When I was elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention in June 2014 in Baltimore, little did I know God would take me through the open doors of addressing racial challenges in America.
While racial unrest already existed in our nation, it was not until Aug. 9, 2014, and the tragic death of a black teenager named Michael Brown, shot and killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo., that we began to see this racial unrest erupt like a volcano across our nation.
God adjusted my path of understanding
From my very first press conference as the newly-elected president of the SBC, I began calling upon Southern Baptists to join me in praying extraordinarily and passionately pursuing the next Great Spiritual Awakening in America. When the Ferguson tragedy occurred, God burdened my heart immediately, adjusting my path of understanding.
Politicians, corporate leaders, educators, religious leaders and pastors in America rarely initiate and move forward a positive agenda that leads to racial unity. We should seek to change this.
While this path is still toward the next Great Awakening, God revealed clearly to me and anyone else that has been spiritually alert in America that one of the greatest sins in our nation today is the sin of racism.
I encourage you to take the time to review the following articles, which will recount the journey taken to bring us to the upcoming session at our SBC annual meeting in St. Louis, “A National Conversation on Racial Unity.”
• Southern Baptists: When Crises Abound, What Should We Do?
• The Wounds Run Deep: Racism and Injustice Must End and Let Grace and Love Begin
• The Spiritual State of Our Union
• 5 Actions for Southern Baptists to Take Now Due to the Conflict in Our Culture
• We Are a Country in Chaos: What Southern Baptists Should Do
• A National Conversation on Racial Unity
• Now is the Time for the Racial Crisis to End in America
• It’s Time for Pastors to Lead a National Conversation on Racial Unity by Jerry Young and Ronnie Floyd
• From The New York Times: Race, History, and Baptist Reconciliation
Read more at Racial Unity and the 2016 SBC Annual Meeting.