Name change, at this remove from origins, won’t convince everyone or most or even many. But the Southern Baptist Convention is now made it possible for churches instead to call themselves either SBC or Great Commission Baptists. Great Commission Baptists is (sorry) better than the BGC’s change to “Converge” and, since there are already 100+ kinds of Baptists, the options are limited. But this sort of move is agonizing and distracting and sometimes needed and no fun. My hat is off to the SBC for the process.
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 night 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 will consider it Tuesday.
The name “Southern,” Draper said, is a barrier to the Gospel in some regions of the country.
If the Executive Committee approves it Tuesday, then convention messengers will consider it in New Orleans in June at the SBC annual meeting.