By Diana Chandler
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP) — Closed captions will be available in 21 languages during the 2019 Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting live-stream and on the SBC mobile app, an expansion from three languages offered in 2018.
SBC Executive Committee President-elect Ronnie Floyd champions the language expansion as a major advancement in diversity and in spreading the Gospel globally.
“I believe the Southern Baptist Convention must have the clear vision of becoming the most multigenerational, multiethnic, and multilingual denomination in the United States that is committed to presenting the Gospel of Jesus Christ to every person in the world and making disciples of all the nations,” Floyd said. “When our Executive Committee staff team heard this vision, they began to pursue a way to increase our capacity to offer closed captioning.”
During all sessions of the SBC Pastors’ Conference and the SBC annual meeting, closed captions will be available in Arabic, traditional Chinese, English, Filipino, French, German, Haitian Creole, Hebrew, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Thai, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese.
Communicating with people of different ethnicities and languages is vital, Floyd said.
“If we want to reach this nation and the world with the Gospel, then we must do all we can to communicate with as many people as possible in the language they can understand,” Floyd said. “When people of other ethnicities and languages know that we are trying to serve them through this offer of closed captioning, it will help them identify with us and understand more about us as their Southern Baptist family.”
In 2018, closed captions were available in English, Spanish, and Korean, in continuing efforts of the multiethnic EC convention advancement advisory councils, said Bill Townes, SBC EC vice president for convention advancement.
“In response to Dr. Floyd’s vision, our Convention Planning Team continued to explore the expansion of the live translation feature in our closed captioning services,” Townes said. “In partnership with the SBC Pastors’ Conference, we are excited that translations in 21 different languages representing many different Southern Baptists will be provided.”
The closed captioning services will all be available through the 2019 SBC Mobile App and directly by linking to www.ccproductions.com/sbc/. The app is available in online app stores.
“Users will be able to simply select the Closed Captioning Icon on the dashboard of the 2019 SBC Mobile App and when the closed captioning stream opens up,” Townes said, “they will be able to select from 21 different languages from a drop down menu.”
The pastors’ conference is scheduled June 9-10, followed by the SBC annual meeting June 11-12 at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.
Diana Chandler is Baptist Press’ general assignment writer/editor.