CBF of Kentucky, one of the 18 autonomous state/regional organizations of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, released the following statement June 8, which has been signed by Cooperative Baptist pastors in Kentucky as well as Kentucky pastors from other Christian denominations. The full text is provided below. You may watch a video from the press conference here.
White Christian Clergy Call for Racial Justice
The events of the past 48 hours leave us wearied and burdened. We grieve yet two more deaths of black men, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, at the hands of law enforcement officers. We mourn the vicious attack and death of five officers at the hands of vigilantes.
As Christians and ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we are called to seek justice in ways that reconcile black and white. We are called to transcend the divisive rhetoric that seeks to inflame. We are called to declare, “We are one human family.” We are called to stand in solidarity with our black brothers and sisters, to grieve with them, to work with them for a day when peace and justice prevail, when racial violence no longer dominates our headlines, and when beloved community between black and white becomes more than a prophet’s dream. We are also called to stand with law enforcement officials who face the dangerous challenge of trying to keep the peace in a dangerous world and in violent communities.
We acknowledge that our silence is part of the problem that divides our nation. Today we break our silence. Today we no longer close our eyes and shut our ears to the pleas of those who live in constant fear. Today we say to our black brothers and sisters, “You are not alone. We are with you. We will not tolerate racial violence.” We call on community, civic, and religious leaders, black and white, to work tirelessly to solve this national crisis—to hear the growing cries of those who mourn. Today we also say to those in law enforcement, “We hear you when you lament having to face the end result of so many unsolved problems in our society, and we pray that the path to racial reconciliation might lead to safer streets on which you work.”
Together, we must find a way to a better world. We must find a way.
Rev. J. Greg Alexander, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Kentucky
Rev. Rhonda Abbott Blevins, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Kentucky
Rev. Dean Brealos, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Rev. Mamie Broadhurst, Covenant Community Church, PC(USA)
Rev. Chris Caldwell, Broadway Baptist Church, Louisville
Rev. Amber Inscore Essick, Port Royal Baptist Church
Rev. John Inscore Essick, Port Royal Baptist Church & Baptist Seminary of Kentucky
Rev. Benjamin Hart, St. Matthews Episcopal Church, Louisville
Rev. Elizabeth Hinson-Hasty, Mid Kentucky Presbytery & Bellarmine University
Rev. Lee Hinson-Hasty, Presbyterian Church (USA)
Rev. E. Glenn Hinson, Baptist Seminary of Kentucky
Rev. Emily Holladay, Broadway Baptist Church, Louisville
Rev. Jim Holladay, Lyndon Baptist Church, Louisville
Rev. Ken Jobst, St. Stephen Church, Louisville & Simmons College of Kentucky
Rev. Matt Johnson, Ridgewood Baptist Church, Louisville
Rev. Mark Johnson, Central Baptist Church, Lexington
Rev. Kelly Kirby, St. Matthews Episcopal Church, Louisville
Rev. Lauren Jones Mayfield, Highland Baptist Church, Louisville
Rev. Emily W. Miller, Louisville Seminary, PC(USA)
Rev. John Odom, Mid-Kentucky Presbytery, Presbyterian Church (USA)
Rev. Joe Phelps, Highland Baptist Church, Louisville
Rev. Anita Roper, Highland Baptist Church Louisville
Chris Sanders, deacon, Ridgewood Baptist Church, Louisville
Rev. Adam Schell, Melbourne Heights Baptist Church, Louisville
Rev. Marian McClure Taylor
Rev. Jane Larsen-Wigger, Crescent Hill Presbyterian Church, Louisville