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Author John Finley

The word “holocaust” derives from a Greek word that means “sacrifice by fire.” The genocide known as The Holocaust refers to the systematic, state-sponsored persecution and killing of approximately 6 million Jews by Adolph Hitler and the Nazi regime in Germany and other occupied territories between 1933 and 1945. While anti-Semitism had existed in Europe […] Read More

The U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. sponsored an ecumenical worship service on May 7 titled “The Holy Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide: A Prayer for Justice and Peace.” During a horrific period beginning in 1915 and continuing until 1923, more than 1.5 million […] Read More

Many pastors and churches in the Deep South struggled with the challenges of racial integration during the 1960’s, but few of them did so with more courage than Thomas J. Holmes, pastor of the Tattnall Square Baptist Church in Macon, Ga. The Tattnall Square Church had been founded in 1891 on the campus of Mercer […] Read More

Revisionist historians in Baptist life sometimes argue that moderates controlled the Southern Baptist Convention prior to the election of Adrian Rogers in 1979, squeezing conservative voices out of leadership positions, including the SBC presidency. Yet, an examination of the preceding generation of SBC presidents offers quite a different view. In the 30 years prior to […] Read More

Although perhaps best known for its social ministries and quasi-military style of organization, The Salvation Army is an international movement of evangelical Christians whose message is biblically-based and whose ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its self-described mission is to “preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human need in His […] Read More

For the average Southern Baptist living in the election year of 1968, the world seemed to be crumbling. The civil rights movement had resulted in the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis that spring, and tensions were high. Kentucky state paper editor C.R. Daley wondered in an editorial, “Will Southern Baptists Fiddle While […] Read More

Baptist pacifists have often been an endangered species. No better example can be found than that of Joseph Judson Taylor, pastor of First Baptist Church, Savannah, Ga., as America prepared to enter World War I. Named for the famous missionary Adoniram Judson, Taylor had moved to Savannah in 1915 from the pastorate of First Baptist […] Read More

Much has been said about the similarities and differences between the 1925, 1963 and 2000 Baptist Faith and Message adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention. Not nearly as much attention has been paid to the importance of the statements’ respective preambles. The 1925 Baptist Faith and Message intended to reestablish denominational unity within a larger […] Read More

Contemporary observers of American culture may think that Baptists have always had it in for Jews. Isolated events of the past 15 years make it easy to see why. Southern Baptist Convention President Bailey Smith’s 1980 assertion that “God Almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew” was widely reported in the media and […] Read More

Like many congregations in the antebellum American South, First Baptist Church, Savannah, Ga., was composed of white, slave and free black members. At the end of the Civil War, however, most African-American members withdrew to form their own churches. Segregated public and private facilities were the order of the day in Savannah until the modern […] Read More