On the Red Hills of Georgia

Wednesday Night, Opening Session

Wow! It was a great
feeling to be a part of a historic moment as Baptists of at least 30 racially,
geographically, and theologically diverse Baptist groups. The first thing I noticed was the richness of
the worship, as music was performed and led by a diversity of races and
backgrounds, as a prelude to what its like in Heaven. 

John Shaw, President of the National Baptist




and Pastor of White Rock Baptist Church in


, preached “The Bible Speaks
about Peace with Justice.” He started
out slow, probably because of a woman who kept screaming, “Hallelujah” as an
encore to the worship time. He picked up
the pace and gave an electrifying presentation of the ministry of Jesus
relating to peace and justice. He
centered on the words of Jesus to the excluding, legalistic Pharisees, quoting
his “Before Abraham was born, I am.” 

Jimmy Carter highlighted the development and basis for the
New Baptist Covenant, reminding us of the significance of people gathering like
this, the first time in 160 years to have such diversity as Baptists. He spoke of the need for cooperation and the
priority of focusing in on the Gospel rather than our various interpretations
of the Gospel. He acknowledged the
differences we do have, but pointed to a higher path of cooperating on what
matters most—the Gospel. His words
provide a great frame and foundation for the future development of covenant

Tomorrow (actually now today.  I’m having wifi issues and am behind): Tony
Campolo and Marian Wright Edleman are keynote speakers. I’ll also attend some Special Interest
Sessions and hope to get some good blog content there as well.

About John Henson

I am Pastor of Church for the Highlands in the Highland neighborhood of Shreveport, LA. I am also Chaplain of Volunteers of America of North Louisiana. I am husband to Jinny and father to a middle-schooler named Jack. Most of my time is taken up with starting a church, but I love running, a good cigar, and reading what mystics have lived and written. Member of Citizen Potawatomi Nation.
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