The days most anticipated moment was the election of a new president.
In Nashville, tempers were running high. Irate messengers confronted at least two high-profile leaders in the halls of the convention center, accusing them of fomenting liberalism. Some leaders were provided with extra security.“We are at a defining moment for our convention,” J.D. Greear, the departing president, told the assembly in a fiery speech hours before they would elect his successor.
He excoriated the “Pharisees” within the denomination who placed ideological purity over its evangelistic mission, alienating Black and Latino pastors, sexual abuse survivors, and others in their zeal.“Are we primarily a cultural and political affinity group, or do we see our primary calling as being a gospel witness?” Mr. Greear asked. “What’s the more important part of our name: Southern or Baptist?” Mr. Greear praised an earlier generation of conservatives who had kept the denomination true to its theological principles.
But he warned of a new threat to Southern Baptists in the 21st century. “The danger of liberalism is real but the danger of Phariseeism is also,” he said. Tuesday’s vote capped months of angry debate over race, gender, and other cultural divides, as the denomination’s leaders and insurgents wrestled over whether their future hinged on wrenching the church even further to the right or broadening its reach. #event #leaders #southern #profile #tennessee #election #nashville #leader #run