Big Daddy Weaver wrote:There's a big difference between attending a conference hosted at Dwight McKissic's church and getting Black Baptist churches to participate in the life of the SBC.
Also, I'm pretty sure that McKissic's church is not fully SBC. He was present for the meeting of the National Baptist Convention USA in 2008. I saw him. Not anyone can attend that meeting; you have to be a delegate sent by an affiliated church. If you remember, when all that brouhaha happened between McKissic-Patterson (which prompted the conference you attended), McKissic wrote a letter to Patterson referring to his "faith tradition" as "National Baptist Convention"
Also, Cornerstone is probably the largest SBC Black Baptist church in the DFW area. But it's not the largest Black Baptist church in DFW. Cornerstone is listed as averaging 2,000 attendance. Frederick Haynes' Friendship-West Baptist Church averages 8,000, New Birth Baptist Church averages 3,000, Concord Missionary Baptist Church averages 3000, and Golden Gate Missionary Baptist Church averages 3,000. All in the DFW area.
Go to Google Books and look up "Uneasy in Babylon." That whole book is available in full-text online. It includes a chapter featuring Fred Luter and other prominent Black Southern Baptists. They discuss openly the attitudes of Black Baptists towards them with regard to their SBC affiliation. McKissic himself has in recent months made reference in his blog posts to this reality that many Black Baptist pastors just don't get why the Fred Luters and Dwight McKissics choose to be associated with the SBC.
Most of those pastors at the conference were from churches in Tarrant County who are dually affiliated SBC-NBC. Some of that results from a long standing relationship that the SBC has had with the National Baptist Convention that included support for some NBC entities, including, at one point, their Bible college in Nashville. Perhaps Cornerstone is dually affiliated with the NBC, though the level of mission support it contributes to the SBC through the SBTC is much higher than you would expect from a 3,000 member congregation in Arlington that is supporting two Baptist conventions.
I'm sure that the relationship between black Pastors and the SBC is somewhat tenuous, especially in Texas, which is still the South. Dwight McKissic, whom I know personally, is willing to put himself in a position to be a pioneer in opening up the SBC to black Baptists whose theological views are in line with the conservative SBC, but who take a different direction in secular politics, or even in church culture. His own church is a mixture of people who have Christ in common, but are diverse in many other areas, including politics and racial background, since it does have a fair number of members who are not black.
Outside the South, it is a different picture. There are large, growing, predominantly African American congregations affiliated with the SBC in most of the large cities in the Mid-Atlantic, along the East Coast, including Metro New York and Philadelphia, the DC area, and out in the midwest in places like Milwaukee, Chicago and St. Louis. They also exist in large numbers along the west coast, with large congregations of other ethnic makeup, in Washington, Oregon, California. They will eventually find their way into the denomination's leadership, and that may be the key to drawing some others in a little bit closer. Luter's election, while it might not change a lot of things right now, may prove to be a catalyst in the future. From a doctrinal and theological perspective, most African American denominations, at least the larger ones, are closer to the SBC. They differ on their take on secular politics.