June 11, 2008

Lumbee to lead Southern Baptists

Baptists elect American IndianThe first racial minority to lead the Southern Baptist Convention in recent memory--and maybe ever--said staunch conservatism plus a commitment to "love loud" will help reverse a decline in the nation's largest Protestant denomination.

Georgia megachurch pastor Johnny Hunt, an American Indian, was elected by a majority on the first ballot over five other candidates, with his nearest competitor being Frank Cox, another Georgia megachurch pastor. The election came amid growing anxiety that the denomination had failed to translate its conservative revolution of the late 20th century into evangelistic success.

"We've been declining as a denomination," he said, alluding to statistics showing that baptisms, the measure of converts, are in a long-term decline.
And:Hunt is the first minority in at least a generation to lead the convention, according to its spokesman, Will Hall, and perhaps ever, given the denomination's long history of segregation.

Hunt, a member of the North Carolina-based Lumbee tribe, said he is "proud of my heritage," although he has largely been serving in white, Anglo congregations for the past three decades and said he doesn't view his role as a bully pulpit for American Indian issues.

He said he hoped he could help the convention expand its appeal to other ethnic groups, citing his congregation's Hispanic outreach.
Comment:  Perhaps the Southern Baptists have been declining because their Biblical literalism is stupid and illogical. As is their prejudice against gays and minorities.

1 comment:

dmarks said...

Southern Baptists still have a prejudice against racial minorities in this day and age?