Former President Jimmy Carter has enthusiastically embraced the goals of an upcoming "New Baptist Covenant" conference in Atlanta which has the goal of reconciling various branches of baptist congregations. The conference is intended to be a unified response to the removal from the Southern Baptist Convention of many of the groups over recent years.
According to the report:
"[Carter] believes it reflects a desire for unity across racial, theological and political lines and an end to their internal divisions.
'For the first time in more than 160 years, we are convening a major gathering of Baptists throughout an entire continent, without any threat to our unity caused by differences of our race or politics or geography or the legalistic interpretation of Scripture,' declared Carter.
Up to 20,000 Baptists are registered for the gathering, called the Celebration of a New Baptist Covenant, in Atlanta, Georgia. There are representatives of some 30 organisations representing 20 million believers in the Baptist tradition.
'We do a bold and glorious thing: we attempt to express the oneness which was our Lord's desire for his people,' declared William Shaw, president of the National Baptist Convention, USA, one of the four prominent African-American Baptists conventions participating in the meeting."
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