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Black SBC workers look to Ridgecrest

BALTIMORE (BP) — Lifeway’s Black Church Week will provide the framework for the official business meeting of the Black Southern Baptist Denominational Servants Network, members voted at a June 9 breakfast meeting in advance of the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Baltimore.

The election of officers and other business will take place during the network’s July 24 meeting at the Ridgecrest (N.C.) business meeting.

Black Church Week, held annually in July in Ridgecrest, draws a larger group of denominational workers who participate in the network, members said. While only eight denominational workers attended the 2013 breakfast preceding the SBC annual meeting in Houston, more than twice as many were present a month later in Ridgecrest.

Members cite a drop in employment of African American workers in the SBC as reducing the membership base of the network which encompasses black employees of SBC entities and state and local SBC conventions and associations. Currently, the network has nearly 35 participants.

Reviving its membership base, expanding its partnership with the National African American Fellowship and developing an online presence for the African American Journal of Southern Baptists are network priorities. Robert Wilson Sr., adjunct professor at the Atlanta campus of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, will work with NOBTS in archiving the journal on the seminary’s website and publishing new issues online.

Robert Anderson, pastor of Colonial Baptist Church in Randallstown, Md., and a former member of the SBC Executive Committee, hosted the meeting. Eugene McCormick, the network’s president, led the June 9 meeting. McCormick is a strategist for the Florida Baptist Convention’s African American church development ministries team.

Network membership fees are $25 for students, $50 for individuals, $250 at the institutional level and $500 for a 10-year silver membership. To join, send checks to the “Black Southern Baptist Denominational Servants Network” to Florida Baptist Convention, c/o Eugene McCormick, 1230 Hendricks Ave., Jacksonville, FL 32207. Fees may be paid at the Ridgecrest meeting.
Diana Chandler is general assignment writer/editor for Baptist Press, the Southern Baptist Convention’s news service. BP reports on missions, ministry and witness advanced through the Cooperative Program and on news related to Southern Baptists’ concerns nationally and globally. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).