On Jan. 2, 1963, twenty-eight white Methodist ministers published the “Born of Conviction” statement criticizing Mississippi’s massive resistance to the civil rights movement, and Reiff’s recent book tells the story of that controversy. This presentation will explore the meaning of the statement for Mississippi Methodists then and for United Methodists today.
Joseph T. Reiff is Shelton Professor of Religion at Emory & Henry College and author of Born of Conviction: White Methodists and Mississippi’s Closed Society, which won the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Nonfiction Award for 2015. Reiff grew up in Jackson, Miss. and is a United Methodist minister.