By / Feb 22

WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 22, 2022—The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, will host a special online eventWednesday, Feb. 23 at 11:00 a.m. EST, on the topic of racial reconciliation and the SBC.

Event panelists include:

  • Ed Litton, President, Southern Baptist Convention
  • Fred Luter, Senior Pastor, Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, La.
  • Missie Branch, Assistant Dean of Students to Women, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary 
  • Jon Kelly, Lead Pastor, Chicago West Bible Church in Chicago, Ill. 

During the event, panelists will address questions and topics such as:

  • How to navigate challenging conversations about race;
  • How the SBC has worked together towards greater unity in recent years;
  • What practical steps churches can take to create unity; 
  • How the SBC can continue to advance racial reconciliation;
  • How to pursue racial reconciliation in your community. 

The ERLC is committed to working towards racial unity and has hosted several events and provided training and content to better equip church leaders on this issue.

Below are ERLC past assets calling attention to racial unity:

Event registration is free and available online.

By / Mar 2

Recently, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to Ethiopia as part of an international effort to encourage the country to reach a peaceful solution with Egypt. What is the conflict over? The Nile River. 

For background, the Nile River flows North from Lake Victoria (shared between Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania) and Lake Tana in Ethiopia. These lakes feed into rivers known as the White Nile and Blue Nile, respectively, which merge in Khartoum, Sudan, to form the longest river in the world—the Nile River. The Blue River is responsible for most of the Nile’s water and rich sediment, thus, residents of Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt have had centuries-long arguments about how to properly allocate its resources. 

To help encourage cooperation between governments over the river, 10 countries in the Nile Basin formed the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) in 1999. In 2011, during massive political turmoil in Egypt, Ethiopia began construction on the Grand Egyptian Resistance Dam (GERD) without the approval of the NBI. This was seen by many of the other countries in the NBI as Ethiopia attempting to dominate the region and exert unilateral control over the Nile. 

In order to avoid violent conflict between Egypt and Ethiopia, the two governments entered into negotiations over how fast GERD was to be built and its reservoir filled. 

Now, in 2020, GERD is almost completely built. 

Negotiations are ongoing between Ethiopia and Egypt with the United States serving as mediator. These negotiations are why Pompeo is traveling to Ethiopia. Egypt is hoping for a slow fill of the reservoir so as not to disrupt the Nile supply downstream, and Ethiopia is hoping for a quicker fill for greater energy production. The United States is reported to have positioned itself somewhere in the middle.

Whatever one thinks about the specific foreign policy these countries should pursue, Christians should critically care about the allocation of Nile River resources for three reasons: political instability, creation care, and humanitarian concerns. 

Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt (to say nothing of the other NBI countries) have complex international and political history. It would be naive to think that the current negotiation over GERD has nothing to do with the rich national narratives of each country and past conflicts between them. 

Not only that, but the stakes are incredibly high. All of these countries face dire economic challenges. Access to the Nile River is an absolute necessity for food security, economic development, sanitation, and energy among other basic resources. Simply put, the Nile River is the only thing between Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt, and a catastrophic humanitarian crisis. 

The governments of these countries know this, and are acting from a posture of self-preservation. This desperation can lead to political unrest, turmoil, and general instability in the region. Disruptions such as this have left room for corruption to gain a foothold in offices of power in the past. We should be wary of leaders using the Nile River to aggress in the region at the expense of their citizens or ones of neighboring countries. 

A Christian response 

In a fallen world, there are limited resources. The gospel compels us to prudentially and responsibly allocate these resources based on the authority granted by God to governments in Romans 13. Christians also must be motivated by God’s mandate in Genesis 2 to steward the natural resources we’ve been given. God has entrusted to us abundant provision, and we are to use it responsibly, not allow it to stir up division. 

Here are three ways Christians can be engaging and praying about this salient issue:

  • Pray the involved governments would have just and sober-minded leaders.
  • Pray for a quick, fair, and peaceful resolution.
  • Pray for God to establish the work of aid organizations on the ground. 

Centuries of people have lived on the banks of this river—planted roots (literally and metaphorically), raised families, and formed regional identities and communities. Lest American Christians think this doesn’t affect them, consider in Exodus when Moses is placed on the Nile to escape a murderous dictator, or in Ezekiel when God uses the Nile to lead his people to repentance. The Nile is an important landmark in the American Christian’s faith. How much more special is it to Egyptian, Sudanese, or Ethiopian Christians?

Sources:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/02/09/world/africa/nile-river-dam.html?te=1&nl=morning-briefing&emc=edit_NN_p_20200210&section=longRead&campaign_id=9&instance_id=15871&segment_id=21131&user_id=17ae888c4735477564fe38903e916ea9&regi_id=100230113ion=longRead

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/africa-in-focus/2020/02/18/why-ethiopia-egypt-and-sudan-should-ditch-a-rushed-washington-brokered-nile-treaty/

https://madamasr.com/en/2020/02/17/feature/politics/sources-us-proposed-gerd-deal-sets-ethiopia-water-release-at-37-bcm-major-disputes-remain/

By / Nov 13

WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 13, 2018—Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, and U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska will join together at the National Press Club, Nov. 26 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. EST for a discussion on the growing problem of loneliness in America. 

The event will be hosted by The Trinity Forum, a nonprofit organization that works to cultivate networks of leaders whose integrity and vision will renew culture and promote human freedom and flourishing. 

During the evening discussion, Sasse will discuss themes from his newly-released book, Them: Why We Hate Each Other and How to Heal. Together, Moore and Sasse will explore ways alienation from one another is destroying individuals’ lives and the fabric of society and what can be done about it. 

Members of the national press are invited to attend and cover the event and participate in a Q&A at the end of the program. To receive FREE media credentials, please email Alyssa Abraham with The Trinity Forum at [email protected]

Event details:

Who: ERLC President Russell Moore, U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska

What: “The Lonely American: Rootedness and Reconciliation in a Riven Land” Reception and Discussion 

When: Monday, Nov. 26, 6:30-8:30 p.m. EST

Where: National Press Club Ballroom on 13th Floor, 529 14th Street NW, Washington, DC, 20045

Media RSVP: Alyssa Abraham with The Trinity Forum, [email protected]

Live Stream: The event will be live-streamed beginning at 7:00 p.m. EST and available to the public on the Trinity Forum YouTube channel and Facebook page.

Ben Sasse is a U.S. Senator representing Nebraska. Previously, Sasse spent five years as president of Midland University, as one of the youngest college presidents in the nation. During his tenure, he revitalized the college, making it the fastest growing college in the state. Previously, Sasse taught at the University of Texas Center for Politics and Governance, and served at both the US Departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services. He also worked with the Boston Consulting Group and McKinsey and Company. He received his B.A. at Harvard University and M.A. from St. John's College, and later earned his M.Phil as well as a Ph.D. in American history from Yale University, where his dissertation won both the Field Prize and the George Washington Egleston Award. He also was an editor for Modern Reformation journal.

Russell Moore is the president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, the moral and public policy agency of the nation’s largest Protestant denomination. Moore is the author of several books, including Onward: Engaging the Culture without Losing the Gospel (Christianity Today’s Book of the Year in 2016) and his most recent book, The Storm-Tossed Family: How the Cross Reshapes the Home.

By / Oct 5

In just a few days, hundreds of people will gather with us in Dallas, Texas, for the 2018 ERLC National Conference, The Cross-Shaped Family.  

We know many of you cannot come in person, but we want to invite you to join us for our mainstage sessions via our livestream, sponsored by Alliance Defending Freedom. Thanks to their support, we are able to provide this livestream for free. Here is a look at some of the sessions you may be especially interested in:

All times are CST (central standard time).

Thursday: (1:00–4:30 p.m. & 6:30–9:00 p.m. sessions)

  • The Storm-Tossed Family with Russell Moore
  • Marriage and the Mystery of the Gospel with Ray Ortlund
  • Strengthening Your Marriage in Ministry: Overcoming Jealousy, Resentment, Discouragement, and Loneliness with Phillip Bethancourt, Nicole Lino, Kevin Ueckert, Chris Osborne, and Christine Hoover
  • The Mingling of Souls with Matt Chandler

Friday: (9:00–11:30 a.m. & 6:30–9:00 p.m. sessions)

  • Interview with Russell Moore and Beth Moore
  • Building Community in the Home with Jen Wilkin
  • Divine Presence: How the Fatherhood of God Shapes Leadership in the Home with Eric Mason

Saturday: (9:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m. sessions)

  • The Suffering Family and the Goodness of God with Erick Erickson
  • The Church as the Family of God: Singleness, Same-Sex Attraction, and the Hope of Hospitality with Sam Allberry

We will be livestreaming all mainstage sessions at live.erlc.com. You do not need to pre-register but we recommend you take a look at the entire schedule here and set some calendar reminders for yourself so you don’t miss anything.

On October 11, head to live.erlc.com and watch at your convenience. You will also be able to rewind the livestream once it has begun. If you’re at work during the day, go to the link and rewind to any sessions you missed.

We look forward to having you be a part of the conference from wherever you are in the world, via your own computer, tablet, or phone. Make sure to follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, and use the hashtag #ERLC2018 to see what others are saying about the conference!  

By / Sep 19

Baptist Messenger covers the upcoming National Conference and release of Russell Moore's Storm-Tossed Family book. Listen to the full interview here

By / Sep 6

Family life can be difficult with broken people in a broken culture. So how can followers of Jesus find strength to parent well, and how can families find hope when cultural forces, temptations, and difficulties often bring pressure and chaos?

Next month, hundreds of married couples, parents, grandparents, singles, and church leaders will gather in Dallas, Texas, for the 2018 ERLC National Conference to learn what family means as Christians and how we can find our identity, ultimately, in the family of God. This is a conference for parents and pastors, for lay leaders and youth workers, for young and old to come and learn what the Bible has to say about families that live on mission for God in the 21st century.

We need your help

We need your help. We know there are many who would like to attend this conference but finances or other factors prevent them from coming. Therefore, we’d like to bless a married couple or single by providing them with two nights at the Gaylord Texan and free event registration.

On the form below, please nominate a couple in your life who would benefit from attending the conference in Dallas, Texas, on October 11-13. Perhaps they are brand new grandparents who want to make a gospel impact on their grandchildren. Or maybe they are a young couple who just got married this summer and would benefit greatly from learning about the importance of placing Christ at the center of their marriage. You may know a couple who is adopting or fostering and could really use time away to get focused on the new season of life they are about to enter. Or you may know a single mom who could use support and refreshment. 

Please write 300-500 words telling us why you think your nominee(s) deserves to be blessed in this way. We will accept nominations until September 21. The winner(s) will be chosen the last week of September, and hotel accommodations will be set up by our events team.

Contest winners will receive:

  • 2-night stay at the Gaylord Texan on October 11-12
  • Conference registration for 2 people
  • Gospel for Life book series

Thank you for helping us honor families. We hope those who attend will walk away refreshed and equipped to do the task God has placed before them.

By / May 28

The 2018 SBC is almost here, so it’s with great pleasure that we introduce our sixth annual ERLC guide to food and fun at the convention. We want to bring you the best of what Dallas has to offer so that you can make the most of your time at the annual meeting. Josh King has another great guide to Dallas as well.  

While you’re at the SBC, be sure to make plans to join the ERLC at these events:

  • 2018 SBC Pre-Conference: The SBC Pre-Conference on The Gospel & The Future of the Church, hosted by the Village Church, and in partnership with Southern Seminary, will occur June 8-9. This conference, featuring Russell Moore, Jen Wilkin, Matt Chandler, Trillia Newbell and more, will tackle key issues including preaching, evangelism, discipleship, church planting, sexuality, cultural engagement, missions, and more.
  • Gospel Sexuality in a #MeToo Culture:  Christians are now living in a #MeToo moment. The culture is confronting sexual abuse, sexual assault, and domestic violence. But what about the church? How should the Bible shape the way we deal with sexual  brokenness? Join Russell Moore, Jamie Ivey, James Merritt, and Trillia Newbell for a candid conversation on Monday, June 11th, at 9 p.m.
  • Global Hunger Relief Run: Sign up for this 5K to benefit Southern Baptist’s efforts to alleviate hunger around the world.  
  • B21 Luncheon: The B21 Panel will take place on Tuesday, June 12th, immediately following the morning session (approximately 11:45 a.m.) Register to hear from Russell Moore, Matt Chandler, Albert Mohler, Kevin Smith, and Danny Akin. Lunch and books will be provided to all paying attendees.

Dallas

Food

Dallas has myriad food options, including never-ending Tex-Mex choices. With the help of a few friends over Twitter, we’ve compiled a list of options around the Dallas/Fort Worth area—in order of zip code. The Convention Center’s address is 650 S Griffin St, Dallas, TX 75202. You can plug these restaurants into your phone to see what’s closest. We hope you enjoy!  

Babe’s Chicken Dinner House | @BabesChicken Address: 1006 W Main St, Carrollton, TX 75006 Phone number: (972) 245-7773  

Hard Eight BBQ | @HardEightBBQ “Texas-style barbecue straight from the smoke pit & sides in a rustic, cafeteria-style setup.” Address: 688 Freeport Pkwy, Coppell, TX 75019 Phone: (972) 471-5462  

Hutchins BBQ | @HutchinsBBQ “Local fixture for all-you-can-eat BBQ buffet with brisket, ribs & fried catfish in rustic-chic digs.” Address: 1301 N Tennessee St, McKinney, TX 75069 Phone: (972) 548-2629  

Sammy’s BBQ “Country-style BBQ joint serves a concise menu of sandwiches, platters & sides over the counter.” Address: 2126 Leonard St, Dallas, TX 75201 Phone: (214) 880-9064

Meso Maya Comdia Y Copas | @MesoMayaDallas “Contemporary Mexican eatery serving Oaxaca- & Puebla-inspired recipes to a trendy crowd.” Address: 1227, 1611 McKinney Ave, Dallas, TX 75202 Phone: (214) 484-6555  

Whataburger | @Whataburger “Circa-1950 fast-food chain for counter-serve burgers.” Address: 2428 N Haskell Ave, Dallas, TX 75204 Phone: (214) 821-0293  

The Rustic | New American Restaurant | @TheRustic “Down-home venue with locally sourced American eats & an outdoor patio with live music.” Address: 3656 Howell St, Dallas, TX 75204 Phone: (214) 730-0596  

Amore | Italian Restaurant “Intimate destination for Italian classics such as lasagna & Neapolitan pizza.” Address: 6931 Snider Plaza, Dallas, TX 75205 Phone: (214) 739-0502  

Bubbas “Retro-style diner serving comfort food classics either at the counter or the drive-thru window.” Address: 6617 Hillcrest Ave, Dallas, TX 75205 Phone: (214) 373-6527  

Burger House Hamburger Restaurant | @burgerhouse “Long-running fast-food chain serving burgers, hot dogs, fries & malts in a low-key setting.” Address: 6913 Hillcrest Ave, Dallas, TX 75205 Phone: (214) 361-0370  

Peggy Sue BBQ, “Homey barbecue joint serving smoked meats & sides in checked-tablecloth digs.” Address: 6600 Snider Plaza, Dallas, TX 75205 Phone: (214) 987-9188  

Blue Goose Cantina | @Blue_Goose “Lively local cantina chain serving mesquite-grilled Tex-Mex fare.” Address: 2905 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX 75206 Phone: (214) 823-8339  

Company Cafe | Gluten-Free Restaurant | @CompanyCafeDFW “Casual spot with hip wood-paneled walls serves eclectic fare made with local & organic ingredients.” Address: 2104 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX 75206 Phone: (214) 827-2233  

Rapscallion | Southern Restaurant | @RpscllnDallas “Handsome restaurant serving updated Southern fare, including Nashville-style hot chicken & more.” Address: 2023 Greenville Ave #110, Dallas, TX 75206 Phone: (469) 291-5660  

Snuffers | Hamburger Restaurant | @snuffersburgers “Local chain serving burgers, cheddar fries & other American classics in an old-school space.” Address: 3526 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX 75206 Phone: (214) 826-6850  

Rise No. 1 | French Restaurant | @risesouffle “Sweet & savory soufflés, plus French classics & cheese in a warm space with whimsical decor.” Address: 5360 W Lovers Ln #220, Dallas, TX 75209 Phone: (214) 366-9900  

Taco Joint | Tex-Mex Restaurant | @TacoJoint “Local counter-serve chain offering Tex-Mex faves, including breakfast options, in a casual space.” Address: 6434 E Mockingbird Ln, Dallas, TX 75214 Phone: (214) 821-8226  

Maple and Motor | American Restaurant | @MAPLEANDMOTOR “Bustling counter-serve diner with hip, no-frills decor, serving serious burgers and onion rings. Address: 4810 Maple Ave, Dallas, TX 75219 Phone: (214) 522-4400  

Pappasitos Cantina | Tex-Mex Restaurant | @PappasitosTXMEX “Tex-Mex dishes are the stars at this chain with a festive look.” Address: 10433 Lombardy Ln, Dallas, TX 75220 Phone: (214) 350-1970  

Pecan Lodge BBQ | @PecanLodge “A variety of smoked meats, sides & desserts are served at this BBQ eatery.” Address: 2702 Main St, Dallas, TX 75226 Phone: (214) 748-8900  

Cane Rosso | @canerosso “Pizzeria specializing in wood-fired Neapolitan pies. plus Italian sandwiches, pastas & desserts.” Address: 2612 Commerce St, Dallas, TX 75226 Phone: (214) 741-1188  

Uncle Uber’s Sammich Shop Sandwich Shop | @UncleUbers “Funky little sandwich shop offering hearty, eclectic bites amid colorful, nostalgic decor.” Address: 2713 Commerce St, Dallas, TX 75226 Phone: (214) 653-8237  

Torchy's Tacos | @torchystacos “Local chain serving Mexican-street-food-style tacos in inventive varieties, including for breakfast.” Address: 5921 Forest Ln #200, Dallas, TX 75230 Phone: (972) 720-9200  

Hook-Line & Sinker | Seafood Restaurant | @Hlsinker “Rustic, casual shack known for seafood every which way in boat-themed digs.” Address: 17602 Preston Rd, Dallas, TX 75252 Phone: (469) 587-5888  

Coffee and dessert  

Crooked Tree Coffee House | @crookedtree “Locally roasted organic coffee, breakfast pastries & sandwiches set in a homey old house with WiFi.” Address: 2414 Routh St, Dallas, TX 75201 Phone: (214) 953-1142  

Steel City Pops | @SteelCityPops “Go-to for craft popsicles made with organic, locally sourced ingredients in creative flavors.” Address: 2012 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX 75206 Phone: (972) 525-7359  

Emporium Pies | @EmporiumPies “Pie specialist in a cottage with a few tables offering signature sweets & seasonal specials.” Address: 314 N Bishop Ave, Dallas, TX 75208 Phone: (469) 206-6126  

Things to do and see  

Klyde Warren Park | @KlydeWarrenPark “Klyde Warren Park is a 5.2-acre public park in Downtown Dallas. The park is over the Woodall Rodgers Freeway, and opened in 2012. It is named for Klyde Warren, the young son of billionaire Kelcy Warren.” Address: 2012 Woodall Rodgers Fwy, Dallas, TX 75201 Phone: (214) 716-4500

Logos “Wonderful locally owned Christian bookstore.” Address: 6620 Snider Plaza, Dallas, TX 75205 Phone: (214) 369-3245  

Dallas Arboretum | @dallasarboretum “The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is a 66-acre botanical garden located on the southeastern shore of White Rock Lake.” Address: 8525 Garland Rd, Dallas, TX 75218 Area: 66 acres  

Perot Museum of Nature and Science | @PerotMuseum “The Perot Museum of Nature and Science is a natural history and science museum located in Dallas, Texas. It consists of two campuses: the primary campus located in Victory Park, and a secondary campus in Fair Park.” Address: 2201 N Field St, Dallas, TX 75201 Phone: (214) 428-5555  

Top Golf | @Topgolf “Sprawling entertainment venue with a high-tech driving range.” Address: 8787 Park Ln, Dallas, TX 75231 Phone: (214) 341-9600  

Dallas Cowboys Stadium | @dallascowboys “AT&T Stadium, formerly Cowboys Stadium, is a retractable roof stadium in Arlington, Texas, United States. It serves as the home of the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League and was completed on May 27, 2009.” Address: 1 AT&T Way, Arlington, TX 76011  

Fort Worth

Food

Riscky’s BBQ | @risckysbbq “Family-friendly eatery dishes BBQ classics, plus burgers & sides, in rustic digs with neon signs.” Address: 300 Main St, Fort Worth, TX 76102 Phone: (817) 877-3306  

Heim BBQ | @HeimBBQ “Buzzy spot for handcrafted BBQ in a cozy, casual space with a small patio.” Address: 1109 W Magnolia Ave, Fort Worth, TX 76104 Phone: (817) 882-6970  

Cattlemen’s Steakhouse, “Casual, old-school restaurant since 1947 with basic digs featuring cow art.” Address: 2458 N Main St, Fort Worth, TX 76164 Phone: (817) 624-3945

Joe T. Garcia’s | Tex-Mex Restaurant   “Busy Tex-Mex icon serving fajitas & more in casual, sprawling digs with a patio.” Address: 2201 N Commerce St, Fort Worth, TX 76164 Phone: (817) 626-4356   Coffee

Sons of Liberty Coffee Address: 250 W Lancaster Ave #120, Fort Worth, TX 76102 Phone: (817) 330-6865  

Things to do and see

Fort Worth Stockyards & Daily cattle drives “The Fort Worth Stockyards is a historic district that is located in Fort Worth, Texas, north of the central business district.” Address: 130 E Exchange Ave, Fort Worth, TX 76164 Phone: (817) 624-4741

By / May 2

FLOWER MOUND, TEXAS, May 2, 2018—The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission will host a Southern Baptist Convention Pre-Conference on “The Gospel & The Future of the Church” prior to the annual meeting of the SBC. The event will be co-hosted by The Village Church, in partnership with The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and will take place June 8-9 at The Village Church in Flower Mound, Texas.

Top leaders within the SBC will speak on topics such as preaching, evangelism, discipleship, church planting, human sexuality, cultural engagement, missions and more.

Members of the national press are invited to attend the event for FREE and will also be given an opportunity to conduct interviews with event speakers.

SBC Pre-Conference speakers include:

  • Russell Moore, president, The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission
  • Matt Chandler, lead pastor, The Village Church, Flower Mound, Texas
  • Steve Gaines, president, Southern Baptist Convention; senior pastor, Bellevue Baptist Church, Memphis, Tenn.
  • R. Albert Mohler, president, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky
  • Kevin Ezell, president, North American Mission Board, Alpharetta, Ga.
  • JD Greear, pastor, The Summit Church, Durham, N.C.
  • Jen Wilkin, author and Bible teacher, Dallas, Texas
  • Danny Akin, president, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, N.C.
  • Trillia Newbell, director of community outreach, ERLC, Nashville, Tenn.
  • Afshin Ziafat, lead pastor, Providence Church, Frisco, Texas
  • Matt Carter, Pastor of Teaching and Vision, The Austin Stone Community Church, Austin, Texas

Press registration information is available online. For questions, please email [email protected].

Plenary addresses will be live-streamed on erlc.com and sessions will be posted on the ERLC website after the event. For more details on speakers and the event schedule, visit the website.

By / Apr 9

Last week, nearly 4,000 attendees joined us in Memphis for MLK50: Gospel Reflections from the Mountaintop, as we remembered the the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and considered the future of gospel-shaped racial unity. Of all the events the ERLC has put on, this one was one of the most unique and significant. Here are some of the highlights of our time together:

6:01 p.m. | Tens of thousands gathered around the Lorraine Motel, waiting for the clock to strike 6:01 p.m.—the exact moment Dr. King was killed 50 years ago. In order to commemorate his death, a bell was rung 39 times to represent the age he was when he died. I won’t forget that solemn moment as the echo of the bell pierced the silence to memorialize one of the most significant figures in American history.

Dr. Moore's opening message | The first keynote by Dr. Russell Moore set the entire trajectory for the conference. He called the American church to deal honestly with our past failures and grapple with our future opportunities. I've had a front row seat to his preparation for this message for the past several months, and it will go down as one of the most significant addresses of his first five years at the ERLC. You can watch the message here.

MLK50 Dream Forward Scholarship Initiative | We were excited to unveil a new scholarship initiative involving more than 20 Christian colleges and seminaries. These institutions have committed more than $1.5 million in scholarship money to train the next generation of Memphis-area leaders. One of the most common points of feedback we received from local Memphis leaders and our national advisory council as we prepared for MLK50 was the need to address the educational disparity that minority students face. This initiative was an important step in that direction for the city of Memphis. You can learn more about the scholarship initiative here.

Evangelicals and Racial Unity panel | I had the joy of leading the final panel of the conference which included Don Carson, Afshin Ziafat, Crawford Loritts, H.B. Charles and Beth Moore. They discussed the challenges and opportunities evangelicals face as we seek to be champions for racial unity. Their wisdom on how to navigate the tensions that have emerged since 2016 was as insightful as it was practical. You can watch the panel here.

Private gatherings | Throughout the conference, we gathered more than 100 key Christian pastors and leaders to strengthen relationships and foster candid conversations on pressing issues related to racial unity. Our hope is that the breakthroughs that occurred behind the scenes will bear fruit in the years to come as they strengthen courage, conviction, and collaboration.

Memphis Christian Pastors Network offering | We didn't want to simply use Memphis as a backdrop for our event. We wanted to find a way to invest in the city long-term. Rather than manufacture our own efforts, we chose to partner with the excellent work of the Memphis Christian Pastors Network, which is under the leadership of Rufus Smith. Entering the event, we hoped our offering would raise $10–12,000. So, we were delighted when the offering exceeded $16,000. You can learn more about the offering here.

John Perkins interview | We were blessed to hear from the living Civil Rights legend, Dr. John Perkins. His prescient insights were invaluable. "We are in trouble, people,” Perkins exclaimed form the stage, “And the only hope is the church!" As Dr. Perkins nears the sunset of his life, those that were gathered with us in Memphis will always remember the special time we had together. You can watch the interview here.  

If you weren’t able to join us in Memphis or through the simulcast, you can still benefit from the timely and challenging messages. Click here to listen and be challenged to pray for and engage in the gospel cause of racial unity.

By / Mar 28

In just a few days, over 3,500 church members and leaders will gather with us in Memphis for MLK50: Gospel Reflections from the Mountaintop in order to commemorate 50 years since Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination.

We know many of you cannot come in person, but I want to invite you to join us for our mainstage sessions via the live simulcast. Here are a few of the amazing talks you’ll have access to:

Tuesday

Session 1: 1:00-3:00 p.m.

Keynote 1 | Black and White and Red All Over: Why Racial Justice Is a Gospel Issue | Russell Moore

Session 2: 3:30-5:20 p.m.

Brief Talk 1 | Equipping the Next Generation to Embrace Gospel Diversity | Jackie Hill Perry

Session 3: 7:00-9:30 p.m.

Keynote 5 | The Civil Rights Movement 50 Years after MLK: An Interview with Russell Moore | John Perkins

Panel 3 | Civil Rights Storytellers with Sandy Willson (Moderator), John Perkins, Melvin Charles Smith, James Netters, and Beverly Robertson

Wednesday

Session 4: 8:30-10:00 a.m.

Keynote 6 | A House Divided Cannot Stand: Understanding and Overcoming the Inconsistencies in White Evangelicals on Racial Issues | Matt Chandler

Session 5: 10:30-11:35 a.m.

Panel 4 | The State of Racial Tension in America with Collin Hansen (Moderator), Christina Edmondson, Justin Giboney, Juan Sanchez, and Benjamin Watson

Session 6: 7:00-9:40 p.m.

Keynote 8 | The Glory of God and Racial Unity | John Piper

On April 3, head to mlk50conference.com/live/ and watch at your convenience. You will also be able to rewind the livestream once it has begun. You do not need to pre-register, but I recommend you take a look at the entire schedule here and set some calendar reminders so you don’t miss anything!

We look forward to having you be a part of the conference from wherever you are in the world, via your own computer, tablet, or phone. Use the hashtag #MLK50conference to see what others are saying about the conference.