Luncheons

and Galas

Luncheons and Galas

2019 BJC Luncheon with Jonathan Merritt in Birmingham, Alabama

Religious liberty supporters from across the country gathered under banners with the revamped BJC logo on June 21, 2019. Jonathan Merritt — bestselling author of Learning to Speak God from Scratch — urged the audience that it was their Christian obligation to speak out. “The world needs you to lead the conversation, especially in this moment,” he said. “I think it can make a difference. I think it needs to make a difference.”

Watch the 2019 BJC Luncheon 2019 (Video)
Recap: The Unveiling in Report from the Capital (Magazine)
BJC Luncheon 2019 (Photos)

2019 BJC Dinner with Corey Walker, Linda McKinnish Bridges and Amanda Tyler in Washington, D.C.

Religious liberty conversations often fail to include discussions of slavery and oppression, and the BJC Dinner explored the need for a new narrative. Dr. Corey Walker, Dr. Linda McKinnish Bridges and Amanda Tyler discussed these topics and more in a special discussion at the BJC Dinner on April 26, 2019.

Recap: Elevating an inclusive approach to religious liberty (Magazine)
Watch the conversation at the 2019 BJC Dinner (Video)
Listen to the conversation at the 2019 BJC Dinner (Podcast)
2019 BJC Dinner (Photos)

2018 Luncheon with BJC Fellows in Dallas, Texas

At the 2018 Religious Liberty Council Luncheon, hundreds of religious liberty supporters gathered to hear from members of each class of BJC Fellows, who shared their individual journeys and how they’re putting the BJC Fellows Program’s teachings to use in their everyday settings.

Recap: The next generation takes the stage at the RLC Luncheon (Magazine)
Watch the 2018 Religious Liberty Council Luncheon (Video)
Listen to the 2018 Religious Liberty Council Luncheon (Podcast)
2018 Religious Liberty Council Luncheon (Photos)

2017 Luncheon with Rabbi David Saperstein in Atlanta, Georgia

How will you take a stand for religious liberty and speak up for your neighbors? The 2017 Religious Liberty Council Luncheon presented new ways to make an impact for religious liberty every day, and Rabbi David Saperstein gave a passionate reminder of the need.

Recap: Luncheon serves as call to speak up for religious liberty (Magazine)
Watch the 2017 Religious Liberty Council Luncheon (Video)
2017 Religious Liberty Council Luncheon and CBF Workshop (Photos)

2016 Luncheon with Brent Walker in Greensboro, North Carolina

More than 700 friends of BJC gathered for the 2016 Religious Liberty Council Luncheon. BJC Executive Director Brent Walker was the keynote speaker, and he reflected on the importance of soul freedom and protecting religious liberty for all people as he plans for retirement.

Recap: Brent Walker honored at RLC Luncheon (Magazine)
Watch the 2016 Religious Liberty Council Luncheon (Video)
2016 Religious Liberty Council Luncheon and CBF General Assembly (Photos)

2015 Luncheon with Marvin McMickle in Dallas, Texas

What will you say when faced with injustice and inequality? On June 19, 2015, the Rev. Dr. Marvin A. McMickle asked attendees at the Religious Liberty Council Luncheon to break the sound of silence and explained the complicated relationship between African-Americans and church-state issues.

Recap: Luncheon celebrates Juneteenth, connection between religious liberty and human freedom (Magazine)
Watch the entire 2015 Religious Liberty Council Liberty Luncheon (Video)
Watch the address from Marvin A. McMickle on Juneteenth (Video)
2015 Religious Liberty Council Liberty Luncheon (Photos)

2014 Luncheon with Melissa Rogers in Atlanta, Georgia

Melissa Rogers, the head of the White House’s faith-based office, reminded the crowd gathered at the 2014 Religious Liberty Council Luncheon to continue to speak up for religious liberty and “never forget how much your voice matters.”

Recap: White House official speaks at 2014 RLC Luncheon (Story)
Watch the 2014 Religious Liberty Council Luncheon (Video)
2014 Religious Liberty Council Luncheon (Photos)

2013 Luncheon with Suzii Paynter in Greensboro, North Carolina

Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Executive Coordinator Suzii Paynter recounted her road to religious liberty advocacy and encouraged the crowd to speak up for freedom during the 2013 Religious Liberty Council Luncheon.

Recap: CBF Executive Coordinator calls crowd to religious liberty advocacy (Story)
2013 Religious Liberty Council Luncheon (Video)
Text of Paynter’s address: Teacups, Tevye and the First Sixteen (PDF)
2013 Religious Liberty Council Luncheon (Photos)

2012 Religious Liberty Council Luncheon with Bill Leonard in Dallas, Texas

Church historian Bill J. Leonard received the Baptist Joint Committee’s highest honor and challenged the crowd to embrace its historical Baptist identity at the 2012 Religious Liberty Council Luncheon June 22, 2012.

Recap: Religious Liberty Council Luncheon 2012 (Story)
Watch the 2012 Religious Liberty Council Luncheon (Video)
Read Leonard’s address: The Baptists: Distressed and Distressing Conscience (PDF)
2012 Religious Liberty Council Luncheon (Photos)

2011 Religious Liberty Council Luncheon with James Dunn in Tampa, Florida

Accepting the J.M. Dawson Religious Liberty Award from the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty June 24, 2011, former BJC leader James M. Dunn identified “soul freedom” as the driving force behind the church-state watchdog organization now in its 75th year.

Recap: Dunn uplifts ‘soul freedom’ at Religious Liberty Council Luncheon (Story)
Watch the 2011 Religious Liberty Council Luncheon (Video)
2011 Religious Liberty Council Luncheon (Photos)

2010 Religious Liberty Council Luncheon with William Underwood in Charlotte, North Carolina

The culture warriors who contend that the United States is a “Christian nation” gravely endanger freedoms sacred to both Christianity and the nation, Mercer University President Bill Underwood warned supporters of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty June 25, 2010. The organization also honored Gardner C. Taylor at the event. 

Recap: BJC warned of ‘Christian nationalists,’ honor Gardner C. Taylor at luncheon (Story)
Watch the entire 2010 Religious Liberty Council Luncheon (Video)
Watch Underwood’s address: A Christian Nation: But Which Christianity? (Video)
Read Underwood’s address: A Christian Nation: But Which Christianity? (PDF)
2010 CBF General Assembly & RLC Lunch (Photos)

2009 Religious Liberty Council Luncheon with Rep. Chet Edwards in Houston, Texas

Rep. Chet Edwards, an advocate in the U.S. Congress for church-state separation, thanked Baptists for their contributions to religious liberty and reminded them of the need to continue defending the wall of separation at the 2009 RLC luncheon in Houston, Texas.

Recap: Congressman says religious liberty demands eternal vigilance (Story)
2009 CBF Assembly & RLC Lunch (Photos)

2008 Religious Liberty Council Luncheon with speaker Aidsand Wright-Riggins in Memphis, Tennessee

Baptists, of all people, should defend the rights of minorities against the majority, American Baptist leader Aidsand Wright-Riggins told supporters of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty at the RLC lunch on June 20, 2008.

Recap: Defending minorities very Baptist, Wright-Riggins tells BJC luncheon (Story)

2007 Religious Liberty Council Luncheon with speaker Randall Balmer in Washington, D.C.

Randall Balmer, a history professor at Columbia University and one of the most prominent historians of American evangelicalism, called on “true Baptists” June 29, 2007, to re-assert their prophetic role “as watchmen on the wall of separation between church and state.”

Recap: At 2007 luncheon, Balmer seeks ‘true Baptists’ (Story)
Read Balmer’s speech: In Search of America’s Baptists (PDF)

2006 Religious Liberty Council Luncheon with speaker Walter B. “Buddy” Shurden in Atlanta, Georgia

Warning “it can happen here,” Baptist historian Walter Shurden told religious liberty advocates at the RLC lunch on June 23, 2006, that the principle of religious freedom is threatened as never before in American history.

Recap: Shurden gives sobering warning on state of religious freedom (Story)
Read Shurden’s address: A Flaming Torch (PDF)

2005 Religious Liberty Council Luncheon with speaker Charles Foster Johnson in Grapevine, Texas

American Christendom has become infected with a disease, and free and faithful Baptists hold the cure, Texas pastor Charles Johnson told a group of Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty supporters July 1, 2005.

Recap: Charles Johnson urges BJC to challenge ‘uncivil religion’ (Story)
Read Johnson’s address: Uncivil Religion (PDF)