Tennessee Baptists Condemn Racism as White Nationalists Plan Rallies this Saturday in Shelbyville and Murfreesboro

Randy C. Davis, president and executive director of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board, speaks during a press conference held Oct. 25. (Photo by Corinne Rochotte, Baptist and Reflector)
Randy C. Davis, president and executive director of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board, speaks during a press conference held Oct. 25. (Photo by Corinne Rochotte, Baptist and Reflector)

With white supremacist rallies scheduled for this weekend in the state, a mix of ethnically diverse Tennessee Baptists gathered in a display of unity in Franklin on Wednesday (Oct. 25) to publicly denounce the white supremacist movement and racism.

“We don’t call press conferences very often but we believe it is impossible to stand silently by while the white supremacy movement plans to invade our state and perpetrate its evil Saturday (Oct. 28) in Shelbyville and Murfreesboro,” said Randy C. Davis, president and executive director of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board, during a press conference at the TBMB’s Church Support Center.

Earlier this month the Nationalist Front, a self-described “umbrella organization to bring unity and solidarity to the White Nationalist Movement in North America,” announced plans to hold anti-immigration rallies in Shelbyville and Murfreesboro.

“As Tennessee Baptists and as Southern Baptists, we are categorically opposed to the white supremacy movement and any movement that diminishes the dignity of any human,” Davis said.

The Saturday rallies, he said, are planned to oppose immigrants and refugees living in Middle Tennessee. “If history holds true, the intent of these groups gathering is to fear monger and fan the flames of racial hatred,” Davis noted.

“This bigotry has no place in our American society and it certainly has no place in the life of anyone who is a follower of Jesus,” he said.

Davis said the “movement is evil and is contrary to everything we are called to be as followers of Christ.”

He cautioned Christians to be on guard because “this movement preys upon people’s fears and the temptation is to buy into the rhetoric, especially since this group is targeting those who feel under-represented and disenfranchised.”

The Tennessee Baptist leader stressed that “we are not making a political statement today. That is not our intent. We are, however, prayerful that our governmental leaders will write laws that both offer security to America and are fair to all who seek shelter within her borders.”

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SOURCE: Lonnie Wilkey 
Baptist Press / Baptist and Reflector