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Barber’s 60 Minutes interview brings positive reviews from SBC leaders

SBC President Bart Barber was the guest of Anderson Cooper on CBS' 60 Minutes on Oct. 9. (CBS screen capture)

NASHVILLE (BP) — A wide-ranging interview on CBS’ 60 Minutes Oct. 9 focused on the SBC’s recent decisions to address sexual abuse is being well-received by a group of Southern Baptist leaders.

The Sunday evening interview by Anderson Cooper covered not only sexual abuse, but political divisions in the country regarding former President Donald Trump, the separation of church and state, abortion, immigration and same-sex marriage.

When the 13-minute segment aired, Barber was preaching as the keynote speaker for the annual meeting of the Capital Baptist Association being held at Trinity Baptist Church in Oklahoma City.

Known for his activity on Twitter, Barber did not post directly about the interview until nearly noon, Central, today (Oct. 10).

“I promise to make replies eventually. But for right now (full transparency) … I’m about to take a middle-of-the-day nap,” he wrote. “Seven hours of driving and a really late arrival home last night have done me in.”

Leaders’ responses indicate he had earned the rest.

“Not only did Dr. Barber display his heart to serve our churches and his commitment to Baptist principles, he gave millions the opportunity to hear about the heart of Jesus,” said Brent Leatherwood, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

“This was a tremendous opportunity for the world to hear about our convention of churches, and Bart met the moment with grace, humility and conviction. I am thankful for his ministry, and we are fortunate to have him leading at this moment as the president of the SBC,” he said.

Willie McLaurin, interim president and CEO of the SBC Executive Committee, agreed with Leatherwood.

“I was thankful that President Barber had the opportunity to represent Southern Baptist on this global platform,” McLaurin said. “His passion, conviction and authenticity were on display for the world to see.”

Marshall Blalock, pastor of Charleston (S.C.) First Baptist Church said he “especially appreciated” Barber’s “intense and heartfelt response” about addressing sexual abuse and the need for reform.

Blalock served on the SBC Sexual Abuse Task Force that reported to messengers at the 2022 SBC Annual Meeting in Anaheim, Ca., and was appointed chair of the Abuse Reform Implementation Task Force by Barber following the meeting.

“He made it clear the work of the Task Force is not a public relations stunt but intended to affect real change for survivors and to help churches get this right,” Blalock said.

“What makes me appreciate Bart all the more, we saw this exact same passion and commitment as he challenged our Task Force in our first meeting in a quiet room well beyond the spotlight of media coverage and television cameras. 

“Bart does not have a pretentious bone in his body.”