When a white supremacist gunned down nine black worshipers at Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston, S.C., mission catalyst Bob Lawler knew he had to say something to the Baptist association he led in northern California.
So Lawler gathered the association’s 48 ethnically diverse churches for a joint worship service. When he stood to preach, Lawler harkened to the words of Martin Luther King Jr.
“In the ‘I Have a Dream’ speech,” Lawler recalled telling the Redwood Empire Baptist Association, “not only did [King] say, ‘I have a dream. I have a dream.’ He also said, ‘with this faith'” repeatedly, “reminding us that it’s not just a humanitarian effort” to effect racial reconciliation. “It’s an effort based on the Gospel.”
Lawler drew that King insight, he said, from his studies at Gateway Seminary.
It’s a feature of ministry training all six Southern Baptist Convention seminaries are seeking to replicate: teaching King…