Southern Baptist Convention Removes Church after Racism Allegations

By Logan, Erin B. | The Charleston Gazette (Charleston, WV), June 16, 2018 | Go to article overview

Southern Baptist Convention Removes Church after Racism Allegations


Logan, Erin B., The Charleston Gazette (Charleston, WV)


What started as an attempt to modernize a Georgia church led to expulsion from Southern Baptist Convention on the grounds of racism.

Raleigh White Baptist Church, which once boasted a membership of 253, recently had less than 20 people attend on Sundays. The all-white church, based in Albany, Georgia, planned to bequeath its facilities to New Seasons, an African American church, to reflect the changing demographics of the surrounding community.

The plan was simple. New Seasons Church would share facilities with Raleigh White for six months, at which time the building would be passed off. But after Raleigh White leadership changed and internal opposition surfaced, the plan collapsed.

Marcus Glass, the pastor of New Seasons, told The Washington Post that many in his congregation complained about treatment from Raleigh White members. There were small offenses - hostile glares and refusals to speak - violations of Southern hospitality. Then things escalated, he said - denying a 9-year-old access to a restroom and a hoard of white women jeering over a black woman while she cleaned feces off a floor.

Glass said he tried to play nice. He, alongside many in his congregation, would arrive early to their service with the hope to greet white churchgoers as they left their morning service. Glass said Raleigh White objected to the encroachment and changed their service time to avoid the interaction.

The deteriorating relationship between the two prompted an investigation from Mallary Baptist Association, a Southwest Georgia conference of churches and missions. The association attempted to mend the relationship. But Raleigh White's leadership would not budge, according to Mallary officials.

The affair exploded on a Sunday morning in March. Raleigh White planned to receive an influx of visitors and told Glass his service would need to be pushed back several hours. …

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