Southern Baptist Convention

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Southern Baptist Convention_table_infobox_0

Southern Baptist ConventionSouthern Baptist Convention_header_cell_0_0_0
AbbreviationSouthern Baptist Convention_header_cell_0_1_0 SBCSouthern Baptist Convention_cell_0_1_1
ClassificationSouthern Baptist Convention_header_cell_0_2_0 ProtestantSouthern Baptist Convention_cell_0_2_1
OrientationSouthern Baptist Convention_header_cell_0_3_0 BaptistSouthern Baptist Convention_cell_0_3_1
TheologySouthern Baptist Convention_header_cell_0_4_0 EvangelicalSouthern Baptist Convention_cell_0_4_1
PolitySouthern Baptist Convention_header_cell_0_5_0 CongregationalSouthern Baptist Convention_cell_0_5_1
PresidentSouthern Baptist Convention_header_cell_0_6_0 J. D. GreearSouthern Baptist Convention_cell_0_6_1
RegionSouthern Baptist Convention_header_cell_0_7_0 United StatesSouthern Baptist Convention_cell_0_7_1
OriginSouthern Baptist Convention_header_cell_0_8_0 May 8–12, 1845

Augusta, Georgia, U.S.Southern Baptist Convention_cell_0_8_1

Separated fromSouthern Baptist Convention_header_cell_0_9_0 Triennial Convention (1845)Southern Baptist Convention_cell_0_9_1
SeparationsSouthern Baptist Convention_header_cell_0_10_0 Southern Baptist Convention_cell_0_10_1
CongregationsSouthern Baptist Convention_header_cell_0_11_0 47,530 (2019)Southern Baptist Convention_cell_0_11_1
MembersSouthern Baptist Convention_header_cell_0_12_0 14,525,579 (2019)

Weekly attendance = 5,250,230Southern Baptist Convention_cell_0_12_1

Official websiteSouthern Baptist Convention_header_cell_0_13_0 Southern Baptist Convention_cell_0_13_1

The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is a Christian denomination based in the United States. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_0

It is the world's largest Baptist denomination, the largest Protestant and the second-largest Christian denomination in the United States, smaller only than the Roman Catholic Church according to self-reported membership statistics. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_1

The word Southern in Southern Baptist Convention stems from it having been organized in 1845 at Augusta, Georgia, by Baptists in the Southern United States who split with northern Baptists over the issue of slavery, with Southern Baptists strongly opposed to its abolition. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_2

After the American Civil War, another split occurred when most freedmen set up independent black congregations, regional associations, and state and national conventions, such as the National Baptist Convention, which became the second-largest Baptist convention by the end of the 19th century. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_3

Since the 1940s, the Southern Baptist Convention has shifted from some of its regional and historical identification. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_4

Especially since the late 20th century, the SBC has sought new members among minority groups and to become much more diverse. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_5

In addition, while still heavily concentrated in the Southern United States, the Southern Baptist Convention has member churches across the United States and 41 affiliated state conventions. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_6

Southern Baptist churches are evangelical in doctrine and practice. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_7

As they emphasize the significance of the individual conversion experience, which is affirmed by the person having complete immersion in water for a believer's baptism, they reject the practice of infant baptism. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_8

Other specific beliefs based on biblical interpretation can vary somewhat due to their congregational polity, which allows local autonomy. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_9

The average weekly attendance was 5,297,788 in 2018. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_10

History Southern Baptist Convention_section_0

Further information: Baptists in the United States Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_11

Colonial era Southern Baptist Convention_section_1

Most early Baptists in the British colonies came from England in the 17th century, after the established Church of England persecuted them for their dissenting religious views. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_12

The oldest Baptist church in the South, First Baptist Church of Charleston, South Carolina, was organized in 1682 under the leadership of William Screven. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_13

A Baptist church was formed in Virginia in 1715 through the preaching of Robert Norden and another in North Carolina in 1727 through the ministry of Paul Palmer. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_14

The Baptists adhered to a congregationalist polity and operated independently of the state-established Anglican churches in the South, at a time when non-Anglicans were prohibited from holding political office. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_15

By 1740, about eight Baptist churches existed in the colonies of Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, with an estimated 300 to 400 members. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_16

New members, both black and white, were converted chiefly by Baptist preachers who traveled throughout the South during the 18th and 19th centuries, in the eras of the First Great Awakening and Second Great Awakening. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_17

Baptists welcomed African Americans, both slave and free, allowing them to have more active roles in ministry than did other denominations by licensing them as preachers, and in some cases, allowing them to be treated as equals to white members. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_18

As a result, black congregations and churches were founded in Virginia, South Carolina, and Georgia before the American Revolution. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_19

Some black congregations kept their independence even after whites tried to exercise more authority after the Nat Turner slave rebellion of 1831. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_20

American Revolution period Southern Baptist Convention_section_2

Before the Revolution, Baptist and Methodist evangelicals in the South had promoted the view of the common man's equality before God, which embraced slaves and free blacks. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_21

They challenged the hierarchies of class and race and urged planters to abolish slavery. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_22

They welcomed slaves as Baptists and accepted them as preachers. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_23

Isaac (1974) analyzes the rise of the Baptist Church in Virginia, with emphasis on evangelicalism and social life. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_24

A sharp division existed between the austerity of the plain-living Baptists, attracted initially from yeomen and common planters, and the opulence of the Anglican planters, the slaveholding elite who controlled local and colonial government in what had become a slave society by the late 18th century. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_25

The gentry interpreted Baptist church discipline as political radicalism, but it served to ameliorate disorder. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_26

The Baptists intensely monitored each other's moral conduct, watching especially for sexual transgressions, cursing, and excessive drinking; they expelled members who would not reform. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_27

In Virginia and in most southern colonies before the Revolution, the Church of England was the established church and supported by general taxes, as it was in England. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_28

It opposed the rapid spread of Baptists in the South. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_29

Particularly in Virginia, many Baptist preachers were prosecuted for "disturbing the peace" by preaching without licenses from the Anglican church. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_30

Both Patrick Henry and the young attorney James Madison defended Baptist preachers prior to the American Revolution in cases considered significant to the history of religious freedom. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_31

In 1779, Thomas Jefferson wrote the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, enacted in 1786 by the Virginia General Assembly. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_32

Madison later applied his own ideas and those of the Virginia document related to religious freedom during the Constitutional Convention, when he ensured that they were incorporated into the national constitution. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_33

The struggle for religious toleration erupted and was played out during the American Revolution, as the Baptists worked to disestablish the Anglican church in the South. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_34

Beeman (1978) explores the conflict in one Virginia locality, showing that as its population became more dense, the county court and the Anglican Church were able to increase their authority. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_35

The Baptists protested vigorously; the resulting social disorder resulted chiefly from the ruling gentry's disregard for public need. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_36

The vitality of the religious opposition made the conflict between 'evangelical' and 'gentry' styles a bitter one. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_37

Kroll-Smith (1984) suggests that the strength of the evangelical movement's organization determined its ability to mobilize power outside the conventional authority structure. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_38

National unification and regional division Southern Baptist Convention_section_3

Main article: Triennial Convention Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_39

In 1814, leaders such as Luther Rice were able to help Baptists unify nationally under what became known informally as the Triennial Convention (because it met every three years) based in Philadelphia. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_40

It allowed them to join their resources to support missions abroad. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_41

The Home Mission Society, affiliated with the Triennial Convention, was established in 1832 to support missions in frontier territories of the United States. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_42

By the mid-19th century, numerous social, cultural, economic, and political differences existed among business owners of the North, farmers of the West, and planters of the South. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_43

The most divisive conflict was primarily over the issue of slavery and secondarily over missions. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_44

Divisions over slavery Southern Baptist Convention_section_4

See also: Christian views on slavery Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_45

Slavery in the 19th century became the most critical moral issue dividing Baptists in the United States. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_46

Struggling to gain a foothold in the South, after the American Revolution, the next generation of Southern Baptist preachers accommodated themselves to the leadership of Southern society. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_47

Rather than challenging the gentry on slavery and urging manumission (as did the Quakers and Methodists), they began to interpret the Bible as supporting the practice of slavery and encouraged good paternalistic practices by slaveholders. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_48

They preached to slaves to accept their places and obey their masters. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_49

In the two decades after the Revolution during the Second Great Awakening, Baptist preachers abandoned their pleas that slaves be manumitted. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_50

After first attracting yeomen farmers and common planters, in the 19th century, the Baptists began to attract major planters among the elite. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_51

While the Baptists welcomed slaves and free blacks as members, whites controlled leadership of the churches, their preaching supported slavery, and blacks were usually segregated in seating. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_52

Black congregations were sometimes the largest of their regions. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_53

For instance, by 1821, Gillfield Baptist in Petersburg, Virginia, had the largest congregation within the Portsmouth Association. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_54

At 441 members, it was more than twice as large as the next ranking church. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_55

Before the Nat Turner slave rebellion of 1831, Gillfield had a black preacher. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_56

Afterward, the state legislature insisted that black congregations be overseen by white men. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_57

Gillfield could not call a black preacher until after the American Civil War and emancipation. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_58

After Turner's slave rebellion, whites worked to exert more control over black congregations and passed laws requiring white ministers to lead or be present at religious meetings (many slaves evaded these restrictions). Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_59

In addition, from the early decades of the 19th century, many Baptist preachers in the South argued in favor of preserving the right of ministers to be slaveholders (which they had earlier prohibited), a class that included prominent Baptist Southerners and planters. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_60

The Triennial Convention and the Home Mission Society adopted a kind of neutrality concerning slavery, neither condoning nor condemning it. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_61

During the "Georgia Test Case" of 1844, the Georgia State Convention proposed that the slaveholder Elder James E. Reeve be appointed as a missionary. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_62

The Foreign Mission Board refused to approve his appointment, recognizing the case as a challenge and not wanting to overturn their policy of neutrality on the slavery issue. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_63

They stated that slavery should not be introduced as a factor into deliberations about missionary appointments. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_64

In 1844, Basil Manly Sr., president of the University of Alabama, a prominent preacher and a major planter who owned 40 slaves, drafted the "Alabama Resolutions" and presented them to the Triennial Convention. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_65

These included the demand that slaveholders be eligible for denominational offices to which the Southern associations contributed financially. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_66

These resolutions failed to be adopted. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_67

Georgia Baptists decided to test the claimed neutrality by recommending a slaveholder to the Home Mission Society as a missionary. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_68

The Home Mission Society's board refused to appoint him, noting that missionaries were not allowed to take servants with them (so he clearly could not take slaves) and that they would not make a decision that appeared to endorse slavery. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_69

Southern Baptists considered this an infringement of their right to determine their own candidates. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_70

From the Southern perspective, the Northern position that "slaveholding brethren were less than followers of Jesus" effectively obliged slaveholding Southerners to leave the fellowship. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_71

Missions and organization Southern Baptist Convention_section_5

A secondary issue that disturbed the Southerners was the perception that the American Baptist Home Mission Society did not appoint a proportionate number of missionaries to the southern region of the United States. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_72

This was likely a result of the society's not appointing slave owners as missionaries. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_73

Baptists in the North preferred a loosely structured society composed of individuals who paid annual dues, with each society usually focused on a single ministry. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_74

Baptists in Southern churches preferred a more centralized organization of congregations composed of churches patterned after their associations, with a variety of ministries brought under the direction of one denominational organization. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_75

The increasing tensions and the discontent of Baptists from the South regarding national criticism of slavery and issues over missions led to their withdrawal from the national Baptist organizations. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_76

The Southern Baptists met at the First Baptist Church of Augusta in May 1845. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_77

At this meeting, they created a new convention, naming it the Southern Baptist Convention. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_78

They elected William Bullein Johnson (1782–1862) as the new convention's first president. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_79

He had served as president of the Triennial Convention in 1841. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_80

Formation and separation of black Baptists Southern Baptist Convention_section_6

African Americans had gathered in their own churches early on, in 1774 in Petersburg, Virginia, and in Savannah, Georgia, in 1788. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_81

Some were established after 1800 on the frontier, such as the First African Baptist Church of Lexington, Kentucky. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_82

In 1824, it was accepted by the Elkhorn Association of Kentucky, which was white-dominated. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_83

By 1850, First African had 1,820 members, the largest of any Baptist church in the state, black or white. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_84

In 1861, it had 2,223 members. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_85

Generally, whites in the South required that black churches have white ministers and trustees. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_86

In churches with mixed congregations, blacks were made to sit in segregated seating, often a balcony. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_87

White preaching often emphasized Biblical stipulations that slaves should accept their places and try to behave well toward their masters. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_88

After the Civil War and emancipation, blacks wanted to practice Christianity independently of white supervision. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_89

They had interpreted the Bible as offering hope for deliverance, and saw their own exodus out of slavery as comparable to the Exodus, and abolitionist John Brown as their Moses. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_90

They quickly left white-dominated churches and associations and set up separate state Baptist conventions. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_91

In 1866, black Baptists of the South and West combined to form the Consolidated American Baptist Convention. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_92

In 1895, they merged three national conventions to create the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_93

With eight million members, it is today the largest African-American religious organization and is second in size to the Southern Baptist Convention. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_94

Free blacks in the North had founded churches and denominations in the early 19th century that were independent of white-dominated organizations. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_95

In the Reconstruction Era, missionaries both black and white from several northern denominations worked in the South; they quickly attracted tens and hundreds of thousands of new members from among the millions of freedmen. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_96

The African Methodist Episcopal Church attracted the most new members of any denomination. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_97

White Southern Baptist churches lost black members to the new denominations, as well as to independent congregations organized by freedmen. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_98

During the Civil Rights Movement, most Southern Baptist pastors and most members of their congregations rejected racial integration and accepted white supremacy, further alienating African Americans. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_99

According to historian and former Southern Baptist Wayne Flynt, "The [Southern Baptist] church was the last bastion of segregation." Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_100

Historical internal controversies Southern Baptist Convention_section_7

During its history, the Southern Baptist Convention has had several periods of major internal controversy. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_101

Landmark controversy Southern Baptist Convention_section_8

In the 1850s–1860s, a group of young activists called for a return to certain early practices, or what they called Landmarkism. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_102

Other leaders disagreed with their assertions, and the Baptist congregations became split on the issues. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_103

Eventually, the disagreements led to the formation of Gospel Missions and the American Baptist Association (1924), as well as many unaffiliated independent churches. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_104

One historian called the related James Robinson Graves—Robert Boyte Crawford Howell controversy (1858–60) the greatest to affect the denomination before that of the late 20th century involving the fundamentalist-moderate break. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_105

Whitsitt controversy Southern Baptist Convention_section_9

In the Whitsitt controversy of 1896–99, William H. Whitsitt, a professor at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, suggested that, contrary to earlier thought, English Baptists did not begin to baptize by immersion until 1641, when some Anabaptists, as they were then called, began to practice immersion. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_106

This overturned the idea of immersion as the practice of the earliest Baptists as some of the Landmarkists contended. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_107

Moderates–Conservatives controversy Southern Baptist Convention_section_10

The Southern Baptist Convention conservative resurgence (c. 1970–2000) was an intense struggle for control of the SBC's resources and ideological direction. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_108

The major internal disagreement captured national attention. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_109

Its initiators called it a "Conservative Resurgence", while its detractors have labeled it a "Fundamentalist Takeover". Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_110

Russell H. Dilday, president of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary from 1978 to 1994, described the resurgence as having fragmented Southern Baptist fellowship and as being "far more serious than [a controversy]". Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_111

Dilday described it as being "a self-destructive, contentious, one-sided feud that at times took on combative characteristics". Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_112

Since 1979, Southern Baptists had become polarized into two major groups: moderates and conservatives. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_113

Reflecting the conservative majority votes of delegates at the 1979 annual meeting of the SBC, the new national organization officers replaced all leaders of Southern Baptist agencies with presumably more conservative people (often dubbed "fundamentalist" by dissenters). Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_114

Among historical elements illustrating this trend, the organization's position on abortion rights within a decade had shifted radically from a position that supported them to a position that strongly opposes them, as in 1971, (two years before Roe v. Wade), the SBC passed a resolution supporting abortion, not only in cases of rape or incest—positions which even some Southern Baptist conservatives would support—but also as "clear evidence of severe fetal deformity, and carefully ascertained evidence of the likelihood of damage to the emotional, mental, and physical health of the mother"—positions not supported by the conservative wing. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_115

Also, in 1974, (the year after Roe v. Wade) the SBC passed another resolution affirming its previous 1971 resolution, saying that it "dealt responsibly from a Christian perspective with complexities of abortion problems in contemporary society" while also in the same resolution claiming that the SBC "historically held a high view of the sanctity of human life". Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_116

However, once the conservatives won their first election in 1980, they passed a resolution which completely reversed their prior positions on abortion, condemning it in all cases except to save the life of the mother. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_117

As such, all subsequent resolutions on the issue have followed the 1980 trend of being strongly against abortion and have gone further into opposing similar issues such as fetal tissue experimentation, RU-486, and taxpayer funding of abortions in general and Planned Parenthood in particular. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_118

Recent history Southern Baptist Convention_section_11

In 1995, the convention voted to adopt a resolution in which it renounced its racist roots and apologized for its past defense of slavery, segregation, and white supremacy. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_119

This marked the denomination's first formal acknowledgment that racism had played a profound role in both its early and modern history. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_120

By the early 21st century, numbers of ethnically diverse congregations were increasing within the convention. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_121

In 2008, almost 20% were estimated to be majority African American, Asian, or Hispanic. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_122

The SBC had an estimated one million African-American members. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_123

The convention has passed a series of resolutions recommending the inclusion of more black members and appointing more African-American leaders. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_124

In the 2012 annual meeting, the Southern Baptist Convention elected Fred Luter Jr. as its first African-American president. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_125

He had earned respect by his leadership skills shown in building a large congregation in New Orleans. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_126

The increasingly national scope of the convention has inspired some members to suggest a name change. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_127

In 2005, proposals were made at the SBC Annual Meeting to change the name from the regional-sounding Southern Baptist Convention to a more national-sounding "North American Baptist Convention" or "Scriptural Baptist Convention" (to retain the SBC initials). Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_128

These initial proposals were defeated. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_129

The messengers of the 2012 annual meeting in New Orleans voted to adopt the descriptor "Great Commission Baptists". Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_130

The legal name of the convention remains "Southern Baptist Convention", but churches and convention entities can voluntarily use the descriptor. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_131

Almost a year after the Charleston church shooting, SBC approved Resolution 7 which called upon member churches and families to discontinue the flying of the Confederate flag. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_132

The SBC approved a Resolution 12 titled "On Refugee Ministry", encouraging member churches and families to welcome refugees coming to the United States. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_133

In the same convention, Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission quickly responded to a pastor who asked why a Southern Baptist should support the right of Muslims living in the United States to build mosques. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_134

Moore responded, "Sometimes we have to deal with questions that are really complicated... this isn't one of them." Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_135

Moore states that religious freedom must be for all religions. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_136

The SBC officially denounced the alt-right movement in the 2017 convention. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_137

On November 5, 2017, a mass shooting took place at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_138

It was the deadliest shooting to occur in any SBC church in its history and in modern history, an American place of worship. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_139

In a Washington Post story dated September 15, 2020, Greear said some church leaders want to change the name to Great Commission Baptists, to distance the church from its support of slavery and because it is no longer just a Southern church. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_140

Sex abuse scandal Southern Baptist Convention_section_12

Main article: Sexual abuse scandal in Southern Baptist churches Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_141

On February 10, 2019, a joint investigation conducted by the Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express found that there had been over 700 victims of sexual abuse from nearly 400 Southern Baptist church leaders, pastors and volunteers over the last 20 years. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_142

In 2018, the Houston Chronicle verified details in hundreds of accounts of abuse. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_143

They examined federal and state court databases, prison records and official documents from more than 20 states in addition to researching sex offender registries nationwide. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_144

The Houston Chronicle has compiled a list of records and information (current as of June 2019), listing church pastors, leaders, employees and volunteers who have pleaded guilty or were convicted of sex crimes. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_145

On 12 June 2019, during their annual meeting, SBC delegates, who assembled that year in Birmingham, Alabama, approved a resolution condemning sex abuse and establishing a special committee to investigate sex abuse, which will make it easier for SBC churches to be expelled from the Convention. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_146

The Rev. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_147

J.D. Greear, president of the Southern Baptist Convention and pastor of The Summit Church in Durham, N.C., called the move a "defining moment." Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_148

Ronnie Floyd, president of the SBC's executive committee, echoed Greear's remarks, describing the vote as "a very, very significant moment in the history of the Southern Baptist Convention." Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_149

Theology and practice Southern Baptist Convention_section_13

The general theological perspective of the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention is represented in the Baptist Faith and Message (BF&M). Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_150

The BF&M was first drafted in 1925 as a revision of the 1833 New Hampshire Confession of Faith. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_151

It was revised significantly in 1963, amended in 1998 with the addition of one new section on the family, and revised again in 2000, with the 1998 and 2000 changes being the subject of much controversy, particularly in regards to the role of women in the church. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_152

The BF&M is not considered to be a creed, such as the Nicene Creed. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_153

Members are not required to adhere to it, and churches and state conventions belonging to the SBC are not required to use it as their statement of faith or doctrine, though many do in lieu of creating their own statement. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_154

Despite the fact that the BF&M is not a creed, key leaders, faculty in SBC-owned seminaries, and missionaries who apply to serve through the various SBC missionary agencies must affirm that their practices, doctrine, and preaching are consistent with the BF&M. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_155

In 2012, a LifeWay Research survey of SBC pastors found that 30% of congregations identified with the labels Calvinist or Reformed, while 30% identified with the labels Arminian or Wesleyan. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_156

Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research, explained, "historically, many Baptists have considered themselves neither Calvinist nor Arminian, but holding a unique theological approach not framed well by either category". Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_157

Nevertheless, the survey also found that 60% of SBC pastors were concerned about Calvinism's impact within the convention. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_158

Nathan Finn notes that the debate over Calvinism has "periodically reignited with increasing intensity", and that non-Calvinists "seem to be especially concerned with the influence of Founders Ministries," while Calvinists "seem to be particularly concerned with the influence of revivalism and Keswick theology." Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_159

Historically, the SBC has not considered glossolalia or other Charismatic beliefs to be in accordance with Scriptural teaching, though the subject is not even mentioned in the BF&M. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_160

While officially few SBC churches are openly Charismatic, at least one Independent Baptist author believes the practice to be far greater than officially discussed. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_161

Position statements Southern Baptist Convention_section_14

In addition to the BF&M, the SBC has also issued the following position statements: Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_162

Southern Baptist Convention_unordered_list_0

  • Autonomy of local church — Affirms the autonomy of the local church.Southern Baptist Convention_item_0_0
  • Cooperation— Identifies the Cooperative Program of missions as integral to the Southern Baptist Convention.Southern Baptist Convention_item_0_1
  • Creeds and confessions — Statements of belief are revisable in light of Scripture. The Bible is the final word.Southern Baptist Convention_item_0_2
  • Missions — Honors the indigenous principle in missions. The SBC does not, however, compromise doctrine or its identity for missional opportunities.Southern Baptist Convention_item_0_3
  • Priesthood of all believers — Laypersons have the same right as ordained ministers to communicate with God, interpret Scripture, and minister in Christ's name.Southern Baptist Convention_item_0_4
  • Sanctity of life — "At the moment of conception, a new being enters the universe, a human being, a being created in God's image"; as such, it should be protected regardless of the circumstances underlying the conception. As such, the SBC opposes abortion and any form of birth control which acts as an abortifacient.Southern Baptist Convention_item_0_5
  • Sexuality — They affirm God's plan for marriage and sexual intimacy as a lifetime relationship of one man and one woman. Explicitly, they do not consider homosexuality to be a "valid alternative lifestyle". They understand the Bible to forbid any form of extra-marital sexual relations.Southern Baptist Convention_item_0_6
  • Soul competency — Affirms the accountability of each person before God.Southern Baptist Convention_item_0_7
  • Ordination of women — Women are of equal value to men and participate on Southern Baptist boards, faculties, mission teams, writer pools, and professional staffs. However, women are not eligible to serve as pastors.Southern Baptist Convention_item_0_8

Ordinances Southern Baptist Convention_section_15

Southern Baptists observe two ordinances: the Lord's Supper and believer's baptism (also known as credo-baptism, from the Latin for "I believe"). Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_163

Furthermore, they hold the historic Baptist belief that immersion is the only valid mode of baptism. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_164

The Baptist Faith and Message describes baptism as a symbolic act of obedience and a testimony of the believer's faith in Jesus Christ to other people. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_165

The BF&M also notes that baptism is a precondition to congregational church membership. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_166

The BF&M holds to memorialism, which is the belief that the Lord's Supper is a symbolic act of obedience in which believers commemorate the death of Christ and look forward to his Second Coming. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_167

Although individual Southern Baptist churches are free to practice either open or closed communion (due to the convention's belief in congregational polity and the autonomy of the local church), most Southern Baptist churches practice open communion. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_168

For the same reason, the frequency of observance of the Lord's Supper varies from church to church. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_169

It is commonly observed quarterly, though some churches offer it monthly and a small minority offers it weekly. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_170

Because Southern Baptists traditionally have opposed alcoholic beverage consumption by members, grape juice is used instead of wine (and is usually called "the cup" as a result). Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_171

Gender-based roles Southern Baptist Convention_section_16

The Southern Baptist Church subscribes to the complementarian view of gender roles. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_172

Beginning in the early 1970s, as a reaction to their perceptions of various "women's liberation movements", the SBC, along with several other historically conservative Baptist groups, began as a body to assert its view of the propriety and primacy of what it deemed "traditional gender roles". Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_173

In 1973, at the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention, delegates passed a resolution that read in part: "Man was not made for woman, but the woman for the man. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_174

Woman is the glory of man. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_175

Woman would not have existed without man." Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_176

In 1998, the SBC appended a male leadership understanding of marriage to the 1963 version of the Baptist Faith and Message, with an official amendment: Article XVIII, "The Family". Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_177

In 2000, it revised the document to reflect support for a male-only pastorate with no mention of the office of deacon. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_178

In the pastorate Southern Baptist Convention_section_17

See also: Ordination of women in Protestant churches Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_179

By explicitly defining the pastoral office as the exclusive domain of males, the 2000 BF&M provision becomes the SBC's first-ever official position against women pastors. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_180

As individual churches affiliated with the SBC are autonomous, local congregations cannot be compelled to adopt a male-only pastorate. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_181

Though neither the BF&M nor the SBC constitution and bylaws provide any mechanism to trigger automatic removal ("disfellowshipment") of congregations that adopt practices or theology contrary to the BF&M, some SBC churches that have installed women as their pastors have been disfellowshipped from membership in their local SBC associations; a smaller number have been disfellowshipped from their SBC state conventions. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_182

The crystallization of SBC positions on gender roles and restrictions of women's participation in the pastorate contributed to the decision by members now belonging to the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship to break from the SBC in 1991. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_183

In marriage Southern Baptist Convention_section_18

The 2000 BF&M now prescribes a husband-headship authority structure, closely following the apostle Paul's exhortations in : Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_184

Worship services Southern Baptist Convention_section_19

Most Southern Baptists observe a low church form of worship, which is less formal and uses no stated liturgy. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_185

The form of the worship services generally depend on whether the congregation uses a traditional service or a contemporary one, or a mix of both—the main differences being with regards to music and the response to the sermon. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_186

In both types of services, there will be a prayer at the opening of the service, before the sermon, and at closing. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_187

Offerings are taken, which may be around the middle of the service or at the end (with the increased popularity of electronic financial systems, some churches operate kiosks allowing givers the opportunity to do so online, or through a phone app or website link). Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_188

Responsive Scripture readings are not common, but may be done on a special occasion. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_189

In a traditional service, the music generally features hymns, accompanied by a piano or organ (the latter has been generally phased out due to fewer people playing that instrument) and sometimes with a special featured soloist or choir. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_190

Smaller churches generally let anyone participate in the choir regardless of actual singing ability; larger churches will limit participation to those who have successfully tried out for a role. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_191

After the sermon, an invitation to respond (sometimes termed an altar call) might be given; people may respond during the invitation by receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and beginning Christian discipleship, seeking baptism or requesting to join the congregation, or entering into vocational ministry or making some other publicly stated decision. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_192

Baptisms may be scheduled on specific weekends, or (especially in buildings with built-in baptisteries) be readily available for anyone desiring baptism. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_193

In a contemporary service, the music generally features modern songs led by a praise team or similarly named group with featured singers. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_194

Choirs are not as common. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_195

An altar call may or may not be given at the end; if it is not, interested persons are directed to seek out people in the lobby who can address any questions. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_196

Baptismal services are usually scheduled as specific and special events. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_197

Also, church membership is usually done on a periodic basis by attending specific classes about the church's history, beliefs, what it seeks to accomplish, and what is expected of a prospective member. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_198

Controversially, a member may be asked to sign a "membership covenant", a document that has the prospective member promise to perform certain tasks (regular church attendance both at main services and small groups, regular giving—sometimes even requiring tithing, and service within the church). Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_199

Such covenants are highly controversial: among other things, such a covenant may not permit a member to voluntarily withdraw from membership to avoid church discipline or, in some cases, the member cannot leave at all (even when not under discipline) without the approval of church leadership. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_200

A Dallas-Fort Worth church was forced to apologize to a member who attempted to do so for failing to request permission to annul her marriage after her husband admitted to viewing child pornography. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_201

Statistics Southern Baptist Convention_section_20

Membership Southern Baptist Convention_section_21

Southern Baptist Convention_table_general_1

YearSouthern Baptist Convention_header_cell_1_0_0 MembershipSouthern Baptist Convention_header_cell_1_0_1
1845Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_1_0 350,000Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_1_1
1860Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_2_0 650,000Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_2_1
1875Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_3_0 1,260,000Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_3_1
1890Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_4_0 1,240,000Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_4_1
1905Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_5_0 1,900,000Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_5_1
1920Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_6_0 3,150,000Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_6_1
1935Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_7_0 4,480,000Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_7_1
1950Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_8_0 7,080,000Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_8_1
1965Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_9_0 10,780,000Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_9_1
1980Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_10_0 13,700,000Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_10_1
1995Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_11_0 15,400,000Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_11_1
2000Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_12_0 15,900,000Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_12_1
2005Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_13_0 16,600,000Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_13_1
2006Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_14_0 16,306,246Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_14_1
2007Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_15_0 16,266,920Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_15_1
2008Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_16_0 16,228,438Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_16_1
2009Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_17_0 16,160,088Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_17_1
2010Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_18_0 16,136,044Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_18_1
2011Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_19_0 15,978,112Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_19_1
2012Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_20_0 15,872,404Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_20_1
2013Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_21_0 15,735,640Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_21_1
2014Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_22_0 15,499,173Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_22_1
2015Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_23_0 15,294,764Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_23_1
2016Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_24_0 15,216,978Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_24_1
2017Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_25_0 15,005,638Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_25_1
2018Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_26_0 14,813,234Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_26_1
2019Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_27_0 14,525,579Southern Baptist Convention_cell_1_27_1

According to a denomination census released in 2020, it has 47,530 churches and 14,525,579 members. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_202

The SBC has 1,161 local associations and 42 state conventions, and fellowships covering all fifty states and territories of the United States. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_203

The five states with the highest rates of membership in the SBC are Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, Florida, and Tennessee. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_204

Texas has the largest number of members with an estimated 2.75 million. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_205

Through their Cooperative Program, Southern Baptists support thousands of missionaries in the United States and worldwide. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_206

Trends Southern Baptist Convention_section_22

Data from church sources and independent surveys indicate that since 1990 membership of SBC churches has declined as a proportion of the American population. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_207

Historically, the convention grew throughout its history until 2007, when membership decreased by a net figure of nearly 40,000 members. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_208

The total membership, of about 16.2 million, was flat over the same period, falling by 38,482 or 0.2%. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_209

An important indicator for the health of the denomination is new baptisms, which have decreased every year for seven of the last eight years. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_210

As of 2008, they had reached their lowest levels since 1987. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_211

Membership continued to decline from 2008 to 2012. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_212

SBC's statistical summary of 2014 recorded a loss of 236,467 members, their biggest one-year decline since 1881. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_213

In 2018, membership fell below 15 million for the first time since 1989 and reached its lowest level for over 30 years. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_214

This decline in membership and baptisms has prompted some SBC researchers to describe the convention as a "denomination in decline". Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_215

Former SBC president Frank Page suggested that if current conditions continue, half of all SBC churches will close their doors permanently by the year 2030. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_216

This assessment is supported by a recent survey of SBC churches which indicated that 70 percent of all SBC churches are declining or are plateaued with regards to their membership. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_217

The decline in membership of the SBC was an issue discussed during the June 2008 Annual Convention. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_218

Curt Watke, a former researcher for the SBC, noted four reasons for the decline of the SBC based on his research: the increase in immigration by non-European groups, decline in growth among predominantly European American (white) churches, the aging of the current membership, and a decrease in the percentage of younger generations participating in any church life. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_219

Some believe that the Baptists have not worked sufficiently to attract minorities. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_220

On the other hand, the state conventions of Mississippi and Texas report an increasing portion of minority members. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_221

In 1990, five percent of SBC congregations were non-white. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_222

In 2012, the proportion of SBC congregations that were of other ethnic groups (African American, Latino, and Asian) had increased to twenty percent. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_223

Sixty percent of the minority congregations were found in Texas, particularly in the suburbs of Houston and Dallas. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_224

The decline in SBC membership may be more pronounced than these statistics indicate because Baptist churches are not required to remove inactive members from their rolls, likely leading to greatly inflated membership numbers. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_225

In addition, hundreds of large moderate congregations have shifted their primary allegiance to other Baptist groups such as the American Baptist Churches USA, the Alliance of Baptists or the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship but have continued to remain nominally on the books of the convention. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_226

Their members are thus counted in the SBC's totals although these churches no longer participate in the annual SBC meetings or make more than the minimum financial contributions. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_227

In some cases, groups have withdrawn from the SBC because of its conservative trends. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_228

On November 6, 2000, The Baptist General Convention of Texas voted to cut its contributions to SBC seminaries and reallocate more than five million dollars in funds to three theological seminaries in the state which members believe were more moderate. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_229

These include the Hispanic Baptist Theological School in San Antonio, Baylor University's George W. Truett Theological Seminary in Waco, and Hardin–Simmons University's Logsdon School of Theology in Abilene. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_230

Since the controversies of the 1980s, more than twenty theological or divinity programs directed toward moderate and progressive Baptists have been established in the Southeast. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_231

In addition to Texas, schools in Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina and Alabama were established in the 1990s. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_232

These include the Baptist Theological Seminary in Richmond, McAfee School of Theology of Mercer University in Atlanta, Wake Forest, Gardner Webb and Campbell Divinity schools in North Carolina and Beeson Divinity School at Samford University, to name a few. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_233

These schools contributed to the flat and declining enrollment at Southern Baptist seminaries operating in the same region of the United States. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_234

Texas and Virginia have the largest state conventions identified as moderate in theological approach. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_235

On June 4, 2020, the Southern Baptist Convention reported a drop in its membership - the 13th consecutive year that membership has declined. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_236

"Total membership in the Southern Baptist Convention fell almost 2 percent to 14,525,579 from 2018 to 2019. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_237

The decline of 287,655 members is the largest single-year drop in more than 100 years." Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_238

Organization Southern Baptist Convention_section_23

There are four levels of SBC organization: the local congregation, the local association, the state convention, and the national convention. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_239

There are 41 affiliated state conventions or fellowships. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_240

Main article: List of state and other conventions associated with the Southern Baptist Convention Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_241

The national and state conventions and local associations are conceived as a cooperative association by which churches can voluntarily pool resources to support missionary and other work undertaken by them. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_242

Because of the basic Baptist principle of the autonomy of the local church and the congregationalist polity of the SBC, neither the national convention nor the state conventions or local associations has any administrative or ecclesiastical control over local churches; although such a group may disfellowship a local congregation over an issue, they may not terminate its leadership or members or force its closure. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_243

Nor does the national convention have any authority over state conventions or local associations, nor do state conventions have authority over local associations. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_244

Furthermore, no individual congregation has any authority over any other individual congregation, except that a church may oversee another congregation voluntarily as a mission work, but that other congregation has the right to become an independent congregation at any time. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_245

The SBC maintains a central administrative organization in Nashville, Tennessee. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_246

The SBC's Executive Committee exercises authority and control over seminaries and other institutions owned by the Southern Baptist Convention. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_247

The Southern Baptist Convention has around 10,000 ethnic congregations. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_248

Commitment to the autonomy of local congregations was the primary force behind the Executive Committee's rejection of a proposal to create a convention-wide database of SBC clergy accused of sexual crimes against congregants or other minors in order to stop the "recurring tide" of clergy sexual abuse within SBC congregations. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_249

A 2009 study by Lifeway Christian Resources, the convention's research and publishing arm, revealed that one in eight background checks for potential volunteers or workers in SBC churches revealed a history of crime that could have prevented them from working. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_250

The convention's statement of faith, the Baptist Faith and Message, is not binding on churches or members due to the autonomy of the local church (though SBC employees and missionaries must agree to its views as a condition of employment or missionary support). Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_251

Politically and culturally, Southern Baptists tend to be conservative. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_252

Most oppose homosexual activity, and abortion with few exceptions. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_253

Pastor and deacon Southern Baptist Convention_section_24

Generally, Baptists recognize only two scriptural offices: pastor-teacher and deacon. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_254

The Southern Baptist Convention passed a resolution in the early 1980s recognizing that offices requiring ordination are restricted to men. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_255

According to the Baptist Faith and Message, the office of pastor is limited to men based on certain New Testament scriptures. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_256

However, there is no prohibition in the Baptist Faith and Message against women serving as deacons. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_257

Neither the BF&M or resolutions are binding upon local churches. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_258

Each church is responsible to search the Scriptures and establish its own policies based on how they decide to interpret the scripture. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_259

Annual meeting Southern Baptist Convention_section_25

The Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting (held in June, over a two-day period) consists of delegates (called "messengers") from cooperating churches. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_260

The messengers confer and determine the programs, policies, and budget of the SBC and elect the officers and committees. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_261

Each cooperating church is allowed up to two messengers regardless of the amount given to SBC entities, and may have more depending on the amount of giving (either in terms of dollars or percent of the church's budget), but the maximum number of messengers permitted from any church is 12. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_262

Missions and affiliated organizations Southern Baptist Convention_section_26

Cooperative Program Southern Baptist Convention_section_27

The Cooperative Program (CP) is the SBC's unified funds collection and distribution program for the support of regional, national and international ministries. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_263

The CP is funded by contributions from SBC congregations. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_264

In the fiscal year ending September 30, 2008, the local congregations of the SBC reported gift receipts of $11.1 billion. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_265

From this they sent $548 million, approximately five percent, to their state Baptist conventions through the CP. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_266

Of this amount, the state Baptist conventions retained $344 million for their work. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_267

Two hundred and four million dollars was sent on to the national CP budget for the support of denomination-wide ministries. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_268

Missions agencies Southern Baptist Convention_section_28

The Southern Baptist Convention was organized in 1845 primarily for the purpose of creating a mission board to support the sending of Baptist missionaries. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_269

The North American Mission Board, or NAMB, (founded as the Domestic Mission Board, and later the Home Mission Board) in Alpharetta, Georgia serves missionaries involved in evangelism and church planting in the U.S. and Canada, while the International Mission Board, or IMB, (originally the Foreign Mission Board) in Richmond, Virginia, sponsors missionaries to the rest of the world. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_270

Among the more visible organizations within the North American Mission Board is Southern Baptist Disaster Relief. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_271

In 1967, a small group of Texas Southern Baptist volunteers helped victims of Hurricane Beulah by serving hot food cooked on small "buddy burners." Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_272

In 2005, volunteers responded to 166 named disasters, prepared 17,124,738 meals, repaired 7,246 homes, and removed debris from 13,986 yards. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_273

Southern Baptist Disaster Relief provides many different types: food, water, child care, communication, showers, laundry, repairs, rebuilding, or other essential tangible items that contribute to the resumption of life following the crisis—and the message of the Gospel. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_274

All assistance is provided to individuals and communities free of charge. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_275

SBC DR volunteer kitchens prepare much of the food distributed by the Red Cross in major disasters. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_276

Baptist Men is the mission organization for men in Southern Baptist Churches, and is under the North American Mission Board. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_277

The Woman's Missionary Union, founded in 1888, is an auxiliary to the Southern Baptist Convention, which helps facilitate two large annual missions offerings: the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering (for North American missions) and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering (for International missions). Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_278

Seminaries and colleges Southern Baptist Convention_section_29

Main article: Southern Baptist-related schools, colleges and universities Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_279

The SBC directly supports six theological seminaries devoted to religious instruction and ministry preparation. Southern Baptist Convention_sentence_280

Southern Baptist Convention_unordered_list_1

Other organizations Southern Baptist Convention_section_30

Southern Baptist Convention_unordered_list_2

  • Baptist Press, the largest Christian news service in the country, was established by the SBC in 1946.Southern Baptist Convention_item_2_15
  • GuideStone Financial Resources (formerly called the Annuity Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, and founded in 1918 as the Relief Board of the Southern Baptist Convention) exists to provide insurance, retirement, and investment services to churches and to ministers and employees of Southern Baptist churches and agencies. Like many financial institutions during that time period, it underwent a severe financial crisis in the 1930s.Southern Baptist Convention_item_2_16
  • LifeWay Christian Resources, founded as the Baptist Sunday School Board in 1891, which is one of the largest Christian publishing houses in America. It previously operated the "LifeWay Christian Stores" (formerly "Baptist Book Stores") chain of bookstores, until closing all stores in 2019 (but still operates an online service).Southern Baptist Convention_item_2_17
  • Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (formerly known as the Christian Life Commission of the SBC) is an entity of the Southern Baptist Convention that is dedicated to addressing social and moral concerns and their implications on public policy issues from City Hall to Congress and the courts (among other things it files amici briefs on various cases where religious liberty is potentially threatened). Its mission is "To awaken, inform, energize, equip, and mobilize Christians to be the catalysts for the Biblically-based transformation of their families, churches, communities, and the nation."Southern Baptist Convention_item_2_18
  • The Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives, in Nashville, Tennessee, serves as the official depository for the archives of the Southern Baptist Convention and a research center for the study of Baptists worldwide. The website for the SBHLA includes digital resources.Southern Baptist Convention_item_2_19

See also Southern Baptist Convention_section_31

Southern Baptist Convention_unordered_list_3

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: Baptist Convention.