Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

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Re: Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

Postby Tim Bonney » Sat Feb 09, 2013 9:00 am

Dave Roberts wrote:As usual, Sandy, your only frame of reference seems to be TX. My frame of reference is of KY, NC, VA, and service with the old HMB in Utah/Idaho. In those days in the West, an ABC/SBC church would not be accepted into the Utah/ idaho Convention. There may be a few African-American church starts in VA, but looking at the list of BGAV churches from that background in the online annual, most are not listing their membership which is reported elsewhere.


Many of the churches I knew in the Midwest that were ABC/SBC previously dropped that affiliation after the takeover. I don't think there are very many ABC/SBC aligned churches any longer.

Well Sandy, when you were earlier talking about progress in the SBC with many African-American churches some how I assumed you were talking about new church starts and new people coming to the faith in the SBC. Now I gather that you are really just talking about already existing congregations adding a dual alignement with the SBC.

I suppose that is progress of a kind that some African-American congregations would feel comfortable enough with the SBC to add a new alignment. But it isn't really the same as the SBC reaching into the African-American community and starting new churches. It sounds to me like the usual African-American congregations doing what they've always done in their communities but now the SBC will get a piece of the credit because they affiliated with the SBC.
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Re: Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

Postby Tom Parker » Sat Feb 09, 2013 9:17 am

Tim:

You said:"I suppose that is progress of a kind that some African-American congregations would feel comfortable enough with the SBC to add a new alignment. But it isn't really the same as the SBC reaching into the African-American community and starting new churches. It sounds to me like the usual African-American congregations doing what they've always done in their communities but now the SBC will get a piece of the credit because they affiliated with the SBC."

So is it all about statistics for the SBC? Has anything and I say anything happened in the last year that Luter has done to integrate the African-American community into the SBC? Surely if he had we would have heard about it.
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Re: Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

Postby Tim Bonney » Sat Feb 09, 2013 9:48 am

I've been hunting up statistics this morning just out of curiosity. As Sandy has said the number of African-American congregations in the SBC has reached nearly 20% of the SBC congregations. What I cannot seem to find is how that translates into total percentage African-American membership of the total SBC membership. I assume the SBC keeps those kind of stats? So I'm just wondering why the congregational percentage is being reported and not also the individual percentage? Maybe it just relates to congregational polity?

And I am wondering what percentage of those congregations are new church starts and what percentage amounts to affiliation growth. Also what percentage are now dually aligned and what percentage dropped their previous affiliation? I'm guess most are dually aligned.

Tom, as to changes Luter has made, I don't read anything about the SBC most of the time other than when some subject comes up here that I'm interested in. So I have no idea what Luter has or hasn't done.

The UMC does not have a very high percentage of African-American members but we also do not allow dual alignments of local churches. If we could some how find a way to count local churches in the AME as also UMC I'm sure we could up our stats! :wink: The only way we get African-American local churches is by starting them.
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Re: Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

Postby Sandy » Sat Feb 09, 2013 10:51 am

Tim Bonney wrote:I've been hunting up statistics this morning just out of curiosity. As Sandy has said the number of African-American congregations in the SBC has reached nearly 20% of the SBC congregations. What I cannot seem to find is how that translates into total percentage African-American membership of the total SBC membership. I assume the SBC keeps those kind of stats? So I'm just wondering why the congregational percentage is being reported and not also the individual percentage? Maybe it just relates to congregational polity?

And I am wondering what percentage of those congregations are new church starts and what percentage amounts to affiliation growth. Also what percentage are now dually aligned and what percentage dropped their previous affiliation? I'm guess most are dually aligned.

Tom, as to changes Luter has made, I don't read anything about the SBC most of the time other than when some subject comes up here that I'm interested in. So I have no idea what Luter has or hasn't done.

The UMC does not have a very high percentage of African-American members but we also do not allow dual alignments of local churches. If we could some how find a way to count local churches in the AME as also UMC I'm sure we could up our stats! :wink: The only way we get African-American local churches is by starting them.


I would guess that perhaps Ed Stetzer's division at Lifeway might have some kind of study related to the total African American membership in the SBC. When churches send in their annual church letter, I believe there is a place on it to designate the percentage of members of various racial backgrounds, though it is up to the church to calculate and send that in, and some churches don't. Some of the state conventions have various designated "fellowships" of churches among their ethnic and predominantly African American churches that report number of churches and total membership.

I would say that most of the "dually affiliated" churches which are SBC and related to a historically or traditionally African American denomination are in the South. If you look at places like Chicago (which, Dave, is not in Texas), 80% of the churches in the association are designated as "ethnic" of some kind, with more than half of them African American, some of them with up to 5,000 members, and none of those churches are dually affiliated. The largest association in the Los Angeles area reports that 80% of its churches are predominantly Hispanic or African American and that's the result of concerted church planting efforts over the past five decades. I know that, around St. Louis, where my wife is from, virtually all of the African American churches that were once dually affiliated with either ABC-USA or the National Baptist Convention are now uniquely aligned with the SBC, and the three largest churches in the association, all predominantly African American churches, are church plants from the 80's and 90's. A very good friend of mine is the director of church planting in the Philadelphia area, and he says about 70% of the Southern Baptists in Pennsylvania reside in and around Philadelphia, and attend either a predominantly African American or Hispanic congregation and none of those churches are dually affiliated. Nor are the booming African American congregations in New York City. The SBC church membership there has quadrupled in five years due to new church plants. So I would guess that a high percentage of African American Southern Baptists are in church plants and uniquely aligned churches.

I don't think that there is much comprehension, outside the SBC, and perhaps not even inside it, of the scope and extent of the church planting effort that is going on in the SBC, and where it is focused. A streamlined NAMB commits a high percentage of its budget to the effort, and now coordinates a lot of this activity with state conventions, rather than operating competing and duplicating programs. They are spending more money than most denominations collect. And they have realized that the mass of unreached people in the United States are found in the inner cities. So the effort is focused on places where there are few churches of any kind, not just few SBC affiliated churches. And I have to say that part of the movement of African American Baptists toward the SBC is due, at least in part, to its conservative stance. There are several churches here in the Pittsburgh area which have made the switch from ABC USA to the SBC over gay ordination, and that's happening in a lot of other places as well. African American Baptists are liberal on social issues, but they are theologically conservative, and they are finding the SBC quite compatible with their views. And they seem to find it worthwhile to make the sacrifices and take the actions necessary to help push the door open a bit further. Dwight McKissic is a good example of that. He's been a trustee, and included as a leader, though he ran into some controversy over differences between white and black Baptists, namely the gift of tongues. He could have walked away, dropped his churches SBC affiliation and affiliation with the SBTC, and been comfortable within the confines of a predominantly African American denomination, but he hasn't done that. And while Fred Luter is the first African American SBC president, the path to his ability to be there was laid out not by moderate Baptist dialogue in the 60's and 70's, but by the work of the Dwight McKissics of the SBC who have put themselves on the line.
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Re: Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

Postby Blake » Sat Feb 09, 2013 11:55 am

Sandy, our seminary and college faculties are very white. SBC leadership boards and committees are very white and very Southern. In a denomination that prizes autonomy over their Bibles the make up of the leadership isn't going to matter much until any person of any rank in the SBC can't do anything without engaging a person of color. With the dual-alignment stuff, it'd be nice to see a timeline and explanation for those changes. Did NAMB start employing door to door salesmen to convince minority churches to join us too? And why shouldn't they? Two denominations offer more advantages than one.

Yes, I have heard of World Changers and PowerPlant. I'm familiar with the strategy. Demographic changes in the SBC are not necessarily going to equal heart and mind changes about other races and cultures. Changing the world through making everyone Christian and being blind to the things that made us different to begin with is the status quo strategy of every conservative evangelical denomination that isn't anti-mission. Where is the SBC's anti-racism task force? Who in SBC agencies and institutions has had cultural sensitivity training? Where is the curriculum? The SBC is doing everything, but actually dealing with the latent racism in themselves. They can continue to increase demographic proportions of people of color, but that just means they're kicking the can down the road until this blows up in their faces and the denomination splits because the traditional white congregations feel like it's liberal to have so many people of color around trying to influence them.
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Re: Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

Postby Tim Bonney » Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:26 pm

I need to make a correction. We do allow duly aligned churches. It is just rare do to the connectional nature of our polity.
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Re: Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

Postby Tim Bonney » Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:51 pm

Sandy, I don't know about that many African-American churches being conservative on welcome and affirming issues. The ABC of the South, mostly African-American, some years ago I believe to a rather welcoming and affirming stance in the ABC. I'd say that, like all Americans, African-American views are mixed.

I recognize that Baptist churches vary on how good a job they do reporting membership stats. But you'd think that the denomination would have some idea what the percentage of membership is. Again, why emphasize the number of churches over the percentages of membership??
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Re: Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

Postby Ed Pettibone » Sat Feb 09, 2013 3:32 pm

Ed: Sandy when you say
I would say that most of the "dually affiliated" churches which are SBC and related to a historically or traditionally African American denomination are in the South. If you look at places like Chicago (which, Dave, is not in Texas), 80% of the churches in the association are designated as "ethnic" of some kind, ...


In the 1st sentence, I have to say you have a good bet since more than 90% of all SBC churches with which with any church could be dually affiliated with are in the south or South West. In the 2nd I would like to see your source. But of course the fact is 100% of the churches any where can be designated being of one or more ethnic classifications. :wink: Ethnic doses not equate "minority", but I think you knew that.

And what SBC churches in Chicago are any where near 5000. The largest Chicago church I find on TR's recent list of Largest Churches in the Southern Baptist Convention, is Sweet Holy Spirit at 2500. There is another Illinois church on the list which numbers 583, but it is in E. Saint Louis.

And interestingly a reader by the name William points out

I find it interesting that if you look at churches over 2000; 3000; and 5000 they group this way
(as best I could count, I might have missed some)

East Coast (FL, GA, SC, NC, VA) – 64 (2000+); 30 (3000+); 15(5000+)
Texas – 49; 22; 10
Tenn&Kent – 21; 7; 2
Deep South (AL, MS, LA. AR) – 19; 7; 2
AR, MO, OK – 12; 1; 1
California – 8; 5; 3
All the rest – 11; 4; 2

Its understandable that the traditionally Southern states would have more than the rest, but I was intrigued that they seem to group in the East Coast and Texas, with a relatively large number in California and Tennessee. Is this simply a factor of the size of the cities or is there another reason why the east coast, Texas, and Tennessee attract large churches (and possibly California given its not a traditionally Southern area)?
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Re: Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

Postby Sandy » Sat Feb 09, 2013 9:31 pm

Timothy Bonney wrote:I suppose that is progress of a kind that some African-American congregations would feel comfortable enough with the SBC to add a new alignment. But it isn't really the same as the SBC reaching into the African-American community and starting new churches. It sounds to me like the usual African-American congregations doing what they've always done in their communities but now the SBC will get a piece of the credit because they affiliated with the SBC.


As I said, Tim, it is both. You'd have to pull the new church planting numbers from all of the state conventions and NAMB to get the total number. The SBC annual, in NAMB's report, shows new church plants from 2000-2012, 1681 in 2000, 1415 in 2001, 1606 in 2002, 1436 in 2003, 1781 in 2004, 1725 in 2005, 1458 in 2006, 1455 in 2007, 1578 in 2008, 1364 in 2009, 1192 in 2010 and 1086 in 2011. The 2012 figure will be reported in the 2013 annual. There's no specific detail about how many of those are African American, Hispanic, Asian, etc., but since these are plants under the NAMB partnership guidelines, most of them are in the designated inner city and metro emphasis regions, which means that upwards of 80% of them are ethnic congregations.

Timothy Bonney wrote:Sandy, I don't know about that many African-American churches being conservative on welcome and affirming issues. The ABC of the South, mostly African-American, some years ago I believe to a rather welcoming and affirming stance in the ABC. I'd say that, like all Americans, African-American views are mixed.

I recognize that Baptist churches vary on how good a job they do reporting membership stats. But you'd think that the denomination would have some idea what the percentage of membership is. Again, why emphasize the number of churches over the percentages of membership??


I wouldn't say that's the case universally. A lot of the African Americans who join up with the SBC are citing their own denomination's liberal position on welcoming and affirming as the reason they are joining the SBC. As far as your second question goes, I don't really recall, when filling out our church's annual profile when I lived in Texas, that there was even a place to report the ethnic or racial background of the membership. They did ask if we were an "ethnic" or "language" congregation, and even though two thirds of our members were non-white, and we had a Spanish-speaking congregation of about 60 people, we didn't fall into either category. I think Stetzer's research division at Lifeway surveys congregations, and puts out estimates based on the surveys, but I am not aware that there is any comprehensive information denomination-wide.

Blake, this is from the SBC Annual, regarding Golden Gate Seminary:
"In the past year, we have launched, laid the groundwork to launch, or expanded several newacademic programs. We have initiated a new Master of Intercultural Ministry degree to bettertrain leaders for multiethnic settings in the United States. This degree is a companion to ourMaster of Missiology degree focused on international ministry locations. Both of these degrees are offered through the Kim School of Global Missions."

"Golden Gate is also creating a new training track for Korean leaders. While we have many Korean students in our English-language programs, we are now adding a bilingual Korean Master of Divinity and Master of Theology Studies degrees to our program menu. These new bilingual degrees will offer instruction in Korean, as well as allow students to submit work written in Korean. All these programs will add new training opportunities for ministry leaders in the West and around the world. "

So I'm guessing that at least one of our seminaries is not as "white" as you might think.
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Re: Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

Postby Tim Bonney » Sat Feb 09, 2013 10:38 pm

If the SBC is making such great progress in the area of race then they really need to step it up on the leadership end of things. We are back to Luter as the first black SBC Prez and, as far as I can tell out of 83 people on the SBC Executive Committee all but three of them (including he President) are anglo. (http://sbcec.org/roster/members.asp). So that means 3.6% of the EC is from any non-white ethnic group and 20% of the churches are African-American?

If anything this is worse than I thought. If the denomination was only marginally ethnic I could see the EC being marginally ethnic. But now that you've proven that 20% of the membership is African-American why aren't nearly 20% of the members of the EC (that would be almost 17 members) African-American, or 5.5 times the current representation?
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Re: Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

Postby Sandy » Sat Feb 09, 2013 11:29 pm

Tim Bonney wrote:If the SBC is making such great progress in the area of race then they really need to step it up on the leadership end of things. We are back to Luter as the first black SBC Prez and, as far as I can tell out of 83 people on the SBC Executive Committee all but three of them (including he President) are anglo. (http://sbcec.org/roster/members.asp). So that means 3.6% of the EC is from any non-white ethnic group and 20% of the churches are African-American?

If anything this is worse than I thought. If the denomination was only marginally ethnic I could see the EC being marginally ethnic. But now that you've proven that 20% of the membership is African-American why aren't nearly 20% of the members of the EC (that would be almost 17 members) African-American, or 5.5 times the current representation?


Leadership in the SBC is not focused on the executive committee which, as you well know, is not a "representative" body. There is no level of denominational ecclesiastical authority, so "leadership" is scattered across the various trustee boards, committees and all through the state conventions, their boards and committees, and the employees and personnel of the various agencies and institutions. I wouldn't even begin to know how to go about finding a single source that would tell you the ethnic makeup of all of that. You're dealing with Baptists, independent and autonomous churches, conventions, agencies and institutions, and these are people that believe leadership is God called and led, and that you choose your leadership based on spiritual influence, not racial quotas. The contact with, and growth of African American presence in the SBC, if much of that is in new church plants, is not likely to be involved in the executive level. They're too busy for one thing.

As I have said, keep an eye on Luter's committee nominations. He holds the key to the door for African Americans into the highest level of SBC leadership.

It certainly seems to bother several of the self-identified "progressives" and moderate Baptists on this board that there is a rapid warming of relations between the SBC and African American Baptists that is leading to an increasing presence of African Americans in the SBC. I think it stems from the fact that it is conservative theology that is attracting them, and that when the moderates ran the convention, in spite of all the talk, no real progress was made in racial relationships, but now, under the conservatives, all kinds of progrress is taking place.
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Re: Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

Postby Blake » Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:48 am

Sandy wrote:So I'm guessing that at least one of our seminaries is not as "white" as you might think.

Sandy, Golden Gate is the one I would expect to be the best of all of them in this regard since it's in an urban multicultural environment in California, a long ways from the good ole boys of the South. 20% of its tenured faculty is a person of color. What the makeup of it's very large adjunct faculty is is much more difficult to tell. However, only one of its 14 administrators are a person of color. Here's the rest:

Faculty - PoC:White
SBTS - 2:60
SEBTS - 0:61 (excluding visiting profs who were all white anyway)
SWBTS - 16:86
MBTS - 6:28
NOBTS - 3:68

Yeah, "cutting edge"... :roll:

Sandy wrote:You're dealing with Baptists, independent and autonomous churches, conventions, agencies and institutions, and these are people that believe leadership is God called and led, and that you choose your leadership based on spiritual influence, not racial quotas.

Other baptist and free church denominations are managing to be faithful to free church principles and have diverse leadership and seminaries and aggressive cultural sensitivity programs and structures.
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Re: Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

Postby Dave Roberts » Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:16 am

Sandy wrote:

It certainly seems to bother several of the self-identified "progressives" and moderate Baptists on this board that there is a rapid warming of relations between the SBC and African American Baptists that is leading to an increasing presence of African Americans in the SBC. I think it stems from the fact that it is conservative theology that is attracting them, and that when the moderates ran the convention, in spite of all the talk, no real progress was made in racial relationships, but now, under the conservatives, all kinds of progrress is taking place.


Sandy, my dad always cautioned me to beware of those "who measure your corn in their half-bushel." I praise God for every movement that brings racial reconciliation among God's people. You need to take the historically more accurate look. The CR/Takeover began in 1979. The boldest conservative voices of the SBC thundered against racial integration, labeled MLK as a Communist, and were busy creating segregation academies so white children could get a Christian education (away from Blacks). If you doubt what I wrote, read W A Criwell's sermons from the 1950's and early 60's. Walker Knight of the HMB led toward a greater openness to Blacks. Southern Baptists were passing resolutions against racial integration. I praise God for every step of progress, but I can't swallow your effort to rewrite history to suit your own perspectives on the CR.
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Re: Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

Postby Sandy » Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:32 am

Blake wrote:Other baptist and free church denominations are managing to be faithful to free church principles and have diverse leadership and seminaries and aggressive cultural sensitivity programs and structures.


Really? It takes a cultural sensitivity program and forced integration to make it work? Wow, churches have come a lot further from God and the Holy Spirit than I had realized. Seems the SBC is doing it without having to set racial quotas and put people in place because of the color of their skin, and not because of their calling. Fred Luter was elected President of the SBC because of his profile, and his record of service. He will have the ability to appoint the members of the most effective committee in the SBC with regard to denominational boards and committees. He will be able to affect the makeup of the SBC leadership for about a decade, and he will do it spontaneously, not as the result of some emphasis or effort. The SBC is Baptist, and these things come from the ground up, not the top down.

The United Methodists can simply issue orders from on high regarding who gets appointed and can direct whatever percentage of racial diversity they want with the people they have. But they can't force their congregations to integrate, and they still accept a "separate but equal" mentality in that there is a separate denomination for predominantly African American Methodist churches. And yet, a UMC minister who posts here can be critical of the SBC including established African American churches by allowing them to join and have full membership privileges while they "do what they normally do and the SBC gets credit for it." That seems to be more than the Methodists are willing to allow, huh?

The last SBC church I belonged to took a look around its inner city neighborhood a decade and a half ago, and realized that it was dying because the congregation was made up of mostly middle age to senior adult white people, and the neighborhood was mixed middle class Hispanic, Asian, African American and White, and mostly younger families. They did not need a shift in the racial makeup of the NAMB trustee board to know that they needed to call leadership who could lead them to do what it took to reach people. Over the course of six or seven years, they did. While they were working on evangelizing and ministering to the neighborhoods around them, the Assembly of God church down the street moved eight miles out into the suburbs. The two Methodist churches merged, and sold the building closest to us to an AME congregation. While that was going on, we were reaching Korean families in the neighborhood, starting a Spanish speaking service, reaching families through our day care and pre-school ministry, and growing into a congregation that was about a fourth Asian, a fourth caucasian, a fourth Hispanic and a fourth African American. Yeah, that's anectodal, but I can take you down into neighborhoods here in Pittsburgh, which isn't exactly Dixie, and point you to thriving SBC churches in neighborhoods long since abandoned by everyone else except the Catholics. Cutting edge? Yeah, because if you're not even there, where's the edge?
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Re: Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

Postby Sandy » Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:48 am

Dave Roberts wrote:
Sandy wrote:

It certainly seems to bother several of the self-identified "progressives" and moderate Baptists on this board that there is a rapid warming of relations between the SBC and African American Baptists that is leading to an increasing presence of African Americans in the SBC. I think it stems from the fact that it is conservative theology that is attracting them, and that when the moderates ran the convention, in spite of all the talk, no real progress was made in racial relationships, but now, under the conservatives, all kinds of progrress is taking place.


Sandy, my dad always cautioned me to beware of those "who measure your corn in their half-bushel." I praise God for every movement that brings racial reconciliation among God's people. You need to take the historically more accurate look. The CR/Takeover began in 1979. The boldest conservative voices of the SBC thundered against racial integration, labeled MLK as a Communist, and were busy creating segregation academies so white children could get a Christian education (away from Blacks). If you doubt what I wrote, read W A Criwell's sermons from the 1950's and early 60's. Walker Knight of the HMB led toward a greater openness to Blacks. Southern Baptists were passing resolutions against racial integration. I praise God for every step of progress, but I can't swallow your effort to rewrite history to suit your own perspectives on the CR.


You know, Dave, I celebrate it too. But those thundering conservatives were not in the leadership of the SBC prior to 1979. Criswell got to be SBC President in the 60's because of the size of his church, but all through the civil rights era, moderates held the appointive powers of the boards and committees, and it wasn't like they didn't have anywhere to draw from. I'm old enough to remember what a huge deal they thought it was to set up a commission to channel Cooperative Program money into helping National Baptists build and maintain their seminary and Bible college in Nashville, and provide scholarship money for the students. Even then, I thought that was just a tad patronizing. Separate but equal. Nothing was preventing the SBC sessions from repudiating their "racist past" and apologizing for it, but that didn't occur until conservative control was solidified over the convention.

Criswell is dead, there's a new generation coming into control, they are conservative theologically, but it looks like they are shaking off a lot of the cultural baggage of the past.
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Re: Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

Postby Dave Roberts » Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:46 am

Back in the 1940's, Southern Seminary was allowing African-Americans to attend seminary classes, but they could not report them to the SBC. Around 1960, there was a hue and cry to fire Dr. Henlee Barnette because he invited Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. yo speak to his classes. Also, there were some staff positions being filled by moderates who had been fired from churches because they supported the end of segregation. A lot of the time period prior to 1979 was under the cloud of Jim Crow in the SBC. I know both pastors and laypeople who were under death threats for reaching out to Blacks, and I can point you to churches in the SBC and at least one in CBF who have refused to take part in pulpit exchanges with Black churches. The Spirit of Massive Resistance is still out there. Don't blame those who stretched the envelope to pave the way for better race relations for societal and church stands they were not able to change when they were working hard for better race relations. Fred Luter was a great first step for the SBC. I pray the day will come when Sunday morning ceases to be the most segregated time in America.
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Re: Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

Postby Ed Pettibone » Sun Feb 10, 2013 1:05 pm

Blake wrote:Other baptist and free church denominations are managing to be faithful to free church principles and have diverse leadership and seminaries and aggressive cultural sensitivity programs and structures.

Sandy replied: Really? It takes a cultural sensitivity program and forced integration to make it work? Wow, churches have come a lot further from God and the Holy Spirit than I had realized.


Ed: Sandy I believe the Holy Spirit can and does move Christian leaders to develop cultural sensitivity programs, just as the same spirit has moved Christian leaders to develop educational programs. And tell me where there has been forced integration in baptist circles, In my 59 years as a Baptist, in the South, The Midwest and North East I have never seen it. On the other hand I have seen forced segregation in SBC churches and educational institution.

When you say to Dave Roberts, " I'm old enough to remember what a huge deal they thought it was to set up a commission to channel Cooperative Program money into helping National Baptists build and maintain their seminary and Bible college in Nashville,..."
You must be older than I had realized :wink:
(From the National Baptist Website) In 1925, the National Baptist Convention, in collaboration with the Southern Baptist Convention, organized the American Baptist Theological Seminary in Nashville. But of course you are probably referencing a later effort to continue assistance to that institution. Perhaps, 1978?
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Re: Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

Postby Tim Bonney » Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:08 pm

Sandy wrote:
The United Methodists can simply issue orders from on high regarding who gets appointed and can direct whatever percentage of racial diversity they want with the people they have. But they can't force their congregations to integrate, and they still accept a "separate but equal" mentality in that there is a separate denomination for predominantly African American Methodist churches. And yet, a UMC minister who posts here can be critical of the SBC including established African American churches by allowing them to join and have full membership privileges while they "do what they normally do and the SBC gets credit for it." That seems to be more than the Methodists are willing to allow, huh?


Sandy, you really need to know more about United Methodist polity before you start spouting off about what United Methodist can "do from on high." Our Bishops are elected by delegates who are elected at the annual conferences from among both laity and clergy. Candidates for Bishop are also nominated by the members of the annual conference. Persons of color are not elected because of any pronouncements on high but because the delegates vote for them. Yet we have many non-anglo Bishops who are elected by those delegates.

Do the messenger get to vote for the members of the SBC executive committee? Not that I'm aware of, and yet it remains almost entirely white. So who is making decisions from "on high?"

Also we don't "accept separate but equal." The UMC is in continual negotiation with other Methodist bodies to seek reconciliation and reunification of the Methodist family. Since 1939 four different Methodist bodies have merged to form what is now the UMC. It is a denomination that has only existed since 1968 because of our history of denominational mergers. And I hope the trend continues and we someday merge with the AME, CME, and CME Zion Churches. We also have a full communion agreement with the ELCA and I understand are in conversations with the Episcopal Church as well.

As to the privileges of members in the SBC, what are they? It appears from the outside the "privilege" for black churches is to send money to CP and NOT be represented at the highest levels of the denomination in any proportional way.
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Re: Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

Postby Blake » Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:04 pm

Sandy, similar to what Dave said, suggesting that forced integration is the alternative is alarmist, flatly untrue and absurd. I believe that God wants His Church to look like the Kingdom of Heaven now. I think white privilege and the sin of racism that entails from our unintentional support of a normative monocultural narrative and system can deafen us to what the Holy Spirit does want for the Church. If we are unwilling to allow our own prejudices and status quo to be challenged then we will not be able to be lead by God in this area. However, if believers and congregations were intentional about seeing through the eyes of the Other we might also begin to be able to imagine and hear the call of God beyond our puny socially conditioned imaginations. I thank God for the churches you describe, but from my experience and studies I'm afraid such churches are the exception and not the rule in the SBC. Forced integration would be disobedience to the Holy Spirit, but what have we to fear from opening our eyes, ears and minds to understanding others struggles and the ways we may unconsciously play into perpetuating the systems of injustice that cause their struggles, inhibiting them from the fullness of God's calling?

The ratio of people of color to white people at SBTS, SEBTS and NOBTS doesn't tell me that those schools are in need of an affirmative action program. What it tells me is that the leadership of those schools have a view of what is and is not valuable for the mission of that school and the perspectives and worldviews of people of color are clearly included among what is not valued. Do I think it is intentional? I hope not and doubt it is. I suspect they just can't fully appreciate and imagine God's plan and the value of the contribution of a person of color sufficiently to make it a reality at their institutions. If they bothered to expand their own minds to what others besides white males considered valuable to the Kingdom and authentic calling they would put in far more effort to seek out professors of color to help disciple that vision of the Kingdom into their students. They would enable more professors of color to respond to God's call to disciple the future leaders of churches and the denomination.
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Re: Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

Postby Tom Parker » Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:23 pm

Tim:

You said to Sandy:"As to the privileges of members in the SBC, what are they? It appears from the outside the "privilege" for black churches is to send money to CP and NOT be represented at the highest levels of the denomination in any proportional way."

Tim:

The true record of the SBC and the integration of blacks into the SBC and upper level positions is right up there with the number of women in upper level positions in the SBC.. It is a dismal record, period. It is indefensible.
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Re: Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

Postby Blake » Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:13 pm

Tom, the SBC is confessionally complementarian, so the lack of women is to be expected. Since they aren't confessionally racist or segregationist the lack of diversity in places of influence is more surprising and disappointing.
"But for our parts, to take a carnal weapon in our hands, or use the least violence, either to support or pull down the worst, or to set up or maintain the best of men, we look not upon it to be our duty in the least..."
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Re: Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

Postby Tim Bonney » Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:30 pm

Blake wrote:Tom, the SBC is confessionally complementarian, so the lack of women is to be expected. Since they aren't confessionally racist or segregationist the lack of diversity in places of influence is more surprising and disappointing.


By the way complementarian is a fairly new term that I didn't start hearing until I was long out of the SBC. It is term only a used by conservative and fundamentalists Christians to make female subordination to male domination sound more palatable.
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Re: Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

Postby Tom Parker » Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:37 pm

Blake:

I always think of the word complimentary as a good term, but the SBC has turned it into what is felt by the SBC to be an appropriate word for exclusion. :brick:
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Re: Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

Postby Sandy » Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:43 pm

Blake wrote:Sandy, similar to what Dave said, suggesting that forced integration is the alternative is alarmist, flatly untrue and absurd. I believe that God wants His Church to look like the Kingdom of Heaven now. I think white privilege and the sin of racism that entails from our unintentional support of a normative monocultural narrative and system can deafen us to what the Holy Spirit does want for the Church. If we are unwilling to allow our own prejudices and status quo to be challenged then we will not be able to be lead by God in this area. However, if believers and congregations were intentional about seeing through the eyes of the Other we might also begin to be able to imagine and hear the call of God beyond our puny socially conditioned imaginations. I thank God for the churches you describe, but from my experience and studies I'm afraid such churches are the exception and not the rule in the SBC. Forced integration would be disobedience to the Holy Spirit, but what have we to fear from opening our eyes, ears and minds to understanding others struggles and the ways we may unconsciously play into perpetuating the systems of injustice that cause their struggles, inhibiting them from the fullness of God's calling?

The ratio of people of color to white people at SBTS, SEBTS and NOBTS doesn't tell me that those schools are in need of an affirmative action program. What it tells me is that the leadership of those schools have a view of what is and is not valuable for the mission of that school and the perspectives and worldviews of people of color are clearly included among what is not valued. Do I think it is intentional? I hope not and doubt it is. I suspect they just can't fully appreciate and imagine God's plan and the value of the contribution of a person of color sufficiently to make it a reality at their institutions. If they bothered to expand their own minds to what others besides white males considered valuable to the Kingdom and authentic calling they would put in far more effort to seek out professors of color to help disciple that vision of the Kingdom into their students. They would enable more professors of color to respond to God's call to disciple the future leaders of churches and the denomination.


That is exactly what you are suggesting. You are using the term "ratio" of people of color to white people at, now down to three SBC seminaries out of the six because the other three don't fit your argument, and suggesting that a deliberate effort be made to hire people of color, or ethnic background, not because they are the best people for the job, but because doing so makes some sort of statement. First of all, according to the annual reports, the turnover rate of faculty members at the seminaries is very low. The number of tenure track professorships and associate professorships on the main campuses has dropped by almost 15% in the past two decades, giving way to adjunct positions at branch campuses and off campus sites. New Orleans, for example, has 100 adjunct faculty members, among them 19 "people of color", as opposed to 70 faculty on campus.

Scanning the faculty profiles of a couple of several other similar-background theological seminaries, I don't find percentages of "people of color" to be significantly higher than SBTS, SEBTS or NOBTS, and much lower, in fact, than SWBTS and GGBTS. Dallas Theological Seminary falls into about the same percentages of ethnic minorities on their tenured faculty as any of the three you mentioned. Palmer, which I believe is an ABC-USA related school in the Philadelphia Area, where it should have a considerable number of highly trained people of color from which to draw from, also has about as many per-capita as the three you mention, fewer than GGBTS, and about the same as Southwestern, if you don't count their adjunct professors. The Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, in a denomination which you suggested was an ethnic and minority paradise, has one Asian faculty member among both its resident and visiting faculty.

I don't really think that it is a matter of deliberate exclusion any more, and hasn't been for some time. But I think, if you really dug deep into the research, you would find that it is essentially a matter of numbers, especially among Hispanics and African Americans. The numbers of individuals who have had the educational background to qualify for seminary level teaching positions is still, across the board, behind whites and Asians. Many of those who do have the degrees and teaching experience go back to the traditionally African American schools to teach. Many of the current generation of Hispanic church leaders in the SBC got their education on the job, on line, and part time.

As far as the other "higher level leadership" positions in the SBC go, those have always been reserved for those who know someone who knows someone. The pass through for the trustee boards is the committee appointed by the SBC president who chooses the committee that nominates the boards. They don't seem to work from a list that goes beyond who they know in their various state conventions. But that barrier was broken well before Fred Luter became SBC President. The SBC has elected two other African Americans to its highest offices, two hispanics and two native Americans, including one as President. And yes, Tim, the convention does vote on the executive board, though I don't think one Southern Baptist in a hundred thousand could tell you who the executive board member is from their state, and what effect that has on the work of their local church. Essentially, they are bean counters, making budget adjustments and conducting convention business between conventions, a job that a busy African American pastor interested in church planting could easily bypass and not feel slighted in the least. Their title as an "executive committee member" allows them to satisfy the Southern cultural disposition of strutting and posing for pictures in the paper. I'm not sure that it is a bad thing that there are a bunch of old white men meeting in Nashville three times a year to count beans and look at budget worksheets while there are trained people out in the field doing the church planting and evangelism.
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Re: Fred Luter's SBC bio page?

Postby Sandy » Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:45 pm

Tom Parker wrote:Blake:

I always think of the word complimentary as a good term, but the SBC has turned it into what is felt by the SBC to be an appropriate word for exclusion. :brick:


You call it "exclusion," I call it following Biblical instruction for calling church leadership. You're always going to have problems and issues with how many of what kind get what when you ignore God's will and measure your progress by your own, human standards.
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