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Nashville based Southern Baptist Convention reacts to national conversation on race


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Mike Osborne)  --  The Nashville based Southern Baptist Convention has weighed in on the racial unrest gripping the nation.

Earlier this month current SBC President J. D. Greear called on fellow Baptists to say that “Black lives matter.”

Greear also called on the SBC to retire the gavel it’s used to call its annual conventions to order since 1872. The “Broadus” gavel is named for an SBC founding member and supporter of the Confederacy.

Earlier this week the Mississippi Baptist Convention joined calls for that state to remove the Confederate symbol from its flag.

On June 16, the SBC for the first time elected an African-American member as chair of its Executive Committee. Pastor Rolland Slade of Meridian Baptist Church in El Cajon, Calif., ran unopposed for the post.

The Southern Baptist Convention was formed in 1845 in a split with northern Baptists over the South’s support for slavery.

In 2009 the denomination apologized for its pro-slavery stance prior to and during the Civil War. It also apologized for its support of segregation for decades following the war.

The SBC is the nation’s largest Protestant denomination, but has seen its membership slowly decline in recent years.

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