The Union Review

National Baptists Prepare for Historic Joint Meeting


Rev. Dr. Gina Stewart, president of the Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Mission Society

Rev. Dr. Gina Stewart, president of the Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Mission Society

Millions of congregants will be represented in a historic gathering of the nation’s four major Black Baptist conventions, January 22–25, 2024, in Memphis, Tenn.

Plans are underway for the National Baptist Joint Board Session to convene as a cooperative effort that includes the Progressive National Baptist Conven­tion (PNBC), the National Baptist Convention of America International (NBCA), the National Baptist Con­vention USA, Inc., (NBCUSA), and the National Missionary Baptist Con­vention of America (NMBCA).

The four National Baptist bodies first convened jointly in Nashville in 2005 for worship and celebration, with the ultimate aim of establishing a joint agenda for African-American Baptists. At the end of that meeting, a joint statement was issued outlining their shared positions on issues that included opposition to the Iraq War, school vouchers, prison privatization, support for increasing the minimum wage, and increasing U.S. government foreign aid in the regions of Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America.

 

 

The four organizations appear to be leaning toward more collaborative efforts in recent years. The presidents of the four conventions met in January 2023, on behalf of their respective organizations — Rev. Dr. David R. Peoples, PNBC president, Dr. Samuel Tolbert, NBCA president, Dr. Jerry Young, NBCUSA president, and Dr. Anthony Sharp I, NMBCA president. Further, that expansion in 2024 will include a prominent role for the Reverend Dr. Gina Stewart, president of the Lott Carey Convention and the first woman elected president of a US- based Baptist convention.

Dr. Peoples, pastor of Jabez Missionary Baptist Church in Lexington, Ky., orchestrated the meeting of the four leaders in 2023, which took place in Jackson, Miss., at New Hope Baptist Church.

Dr. Peoples noted the purpose of that meeting was to reconnect a national social and political force to address urgent and critical issues facing African Americans.

“We continue to address police brutality, voter suppression, economic disparities, and so many more issues,” said Dr. Peoples, adding that many states are pushing politics that deny the history of African Americans and contributions made by them to the country.

Dr. Peoples also noted at the meeting of Black Baptist leaders that the United States will be voting for a president and other federal offices in 2024; therefore, the four organizations agreed on having a joint session that year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *