Having seen a few Southern Baptist Convention rodeos during my time, I would assume that most of the key debates about the work of the Rev. Russell Moore have moved back into the world of emails, cellphones and talks behind closed doors.
The key for reporters -- other than paying attention to social media -- will be to try to figure out when and where young and old Baptists in the various niches will gather to talk shop over coffee during breaks in their usual meetings. (Few Southern Baptists hide out and talk in bars. But think about it: Would reporters ever think to look for them there?)
Maybe look for gatherings of pastors at the level of regional associations, maybe in North Texas and other hot zones? As I suggested in my earlier post, I would also keep an eye on Louisville and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where Moore has many ties. The leader of that campus, of course, is the influential President Albert Mohler, Jr., another articulate conservative critic of Donald Trump.
Now that public debates about Moore's work have begun -- with some journalists paying attention -- it is crucial that key leaders in the growing networks of African-American Southern Baptist churches have made their views clear. These churches are crucial to the SBC's future and national leaders know it. Click here for a strategic Baptist Press story on that, released before the March 13 meeting between Moore and the Rev. Frank Page, head of the SBC executive committee.
In terms of a mainstream news update on these developments, look to this story by Religion News Service veteran Adelle Banks, with this headline: "Black Southern Baptists: ‘We are pulling for Dr. Moore’."
Like I said, they are making their views quite clear.
(RNS) Embattled Southern Baptist ethicist Russell Moore, the public face of the nation’s largest Protestant group, has at least one group of vocal supporters: African-American Southern Baptist leaders.