Politic365 recently spoke with Dr. Carroll A. Baltimore Sr., 19th president of the Progressive National Baptist Convention Inc.
Dr. Baltimore presented an eagle’s eye view of how the unveiling of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial provides perspective on strides made during of the civil rights era and its impact going forward.
Politic365 explored Progressive National Baptist Convention’s stance on the lack of respect shown President Barack Obama as well as the need for increased environmental stewardship in dealing with the climate crisis.
Politic365: What is the significance of the MLK Memorial for America and particularly for African Americans?
Dr. Baltimore: Fifty years later I think it points to the fact in history that where you have a collective vision and work together across divided lines you can accomplish the task before you. We have come a long way in these years of people coming together cross-culturally. What divides us is also what unites us. Our giftedness and uniqueness makes us a nation but also reaches beyond the nation and across the globe. It points to the fact that we accomplished a goal but we still have a lot to accomplish. I see a celebration in the monument. It points to the future stories yet to be told; to be revealed in our children.
Dr. King was so much a part of Progressive. We are his denominational home, and each year in our winter board meeting we have certain parts set aside where we remember his legacy. We rehearse the stories. We rehearse the past, and we look at the present and we look to the future. Where we are is because of the civil rights era. In the past session during legacy night, Dr. Otis Moss brought us through this history. It was such a moment of pride. We are blessed in our connection because many of those civil rights workers are still with us. So we cannot forget. Fred Shuttlesworth and many others are still part of us. This is something we cannot forget.
Politic365: Why has the Progressive National Baptist Convention taken a stand against America’s disrespect of President Obama? Have other religious organizations partnered in this stand?
Dr. Baltimore: Well to use plain simple language over time you get tired of the rhetoric, and particularly being headquartered in D.C., you hear it all. You get tired of the political rhetoric and the disrespect that is allowed to go on and on and on. You see more of this has been allowed during President Obama’s tenure than has been allowed under any president in history. It creates blight on the history of a great nation and upon a people. I am an international global citizen. I do a lot of international ministries, and I hear what others say across cultures in different worlds. How can we be such a great nation and how can we allow such disrespect for our great political leader? We came up with a resolution calling for an end to disrespect to our national chiefdom. During past presidencies you would never hear “Bush,” they would say “President Bush,” but now you hear “Obama.” This is unheard of, and it is weakening our country.
Bishop Charles Ellis, Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Bishop Madden, a number of ecclesiastical giants including Dr. Shaw, former president of National Baptist, Dr. Thurston, president of National Baptist of America, have come together. It is a new day of partnering together, and this is what you are going to see overtime as we go into the future.
Politic365: What role is the Progressive National Baptist Convention playing in current issues such as unemployment?
Dr. Baltimore: We are lobbying our political leaders to create jobs. We are pushing them forward to create jobs. We are also trying to educate our churches and people to become entrepreneurs, to be more diversified, to identify giftedness within their own congregations and to not necessarily be dependent upon society itself but to look for ways where we can care for ourselves. We are doing that all the time with workshops at our national, regional, state and or local church meetings. We are always looking at empowerment programs.
Politic365: What do you perceive as a major 21st century social justice issue that must be addressed?
Dr. Baltimore: One issue that really concerns me is the issue of environmental justice and climate justice. When it comes to African Americans it has a disproportional effect. It affects us tremendously when it comes to health disparity issues. It is my opinion that it will become a major social justice issue that we must tackle and grapple with in this century. If we do not, we will not be able to exist. The Earth has been destroyed, and it affects everything health and quality of life.
Dr. Baltimore is the Senior Pastor of the International Community Baptist Churches in the USA and the Philippines. As a missionary and humanitarian he serves as the President of C.A.B. Outreach Ministries, a nonprofit organization that alleviates cultural and religious barriers to bring people together. Dr. Baltimore is the founder of Carroll A. Baltimore Christian Academy in the Philippines. The school’s name was chosen by the people. Last year, the school was honored as one of the top 10 private schools in the Philippines.
The Progressive National Baptist Convention’s founding principles of Fellowship, Progress, Service and Peace were hewn out of the Gospel’s mandate for social justice and human liberation. Over the past 50 years, the convention has experienced continued growth with more than 2.5 million members in the United States and around the globe. Along with other faith leaders, Progressive National Baptist Convention will participate in MLK consecration services on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 pm. EDT. As part of Saturday’s services, members of the convention will join in a united march from the Lincoln Memorial to the MLK Monument.