The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) has adopted a resolution denouncing "alt-right white supremacy" at its annual meeting in Phoenix, Arizona on Wednesday.
The resolution condemning the "alt-right," a movement generally associated with white nationalism, was introduced by William Dwight McKissic, an African-American pastor from Texas.
The SBC drew criticism on social media on Tuesday after it failed to vote on the measure as the Resolutions Committee and messengers failed to bring the proposal to the floor.
Resolutions Committee chairman Barrett Duke stated that the original resolution was "too open-ended" and could be misinterpreted.
The committee later asked for an opportunity to bring such a resolution to the convention on Wednesday, and the request was approved by the Committee on Order of Business and messengers.
McKissic, who was the author of a resolution about the Confederate flag that was rewritten and passed at last year's convention, expressed his gratitude after the final version of the resolution was approved in a near unanimous vote on Wednesday.
"(W)e denounce and repudiate white supremacy and every form of racial and ethnic hatred as a scheme of the devil," said the one-page statement that was disseminated before the last session of the two-day meeting, according to Religion News Service.
Duke, who serves as the executive director of the Montana Southern Baptist Convention, apologized for the "pain and the confusion" that resulted from the failure to report on the proposal to condemn the "alt-right." He told messengers, or delegates that he shares their abhorrence of "particularly vicious form of racism that has manifested itself in the 'alt-right' movement."
He said that the new version speaks with "conviction but also with compassion" and repudiates racism "in a tone that honors all people, even those with whom we disagree."
McKissic reportedly struggled to convince many black pastors not to leave after the failure to vote on the measure on Tuesday. He said that there is still much work to be done within the SBC, but he acknowledged that Southern Baptists "want to get it right."
Southern Baptist ethics leader Russell Moore, who had spoken in favor of the resolution from the floor, commended the passage of the measure.
"Southern Baptists were right to speak clearly and definitely that 'alt-right' white nationalism is not just a sociological movement but a work of the devil," said Moore, who serves as the president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.
"Racism and white supremacy are not merely social issues. Racism and white supremacy attack the Gospel itself and the person of our Lord Jesus Christ," he added.