May be most diverse mainline Protestant denomination
Aug 25, 2009
The American Baptist Churches USA convention this summer was typical of many church gatherings in displaying ethnic and racial diversity. But many ABC leaders think that their denomination may be the most diverse among mainline Protestant churches.
While celebrating the denomination’s broad ethnic, regional and linguistic diversity at their biennial meeting June 26-28, members of the American Baptist Churches USA also exhibited their ideological diversity.
A Wisconsin-based group of atheists and agnostics has filed suit against President Bush over the federal law designating a National Day of Prayer. The Freedom from Religion Foundation maintains that the law violates the First Amendment’s prohibition against an official establishment of religion.
A Texas Baptist family’s spontaneous challenge to jump-start a Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty campaign to buy and renovate a house on Capitol Hill for its own center in Washington netted the organization nearly $1.2 million in just a couple of weeks.
Officials of the American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A. are considering selling their Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, headquarters building, which currently houses Baptist offices in less than half of the space available. “We want to be good stewards of our resources and to ‘right-size’ to fit our current space requirements,” said A. Roy Medley, the American Baptists’ general secretary.
After years of conflict centering mainly on the issue of homosexuality, a large, southern California–based regional body of the American Baptist Churches U.S.A. has voted to continue the process of separating itself from the denomination.
In a quickly organized meeting, leaders of Baptist conventions and networks comprising more than 20 million adherents in North America explored “additional opportunities for fellowship and cooperation” on April 10 in Atlanta.
Rebuffed at national meetings of American Baptists that declined to adopt tough stances against homosexuality, some conservative leaders will meet this month near Chicago to expand an alternate missionary organization.