The host of State of Belief, the Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, is the President Emeritus of the national nonpartisan grassroots and educational organizations, Interfaith Alliance and Interfaith Alliance Foundation and serves as the Pastor for Preaching and Worship at Northminster (Baptist) Church in Monroe, Louisiana. Welton is one of 20 international religious leaders on the Council of 100 Leaders, a group created by the World Economic Forum to improve dialogue and understanding between the Western and Islamic worlds. While he retired as President of Interfaith Alliance in 2014, he continues as a senior advisor to the organization and of course, host of State of Belief.
In addition to being the author of over 20 books, Welton provides regular commentary to the national media on issues relating to religion and politics. Some of his appearances include CNN Presents: The Fight Over Faith; PBS’s NOW with Bill Moyers; PBS Frontline’s The Jesus Factor; PBS’s The Newshour with Jim Lehrer; NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw; CBS Evening News with Dan Rather; ABC Word News Tonight with Peter Jennings; numerous National Public Radio stations including KQED’s Forum in San Francisco and KCRW’s The Politics of Culture in Los Angeles; CNBC’s Capital Report; CNN’s The World Today with Wolf Blitzer; CNN’s Inside Politics with Judy Woodruff; PBS’s Religion and Ethics Newsweekly; CBS’s Freedom to Pray; C-SPAN’s Washington Journal; NBC’s Dateline. He is the former host of Morally Speaking on NBC affiliate KTVE in Monroe, Louisiana.
Founded in 1994, The Interfaith Alliance has grown into a national grassroots organization of 150,000+ individuals of faith and goodwill drawn from more than 75 different religious traditions or beliefs with a cyber-network of 10,000 activists and 47 local alliances in 38 states. Dedicated to promoting mutual respect, cooperation and civility, The Interfaith Alliance strives to promote religion as a positive and healing force in the life of the nation.
While ministering to churches with a message of inclusion, Welton emerged as a leader among progressive and moderate Baptists. Among his many leadership roles, he is the immediate past President of the Alliance of Baptists and is a twenty-year member of the Commission of Christian Ethics of the Baptist World Alliance. His past leadership roles include serving as a member of the General Council of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, President of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and Chair of the Pastoral Leadership Commission of the Baptist World Alliance.
Prior to the fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention, Welton served in many leadership roles in the SBC including membership on the convention’s Executive Committee from 1980-1984 and Director of Christian Citizenship Development of the Christian Life Commission from 1973-1977.
Welton received his undergraduate degree from Union University in Tennessee and his doctoral degree and divinity training from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.