Ala. Baptists Commit to Racial Reconciliation on 50th Anniversary of Bus Boycott

Two weeks remain before the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott and Baptists have agreed on a resolution for racial reconciliation in conjunction with the historic day.

During an annual meeting of the Alabama Baptist State Convention at Whitesburg Baptist Church in Huntsville on Nov. 15-16, Baptists approved eight resolutions, one of which called for the promotion of racial harmony.

"I want Alabama Baptists to get the credit for being a leader in racial reconciliation," said Jay Wolf, pastor of First Baptist Church in Montgomery and chair of the resolutions committee, according to the Associated Baptist Press.

The resolution easily passed among the more than 1,000 Baptist messengers who attended the meeting. Alabama Baptists will use the anniversary on Dec. 1 – which marks 50 years since the humble yet bold act of the late Rosa Parks – to foster the newly approved resolution.

Parks died at the age of 92 on Oct. 24, 2005, bringing the nation to a pause to pay tribute to the civil rights mother. She became the second African American and first woman ever to be honored at the Capitol Rotunda after her passing.

The upcoming anniversary provides a stage for promoting unity and the progress made in race relations in Alabama, said Wolf.

"God calls us to be reconcilers," he added. "If we can get black and white churches working together, that will be massive."

Using the anniversary to foster unity, the resolution calls for "joint evangelism efforts" to "destroy barriers of racism and build bridges of racial reconciliation" among the African-American and White churches.

Parks' refusal to give up her seat for a white passenger sparked the 381-day Montgomery Bus Boycott which concluded with the outlawing of segregation. Now 50 years later, the city of Montgomery is observing the boycott anniversary with a series of events that kicked off in October and is scheduled to continue until Dec. 6, when a granite marker will be dedicated in memory of Arlam Carr Sr., founder of One Montgomery.