Friday, June 22, 2012

Amazing Grace

The Southern Baptist Church has elected Rev. Fred Luter as it's first African American president. To me, this is amazing because I didn't even know the SBC had any African Americans members to begin with-- let alone, one to elect as it's president!

To their credit, the SBC has acknowledged that flirting with racism and the Confederacy was a mistake and they admit that racism shouldn't have any place in their congregations today. They want to change their image now and embrace diversity because their membership is currently on the decline.

I can't help but wonder, though . . .

When did African Americans start joining the SBC?

Is that when membership started to decline?

Is this a case of white flight?

OK. I'm sorry-- that was a bit tacky.

To be fair, SBC statistics suggest that the decline started happening before African Americans (and other minorities) started to attend SBC congregations. So, I don't think any so called "white flight" is going on just yet.

Isn't it interesting, though, that the decline of membership (and funds) jarred the SBC into finally realizing they needed to change their "unwelcoming" image?

I never thought I'd live to see an African American president. But this goes beyond that because I never even thought to consider an African American member of the SBC-- let alone a president!

My, how times are changing!

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