Tennessee

Southern Baptists go beyond conservative politics at meeting

  • Pastor Ronnie Floyd, right, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, hugs Rev. Jerry Young, president of the National Baptist Convention, USA, after Young spoke on the issue of race during a meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention Tuesday, June 14, 2016, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

    Pastor Ronnie Floyd, right, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, hugs Rev. Jerry Young, president of the National Baptist Convention, USA, after Young spoke on the issue of race during a meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention Tuesday, June 14, 2016, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)  (The Associated Press)

  • Pastor Ronnie Floyd, center, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, conducts a discussion on race with fellow religious leaders during a meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention Tuesday, June 14, 2016, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

    Pastor Ronnie Floyd, center, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, conducts a discussion on race with fellow religious leaders during a meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention Tuesday, June 14, 2016, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)  (The Associated Press)

  • People worship during the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention Tuesday, June 14, 2016, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

    People worship during the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention Tuesday, June 14, 2016, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)  (The Associated Press)

The Southern Baptist Convention has been closely associated with conservative politics for years, but at its annual meeting this week the nation's largest Protestant denomination showed that its concerns are becoming more diverse along with its membership.

Thousands of delegates from the Nashville-based, 15.3 million member denomination attended the two-day meeting in St. Louis.

Resolutions passed Wednesday included one encouraging Southern Baptists to welcome refugees into their churches and homes. The previous day, delegates voted to repudiate the display of the Confederate battle flag, a stance that earned them a barrage of angry, racist comments on Twitter.

They also voted to extend their love and compassion to the victims of the recent shooting at an Orlando gay nightclub, asking Southern Baptists to donate blood and offer other support.