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I wonder about this group...with their hands out buying into that faith-based bullschit the at relieves gov't of its responsibility...........


Black Southern Baptist Pastors Say Slavery Issue Far in the Past news briefs are purchased from The Associated Press or written by the staff of They cannot be duplicated or reproduced in any way. Our in-depth articles, published six days a week, are reported and written by our staff of full-time journalists.

It might seem odd for a black person to join a faith that once supported slavery, but black pastors of the Southern Baptist Convention say much has changed since the issue split Baptists in America nearly 200 years ago.

"Yesterday and today, they are different days," said Robert Anderson, president of the African American Fellowship of the Southern Baptist Convention and pastor of Colonial Baptist Church in Randallstown, Md. "The convention as a whole has come a long way, obviously from the days of slavery and Jim Crow. We have a lot more African Americans involved in the convention than ever before."

Anderson will be among a number of blacks attending the annual two-day meeting of the convention beginning Tuesday in Nashville. About 3,000 black churches are affiliated with the convention of about 16.2 million members.

It's a far cry from the denomination's early years when such incorporation was unheard of.

During the 1830s tensions among Baptists in the North and South began to mount, mainly over slavery. It was a major economic resource in the South and was embraced by Baptists there. But those in the North opposed it, contending God doesn't condone treating one race superior to the other.

The bickering came to a head in May of 1845 when Baptists in the South met and organized the Southern Baptist Convention.

But since then, Anderson said, Southern Baptists have taken steps to repair their tarnished past. One of the biggest moves came about 10 years ago when the convention issued a resolution apologizing for slavery.

In addition, the denomination has 23 ethnic fellowships, of which the black group is among the largest with nearly 300 churches.

Robert Parham, executive director of the Baptist Center for Ethics in Nashville, said he still finds it unusual that blacks in particular would support a denomination that strongly supports President Bush, who received less than 10 percent of the black vote in the last election.

But E. W. McCall Sr., pastor of St. Stephen Baptist Church in La Puente, Calif., said many of the convention's black members are Republicans who are frustrated with the Democratic Party's support of abortion and homosexuality.

He also said Southern Baptists don't have the slave-mentality they had nearly three centuries ago. (AP)