It’s time for the Church to show a better way forward on racial reconciliation, and a new initiative seeks to equip Southern Baptists for the task.
SBC President Ed Litton announced the Unify Project during the June 15 morning Session of the convention’s 2022 SBC Annual Meeting in Anaheim. He was joined onstage by members of the initiative’s steering committee, which includes pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans and former SBC president Fred Luter, newly elected SBC first vice president Victor Chayasirisobhon and several other church, seminary and denominational leaders.
Tony Evans, pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship and founder of the Urban Alternative, is also part of the effort and explained the “three As” that are the foundation of the effort:
- Assemble: Each year churches will gather for a “solemn assembly” to “reinvite God collectively into the well-being of their community.”
- Address: Churches will “speak with one voice to the issues in their community,” providing God’s perspective on those issues.
- Act: Local church members will be challenged to do acts of kindness for strangers with the goal of pointing those individuals to the gospel. “Kindness cards” will be available for churches to use as they make connections with individuals in their communities. The result is that “millions of people in a mean world [will see] the kindness of God.”
Through the Unify Project, in partnership with the Urban Alternative’s Kindness in the Culture initiative, Litton said Southern Baptists can be part of a grassroots effort to “cross barriers of race and … offer a Kingdom solution for the divisions that exist in our land.”
“The gospel of Jesus Christ is the solution for the most damaging wounds in our land,” Litton said. “This is the moment for us to begin.”
Luter added “the Church should be on the front line of bringing hope and healing in our communities” and said he was “honored” to be part of the Unify Project initiative.
The Unify Project is set to begin this fall. More information and updates will be posted at unifysbc.org.
View photos from this business session of the Annual Meeting here.
To view more photos from the 2022 Southern Baptist Convention in Anaheim, click here.
For more stories from the 2022 Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting, visit thebaptistpaper.org/sbc2022.