Incoming Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Moderator Carol McEntyre, senior pastor at First Baptist Church in Columbia, Missouri, urged those watching CBF’s virtual general assembly to work for racial justice. Although originally planned to occur in Atlanta, Georgia, the 2020 CBF general assembly moved to an online format due to coronavirus. McEntyre spoke during the Friday morning (June 26) plenary that streamed on Facebook Premiere and Vimeo.
During her remarks as she assumed the one-year role as CBF moderator, McEntyre shared her hopes and dreams for the Fellowship. McEntyre talked about her experience in the role of moderator-elect serving on the Discovery Team of the Toward Bold Faithfulness initiative, noting that during a survey conducted in January the Fellowship “named engaging diversity as one of the most urgent needs of our congregations and CBF at large” prior to the coronavirus pandemic and the killing of George Floyd.
“We also named racial reconciliation and justice as one of the most urgent needs of our local communities,” McEntyre said. “In addition, we named desiring diversity and aspirational diversity as one of the gifts of our churches and our Fellowship. So there is a hope, a longing, and a desire for more diversity within our churches and within CBF. The individuals and churches who make up our Fellowship were thinking about diversity and racial justice prior to the events of the last few weeks. This has been on our hearts and minds. I wonder if perhaps the Holy Spirit has been preparing us to respond to this pivotal moment in our country’s history.”
McEntyre noted that while churches in CBF are in different places of engagement with regard to racial justice and reconciliation, her hope is that congregations will take action.
“My dream for the Fellowship is that we would seize this moment, this moment filled with possibility and hope and equip our churches to take the next step on their journey,” she said. “The time to work for racial justice is now.”
The session, streamed live from Johns Creek Baptist Church in Alpharetta, Georgia, also included a vote in which virtual attendees adopted a Governing Board proposal to adjust the 2020-2021 budget process and elected nominees to the CBF’s governance bodies that included new CBF Moderator-Elect Patricia Wilson, a professor at Baylor Law School in Waco, Texas.