Tuesday, February 21, 2012Download All Stories
Task force: Keep legal SBC name, but adopt informal name, 'Great Commission Baptists'
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) -- The task force appointed to study a possible name change of the Southern Baptist Convention is recommending the convention maintain its legal name but adopt an informal, non-legal name for those who want to use it: "Great Commission Baptists."The report Monday (Feb. 20) ended weeks of speculation by Southern Baptists and fellow evangelicals as to what the task force would do. The convention was formed in 1845, and a name change was first proposed in 1903, although one was not adopted then, or since.
The task force was appointed by Southern Baptist Convention President Bryant Wright.
"This is an issue that just won't die," task force chairman Jimmy Draper said in presenting the task force's recommendation to the Executive Committee, which approved the recommendation Tuesday, sending it to SBC messengers for a vote at the June annual meeting in New Orleans. With about 80 Executive Committee members present, only about six members voted in opposition.
The name "Southern," Draper said, is a barrier to the Gospel in some regions of the country.
The recommendation would mean that the legal name of the convention would remain "Southern Baptist Convention" and could be used by any church which wishes to use it. But other SBC churches could call themselves "Great Commission Baptists" if they wish. Draper said the new term would be a "descriptor."
"We believe that the equity that we have in the name Southern Baptist Convention is valuable," Draper said during the task force's recommendation. "It is a strong name that identifies who we are in theology, morality and ethics, compassion, ministry and mission in the world. It is a name that is recognized globally in these areas."
Draper continued: "We also recognize the need that some may have to use a name that is not associated with a national region as indicated by the word 'Southern.' We want to do everything we can to encourage those who do feel a name change would be beneficial without recommending a legal name change for the convention. We believe we have found a way to do that."
The goal from the beginning, Draper said, "was to consider the removal of any barrier to the effective proclamation of the Gospel and reaching people for Christ." Read More
TASK FORCE'S REPORT: TranscriptNASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) -- Jimmy Draper, chairman of the task force that studied the question of changing the name of the Southern Baptist Convention, reports to the SBC Executive Committee during its Monday night (Feb. 20) meeting. The task force was named by SBC President Bryant Wright last September.
Fentress & Patterson: Descriptor would benefit African Americans, ethnic groups, non-SouthernersNASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) -- The following remarks by Maryland pastor Ken Fentress and seminary president Paige Patterson were part of the Feb. 20 report to the SBC Executive Committee by a task force that studied the possibility of a name change of the Southern Baptist Convention and proposed the option of Southern Baptists also calling themselves "Great Commission Baptists." Read More
Page warns of serving with wrong motivesNASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) -- Drawing from the example of the older brother in Jesus' parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15, Frank Page advised Southern Baptists to examine their motives as they consider altering the name by which they're known. Read More
Report: Iran may be set to execute pastorTEHRAN (BP) -- Iranian officials may have issued an order to execute a pastor at the center of a high-profile case that has drawn international attention, according to a legal group that has followed the case. Read More
Segregation, tragedy, yet blessings prevail
PLANT CITY, Fla. (BP) -- Maxie Miller Jr. remembers the time when the men in his neighborhood sat on their steps and prayed no bombs would hit their homes.
[IMG=31967@left@120]"I grew up in the bombing. I grew up with segregation," Miller said. "I remember when I got shot and Daddy got me to the hospital and we didn't know who was going to be my doctor."
Miller, the Florida Baptist Convention's strategist for the African American church planting team, doesn't just know about the fight ... Read More
FIRST-PERSON: 5 ways to avoid temptation on social media
Social media can be a source of temptation that can help tear apart a marriage, but with personal boundaries can be used safely, says columnist and seminary dean Terri Stovall. Read More
FROM THE STATES: Texas, Ark., Va. evangelism/missions news
EDITOR'S NOTE: From the States, published each Tuesday by Baptist Press, relays news and feature stories from state Baptist papers and other publications on initiatives by Baptist churches, associations and state conventions in evangelism, church planting and Great Commission outreach, including partnership missions. Reports about churches, associations and state conventions responding to the International Mission Board's call to embrace the world's 3,800 unengaged, unreached people groups also ... Read More