June 19, 2020
By Jeff Huett
DECATUR, Ga.—On the annual day of celebration of emancipation from slavery in United States, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship in partnership with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Foundation, is launching a fund and a campaign to support the current and long-term racial justice and inclusion work of the Fellowship.
The fund is named after the Rev. Dr. Emmanuel McCall, a trailblazer who has spent much of his life working for racial justice—as a student, denominational leader, pastor, author and scholar.
The Emmanuel McCall Racial Equity Fund will support the work of the Fellowship that includes:
- Increasing diversity and inclusion work led by CBF Global staff and the Pan African Koinonia, formerly known as CBF’s African American Network
- Initiating intentional spiritual and leadership development opportunities for Black members of CBF
- Fostering partnerships in CBF state and regional organizations to increase diversity
- Developing and distributing diversity, equity and inclusion resources for CBF churches
- Developing and distributing racial justice resources for CBF churches
- Initiating repair work opportunities for CBF Global, CBF state and regional organizations and local churches with and for the Black community, including social enterprise opportunities, micro-lending initiatives, a rescue loan program and targeted scholarships for seminarians and Black college partners. These partners include Arkansas Baptist College and Simmons College of Kentucky.
Recognizing the need for these funds to go toward current work and the importance of sustaining the work long-term, 75 percent of the funds raised will go toward immediate work, and 25 percent will be set aside for a longer-term fund. The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Foundation will steward the long-term fund with the goal of reaching $4 million within five years. A robust long-term fund will ensure that the work of racial equity will be sustained for the greatest long-term impact.
With a $400,000 goal in 2020, CBF invites at least 20 congregations or individuals who will give $5,000 or more to the Emmanuel McCall Racial Equity fund by August 20. These 20 congregations or individuals will be recognized as Foundational donors as they seed the fund. In addition, CBF invites additional congregations and individuals to participate at different levels of giving: $2,500 level, $1,000 level, $500 level and $250 level. These congregations and individuals contributing to the fund between today and August 20 will be recognized as Pace Setters. It was August 20, 1619, that the first enslaved Africans arrive in America.
Churches and individuals wanting to donate to the fund should visit www.cbf.net/racialequity.
McCall is pastor-emeritus of the First Baptist Church of East Point, Ga. From 1970-1996, he served as a visiting faculty member at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. During this time, he developed the Black Church Studies program that was used by three Southern Baptist seminaries. He was an adjunct professor at Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology from 1996 to 2016. McCall currently serves on the CBF Governing Board.
Paul Baxley, executive coordinator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, said “the establishment of the McCall Racial Equity Fund on Juneteenth is our Fellowship’s response to the prophet Micah’s call to ‘do justice’ and one way we are seeking to follow Jesus in his mission of bringing ‘release to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind and to let the oppressed go free.’”
“We know these days require not only that we speak for justice and real racial reconciliation, but that we offer ourselves generously and fully to seeking what we speak,” Baxley said. “The McCall Racial Equity Fund allows our congregations and individuals to fund initiatives to make our Fellowship more authentically and honestly diverse, equip our congregations to foster justice and reconciliation in their lives and communities, and also pursue meaningful repair of the brokenness of many generations of discrimination and oppression based on race. My family and I will be making a contribution to establishing this fund, and I hope you will join us.”
Shauw Chin Capps, president of the CBF Foundation and chief legacy officer for CBF, said the Foundation is honored to be a partner in the work toward racial equity.
“For such a time we are in, God’s call toward justice and mercy requires a faithful and generous response in the use of our resources,” Capps said. “Setting aside a portion of the funds raised to go toward a long-term fund is a recognition that this is long-haul work and thus requires a funding model that will sustain us into the future.”
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.