Southern Baptists Target Hindus in Conversion Efforts

October 23, 1999

Source: The Associated Press

On October 23, 1999, The Associated Press published an article entitled, "Ex S. Baptist Leader Chides Church" by Julia Lieblich. The article reports the reaction of Keith Parks, former president of the International Mission Board for the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), to the new prayer guides being published by the SBC. Parks was president of the Mission Board for 13 years, until he left for the more moderate Cooperative Baptist Fellowship in 1990. Parks stated that he was "no longer acceptable" to new convention leaders who came to power in 1990: "They were pushing a fundamentalist agenda...Recent convention actions are an expression of that agenda. They emphasize more a confrontive kind of evangelism with less emphasis on living out the gospel." Parks disagrees with the new prayer guides: "We need to cultivate personal relationships rather than launch a new crusade that's confrontive and abrasive." In addition, he stated: "It's important that we do not caricature other religions." Parks also said that many Baptists disagree with the SBC's outreach strategy, but few have said so publicly.