Southern Baptist Convention

1. That we record our gratitude that for the year 1938 the number of lynchings decreased and that only six lives were sacrificed to mob violence; That it brings a deep sense of sorrow and shame to us, both as citizens and Christians, that this form of lawlessness should still persist to any degree; That we pledge ourselves and urge all citizens to contend earnestly for the administration of justice under the orderly processes of law, reaffirming our unalterable opposition to all forms of mob violence.

2. That while lynching is not due wholly to racial antipathies nor the victims of lynching limited to any one race, it is beyond doubt or question that racial antipathies are often one of the chief contributing causes; That we are glad to believe and have many good reasons to believe that as between the white and colored races within the bounds of this Convention racial animosities are growing less and racial understanding and cooperation are increasing, as indicated by the fact that the white people of the South, especially our Baptist pastors and churches, are establishing and maintaining frequent contacts of a friendly and helpful nature with the Negro race; That we urge our Baptist people everywhere to maintain and extend these friendly and helpful contacts and relations, remembering always the law of Christian obligation that the strong should bear the burdens of the weak, and yet doing this without any spirit of patronizing or air of condescending.

3. That we recognize the many inequalities and injustices which still exist in the dealings of organized society and of individuals with the Negro race and in the provision made for the advancement of the Negro race, such as the disproportionate distribution of public school funds, the lack of equal and impartial administration of justice in the courts, inadequate wages paid for Negro labor and the lack of adequate industrial and commercial opportunity for the Negro race as a whole; That we pledge ourselves as Christians and citizens to use our influence and give our efforts for the correction of these inequalities and for securing for the Negro opportunities for his full development in his education, industrial and religious life.


View all 1939 Resolutions.