Tuesday, June 12, 2012Download All Stories
SBC baptisms & churches up in 2011, membership declines
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) -- The Southern Baptist Convention in 2011 reported an increase in the number of baptisms and total churches over the previous year, but declined in total membership, according to the Annual Church Profile (ACP) compiled by LifeWay Christian Resources in cooperation with Baptist state conventions.Southern Baptist churches baptized 333,341 in 2011, a 0.70 percent increase from the 331,008 reported in the SBC Annual last year. The number of churches in the SBC in 2011 totaled 45,764 -- a slight 0.08 percent increase over the previous year, even though primary worship attendance declined 0.65 percent in 2011, to 6,155,116.
Meanwhile, total membership in 2011, reported at 15,978,112, represents a 0.98 percent drop from 16,136,044 reported the previous year and is the fifth straight year of decline.
"An increase in baptisms is something to be celebrated," said Thom S. Rainer, president of LifeWay. "God's Word is being proclaimed and God's Spirit is continuing to move in the hearts of people, drawing them to repentance. This is something that should excite us as Christians who care about the Great Commission."
While the SBC increased by 37 churches, Rainer noted this is one of the smallest increases in the last 40 years. Factoring in a decrease of 1.18 percent in the "church-type missions operating" category -- 4,952 reported in 2011 after 5,011 in 2010 -- indicates a decline in the growth of the number of congregations.
Rainer added, however, that "Southern Baptists continue to be a giving people, even in challenging economic times," pointing to $1.33 billion in reported total mission expenditures, a $26.2 million increase from 2010. Read More
African American pastor imparts missions visionBUFFALO, N.Y. (BP) -- Spend some time with Bill Smith and you'll catch his vision for missions. That's what happened to North Buffalo Community Church in New York, a congregation Smith planted in 1994 with his wife Adrian. Read More
Hospice chaplain is there when death loomsTIFTON, Ga. (BP) -- Behind the wheel of his red Ford pickup truck, Danny Ray drives a nine-county circuit -- always trailing terminal illness, inevitable death and heartache. Ray's ministry as a hospice chaplain is not one for the faint of heart or the weak of spirit. Read More
'Sinner's Prayer' among proposed resolutions
NEW ORLEANS (BP) -- The Sinner's Prayer, same-sex marriage and civil rights, and "racist statements" in Mormon documents are among the topics being discussed in various media about resolutions that pastors state they submitted for the Southern Baptist Convention's Resolution Committee to consider in preparation for the June 19-20 annual meeting in New Orleans. Read More
Adoption is topic of SBC panel discussion
NEW ORLEANS (BP) -- The North American Mission Board's LoveLoud initiative and Together for Adoption will host a four-person breakfast panel discussion at the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting addressing Southern Baptist involvement in adoption and orphan care.
The panel discussion will take place Wednesday, June 20, at 7 a.m. CDT.
[IMGONLY=32275@right@200]Moderated by Matt Capps, associate pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, N.C., panelists will include Russell... Read More
FROM THE STATES: N.C., Ky., Ala. 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