The Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission Acting President Brent Leatherwood presented an ERLC Religious Liberty Award to Griffin Gulledge, pastor of Madison Baptist Church in Madison, Georgia, during a special ceremony Oct. 24.
Gulledge was nominated for his significant work in drafting the 2021 SBC resolution titled, “Resolution 8: On The Uyghur Genocide,” which the messengers to the annual meeting unanimously passed in June. The SBC became the first denomination to condemn the Chinese Communist Party for the genocide of the Uyghur people.
‘Image bearers of Christ’
“On behalf of the ERLC, I am honored to present Griffin Gulledge with the 2021 John Leland Religious Liberty Award for his exemplary service in helping raise awareness of the atrocities happening to the Uyghur people in China,” said Leatherwood. “Gulledge is a faithful pastor who has advocated for religious liberty across the globe and we proudly stand alongside him in upholding the dignity of every human life as fellow image bearers of Christ.”
The ceremony took place at the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center in Madison, where Leatherwood presented Gulledge with the award among members of his church and community.
After receiving the award, Gulledge posted online, “Most importantly is that we remember the plight of the Uyghur people. They are worthy of our voices because they are created in the image of God. May God protect them.
“May God use this to draw attention to the plight of the Uyghur people and end the genocide being perpetrated against them by the Chinese Communist regime,” said Gulledge, who grew up at NorthPark Baptist Church in Trussville, Alabama, where he was ordained. He is a graduate of Auburn University and Samford University’s Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama.
Each year ERLC trustees select a candidate to receive the John Leland Religious Liberty Award. This year, the ERLC awarded two individuals with this award: Mark Dever, pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., and Gulledge.