Southern Baptist Head Stands as a 'Uniter'

The head of the Southern Baptist Convention made a rare visit to a local congregation in Rincon, Ga., as he sought a spirit of unity.

"I've heard about this church before and its history of bringing ministers together in the community," SBC President Frank Page told over 150 attendees at First Baptist Church of Rincon on Monday, according to Savannah Morning News.

Page had been re-elected last month to lead the nation's largest Protestant denomination and he believes his election "signaled that Baptists are wanting something different," as he told the local newspaper.

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Much of Page's focus is on turning around the denomination's declining baptism numbers and spreading the gospel amid divisions over scriptural interpretation and church doctrines. He called Christians to evangelize and be useful to God's kingdom during Monday's sermon.

"Baptists are too often known for what we're against than for what we're for," he told the Morning News. "I like to say that I'm a conservative, but I'm not angry at anybody."

At SBC's annual meeting in San Antonio, Texas, last month, Page told over 8,000 Baptists that they are wasting time with debates over disputable doctrines "that lead to destructive distractions."

Page has been known to commit to broadening involvement of laypersons and pastors who have never been involved before in the SBC.

"He's had that attitude of being a uniter in our convention," said Rincon pastor Bob Rogers, according to the Morning News. "That's one of the things I appreciate about him."

Rogers had invited Page to speak as part of the church's "Marvelous Mondays" series in July. Pastors from around the region are being featured every Monday as the church aims to draw more believers together.

Page's appearance only drew over 150 people, which surprised some churchgoers.

"He's the head of the denomination," said Sarah Lane, who attended the program on Monday. "I thought more people would come out."

Page is senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Taylors, S.C.

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