Rice to Address Southern Baptists at Upcoming Meeting

WASHINGTON – Condoleezza Rice, the U.S. Secretary of State and a Southern Baptist, is expected to speak in person at the upcoming Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Greensboro, N.C., next Wednesday.

"We are grateful that we can hear personally from such an articulate spokesperson for our nation," Bobby Welch, outgoing president of the 16-million-member denomination told Baptist Press. "Not only will messengers receive a first-hand report on our nation, but undoubtedly they will be encouraged by Secretary Rice's personal journey of faith. Being reared in a Christian family alongside a pastor father, she will feel right at home among Southern Baptists from all over the world."

This is the first time Rice has addressed the denomination. Last year, President Bush addressed the church via video stream.

Her visit comes as approval ratings for Bush dropped to record lows. According to an AP-Ipsos poll taken this week, the President’s approval rating was at 35 percent – statistically within the range of his all-time low of 33 percent last month.

Rice has served as Secretary of State since January 2005, and served as national security advisor to President Bush before coming to Washington. She is the author of “Germany Unified and Europe Transformed,” “The Gorbachev Era” and “Uncertain Allegiance: The Soviet Union and the Czechoslovak Army.”

Born in 1954 in Birmingham, Ala., Rice has a bachelor's degree from the University of Denver, a master's degree from the University of Notre Dame and a Ph.D. from the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver.