There are currently more than 45,000 Southern Baptist churches across the United States. Most of those churches, however, are concentrated in the South, with fewer churches located in states like New York and New Jersey.
In an effort to remind people of the importance of church planting, especially in under-reached and under-served areas like the Northeast and West, the Southern Baptist Convention Home Mission Board – currently the North American Mission Board – created Start-a-Church Sunday.
Placed on the SBC calendar in 1991 as part of the Convention's Bold Mission Thrust initiative, a multi-pronged emphasis on evangelism, missions and church planting, Start-a-Church Sunday continues to remain on the calendar today as an annual reminder to churches of the importance of starting new churches. more >>
Two prominent theologians took opposite sides and debated the theological system of Calvinism, which is experiencing a resurgence in church culture, on "The Exchange" webshow this past week.
Ed Stetzer, president of Lifeway Research, moderated the discussion between Roger Olson and Michael Horton, who both have recent books released on the topic of Calvinism, but taking opposing views on the system. Stetzer wrote in a Nov. 15, 2010 blog post that he thinks "there IS a resurgence of Calvinism (particularly within evangelicalism)," and that it is among a younger population.
Stetzer briefly explained on his program the theology behind Calvinism using an acronym known as T.U.L.I.P: Total depravity, unconditional election, limited atonement, irresistible grace, and perseverance of the saints. more >>
Few stories about life in the Deep South are without some reference to the region's conservative politics or Protestant religions. And now Mitt Romney finds himself smack-dab in the middle of back-slapping, good ole' boy politics that have defined these two southern states for decades. The question is, can a Mormon from the northeast connect with Protestants from Dixieland?
GOP leader and self-defined Southern Baptist A.B. Lowther thinks voters in Alabama and Mississippi will look past religion and region to find the best candidate who can defeat President Obama in November.
"All I can say is I know a little about how Mitt Romney must feel," Lowther, who heads up Romney's efforts in Elmore County, Ala., told The Christian Post. "To me, Mitt seems to be an 'introvert' by nature and so am I. As someone who grew up in the Northeast, I understand what he's going through since I've been here for 20 years." more >>
The Rev. Fred Luter II of the Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, La., is set to become the first ever African-American president of the Nashville-based Southern Baptist Convention, as he is so far the only candidate for the election in June.
The Southern Baptist Convention, which has long dealt with issues of race since splitting in 1845 with Northern Baptists over the right to hold slaves, has grown to accept a diverse array of cultures within its congregation. Once an all-white membership, nearly 20 percent of its current congregation nationwide now is composed of minorities. Until now, however, it has never had an African-American president – Luter himself was the first ever African-American first vice-president of the denomination, appointed in June 2011.
Luter has had a long and turbulent road to rise in the ranks, The Tennessean reported, revealing that when Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005, his church was destroyed and lost its entire 7,000-member congregation, most of whom fled the city. Three years later, however, the Franklin Avenue Baptist church reopened its doors after help from the entire neighborhood, and now draws 5,000 people for church services. The report goes into detail about Luter's background and upbringing, sharing how a near-fatal motorcycle accident when he was 21 guided him in the right direction toward God. more >>
Let's begin by making one thing crystal clear. The debate generated by the Obama administration's requirement that virtually all healthcare insurance plans provide free contraceptives, abortifacients, and sterilization services in all health insurance plans is not a debate about contraception or "reproductive services."
This debate is about coercion, not Catholics; conscience, not contraception; and freedom, not fertility. This is about principle, not "pelvic politics."
We believe as Americans that every human being has a God-given right of freedom of faith and conscience. Due to our forefathers' persecutions, persistence and insistence, this freedom is acknowledged and recognized in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. more >>
One Southern Baptist who was opposed to his denomination changing its name is relieved to hear that the Southern Baptist Convention may be keeping its name after all.
An SBC task force made the recommendation this week to not make a legal name change but rather add an informal title – "Great Commission Baptists." Under this proposal, a church can choose to identify either as a Southern Baptist, a Great Commission Baptist or both.
Dr. Darrell Orman, member of the SBC Executive Committee, said he was "immensely relieved" at the recommendation. more >>