Southern Baptist Convention Offers to Cover Funeral Expenses for All 26 Church Shooting Victims

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE CHRISTIAN POST AND FOX NEWS)

 

Southern Baptist Convention Offers to Cover Funeral Expenses for All 26 Church Shooting Victims

(PHOTOS: FAMILY PHOTOS VIA NBC NEWS)Eighteen of the 26 victims who were fatally shot by Devin Kelley at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, on November 5, 2017. They are (1st row L-R) Bryan Holcombe, Karla Holcombe, Crystal Holcombe, Brook Ward, Marc Daniel “Danny” Holcombe, Richard Rodriguez; (2nd row L-R) Annabelle Pomeroy, Greg Hill, Joann Ward, Emily Garza, Tara McNulty and Shani Corrigan; (3rd row L-R) Emily Hill, Haley Krueger, Noah Holcombe, Sara Johnson, Dennis and Megan Hill.

The North American Mission Board, the domestic missions agency of the Southern Baptist Convention, has offered to cover the funeral expenses for the families of the 26 people killed inside the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, at the hands of Devin Kelley on Sunday.

The NAMB confirmed the offer in a Baptist Press report on Monday.

SBC President Steve Gaines also confirmed on Twitter Tuesday that he, along with SBC Executive Committee President Frank S. Page, visited with Sutherland Spring’s Pastor Frank Pomeroy and his wife, Sherri, who lost their daughter, Annabelle, in the massacre.

“Just spent a few hours with @RichardsJim@frankpagesbc with Pastor Frank Pomeroy and his wife, Sherri, here in Sutherland Springs. Godly people,” Gaines said.

As the tragedy unfolded on Sunday, Gaines, who leads Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee, said his congregation felt led to pray for the Sutherland Springs church and he felt a need to help in their time of grief.

“Yesterday as we prayed at Bellevue for the families of those slain and also the others who were wounded at First Baptist Church, Sutherland Springs, I sensed the need to go there and try to minister to the pastor and his wife and their devastated congregation,” Gaines said.

(PHOTO: REUTERS/JONATHAN BACHMAN)A woman places flowers at a memorial in memory of the victims killed in the shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, November 7, 2017.

“I discussed it with Frank Page and Jim Richards, and we all agreed to go and help any way we possibly can. Our Southern Baptist family grieves with this beloved church and the community it serves. Our prayers are ascending steadily to God’s throne of grace. May God bring healing and hope to those that are hurting,” he said.

As the small congregation worshiped at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs on Sunday, Kelley, 26, began firing his Ruger AR-556 rifle inside the building shortly after the 11 a.m. service began.

Within minutes, 26 people were dead and at least 20 others were left with serious injuries The New York Times reported. At least eight members of one family including a pregnant mother were killed. Nearly half of the deceased are children.

Police say Kelley unleashed about 450 rounds of ammunition on the helpless congregation and survivors say the deranged shooter who later killed himself expressed an intention to execute the entire congregation.

Roseanne Solis, one of the survivors of the church massacre, told KSAT 12 that the congregation was singing a new song when Kelley interrupted the praise with gunfire and declared that everyone was going to die.

“I hear firecrackers popping. Ta-ta-ta,” she recalled before someone screamed at the church members to take cover.

“Everybody started screaming, yelling. Everyone got down, crawling under wherever they could hide,” Solis said. “It was so scary. He was shooting hard.”

She explained that she got shot in the left shoulder and watched as other church members started falling to the floor, bleeding and in shock.

Things got quiet briefly inside the church after the first barrage of bullets but quickly deteriorated again when Kelley told everyone they would die.

“I thought it was the police when he went inside because everyone got real quiet. Everyone was saying ‘Be quiet. It’s him. It’s him.'” Then he yelled out, ‘Everybody dies [expletive],’ and Kelley started shooting again.

David Brown, whose mother was sitting in the back pew of the church, told Fox 31, that Kelley went from pew to pew to exact his mission to kill everyone.

Solis’ husband, Joaquin Ramirez, who was also inside the church at the time of the attack, said even though the church members were urging each other to keep quiet as the gunman hunted for survivors the children couldn’t stop crying.

Kelley found them, he said, and shot them at point-blank range. About half of the 26 victims from the massacre are children.

How Can The Southern Baptist Convention Leadership Condone The ‘Alt-Right’ And A Racist POTUS?

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE CHRISTIAN POST)

 

Black So. Baptist Pastor Who Sponsored Resolution Condemning Alt-Right Explains Why He Is Staying

(PHOTO: BAPTIST PRESS/VAN PAYNE) Texas pastor Dwight McKissic moved to bring his proposal on the “alt-right” to messengers Tuesday June 13, 2017.

The black pastor who introduced the resolution condemning the alt-right at the SBC’s annual meeting is explaining why, despite the denomination’s failure to pass it initially, he is remaining a Southern Baptist.

In a Wednesday editorial in The Washington Post, Dwight McKissic, who for 33 years has been the senior pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas, responded to a New York Times piece by Lawrence Ware, a black academic and minister who announced he was departing the Southern Baptist Convention — the nation’s largest evangelical Protestant group.

Ware said he was leaving for several reasons, including the group’s stance on LGBTQ issues, the massive support for President Donald Trump and his policies within the denomination, and the hiccup that occurred in passing the resolution authored by McKissic condemning the alt-right and white nationalism at the SBC annual meeting in June. The resolution ended up passing with near unanimity after it underwent an edit and Russell Moore, president of the denomination’s policy arm, spoke out in support of it from the convention floor.

“Whether the committee’s members consider it a factor in their decision, the panel is largely made up of people who are white, people with historical power and privilege,” McKissic wrote of the resolution committee’s initial rejection of his resolution prior to its revision.

“Of course, you have what you are born with, but people with power and privilege need the voice of racial minorities to understand our different experiences. Because the committee contained only one nonwhite member of 10 members, the panel failed to prioritize the need to subvert white supremacy in all its expressions.”

But while there are “plenty of things in the SBC that make [him] uncomfortable,” McKissic wrote that he opted to stay for three reasons: his long personal history with the group, the financial generosity and support he has received from SBC national leaders, and his desire to see Jesus’ prayer answered that the church would be united. For the church to have such oneness, the SBC needs to be even more racially integrated and diverse than it is now, he said.

“When the SBC is persuaded to address the needs of African American communities — such as building up the black family, assisting ex-convicts with employment, removing payday loan offices from our neighborhoods, addressing disparities and inequities in the criminal justice system and addressing police brutality — it will have a huge positive impact on black SBC churches,” McKissic continued.

He added that a common perception that exists among African-American pastors and churches “is that in order to be welcomed, we have to park our brains, culture, history, politics, worship practices, critical thinking skills and autonomy at the door.”

The denomination needs to work to ensure that this is not true, so they can recruit more congregations to cooperate with the SBC, he noted.

As CP reported in March, McKissic previously wrote that it was going to be “difficult for me to be able to continue to say, I’m proud and grateful to be a Southern Baptist” in light of the tumultuous 2016 election cycle and the way politics transpired within the denomination.

For some months last year that extended into 2017, some prominent, predominantly white, conservative-leaning churches escrowed their financial contributions to the Cooperative Program funds to steer their giving away from the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the SBC agency Russell Moore leads, in light of his outspoken stance against then-candidate Donald Trump.

Polls show that the vast majority of white evangelical Christians voted for Trump in the general election whereas racial minority evangelicals did not. Many African-American Southern Baptists found the attempt to defund Moore hurtful because they generally felt the same way he did about the man who is now president and appreciated Moore’s emphasis on racial justice issues.

Yet even with the denomination’s shortcomings, “churches that focus their attention on the mission of our Lord Jesus will not find a better body to cooperate with than the SBC. Not everything in the SBC is what it should be, but I am called to work within to help it become what it can be,” McKissic said Wednesday.

In an earlier CP interview about Ware’s departure from the SBC, Frank Page, president of the SBC Executive Committee, stated the denomination’s goal to continue the work of racial reconciliation with the church as a whole.

“We ask people of color constantly to give us feedback on what’s happening, how they feel, and if they see enough progress,” Page said.

He noted that most Southern Baptists at the annual meeting did not even know what the alt-right was and did not understand the terminology. But once they realized it was about racism and the historic prejudice within the denomination, they voted overwhelmingly to condemn it, he said.

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Shamefully The Southern Baptist Convention Failed To Condemn “Alt Right” Racism

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE CHRISTIAN POST)

The Southern Baptist Convention failed to pass a resolution aimed at condemning the “Alt Right” movement, with a new resolution being scheduled for debate on Wednesday afternoon.

(Photo: Screengrab/SBC Annual Meeting) Over 4,300 messengers came to the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting, held in Phoenix, Arizona, June 13, 2017.

During the first day of its annual meeting in Phoenix, Arizona on Tuesday, the SBC entertained a resolution meant to denounce the far right movement known as the “Alt Right.”

The Alt Right is a political movement generally associated with white nationalism and known for launching intense attacks on ideological enemies on social media.

(Photo: The Christian Post / Samuel Smith) White nationalist leader Richard Spencer takes questions from journalists during the Conservative Political Action Conference at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Oxon Hill, Maryland on Feb. 23, 2017.

At the end of their Tuesday meeting, SBC delegates failed to pass a resolution denouncing the Alt Right, with the Baptist Press noting that a new resolution is scheduled for a vote on Wednesday afternoon.

“The Resolutions Committee chose not to report out the proposal to messengers. An effort by the resolution’s author to bring the ‘alt-right’ measure to the floor failed in the afternoon session,” reported the Baptist Press.

“… a motion by another messenger in the evening session also fell short. Each motion required a two-thirds majority, and the evening vote received only 58 percent approval.”

William Dwight McKissic, an African-American Texas pastor, introduced a draft resolution denouncing the Alt Right last month.

“… there has arisen in the United States a growing menace to political order and justice that seeks to reignite social animosities, reverse improvements in race relations, divide our people, and foment hatred, classism, and ethnic cleansing,” read the draft.

“… this toxic menace, self-identified among some of its chief proponents as ‘White Nationalism’ and the ‘Alt-Right,’ must be opposed for the totalitarian impulses, xenophobic biases, and bigoted ideologies that infect the minds and actions of its violent disciples.”

Todd Benkert, messenger from East Lake Baptist Church in Crown Point, Indiana, posted on the blog SBC Voices on Wednesday that he feared the failure to pass the resolution was a “huge misstep.”

“I awoke this morning tired and frustrated that we didn’t, in fact, get it right. The world is watching. Our brothers and sisters of color are watching. They’re getting a mixed message,” wrote Benkert.

“Southern Baptists should be leading a lost world in racial unity and biblical reconciliation. Instead, we are once again caught flat-footed, communicating to the world that we just don’t get it and communicating to our fellow brothers and sisters of color that we don’t really care.”

SBC Resolutions Committee Chairman Barrett Duke explained to reporters that the Alt Right resolution failed because “we just didn’t see a way that we could speak to the multiple issues that were raised in that resolution in a way that we felt would be constructive,” adding that much of the proposal “already had been addressed recently.”

Russell Moore, president of the SBC’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, said Wednesday morning on Twitter that he expects the SBC to “enthusiastically pass” the resolution. He also noted Alt Right ideologies are “anti-Christ and satanic to the core.”

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Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/southern-baptist-convention-resolution-denouncing-alt-right-white-nationalism-187909/#5rPYE87O0vdYwEwB.99

Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/southern-baptist-convention-resolution-denouncing-alt-right-white-nationalism-187909/#fyArKKBRkBvC0Ak1.99