It Has Begun!January 30, 2008
The Celebration of a New Baptist Covenant has begun. Thousands of people are already here, and they keep coming. This is clearly the most diverse Baptist meeting I have ever attended, which is part of what makes this gathering so historic and significant. Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue, a Republican, brought greetings to the group. He said he brings greetings not just as a governor to visitors to his state but as a Christian to his brothers and sisters. Mercer University president William Underwood mentioned before Perdue's remarks that the gathering was bringing together lots of different types of Baptists. Perdue joked that he represented the "bald Baptists." Also bringing greetings was David Goatley, who is president of the North American Baptist Fellowship (a regional body of the Baptist World Alliance). This meeting has been organized under the umbrella of the NABF, and Goatley noted the significance of the gathering as it brings together an unprecedented number of Baptist groups from across North American that represent many different types of Baptists. The major of Atlanta, Democrat Shirley Franklin, also brought very brief greetings. You can watch the welcomes here.