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Southern Baptist Convention

The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is a Christian denomination based in the United States. It is the world's largest Baptist denomination, and the largest Protestant and second-largest Christian denomination in the United States, smaller than the Roman Catholic Church, according to self-reported membership statistics.

Southern Baptist Convention
AbbreviationSBC
ClassificationProtestant
OrientationBaptist
TheologyEvangelical
PolityCongregational
PresidentEd Litton
RegionUnited States
OriginMay 8–12, 1845
Augusta, Georgia, U.S.
Separated fromTriennial Convention (1845)
Separations
Congregations47,592 (2020)
Members14,089,947 (2020)
Weekly attendance = 4,439,797 (2020)
Official websitesbc.net

The word Southern in "Southern Baptist Convention" stems from its having been organized in 1845 in Augusta, Georgia, by Baptists in the Southern United States who split with northern Baptists (known today as the American Baptist Churches USA) over the issue of slavery, with Southern Baptists strongly opposed to its abolition. 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.

Since the 1940s, the Southern Baptist Convention has spread across the states, losing some of its regional identity but nonetheless keeping its original name. While still heavily concentrated in the Southern U.S., the SBC has member churches across the country and 41 affiliated state conventions. Southern Baptist churches are evangelical in doctrine and practice, emphasizing 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. The SBC says that other specific beliefs based on biblical interpretation can vary due to their congregational polity, and that churches are given local autonomy.

Self-reported SBC membership peaked in 2006 at roughly 16 million. Membership has contracted by an estimated 13.6% since that year, with 2020 marking the 14th year of continuous decline. Mean denomination-wide weekly attendance dropped about 27% between 2006 and 2020.

Contents

Further information: Baptists in the United States

Colonial era

Most early Baptists in the British colonies came from England in the 17th century, after the Church of England persecuted them for their dissenting religious views. In 1638, Roger Williams founded the first Baptist church in British America at the Providence Plantations, the first permanent European American settlement also founded by Williams in Rhode Island. The oldest Baptist church in the South, First Baptist Church of Charleston, South Carolina, was organized in 1682 under the leadership of William Screven. 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.

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

Baptists welcomed African Americans, both slave and free, allowing them more active roles in ministry than did other denominations by licensing them as preachers and in some cases treating them as equals to white members. As a result, black congregations and churches were founded in Virginia, South Carolina, and Georgia before the American Revolution. Some black congregations kept their independence even after whites tried to exercise more authority after the Nat Turner slave rebellion of 1831.

American Revolution period

Before the Revolution, Baptist and Methodist evangelicals in the South promoted the view of the common man's equality before God, which embraced slaves and free blacks. They challenged the hierarchies of class and race and urged planters to abolish slavery. They welcomed slaves as Baptists and accepted them as preachers.

Isaac (1974) analyzes the rise of the Baptist Church in Virginia, with emphasis on evangelicalism and social life. There was a sharp division between the austerity of the plain-living Baptists, attracted initially from yeomen and common planters, and the opulence of the Anglican planters, the slave-holding elite who controlled local and colonial government in what had become a slave society by the late 18th century. The gentry interpreted Baptist church discipline as political radicalism, but it served to ameliorate disorder. 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.

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. It opposed the rapid spread of Baptists in the South. Particularly in Virginia, many Baptist preachers were prosecuted for "disturbing the peace" by preaching without licenses from the Anglican church. Patrick Henry and James Madison defended Baptist preachers before the American Revolution in cases considered significant in the history of religious freedom. In 1779, Thomas Jefferson wrote the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, enacted in 1786 by the Virginia General Assembly. Madison later applied his 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.

The struggle for religious tolerance erupted and played out during the American Revolution, as the Baptists worked to disestablish the Anglican church in the South. Beeman (1978) explores the conflict in one Virginia locality, showing that as its population became denser, the county court and the Anglican Church increased their authority. The Baptists protested vigorously; the resulting social disorder resulted chiefly from the ruling gentry's disregard for public need. The vitality of the religious opposition made the conflict between "evangelical" and "gentry" styles a bitter one. Kroll-Smith (1984) suggests that the evangelical movement's strength determined its ability to mobilize power outside the conventional authority structure.

National unification and regional division

Main article: Triennial Convention

In 1814, leaders such as Luther Rice helped Baptists unify nationally under what became known informally as the Triennial Convention (because it met every three years) based in Philadelphia. It allowed them to join their resources to support missions abroad. The Home Mission Society, affiliated with the Triennial Convention, was established in 1832 to support missions in U.S. frontier territories. By the mid-19th century, there were many social, cultural, economic, and political differences among business owners of the North, farmers of the West, and planters of the South. The most divisive conflict was primarily over the issue of slavery and secondarily over missions.

Divisions over slavery

The issues surrounding slavery dominated the 19th century in the United States. This created tension between Baptists in northern and southern states over the issue of manumission. In the two decades after the Revolution during the Second Great Awakening, northern Baptist preachers (as well as the Quakers and Methodists) increasingly argued that slaves be freed. Although most Baptists in the 19th century south were yeomen farmers and common planters, the Baptists also began to attract major planters among their membership. The southern pastors interpreted the Bible as supporting slavery and encouraged good paternalistic practices by slaveholders. They preached to slaves to accept their places and obey their masters, and welcomed slaves and free blacks as members, though whites controlled the churches' leadership, and seating was usually segregated. From the early 19th century, many Baptist preachers in the South also argued in favor of preserving the right of ministers to be slaveholders.

Black congregations were sometimes the largest in their regions. For instance, by 1821, Gillfield Baptist in Petersburg, Virginia, had the largest congregation within the Portsmouth Association. At 441 members, it was more than twice as large as the next-biggest church. Before the Nat Turner slave rebellion of 1831, Gillfield had a black preacher. Afterward, the state legislature insisted that white men oversee black congregations. Gillfield could not call a black preacher until after the American Civil War and emancipation. After Turner's 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.

The Triennial Convention and the Home Mission Society adopted a kind of neutrality concerning slavery, neither condoning nor condemning it. During the "Georgia Test Case" of 1844, the Georgia State Convention proposed that the slaveholder Elder James E. Reeve be appointed as a missionary. The Foreign Mission Board refused to approve his appointment, recognizing the case as a challenge and not wanting to violate their neutrality on slavery. They said that slavery should not be introduced as a factor into deliberations about missionary appointments.

In 1844, University of Alabama president Basil Manly Sr., a prominent preacher and major planter who owned 40 slaves, drafted the "Alabama Resolutions" and presented them to the Triennial Convention. They included the demand that slaveholders be eligible for denominational offices to which the Southern associations contributed financially. They were not adopted. Georgia Baptists decided to test the claimed neutrality by recommending a slaveholder to the Home Mission Society as a missionary. 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 Baptists considered this an infringement of their right to determine their own candidates. From the Southern perspective, the Northern position that "slaveholding brethren were less than followers of Jesus" effectively obligated slaveholding Southerners to leave the fellowship. This difference came to a head in 1845 when representatives of the northern states refused to appoint missionaries whose families owned slaves. To continue in the work of missions, the southern Baptists separated and created the Southern Baptist Convention.

Missions and organization

Original location of First Baptist Church in Augusta, Georgia

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 United States. This was likely a result of the society's not appointing slave owners as missionaries. Baptists in the North preferred a loosely structured society of individuals who paid annual dues, with each society usually focused on a single ministry.[page needed]

Baptists in Southern churches preferred a more centralized organization of churches patterned after their associations, with a variety of ministries brought under the direction of one denominational organization. The increasing tensions and the discontent of Baptists from the South over national criticism of slavery and issues over missions led to their withdrawal from national Baptist organizations.

The Southern Baptists met at the First Baptist Church of Augusta in May 1845. At this meeting, they created a new convention, the Southern Baptist Convention. They elected William Bullein Johnson (1782–1862) as its first president. He had served as president of the Triennial Convention in 1841.

Formation and separation of black Baptists

African Americans had gathered in their own churches early on, in 1774 in Petersburg, Virginia, and in Savannah, Georgia, in 1788. Some were established after 1800 on the frontier, such as the First African Baptist Church of Lexington, Kentucky. In 1824, it was accepted by the Elkhorn Association of Kentucky, which was white-dominated. By 1850, First African had 1,820 members, the largest of any Baptist church in the state, black or white. In 1861, it had 2,223 members.

First African Baptist Church, Savannah, Georgia, constructed 1856

Southern whites generally required black churches to have white ministers and trustees. In churches with mixed congregations, seating was segregated, with blacks often in a balcony. White preaching often emphasized Biblical stipulations that slaves should accept their places and try to behave well toward their masters.

After the Civil War and emancipation, blacks wanted to practice Christianity independently of white supervision. They interpreted the Bible as offering hope for deliverance, and saw their own exodus out of slavery as comparable to the Exodus, with abolitionist John Brown as their Moses. They quickly left white-dominated churches and associations and set up separate state Baptist conventions. In 1866, black Baptists of the South and West combined to form the Consolidated American Baptist Convention. In 1895, they merged three national conventions to create the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. With eight million members, it is today the largest African-American religious organization and second in size to the SBC.

Free blacks in the North had founded churches and denominations in the early 19th century that were independent of white-dominated organizations. 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. The African Methodist Episcopal Church attracted more new members than any other denomination. White Southern Baptist churches lost black members to the new denominations, as well as to independent congregations which were organized by freedmen.

During the Civil Rights Movement, most Southern Baptist pastors and members of their congregations rejected racial integration and accepted white supremacy, further alienating African Americans. According to historian and former Southern Baptist Wayne Flynt, "The [Southern Baptist] church was the last bastion of segregation." But it has been acknowledged that the SBC integrated seminary classrooms in 1951.

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

US President George W. Bush meets with the leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention in 2006 in the Oval Office at the White House. Pictured with the President are Morris Chapman, left, Frank Page and his wife Dayle Page.

21st century

By the early 21st century, numbers of ethnically diverse congregations were increasing in the SBC. In 2008, almost 20% were estimated to be majority African American, Asian, or Hispanic. The SBC had an estimated one million African-American members. It has passed a series of resolutions recommending the inclusion of more black members and appointing more African-American leaders. At its 2012 annual meeting, it elected Fred Luter Jr. as its first African-American president. He had earned respect by showing leadership skills in building a large congregation in New Orleans.

The SBC's increasingly national scope has inspired some members to suggest a name change. In 2005, proposals were made at the SBC Annual Meeting to change the name to the more national-sounding "North American Baptist Convention" or "Scriptural Baptist Convention" (to retain the SBC initials). These proposals were defeated.

The messengers of the 2012 annual meeting in New Orleans voted to adopt the descriptor "Great Commission Baptists". The legal name remains "Southern Baptist Convention", but churches and convention entities can voluntarily use the descriptor.

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

The SBC approved Resolution 12, "On Refugee Ministry", encouraging member churches and families to welcome refugees coming to the United States. 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 U.S. to build mosques. Moore responded, "Sometimes we have to deal with questions that are really complicated... this isn't one of them." Moore said that religious freedom must be for all religions.

After an initial resolution denouncing the alt-right movement failed to make it the convention floor, the SBC officially denounced the alt-right movement at the 2017 convention. On November 5, 2017, a mass shooting took place at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs. It was the deadliest shooting to occur at any SBC church in its history and, in modern history, at an American place of worship.

The 2020 convention was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns and eventually rescheduled for June 2021.

In a Washington Post story dated September 15, 2020, Greear said some church leaders wanted 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.

Worship service at Grace Baptist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee, affiliated to the Convention, 2016.

The general theological perspective of the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention is represented in the Baptist Faith and Message (BF&M). The BF&M was first drafted in 1925 as a revision of the 1833 New Hampshire Confession of Faith. 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.

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

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

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

Position statements

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

  • Autonomy of local church — Affirms the autonomy of the local church.
  • Cooperation— Identifies the Cooperative Program of missions as integral to the Southern Baptist Convention.
  • Creeds and confessions — Statements of belief are revisable in light of Scripture. The Bible is the final word.
  • Missions — Honors the indigenous principle in missions. The SBC does not, however, compromise doctrine or its identity for missional opportunities.
  • Priesthood of all believers — Laypersons have the same right as ordained ministers to communicate with God, interpret Scripture, and minister in Christ's name.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Soul competency — Affirms the accountability of each person before God.
  • 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.

Ordinances

Southern Baptists observe two ordinances: the Lord's Supper and believer's baptism (also known as credo-baptism, from the Latin for "I believe"). Furthermore, they hold the historic Baptist belief that immersion is the only valid mode of baptism. 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. The BF&M also notes that baptism is a precondition to congregational church membership.

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. 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. For the same reason, the frequency of observance of the Lord's Supper varies from church to church. It is commonly observed quarterly, though some churches offer it monthly and a small minority offers it weekly. 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).[citation needed]

Gender-based roles

The Southern Baptist Church subscribes to the complementarian view of gender roles. 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 to assert its view of the propriety and primacy of what it deemed "traditional gender roles" as a body. In 1973, at the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention, delegates passed a resolution which read in part: "Man was not made for woman, but the woman for the man. Woman is the glory of man. Woman would not have existed without man." 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". In 2000, it revised the document to reflect support for a male-only pastorate with no mention of the office of deacon.

In the pastorate

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.

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

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.

In marriage

The 2000 BF&M now prescribes a husband-headship authority structure, closely following the apostle Paul's exhortations inEphesians 5:21–33:

Article XVIII. The Family. The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God's image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to his people. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation.

Worship services

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

In both types of services, there will be a prayer at the opening of the service, before the sermon, and at closing. 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). Responsive Scripture readings are not common, but may be done on a special occasion.

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

In a contemporary service, the music generally features modern songs led by a praise team or similarly named group with featured singers. Choirs are not as common. 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. Baptismal services are usually scheduled as specific and special events. 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. 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). 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. 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.

Membership

Year Membership
1845 350,000
1860 650,000
1875 1,260,000
1890 1,240,000
1905 1,900,000
1920 3,150,000
1935 4,480,000
1950 7,080,000
1965 10,780,000
1980 13,700,000
1995 15,400,000
2000 15,900,000
2005 16,600,000
2006 16,306,246
2007 16,266,920
2008 16,228,438
2009 16,160,088
2010 16,136,044
2011 15,978,112
2012 15,872,404
2013 15,735,640
2014 15,499,173
2015 15,294,764
2016 15,216,978
2017 15,005,638
2018 14,813,234
2019 14,525,579
2020 14,089,947

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

The SBC has 1,161 local associations and 42 state conventions, and fellowships covering all fifty states and territories of the United States. The five states with the highest rates of membership in the SBC are Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, Florida, and Tennessee. Texas has the largest number of members with an estimated 2.75 million.

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

Trends

Data from church sources and independent surveys indicate that since 1990 membership of SBC churches has declined as a proportion of the American population. Historically, the convention grew throughout its history until 2007, when membership decreased by a net figure of nearly 40,000 members. The total membership, of about 16.2 million, was flat over the same period, falling by 38,482 or 0.2%. An important indicator for the health of the denomination is new baptisms, which have decreased every year for seven of the last eight years. As of 2008[update], they had reached their lowest levels since 1987. Membership continued to decline from 2008 to 2012. SBC's statistical summary of 2014 recorded a loss of 236,467 members, their biggest one-year decline since 1881. In 2018, membership fell below 15 million for the first time since 1989 and reached its lowest level for over 30 years.

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

The decline in membership of the SBC was an issue discussed during the June 2008 Annual Convention. 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. Some believe that the Baptists have not worked sufficiently to attract minorities.

On the other hand, the state conventions of Mississippi and Texas report an increasing portion of minority members. In 1990, five percent of SBC congregations were non-white. In 2012, the proportion of SBC congregations that were of other ethnic groups (African American, Latino, and Asian) had increased to twenty percent. Sixty percent of the minority congregations were found in Texas, particularly in the suburbs of Houston and Dallas.

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. 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. 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.

In some cases, groups have withdrawn from the SBC because of its conservative trends. 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. 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. 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. In addition to Texas, schools in Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina and Alabama were established in the 1990s. 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. These schools contributed to the flat and declining enrollment at Southern Baptist seminaries operating in the same region of the United States. Texas and Virginia have the largest state conventions identified as moderate in theological approach.

On June 4, 2020, the Southern Baptist Convention reported a drop in its membership - the 13th consecutive year that membership has declined. "Total membership in the Southern Baptist Convention fell almost 2 percent to 14,525,579 from 2018 to 2019. The decline of 287,655 members is the largest single-year drop in more than 100 years."

The First Brazilian Baptist Church in Charlestown, Massachusetts

There are four levels of SBC organization: the local congregation, the local association, the state convention, and the national convention. There are 41 affiliated state conventions or fellowships.

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

Article IV. Authority: While independent and sovereign in its own sphere, the Convention does not claim and will never attempt to exercise any authority over any other Baptist body, whether church, auxiliary organizations, associations, or convention.

The SBC maintains a central administrative organization in Nashville, Tennessee. The SBC's Executive Committee exercises authority and control over seminaries and other institutions owned by the Southern Baptist Convention.

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

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). Politically and culturally, Southern Baptists tend to be conservative. Most oppose homosexual activity, and abortion with few exceptions.

Pastor and deacon

Generally, Baptists recognize only two scriptural offices: pastor-teacher and deacon. The Southern Baptist Convention passed a resolution in the early 1980s recognizing that offices requiring ordination are restricted to men. According to the Baptist Faith and Message, the office of pastor is limited to men based on certain New Testament scriptures. However, there is no prohibition in the Baptist Faith and Message against women serving as deacons. Neither the BF&M or resolutions are binding upon local churches. Each church is responsible to search the Scriptures and establish its own policies based on how they decide to interpret the scripture.

Annual meeting

President Jimmy Carter addressing the SBC in Atlanta in 1978 (in 2009, Carter broke with the SBC over its position on the status of women).

The Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting (held in June, over a two-day period) consists of delegates (called "messengers") from cooperating churches. The messengers confer and determine the programs, policies, and budget of the SBC and elect the officers and committees. 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.

Cooperative Program

The Cooperative Program (CP) is the SBC's unified funds collection and distribution program for the support of regional, national and international ministries. The CP is funded by contributions from SBC congregations.

In the fiscal year ending September 30, 2008, the local congregations of the SBC reported gift receipts of $11.1 billion. From this they sent $548 million, approximately five percent, to their state Baptist conventions through the CP. Of this amount, the state Baptist conventions retained $344 million for their work. Two hundred and four million dollars was sent on to the national CP budget for the support of denomination-wide ministries.

Missions agencies

Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Relief volunteers prepare food in Galveston, Texas, October 10, 2008

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

Among the more visible organizations within the North American Mission Board is Southern Baptist Disaster Relief. In 1967, a small group of Texas Southern Baptist volunteers helped victims of Hurricane Beulah by serving hot food cooked on small "buddy burners." 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 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. All assistance is provided to individuals and communities free of charge. SBC DR volunteer kitchens prepare much of the food distributed by the Red Cross in major disasters.

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

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).

Seminaries and colleges

Binkley Chapel at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

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

Other organizations

  • Baptist Press, the largest Christian news service in the country, was established by the SBC in 1946.
  • 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 (however, it does not limit its services to SBC churches and members only). Like many financial institutions during that time period, it underwent a severe financial crisis in the 1930s.
  • 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).
  • 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."
  • 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.

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

Landmark controversy

In the 1850s–1860s, a group of young activists called for a return to certain early practices, or what they called Landmarkism. Other leaders disagreed with their assertions, and the Baptist congregations became split on the issues. Eventually, the disagreements led to the formation of Gospel Missions and the American Baptist Association (1924), as well as many unaffiliated independent churches. 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.

Whitsitt controversy

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

Moderates–conservatives controversy

B.H. Carroll Memorial Building, the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary's main administrative building

The Southern Baptist Convention conservative resurgence (c. 1970–2000) was an intense struggle for control of the SBC's resources and ideological direction. The major internal disagreement captured national attention. Its initiators called it a "Conservative Resurgence", while its detractors have labeled it a "Fundamentalist Takeover". 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]". Dilday described it as being "a self-destructive, contentious, one-sided feud that at times took on combative characteristics". Since 1979, Southern Baptists had become polarized into two major groups: moderates and conservatives. 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).

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. 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". 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. 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.

Sexual abuse scandal

On February 10, 2019, a joint investigation 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 previous 20 years.

In 2018, the Houston Chronicle verified details in hundreds of accounts of abuse. It examined federal and state court databases, prison records and official documents from more than 20 states and researched sex offender registries nationwide. The Chronicle compiled a list of records and information (current as of June 2019), listing church pastors, leaders, employees and volunteers who have pleaded guilty to or were convicted of sex crimes.

On June 12, 2019, during their annual meeting, SBC messengers, 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 excommunicated from the Convention. The Reverend J.D. Greear, president of the Southern Baptist Convention and pastor of The Summit Church in Durham, North Carolina, called the move a "defining moment." Ronnie Floyd, president of the SBC's executive committee, echoed Greear's remarks, calling the vote "a very, very significant moment in the history of the Southern Baptist Convention."

In June 2021, letters from former policy director Russell D. Moore to SBC leadership were leaked. In the letters, Moore described how the convention had mishandled claims of sexual abuse.

Critical race theory

In November 2020, the six SBC seminary presidents called critical race theory “unbiblical” and emphasized the need to turn to Christian teachings alone, not secular ideas, to confront racism. At least four African American churches left the denomination over the leadership's refusal to recognize critical race theory.

  1. The era of conservative resurgence was accompanied by the erosion of more-liberal members (see, e.g., G. Avery Lee).

Footnotes

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Southern Baptist Convention
Southern Baptist Convention Language Watch Edit 160 160 Redirected from Southern Baptists The Southern Baptist Convention SBC is a Christian denomination based in the United States It is the world s largest Baptist denomination and the largest Protestant 2 3 and second largest Christian denomination in the United States smaller than the Roman Catholic Church according to self reported membership statistics Southern Baptist ConventionAbbreviationSBCClassificationProtestantOrientationBaptistTheologyEvangelicalPolityCongregationalPresidentEd LittonRegionUnited StatesOriginMay 8 12 1845 Augusta Georgia U S Separated fromTriennial Convention 1845 SeparationsAmerican Baptist AssociationAlliance of BaptistsCooperative Baptist FellowshipCongregations47 592 2020 Members14 089 947 2020 Weekly attendance 4 439 797 2020 1 Official websitesbc wbr net The word Southern in Southern Baptist Convention stems from its having been organized in 1845 in Augusta Georgia by Baptists in the Southern United States who split with northern Baptists known today as the American Baptist Churches USA over the issue of slavery with Southern Baptists strongly opposed to its abolition 4 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 Since the 1940s the Southern Baptist Convention has spread across the states losing some of its regional identity but nonetheless keeping its original name 5 While still heavily concentrated in the Southern U S the SBC has member churches across the country and 41 affiliated state conventions 6 7 Southern Baptist churches are evangelical in doctrine and practice emphasizing 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 7 The SBC says that other specific beliefs based on biblical interpretation can vary due to their congregational polity and that churches are given local autonomy 8 Self reported SBC membership peaked in 2006 at roughly 16 million 9 Membership has contracted by an estimated 13 6 since that year with 2020 marking the 14th year of continuous decline 10 Mean denomination wide weekly attendance dropped about 27 between 2006 and 2020 11 12 Contents 1 History 1 1 Colonial era 1 2 American Revolution period 1 3 National unification and regional division 1 3 1 Divisions over slavery 1 3 2 Missions and organization 1 4 Formation and separation of black Baptists 1 5 21st century 2 Beliefs 2 1 Position statements 2 2 Ordinances 2 3 Gender based roles 2 3 1 In the pastorate 2 3 2 In marriage 2 4 Worship services 3 Statistics 3 1 Membership 3 2 Trends 4 Organization 4 1 Pastor and deacon 4 2 Annual meeting 5 Missions and affiliated organizations 5 1 Cooperative Program 5 2 Missions agencies 5 3 Seminaries and colleges 5 4 Other organizations 6 Controversies 6 1 Landmark controversy 6 2 Whitsitt controversy 6 3 Moderates conservatives controversy 6 4 Sexual abuse scandal 6 5 Critical race theory 7 See also 8 Notes 9 References 9 1 Footnotes 9 2 Bibliography 10 Further reading 11 External linksHistory EditFurther information Baptists in the United States Colonial era Edit First Baptist Church in Charleston South Carolina Most early Baptists in the British colonies came from England in the 17th century after the Church of England persecuted them for their dissenting religious views 13 In 1638 Roger Williams founded the first Baptist church in British America at the Providence Plantations the first permanent European American settlement also founded by Williams in Rhode Island The oldest Baptist church in the South First Baptist Church of Charleston South Carolina was organized in 1682 under the leadership of William Screven 14 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 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 By 1740 about eight Baptist churches existed in the colonies of Virginia North Carolina and South Carolina with an estimated 300 to 400 members 15 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 and Second Great Awakenings 16 Baptists welcomed African Americans both slave and free allowing them more active roles in ministry than did other denominations by licensing them as preachers and in some cases treating them as equals to white members 17 As a result black congregations and churches were founded in Virginia South Carolina and Georgia before the American Revolution Some black congregations kept their independence even after whites tried to exercise more authority after the Nat Turner slave rebellion of 1831 18 American Revolution period Edit Before the Revolution Baptist and Methodist evangelicals in the South promoted the view of the common man s equality before God which embraced slaves and free blacks They challenged the hierarchies of class and race and urged planters to abolish slavery They welcomed slaves as Baptists and accepted them as preachers 19 Isaac 1974 analyzes the rise of the Baptist Church in Virginia with emphasis on evangelicalism and social life There was a sharp division between the austerity of the plain living Baptists attracted initially from yeomen and common planters and the opulence of the Anglican planters the slave holding elite who controlled local and colonial government in what had become a slave society by the late 18th century 20 The gentry interpreted Baptist church discipline as political radicalism but it served to ameliorate disorder 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 21 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 It opposed the rapid spread of Baptists in the South Particularly in Virginia many Baptist preachers were prosecuted for disturbing the peace by preaching without licenses from the Anglican church Patrick Henry and James Madison defended Baptist preachers before the American Revolution in cases considered significant in the history of religious freedom 22 In 1779 Thomas Jefferson wrote the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom enacted in 1786 by the Virginia General Assembly Madison later applied his 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 The struggle for religious tolerance erupted and played out during the American Revolution as the Baptists worked to disestablish the Anglican church in the South Beeman 1978 explores the conflict in one Virginia locality showing that as its population became denser the county court and the Anglican Church increased their authority The Baptists protested vigorously the resulting social disorder resulted chiefly from the ruling gentry s disregard for public need The vitality of the religious opposition made the conflict between evangelical and gentry styles a bitter one 23 Kroll Smith 1984 suggests that the evangelical movement s strength determined its ability to mobilize power outside the conventional authority structure 24 National unification and regional division Edit Main article Triennial Convention In 1814 leaders such as Luther Rice helped Baptists unify nationally under what became known informally as the Triennial Convention because it met every three years based in Philadelphia It allowed them to join their resources to support missions abroad The Home Mission Society affiliated with the Triennial Convention was established in 1832 to support missions in U S frontier territories By the mid 19th century there were many social cultural economic and political differences among business owners of the North farmers of the West and planters of the South The most divisive conflict was primarily over the issue of slavery and secondarily over missions 25 Divisions over slavery Edit See also Christian views on slavery The issues surrounding slavery dominated the 19th century in the United States 26 This created tension between Baptists in northern and southern states over the issue of manumission In the two decades after the Revolution during the Second Great Awakening northern Baptist preachers as well as the Quakers and Methodists increasingly argued that slaves be freed 27 Although most Baptists in the 19th century south were yeomen farmers and common planters the Baptists also began to attract major planters among their membership The southern pastors interpreted the Bible as supporting slavery and encouraged good paternalistic practices by slaveholders They preached to slaves to accept their places and obey their masters and welcomed slaves and free blacks as members though whites controlled the churches leadership and seating was usually segregated 27 From the early 19th century many Baptist preachers in the South also argued in favor of preserving the right of ministers to be slaveholders 28 Black congregations were sometimes the largest in their regions For instance by 1821 Gillfield Baptist in Petersburg Virginia had the largest congregation within the Portsmouth Association At 441 members it was more than twice as large as the next biggest church Before the Nat Turner slave rebellion of 1831 Gillfield had a black preacher Afterward the state legislature insisted that white men oversee black congregations Gillfield could not call a black preacher until after the American Civil War and emancipation 29 After Turner s 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 The Triennial Convention and the Home Mission Society adopted a kind of neutrality concerning slavery neither condoning nor condemning it During the Georgia Test Case of 1844 the Georgia State Convention proposed that the slaveholder Elder James E Reeve be appointed as a missionary The Foreign Mission Board refused to approve his appointment recognizing the case as a challenge and not wanting to violate their neutrality on slavery They said that slavery should not be introduced as a factor into deliberations about missionary appointments 30 In 1844 University of Alabama president Basil Manly Sr a prominent preacher and major planter who owned 40 slaves drafted the Alabama Resolutions and presented them to the Triennial Convention They included the demand that slaveholders be eligible for denominational offices to which the Southern associations contributed financially They were not adopted Georgia Baptists decided to test the claimed neutrality by recommending a slaveholder to the Home Mission Society as a missionary 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 Baptists considered this an infringement of their right to determine their own candidates 31 From the Southern perspective the Northern position that slaveholding brethren were less than followers of Jesus effectively obligated slaveholding Southerners to leave the fellowship 32 This difference came to a head in 1845 when representatives of the northern states refused to appoint missionaries whose families owned slaves To continue in the work of missions the southern Baptists separated and created the Southern Baptist Convention 33 Missions and organization Edit Original location of First Baptist Church in Augusta Georgia 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 United States This was likely a result of the society s not appointing slave owners as missionaries 34 Baptists in the North preferred a loosely structured society of individuals who paid annual dues with each society usually focused on a single ministry 35 page needed Baptists in Southern churches preferred a more centralized organization of churches patterned after their associations with a variety of ministries brought under the direction of one denominational organization 36 The increasing tensions and the discontent of Baptists from the South over national criticism of slavery and issues over missions led to their withdrawal from national Baptist organizations 15 The Southern Baptists met at the First Baptist Church of Augusta in May 1845 37 At this meeting they created a new convention the Southern Baptist Convention They elected William Bullein Johnson 1782 1862 as its first president He had served as president of the Triennial Convention in 1841 Formation and separation of black Baptists Edit African Americans had gathered in their own churches early on in 1774 in Petersburg Virginia 38 and in Savannah Georgia in 1788 39 Some were established after 1800 on the frontier such as the First African Baptist Church of Lexington Kentucky In 1824 it was accepted by the Elkhorn Association of Kentucky which was white dominated By 1850 First African had 1 820 members the largest of any Baptist church in the state black or white 40 In 1861 it had 2 223 members 41 First African Baptist Church Savannah Georgia constructed 1856 Southern whites generally required black churches to have white ministers and trustees In churches with mixed congregations seating was segregated with blacks often in a balcony White preaching often emphasized Biblical stipulations that slaves should accept their places and try to behave well toward their masters After the Civil War and emancipation blacks wanted to practice Christianity independently of white supervision 42 They interpreted the Bible as offering hope for deliverance and saw their own exodus out of slavery as comparable to the Exodus 43 with abolitionist John Brown as their Moses 44 They quickly left white dominated churches and associations and set up separate state Baptist conventions 45 46 In 1866 black Baptists of the South and West combined to form the Consolidated American Baptist Convention 46 In 1895 they merged three national conventions to create the National Baptist Convention USA Inc 45 46 With eight million members it is today the largest African American religious organization and second in size to the SBC Free blacks in the North had founded churches and denominations in the early 19th century that were independent of white dominated organizations 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 The African Methodist Episcopal Church attracted more new members than any other denomination 45 White Southern Baptist churches lost black members to the new denominations as well as to independent congregations which were organized by freedmen During the Civil Rights Movement most Southern Baptist pastors and members of their congregations rejected racial integration and accepted white supremacy further alienating African Americans 47 According to historian and former Southern Baptist Wayne Flynt The Southern Baptist church was the last bastion of segregation 48 But it has been acknowledged that the SBC integrated seminary classrooms in 1951 49 50 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 51 52 This marked the denomination s first formal acknowledgment that racism had played a profound role in both its early and modern history US President George W Bush meets with the leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention in 2006 in the Oval Office at the White House Pictured with the President are Morris Chapman left Frank Page and his wife Dayle Page 21st century Edit By the early 21st century numbers of ethnically diverse congregations were increasing in the SBC In 2008 almost 20 were estimated to be majority African American Asian or Hispanic The SBC had an estimated one million African American members 53 It has passed a series of resolutions recommending the inclusion of more black members and appointing more African American leaders 47 At its 2012 annual meeting it elected Fred Luter Jr as its first African American president He had earned respect by showing leadership skills in building a large congregation in New Orleans 54 The SBC s increasingly national scope has inspired some members to suggest a name change In 2005 proposals were made at the SBC Annual Meeting to change the name to the more national sounding North American Baptist Convention or Scriptural Baptist Convention to retain the SBC initials These proposals were defeated 55 The messengers of the 2012 annual meeting in New Orleans voted to adopt the descriptor Great Commission Baptists The legal name remains Southern Baptist Convention but churches and convention entities can voluntarily use the descriptor 56 Almost a year after the Charleston church shooting SBC approved Resolution 7 which called upon member churches and families to stop flying the Confederate flag 57 The SBC approved Resolution 12 On Refugee Ministry encouraging member churches and families to welcome refugees coming to the United States 58 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 U S to build mosques Moore responded Sometimes we have to deal with questions that are really complicated this isn t one of them Moore said that religious freedom must be for all religions 59 After an initial resolution denouncing the alt right movement failed to make it the convention floor the SBC officially denounced the alt right movement at the 2017 convention 60 On November 5 2017 a mass shooting took place at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs 61 62 It was the deadliest shooting to occur at any SBC church in its history and in modern history at an American place of worship 63 The 2020 convention was canceled due to COVID 19 concerns and eventually rescheduled for June 2021 64 In a Washington Post story dated September 15 2020 Greear said some church leaders wanted 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 65 Beliefs Edit Worship service at Grace Baptist Church in Knoxville Tennessee affiliated to the Convention 2016 The general theological perspective of the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention is represented in the Baptist Faith and Message BF amp M 66 The BF amp M was first drafted in 1925 as a revision of the 1833 New Hampshire Confession of Faith 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 67 The BF amp M is not considered to be a creed such as the Nicene Creed 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 68 Despite the fact that the BF amp 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 amp M 69 70 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 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 Nevertheless the survey also found that 60 of SBC pastors were concerned about Calvinism s impact within the convention 71 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 72 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 amp M While officially few SBC churches are openly Charismatic at least one Independent Baptist author believes the practice to be far greater than officially discussed 73 74 Position statements Edit In addition to the BF amp M the SBC has also issued the following position statements Autonomy of local church Affirms the autonomy of the local church 8 Cooperation Identifies the Cooperative Program of missions as integral to the Southern Baptist Convention 75 Creeds and confessions Statements of belief are revisable in light of Scripture The Bible is the final word 76 Missions Honors the indigenous principle in missions The SBC does not however compromise doctrine or its identity for missional opportunities 77 Priesthood of all believers Laypersons have the same right as ordained ministers to communicate with God interpret Scripture and minister in Christ s name 78 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 79 As such the SBC opposes abortion and any form of birth control which acts as an abortifacient 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 80 Soul competency Affirms the accountability of each person before God 81 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 82 Ordinances Edit Southern Baptists observe two ordinances the Lord s Supper and believer s baptism also known as credo baptism from the Latin for I believe 7 66 Furthermore they hold the historic Baptist belief that immersion is the only valid mode of baptism 7 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 The BF amp M also notes that baptism is a precondition to congregational church membership 66 The BF amp M holds to memorialism 83 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 66 83 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 For the same reason the frequency of observance of the Lord s Supper varies from church to church It is commonly observed quarterly though some churches offer it monthly and a small minority offers it weekly 84 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 citation needed Gender based roles Edit The Southern Baptist Church subscribes to the complementarian view of gender roles 85 Beginning in the early 1970s as a reaction to their perceptions of various women s liberation movements 86 the SBC along with several other historically conservative Baptist groups 87 began to assert its view of the propriety and primacy of what it deemed traditional gender roles as a body In 1973 at the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention delegates passed a resolution which read in part Man was not made for woman but the woman for the man Woman is the glory of man Woman would not have existed without man 88 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 In 2000 it revised the document to reflect support for a male only pastorate with no mention of the office of deacon 82 89 In the pastorate Edit See also Ordination of women in Protestant churches By explicitly defining the pastoral office as the exclusive domain of males the 2000 BF amp M provision becomes the SBC s first ever official position against women pastors 90 As individual churches affiliated with the SBC are autonomous local congregations cannot be compelled to adopt a male only pastorate 8 Though neither the BF amp 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 amp M 8 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 91 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 92 In marriage Edit The 2000 BF amp M now prescribes a husband headship authority structure closely following the apostle Paul s exhortations in Ephesians 5 21 33 93 Article XVIII The Family The husband and wife are of equal worth before God since both are created in God s image The marriage relationship models the way God relates to his people A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church He has the God given responsibility to provide for to protect and to lead his family A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ She being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him has the God given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation Worship services Edit Most Southern Baptists observe a low church form of worship which is less formal and uses no stated liturgy 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 In both types of services there will be a prayer at the opening of the service before the sermon and at closing 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 Responsive Scripture readings are not common but may be done on a special occasion 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 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 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 94 Baptisms may be scheduled on specific weekends or especially in buildings with built in baptisteries be readily available for anyone desiring baptism In a contemporary service the music generally features modern songs led by a praise team or similarly named group with featured singers Choirs are not as common 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 Baptismal services are usually scheduled as specific and special events 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 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 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 95 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 96 Statistics EditMembership Edit Year Membership1845 350 0001860 650 0001875 1 260 0001890 1 240 0001905 1 900 0001920 3 150 0001935 4 480 0001950 7 080 0001965 10 780 0001980 13 700 0001995 15 400 0002000 15 900 0002005 16 600 0002006 16 306 2462007 16 266 9202008 16 228 4382009 16 160 0882010 16 136 0442011 15 978 1122012 15 872 4042013 15 735 6402014 15 499 1732015 15 294 7642016 15 216 9782017 15 005 6382018 14 813 2342019 14 525 5792020 14 089 947 97 2 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 According to a denomination census released in 2020 it has 47 530 churches and 14 525 579 members 107 The SBC has 1 161 local associations and 42 state conventions and fellowships covering all fifty states and territories of the United States 108 The five states with the highest rates of membership in the SBC are Texas Georgia North Carolina Florida and Tennessee Texas has the largest number of members with an estimated 2 75 million 109 Through their Cooperative Program Southern Baptists support thousands of missionaries in the United States and worldwide Trends Edit Data from church sources and independent surveys indicate that since 1990 membership of SBC churches has declined as a proportion of the American population 110 Historically the convention grew throughout its history until 2007 when membership decreased by a net figure of nearly 40 000 members 111 The total membership of about 16 2 million was flat over the same period falling by 38 482 or 0 2 An important indicator for the health of the denomination is new baptisms which have decreased every year for seven of the last eight years As of 2008 update they had reached their lowest levels since 1987 112 Membership continued to decline from 2008 to 2012 113 SBC s statistical summary of 2014 recorded a loss of 236 467 members their biggest one year decline since 1881 101 In 2018 membership fell below 15 million for the first time since 1989 and reached its lowest level for over 30 years 114 This decline in membership and baptisms has prompted some SBC researchers to describe the convention as a denomination in decline 115 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 116 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 117 The decline in membership of the SBC was an issue discussed during the June 2008 Annual Convention 118 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 116 Some believe that the Baptists have not worked sufficiently to attract minorities 119 On the other hand the state conventions of Mississippi and Texas report an increasing portion of minority members 119 In 1990 five percent of SBC congregations were non white In 2012 the proportion of SBC congregations that were of other ethnic groups African American Latino and Asian had increased to twenty percent 47 Sixty percent of the minority congregations were found in Texas particularly in the suburbs of Houston and Dallas 47 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 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 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 120 In some cases groups have withdrawn from the SBC because of its conservative trends 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 121 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 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 In addition to Texas schools in Virginia Georgia North Carolina and Alabama were established in the 1990s 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 These schools contributed to the flat and declining enrollment at Southern Baptist seminaries operating in the same region of the United States Texas and Virginia have the largest state conventions identified as moderate in theological approach 122 On June 4 2020 the Southern Baptist Convention reported a drop in its membership the 13th consecutive year that membership has declined Total membership in the Southern Baptist Convention fell almost 2 percent to 14 525 579 from 2018 to 2019 The decline of 287 655 members is the largest single year drop in more than 100 years 123 Organization Edit The First Brazilian Baptist Church in Charlestown Massachusetts There are four levels of SBC organization the local congregation the local association the state convention and the national convention There are 41 affiliated state conventions or fellowships 6 Main article List of state and other conventions associated with the Southern Baptist Convention The national and state conventions and local associations are conceived as a cooperative association by which churches can voluntarily pool resources 124 to support missionary and other work undertaken by them Because of the basic Baptist principle of the autonomy of the local church 8 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 Nor does the national convention have any authority over state conventions or local associations nor do state conventions have authority over local associations 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 Article IV Authority While independent and sovereign in its own sphere the Convention does not claim and will never attempt to exercise any authority over any other Baptist body whether church auxiliary organizations associations or convention 125 The SBC maintains a central administrative organization in Nashville Tennessee The SBC s Executive Committee exercises authority and control over seminaries and other institutions owned by the Southern Baptist Convention The Southern Baptist Convention has around 10 000 ethnic congregations 126 Commitment to the autonomy 8 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 127 in order to stop the recurring tide 128 of clergy sexual abuse within SBC congregations 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 129 The convention s statement of faith the Baptist Faith and Message 66 is not binding on churches or members due to the autonomy 8 of the local church though SBC employees and missionaries must agree to its views as a condition of employment or missionary support Politically and culturally Southern Baptists tend to be conservative Most oppose homosexual activity and abortion with few exceptions 7 Pastor and deacon Edit Generally Baptists recognize only two scriptural offices pastor teacher and deacon The Southern Baptist Convention passed a resolution in the early 1980s recognizing that offices requiring ordination are restricted to men According to the Baptist Faith and Message the office of pastor is limited to men based on certain New Testament scriptures However there is no prohibition in the Baptist Faith and Message against women serving as deacons 130 Neither the BF amp M or resolutions are binding upon local churches Each church is responsible to search the Scriptures and establish its own policies based on how they decide to interpret the scripture Annual meeting Edit President Jimmy Carter addressing the SBC in Atlanta in 1978 in 2009 Carter broke with the SBC over its position on the status of women 131 The Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting held in June over a two day period consists of delegates called messengers from cooperating churches The messengers confer and determine the programs policies and budget of the SBC and elect the officers and committees 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 Missions and affiliated organizations EditCooperative Program Edit The Cooperative Program CP is the SBC s unified funds collection and distribution program for the support of regional national and international ministries 132 The CP is funded by contributions from SBC congregations 132 In the fiscal year ending September 30 2008 the local congregations of the SBC reported gift receipts of 11 1 billion 133 From this they sent 548 million approximately five percent to their state Baptist conventions through the CP 133 Of this amount the state Baptist conventions retained 344 million for their work Two hundred and four million dollars was sent on to the national CP budget for the support of denomination wide ministries 133 Missions agencies Edit Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Relief volunteers prepare food in Galveston Texas October 10 2008 The Southern Baptist Convention was organized in 1845 primarily for the purpose of creating a mission board to support the sending of Baptist missionaries 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 Among the more visible organizations within the North American Mission Board is Southern Baptist Disaster Relief In 1967 a small group of Texas Southern Baptist volunteers helped victims of Hurricane Beulah by serving hot food cooked on small buddy burners In 2005 volunteers responded to 166 named disasters prepared 17 124 738 meals repaired 7 246 homes and removed debris from 13 986 yards 134 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 All assistance is provided to individuals and communities free of charge SBC DR volunteer kitchens prepare much of the food distributed by the Red Cross in major disasters 135 Baptist Men is the mission organization for men in Southern Baptist Churches and is under the North American Mission Board 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 Seminaries and colleges Edit Main article Southern Baptist related schools colleges and universities Binkley Chapel at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary The SBC directly supports six theological seminaries devoted to religious instruction and ministry preparation 136 Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Louisville Kentucky 1859 originally in Greenville South Carolina Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Fort Worth Texas 1908 originally part of Baylor University in Waco Texas New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary New Orleans Louisiana 1916 originally New Orleans Baptist Bible Institute Gateway Seminary Ontario California 1944 originally in Oakland California and formerly called Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary Wake Forest North Carolina 1950 Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Kansas City Missouri 1957 Other organizations Edit Baptist Press the largest Christian news service in the country was established by the SBC in 1946 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 however it does not limit its services to SBC churches and members only Like many financial institutions during that time period it underwent a severe financial crisis in the 1930s 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 Ethics amp 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 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 137 Controversies EditDuring its history the Southern Baptist Convention has had several periods of major internal controversy Landmark controversy Edit In the 1850s 1860s a group of young activists called for a return to certain early practices or what they called Landmarkism Other leaders disagreed with their assertions and the Baptist congregations became split on the issues Eventually the disagreements led to the formation of Gospel Missions and the American Baptist Association 1924 as well as many unaffiliated independent churches 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 138 Whitsitt controversy Edit In the Whitsitt controversy of 1896 99 139 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 This overturned the idea of immersion as the practice of the earliest Baptists as some of the Landmarkists contended Moderates conservatives controversy Edit B H Carroll Memorial Building the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary s main administrative building The Southern Baptist Convention conservative resurgence c 1970 2000 was an intense struggle for control of the SBC s resources and ideological direction The major internal disagreement captured national attention 140 Its initiators called it a Conservative Resurgence 141 while its detractors have labeled it a Fundamentalist Takeover 142 Russell H Dilday president of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary from 1978 to 1994 35 143 described the resurgence as having fragmented Southern Baptist fellowship and as being far more serious than a controversy 144 Dilday described it as being a self destructive contentious one sided feud that at times took on combative characteristics 144 Since 1979 Southern Baptists had become polarized into two major groups moderates and conservatives 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 a 145 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 146 positions not supported by the conservative wing 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 147 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 148 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 149 Sexual abuse scandal Edit Main article Sexual abuse scandal in Southern Baptist churches On February 10 2019 a joint investigation by the Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express 150 151 found that there had been over 700 victims of sexual abuse from nearly 400 Southern Baptist church leaders pastors and volunteers 152 over the previous 20 years 150 151 In 2018 the Houston Chronicle verified details in hundreds of accounts of abuse It examined federal and state court databases prison records and official documents from more than 20 states and researched sex offender registries nationwide 153 The Chronicle compiled a list of records and information 154 151 155 current as of June 2019 154 listing church pastors leaders employees and volunteers who have pleaded guilty to or were convicted of sex crimes 154 155 151 On June 12 2019 during their annual meeting SBC messengers 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 excommunicated from the Convention 156 157 The Reverend J D Greear president of the Southern Baptist Convention and pastor of The Summit Church in Durham North Carolina called the move a defining moment 156 Ronnie Floyd president of the SBC s executive committee echoed Greear s remarks calling the vote a very very significant moment in the history of the Southern Baptist Convention 156 In June 2021 letters from former policy director Russell D Moore to SBC leadership were leaked In the letters Moore described how the convention had mishandled claims of sexual abuse 158 Critical race theory Edit In November 2020 the six SBC seminary presidents called critical race theory unbiblical and emphasized the need to turn to Christian teachings alone not secular ideas to confront racism 159 At least four African American churches left the denomination over the leadership s refusal to recognize critical race theory 160 See also Edit United States portal Evangelical Christianity portal List of Southern Baptist Convention affiliated people List of the largest Protestant denominations Protestantism in the United States Southern Baptist Convention Presidents Christianity in the United States Religion in the United StatesNotes Edit The era of conservative resurgence was accompanied by the erosion of more liberal members see e g G Avery Lee References EditFootnotes Edit 2020 Southern Baptist Convention Statistical Summary PDF Lifewayresearch com Lifeway Research Retrieved June 9 2021 a b Pipes Carol June 7 2016 ACP More churches reported baptisms decline Baptist Press Southern Baptist Convention Retrieved June 28 2016 Johnson 2010 p 349 Report on Slavery and Racism in the History of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary PDF Southern Baptist Theological Seminary December 2018 Retrieved July 29 2019 Southern Baptist Convention The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions Encyclopedia a b About Us Meet the Southern Baptists Southern Baptist Convention Retrieved August 25 2010 a b c d e Fact box The Southern Baptist Convention Reuters June 10 2008 Retrieved July 6 2010 a b c d e f g On Local Church Autonomy And Accountability Resources SBC Annual of the 2006 Southern Baptist Convention PDF EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION Retrieved June 10 2021 first1 missing last1 help Smietana Bob May 21 2021 Southern Baptist decline continues denomination has lost more than 2 million members since 2006 Religion News Service Religion News Service Retrieved June 10 2021 Annual of the 2006 Southern Baptist Convention PDF EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION Retrieved June 10 2021 first1 missing last1 help Howe Jonathan May 20 2021 Southern Baptists grow in number of churches plant 588 new congregations amid COVID 19 pandemic Baptist Press www baptistpress com Retrieved June 10 2021 Origins of the Particular Baptists The Gospel Coalition Retrieved July 21 2020 Baptist Pioneers in America Mainstream Baptists retrieved February 3 2013 a b Baker Robert A 1979 Southern Baptist Beginnings Baptist History amp Heritage Society Archived from the original on October 18 2012 Retrieved October 28 2012 Taylor 1859 pp 57 60 71 83 The Church in the Southern Black Community Introduction docsouth unc edu Retrieved July 21 2020 Raboteau 2004 p 178 79 Miller amp Smith 1997 Kolchin 1993 Isaac 1974 Ketcham Ralph L 1990 1971 James Madison A Biography paperback Charlottesville VA University of Virginia Press p 57 ISBN 978 0 8139 1265 3 Beeman 1978 Kroll Smith 1984 1893 1987 Armstrong O K Orland Kay 1979 The Baptists in America Armstrong Marjorie Moore Garden City N Y Doubleday p 187 ISBN 0385146558 OCLC 4983547 CS1 maint numeric names authors list link Baptists in America A History Reviews in History reviews history ac uk Retrieved July 21 2020 a b Heyrman 1998 pp 10 18 155 Shurden Walter B January 1 2002 The origins of the Southern Baptist Convention a historiographical study Baptist History and Heritage 37 1 Raboteau 2004 p 188 Early 2008 pp 100 101 Cathcart William ed 1883 The Baptist Encyclopedia rev ed Philadelphia William Carey University p 1077 retrieved April 25 2007 Sherman Dayne June 24 2012 Southern Baptist Convention in black white Sunday Star Hammond LA pp 4A 5A Archived from the original on January 25 2013 Retrieved June 24 2012 Origins of American Baptist Organization Shurden Walter B Varnadoe Lori Redwine 2002 The origins of the Southern Baptist Convention A historiographical study Baptist History and Heritage 37 1 71 96 a b McBeth 1987 McBeth 1987 p 505 First Baptist Church building landmark restoration Christian index archived from the original on December 11 2013 Raboteau 2004 p 137 Love Emanuel King 1888 History of the First African Baptist Church from its Organization January 20th 1788 to July 1st 1888 Including the Centennial Celebration Addresses Sermons etc The Morning News Print Retrieved December 8 2006 Nutter HE 1940 A Brief History of the First Baptist Church Black Lexington Kentucky retrieved August 22 2010 Spencer John H 1886 A History of Kentucky Baptists From 1769 1885 II Cincinnati OH JR Baumes p 657 retrieved August 23 2010 Brooks 1922 Raboteau 2004 Raboteau 2004 Anderson Osborne Perry 1861 A Voice from Harper s Ferry A Narrative of Events at Harper s Ferry with incidents prior and subsequent to its capture by John Brown and his men Boston Published by the author pp 5 7 a b c The Church in the Southern Black Community Documenting the South University of North Carolina 2004 retrieved Jan 15 2009 a b c Brooks 1922 a b c d The Southern Baptists Luter s turn By electing a black leader the church shows how far it has come The Economist March 17 2012 Social change and the Southern Baptists The Economist October 24 2015 Retrieved October 25 2015 Gjelten Tom December 13 2018 Southern Baptist Seminary Confronts History Of Slaveholding And Deep Racism NPR Retrieved January 5 2021 McKissic Sr William Dwight August 2 2017 I m a black pastor Here s why I m staying in the Southern Baptist Convention Washington Post Retrieved January 5 2021 Resolution on racial reconciliation on the 150th anniversary of the Southern Baptist Convention SBC Archived from the original on April 8 2014 Retrieved April 8 2014 Priest amp Priest 2007 p 275 Priest amp Nieves 2007 p 339 Salmon Jacqueline L February 15 2008 Southern Baptists Diversifying to Survive Minority Outreach Seen as Key to Crisis The Washington Post Pope John June 19 2012 The Rev Fred Luter Jr of New Orleans elected first black president of Southern Baptist Convention The Times Picayune Tuesday Evening Annual meeting Southern Baptist Convention June 15 1999 archived from the original on May 6 2009 retrieved August 3 2007 Foust Michael June 21 2012 Wrap up Historic meeting sees messengers elect 1st black president approve descriptor News Baptist Press archived from the original on June 27 2012 Resolution 7 On Sensitivity and Unity Regarding the Confederate Battle Flag June 14 2016 Southern Baptists Vote to Support Refugee Resettlement After Trump Says to Ban All Muslim Immigration Southern Baptists Split With Donald Trump On Refugee Resettlement Southern Baptists denounce white supremacy CNN Video retrieved June 16 2017 Southern Baptist Convention gt First Baptist Sutherland Springs www sbc net Retrieved January 12 2018 Dakin Andone Kaylee Hartung Darran Simon At least 26 people killed in shooting at Texas church CNN Retrieved January 12 2018 Weill Kelly November 5 2017 Deadliest Church Shooting in American History Kills at Least 26 The Daily Beast Retrieved January 12 2018 2021 SBC Annual Meeting to remain in Nashville shift venues www baptistpress com Baptist Press Retrieved April 25 2021 Quillin Martha September 16 2020 Leaders may drop Southern from Baptist churches for racial and regional inclusion News amp Observer Retrieved September 17 2020 a b c d e Comparison of 1925 1963 2000 versions SBC Committee Response to Initial Feedback Baptist Faith and Message Study Committee May 26 2000 Retrieved August 2 2015 Hankins 2002 pp 223 225 imbConnecting imbConnecting President asks missionaries to sign BF amp M affirmation position paper SBC retrieved August 7 2015 imbConnecting imbConnecting IMB asking missionaries to decide about BF amp M request position paper SBC retrieved August 7 2015 SBC Pastors Polled on Calvinism and Its Effect Press release LifeWay Research June 19 2012 Retrieved August 2 2015 Finn 2010 p 73 Charismatic Southern Baptists Way of Life Literature Retrieved February 11 2019 Two persons mentioned in Cloud s report James Robison and Pat Robertson though at one time were Southern Baptist have since left the denomination Cooperation About us position paper SBC Creeds About us position paper SBC Missions About us position paper SBC Priesthood of all believers position paper SBC Sanctity of life position paper SBC archived from the original on October 25 2006 Sexuality position paper SBC Soul Competency position paper SBC a b Women in ministry position paper SBC archived from the original on September 21 2008 retrieved July 19 2007 a b Basic Beliefs Baptism amp the Lord s Supper Southern Baptist Convention 2018 Archived from the original on February 26 2013 Retrieved August 9 2019 The Lord s Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His Second Coming LifeWay Surveys Lord s Supper Practices of SBC Churches Press release LifeWay Research September 17 2012 Retrieved August 2 2015 Finn 2010 pp 68 69 Resolution on the Place of Women in Christian Service SBC Retrieved December 10 2011 See Morris amp Lee 2005 pp 355 363 for a discussion of attitudes regarding gender and their relationship to ministry The Feminist Chronicles 1953 1993 1973 Feminist Majority Foundation Ledbetter Tammi Reed October 2000 SBC and Women Pastors Comprehensive Report Does Not Sustain Inflated Statistics Baptist 2 Baptist retrieved July 19 2007 Comparison of 1925 1963 and 2000 Baptist Faith and Message Online http www sbc net bfm2000 bfmcomparison asp Accessed 7 Aug 2015 Campbell Kristen Baptist Church Ousted for Hiring Woman Pastor Religion News Service archived from the original on November 7 2007 retrieved September 26 2007 Campbell Reed Eileen R Durso Pamela R 2006 Assessing Attitudes About Women in Baptist Life PDF CBE international archived from the original PDF on December 29 2010 Southern Baptist Convention gt Commentary on Article XVIII The Family www sbc net Retrieved December 25 2018 McClelland Mark The Baptist Messenger April 4 2011 A theological perspective on the invitation altar call Church Membership Covenants Legal Contracts that are NOT Biblical The Wartburg Watch 2020 thewartburgwatch com Retrieved July 22 2020 Smietana Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra Morgan Lee and Bob Former Member Accepts Acts 29 Megachurch Apology in Church Discipline Case ChristianityToday com Retrieved February 11 2019 2020 Southern Baptist Convention Statistical Summary PDF blog lifeway com Lifeway Research Retrieved June 10 2021 Southern Baptist Convention Statistical Summary 2009 PDF BP news archived from the original PDF on April 12 2015 retrieved February 13 2011 SBC Baptisms and Churches Increased in 2011 Membership Declined 2011 ACP Lifeway retrieved August 9 2013 Historical Statistics of the US H805 1976 with 2005 estimate from Convention figures a b SBC reports more churches fewer people Baptist Press retrieved June 21 2015 Southern Baptist numbers baptisms drop AJC April 24 2008 Resources Carol Pipes LifeWay Christian Report Southern Baptist Churches up in 2016 Baptisms Membership Decline Word and Way Retrieved June 12 2017 ACP Worship attendance rises baptisms decline Baptist Press Retrieved June 26 2018 SBC Giving increases while baptisms continue decline Baptist Press Retrieved May 24 2019 Southern Baptist Convention continues statistical decline Floyd calls for rethinking ACP process Baptist Press Retrieved June 8 2020 Southern Baptist Convention Fast Facts About the SBC sbc net USA retrieved September 19 2020 Southern Baptist Convention State and Local Associations sbc net USA retrieved June 8 2021 SBC Statistics By State Convention 2013 Lifeway retrieved August 28 2014 RCS comparison 1990 2000 PDF Namb Baptists 4 ethics PDF April 30 2008 archived from the original PDF on October 28 2008 Life way archived from the original on April 30 2008 Harris Hamil Hunter Jeannine June 22 2012 Southern Baptists Elect a Black Leader and Raise Hopes for Increased Diversity The Washington Post Retrieved June 25 2012 Southern Baptists Down to Lowest in 30 Years Chrisrianity Today Retrieved May 24 2019 Ed Stetzer April 23 2008 Breaking News blog Life way Archived from the original on January 13 2010 Retrieved December 10 2011 a b Have Southern Baptists joined the evangelical decline Christian index Archived from the original on October 12 2008 Retrieved December 10 2011 Study updates stats on health of Southern Baptist churches News with a Christian Perspective News Baptist Press November 15 2004 Archived from the original on June 15 2011 Retrieved December 10 2011 Dallas news archived from the original on August 28 2010 a b Lovan Dylan T June 19 2009 Southern Baptists to gather in Kentucky The Associated Press McMullen Cary June 17 1999 Any way you count it fewer Southern Baptists Palatka Daily News Archived from the original on May 21 2009 Retrieved August 31 2009 CS1 maint unfit URL link Texas Baptists affirm change in funding SBC Archived from the original on August 26 2014 Weiss Jeffrey October 31 2000 Moderate Baptists cut conservative seminaries funds Action signals their continued discontent with leadership of the nation s largest Protestant denomination Dallas Morning News retrieved June 25 2012 Southern Baptist Convention continues statistical decline Floyd calls for rethinking ACP process Baptist Press Retrieved July 21 2020 SBC membership does not prohibit a church from also supporting missionaries directly or also supporting other parachurch organizations such as Wycliffe Bible Translators Constitution About Us SBC Allen Sheila December 31 2008 Ethnic churches Japanese church members live out faith change lives Baptist Press Archived from the original on May 10 2011 Retrieved November 12 2011 The Top 10 Everything of 2008 Time November 3 2008 Archived from the original on December 11 2008 Retrieved May 23 2010 Ulrich Elizabeth June 19 2008 Save Yourselves Nashville Scene feature Retrieved December 10 2011 Background checks help churches protect children Lifeway Retrieved December 10 2011 Can women be pastors or deacons in the SBC FAQs Frequently Asked Questions SBC Carter Jimmy June 15 2009 Losing my religion for equality The Age Retrieved April 23 2015 a b What is the Cooperative Program Southern Baptist Convention Retrieved March 21 2010 a b c Annual of the 2009 Southern Baptist Convention PDF Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention June 2009 pp 109 11 Retrieved March 21 2010 CBADR archived from the original on November 5 2013 retrieved March 20 2010 Katrina One Year Report PDF Red cross Archived from the original PDF on January 21 2012 Retrieved December 10 2011 Southern Baptist Theological Seminaries www sbc net Retrieved June 27 2016 Southern Baptist Historical Library amp Archive Baptist history Baptist Archives church records church history www sbhla org Retrieved February 11 2019 Tull 2000 p 85 McBeth 1987 pp 446 58 McBeth 1987 pp 681ff Hefley 1991 James et al 2006 Steinfels Peter March 11 1994 Baptists Dismiss Seminary Head In Surprise Move The New York Times Retrieved October 15 2016 a b Dilday 2007 p 2 Humphreys 2002 Southern Baptist Convention gt Resolution On Abortion Southern Baptist Convention Southern Baptist Convention gt Resolution On Abortion and the Sanctity of Human Life Southern Baptist Convention Southern Baptist Convention gt Resolution On Abortion Southern Baptist Convention Roach David January 16 2015 How Southern Baptists became pro life Baptist Press Retrieved May 2 2019 a b Downen Robert Olsen Lise Tedesco John February 10 2019 20 years 700 victims Southern Baptist sexual abuse spreads as leaders resist reforms Houston Chronicle Retrieved February 11 2019 a b c d More Abuse of Faith Southern Baptist churches harbored sex offenders Houston Chronicle June 3 2019 Retrieved July 21 2020 Phillips Kristine Wang Amy B February 10 2019 Pure evil Southern Baptist leaders condemn decades of sexual abuse revealed in investigation Washington Post Retrieved March 31 2019 Downen Robert Olsen Lise Tedesco John February 10 2019 20 years 700 victims SBC sexual abuse spreads as leaders resist reforms Houston Chronicle Retrieved February 11 2019 a b c Abuse of Faith Search our database Houston Chronicle Retrieved July 21 2020 a b Olsen Lise Downen Robert Tedesco John Rubio Jordan Dempsey Matt Lee Joyce Gleason Rachael Abuse of Faith A Chronicle Investigation Houston Chronicle Retrieved March 31 2019 a b c Neuman Scott June 12 2019 Southern Baptists Vote To Hold Churches More Accountable For Mishandling Abuse Claims NPR Retrieved July 21 2020 Burgess Holly Meyer and Katherine Southern Baptists gathered in Alabama amid a reckoning over sexual abuse How they addressed the crisis The Tennessean Retrieved July 21 2020 Bailey Sarah Pulliam June 12 2021 Secret recordings leaked letters Explosive secrets rocking the Southern Baptist Convention The Washington Post Retrieved June 12 2021 Two Prominent Pastors Break with SBC After Critical Race Theory Statement Sarah Pulliam Bailey Michelle Boorstein Several Black pastors break with the Southern Baptist Convention over a statement on race washingtonpost com USA December 23 2020 Bibliography Edit Beeman Richard R 1978 Social Change and Cultural Conflict in Virginia Lunenburg County 1746 to 1774 William and Mary Quarterly 35 3 455 76 doi 10 2307 1921659 JSTOR 1921659 Brooks Walter H 1922 The Evolution of the Negro Baptist Church Journal of Negro History 7 1 11 22 doi 10 2307 2713578 JSTOR 2713578 S2CID 149662445 Dilday Russell 2007 Higher Ground A Call for Christian Civility Macon Georgia Smyth amp Helwys Publishing ISBN 978 1 57312 469 0 Early Joseph Jr ed 2008 Readings in Baptist History Four Centuries of Selected Documents Nashville Tennessee B amp H Publishing Group ISBN 978 0 8054 4674 6 Finn Nathan A 2010 Southern Baptist History A Great Commission Reading In Lawless Chuck Greenway Adam W eds The Great Commission Resurgence Fulfilling God s Mandate in Our Time Nashville Tennessee B amp H Publishing Group ISBN 978 1 4336 7216 3 Hefley James C 1991 The Truth in Crisis Volume 6 The Conservative Resurgence in the Southern Baptist Convention Hannibal Missouri Hannibal Books ISBN 978 0 929292 19 9 Heyrman Christine Leigh 1998 Southern Cross The Beginning of the Bible Belt Chapel Hill North Carolina University of North Carolina Press Hankins Barry 2002 Uneasy in Babylon Southern Baptist Conservatives and American Culture Tuscaloosa Alabama University of Alabama Press ISBN 978 0 8173 5081 9 Humphreys Fisher 2002 The Way We Were How Southern Baptist Theology Has Changed and What It Means to Us All Macon Georgia Smyth amp Helwys ISBN 978 1 57312 376 1 Isaac Rhys 1974 Evangelical Revolt The Nature of the Baptists Challenge to the Traditional Order in Virginia 1765 to 1775 William and Mary Quarterly 31 3 345 68 doi 10 2307 1921628 JSTOR 1921628 James Robison B Jackson Barbara Shepherd Robert E Jr Showalter Cornelia 2006 The Fundamentalist Takeover in the Southern Baptist Convention A Brief History PDF 4th ed Washington Georgia Wilkes Publishing Company Retrieved October 15 2016 Johnson Robert E 2010 A Global Introduction to Baptist Churches Cambridge University Press p 349 ISBN 978 1139788984 Kolchin Peter 1993 American Slavery 1619 1877 New York Hill amp Wang ISBN 978 0 8090 2568 8 Kroll Smith J Stephen 1984 Transmitting a Revival Culture The Organizational Dynamic of the Baptist Movement in Colonial Virginia 1760 1777 Journal of Southern History 50 4 551 68 doi 10 2307 2208472 JSTOR 2208472 McBeth H Leon 1987 The Baptist Heritage Four Centuries of Baptist Witness Nashville Tennessee Broadman Press ISBN 978 0 8054 6569 3 Miller Randall M Smith John David eds 1997 Dictionary of Afro American Slavery 2nd ed Westport Connecticut Praeger Publishers ISBN 978 0 275 95799 5 Morris Aldon D Lee Shayne 2005 The National Baptist Convention Traditions and Contemporary Challenges PDF In Roozen David A Nieman James R eds Church Identity and Changes Theology and Denominational Structures in Unsettled Times Grand Rapids Michigan Wm B Eerdmans Publishing Co pp 336 379 ISBN 978 0 8028 2819 4 Archived PDF from the original on September 6 2015 Retrieved October 25 2016 Priest Kersten Bayt Priest Robert J 2007 Divergent Worship Practices in the Sunday Morning Hour Analysis of an Interracial Church Merger Attempt In Priest Robert J Nieves Alvaro L eds This Side of Heaven Race Ethnicity and Christian Faith Oxford University Press pp 275 292 doi 10 1093 acprof oso 9780195310566 001 0001 ISBN 978 0 19 531056 6 Priest Robert J Nieves Alvaro L eds 2007 Appendix I Timeline Race and Ethnicity in the United States This Side of Heaven Race Ethnicity and Christian Faith Oxford University Press pp 335 339 doi 10 1093 acprof oso 9780195310566 001 0001 ISBN 978 0 19 531056 6 Raboteau Albert J 2004 Slave Religion The Invisible Institution in the Antebellum South updated ed Oxford University Press ISBN 978 0 19 517413 7 Taylor James B 1859 Virginia Baptist Ministers 1 New York Sheldon and Company Retrieved October 15 2016 Tull James E 2000 High Church Baptists in the South The Origin Nature and Influence of Landmarkism rev ed Macon Georgia Mercer University Press ISBN 978 0 86554 705 6 Further reading EditAmmerman Nancy 1990 Baptist Battles Social Change and Religious Conflict in the Southern Baptist Convention Rutgers University Press ed 1993 Southern Baptists Observed University of Tennessee Press Baker Robert ed 1966 A Baptist Source Book Nashville TN Broadman 1974 The Southern Baptist Convention and Its People 1607 1972 Broadman Barnes William The Southern Baptist Convention 1845 1953 Broadman Press 1954 Eighmy John Churches in Cultural Captivity A History of the Social Attitudes of Southern Baptists University of Tennessee Press 1972 Encyclopedia of Southern Baptists Presenting Their History Doctrine Polity Life Leadership Organization amp Work Knoxville Broadman Press v 1 2 1958 1500 pp 2 supplementary volumes 1958 and 1962 vol 5 Index 1984 Farnsley II Arthur Emery Southern Baptist Politics Authority and Power in the Restructuring of an American Denomination Pennsylvania State University Press 1994 Flowers Elizabeth H Into the Pulpit Southern Baptist Women and Power Since World War II University of North Carolina Press 2012 263 pages examines women s submission to male authority as a pivotal issue in the clash between conservatives and moderates in the SBC Fuller A James Chaplain to the Confederacy Basil Manly and Baptist Life in the Old South 2002 Gatewood Willard Controversy in the 1920s Fundamentalism Modernism and Evolution Vanderbilt University Press 1969 Harvey Paul Redeeming the South Religious Cultures and Racial Identities among Southern Baptists 1865 1925 University of North Carolina Press 1997 Hill Samuel et al Encyclopedia of Religion in the South 2005 Hunt Alma Woman s Missionary Union 1964 Online free Kell Carl L and L Raymond Camp In the Name of the Father The Rhetoric of the New Southern Baptist Convention Southern Illinois University Press 1999 Kidd Thomas S and Barry Hankins Baptists in America A History Oxford England Oxford University Press 2015 Leonard Bill J God s Last and Only Hope The Fragmentation of the Southern Baptist Convention Eerdmans Publishing Co 1990 Lumpkin William L Baptist History in the South Tracing through the Separates the Influence of the Great Awakening 1754 1787 1995 McSwain Larry L Loving Beyond Your Theology The Life and Ministry of Jimmy Raymond Allen Mercer University Press 2010 255 pages A biography of the Arkansas born pastor b 1927 who was the last moderate president of the SBC Marsden George Fundamentalism and American Culture The Shaping of 20th Century Evangelicalism Oxford University Press 1980 Religious Congregations amp Membership in the United States Glenmary Research Center 2000 Rosenberg Ellen 1989 The Southern Baptists A Subculture in Transition University of Tennessee Press Scales T Laine All That Fits a Woman Training Southern Baptist Women for Charity and Mission 1907 1926 Mercer U Press 2002 Smith Oran P The Rise of Baptist Republicanism 1997 on recent voting behavior Spain Rufus B At Ease in Zion A Social History of Southern Baptists 1865 1900 1961 Sutton Jerry The Baptist Reformation The Conservative Resurgence in the Southern Baptist Convention 2000 Wills Gregory A Democratic Religion Freedom Authority and Church Discipline in the Baptist South 1785 1900 Oxford University Press 1997 Yarnell III Malcolm B The Formation of Christian Doctrine 2007 on Baptist theologyExternal links EditWikimedia Commons has media related to Southern Baptist Convention Official website Southern Baptist Convention at Curlie Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title Southern Baptist Convention amp oldid 1051910701, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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