement asserting that systemic racial injustice is a reality.

During his campaign, Litton identified unity and diversity as two of his top priorities.Without unified commitment to the Gospel, he said in one campaign video, “We will stumble into opposing factions, differences of opinions and turf battles that squander precious time and resources.”

As for diversity, he noted that Blacks, Hispanics and Asian Americans increased their presence in the SBC over the past 20 years even as white membership declined.“I want to continue broadening ethnic diversity on our boards to reflect who we actually are and who we’re becoming,” he said. “I want to build bridges. Where necessary, we have to repair burned bridges.”

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He noted that some Black pastors are asking why they should remain in the SBC. Read more: NBC News »

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Dude has his work cut out for him.

Southern Baptists pick president who worked for racial unityThe Southern Baptist Convention resisted pushes from the right and elected a president who has worked to bridge racial divides in the church The church... God is dead. Find your own salvation. This sounds like a good start. But the vote was close so, a split could still happen. It seems to be bad blood in the mix. Time will tell. ladybugdink I guess the Southern Baptists will have to gerrymander the pews a bit before they hold another election.

Southern Baptist Convention Elects Ed Litton President in Victory for Moderate ForcesAlabama pastor Ed Litton was elected the next president of the Southern Baptist Convention, a victory for the more moderate forces within the country’s largest evangelical Christian denomination Rabid Cult News: 'The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is a Christian denomination which is based in the United States. It is the world's largest Baptist denomination, the largest Protestant and the second-largest Christian denomination in the United States...' That is pretty shocking news, but surely Litton is not as moderate as the ones who were kicked out or left the SBC 25-30 years ago. In other words, I doubt the pendulum is swinging back toward the day when SBC seminaries were known for critical thinking and intellectual curiosity

Southern Baptists resist push from right in divisive voteNASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Southern Baptist Convention tamped down a push from the right at its largest meeting in decades on Tuesday, electing a new president who has worked to bridge racial divides in the church and defeating an effort to make an issue of critical race theory. Such good news. The fever may be breaking 🤞 No mention of their other issues?

Southern Baptists grapple with race, gender, sex and God in pivotal annual meetingOn one side of America's largest Protestant denomination, a vanguard of conservatives seeks to beat back what’s viewed as a move toward “wokeness.” On the other, the church’s establishment has adopted a conciliatory approach on progressive social issues. The greatest judgement awaits those who disregard God-given human free will and try to force their will on others in God's name. Organized religion: the best possible way for the few to control (every aspect of) the lives of the masses.

Opinion | What the Southern Baptist Convention war over CRT is really aboutOpinion | AntheaButler: The SBC may decide to play the race card, gambling that white fear of America's racist history is important to its conservative membership. This is the same gamble GOP lawmakers are making across the country. - MSNBCDaily AntheaButler Daily TheDemocrats continue to grovel at his feet for the opportunity to kiss his azz AntheaButler Daily SAC abduct around 20 to 30 people a day in Nat Seik village, Thayet Chaung, Dawei, and demanding the ransom of one for 50,000 kyats. A car, over 30 motorcycles & around 100 villagers were already abducted. UnfetteredAccessForAids June15Coup WhatsHappeningInMyanmar AntheaButler Daily This picture is a sham. “When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words.' Matt 6: 7

Southern Baptist Convention faces push from the rightThe Southern Baptist Convention is electing a new president Tuesday amid a push to wrest control of the denomination by ultraconservatives who say some current leaders are too liberal on issues that include race and the role of women in ministry. Mike Stone, a Georgia pastor, is the preferred candidate of a new group within the nation's largest Protestant denomination that calls itself the Conservative Baptist Network. As of Monday, more than 17,000 voting delegates were pre-registered, positioning the meeting to be the denomination's largest in 25 years.