Southern Baptist

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Group.png Southern Baptist  
Christian denomination based on conservative Southern United States social values

The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is a Christian denomination based in the United States. It is the world's largest Baptist denomination, the largest Protestant and the second-largest Christian denomination in the United States, smaller only than the Roman Catholic Church according to self-reported membership statistics.

The word Southern in Southern Baptist Convention stems from it having been organized in 1845 at Augusta, Georgia, by Baptists in the Southern United States who split with northern Baptists over the issue of slavery, with Southern Baptists strongly opposed to its abolition.[1] After the American Civil War, another split occurred when most freedmen set up independent black congregations, regional associations, and state and national conventions, such as the National Baptist Convention, which became the second-largest Baptist convention by the end of the 19th century.

Since the 1940s, the Southern Baptist Convention has spread across the states, losing some of its regional identity.[2] Especially since the late 20th century, the SBC has sought new members among minority groups. While still heavily concentrated in the Southern United States, the Southern Baptist Convention has member churches across the United States and 41 affiliated state conventions.[3] Southern Baptist churches are evangelical in doctrine and practice. As they emphasize the significance of the individual conversion experience, which is affirmed by the person having complete immersion in water for a believer's baptism, they reject the practice of infant baptism. The SBC claims that other specific beliefs based on biblical interpretation can vary due to their congregational polity, and that parishes are given local autonomy. These claims are disputed by pastors with views on LGBT rights, race, and politics which are in conflict with the SBC executive committee and whose parishes have been threatened with expulsion from the SBC.[4]

Position statements

In addition to the BF&M, the SBC has also issued the following position statements:

  • Autonomy of local church — Affirms the autonomy of the local church.<ref</ref>
  • Cooperation— Identifies the Cooperative Program of missions as integral to the Southern Baptist Convention.[5]
  • Creeds and confessions — Statements of belief are revisable in light of Scripture. The Bible is the final word.[6]
  • Missions — Honors the indigenous principle in missions. The SBC does not, however, compromise doctrine or its identity for missional opportunities.[7]
  • Priesthood of all believers — Laypersons have the same right as ordained ministers to communicate with God, interpret Scripture, and minister in Christ's name.[8]
  • Sanctity of life — "At the moment of conception, a new being enters the universe, a human being, a being created in God's image"; as such, it should be protected regardless of the circumstances underlying the conception.[9] As such, the SBC opposes abortion and any form of birth control which acts as an abortifacient.
  • Sexuality — They affirm God's plan for marriage and sexual intimacy as a lifetime relationship of one man and one woman. Explicitly, they do not consider homosexuality to be a "valid alternative lifestyle". They understand the Bible to forbid any form of extra-marital sexual relations.[10]
  • Soul competency — Affirms the accountability of each person before God.[11]
  • Ordination of women — Women are of equal value to men and participate on Southern Baptist boards, faculties, mission teams, writer pools, and professional staffs. However, women are not eligible to serve as pastors.[12]


Adherents on Wikispooks

Roy Blunt10 January 1950
Chuck Colson16 October 193121 April 2012Indicted for conspiring to cover up the Watergate burglaries
Jesse Helms18 October 19214 July 2008
Asa Hutchinson3 December 1950
Trent Lott9 October 1941
Ron Paul20 August 1935
Pat Robertson22 March 1930
Strom Thurmond5 December 190226 June 2003