By Aaron Weaver
Melissa Rogers, who serves as Special Assistant to the President and Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, addressed the Religious Liberty Council of the Baptist Joint Committee. The 24th annual meeting was held as part of the 2014 CBF General Assembly at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Atlanta.
“It is my honor and privilege to bring you greetings from President Barack Obama,” Rogers said. “And let me say on my own behalf how happy I am to be here today. I feel like I’m home again. It is great to be with you all.”
Rogers formerly served as Director of the Center for Religion and Public Affairs at Wake Forest University Divinity School and as a nonresident Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institution. She previously was Executive Director of the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life and General Counsel of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty.
At the Friday gathering, Rogers was awarded the J.M. Dawson Religious Liberty Award, an award established in 1986 on the 50th anniversary of the BJC and named for for the BJC’s first executive director. The award recognizes the outstanding contributions of individuals in defense of religious liberty for all.
Rogers praised the BJC for its impact on her life and career and it’s positive influence on the nation.
“We are a better nation because of the work of the BJC,” Rogers said.
She called on the packed crowd of Cooperative Baptists to “continue to stand up and speak out on behalf of religious liberty.”