Trustees of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS) voted on Monday to maintain its founders’ names on seminary buildings, regardless of accusations from some black Southern Baptists that doing so celebrates slaveholders.
SBTS trustees had gathered nearly for his or her annual fall assembly and addressed whether or not to take away the names of the seminary’s founders from buildings on campus and the undergraduate college. Some Southern Baptists have been calling for the change: The seminary’s founders had been slaveholders and lively supporters of the Confederacy.
In a unanimous determination, the trustees voted to maintain the names in place however take different steps to handle the varsity’s blended historical past. The vote prompted diversified responses, each criticism and commendation, from those that had been pushing for change.
The calls to take away the names weren’t new, however they gained depth this yr, as George Floyd’s dying sparked protests. Seminary founder James P. Boyce and founding college members John Broadus, Basil Manly Jr., and William Williams all owned slaves and supported the Confederacy. SBTS’ undergraduate college is known as Boyce Faculty. Names of Broadus, Manly, and Williams adorn chapels, pupil dorms, and different buildings on campus.
On June 19 (the date in 1865 that slaves in Galveston, Texas, discovered they had been free) Baptist Pastor Dwight McKissic tweeted that Boyce Faculty is “named after a slave grasp, and a person who’d spoken with nice disregard for folks of African dissent. Integrity calls for that SBTS change the identify.” Theologian Celucien Joseph, a professor at Indian River State Faculty, wrote in a June 20 blog post, “The names of those 4 gents convey an excessive amount of ache and struggling to African Individuals, Black Christians, SBTS Black seminarians and alumni, and the quite a few African American and ethnic church buildings” of the Southern Baptist Conference.