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In 1995, on the 150th anniversary of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), the group released an affirmation acknowledging the role it had historically played in oppressing African Americans and perpetuating racism. More than 20 years later, the SBC’s “mother seminary” has released a new report outlining the ways that institution has contributed to the problem of racism in America.
“We have been guilty of a sinful absence of historical curiosity,” Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS) president Al Mohler said in a statement.
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Mohler says it was time for a “more direct and far more candid acknowledgment of the legacy of this school [SBTS] in the horrifying realities of American slavery, Jim Crow segregation, racism, and even the avowal of white racial supremacy.”
Mohler, who was involved in the 1995 affirmation released by the SBC, asked a team composed of faculty members from SBTS and Boyce College to spend 12 months researching the role Southern Seminary played in perpetuating things such as slavery, opposing the civil rights movement, and systemic racism. Mohler told the team of researchers nothing would be withheld from the public from their discoveries.
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Among those on the research team are Dr. Gregory A. Wills, professor of church history and former dean of the School of Theology; Dr. Jarvis J. Williams, associate professor of New Testament interpretation; Dr. Curtis A. Woods, assistant professor of applied theology and biblical spirituality and associate executive director of the Kentucky Baptist Convention; Dr. Matthew J. Hall, dean of Boyce College; Dr. John D. Wilsey, associate professor of church history; and Dr. Kevin Jones, associate dean of Boyce College at the time of commissioning and now interim chair of the School of Education and Human Development at Kentucky State University.
While it is not news that many of the founders of the SBC were slaveholders, Mohler says...
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