Southern Baptist Convention opens
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Southern Baptist Convention is holding its largest gathering in decades amid debates over race and sexual abuse and a concerted effort to push the conservative denomination even further to the right.
The nation’s largest Protestant denomination is also holding a bellwether election to pick its next president.
Nearly 15,000 church representatives were on hand as the meeting began with prayers for unity.
Immediately after, debate began on the hot-button controversies that have roiled the SBC.
Members heard an impassioned plea for survivors of sexual abuse and were asked to consider competing resolutions on an academic theory on structural racism that has been a target of religious and political conservatives.