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CBF and New Baptist Covenant to host civil rights event June 24 at General Assembly

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May 19, 2016

By Aaron Weaver

DECATUR, Ga. — The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and New Baptist Covenant will host an offsite event June 24 at the International Civil Rights Center and Museum focusing on advocacy and racial reconciliation during the 2016 CBF General Assembly in Greensboro, N.C.

Attendees will travel from the Sheraton Hotel to the museum for a tour followed by a program featuring keynote speaker Michelle Higgins of South City Church in St. Louis. She will explore how current civil rights activism is rooted in the Gospel.

Higgins, who serves as director of advocacy and engagement for South City Church, is a graduate of Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis. An organizer, activist and musician with deep roots in the African-American Pentecostal tradition, Higgins is the director and founding member of Faith for Justice, a Christian advocacy group dedicated to “continuing the biblical story of activism” and “promoting and leading public justice actions and events that connect faith communities to the movements that seek to dignity and humanize black lives.”

Stephen Reeves, associate coordinator of partnerships and advocacy for CBF, expressed his excitement to have Higgins speak before Cooperative Baptists.

“I’m excited to have such a dynamic and prophetic voice from outside Fellowship circles speak at this timely event,” Reeves said. “Michelle articulates a powerful message of human dignity in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know she will challenge and encourage CBF churches to be more welcoming of all community members and engaged in what is going on around them.”

NBC Coordinator Hannah McMahan echoed Reeves and emphasized the importance of racial reconciliation and understanding both past and present contexts.

“The sin of racism is an ever-changing and adapting ill,” McMahan said. “To overcome our division, it is important to understand not only our current context but also what history precedes us.”

The event will also include a preview of the new documentary “The Ordinance” by Deidox, an Austin, Texas-based nonprofit film company, focused on the church’s response to predatory lending. This new film highlights how people of faith have responded to the crisis of predatory payday and auto-title lending in their community through direct ministries, mission work and public policy advocacy. “The Ordinance” examines the cross-racial elements of this issue and follows the process of the adoption of a local lending ordinance in Temple, Texas, and includes interviews with faith leaders such as Reeves, Steve Wells of CBF-partner South Main Baptist Church in Houston, and Freddy Haynes of Friendship-West Baptist Church in Dallas.

Attendees will travel from the Sheraton Hotel via bus at 2:45 p.m., and the event concludes at 5 p.m. on Friday, June 24. Due to limited space, RSVP is encouraged.

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CBF is a Christian Network that helps people put their faith to practice through ministry eff­orts, global missions and a broad community of support.The Fellowship’s mission is to serve Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission.

 

 

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