Adelle M. Banks, Religion News Service

Adelle M. Banks is production editor and a national correspondent at RNS.

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Pence Addresses Southern Baptists Amid Debate

Vice President Mike Pence, projected on video screens, addresses the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting on June 13, 2018, in Dallas. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks

Vice President Mike Pence touted President Trump’s meeting with North Korean President Kim Jong Un in a speech before Southern Baptists and urged their continuing prayers as the administration moves ahead with negotiations to seek peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Amid a #MeToo Culture, Southern Baptists Mull Ways to Increase Women’s Roles

Women greet Dorothy Patterson, seated with hat, before the Tea at 3 women’s event prior to the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Dallas. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks

In the hallways of the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center and in eateries and hotel lobbies nearby, messengers, as delegates to the meeting are known, are having heart-to heart discussions about future possibilities for women in a denomination that walks a “complementarian” line: the belief that women and men are equal before God but have different roles in church and home life.

New Executive Order Aims to Protect Religious Liberty From Government Overreach

Image via Creative Commons/DOD/C.M. Fitzpatrick/RNS

The White House said those working on the initiative will provide policy recommendations from faith-based and community programs on “more effective solutions to poverty” and inform the administration of “any failures of the executive branch to comply with religious liberty protections under law.”

Remembering James Cone

The Rev. James Cone. Image courtesy of Union Theological Seminary

James H. Cone, the scholar known as the “founder of black liberation theology,” died April 28, Union Theological Seminary announced. He was 79.

U.S. Assemblies of God Elects First Woman Executive in More Than a Century

Image via Ricardo Camacho / Ohio Ministry Network

R. Marie Griffith, director of the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University in St. Louis, said that the Assemblies of God, founded in 1914, has had a “fascinating history” of women’s leadership, with women leading congregations and speaking from pulpits in its early days and later often finding their roles restricted.

Jimmy Carter on ‘Faith’ and 'Basic Principles That Shouldn’t Be Ever Questioned'

Image via Nir Levy /

I just met with the three children of Martin Luther King Jr. on a number of occasions over a two-year period and eventually they decided themselves to resolve their differences, which had existed only in court with lawsuits against each other.

King’s Death Remembered With Pledges to Confront Racism

Image via Adelle M. Banks / RNS

“Certainly, ending racism might seem like an aspiration but, like the very first disciples, we followers of Jesus are called to bear witness to something that the world cannot yet believe is possible,” said the Rev. Sharon Watkins, director of the NCC’s Truth and Racial Justice Initiative and the president of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). “We are called to say this can happen. Racism can end.”

As King Anniversary Nears, 3 Memphis Sites Key to His Legacy Draw Visitors

Image via Adelle M. Banks / RNS

As tourists move toward Room 306, they can look out a window past the wreath on the balcony across the street to the partially open bathroom window of the boardinghouse from which the assassin’s bullet was released. “Dr. King never uttered a word after being shot,” reads the display in front of the room.

A Faithful Journey: Q&A With Cleophus Smith, a Reverend and a Sanitation Worker

Image via RNS/Adelle M. Banks

I understand you’ve been to the White House with active and retired sanitation workers and met President Obama.

It was awesome. We men were invited to the [Map Room] and we went in, talked with the president, shook his hand. He said, “I want to thank you gentlemen for your efforts and your hard work.” He said, “Because if it hadn’t been for you all, I wouldn’t be standing here where I am today.” He said, “I’m standing on y’all’s shoulders.”

Remembering Dr. King’s Last Sermon With Renewed Hope

Image via RNS/ Karen Pulfer Focht

Linwood Dillard and Smith were among the clergy at a rally this past Feb. 24 at historic Clayborn Temple, the church building from which sanitation workers marched 50 years ago with their iconic “I Am a Man” placards. The rally, featuring union leaders and grass-roots activists, was one of dozens held across the country that day. It followed earlier observances of a moment of silence on Feb. 1, in honor of sanitation workers Echol Cole and Robert Walker, on the anniversary of their being crushed to death when their truck’s compactor malfunctioned.