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Mississippi PrayingSouthern White Evangelicals and the Civil Rights Movement, 1945-1975$
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Carolyn Renée Dupont

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780814708415

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814708415.001.0001

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“Born of Conviction”

“Born of Conviction”

The Travail of Mississippi Methodism

Chapter:
(p.127) 6 “Born of Conviction”
Source:
Mississippi Praying
Author(s):

Carolyn Renée Dupont

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814708415.003.0007

This chapter narrates how Pastor Bill Lampton's—along with twenty-seven other pastors'—“Born of Conviction” statement impacted Mississippi's secular and religious communities. Their declaration began with an endorsement of the Methodist Church's position on the Brown decision, while the other four paragraphs expressed opposition to the closing of public schools and affirmed the pastors' belief in the right of ministers to speak their conscience. The outcry over the “Born of Conviction” statement illustrates the turbulence of Mississippi's Methodist community in the civil rights years. The unruliness of Mississippi's Methodist community arose from several sources: the prospect of racial integration in Methodism, the theological variety among Mississippi Methodists, and many Mississippians' loyalties to a diverse national denomination. In a sense, their battles represented one scene in the larger national struggle to redefine the meanings of American Christianity with respect to race relations.

Keywords:   Born of Conviction statement, Pastor Bill Lampton, Mississippi Methodism, racial integration, American Christianity, race relations

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