For First Time in Southern Baptist History, Church in Georgia is Kicked Out of its Association Over Allegations of Racism

The Rev. Marcus Glass gladly accepted the invitation for his congregation to share space with Raleigh White Baptist Church in Albany.

His New Seasons Church, launched on Easter 2015, was growing. In a few years, the predominantly African-American congregation had increased from 12 to 130 members.

It was just the opposite for Raleigh White Baptist Church. Its membership had dwindled over the years and now consisted of 20 or so white members, most of whom are at least 60 years of age, said a regional Baptist official.

However, the relationship quickly soured, in such a way that the Mallary Baptist Association removed Raleigh White from its roster of congregations, citing racism. It was the first time in the history of the Southern Baptist Convention and the Georgia Baptist Mission Board that a church has been disassociated because of racial animosity.

The endeavor started with good intentions.

“We thought it would be a good relationship because we were coming in a Christian context,” said New Seasons’ Glass, 43. “These people were Christian and we figured all Christians have love for everybody.”

However, it didn’t work out that way. Despite several attempts at intervention, things got so bad that on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, the Mallory Baptist Association ousted Raleigh White.

Members of Raleigh White could not be reached for comment. However, the church’s former pastor, the Rev. Ronnie Kinsaul, told WALB-TV that he prays current church officials will repent and be restored to the association.

The recommendation to disassociate Raleigh White includes a pathway to reinstatement “if the church openly repents of their sin against the other church and demonstrates the genuineness of repentance.”

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SOURCE: Shelia M. Poole
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution