Live Report from the Press Room

Does the New Baptist Covenant represent the dawning of a new day of unity in Baptist life? Discuss the ongoing Covenant meetings here.

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Live Report from the Press Room

Postby Bruce Gourley » Thu Jan 31, 2008 10:35 am

The Kyrstaal singers, a Baptist group from Africa, just finished rocking the house with some foot-stomping African music. Right now Naw Blooming Night Zan, Burma native who grew up under severe persecution and is now the Joint General Secretary of the Karen Women's Organization, is telling of the terrible persecutions suffered by women and children in nations experiencing military unrest. She speaks from from her own experiences.

I've never seen so many secular journalists covering a Baptist event. Dozens and dozens are here, including the New York Times and Boston Globe and even U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops are here. I suspect they are all wondering if Baptists can truly work together in unity.

Although no SBC officials are here, Southern Baptists are well represented (not even including William!). There are hundreds, if not a few thousand, who are members of churches which remain, at least at a minimal level, affiliated with the SBC.

Officially representing the SBC is David Roach of Baptist Press, at this moment sitting on the front window row here in the press room. This week he is observing the largest gathering of Baptists he has ever seen in his young life; an estimated 12,000 or more were in attendance last night (I'm not sure how many are in the hall right now, but it is a large number). Yesterday President Carter revealed that he has personally been corresponding with SBC president Frank Page, who told Carter he is praying for this meeting. Carter promised to call Page after the meeting and continue the dialogue. But I suspect Roach's mission is to discount this truly historic gathering of Baptists.

This is truly the most unique Baptist gathering I've attended. And I'm hopeful it really does represent the future of Baptists in America.
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Re: Live Report from the Press Room

Postby Bill » Thu Jan 31, 2008 11:44 am

12,000 is a big number. Is there any way to know how this number breaks down:

CBF - _________

Alliance of Baptist - ________

National Baptist - _______

American Baptist - ________

Missionary Baptist - _______

and so forth?
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Re: Live Report from the Press Room

Postby Big Daddy Weaver » Thu Jan 31, 2008 3:48 pm

Bill Self is throwing down at the Preaching Conference.

Otis Moss Jr. (whose son is Obama's preacher) delivered a terrific sermon on preaching prophetically, having courage and conscience. Check my blog for the sermon transcript. But at the end of the sermon he made a comment about how he's supporting a candidate from the Midwest, a candidate who went to Columbia and Harvard (an obvious allusion to Obama).

Bill Self followed with an awesome sermon on the separation of church and state. He declared that his church is a politics-free zone. No candidates speak from his pulpit. His church won't be used a political rally, etc. Before he made those comments the crowd was whoopin and hollering but after those comments - things calmed down a little. It was an interesting atmosphere.

Anyways, one of the best lines about church and state that I've heard in a long long time which brought the house down was this:

"When Church and State Go To Bed Together, They Don't Make Love, They Don't Make A Child, One Rapes The Other"
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Re: Live Report from the Press Room

Postby Bruce Gourley » Thu Jan 31, 2008 7:27 pm

Update: Registered attendees reached 16,000 this morning. A good many more (additional) Baptists from Atlanta-area churches are expected for this evening's main session.
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Re: Live Report from the Press Room

Postby Chris » Thu Jan 31, 2008 10:14 pm

Bruce Gourley wrote:Update: Registered attendees reached 16,000 this morning.


In a related thread, about 2 months ago, I said that I perceived this event as a mostly "White" gathering. One of the ABC members of this board put me down and tried to assure me that was not going to be the case.

While watching Tony Campolo's sermon, I saw him look out over the crowd and say there are 5 or 6 thousand people here and 90% of them are White..
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Re: Live Report from the Press Room

Postby Chris » Thu Jan 31, 2008 10:53 pm

Timothy Bonney wrote:
Chris wrote:
Bruce Gourley wrote:Update: Registered attendees reached 16,000 this morning.


In a related thread, about 2 months ago, I said that I perceived this event as a mostly "White" gathering. One of the ABC members of this board put me down and tried to assure me that was not going to be the case.

While watching Tony Campolo's sermon, I saw him look out over the crowd and say there are 5 or 6 thousand people here and 90% of them are White..


That would be me Chris. I disagreed with you but, I don't think I "put you down." If you are going to criticize me, you might as well do it by name. :D

You would be mistaken to go by that one session very early morning session. Last night I would say it was almost 50/50 for the first session. You also need to remember that four African-American denominations met together for the three days before this so, some of these folks have been here for days and might not attend each and every session. But, those denominations where there in full force last night.

There were mover 12,000 people in attendance at the first session.


I'm glad I didn't use a "name" because I thought it was E. Pettibone.
Thanks for the update. Campolo might not be very well-known in the Black community (though I would find that hard to believe), and he may have attracted an unbalanced crowd.
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Bloggers are doing a great job

Postby Stephen Fox » Fri Feb 01, 2008 12:03 am

Would love to have a roll call and see how many of you are taking advantage of their fine reporting from the Covenant
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Re: Live Report from the Press Room

Postby Cathy » Fri Feb 01, 2008 8:47 am

I was surprised by Campolo's 90% when he said it. I think the white contingent is no more than 80% on Thursday. Maybe from the podium of a darkened room with many sections of seating that was the impression.
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Re: Live Report from the Press Room

Postby Bruce Gourley » Fri Feb 01, 2008 11:36 am

Wednesday night was indeed the biggest session; Thursday night was down considerably in terms of numbers. But as to the composition of the crowd, from the press room and wandering the floor, I would say about 75-25 white-black Thursday night, but more than half non-white in the Wednesday evening session.
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Re: Live Report from the Press Room

Postby Haruo » Fri Feb 01, 2008 1:33 pm

Given the NBConventions that immediately preceded the NBCovenant celebration, it's entirely to be expected that folks who have already been there for four days, and who may even have jobs, families and churches to get back to, would tend not to remain for the full Covenant.

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Re: Live Report from the Press Room

Postby Chris » Fri Feb 01, 2008 11:14 pm

Bruce G.:

It is 11:12 pm EST, and presumably, all of the Plenary sessions are completed. I would like to see Lindsey Graham's and Bill Clinton's speeches. Those videos are not yet on the web site. Will they be available soon?
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Re: Live Report from the Press Room

Postby Chris » Sat Feb 02, 2008 9:01 am

Timothy Bonney wrote:In the three days I was here nothing in the NBC meetings was politically oriented. It was all focused on understanding, the love of Christ,...


......before The Fox leaves Atlanta, I hope he will serve William a plate of Crow. :wink:
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I left before Clinton

Postby Stephen Fox » Sat Feb 02, 2008 3:07 pm

Couldn't get the logistics organized in my head for the end game, was way tired; so I bailed after Daniel Carro and Melissa Rogers breakouts Friday afternoon.

If William eats what he deserves, I guess he gets a good bit of crow anyway :lol:

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