'No partiality,' Page assures black church conf.

by Diana Chandler, posted Friday, July 15, 2016 (one year ago)

Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee President Frank Page greeted attendees July 14 at the Black Church Leadership and Family Conference at Ridgecrest, N.C.
Photo by Diana Chandler
RIDGECREST, N.C. (BP) -- Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee President Frank S. Page upheld God's impartiality during July 14 greetings to African Americans gathered at Ridgecrest, N.C., for a black church leadership conference.

"I know, and you know, that we're in difficult days," Page said. "I know that you know there is much struggle in our land today, and we need to lift each other up."

He shared revelations from his daily personal quiet time focused on Romans 2:11, an affirmation of God's impartiality.

"Something jumps out every day to me from God's holy, living Word," Page said. "God says love one another with no partiality. God says respect one another, no partiality."

Applause and vocal affirmation rang from those in attendance.

"God says encourage one another, no partiality," Page said. "God says build each other up, no partiality. God says, be ye kind one to another, no partiality."

Pastors and leaders were encouraged by Page's visit, Ken Weathersby, SBC Executive Committee vice president for convention advancement, told Baptist Press.

"This is the largest gathering of Southern Baptist pastors and leaders since the recent shootings in our country," Weathersby said, referencing the killings of two black men -- one in Baton Rouge, La., and the other in suburban St. Paul, Minn. -- and of five white Dallas police officers.

"Dr. Page wanted to show his support and his presence," Weathersby said, "and I heard pastors and leaders say his presence meant a great deal. They were very encouraged that the president of the SBC Executive Committee would come to the meeting."

Conference convener Mark Croston, national director of Black Church Partnerships for LifeWay Christian Resources of the SBC, welcomed Page to the July 11-15 Black Church Leadership and Family Conference that attracted more than 800 African American pastors and leaders from across the U.S.

"We're excited that he came in just to be able to say hello to us this evening," Croston said. "He is one of the most authentic Christian men that I know. He has been extremely helpful in making everybody feel like they have a place in our convention."

During his leadership of the SBC Executive Committee, Page has instituted several measures to build cross-cultural relations within the SBC. Among his initiatives is the appointment of various ethnic advisory councils gaining insight from African American, Hispanic, Asian and other Southern Baptists.

Diana Chandler is Baptist Press' general assignment writer/editor. BP reports on missions, ministry and witness advanced through the Cooperative Program and on news related to Southern Baptists' concerns nationally and globally.
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