For several years, the subject of racial reconciliation has been on my heart. I grew up in a more racially diverse area, but I currently live in an area where old racism still exists. As much as I love living in South Carolina, I will always despise the old racism.
Most of my ministerial career was spent in Baptist churches. I have struggled to find my place in one since my divorce and remarriage a few years ago, but many of my friends are Baptist pastors. Because of these friendships with pastors, staff, and members of Southern Baptist churches, I still have a strong interest in what is happening within the denomination.
This past Summer, Pastor J. D. Greear was elected President of the Southern Baptist Convention. He has led the way in church planting, commissioning missionaries, and bridging the gap among races for several years. I have met him personally, and I know his family. People do have some disagreements with him, but I have been a huge proponent of him for many years.
The South Carolina Baptist Convention followed this example with their annual meeting this year. It was held in the Charleston area in two predominantly African-American churches: Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church and Mother Emanuel AME Church. Mother Emanuel gained notoriety a few years ago when a young white teenager went into a Bible study and killed a small group of people. This church has been an example of love and forgiveness. Tonight, two races and two denominations demonstrated that they could cross racial and denominational lines for the sake of the gospel.
It is high time the walls come down! Eternity is at stake. May this begin an unprecedented spirit of unity that will further the spread of the gospel for the glory of God.