Leaders among the Southern Baptist Convention are increasingly discussing dropping the “Southern” part of their name due to a reminder of the convention’s historic role in slavery.
As of 2019 there were over 45,000 churches that identify as Southern Baptist. Among those 45,000 there is an estimated 14,525,579 members.
The churches in the convention are autonomous, so some could and will still use the Southern name.
According to the Southern Baptist Convention’s president J.D. Greear, the remaining effort is pushing the rename to “Great Commission Baptists" due to what is called, “the racial reckoning underway in the United States.”
The name change is also because some see the name “Southern Baptist” as too regional for the group which exists around the globe.
Greear also mentioned: “Our Lord Jesus was not a White Southerner but a brown-skinned Middle Eastern refugee, every week we gather to worship a savior who died for the whole world, not one part of it. What we call ourselves should make that clear.”
Hundreds of SBC church leaders in the Southern states have committed to using the name “Great Commission Baptists” and Greear also mentioned that the theme for next years Southern Baptist Convention will be “We are Great Commission Baptists.”