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KEEPING THE FAITH IN SPITE OF FERGUSON

BY WILLIAM DWIGHT MCKISSIC, SR.

Although I disagree with the Darren Wilson verdict as I understand the facts of this case, I am committed to the notion that a jury verdict must be respected and responded to with civility and restraint, even when there is vehement disagreement.

Therefore, I deplore and decry the rioting, looting, violence, burning, anarchy, and acts of disrespect, rebellion, and violence exhibited toward police and civil authorities in Ferguson, and elsewhere.

I am absolutely convinced that Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin would both be alive if the persons that killed them had not profiled them. Darren Wilson acknowledged that he assessed Michael Brown’s demeanor as “demonic” when he encountered him. There was nothing inherently “demonic” about Michael Brown or “suspicious” about Trayvon. Wilson nor Zimmerman would not have pulled the trigger as quickly—or in Wilson’s case, twelve times with Mike Brown being over 100 feet away when the last and fatal shot was fired—if they had encountered Justin Bieber, Johnny Manziel, or the Jonas brothers, even in the exact same locations and conditions that they encountered and killed Mike Brown and Trayvon Martin.

Dr. Richard Land genuinely apologized, and I believe that he was sincere concerning his Trayvon racial commentary. Yet, I believe that he honestly revealed a mindset that many Anglos have when they encounter Blacks, particularly where there is no previously existing positive relationship. Dr. Land stated something to the effect that it was permissible to profile Blacks based on crime statistics. Wow! That mindset explains why Zimmerman killed Martin, and why Wilson killed Brown. That mindset explains why there is an inherent caution, fear, and distrust when minority males and females encounter police officers. You are viewed as guilty, until proven innocent. And in the case of Wilson and Zimmerman, they began to hold court on the streets and render the death penalty.

Furthermore, why was Officer Wilson not required to write an initial police report? What a huge advantage he had to wait until he had knowledge of all the other testimonies and then go before the jury with his story. Why was Wilson not required to follow policy and make a report of the Brown shooting or be fired for failing to do so? It is that kind of behavior that leads to distrust between Blacks and the police departments of America. Why have Wilson’s supervisor not been reprimanded for not forcing him to complete a report near the time of the killing?

Perhaps Mike Brown’s fate was sealed when the video was revealed of him being engaged in a robbery. Black male life in America is generally devalued, as evidenced by higher salaries White males generally receive for doing the same work. When one has engaged in criminal activity, he is devalued even the more. Nevertheless, Mike Brown’s criminal behavior in the store did not merit him being shot twelve times—unarmed—in the streets. Even if Mike Brown assaulted Officer Wilson, as the evidence tend to indicate, once he was 100 feet removed from him, the shot that killed him was unjustifiable; and none of us know for sure how the altercation began between Wilson and Brown; but young Black males need to learn that is a fight that they will not and should not win. Respect for the law is simply a non-negotiable.

One reason why integration is still a challenge socially and ecclesiastically in America is because of the racial profiling mindset that Wilson, Zimmerman, and (according to Land) the majority of the SBC personalities engage in. In practical terms, if a crime occurs during the course of the SBC Annual Meeting and I’m present at the time, Dave Miller, Alan Cross, Bart Barber and David Worley are not first and foremost considered suspects. But, based on crime statistics, according to Zimmerman, I become “suspicious”; according to Wilson, I become “demonic,” and according to Land, I become a suspect. That line of thinking is horrible.

I remember Ed Stetzer writing a beautiful refutation to the notion that Black men should be viewed as suspects based on crime statistics. For that I shall always be grateful. Again, in the exact same scenarios, if they had been young White males, they would not have been labeled demonic or suspicious. Rand Paul makes it clear that as a teenager his behavior was capable of doing exactly as Mike Brown was doing; but he would not have gotten killed by a policeman for doing the exact same thing. Rand Paul told the naked truth. Rarely do you find this type of honesty spoken by politicians on an issue like this. Rand Paul has spoken profoundly on this matter. He is a ray of hope in this cesspool of darkness. May his tribe increase!

America needs a voice at this hour that can bring healing, hope, and unity to our nation—red, yellow, black, and white. There must be a clarion call for all of us—no matter our race or position—to value one another’s life. Agree or disagree with the jury’s verdict, but the tragedy of Ferguson is the taking away of a life that did not have to be.

In 1884, the Baptist Standard published an account of Rev. Allen Ralph Griggs, an outstanding Texas Black Baptist pastor of that era, addressing a group of more than 5000 men, Black and White, who had gathered for a public hanging. His words regarding the destruction of human life were so powerful that “the men dispersed, heads bowed, hats in hand, tears in many eyes, no longer interested in the sad spectacle. “

May the Lord raise up a voice to speak to us at this hour, so that we might disperse with “heads bowed, hats in hands, tears in many eyes, [and] no longer interested in the sad spectacle”!

In the meantime, we must keep the faith in spite of Ferguson, and keep looking to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. We must also seek healing and understanding among the races.

This is a proposal and not an approved statement; it is a preliminary working document being prepared to submit to the GGMDA Board for approval.

WHY THE GALILEE GRIGGS MEMORIAL DISTRICT ASSOCIATION OF BAPTIST CHURCHES EXISTS

By William Dwight McKissic, Sr.
Servant/Moderator of the GGMDABC And
Senior Pastor of Cornerstone Church, Arlington, TX

Impacting the Next Generation for the Kingdom
Psalm 145:4

I. INTRODUCTION AND TESTIMONIAL

Jesus established the church in order for the church to represent His Kingdom on planet earth. The church’s primary role is to be ambassadors of Christ’s Kingdom. Although the church and the Kingdom are not synonymous, they are interrelated and interdependent.

The theme of Jesus’ preaching was “the Kingdom of God.” Jesus said, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent.” (Luke 4:43). If the stated purpose of Jesus’ preaching was to preach the Kingdom of God, should that not also be the theme of our preaching and teaching? In Matthew 10:7, Jesus said to his disciples, “And as you go, preach, saying, The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

The church is a colony of the Kingdom of heaven on earth, assigned with the responsibility to preach the Kingdom of God throughout all the earth (Matthew 24:14). Jesus gave the keys of the Kingdom to the church so that the church would be vested with the authority to take the mission, message, ministry, and mandate of Jesus into all the world.

A Kingdom movement of churches can cooperatively fulfill the assignment that Jesus gave to the church to advance His Kingdom to the ends of the earth, far better than any one church can do separately.

The Cornerstone Baptist Church of Arlington, TX, joined the Galilee Griggs Memorial District Association of Baptist Churches in 2006, because we wanted to be a part of a larger Kingdom movement. We wanted to experience a Kingdom family where there was heartfelt identification. We wanted to be a part of a Kingdom family where we shared a common vision, values, and a Kingdom worldview. We longed to be connected to a family where unity exists, but, where they did not require uniformity on secondary and tertiary issues.

I have fond memories of associational gatherings in my native state of Arkansas. We wanted to join an Association of Churches that felt like home. We found the family that we were looking for in Galilee Griggs Association. I joined Galilee Griggs with zero aspirations to serve in leadership at any level. Succinctly stated, we simply were looking for a family. If God had wanted something other than a family, He would have had us to call Him something other than a Father. What a wonderful thing it is to be a part of the larger family of God! The Galilee Griggs Association is a Kingdom Family Fellowship of Churches dedicated to disciple-making in order to expand God’s Kingdom, edify God’s people, and empower the next generation to glorify the King and make His praise glorious.

In June 2014, one of the biggest surprises of my life occurred when I was asked and encouraged by leading pastors in the Association to run for Moderator. The upcoming election was to be held on October 1, 2014, at the Annual Session held in Fort Worth at the Community Baptist Church, Rev. Robert McGinty, Pastor. In National Baptist life, the Moderator and Director of Missions are one in the same office. Previously, I held no elected position or office of any kind in the Association. I felt most unqualified and unworthy to serve as Moderator. But after 21 days of prayer and fasting concerning the matter, I received a “green light” from God to run for the office of Moderator. I was committed to seeking God concerning His will in the matter for 40 days before I gave an answer to those asking me to run. After receiving the “green light” to run after 21days, I then spent the remaining 19 days making peace with losing.

The Lord reminded me during the remaining 19 days that it was not about me. It was about Him. It was not about my ego, reputation, or feelings, if I lost. It was solely about whether or not it was his will for me to run. During that time, I made peace with not only running, but losing the election. But as God would have it, the vote count was 93-40 in my favor on October 1.

My opponent was and is affable, formidable, fruitful, friendly, effective and prayerful. We have become great friends and prayer partners. He will fill in Cornerstone’s pulpit in December, while I’m away serving as a guest preacher in Tallahassee, FL. Galilee Griggs is a family. And the fellowship in the family is sweet. I was not convinced that I was going to win the election for Moderator on October 1, but I did know that no matter who won, the Galilee Griggs Memorial District Association of Baptist Churches would have been well served. I have the utmost appreciation and respect for Rev. A.C. Stapleton. As the 1st Vice Moderator, Rev. Stapleton led the Association in prayer for the new Moderator, when the election results were announced. What a class act! Rev. Stapleton has been one of my strongest supporters thus far since the election. Galilee Griggs is truly a Kingdom Family.

On Sunday, December 7, 3:00 p.m., at the Shiloh Baptist Church in Plano, TX, all four zones and the 32 churches that comprise the Galilee Griggs Association will meet together. We are calling this service “The Gathering: A Celebration of Unification.” At “The Gathering,” as the newly elected Moderator, I will cast a vision for the future of our Association.

At present, the primary Kingdom benefits that Galilee Griggs offers are fellowship and family. Family and fellowship is the cry, desire and need for many in America and around the world today. According to Bart Barber, who holds a PH.D. in Church History from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, when Baptist Associations were first formed in England in the late 1600’s the primary reason for forming Associations was to provide fellowship for Baptist believers and church leaders. The need for fellowship for the British Baptist was driven in part by the rejection and persecution that they sometimes experienced in the larger Anglican Church culture.

Ironically, Black Baptist Associations in America were formed for that very reason—a need for family and fellowship. They faced rejection and persecution quite often from their fellow White Baptists. Therefore, they formed their own churches and associations. The rejection and racism exhibited toward Black churches, that led to the formation of Black churches and associations in America are well documented in Paul Wayne Stripling’s Dissertation, “The Negro Excision From Baptist Churches In Texas (1861-1870).” Stripling’s dissertation was presented to the faculty of the School of Theology, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, TX, in May 1967.

There are pastors and churches today who still seek family and fellowship in Baptist Associations as they did in England and in America at the onset of Baptist Organizational life. The Galilee Griggs Association is standing in the gap prepared to fulfill that need today. There are pastors and churches who are inquiring about becoming a part of the Galilee Griggs Association who are looking—as I was—for family and fellowship. But many are also looking for corporate mission’s opportunities, leadership training, and discipling and mentoring in various aspects of church life and spiritual development, biblically-based Kingdom justice ministry, practical ministry enhancements, church-planting partnerships and more. Therefore, I present this introductory/promotional publication to those pastors and churches that may have an interest in joining the Galilee Griggs Family. We also present this document to those churches in our Association who ask, “Why does Galilee Griggs exist? And, what are the relevance, significance and value of Galilee Griggs to the local church.”

II. MISSION/PHILOSOPHY/THEOLOGY OF MINISTRY AND GOALS STATEMENT

The Galilee Griggs Memorial District Association of Baptist Churches exists to partner with local churches in North and Central Texas [and beyond] to advance God’s Kingdom agenda cooperatively—around the corner—and around the world.

To fulfill God’s Kingdom agenda, it is our goal to offer intensive quarterly Bible/theological studies, and fellowship periods to train leaders in things pertaining to the Kingdom of God (Acts 1:3).

To fulfill God’s Kingdom agenda, it is our goal to host an annual summer, dynamic, disciple-making event where Kingdom men, women, youth, and children are trained corporately and compartmentally.

To fulfill God’s Kingdom agenda, it is our goal to assist local churches to plant disciple-making churches locally, regionally, nationally, and globally.

To fulfill God’s Kingdom agenda, it is our goal to offer summer camp experiences for children and youth designed to edify them in the faith.

To fulfill God’s Kingdom Agenda, it is our goal to plan and implement annually, a regional, national, and international mission’s trip opportunity in order to obey the Great Commission. We plan to partner with ministries who are already successful in doing so to make this a reality.

To fulfill God’s Kingdom agenda, it is our goal to seek renewal and revitalization in the life of our churches by providing mentoring and discipling to church leaders in the areas of church growth/health and development and church revitalization.

To fulfill God’s Kingdom agenda, it is our goal to provide numerous scholarships to college, seminary, and graduate school students, and to the various schools who are committed to fulfilling God’s Kingdom agenda. We exist to impact the next generation for the Kingdom of God.

To fulfill God’s Kingdom agenda, it is our goal to address biblically Kingdom justice issues as we are led by the Spirit of God.

Disciple-making is the primary agenda of God’s Kingdom. The only legitimate purpose for an Association of Churches to exist is so that we can do more together than we could separately to advance God’s Kingdom agenda.

God’s universe centers around His Kingdom. At the heart of His Kingdom is His dear Son. His Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom. His Kingdom is to rule over all. The Holy Spirit is the governor and guide in His Kingdom. Christ is the King and embodiment of God’s Kingdom. He is the King Incarnate. The Bible refers to believers as citizens and ambassadors of His Kingdom.

God’s Kingdom is eternal. God’s Kingdom is universal. God’s Kingdom is supernatural. God’s Kingdom is practical. God’s Kingdom is relational. The Kingdom of God is God’s total answer for man’s total needs. Seeking the Kingdom and His righteousness is our first and foremost responsibility as a Kingdom citizen. The Kingdom of God is simply the rule of God, and the reign of God, in every realm of life—individual, family, church, and society. Believers are born again into the Kingdom of God, which makes available, or accessible to us “righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost” (Romans 14:17). The Kingdom of God is an experience of a vital relationship with Jesus Christ the King, and His Kingdom. Galilee Griggs belongs to and is grateful to be a part of Christ’s Kingdom family.

III. GALILEE GRIGGS PROPOSED DOCTRINAL CONFESSION AND STATEMENT OF COOPERATION

The Galilee Griggs Memorial District Association of Baptist Churches has never formally adopted an official Doctrinal Statement. It is assumed that we all embrace the Doctrinal Statement of the National Baptist Convention—I certainly do.

However, we need to be able to say to churches interested in joining us, as well as to those on board, what are the basic belief systems that we have. I offer a big tent belief system for inclusion, rather than a narrow rigid belief system that leads to exclusion. I am proposing the following Statement:

1. We affirm the authority, sufficiency, reliability, and consistency of God’s infallible revelation to man in both the Words of Holy Scripture and the Person of Jesus Christ.

2. We affirm that the one true God exists eternally in three Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and that these, being one God, are equal in deity, power, and glory. We further affirm both the full humanity and deity of Jesus Christ, the Person and work of the Holy Spirit, and the eternal love of the Father for the world.

3. We affirm Christ’s virgin birth, substitutionary death for sinners, His resurrection from the dead, His second coming, and His gift of eternal life to all who are in relationship with Him by grace through faith alone.

4. We affirm that God has ordained the proclamation of the gospel message by His people in the power of the Holy Spirit, who is both the gift of God to the church and the giver of diverse spiritual gifts. We also affirm baptism as the public testimony for those who have come into covenant relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

5. We affirm that those apart from a relationship with Christ will face God’s judgment.

The sole authority for faith and practice among the Galilee Griggs Memorial District Association of Baptist Churches is the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. Doctrinal confessions, including this one, are only guides to interpreting the Bible, and have no authority over the conscience. Christians have historically differed in interpretation on finer points of doctrine not essential to Christian faith. Yet, with all our differences on secondary issues, we who comprise the Galilee Griggs Memorial District Association of Baptist Churches desire to cooperate in ministry because of our love for the gospel.

Therefore, we intentionally put aside our differences on secondary issues for the sake of cooperative gospel ministry. We desire unity in the essentials, liberty in the non-essentials, but charity in all things. This statement of cooperation defines the necessary essentials which must be affirmed in order to participate in the cooperative ministries of the Galilee Griggs Memorial District Association of Baptist Churches.

We desire to send to the world and our evangelical brethren through this statement of cooperation a sure and certain message: It is the gospel that unites us, and what unites us is greater than anything that might potentially divide us. Because the Kingdom supersedes us being Baptist, we propose to cooperate and fellowship with and welcome into our membership any Bible-believing church who could affirm our doctrinal statement and statement of cooperation…but who may not carry our Baptist label. Because the Kingdom supersedes our racial origins, we must welcome churches and people of all racial, ethnic and economic backgrounds who affirm Jesus as Lord, and share our Baptist and Biblical conviction and our Kingdom identity.

IV. BRIEF HISTORY AND VISION OF THE GALILEE GRIGGS ASSOCIATION

The Galilee Griggs Association may be able to find a blueprint for her future by looking at the foundations of her past. Names matter. The meaning of names is significant. The Hebrews and Africans historically have tended to name their children with intentionality; understanding that every time you call a person’s name, in a sense you are reinforcing or pronouncing affirmation relative to the meaning of the names.

“The Galilee Griggs Memorial District Association”—which was the original official name—is the combination of two Associations. “The Griggs Memorial Baptist Association” was organized in 1929, at Hopewell Baptist Church, Denison, Texas. This Association was named in honor of Rev. A.R. Griggs, a prominent pastor and educator who served primarily in North Texas and whose lifespan covered from 1850-1922. Dr. Griggs was born into slavery. In 2004 the “Herald Democrat”—the local Denison, TX, newspaper headline reads: “Griggs looms large in church history.” His accomplishments are too numerous to list them here, but suffice it to say, that he founded the first high school to educate African Americans in Dallas. He founded the first newspaper targeting African Americans in Texas. He was the co-founder of Bishop College, Dallas; Co-founder of American Baptist Theological Seminary, Nashville—then named—The National Baptist Theological Seminary and Training School. He organized more than 50 churches, including the historic and influential Good Street Baptist Church, Dallas, TX. Dr. Griggs, who is referred to as “Bishop Griggs” in a “History of Negro Louisiana Baptists from 1804-1914” by William Hicks—was truly a pioneer. Hicks’ book was published by the National Baptist Publishing Board in 1915. “Bishop A.R. Griggs” is mentioned by Hicks as “Superintendent of Missions” and “State Evangelist” of the Texas State Convention in the early years of Black Baptist organized work in Texas.

He was born in Hancock County, GA, in 1850 and sold at auction and brought to Texas when he was 9 years old. He entered school for the first time when he was in his 30’s. He co-founded Bryan’s Orphan Home, a home for orphaned African American Children in Texas. He formed a working relationship with Dr. R.C. Buckner and Rev. L. W. Coleman, Southern Baptist Texas leaders—in the early 1900’s—to work in a cooperative mutually reciprocal beneficial way for Texas National Baptist and Southern Baptist. An eight-acre city park is named after him in Uptown Dallas, which will include a statue in memory of him. Griggs “looms large in church history.” He was Moderator of the Northwest District Association for 20 years. He died in 1922, and seven years later a District Association was birth in his honor that comprised of churches then and now that range as far North as Denison and as far South as Corsicana. Rev. Griggs was granted an honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree from Kentucky State University in 1891.

Griggs was ordained a missionary in 1873. He served as pastor of New Hope Baptist Church (Dallas’ oldest Black Baptist Church) in 1875, and was among the trustees of an 1879 purchase of Freedman’s Cemetery land. Alan Griggs impacted Dallas and all of North Texas, spiritually, socially, educationally and economically in an incredible manner. It is time for his namesake, the Galilee Griggs Memorial District Association, to rekindle his vision, missions, education, and evangelism which was his heartbeat.

In keeping with the spirit of Alan R. Griggs, the Galilee Griggs Association must focus on Christian education/disciple-making, church planting, benevolence, missions, church development, revitalization and networking with other Baptist and evangelical groups across racial lines for Kingdom building purposes.

In September 1929 at the Galilee Baptist Church in Ennis, Texas, another Association was organized in a meeting called by Rev. E. A. Evans, pastor of the Galilee Baptist Church in Ennis, Texas. The Association based in Ennis was named the Galilee Baptist Association.

In 1930, Rev. U.S. Patterson, pastor of the Sixth Avenue Baptist Church in Corsicana, Texas, invited the two Associations—Griggs Memorial Baptist and Galilee Baptist—to meet together at the Sixth Avenue Baptist Church in Corsicana, Texas. There, the two Associations decided to merge, and the new name for this Association would be “Galilee Griggs Memorial District Association.” The Association was later incorporated by the State of Texas and revised its name to “Galilee Griggs Memorial District Association of Baptist Churches, Inc.”

At one point at least 78 churches were regular in attendance and registration in the Galilee Griggs Association. In the most recent Association, 32 churches registered and sent delegates.

Throughout her history, Galilee Griggs has supported the mission endeavors of the National Baptist Convention, given financial support to local Dallas Ministers Training Institutes; engaged in Haiti Children Mission projects, and supported the Shoe Drive, assisting The Buckner Children’s Home. 7.35 acres of land, located in Lancaster, Texas, has been purchased for future Kingdom expansion, during the tenure of Moderator Donald Parish.

There have been 11 Moderators who have served in the history of this Association:

• Dr. S.T. Alexander 1930-1934
• Rev. R.T. Andrews 1934-1938
• Rev. W.A. Sparks 1938-1942
• Dr. B.R. Riley 1942-1963
• Dr. F.D. Davis 1964-1969
• Rev. Robert L. Parish, Sr. 1969-1988
• Rev. A.F. Thomas 1988-1933
• Rev. C.S. Trimble September 1993 – November 1993
• Rev. E.D. Ingram 1994-2005; Moderator Emeritus – 2006-Present
• Dr. Donald Parish 2005-2014
• Dr. Wm. Dwight McKissic, Sr. 2014-Present

I am absolutely awestruck and inspired by the life and legacy of Dr. Griggs. “He being dead, yet speaketh.” He provides not only the inspirational foundation for our past, but also, the blueprint for our future. The Great Commission was given by Jesus at Galilee (Matthew 28:16-20). The names “Galilee” and “Griggs” are significant, and their significance can only be enhanced as those names are submitted to the Kingdom of God. The Galilee Griggs Association will continue to be a Kingdom Family Fellowship of Churches doing the King’s business and impacting the next generation until the King comes.

Our VISION is to plant, revitalize, disciple and minister to churches globally and locally, where we, together, press into God’s Kingdom, in the spirit of A.R. Griggs (Luke 16:16).

Denominationalism, although a part of the Kingdom, must bow to the Kingdom. The Kingdom of God supersedes denominationalism and race. Therefore, we must consider allowing churches that ascribe to our vision, value, and belief system an opportunity to join Galilee Griggs who may not carry our Baptist label or our African Race.

V. BENEFITS OF BELONGING TO THE GALILEE GRIGGS KINGDOM FAMILY

1. The blessing of belonging to a Kingdom brotherhood and sisterhood that provides all the benefits and require the responsibilities that are a part of belonging to a family (Psalm 133:1). Associations provide fellowships for churches who desire fellowship.
2. The privilege of being able to access some meaningful, relevant, dynamic, and insightful disciple training opportunities within the context of family relationships.
3. The privilege of being able to receive and give ministry to others within a familiar relational context.
4. Engage in opportunities to participate in local, regional, national, and international missions’ projects within a familiar relational context.
5. Once we secure the group tax exemption, member churches will have the legal protection and status of all charitable gifts of the church congregation being tax deductible because of membership in Galilee Griggs.
6. Partner with Texas Baptist Men and other mission partners for disaster relief and benevolent work.
7. Upon request provide support services to churches seeking counsel while the church is searching for a pastor, in need of conflict resolution, or engaged in doctrinal disputes.
8. To be able to receive consultation on best practices in local church ministry upon request.
9. To have highly successful and seasoned senior pastors available to mentor younger and less experienced pastors upon request.
10. To receive encouragement, counsel, and potentially financial support for churches seeking support for qualified church planters.

VI. WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

The Galilee Griggs Association—a Kingdom Family Fellowship of Churches will soon be forming the following ministry teams to further develop and fulfill God’s Kingdom agenda for this Association:

Galilee Griggs Memorial District of Baptist Churches Proposed Ministry Teams

1. Constitution
2. International Missions
3. Church Planting
4. Theological Education/Dialogue
5. Economic Empowerment
6. Benevolence
7. Social Justice
8. Stewardship/Financial Literacy
9. Communications
10. Executive Council
11. Women’s Ministries
12. Men’s Ministries
13. Worship Ministries
14. Leadership Training
15. Youth and Children’s Ministries

VII. CORE VALUES: GALILEE GRIGGS MEMORIAL DISTRICT ASSOCIATION OF BAPTIST CHURCHES

I. EXALTATION/WORSHIP
“As they ministered to the Lord.” (Acts 13:2)

II. EVANGELISM/MISSIONS
“Now separate to me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them….and…..they sent them away.” (Acts 13:2, 3)

III. EDIFICATION/DISCIPLESHIP/THEOLOGICAL DIALOGUE/INTENSIVE STUDY
“so it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught many people.” (Acts 11:26)

Between 252 and 380 A.D. ten church councils were held as an outgrowth of the biblical Antioch Church school of thought in the city of Antioch that widely influenced the churches of that era.

IV. CHURCH PLANTING
“those who were scattered after the persecution … traveled as far as Antioch … And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord … and they sent out Barnabas to go as far as Antioch …. he … encouraged them all with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord.” (Acts 11:19, 21, 22, 23)

V. BENEVOLENCE/KINGDOM JUSTICE
“Then the disciples, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea.” (Acts 11:29)

VI. MULTI-ETHNIC LEADERSHIP/FELLOWSHIP/PARTNERSHIPS
“Barnabas [Cyprus-European] Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, [African] Manean [Roman] … men from Cyprus and Cyrene … Hellenist [Greeks]. (Acts 13:1, 11:20)

VII. IMPACTING AND SERVING THE CURRENT GENERATION AND THE NEXT
“For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption;

One generation shall praise Your works to another, And shall declare Your mighty acts. (Acts 13:36; Psalm 145:4)

Please pray with me that God breathe on Galilee Griggs and her vision. Know that GGMDA longs to provide a family and home to pastors and churches who desire a Kingdom family affiliation. Know that we long to be good stewards of your trust and gifts. Know that we are here to serve you. Your gifts will be used to fund and steward the vision. Feel free to contact us for more information. Contact either Dwight McKissic or Glorian Ford at our email addresses and church phone number listed below.

Thanks for reading this.

Humbly Submitted, For His Kingdom

Servant/Moderator

Wm. Dwight McKissic, Sr., dmckissic@cbcarlington.org

gford@ccbcarlington.org, Phone: 817.468.0083 ext. 205, Fax: 817.468.0309

5415 Matlock Road, Arlington, TX 76018

What Fathers and Mothers Need to Know About Ferguson

Psalm 78:5-7

By William Dwight McKissic, Sr.

On Saturday, August 9, about 2:15 p.m., a shooting took place in Ferguson, Missouri, that will forever be etched on the collective psyches of all Americans. Ferguson, Missouri, was not on the radar screen of most Americans until the news begin to circulate over the past several days, that yet another young African American male had been shot and killed by a police officer. Complete facts and details surrounding the young man’s death are still largely unknown. But what is known has triggered protests, looting, rioting and a police response that is reminiscent of the civil rights rallies and police responses in the 60’s. Ferguson is indeed a powder keg, and America and the world are watching.

What should fathers say to their families about Ferguson? What should pastors say to their congregations about Ferguson? What would Christ, through His preachers—Black, White, Asian and Hispanic—say to America about Ferguson?

The Bible is clear that it becomes the responsibility of fathers to interpret history for their children and to provide for them lessons that lead to hope in God.

“Remember the days of old, Consider the years of many generations. Ask your father, and he will show you; Your elders, and they will tell you:” (Deuteronomy 32:7)

5For He established a testimony in Jacob, And appointed a law in Israel, Which He commanded our fathers, That they should make them known to their children;

That the generation to come might know them,The children who would be born,

That they may arise and declare them to their children,

That they may set their hope in God, And not forget the works of God,

But keep His commandments; (Psalm 78:5-7)

“1Hear, my children, the instruction of a father, And give attention to know understanding…

When I was my father’s son, Tender and the only one in the sight of my mother,

He also taught me, and said to me: “Let your heart retain my words;

Keep my commands, and live.” (Proverbs 4:1, 3, 4)

The Bible commands fathers to instruct their children and to specifically instruct them concerning historical matters, in a manner that they “may set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments.” What fathers need to know about Ferguson is what is it that they should teach their children as a result of what took place there.

The lesson that every child needs to learn from Ferguson is this:  I cannot control what the policeman can do toward me, but I can control how I will respond to him or her. Therefore, my response should be respectful, submissive and strategic toward protecting my best interest and Kingdom concerns.

I. Ferguson Reminds Us that We live in A Fallen World

The Bible portrays heaven as a place of total tranquility, racial inclusion, peace and harmony.

And they sang a new song, saying:

“You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,

10 And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.”  (Revelation 5:9-10)

Everybody in heaven is redeemed. Everybody on earth is not. There is no racial strife, mistrust, bickering and rioting in heaven. There is division, disunity, distrust and disfavor that often characterize race relations on earth. Men are separated from each other, because they are separated from God.

The first murder recorded in Scripture was between two brothers. Even among people of the same family and race there is confusion, disunity, and bickering, because we live in a fallen world. The first fight in the early church was among members of the same church at Jerusalem, but one group (Greeks) leveled charges of inequitable distribution against another group (Jews) in Acts 6:1-7. Because we live in a fallen world tainted by sin, we see the fall-out in our families and in the church. Consequently, we inevitably will see it in our society.

Ferguson, Missouri, is symbolic and symptomatic of the fallen nature of mankind that’s evident universally. As Black families moved into Ferguson beginning in the 70’s, Whites began to flee. In 1980 the town was 85% White and 14 % Black; by 2010 it was 29% White and 69% Black. However, the Ferguson Police Department consists of 53 officers, of which only three are Black. The largely White police force stops Black residents far out of proportion to their population, according to statistics kept by the state’s Attorney General. Blacks account for 86% of the traffic stops in the city, and 93% of the arrests after those stops. In St. Louis County there have been allegations of widespread racial profiling. Ferguson reminds us that racism is still a reality in our world in hiring practices and in police patrol—racial profiling.

The consequences of this profiling can be deadly for many. A BLACK MAN IS KILLED IN THE U.S. EVERY 28 HOURS BY POLICE is the title of an article written by Adam Houston. Houston maintains that police officers, security guards or self-appointed vigilantes extra-judicially killed at least 313 African Americans in 2012. Ferguson hosted the most recent high profile case of such killing. Ferguson reminds us that we live in a fallen world. Jesus said in this world, ye shall have trials and tribulations (John 16:33). Jesus wept over Jerusalem because of their propensity toward violence. The Black-on-Black crime in Chicago, Pine Bluff, Arkansas, Detroit, Dallas, and New Orleans is equally indicative of the fact that we live in a fallen world. Cain is still slaying Abel. How unfortunate!

II.  Ferguson Reminds Us That Obeying God Is Crucial. The Redeemed Ought To Live Like The Redeemed.

The 18-year-old, 6’4”, 292 pound African American male who was headed to college but whose life abruptly ended, name was Michael Brown. The policeman who shot and killed him was named Darren Wilson. I have no knowledge of the spiritual condition of either. But what I do know is that the death of Michael Brown could have and should have been avoided.

We certainly grieve with Michael Brown’s family. The Wilson family is also in a state of befuddlement. I hope that both men were redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, but I simply don’t know. What I do know is that Brown’s family and the Wilson’s family lives have been radically and inalterably changed. Neither family is pleased with the state they are currently in. Both families, no doubt, point the finger at the other for causing their disruption and pain.

The truth is that there was wrong on both sides of this table. The battle is now over who shares the lion share of the blame for the killing—Brown or Wilson.

Without taking sides in this issue, while awaiting more facts to evolve, it appears to me that if news reports are accurate, that Wilson shot Brown, multiple times, from a distance of 35 feet while he was in a surrender posture, Wilson should and could have exercised restraint, inasmuch, at the time Wilson did not view Brown as a suspect. Hindsight is always 20-20. But I’m sure Wilson regrets not having exercised restraint and patience.

As for Brown, if it’s true that he was walking in the middle of the street and blocking traffic that was/is nonsensical, in addition to being against the law. Additionally, he handed his critics a stick to fight him with by robbing a store of some cheap cigars. Yes, we all have made some youthful mistakes, and perhaps committed some crimes during our tender years that we wish we could recall. Yet, unfortunately, in the minds of many, this somehow renders Brown complicit in his own death. There is no connection between the robbery and the shooting. Yet, in the court of public opinion, Brown is somehow being held liable as a result; and he has only himself to blame for that.

Because we do live in a fallen world, my mother use to tell her children, “make sure that you don’t hand the devil the stick to hit you with, because he will sure use it.” May all young men, regardless of color, learn a lesson from Brown’s failure!

If reports of Brown assaulting Wilson are true, and attempting to take his pistol, may the lesson learned be: (1) respect authority, (2) obey authority, (3) submit to authority, and (4) honor authority. (Romans 17:1). He who lives by the sword, may also die by the sword. Violence, robbery, and disrespect toward authority are surefire ways to create problems with parents, police and peers. These things should be avoided at all cost.

Justice is wrapped up in the Kingdom package (Amos 5:24; Micah 5:6). While seeking justice, I should not engage in unjust activities. I must disassociate myself from evil (Psalm 1:1-2). While combating racism, I should not practice racism (Malachi 2:10). God will bless the person who honors authority (Ephesians 6:4). God will bless the person who is meek (Matthew 5:5). God will bless the person who honors His laws (Proverb 28:7). A man that doeth violence will suffer (Acts 28:17). The key to longevity and a peaceable life are submission to authority and to run from evil (I Peter 3:10-14).

May the life of Michael Brown be redeemed by posthumously teaching lessons to parents and children that might lead to better outcomes! May the life of Darren Wilson be redeemed by teaching lessons to authority figures that a nation and an entire race of people can be put ill at ease through one act of intemperance!

Ultimately, Ferguson teaches us that true justice, equality, love, brotherhood and peace will not be found in this world but through the blood of Jesus (Ephesians 2:13-14)…for truly it is at the foot of the Cross where true brotherhood is found. If America gathers at the Cross, we can find healing, help and hope for our present predicament.

ANSWERS TO REPORTERS’ QUESTIONS REGARDING THE BALTIMORE SBC
By Wm. Dwight McKissic, Sr.
June 2014

1. Why did you nominate Pastor Kim for SBC president?

Dr. Kim is bilingual; he has conducted 40 international mission trips; the IMB has appointed 50 missionaries from his congregation. Dr. Kim has successfully planted five multicultural churches; the church he has pastored over the past 23 years—although predominately Korean—has a healthy admixture of Hispanics, Africans, African Americans and Asians. His church represents the highest percentage CP giving of the three candidates. For these reasons we need to elect Dr. Kim, the most qualified candidate, to help us lead the Great Commission Resurgence.

2. What kind of message do you think his election would send about the SBC’s commitment to diversity?

On the heels of the Luter election, Dr. Kim’s election will say to the SBC constituency and to the entire world that the SBC has turned the corner and is willing to include people from all nations of the earth as leaders in our Convention so that we can reach all the people of the earth. As it relates to carrying out the Great Commission and increasing Cooperate Program giving, there is no better person to elect than Dr. Kim.

During the 2012 SBC Presidential election, Dr. Fred Luter stated in a post-election news conference:

“If we stop appointing African-Americans, Asians, and Hispanics to leadership positions after this, we’ve failed.” (http://www.thenewamerican.com/culture/faith-and-morals/item/11792-southern-baptist-convention-elects-first-black-national-leader)

3. What kind of message would Pastor Floyd’s election send?

Dr. Floyd is a good man and has a strong track record; However, we have a candidate who is equally qualified, who is from a region of the country we seek to reach with the Gospel, who has been effective in that region, and who represents the very diversity to which we aspire.

4. Also, do you expect a lot of discussion at the meeting about the New Heart Community Church’s decision to stop condemning homosexuality and seek a “third way” where members agree to disagree?

The focus of our message is not homosexuality. It is God revealing Himself fully and finally in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus’ Lordship is over every area of one’s life, including one’s sexuality; and God has spoken with abundant clarity to those issues—so when a church diverts from that clear teaching, Southern Baptists are under obligation to respond. But my hope is that our main message—even in the midst of this discussion—will continue to be focused on Jesus, who gave His life so that anyone who believes can be redeemed.

5. Are you planning to introduce any resolutions from the floor this year?

Yes, I’ve submitted three resolutions to the Resolution Committee, and they will be considered alongside many more.

 

 

WHY PASTOR DENNIS MANPOONG KIM, TH.D, NEEDS TO BE THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION

by
WILLIAM DWIGHT MCKISSIC, SR.
MAY 20, 2014

If God wanted something other than a family, He would have had us to call Him something other than Father. The first recorded words of God’s Son make it crystal clear that the Father’s business is the temple business; and the temple business is discipleship. While searching for their Son for three days, Joseph and Mary found Him in the temple being discipled and asking questions. When Jesus’ parents asked Him to give an account for His absence, His reply was: “Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49) At 12 years of age, Jesus understood His mission, and He also set the agenda for His church: “The Father’s Business.”

Jesus declared His relationship to His heavenly Father as preeminent over His relationship to His earthly father and mother, yet He subjected Himself to them, as an example to us (Luke 2:51). Jesus also declared His desire to please His heavenly Father was the driving passion of His life. The heartbeat of God was for His temple—the place where God and man meet. The heartbeat of God’s Son was for the business of His Father, which was the temple business; and the temple business was, and is, a discipleship business.

While seated in the temple, Jesus understood that in a few years the very building that He was seated in would be destroyed (Mark 13:1-2). He knew, ultimately, His body would have to fulfill the purpose of the temple—and that is to be a meeting place for God and man (John 2:21). Jesus also understood that man’s body would become the temple of God’s Spirit (I Corinthians 6:19).

It was of utmost importance to Jesus—being our example—that He related to God as Father. It is of utmost importance to Jesus that we relate to Him as God’s Son. It is of utmost importance to Jesus that we receive God’s Spirit in order to be born again into God’s Kingdom family. Even the Trinity operates as a family. The Father’s business is the temple business. By relating to God as Father in the temple, Jesus is making it clear that the temple business is a family business. And according to Jesus, His family consist of those who “do the will of God, the same is His brother, sister, and mother” (Mark 3:35). The temple business is a family enterprise.

God is looking for a family to conduct His Kingdom business. The Kingdom business is to build a family of disciples. He sent Jesus to earth to gather His family. He prayed for future family members, which would include the SBC (John 17:20). Jesus prayed to His Father that His Kingdom family would be “one…that the world may believe that thou has sent me” (John 17:21). According to Jesus, unless the world sees His family as “one” they may not believe in His incarnation. That’s why it’s so important that the SBC becomes a unified family, that reflect in her leadership and followship, people from “every kindred, tongue, tribe, and nation” (Revelation 5:8-9). God’s plan from the beginning of redemptive history has been global. According to Paul, God Himself preached the gospel to Abraham; and at the heart of His gospel was the seed of Abraham, Jesus Christ, and the “families of the earth” (Galatians 3:8; Genesis 12:1-3).

The Southern Baptist Convention must be about our Father’s business. The Southern Baptist Convention must represent and look like all the families of the earth. The Southern Baptist Convention must have as her leader, someone who has a passion for the Father’s business—which is the discipleship business.

Therefore, it is my intention to nominate Dr. Dennis Manpoong Kim as the next President of the Southern Baptist Convention. Dr. Kim’s heartbeat is evangelism and discipleship. He serves as the senior pastor of Global Mission Church of Greater Washington. He has been faithfully serving as the senior pastor of this church for 23 years with a great passion for evangelism, discipleship and world missions. Fulfilling the Great Commission is the all-consuming passion of his ministry. He has devoted his life in training believers as true Disciples of Christ. He has traveled to more than 40 different countries to witness the gospel, serve in various evangelistic ministries, and give lectures for local pastors and seminary students. He is fully bilingual in Korean and English with a keen understanding of multicultural world views. If elected, he will be an ambassador for the Kingdom and Southern Baptists that’s well qualified.

The Global Mission Church, under Dr. Kim’s leadership, has been faithfully partnering and collaborating with the Southern Baptist Convention in all areas of Christian ministry including cooperative program, world missions, local outreach, relief efforts, community service, and pastors’ fellowship. The Church has produced more than 50 career missionaries working for the International Mission Board. It has also planted five churches in various locations in America.

Either of the announced nominees for President, thus far, are fine men. But, our Convention will be better served if Dr. Kim wins the election. By virtue of training, experience, missions travel, Kingdom expansion, cooperation, church development and discipleship ministries, Dr. Kim is by far the most qualified, announced candidate for the Office of President of the Southern Baptist Convention. Dr. Kim’s church gave 4.5% of their church budget to the Cooperative Program last year, while engaged in local, state, national, and global missions as a church family.

Dr. Fred Luter, our current illustrious President, was quoted in a June 2012 Christianity Today article on the heels of his historic election, regarding future leadership in the SBC:

“I have no doubt you will see more change in having more ethnics in positions of authority. And eventually I have no doubt you’ll see one of us leading one of the entities.”

The election of Dr. Luter was an eye-opener, a wake-up call, that this was no longer “our daddy’s SBC.” Dr. Luter expressed faith that “ethnics” would assume positions of authority in the SBC—not just a solo African American—but “ethnics.” Dr. Kim will lead us to continue our growing ministry to a rapidly diversifying America with a strong and faithful gospel witness.

At the current time, all SBC entity heads are comprised of the majority, historic SBC ethnic group—Anglos. Thank God for the Anglos! The SBC would not be poised to be the only evangelical denomination in my judgment with the potential to become thoroughly inter-racial if it were not for the inclusiveness and Kingdom-minded hearts of Anglo SBC persons. Fred Luter certainly did not become President of the SBC with only ethnic minority votes. But, as America grows, we are becoming a more ethnically diverse nation every year. We need leadership that will help the SBC grow in that way as well. Dr. Kim will do a great job of leading us in our mission to bring the gospel to the people of America who are now from every nation, tribe, people, and tongue so that our churches will continue to look more and more like Heaven (Rev. 7:9).

Dr. Kim is, without a doubt, qualified. Dr. Kim pastors the largest SBC church in the state of Maryland, irrespective of race. The SBC will not have to compromise integrity, leadership, sound doctrine, CP support, missions/evangelism/discipleship commitment, or any expectation of an SBC President by electing Dr. Kim. His leadership among Maryland Baptists is significant in how he has grown a strong, vibrant ministry outside of the South and he is equipped and uniquely positioned to lead the Southern Baptist Convention in growing in areas and among cultures where we have not traditionally had a strong impact. We need the kind of leadership, expertise, and experience that Dr. Kim has gained from ministering outside of the South in a rapidly changing cultural situation.

Dr. Kim caught my eye at the Orlando SBC meeting, when he stood on the floor and made an appeal for ethnic minorities to be included and play a greater role in SBC Life. I resonated with his plea. I resonated with his pain. I resonated with the potential and promise that his plea represented. It is now time for the SBC to move to the next level and continue to fulfill the prayer of Jesus, that we might be one, so that the world would know that He is Immanuel, God with us (Matthew 1:23). The next step in becoming a Kingdom Family of One is to plant multicultural churches. Who better has role modeled and can cast a vision for discipleship-driven multicultural church planting than Dr. Kim?

Michael Brady was a stuntman for Universal Studios. Michael Brady’s specialty was diving from a helicopter to jump onto a moving train. On one occasion he climbed up a stairway to a train to check out what he was going to be doing. Michael Brady slipped, fell and instantly died. Michael Brady was an organ donor. Bill Wohl was hospitalized for 159 days with an artificial heart waiting on a heart transplant. Bill Wohl was 57 years old, waiting on a heart, after 159 days of living with an artificial heart. Michael Brady was 37 years old and in tip-top physical shape when he suddenly died. And Bill Wohl was blessed to receive Michael Brady’s 37-year-old heart.

Bill Wohl started exercising vigorously and running marathons. He wanted to honor the life and legacy of Michael Brady by keeping his heart in good condition. On one occasion, Bill Wohl had the opportunity to meet Michael Brady’s family. His mother, father, brother and sister were all there. Michael Brady’s father had a stethoscope with him. And he requested permission of Bill Wohl to listen to his heart, because he wanted to hear the heartbeat of his son. Bill Wohl granted Michael Brady’s dad permission. He then placed the stethoscope to Bill Wohl’s heart and listened to the heartbeat of his son.

Suppose, God the Father wanted to listen to the heartbeat of the SBC. If God placed a stethoscope on the heart of the SBC, what would He hear? Would God hear the heartbeat of His Son? Dr. Kim’s heartbeat is discipleship, just as Jesus’ heartbeat was discipleship (Matthew 28:19).

We want to continue the great legacy of the SBC with regard to missions, evangelism and discipleship. We want to continue with the Luter evolution. Will you please join me in supporting Dr. Dennis Manpoong Kim as the next President of the Southern Baptist Convention?

Here is a link to an excellent article by Shannon Baker on the nomination. It has a lot of good background information.  http://www.baptistlifeonline.org/2014/05/dwight-mckissic-nominates-korean-pastor-for-sbc-president/

RESOLUTIONS ON:

  1. The NFL Same-Sex Kiss and Their Failure to Recognize Kenny Washington;
  2. The Washington “Redskins” Racially Insensitive and Racist Mascot;
  3. Amending “Stand Your Ground Laws” In States That Have Such Laws.

By William Dwight McKissic, Sr.

Cornerstone Baptist Church, Arlington, TX

Whereas, the God of the Bible who is “the same, yesterday, today and forever more” is omnipotent and omniscient, therefore, keenly aware and concerned about the affairs of mankind (Hebrews 13:8, Malachi 3:6, Matthew 6:24-34),

Whereas, “the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” is assigned the task of representing the Kingdom of God on earth and to be His voice (I Timothy 3:14, Matthew 16:18-20, Romans 10:14-17),

Whereas, the Church of the living God is to be the light of the world, the salt of the earth, and a city upon a hill, in order to exalt righteousness, brotherhood, justice, and redemptive history (Matthew 5:13-14),

Whereas, the Bible commands believers to prophetically address righteous, justice, and racial issues (Amos 5:24, Malachi 2:10, Matthew 28:19-20),

Whereas Jesus warned His disciples concerning the dangers of adversely impacting the lives of children (Matthew 18:6),

Be it resolved that we believe that it is inappropriate for children to be subjected to having to watch same-sex couples engage in public displays of affection while watching a sports-related event on allegedly family-friendly channels. We discourage any further televising of such events. While there is a missing airplane somewhere in the Far East, over 200 kidnapped girls from Nigeria, and high unemployment in America, we respectfully request the President of the United States to refrain from congratulating and extending well wishes to any future homosexual professional sports players, unless simultaneously he is going to make celebratory and well wishes calls to the likes of Tim Tebow, Prince Amukamara—the “Black Tim Tebow,” and AC Green, professional athletes committed to sexual purity.

Be it further resolved that whereas, the NFL has not celebrated and heralded Kenny Washington, who broke the color barrier in the modern era of the NFL (1946), the Southern Baptist Convention wishes to acknowledge and celebrate the significance of Kenny Washington for paving the way for the NFL to be a diverse and inclusive sports league for players of all colors, just as Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in professional baseball,

Be it resolved that the Southern Baptist Convention deplore and denounce racism in any form or expression by professional sports league management, as was recently expressed by Donald Sterling, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers,

Be it further resolved that the Southern Baptist Convention view the mascot of the Washington “Redskins” as racist and disrespectful in its origin and the mindset of George Preston Marshall, owner of the Boston Braves football team in 1932, which relocated the team to Washington, DC in 1937, and renamed the Boston Braves, the Washington “Redskins.”

Time Magazine reported in 1940, “Considered by West Coast fans the most brilliant player in the US last year, [Kenny] Washington cannot play major league pro football because he is a Negro.” When the Cleveland Rams moved to Los Angeles in 1946, the commissioners of the Los Angeles Coliseum stipulated as part of the agreement that the team be integrated. Kenny Washington then signed the first NFL contract to play for the Los Angeles Rams as a Black man in the modern era. When Kenny Washington finished college at UCLA, having led the nation in the total offense, he caught the eye of legendary Bears Coach George Halas, who coached him in the College All Star Game in 1939. Halas kept Washington in Chicago for three weeks on his own dime as he tried to lobby the NFL to integrate the league, but he didn’t succeed, with Redskins owner, George Preston Marshall, the lone holdout.

George Preston Marshall, who named the “Redskins” and whose players in 1946 held Kenny Marshall down, piled on top of him and poured chalk in his eyes, was without a doubt a racist, as evidenced by him denying Kenny Washington a chance to play in the NFL until 1946, along with other NFL owners, and allowing his players to pour chalk into the eyes of an African American player without any repercussions.

Can you imagine Louis Farrakhan having owned the Dallas Cowboys in the ‘60’s, and having named them the Dallas “Whiteboys”? And having no intent to ever allow anyone who was White to play on the team? The man who named the “Redskins” did not allow a “Black-skinned” or truly “Redskin” player on his team until forced to by the Federal Government in 1962. The Washington “Redskins” were the last NFL team to integrate. Louis Farrakhan would be making a mockery of the name “Whiteboys” if he had no intent to place “Whiteboys” on his team; and this is exactly what George Preston Marshall did to the Washington “Redskins.” We plead and appeal to the current owner of the Washington team, Daniel Sayder, to change this racially insensitive and racist name.

It is racist to make reference to a racial group (Native Americans) as a mascot. It trivializes the racial group to be referenced as a mascot. Again, the man who assigned this name was a documented racist. Donald Sterling would look like Branch Rickey, compared to George Preston Marshall. The Southern Baptist Convention denounce the mascot of the Washington Redskins as racist, based on the documented racism of its owner of the time—George Preston Marshall. “Redskins” was a colloquial, not so respectful reference to Native Americans during the period in which Marshall gave his team that racially repugnant name.

Be it resolved that the Southern Baptist Convention views it as an unfit analogy that the St. Louis Rams—having recently drafted the first openly homosexual player and the Los Angeles Rams in 1946, having signed the first African American to an NFL contract in the modern era, is indicative of social progress or advancement. To compare the advent of a same-sex attraction player, to an African American player is to compare one man’s skin—to another man’s sin. The Southern Baptist Convention completely, absolutely, and unequivocally rejects the comparison. One’s racial identity is a by-product of biology. One’s sexual identity is a by-product of one’s preference or choice. Therefore, it is intellectually dishonest to compare skin color, with same-sex relational desires. It is also offensive and racist.

Finally, be it resolved that the Southern Baptist Convention encourage State Legislatures who have adopted “Stand Your Ground Laws” to revisit those laws. The Southern Baptist Convention is requesting states to consider amending such laws to reflect the notion that one cannot be the aggressor in an altercation and then plead “Stand your Ground” as a defense.

Because our God is a God of righteousness, justice and equality the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, June 10-11, 2014, resolve the aforementioned resolutions.

“NEVER WASTE A CRISIS”

Did Donald Sterling’s Adultery Expose His Racism?

By Wm. Dwight McKissic, Sr.

Donald Sterling’s racism is well documented and has been appropriately redressed by Adam Silver, the NBA Commissioner. But his adultery has gone largely unaddressed.  No one of stature has related the impact of his adultery to this crisis.

Wasn’t Sterling’s adultery the precursor to him receiving the death penalty, as a result of his racist rant? Wasn’t it a recorded conversation with a female friend—that his wife was suing for having interfered with her marriage—the conversation that resulted in his life-time banishment from the NBA? Would he have been punished for his racism, had his racism not been revealed by his adultery? Would we even know about his racist views, if it were not for his adultery? At the root of this racial crisis is an adulterous affair.

A practical lesson that could and should be learned from the Sterling fiasco is that not only is racism unacceptable in American Society, but adultery is also damaging, destructive, and deadly to American families, and consequently society.  Those of us who are married need to steer clear of adultery. When we fail to do so, a host of other issues often surface—that are often irreversible—as a result of our willful disobedience to the laws of God, the dishonoring of our marital vows, and the disloyalty to our spouses. Sterling’s adultery is just as evil as his racism.

The decision to commit adultery has far-reaching consequences beyond the moment in time that one makes that decision. It is not just the racism that America is reeling and rocking from, that fell from the lips of Donald Sterling; but the adultery that preceded the racist rant, is also what America is now having to collectively process in our national psyche. Their private affair has caused a public nightmare. It is time for the healing to begin.

While viewing the “Jackie Robinson” recent movie, I was awestruck by the fact that Branch Ricky fired one of his team managers—Leo Durocher—for engaging in serial adultery in the 1947 era. The Catholic Church supplied pressure on Branch Ricky to dismiss Durocher because he was viewed as a poor role model.

Why is it that we had a high tolerance for racism in ’47, but a low tolerance for adultery? And, now we have a high tolerance for adultery, but a low tolerance for overt, blatant, in-your-face racism? Could it be that while we are judging the racism in the Sterling case, God is judging the adultery? Could the plight of Sterling be the plight of America if we don’t repent before it is everlasting too late?

During the Jackie Robinson era, Donald Sterling’s racism would have been accepted without much controversy. Sterling’s racism is rightfully judged as intolerable today, by many. But his adultery is accepted, or ignored, as if it is a non-issue. America and the NBA have judged his racism and rendered a verdict. But God may be judging his unrepentant adultery, in addition to his racism. The Bible says, “Be sure that your sins will find you out.”

Sterling’s sin of adultery exposed his sin of racism. America accepts Sterling’s sin of adultery, while rejecting his sin of racism. God rejects Sterling’s sins of adultery and racism.

Richard Land, Ann Coulter, and several Fox News Commentators have argued that racism is a myth. Land later apologized for his racial remarks. Sterling should do the same.

Clearly, Donald Sterling’s remarks reveal that racism in America is not a myth. Racism is alive and well. Donald Sterling, Paula Deen, and Cliven Bundy—the infamous Nevada Rancher—have painfully reminded us of this. Paula Deen also repented of her racist remarks, for which she is to be commended.

“Never waste a crisis,” is a quote often attributed to Rahm Emanuel , who served as Chief of Staff in President Obama’s first term, and currently serves as Mayor of Chicago. There are lessons to be learned about adultery from this crisis, as well as the obvious racism. If we don’t learn lesson(s) about adultery from this crisis; and if we continue to believe that racism is a myth, this could prove to be a wasted crisis.

Sterling’s adultery is equally as reprehensible as his racism. God pulled the covers off of Sterling’s racism, because Sterling would not repent of his adultery. He flaunted his adultery, and God has now judged it.

America applauds Michael Sam’s homosexuality. America gives silent approval to Donald Sterling’s adultery. Yet, we deplore Sterling’s racism.

God stands against adultery, racism, and homosexuality. Although, we give Sterling a pass on his adultery, God does not. The Sterling Case reveals the fact that America has an increasing lower tolerance for systemic racism, but a high tolerance for sexual sin. If we are going to see a change in America for the betterment of society, we are going to have to start abhorring adultery and sexual sins as much as we do racism.

Perhaps and prayerfully, Sterling will go back home to his wife, where he belongs. Had he been there all along, we would have been spared this crisis? But, Rahn Emmanuel is right: Now that we have it, we shouldn’t waste it. Everybody involved can seek and receive forgiveness, and go their way and sin no more.

Starting with me, it would do us all well to remember the words of Proverbs 6:25, 27, 28, 32, 33:

”25Do not lust after her beauty in your heart,
Nor let her allure you with her eyelids.
27 Can a man take fire to his bosom,
And his clothes not be burned?
28 Can one walk on hot coals,
And his feet not be seared?
32 Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding;
He who does so destroys his own soul.
33 Wounds and dishonor he will get,
And his reproach will not be wiped away.”

May God forgive, help, cleanse and deliver all of us who struggle and sometimes fail to live lives that are morally and mentally pure! May God help us to practice sexual restraint and to relate to and view others racially righteously and without any hint of racism!

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