About The New Baptist Covenant
The New Baptist Covenant is an informal alliance of more than 30 racially, geographically, and theologically diverse Baptist organizations from throughout North America that claim more than 20 million members. Representatives of these Baptist organizations have reaffirmed traditional Baptist values, including sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ and its implications for public and private morality, as well as their obligations as Christians to fulfill the biblical mandate to promote peace with justice, to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, care for the sick and the marginalized, and promote religious liberty and respect for religious diversity.
We Baptists of North America covenant together to: Create an authentic and prophetic Baptist voice for these complex times, emphasize traditional Baptist values, including sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ and its implications for public and private morality, and promote peace with justice, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, care for the sick and marginalized, welcome the strangers among us, and promote religious liberty and respect for religious diversity.
The New Baptist Covenant traces its roots to April 10, 2006, when former U.S. President and prominent Baptist layman Jimmy Carter and Mercer University President Bill Underwood convened at The Carter Center in Atlanta a group of 18 Baptist leaders representing more than 20 million Baptists across North America.
The leaders were unanimous in their desire to transcend their differences -- including such factors as race, culture, geography and convention affiliation -- and seek common purpose.
The outcome of the meeting was a document called A North American Baptist Covenant and preliminary plans to hold a major gathering of Baptists from throughout North America in 2008. The leaders of these organizations affirmed their desire to speak and work together to create an authentic and genuine prophetic Baptist voice in these complex times. They reaffirmed their commitment to traditional Baptist values, including sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ and its implications for public and private morality. They specifically committed themselves to their obligation as Christians to promote peace with justice, to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, care for the sick and the marginalized, welcome the strangers among us, and promote religious liberty and respect for religious diversity.
A followup meeting attended by 80 representatives of more than 30 Baptist organizations was held on January 9, 2007, at The Carter Center. At the conclusion of the meeting, the representatives announced plans to hold a convocation in Atlanta on January 30-February 1, 2008.
The New Baptist Covenant 2008 Celebration
More than 15,000 Baptists from across North America gathered in Atlanta January 30-February 1, 2008, in an unprecedented demonstration of Baptist unity. The history-making event culminated months of planning by leaders of more than 30 Baptist organizations.
Under the theme "Unity in Christ," the three-day Atlanta Celebration featured speakers and presenters who addressed historic Baptist commitments and explored other opportunities to work together as Christian partners. The Biblical text for the Celebration was Luke 4:18-19. Themes for the five plenary sessions were:
Unity in Seeking Peace with Justice
Unity in Bringing Good News to the Poor
Unity in Respecting Diversity
Unity in Welcoming the Stranger
Unity in Setting the Captive Free
In addition to the plenary sessions, the Celebration featured 16 special-interest sessions dealing with topics such as racism, religious liberty, poverty, the AIDS pandemic, faith in public policy, stewardship of the earth, evangelism, financial stewardship, and prophetic preaching.
The New Baptist Covenant 2011 Celebration
The New Baptist Covenant gathered again on November 17-19, 2011. What began four years ago with a small group of committed Baptist leaders, accelerated into a grassroots movement. Using the latest technology, NBCII brought the movement to local communities. Second Ponce de Leon Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA served as the anchor site, hosting worship services and breakout sessions that were broadcast via satellite to host cities across the nation. Host cities included St. Louis, San Antonio, Philadelphia, Seattle, Oklahoma, Washington, DC, and Los Angeles. Each host site concluded their gathering with a day of local missions to honor their commitment to the Luke 4 mandate to “bring good news to the poor, proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”