Archive for January, 2016
A few months ago, my friend Dr. Jerry Young and I hosted A National Conversation on Racial Unity in Jackson, Mississippi. Dr. Young and I both believe that it is time for the racial crisis in America to end, and wrote an article together stating such. We also recently had the opportunity to sit down with the New York Times and discuss our efforts to bring reconciliation within our churches. An excerpt is below. You can read it in its entirety here.
WITH the protests in Ferguson, Mo., the Black Lives Matter movement and the massacre of black churchgoers in Charleston, S.C., on their minds, the presidents of the nation’s two major Baptist groups — one predominantly white, one predominantly black — decided it was time for a bold gesture. The Southern Baptist Convention, founded by slaveholders and their supporters before the Civil War, is now the nation’s second-largest Christian denomination after the Roman Catholic Church. Black Baptists formed their own churches and in 1880 founded what eventually became the National Baptist Convention, U.S.A.
Late last year, the leaders each invited 10 of their pastors to join in a public conversation on racial reconciliation in Jackson, Miss. The Rev. Dr. Ronnie Floyd, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, and the Rev. Dr. Jerry Young, president of the National Baptist Convention, U.S.A., visited The New York Times recently to discuss the Jackson meeting, and the goals behind it. An edited version of their conversation follows.
Q. What was it like being in that room?
YOUNG For me personally, it was almost euphoric. Literally to be in that room dealing with that particular issue in light of my own personal history and the history of Mississippi, and Southern Baptist history. That moment was filled with hope and a tremendous sense of possibility.
Q.You’ve told me that you were born on a plantation in the Mississippi Delta and grew up experiencing racism. Did you tell the Southern Baptists about those experiences?
YOUNG In the little town I grew up in, Lamont, just north of Greenville, there were three stores, and I remember distinctly once, we went into one store and there was an elderly man there. They had a cooler where you got the sodas and took them to the counter. The man went and picked up a Coke and went to the counter, and the person behind the counter refused to sell him the Coke because it was a white man’s drink. He had to put it back in the cooler.
This Sunday, January 31, will be a huge day at Cross Church. We are concluding 21 days of prayer and fasting. Our prayers have been focused together. We know that over 3,000 of our people have participated at some level, with many participating in 21 days of fasting. This Sunday, we will give the entire service on each campus to prayer based on the Word of God and expressed through corporate worship. Yes, all eleven services on our five campuses will join in this time together. Do not miss it! We believe God is going to do something powerful in our midst!
Beginning Sunday, February 7, we will begin a new series of messages. We will be studying the New Testament book of Philippians for ten weeks. Our teaching will be in-depth and challenging for each of us. The cry of our hearts in this ten-week series will be Give Me Joy. Everyone wants joy. I want joy. I want to be part of a joyful church. Let’s go on this expositional journey together. May the Lord teach all of us! Invite your friends and family members. You will not want to miss any of this series that begins on February 7.
Mark Sunday, February 14 on your calendar and prioritize being with us on this day. We will gather our membership from the youngest to the oldest and declare unashamedly, “I Love My Church!” Everyone will be encouraged by the Give Me Joy series and inspired by being together. If you missed this past Sunday, take a moment to watch Cross Church Today as this exciting day is discussed.
I promise you men, it will be hard to beat the preaching and teaching ministries of my friends, Jack Graham, Ted Traylor, and Steve Gaines. These are stout men of God, courageous in their faith and leadership. Please sign up here today. Invite others to join you – from teenage boys all the way to senior adults.
Now is the Time to Lead,
Ronnie W. Floyd