Anti-lynching Act, Top Worship Songs, & Diverse Leadership
President Biden signed the Emmett Till Anti-lynching Act, which classifies lynching as a federal hate crime. “Build My Life,” Pat Barrett’s passionate proclamation of holiness and righteousness, was the top worship song of 2021. And Willie McLaurin is the first African American to lead an entity of the SBC.
Southern Baptist leaders commended the enactment of an anti-lynching law that required more than 120 years of legislative efforts before succeeding.
In a ceremony March 29 at the White House, President Biden signed the Emmett Till Anti-lynching Act, which classifies lynching as a federal hate crime. Under the measure, a person found guilty of
conspiring to carry out an act of lynching that results in “death or serious bodily injury” may be sentenced to a maximum of 30 years and fined.Till, a 14-year-old African American from Chicago, was visiting relatives in Mississippi in 1955 when he was abducted and viciously murdered allegedly for flirting with a white woman. At Till’s funeral, the casket was left open at his mother’s insistence so others could witness the brutality inflicted on her son. The events are credited with helping inspire the civil rights movement. While two white men were acquitted of the crime, they later told a reporter they had kidnapped and killed Till, according to the Associated Press.
“Build My Life,” Pat Barrett’s passionate proclamation of holiness and righteousness, was the top worship song of 2021, church technology company Faithlife said in its annual report March 30.
Most sermons in 2021 focused on the keywords of God, Jesus, love, power, faith and glory. The top trending Bible passage was Ephesians 3:14-21.
Joining Build My Life, the top 10 worship songs were, in descending rank, “Way Maker” by Sinach, which lost its 2020 top spot; “Great Are You Lord” by Sons & Daughters, “Goodness of God” by Bethel Music, “10,000 Reasons” by Matt Redman, “How Great is Our God” by Chris Tomlin, “What a Beautiful Name” by Hillsong Worship, “This is Amazing Grace” by Phil Wickham, “Graves into Gardens” by Elevation Worship and Brandon Lake, and “In Christ Alone” by Adrienne Camp.
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Willie McLaurin is leading the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention. He’s the first African American to lead an entity of the SBC. He believes it’s an important accomplishment for the convention of almost 47,000 churches.
McLaurin said, “It marks a significant turning point in the history of the SBC. This is the first time in 177 years that an individual of non-Anglo descent has served as the interim or head of any SBC entity. This moment is marked with a number of African Americans who are serving in key positions in state conventions, associations and national entities. In addition, many of our state conventions have non-Anglo leaders serving as president of their state conventions. I am prayerful this moment will signal the Southern Baptist Convention is actively engaged in atoning for the stain of racism.”
Find more stories at BaptistPress.com. Thanks for listening to Good News for Today. I’m Brandon Porter.
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