Published January 22, 2015
ATLANTA — Georgia Baptist leaders were highly visible at the Jan. 13 Religious Freedom Rally at the state capitol which ended with a march to the office of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.
The 90-minute event included comments from leading members of the city’s religious community as well as representatives from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and the Family Research Council. The rally was called to deliver nearly 40,000 signed petitions protesting the firing of Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran for his comments against homosexuality in a self-published book.
The book was written for his church’s men’s Bible study and drew the ire of the LGBT community and members of the fire department who cited possible future discrimination if Cochran remained in his job – though no such charges had ever been made about the member of Elizabeth Baptist Church, which is affiliated with the Georgia Baptist Convention.
GBC Executive Director J. Robert White proclaimed the infallibility of Holy Scripture as he held up his Bible in the capitol rotunda and declared, “If we think we can judge the Word of God, we are wrong; God’s Word judges us. We are all sinners, but God has provided the solution in Jesus Christ.”
Richard Lee, former pastor of First Redeemer Church in Cumming, stated, “I don’t know the Mayor and I can’t read his mind, but I do know the First Amendment” indicating his deep conviction about the Constitution that “prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, [or] impeding the free exercise of religion.”
Bishop Paul S. Morton, founder and presiding bishop of the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship International, spoke with a commanding voice and as he surveyed the large crowd and looked up into the galleries, declared, “It’s about time! What the devil meant for evil, God meant for good.
“It seems that the church today has become like wimps. We are afraid to talk about what we believe and in whom we believe in, but I feel like a change is coming to this state.
“We cannot allow this country or Atlanta to become a communist country. The devil is slick. If they can stop us from talking about the Bible, then the next step is to take our Bible, and if they take our Bible and hear us still talking about the Bible, they will try to penalize us.
“But I will tell you we ain’t going out this way. No, we are not going out this way.”
For a more detailed account of the rally and enhanced photo coverage, visit the Index website at www.christianindex.org
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