WASHINGTON (BP)–James Merritt, president of the Southern Baptist Convention and pastor of the Atlanta-area First Baptist Church, Snellville, was one of six ministers invited to join President Bush for a closed-door meeting on Sept. 20.
Merritt was summoned to the White House during the SBC Executive Committee meeting in Nashville, Tenn.
Merritt attended a noontime meeting at the White House with ministers from 30 other denominations. Following that meeting, President Bush invited Merritt and six other ministers into the Oval Office for a private discussion.
Merritt was unavailable for comment Sept. 21 and a White House spokesperson said transcripts of the meeting were not available.
The following is a list of participants in President Bush’s meeting with faith leaders:
— Franklin Graham, Samaritan’s Purse, Boone, N.C.
— Archimandrate Joseph Francavilla, Holy Transfiguration Greek Catholic Church, McLean, Va.
— Timothy J. Keller, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York.
— Luis Palau, Luis Palau Evangelistic Association, Portland, Ore.
— Michael Craig Barnes, National Presbyterian Church, Washington.
— Gordon B. Hinckley, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City.
— Charles Blake, first assistant presiding bishop of the Church of God in Christ and pastor of West Angeles Church of God in Christ, Los Angeles.
— Jean Bethke Elshtain, professor, University of Chicago.
— Max Lucado, Oak Hills Church of Christ, San Antonio, Texas.
— Joe E. Penal, United Methodist bishop, Richmond, Va.
— Gerald Bryant Kieschnick, the Lutheran Church/Missouri Synod, St. Louis.
— T.D. Jakes, The Potter’s House, Dallas.
— Gilbert Earl Patterson, Temple of Deliverance Church of God in Christ, Memphis, Tenn.
— William J. Hybels, Willow Creek Community Church, South Barrington, Ill.
— Jesse Miranda, president, the National Hispanic Evangelical Alliance, Costa Mesa, Calif.
— Demetrios C. Trakatellis, primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, New York.
— John Yates, Falls Church Episcopal Church, Falls Church, Va.
— His Excellency Paul Loverde, Diocese of Arlington, Arlington, Va.
— Rajwant Singh, president of the Sikh Council on Religion and Education, past president of the Inter-Faith Council of Metropolitan Washington and founder of the Guru-Gobind Singh Temple in Rockville, Md.
— Imam Hamza Hanson, Imam, Zatuna Institute, Heywood, Calif.
— The Venible Lama Kalsang Gyaltsen, co-chair of the International Buddhist Committee and president of Sakwa Phuntsok Ling Buddhist Order, Maryland (originally from Tibet).
— Uma Mysorekar, president of the Hindu Society of America and Secretary of the Council of Hindu Temples of North America, Queens, N.Y.
— Father George Rados, Saints Peter & Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church, Potomac, Md.
— Rabbi Joshua Haberman, Hebrew Congregation of Washington.
— His Eminence Bernard Cardinal Law, Archdiocese of Boston.
— His Eminence Edward Cardinal Egan, Archdiocese of New York.