Baptists: Admission of Guilt

Compared with the ringing statements on racial equality of other U.S. churches, the few pronouncements of the 11 million-member Southern Baptist Convention have been notable only for their ineffective neutrality. At the Baptists' annual meeting in Houston last week, however, nearly three-fourths of the 7,000 messengers (delegates) approved a strong declaration that called upon the convention to open all churches to black membership and work for better housing, employment and education for Negroes. It also acknowledged the denomination's "share of responsibility" for the nation's racial crisis.

Approval of the manifesto was largely the work of the Baptists' outgoing president, the Rev....

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