Progressive National Baptists gain partners to address voting rights, gun violence

by | Aug 10, 2023 | Religion

(RNS) — Leaders of the Progressive National Baptist Convention announced plans at their annual session this week in St. Louis to work on enhancing voting rights and criminal justice reform through partnerships with like-minded organizations.Members of the social justice team of the historically Black Protestant denomination also traveled to nearby Ferguson on Wednesday (Aug. 9), the last day of their meeting, to mark the ninth anniversary of the death of Michael Brown, an unarmed Black teenager whose fatal shooting by a white officer prompted protests that energized the Black Lives Matter movement. 
The Rev. David R. Peoples, president of the PNBC, said in an interview Thursday that supporting the Brown family and the Ferguson community is one example of how the denomination is pursuing justice issues.
“We want to make sure that wherever injustice takes place, wherever our people are oppressed and don’t have a fair shake, we’re going to speak out, we’re going to speak truth to power,” he said. “We’re not going anywhere until those things happen and positive change occurs.”
Progressive National Baptist Convention members join others in marking the ninth anniversary of the death of Michael Brown by visiting where Brown died in Ferguson, Missouri, Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2023. Photo courtesy PNBC
He said a couple of thousand Baptists attended the meeting of the denomination of more than 1,200 churches and more than 1.5 million members.
In his remarks the previous day at a news conference, Peoples said the organization would continue to follow in the footsteps of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who considered the PNBC his denominational home.

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