Progressive National Baptist Convention to focus on voting rights during 55th Annual Session in New Orleans
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc. (PNBC) will celebrate its 55th Annual Session in New Orleans from Aug 7-14, 2016. Considered the Emerald Anniversary, PNBC President Dr. James C. Perkins will lead the denomination that represents over 2,000 churches with weeklong events. With the upcoming presidential election, a focus of the Annual Session will include the importance of the vote. PNBC is expected to host one or more of the presidential candidates during the convention.
The denomination was founded out of the Civil Rights Movement and their fight for human and civil rights remains a key mandate. While in New Orleans, the group will focus on informational and education campaigns with an aim of assuring that people of color across the country are registered to vote. PNBC will work with various local and national civic and faith-based organizations to help undergird their message.
Dr. Perkins’ views on voter registration was the basis of a recent Op-Ed article for BlackAmericaWeb.com, “The resurgence of racism, the future of the Supreme Court, the dismantling of the Voting Rights Act, the future of the Affordable Health Care Act, police brutality, and a biased criminal justice system, all make it imperative that we wake up and sound the alarm to stir our people to participate in this year’s election.” Dr. Perkins has called on PNBC churches to hold voter registration drives in their congregations. The denomination is providing the Freedom Sunday Coalition’s Faith Leader’s Toolkit for Civil Engagement as a guide for hosting voter registration drives. PNBC is compiling their churches’ campaign results through posts provided at firstname.lastname@example.org, which will be announced during the Annual Session.
In addition to the voting registration agenda, the Annual Session will provide the expected 5,000 attendees with ministry workshops, Christian Education classes, a pastoral division, and preaching. The Women in Ministry track will feature daily sessions created to encourage and support wo-men ministers and pastors. The Congress of Christian Education features nearly thirty classes with topics from Bible studies to church ministries. One of the most popular components of the Annual Session is the Pastors Division. This year, clergy will choose from learning tracks that enable churches to reach a yearning community. Sessions include Building a Men’s Ministry by Dr. Johnny Ray Youngblood, Using Social Media to Grow Your Church by Dr. Sir Walter Mack, Jr., and Wedding, The Bible and Social Justice by Bishop John R. Bryant. A highlight of the Annual Session is the passionate preaching, and the scheduled pastors should continue the tradition. The following celebrated pastors are featured speakers: Bishop J. D. Wiley Taylor (Missions); Dr. Frederick D. Haynes III (Opening Night); Dr. Kevin Cosby (Education Night); Dr. Charles E. Booth (Dr. Gardner C. Taylor Hour); and Dr. Ralph W. West (Closing Session).
Dr. Perkins will provide a highly anticipated sermon address during the President’s Night event. Adding to the illustrious roster of pastors are Bishop Walter Scott Thomas, Dr. Robert C. Scott, Dr. Jacqueline Thompson, Dr. Michael T. Scott, Dr. James Victor, and Dr. Howard-John Wesley who will offer stirring morning and afternoon messages. On Thursday, August 11, 2016, PNBC will host the Emerald Gala, which is in recognition of the contributions of pastors’ spouses.
The Annual Session is expected to map the goals and objections for the upcoming year that will lead member churches to live out the mission of equipping pastors and churches to be effective in ministry and lifting their voices on behalf of the voiceless.