The National Baptist Convention USA Incorporated is often referred to as the cornerstone for many African American congregations.
This week’s annual conference underway in Charlotte is expected to draw more than 20 thousand visitors, and the gathering comes at a time when defiant protests are firmly rooted in the political dialogue.
Reverend Ricky Woods of First Baptist West says many eyes are on our state because of the day of the week that’s billed as Moral Monday.
“Everyone is watching in North Carolina and how we will respond, because I think it will provide ways in which other people will respond when they see things going on in their state,” Woods said.
More than 900 arrests of demonstrators in Raleigh sent a very clear message not just around the state, but also to many observers across the country.
Reverend Clarence Moore of Augusta, Georgia offered Tuesday morning’s keynote sermon.
He is the organization’s regional vice president and applauds not just the activism shown in North Carolina, but also the level of engagement carried out at the recent March of Washington.
He said, ” I’m hoping that it’s not just for the moment, but it’s something that we continue to carry over and it’s something that will make a difference.”
Finding common ground over issues like voting rights and deep cuts to Medicaid and unemployment benefits shouldn’t be hard.
Reverend Woods said, ” I think there is an opportunity here to provide a national voice, a national resources as a means of mobilizing persons. I think they need to take advantage of that while they’re here this week.”
While it’s unclear if the religious organization will take a position on voting rights issues in our state, many are on the sidelines are optimistic that strength can be found when big numbers gather.