A lengthy occupation as a bridge builder

When the ideological sector defeated the Southern Baptist Convention prior to an crucial nationwide meeting this calendar year, its presidential applicant, Ed Ritton, was the most suitable man or woman to bridge and encourage unity. Recognized the part of.

“Sometimes each household has disagreements and tensions,” Litton said in a marketing campaign video. “We are a family members, so we will not give up on each individual other.”

On Tuesday he gained a farewell to Georgian minister Mike Stone, turning into the subsequent chief of the most significant Protestant denomination in the United States, voting between additional than 15,000 reps at a convention associated in controversy and power struggles. Received about 52% of. SBC’s ultra-conservative wings.

In doing so, Litton appointed Rev. Albert Mohler, chairman of the Southern Baptist Theology Seminar, and Stone’s famous rival, who carried out an aggressive marketing campaign backed by some of SBC’s most well known hardliners. I defeated it.

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Amid the notable characteristics of Litton are a long file of endeavours to endorse racial reconciliation and his persistence in the deal with of particular tragedy. Lytton’s 25-12 months-old spouse Tammy died in a auto accident in 2007. Two decades later, he married Cathy Ferguson, the widow of an additional SBC Rev. who was killed in a 2002 auto incident.

Alan Cross, a California SBC minister who labored with him on a racial reconciliation venture, evoked all those characteristics by supporting Litton’s candidacy.

“He will do a great work since he has individuality and integrity, acts humbly, trusts and lifts Jesus, suffers and experiences God’s love in good sorrow,” Cross blogs. I’m creating to SBC Boyes. ..

The 62-yr-previous Litton obtained a bachelor’s diploma in faith and drama from Grand Canyon University, a private Christian university in Phoenix, and later a PhD in pastoral studies from the Southern Baptist Theological College.


He used his early missions in Texas and Arizona and has been the Main Pastor of the SBC Church (now recognised as the Redemption Church) on the outskirts of Cell in Saraland, Alabama given that 1994.

For the past six several years, he has labored in a cellular coalition known as the Pledge Team. This is a motion of leaders of many racial, spiritual and skilled backgrounds who want to lower the racial disparity of towns.

Litton was appointed president by Rev. Fred Luter at the SBC assembly on Tuesday. Rev. Fred Luter was the very first and only black president of the SBC in 2012 so significantly. Luther reported he had recognised Litton for about 20 decades and at first teamed up to preach for racial reconciliation.

The trigger was long lasting for Ritton, who had sturdy associations with numerous black ministers.

At the conclusion of previous 12 months, when the presidents of six SBC seminaries (all white) issued a assertion denying critical racial theory, a expression applied to describe criticisms of institutional racism, SBC Racial tensions have increased. In response, several teams of the Southern Baptist Convention, such as Lytton and Luther, have co-signed a assertion saying that systematic racial injustice is a reality.


In the presidential election, Litton determined unity and diversity as two of his leading priorities.

Without the need of a unified motivation to the gospel, he mentioned in a marketing campaign video clip, “We will come across conflicting factions, disagreements, and grass battles that waste worthwhile time and resources.” I did.

In phrases of variety, he said, blacks, Hispanics, and Asians have amplified their existence in the SBC about the final two decades, in spite of a decline in white membership.

“I want to keep on to extend ethnic range on our board of administrators to replicate who we actually are and who we are getting,” he reported. Advised. “I want to develop a bridge. If vital, I will need to mend the burnt bridge.”

He reported some black ministers ended up asking why they must stay at the SBC.

“My solution: mainly because we want you and need to have you,” Ritton reported.


The Connected Press’s religious coverage is supported by Lilly Endowment by The Dialogue US. AP is solely dependable for this articles.

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Lashell Coykendall

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