Mississippi to remove Confederate emblem from flag
Before the Mississippi state legislature voted June 28 and Governor Tate Reeves (R) signed the bill to remove the Confederate battle emblem from the state’s flag, the Mississippi Baptist Convention (MBC) joined groups advocating for the change. Discussion around the Mississippi state flag is a “moral issue,” said the MBC, the state’s largest Christian group.
“While some may see the current flag as a celebration of heritage, a significant portion of our state sees it as a relic of racism and a symbol of hatred,” the MBC said in a statement. “The racial overtones of this flag’s appearance make this discussion a moral issue.”
With around 500,000 church members, the Convention represents one-sixth of Mississippi’s population. The state’s flag is the last in the U.S. to include the Confederate emblem.
Klansman convicted in 1963 church bombing dies in jail
Thomas Blanton, sentenced to life in prison in 2001 for a bombing that killed four African American girls in Birmingham, died June 26 at the age of 82. Blanton and two other Ku Klux Klansmen were convicted of orchestrating the single deadliest attack of the civil rights movement. The bombing of 16th St. Baptist Church on Sept. 15, 1963, killed four girls: Denise McNair, 11, and Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, and Carole Robertson, all 14.
Cedarville president reinstated, Baptist trustee resigns
After an investigation into the hiring of a staff member accused of sexual abuse, trustees of Cedarville University have reinstated President Thomas White. The president was placed on administrative leave May 1, after it was revealed Cedarville hired former theology professor Anthony Moore just months after he was fired and declared unfit for ministry by The Village Church in Texas.
Trustees said White had acknowledged mistakes in the hiring process and expressed remorse, but two board members resigned over the decision to reinstate him, including Southeastern Seminary President Danny Akin.
Study measures how COVID-19 has affected black churches
A large majority of churchgoers who attend a black church say their church has responded well to the COVID-19 crisis. While many are concerned about the long-term impact of the pandemic on their church, Barna reports, 89% agree that in three to five years, their congregation will be stable and thriving.
Sources: Associated Press, Christianity Today, Baptist Press, Barna Research, Christian Post