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Postcard from Oakland, CA: BPFNA at the J. Alfred Smith Sr. Institute for Prophetic Justice


October 16, 2008 | bpfna

Oakland, California
October 15, 2008

It's been three days of inspiring preaching, informative instruction, warm fellowship, and good food at the Allen Temple Baptist Church in Oakland, California. I've attended the J. Alfred Smith Sr. Institute for Prophetic Justice, named in honor of the renowned pastor for 37 years of that great church, and co-sponsored by National Ministries of the American Baptist Churches/USA. Nearly 200 registrants from across the nation have been led by nearly 50 speakers in a variety of formats around a variety of peace and justice topics.

The Allen Temple Church is a Partner Congregation with the BPFNA, a fact that Pastor Smith mentioned publicly more than once. Former BPFNA Board member, Carol Peoples, is an active member of the church, as well, and was a part of the planning team for the meeting. Board member, Dwight Lundgren, an ABC/USA staffer, led a popular series of workshops on peacemaking and Conflict Transformation. I was pleased to enjoy a conversation with Jim Hopkins, pastor of the Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church in Oakland, also a BPFNA Partner Congregation. And I had a nice visit with Dwight Webster, an Oakland resident who heads up Churches Supporting Churches, our sister organization in the revitalization and redevelopment of the churches of the City of New Orleans.

A particularly inspiring speech was delivered by The Hon. Barbara Lee, Congresswoman from California's Ninth District, one the more progressive leaders of the House, who is also a member of Allen Temple.

The good folk of the church were marvelous hosts, our every need had been anticipated, the meeting flowed smoothly, characterized by quality speakers and leaders, and we all benefited from our time together. Again, I was honored to wear my BPFNA name tag and to represent our membership among this strong group who share our concerns and values.


Bob Spinks is Networking/Development Coordinator for BPFNA. He can be reached through our contact page.

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