Group Calls Southern Baptist Seminary To Repent And Pay Reparations For Slavery

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Written by Ann Brown
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Photo: Boston Public Library Tichnor Brothers collection/Tichnor Bros. Inc., Boston, Mass.

Reparations have become an issue for many educational institutions, from Harvard to Yale to Cambridge University. Now former faculty members at a Southern Baptist Convention seminary as well as Baptist professors at other schools are urging financial reparations to American descendants of slavery in a petition now collecting signatures on change.org.

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“Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Albert Mohler and his trustee chairman turned down a request by a coalition of Black and white pastors in Louisville, Kentucky – the city where Southern Seminary is located – to ‘transfer a meaningful portion’ of financial wealth to Simmons College, a historically Black institution with ties to non-SBC groups including the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship,” the Baptist News reported.

But the Louisville, Kentucky, seminary has rejected a call to pay reparations for slavery to Simmons, which was founded by former slaves.

The seminary is the oldest of six associated with the Southern Baptist Convention. And according to the Louisville Courier Journal, the seminary said “conflicting theologies” prevent it from donating funds to Simmons College.

“[A] partnership can come only with institutions that share our theological commitments,” wrote seminary Mohler Jr. and trustees Chairman Matthew Schmucker to EmpowerWest’s Reverend Joe Phelps, who along with other clergy are seeking to have the seminary to give a “meaningful portion” of its assets — a “biblical tithe” of ten percent — to Simmons “as an act of ‘repentance and repair’ to the descendants of slaves.”

“A repair is paying back people you’ve wronged,” Phelps said.

In December, a Southern Seminary report commissioned by Mohler revealed that its “founders owned more than 50 slaves and that past faculty believed in the ‘superiority of white civilization and that this justified racial inequality,’” the College Fix reported.


About Ann Brown

Ann Brown has been a freelance writer for more than two decades. Her work has appeared in CocoaFab, Black Enterprise, Essence, MadameNoire.com, New York Trend, Upscale, Moguldom, AFKInsider, The Network Journal, Playboy, Africa Strictly Business, For Harriet, Pathfinders, Black Meetings & Tourism, Frequent Flier, Girl, Honey, Source Sports, The Source, Black Radio Exclusive, and Launch. She studied journalism at New York University and has her B.A. Born in New York, Ann lived in Praia, Cabo Verde, for nearly a decade. She created “An American In Cabo Verde,” a Facebook community.