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Black Southern Baptists Urge Seminary to Remove Honors to Slaveholders

As debates continue across the country about monuments and honors for Confederate generals and slaveholders, some Black Southern Baptists are calling on Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, to remove names of slaveholders and Confederates from buildings and other places of honor on the campus. SBTS President Al Mohler in the past insisted he wouldn’t change any of the names.

In 2018, SBTS released a 71-page report that detailed how its four founders — James Boyce, John Broadus, Basil Manly Jr., and William Williams — together enslaved more than 50 persons. Additionally, Boyce served in the Confederate Army and Broadus was a Confederate chaplain. But while SBTS offered its lament at the findings, Mohler, who is white, refused to lead the institution in an apology and rejected calls for biblical reparations.

The SBTS report cited a 2015 column Mohler wrote in which he insisted he wouldn’t remove the names of the four founders from SBTS buildings — because he affirmed the theology of the four slaveholders.

“I intend to keep those names on our buildings and to stand without apology with the founders and their affirmation of Baptist orthodoxy,” he wrote. “They defended all the doctrines they believed were central and essential to the Christian faith as revealed in the Bible and as affirmed throughout the history of the church.”

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Faithfully Magazine is a fresh, bold and exciting news and culture publication that covers issues, conversations and events impacting Christian communities of color.


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