Tallahassee, Fla. Pastor Dr. R. B. Holmes, whose leadership against hazing and the infamous “stand your ground laws”, has announced his candidacy for the presidency of the National Baptist Convention USA., Inc.
At a National Press Club announcement last week, Holmes called on the Black church to arise and take back its historic role in fighting social justice issues.
“The Black church has become too quiet, too passive, too disconnected when it comes to challenging policies programs and persons that degrade and devastate our people” said Holmes, flanked by dozens of church and community leaders. He also announced the formation of a 40-member National Pastors’ Task Force to repeal and repair “stand your ground” laws.
“We have come here today to say to Black America and to the country that we as a people of color and faith are now ready to step forward to address some of the most urgent and critical needs impacting the Black community,” Holmes said at the National Press Club announcement March 25. “We can and must lead the way to resolve and solve the present problems in our communities. We have come here also to launch my candidacy for the National Baptist Convention which is one of the nation’s oldest and largest religious organizations.”
Pastor of the Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Holmes is not new to the national stage. He is former president of the National Baptist Congress of Christian Education. He also owns the Capital Outlook Newspaper, which is a member of the National Newspaper Publishers Association. Among others participating in the press conference were civil rights Attorney Benjamin Crump; Judge Glenda Hatchett, Baltimore Pastor Jamal-Harrison Bryant, the parents of the late Travon Martin, Jordan Davis, Michael Jiles, and Robert Champion.
“We stand with you because we understand the magnificent power of the potential collectively that is among us,” said Judge Hatchett. “And we’re going to manifest it in ways that you can’t measure.”
Holmes also indicates he intends to establish multi-denominational alliances. Bryant, from the African Methodist Episcopal Church, will be co-chairing the National Pastors’ Task Force, Holmes announced.
Bryant says he stands behind Dr. Holmes, largely because of his vision. Reflecting on the “historic Black church,” he said it “has always been on the front line, realizing that we are the voice for the voiceless. And so many who have become disconcerted and disenfranchised are really trying to discover has the Black church contracted laryngitis? Because we’ve not heard a voice,” Bryant said. “Historically it’s always been a Black Baptist preacher to correct America and put us back on track; it’s always been the voice of a Black Baptist preacher to speak truth to power uncompromising…unbossed and unbought.”
Source: Forward Times Online | HAZEL TRICE EDNEY