J. D. Greear Reveals 60 Percent of Southern Baptist Churches Planted in 2018 Had Non-White Leaders, Says the Whole Church Body Needs the ‘Wisdom and Unique Story’ of the Black Church, and Urges Christians Not to be Distracted by Upcoming Election But to Keep the Gospel ‘Above All’

J.D. Greear, president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) and pastor of The Summit Church in Durham, N.C., said Southern Baptists must be willing to do whatever it takes to reach all people, during his president’s address June 11 during the morning session of the two-day SBC annual meeting in Birmingham, Ala. | Kathleen Murray

Despite emerging from a painful history dogged by racism, a majority of churches planted by the Southern Baptist Convention in 2018 had non-white leaders, the organization’s President J.D. Greear has revealed.

Greear shared the data Monday on the opening night of the Black Church Leadership and Family Conference in Ridgecrest, North Carolina, where he explained that more than 60 percent of all Southern Baptist churches planted last year were planted with leaders of color. Some 20 percent of Southern Baptists, he noted are also people of color, according to a Baptist Press report.

Greear who leads The Summit Church in the Raleigh-Durham area has been a champion of intentional diversity in the organization which he argues will better “reflect God’s glory.”

“By God’s grace, He is moving in His church, and He is showing us that … to be a reflection of His glory, we need to reflect the diversity of our communities, but we also need to proclaim the diversity of the coming Kingdom, and that is what gives glory to Jesus,” Greear told attendees. “You, brothers and sisters, you have believed that, and you have prayed for that, for a long, long time. I think in recent days we have seen a new movement of God’s Spirit in continuing to move us toward that.”

Greear explained that the wisdom coming from the unique experience of the black church is something needed by the entire church body and that is the intention behind the push for diverse churches.

“It is really a recognition that we need the wisdom that God has put into your community to go into the days ahead,” Greear said. “God has written a very unique story in your churches, in your lives. That is a wisdom that He intends to use sovereignly as we continue to proclaim the Gospel to our nation. It is something you are doing not as a service to the Lord Jesus, not only to Him, but also as a service to your brothers and sisters of the Southern Baptist Convention.”

The conference which has been running for nearly 30 years is designed to address specific issues facing today’s black and multiethnic churches. Conference organizer Mark Croston also noted that it is designed for parents of black children, church leaders who want to reach black communities around them, and leaders of churches desiring to become more multicultural.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair