In 1987, when the changes in the character of the Southern Baptist Convention were underway, several Pullen members joined with others to create an alternative organization known today as the Alliance of Baptists. The Alliance is a small association of progressive Baptist churches and individuals committed to historic Baptist principles of freedom of individual conscience, the freedom of every congregation, and religious freedom for all. As a member of the National Council of Churches and in partnerships with other progressive Baptists in Cuba, Zimbabwe, Canada, and the U.S., the Alliance offers Pullen an opportunity to share ministry and missions with like-minded people of faith who value ecumenical and interfaith relationships and share a commitment to being part of God’s work of bringing justice and peace to our world.
American Baptist roots date back four centuries, to a people seeking the opportunity to worship God as individual members of freely organized and freely functioning churches. An ABC “Affirmation of Mission” describes American Baptists as a people who are “evangelical, ecumenical, multi-racial, mission-minded, committed to social justice and informed by a global experience.” American Baptists can be found in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. Pullen has been affiliated with ABC-USA since 1967.
Members of the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists (AWAB) are churches, organizations, and individuals who publicly welcome and affirm all persons without regard to sexual orientation, and who have joined together to advocate for full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons within Baptist communities of faith. Pullen was one of the first congregations to join AWAB.
The purpose of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America (BPFNA) is to unite and enable Christians to make peace with justice in a warring world. BPFNA is a network of individuals and congregations affiliated with more than two dozen different Baptist conventions (and some non-Baptist members) throughout the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, and Mexico. Its constituents engage in activities such a peace education, public policy, ministries of mercy to the poor, and other means of pursuing peace in our world. Pullen has been involved with BPFNA since its founding in 1984 and is now a Partner Congregation.
Pullen is a partner congregation with Bread for the World (BFW). Bread for the World is a collective Christian voice urging our nation’s decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad. BFW partners represent a broad spectrum of church organizations and faith communities-Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox. Each year Pullen participates in the Offering of Letters sponsored by BFW. Church members write letters to elected officials advocating for particular pieces of legislation that will help alleviate hunger.
Church Women United is a racially, culturally, theologically inclusive Christian women’s movement, celebrating unity in diversity and working for a world of peace and justice. Founded by an interdenominational group of 100 women in New York in 1941, CWU now represents more than 25 million Protestant, Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and other Christian groups in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. In Raleigh/Wake County, there are 20 member churches, including Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopal, Congregational, Christian, and A.M.E. Zion faiths. Ecumenical celebrations are held several times a year. A number of Pullen members are actively involved in CWU on the local and state level.
The Community of the Cross of Nails (CCN) is a worldwide community of individuals and groups who share a commitment to a practical vision of reconciliation. CCN sprang directly from the united effort of the community of Coventry Cathedral in Coventry, England, after the destruction of the cathedral during bombing raids in World War II. Post-war cooperation on restoration efforts in Coventry and in Dresden, Germany, laid the foundation for forgiveness and reconciliation between the two former enemies. Over the succeeding 60 years, the path of reconciliation broadened to address conflicts between races, genders, nationalities, and other opposing forces. Pullen became a Community of the Cross of Nails Center in 1977, thanks in part to a series of youth mission trips to the cathedral, which continued until 2002. Currently the Cross of Nails Reconciliation Fellowship mission group maintains Pullen’s connections with both the international CCN and CCN–North America. Pullen has had continuous representation on the board of directors of CCN–North America since 1984.
For more than twenty years Pullen, a predominantly white congregation, has partnered with Martin Street Baptist, a predominantly black congregation, for fellowship, worship, and missions. The two churches share small group experiences, worship with one another each year on the Sunday before the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, and join together to do outreach in Raleigh. Vigils Against Violence, a ministry created by the late Bonnie Stone, was originally sponsored by the two churches in order to hold a vigil every time a murder took place in the city.
The North Carolina Council of Churches (NCCC) is a spiritual fellowship and a cooperative agency of and for Christian curches in North Carolina. In the NCCC, member churches are brought together in study, prayer, and action. In 1935, Pullen’s pastor, Edwin McNeill Poteat, attended the organizational meeting for the group. Since that time, Pullen’s involvement with the Council has allowed the congregation to express its ecumenical vision and join with other Christians in the state to advocate for peace and justice.
Pullen is a proud member of the Triangle Interfaith Alliance, the local chapter of the national Interfaith Alliance. The late Alan Neely, a Pullen member, was the original president of this organization that brings people of all faith traditions together for educational and social events. Several Pullen members have served on the board of the Interfaith Alliance.
In addition to the Community of the Cross of Nails, Pullen also maintains four other significant international partnerships and ministries with:
- First Baptist Church, Matanzas, Cuba
- Zimbabwe Theological Seminary, Gweru, Zimbabwe
- Peace Cathedral, Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia
- A Ministry of Sharing (AMOS) Health and Hope, Managua and El Bejuco, Nicaragua
For more information on our international partnerships, click here.