Faith Leaders Support Dr. Forrest Harris & The American Baptist College

On March 5, 2015 a press release was issued by the National Baptist Fellowship of Concerned Pastors expressing deep concern for the American Baptist College in Nashville, TN, and its invitation to Bishop Yvette Flunder, Dr. Allan Aubrey Boesak and Pastor Delman Coates to preach as a part of this year's Garnett-Nabrit Lecture Series.

In response, this statement offers support to President Forrest Harris and the Board and Trustees of American Baptists College as well as Bishop Flunder, Dr. Boesak and Pastor Coates.

Because American Baptist College is dedicated to educating students to be strengthened in believing, practicing, and proclaiming the liberating gospel of Jesus we believe the students of American Baptist College deserve to know that the gospel of Jesus is believed, lived, and preached by faithful people who are in committed same-sex relationships in the same way the gospel of Jesus is believed, lived, and preached by faithful people who are in committed heterosexual relationships.

The Association of Welcoming & Affirming Baptists, the Samuel Dewitt Proctor Conference and faith leaders from across the Baptist and other Christian traditions join together in the following statement:

We applaud the wisdom, prophetic courage, and commitment to intellectual honesty and academic integrity that Dr. Forrest Harris has demonstrated as President of American Baptist College by inviting Bishop Yvette Flunder of California to preach and lecture at American Baptist College later this month. A few vocal opponents to equality for persons who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender are trying to force Dr. Harris to “disinvite” Bishop Flunder because she is a lesbian who married her same-sex partner. Those critics also are displeased that Dr. Harris invited Dr. Allan Aubrey Boesak of South Africa and Pastor Delmon Coates of the United States to preach and/or lecture at American Baptist College because Dr. Boesak and Pastor Coates are effective advocates for equality and are equally effective in exposing the injustice of homophobia.

American Baptist College is dedicated to educating students to be strengthened in believing, practicing, and proclaiming the liberating gospel of Jesus. The students of American Baptist College deserve to know that the gospel of Jesus is believed, lived, and preached by faithful people who are in committed same-sex relationships in the same way the gospel of Jesus is believed, lived, and preached by faithful people who are in committed heterosexual relationships.

We thank God that President Harris has not allowed homophobia to shape and determine who can be an effective advocate for the gospel of Jesus Christ. In that spirit, we pray that the Holy Spirit will bless Bishop Flunder, Dr. Boesak, Pastor Coates, and other prophetic leaders to be invited, welcomed, affirmed, and encouraged by other courageous and principled Christian pastors, educators, and denominational leaders such as President Harris.

The Association of Welcoming & Affirming Baptists invite you to stand with Dr. Forrest E. Harris and the Board of Trustees at American Baptist College, Dr. Jerry Young and the Board of the National Baptist Fellowship, USA.

Add your name and show your support! 

Photo via American Baptist College

Comments (1)

Thank you your loving stand!

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