The Ripple Effect

Posted by cservaes on September 19, 2011 in Alumni “If Carol Blythe holds a conviction that injustice is taking place, she will not rest until something is done to change it,” says her pastor, Rev. Dr. Amy Butler, Calvary Baptist Church, Washington, D.C. “From lobbying on Capitol Hill to tutoring a kid with his homework, every single day of her life is lived with the aim of correcting injustice.” Blythe, class of ‘77, is currently serving a two-year term as President of The Alliance of Baptists, a movement of progressive Christians rooted in Baptist freedoms, committed to inclusiveness, discernment and social justice. Inspired by a magazine article she read about the Alliance years ago, Blythe became involved on a local level. Then in 2006, she began a term on the Alliance Board and served three of her four years as chair of the Peace and Justice Committee. “In the Alliance, it is satisfying as president to get things organized so that so much of the good work the staff and members do can flourish,” says Blythe. “It is also satisfying to be able to highlight the peace and justice issues which are my passion and which Alliance folks respond to so well.” The Alliance members aren’t the only ones who react positively to Blythe’s commitment to serve “the least of these.” When Blythe’s daughter, Laura Beth, was in eighth grade, she joined forces with her home church and its sister church in El Salvador. Laura Beth planned a dinner and program to educate her fellow believers about the needs of El Salvadoran children. What began as a Girl Scout project and a one-time occurrence is now an annual event which positively affects children every year through scholarships for tuition, books and even bus fare. Blythe’s entire church is involved in an outreach effort that began simply because one young lady followed in her mother’s determined footsteps. Blythe represents the Alliance of Baptists on the Interfaith Committee on Nuclear Disarmament. Alliance members and others from many faith groups made phone calls and wrote letters to encourage their senators to support the New START treaty. In December 2010, the U.S. Senate ratified the treaty. “Along with Rev. Edgar Palacios,” says Blythe, “I represented the Alliance of Baptists at a reception honoring Rose Gottemoeller – Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance with the U.S. Department of State – for her work on that important treaty. We presented her with a ‘Turning Swords into Plough Shares’ plaque.” “Carol’s worthwhile efforts change the lives of God’s children globally but also affect the hearts of those who share a pew with her on Sunday mornings,” says Butler. “When you know Carol Blythe, and most especially when you get to live life with her as I do in a shared community of faith, you remember why you believe in peace and justice, wholeness and grace. Basically, I want to be Carol Blythe when I grow up.” For more information about the Alliance of Baptists, visit