Press Release Apr 4, 2017

ERLC to host MLK50 event in Memphis on 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination

The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention will co-host a special event with The Gospel Coalition on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., called “MLK50: Gospel Reflections from the Mountaintop,” April 4, 2018, in Memphis, Tenn.

This one-day event will provide an opportunity for Christians to reflect on the state of racial unity in the church and in the culture.

Russell Moore, president of the ERLC, commented on the importance of the event.

"The legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., should remind us of what can happen when one speaks to the conscience of the culture and to the conscience of the church. Fifty years after Dr. King's assassination, it is shameful that the church often lags behind the culture around us when it comes to issues of racial justice, unity and reconciliation. We should be leading the way.

"The gospel that reconciles the sons of slaveholders with the sons of slaves is the same gospel that reconciled the sons of Amalek with the sons of Abraham. It is a gospel that reclaims the dignity of humanity and the lordship of God. It is this gospel that Dr. King appealed to, and it is this gospel that belongs to the church as much right now as it ever has. My eager prayer for this event is that it will bring a word of gospel hope, repentance and unity to many brothers and sisters in Christ."

The event will feature key Christian leaders, including:

  • Russell Moore, president, ERLC
  • Benjamin Watson, NFL football player, Baltimore Ravens
  • John Piper, founder, Desiring God
  • Jackie Hill-Perry, writer, poet and artist with Humble Beast Records
  • Don Carson, co-founder and president, The Gospel Coalition; research professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
  • Matt Chandler, lead pastor, The Village Church; president, Acts 29 Network
  • H.B. Charles, pastor, Shiloh Church
  • Afshin Ziafat, lead pastor, Providence Church

The full list of speakers can be found here.

Also serving as co-conveners of the event is an advisory board, made up of key Christian leaders around the country, including:

  • Byron Day, president, National African American Fellowship SBC
  • Danny Akin, president, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Jemar Tisby, president & co-founder, Reformed African American Network
  • Steve Gaines, president, Southern Baptist Convention; senior pastor, Bellevue Baptist Church
  • Justin Giboney, co-founder, The AND Campaign
  • David Dockery, president, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
  • Dhati Lewis, pastor, Blueprint Church
  • Dean Inserra, pastor, City Church Tallahassee
  • David Fleming, senior pastor, Champion Forest Baptist Church
  • Karen Ellis, president, Makaki Institute
  • Felix Cabrera, pastor, Iglesia Bautista Central
  • Kevin Smith, executive director, Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware
  • A. B. Vines, senior pastor, New Seasons Church

A full list of advisory board members is available here.

Registration is now open and complete event details can be found online.