Washington, DC–President Barack Obama is the scheduled keynote speaker at a black -tie gala horing the leaders of more than a dozen African American religious organizations. The August 10 banquet is the highlight event of the 50th anniversary celebration of the Progressive National Baptist Convention. The gathering also will celebrate a first-of-its-kind fellowship among African American religious denominations.
“I have always had strong personal friendships and fellowships across denominational lines,” said PNBC president, Dr. Carroll A. Baltimore, Sr. “To draw these leaders together in a more formal coalition is a blessing and a dream-come-true for me. We are honored that these powerful and anointed men of God are taking time from their extraordinarily busy schedules to join us.”
The PNBC, currently including more than 2,000 churches and 2.5 million believers globally, split from te National Baptist Convention — USA in 1961 to provide the denominational home for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other leaders of the Civil Rights movement.
Some 5,000 delegates are expected to attend the 50th Anniversary Annual Session August 7-13 at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park in Washington DC. The week’s activities includes workshops, worship services and a special guest appearance by gospel recording artist Tye Tribbett. The overall theme of the convention, “Securing Our Future: Humility — A People of Fellowship,” along with the historic gathering of religious leaders is the first of myriad initiative expected under Dr. Baltimore’s leadership. He was elected to a four-year term as PNBC’s 19th president in August 2010.
“As we celebrate our own history, we celebrate also the work of other denominations that stood at the forefront of political and social justice issues and that remain the foundation and centerpiece of the African American community,” Baltimore said, “What better way to commemorate our presence as part of the rich history and landscape of this country than by coming than by coming together in the nation’s capital where a Black man sits as President of the United States?”
For further information about the PNBC and the 50th Anniversary Annual Session, visit www.pnbc50.org.