Social Justice

Formed in March of 2021, we are exploring opportunities for our congregation and our wider community to learn about racism and inequality with a further goal of making a positive impact in St Louis through collaboration with other area churches, the wider American Baptist denomination, local government and our immediate community.

Some of our initial steps include:

  • Contacting area churches to discover parallel efforts and conversations and seeking opportunities for collaboration.
  • Conversations with local government and police to understand measures they're taking to address racism and inequality and ultimately to advocate social justice issues
  • Reaching out to American Baptist Churches USA to learn from our denomination's journey with social justice issues, specifically their Anti-Racism Taskforce
  • Educate ourselves through readings and sharing personal experiences

If you have any interest in collaborating with us, please drop us a line at with Social justice in the subject line or call our church office at (314) 991-3424.

Second Baptist's Statement on Racism

Last year our pastor crafted a statement of racism which he initially intended as a more of statement from the staff and leadership. However after sharing it with the full congregation, the statement was so strongly endorsed that we voted to claim it as our church's collective stance on racism. Read it in full here

American Baptist Policy Statement on Racial Justice

Back in 1983, our denomination released a statement on racial justice that reads as if could have been written within the last year. While it echoes the sentiment of our own church's statement, includes an itemized list of specific acknowledgements about racism and takes stances on those observations. Our group considers it a must read. 

What We're Reading

While we may settle on a single book to read together in the late summer or fall, until now we've each been reading different books stemming from our own personal interests in broadening our understandings of racism, structural inequalities, and racial justice. Hopefully we'll add some short reflections on each book below and keep a list of who's read what in case others want to connect on a specific book.

  • The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together

    by Heather McGee

    Being read by Larry M.

  • Mapping Decline: St. Louis and the Fate of the American City

    by Colin Gordon

    Being read by Pat J.

  • How to Be an Antiracist

    by Ibram X. Kendi

    Read by Pat J.

  • How to Fight Racism

    by Jemar Tisby

    Book overview by Larry Marks:

    Jamar Tisby is a social commentator, historian, lecturer, and author of The New York Times bestseller, The Color of Compromise: The Truth About the American Church’s Complicity in Racism . He holds a MDiv degree from the Reformed Theological Seminary.

    In his book, How to Fight Racism: Courageous Christianity and the Journey Toward Racial Justice, Tisby provides specific recommendations for white and Black individuals and congregations that focus on what he refers to as “The ARC of Racial Justice”, which involves three key components:

    •          Awareness of essential knowledge, information, and data required to fight racism.
    •          Relationships with people who are different in order to enhance understanding and facilitate opportunities for cooperation.
    •          Commitment to specific activities and processes designed to dismantle racist structures, laws, and policies.

    Given Tisby’s religious background and training, he provides frequent Biblical references and moral perspectives.