NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) -- The task force that studied changing the name of the Southern Baptist Convention received 586 distinct name suggestions, with "Global Baptist Convention" leading the way and "Great Commission Baptist Convention" -- similar to the informal name that was chosen -- ranking in the Top 5, an analysis shows.
|Task force chairman Jimmy Draper addresses members of the Executive Committee. Photo by Morris Abernathy|
The task force was appointed last September by Southern Baptist Convention President Bryant Wright, and it asked for name change suggestions on a website, Pray4SBC.com. The task force presented its recommendation Feb. 20. As part of that recommendation, the Southern Baptist Convention would maintain its legal name while adopting a non-legal descriptor, "Great Commission Baptists," for churches, entities and organizations that wish to use it. The label is purely voluntary. The Executive Committee approved the recommendation, and SBC messengers will vote on it in June.
The task force received 1,151 name change suggestions with 586 distinct suggestions (that is, not counting duplicates). An analysis of the names by Roger S. (Sing) Oldham, vice president for Convention Relations for the SBC Executive Committee, showed:
-- 71 percent of the 586 distinct name suggestions included "Baptist."
-- When counting duplicates, 86 percent of the 1,151 suggestions included "Baptist."
-- 19 of the top 20 and 49 of the top 50 distinctive suggested names included "Baptist."
-- 105 names were suggested by two or more people.
The most frequent suggestion involved various forms of "Global Baptist," used in such suggested names as Global Baptist Convention, Global Fellowship and Global Baptist Network. A total of 148 people suggested 36 various combinations that included "Global" and "Baptist."
The analysis showed that the top 20 suggested names were:
1. Global Baptist Convention (85 suggestions)
2. International Baptist Convention (58)
3. United Baptist Convention (30)
4. Evangelical Baptist Convention (25)
5. Great Commission Baptist Convention (23)
6. North American Baptist Convention (23)
7. The Baptist Convention (23)
8. American Baptist Convention (22)
9. World Baptist Convention (19)
10. Worldwide Baptist Convention (19)
11. Baptist Convention (13)
12. Baptist Convention of America (11)
13. National Baptist Convention (10)
14. Global Baptist Fellowship (9)
15. Baptist Convention of the United States (8)
16. Christian Baptist Convention (8)
17. Gospel Baptist Convention (7)
18. Bible Baptist Convention (7)
19. Great Commission Convention (7)
20. Universal Baptist Convention (7)
Compiled by Michael Foust, associate editor of Baptist Press.