Celebration of a New Baptist Covenant

May 18, 2007

Yesterday was an exciting day as I met with other leaders of the communications committee for the Celebration of a New Baptist Covenant. We are working on how to get the word out about this great event and how to get as many Baptists as possible to show up for it January 30-February 1. I got to meet Baptist leaders like Jimmy Allen, Emmanuel McCall, Roy Medley, and Daniel Vestal, as well as meet with some of the best journalist and communication people in Baptist life. At the meeting I also had the honor of meeting former President Jimmy Carter.

I am very excited about this event and I hope that all Baptists will seriously consider attending. If nothing else, I hope you will at least be in prayer for it. The Celebration will be a historic gathering as it will unite dozen of Baptist organizations in North America. It is time for Baptists to work together, celebrate our commonalities, and put forth a positive and compassionate image. In the January issue of the BGCM E-Message I had an article about why I thought this meeting was going to be a great thing for Baptists: Let's Hitch Ourselves Together. And in the May issue of the BGCM E-Message (to come out early next week) I'll have another piece with more thoughts as a result of yesterday's meeting.

The main speakers confirmed for the meeting were also announced yesterday (see stories by Ethics Daily and the Associated Baptist Press). Here are the speakers:

Dr. Charles D. Adams, pastor of Hartford Baptist Church in Detroit
Dr. Tony Campolo, professor emeritus at Eastern University and founder of EAPE
Former President Jimmy Carter
Former President Bill Clinton
Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Children's Defense Fund
Former Vice President Al Gore
Dr. Joel Gregory, professor of Preaching, George W. Truett Theological Seminary
U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham
U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee
Bill Moyers, author and journalist
Reverend Julie Pennington-Russell, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Waco, Texas
Dr. William J. Shaw, president of the National Baptist Convention USA Inc.

This is an exciting list of Baptists. It also destroys the accusations made by some earlier that this was going to be a rally for one political party as prominent Republicans and Democrats are on the list. Back in January I had a column for Ethics Daily that dealt with some of the inaccurate criticisms about the Celebration: Richard Land Doesn't Get Baptist 'Covenant'. With the announcement yesterday it should be even more obvious that critics like Richard Land were wrong. Thankfully, some Southern Baptists are being open to the event. Carter also met yesterday with a few prominent Southern Baptist bloggers (see an Associated Baptist Press story here) like Wade Burleson, Ben Cole, and Marty Duren, all of whom have written positively about the event.

I hope that all Baptists will start praying for the event, start planning to attend, and start getting ready to celebrate with the diverse family of Baptist brothers and sisters.

9 comments

  1. jennifer h12:53 PM

    jealous!

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  2. Kaylor,

    It appears that you are deeply involved in making the "Celebration of a New Baptist Covenant" meeting a success.

    A few Southern Baptist, including me, see past the obvious (a meeting of diverse Baptist Christians) and perceive things that are not of the Kingdom of God.

    Get past the fact that President Carter, President Mercer and 18 Baptist leaders met in April 2006 and wrote NA Baptist Covenant and decided to "hold a major gathering of Baptists from throughout North America in 2008." Get beyond the fact that 80 reps met in January 2007 and planned the 2008 Celebration.

    Lets get past all of this "denominational cooperation" and understand the REAL motives of former President Carter and his political associates. They have publically planned and announced their intent to have a North American Union consisting of Mexico, USA and Canada. Part of necessary concensus is having the unified support of religious leaders (including Baptists). Without it they will be delayed.

    With this in mind please, what do you suppose might be the real purpose of the "North American Baptist Fellowship"? To further the Kingdom of God or expedite the geo-political ambitions of those who hope to usher in the North American Union sometime during the next decade.

    You might consider this far-fetched and implausible, but connect the dots to recent announcements regarding the North American Union and those who are publically supporting it - They just happen to be the high-level political attendees of the Celebration.

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. livingdust: Yeah, and the moon landing was filmed in Oregon, George W. Bush is the anti-Christ, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I'd love to sell you, and Paige Patterson is actually Ben Cole in fat suit.

    I glanced at the document that you gave a url for in the post you have deleted. I did not recognize a single name. The North American Baptist Fellowship is a regional body of the Baptist World Alliance. The goal of the BWA for the last 100 years has been to bring Baptists together, not to create some super world government. Likewise the goal of the NABF is to bring Baptists in North America together for fellowship and ministry, not political domination.

    My advice to you: shut down your computer, take a deep breath, and get some sleep.

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  5. Kaylor,

    Why don't you take a deep breath and ask former President Carter about his relationship with Robert A. Pastor and what Mr. Pastor is working towards.

    Because of your inexperience, you are naive as to how the real world works.

    Pray for discernment - you're going to need it.

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  6. Brian,
    I repeat here the concerns I expressed on BDW's blog about the Baptist groups being left out. You replied that the Alliance of Baptists was omitted initially because it is not part of the NABF, regional body of the BWA, but that the A o B could contact Jimmy Allen or someone and ASK to come. This is what I replied there:
    I've been told the "not part of NABPF" part before. (It's not the A of B's fault. The BWA won't accept any group that is inclusive toward GLBT folk.) But there has been plenty of time since the initial meeting to invite the Alliance of Baptists. It's embarrassing for the AoB to have to ASK to come when others, including SBC conservative bloggers, get invited. The SBC isn't a part of the NABPF either--and by its own choice--but Carter and the others of the New Baptist Covenant went out of their way to invite them.
    I think it would be embarrassing for any of the not-invited groups to have to ask if they can come, too--like uninvited guests trying to weasel invitations to a party. I hope the planners of this Celebration get that and make changes. I want to come--as a proud A o B member and a proud member of a church that is AWAB and a BPFNA partner--but not as somebody whose presence is just tolerated instead of actively recruited. I sent these concerns into the website of the New Baptist Covenant, but I have yet to see them acted upon.


    Why is the SBC, or some of its prominent members, wooed--when it has repeatedly broken off relations with other Baptists, including its membership in the NABF/BWA and the BJC. But other groups of Baptists, such as the Alliance of Baptists, who have been major workers for reconciliation, are asked to come begging hat in hand?
    Part of the reconciliation that the New Baptist Covenant is promoting is racial. But the Alliance of Baptists, as a splinter of the SBC and heir to that Southern heritage, apologized for slavery and segregation 5 years before the SBC did--and did it not in the safety of its own meetings, but on the floor of the annual meeting of the Progressive National Baptist Convention! We have pioneered in so many areas that the New Baptist Covenant is promoting, but our small numbers have made us easily overlooked, I think (even though the larger CBF and some of its seminaries wouldn't even exist without the groundwork of the A o B--starting in 1984 when it was still the Southern Baptist Alliance!)

    Forgive me, brother. I know this is not your doing. But my feelings are hurt and I know many others in omitted groups that feel the same.

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  7. Michael: Thanks for the comment. Your concerns are well stated and I will pass them on. I hope that you will feel completely welcome at this event. The Celebration is still early in its planning (the leaders of most of the committees just met last week), so hopefully things like this that have so far fallen through the cracks will be remedied.

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  8. Thanks, Brian. I am considering volunteering for one of those committees. Also, I will email Jimmy Allen with suggestions for folks to invite. Thanks for all the work you are doing on this.

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  9. Sound good, Michael. I think with some work this can turn out to be one of the most exciting things to ever happen for Baptists in North America.

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