The N.C. Baptist State Convention has made their position on discrimination and bigotry quite clear, and despite their pressure to either ignore completely or twist the Gospel to fit their own needs, there are plenty of Baptists across North Carolina who are willing and ready to step up and speak out against hate and, especially, hate in God’s name.
Above all others, Baptists have a history that enables them to stand up for the true Gospel. The misdeeds of our forbears should be lesson enough to prove that the Gospel cannot be a message of hate, exclusion, division and bigotry. To the contrary, Jesus’ ultimate message of radical love and inclusion is “good news” to the masses. Our God is the Lord of salvation, mercy, freedom, justice and love.
To that end, national Baptist organizations, local churches and local Baptist leaders and congregants will gather in Charlotte this weekend for the first in a series of events in the “Many Voices, One Love,” campaign sponsored by the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists (AWAB), the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America (BPFNA), and the Alliance of Baptists.
The event, “NC Baptists Against Amendment One: Justice, Equality and Personal Freedom,” will be held at Myers Park Baptist Church, 1900 Queens Rd., Charlotte, N.C., Feb. 25, 2012, from 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
A featured panel discussion will be held 9:45-10:45 a.m., moderated by Dan Murrey and featuring Myers Park Pastor Stephen Shoemaker, as well as Ken Godwin, Chaz Seale and Ricky Woods. Angela Yarber, pastor of my hometown Wake Forest Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, N.C., will also be a panelist.
Representatives from The Human Rights Campaign, the Faith and Justice Servant Leadership Group of Myers Park Baptist Church and The Coalition to Protect NC Families will also be present at the event.
On Feb. 25, I was honored to participate in a forum with North Carolina businessman and Faith in America founder Mitchell Gold and Faith in America executive director Brent Childers at a small gay bar/lounge here in Charlotte. Usually, politics and religion don’t go well with bars, but it was a great and attentive crowd — we couldn’t have asked for better. We were able discuss issues addressed in Gold’s book, “CRISIS: 40 Stories Revealing the Personal, Social, and Religious Pain and Trauma of Growing Up Gay In America,” to which both Brent and I also contributed.
Before that later evening event, Mitchell Gold was a special guest of Campus Pride and local LGBT youth support group Time Out Youth at Myers Park Baptist Church. There, a little more than 100 folks turned out to hear Gold speak about his book, his experience growing up as a gay youth and issues of anti-LGBT, religion-based bigotry and prejudice.
A day before the event, I spoke to Campus Pride executive director Shane Windmeyer and asked if it would be appropriate to invite to the Myers Park lecture the editor of Voice of Revolution, a Charlotte-area online magazine run by anti-LGBT theologian and activist Dr. Michael Brown. (You can read my previous, in-depth Special Report on Brown here.)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Campus Pride, 704-277-6710
Time Out Youth, 704-344-8335
This Thursday Feb 25 Nationally Acclaimed Author Mitchell Gold speaks about his book CRISIS at LGBT Youth Fundraiser in Charlotte
Accompanying Gold are two of his CRISIS contributors Rev. Reggie Longcrier of Hickory, NC and Matt Comer of Charlotte, NC
Charlotte, NC, Feb 23, 2010 — The national, Charlotte-based Campus Pride (www.campuspride.org) and local Time Out Youth (www.timeoutyouth.org) have partnered for a joint fundraising event on Thursday, Feb 25 to bring attention to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) and ally youth in the Charlotte area. The fundraiser will take place at 6 p.m. at Myers Park Baptist Church (1900 Queens Road) and then continue at 8 p.m. at Petra’s Piano Bar (1919 Commonwealth Avenue). No tickets are necessary; however, donations are encouraged. Everyone is welcome.
Titled “Believe In Youth,” the event will feature civil rights leader and author Mitchell Gold and his book “CRISIS: 40 Stories Revealing the Personal, Social and Religious Pain and Trauma of Growing Up Gay In America.” A resident of Hickory, NC, Gold is a nationally recognized leader in the furniture industry as well as the founder of Faith In America, a national nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness of the harm caused to LGBT Americans by religion-based bigotry and prejudice.
In addition to Gold speaking at Myers Park Baptist Church at 6 p.m., the event continues at Petras Piano Bar at 8 p.m. featuring Gold and two contributors to his book Rev. Reggie Longcrier of Hickory, N.C. and Matt Comer of Charlotte, NC. Continue reading this post…