Georgia Baptists join nationwide 'personhood for preborn' effort

by Vanessa Garcia Rodriguez, |
Ken Hall, chairman of the Georgia Baptist Convention's resolutions committee, presents his committee's report on six policy statements and an expression of gratitude. Hall is pastor of the First Baptist Church in Lilburn, Ga. | Screen Capture: Georgia Baptist Convention video

MACON, Ga. (Christian Examiner) -- The Georgia Baptist Convention adopted a resolution supporting personhood for the unborn during their annual meeting last week, Nov. 10-11.

The policy statement, representing 1,400,000 Baptists in about 3,300 churches, read that "All innocent human life must be respected and protected regardless of race, sex, age or condition of dependency and regardless of manner of conception or creation, and are persons of equal and immeasurable worth and inviolable dignity."

The resolution also pledged Georgia Baptists' support for a personhood amendment to Georgia's constitution.

The resolution comes amid disappointing personhood ballot results nationwide, as constitutional initiatives failed in Colorado and North Dakota. Tennessee was the lone victory for pro-life supporters, with voters passing a state amendment that would allow legislative protections for vulnerable pregnant women and their unborn.

"I am deeply grateful that GBC has officially endorsed Personhood as the most effective way to protect all innocent human life," Georgia Right to Life President Dan Becker said in a released statement. "Having their support is crucial to our efforts."

Becker pointed to Georgia Baptists as setting the standard and encouraged other churches to commit to pray about following the example "and support the personhood of all individuals." Under Becker's leadership, Georgia Right to Life formed the Personhood Alliance as a local grassroots effort of pro-life groups and individuals.

The resolution, submitted by messenger Mike Stone of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Blackshear, Ga., quoted both the Bible and the Declaration of Independence in gaining approval by the 1,200 registered messengers.

Stating the biblical instruction that "man was created in God's image" and the American principle that "man was endowed with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life ..." the resolution committed the Georgia Baptist Convention to work "to assist the church as it seeks to affirm the personhood of every human being ... ."

It also committed Georgia Baptists to work toward "a personhood amendment to the Georgia Constitution which would specify that the protections guaranteed under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution apply to preborn children."

Georgia churches are asked to address the personhood issue on the Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, January 18, 2015.