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on Saturday, May 30, 2020

Southern Baptist leaders have published a statement grieving the recent death of George Floyd and calling for the end of "racial inequity in the distribution of justice in our country."

The statement, co-authored by SBC president J.D. Greear and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary president Jamie Dew was unanimously signed by all SBC officers, entity heads and state convention executive directors.

Statement on the death of George Floyd

As a convention of churches committed to the equality and dignity of all people, Southern Baptists grieve the death of George Floyd, who was killed May 25, 2020, in Minneapolis, Minn.

While all must grieve, we understand that in the hearts of our fellow citizens of color, incidents like these connect to a long history of unequal justice in our country, going back to the grievous Jim Crow and slavery eras. The images and information we have available to us in this case are horrific and remind us that there is much more work to be done to ensure that there is not even a hint of racial inequity in the distribution of justice in our country. We grieve to see examples of the misuse of force, and call for these issues to be addressed with speed and justice.

While we thank God for our law enforcement officers that bravely risk their lives for the sake of others and uphold justice with dignity and integrity, we also lament when some law enforcement officers misuse their authority and bring unnecessary harm on the people they are called to protect. We further grieve with our minority brothers and sisters in the wake of George Floyd’s death, pray for his family and friends and greatly desire to see the misuse of force and any inequitable distributions of justice come to an end.

Throughout the Old and New Testaments, the Bible speaks to matters of justice and human dignity. We are taught by Scripture that human beings are distinct among the rest of creation as those beings which bear the divine image. From the beginning of life to the end, all human beings, both male and female--of all ethnicities, colors and ages--are sacred beings that God values and loves.

Throughout the law, the prophets, the gospels and the entire canon of Scripture, murder is condemned and God’s people are called to protect the vulnerable. The Bible further condemns injustice and the misuse of authority and force. And in the example of Jesus Christ, God’s people are called to love others, care for their needs, grieve with them in brokenness and labor for the well-being of our neighbor. To follow Christ is to follow in these examples He puts before us.

Therefore, as a matter of Christian obedience and devotion, followers of Jesus Christ cannot remain silent when our brothers and sisters, friends and/or people we seek to win for Christ are mistreated, abused or killed unnecessarily.

Therefore, we pray for our local, state, and national leaders as they seek justice, and call on them to act quickly and diligently to ensure that these situations are brought to an end. As a people, Southern Baptists stand ready to help towards that end. May God give us His favor, help and strength in this effort.

 

Co-Authors:

James K. Dew, Jr.
President, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary

 

J.D. Greear
President, Southern Baptist Convention
Pastor, The Summit Church, Raleigh-Durham, N.C.

 

Signatories:

Marshal Ausberry
1st Vice President, Southern Baptist Convention
President, National African-American Fellowship of the Southern Baptist Convention
Pastor, Antioch Baptist Church, Fairfax Station, Va.

Noe Garcia
2nd Vice President, Southern Baptist Convention
Senior Pastor, North Phoenix Baptist Church, Phoenix, Ariz.

Kathy Litton
Registration Secretary, Southern Baptist Convention

John Yeats
Recording Secretary, Southern Baptist Convention
Missouri Baptist Convention Executive Director

Ronnie W. Floyd
Treasurer, Southern Baptist Convention
President & CEO, SBC Executive Committee

Paul Chitwood
President, International Mission Board

Kevin Ezell
President, North American Mission Board

O.S. Hawkins
President, GuideStone Financial Resources

Ben Mandrell
President & CEO, LifeWay Christian Resources

Jeff Iorg
President, Gateway Seminary

Jason K. Allen
President, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Danny L. Akin
President, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

Albert Mohler, Jr.
President, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Adam W. Greenway
President, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Russell D. Moore
President, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Sandy Wisdom-Martin
Executive Director/Treasurer, Woman’s Missionary Union

Rick Lance, Alabama State Baptist Convention

Randy Covington, Alaska Baptist Convention

David Johnson, Arizona Southern Baptist Convention

D. “Sonny” Tucker, Arkansas Baptist State Convention

Bill Agee, California Southern Baptist Convention

Nathan Lorick, Colorado Baptist General Convention

Fred MacDonald, Dakota Baptist Convention

Thomas Green, Florida Baptist Convention

Thomas Hammond, Jr., Georgia Baptist Convention

Christopher Martin, Hawaii Pacific Baptist Convention

Nate Adams, Illinois Baptist State Association

Steve McNeil, State Convention of Baptist in Indiana

Tim Lubinus, Baptist Convention of Iowa

Robert Mills, Kansas-Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptists

Todd Gray, Kentucky Baptist Convention

Steve Horn, Louisiana Baptist Convention

Kevin Smith, Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware

Timothy Patterson, Baptist State Convention of Michigan

Leo Endel, Minnesota-Wisconsin Baptist Convention

Shawn Parker, Mississippi Baptist Convention

Barrett Duke, Montana Southern Baptist Convention

Kevin White, Nevada Baptist Convention

Terry Dorsett, Baptist Convention of New England

Joseph Bunce, Baptist Convention of New Mexico

Terry Robertson, Baptist Convention of New York

Milton Hollifield, Jr., Baptist State Convention of North Carolina

Randy Adams, Northwest Baptist Convention

Jack P. Kwok, State Convention of Baptists in Ohio

Hance Dilbeck, Jr., Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma

Barry Whitworth, Baptist Resource Network of Pennsylvania-South Jersey

Felix Cabrera, Convention of Southern Baptist Churches in Puerto Rico

Gary Hollingsworth, South Carolina Baptist Convention

Randy C. Davis, Tennessee Baptist Convention

David W. Hardage, Baptist General Convention of Texas

Jim W. Richards, Southern Baptists of Texas Convention

Rob Lee, Utah-Idaho Southern Baptist Convention

John V. Upton, Jr., Baptist General Association of Virginia

Brian Autry, Southern Baptist Convention of Virginia

Eric Ramsey, West Virginia Convention of Southern Baptists

Quin Williams, Wyoming Southern Baptist Mission Network