Press Release

SBC’s Richard Land comments on the passing of Foy Valentine

Jan 9, 2006

Dr. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, commented on the recent passing of Dr. Foy Valentine, former president of the Christian Life Commission.

“The trustees and staff of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission extend our deepest sympathy to Dr. Foy Valentine’s family and friends as they mourn his passing. His loved ones will be in our prayers during this difficult time of loss.

“Dr. Valentine gave 27 years of faithful service to Southern Baptists as president of what was then known as the Christian Life Commission (now the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission). While Dr. Valentine and I had significant differences of opinion on many issues, all Southern Baptists will be forever in his debt for his courageous and prophetic stance on racial reconciliation and racial equality in the turbulent middle third of the 20th century.

“Personally, it was extremely important to me as a teenager in the 1960s that Dr. Valentine and the commission were on the right side of the race issue, when there were too many institutions and individuals in American life and Southern Baptist life who were on the wrong side.

“Dr. Valentine’s eloquent witness to the biblical truth that racism is a sinful rebellion against the biblical teaching of the equality of all men before the cross, regardless of their race, has earned him a significant place in the history of our denomination.”

The Southern Baptist Convention is America’s largest non-Catholic denomination with more than 16.3 million members in over 43,500 churches nationwide. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is the SBC's ethics, religious liberty and public policy agency with offices in Nashville, Tenn., and Washington, D.C.