Southern Baptists rebrand

Published September 27, 2011

The Southern Baptist Convention is thinking of renaming itself to Global Baptist Alliance. Photo: Sean Pavone

In an effort to broaden its curb appeal in this day of global ministry, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is considering renaming itself. SBC’s president, Bryant Wright, has announced the formation of a presidential task force to study the implications of a new name for the 166-year-old convention-the U.S.’s largest Protestant denomination, with 16 million members.

Wright made the announcement during the opening session of the SBC Executive Committee’s Sept. 19-20 meeting in Nashville, Tenn.

The study has two main benefits. "First, the convention’s name is so regional," Wright said in a press release. "With our focus on church planting, it is challenging in many parts of the country to lead churches to want to be part of a convention with such a regional name. Second, a name change could position us to maximize our effectiveness in reaching North America for Jesus Christ in the 21st century."

In view of the convention’s strong international mission, the name Global Baptist Alliance has already been suggested.

Proposals to study a name change have been unsuccessfully presented to the convention at least seven times since 1965, but Wright believes the question merits another look. He hopes to receive an interim repot by late February and possibly a final report in time for the SBC’s annual meeting in late June.

The SBC broke with the larger U.S. Baptist Church in 1845 over the issue of slavery, which it supported. In addition to the southeastern geographic limitation suggested by its current name, some may still feel it has undesirable historical connotations. The SBC is the world’s largest Baptist denomination and the second-largest Christian body in the U.S. after the Catholic Church.

In view of the convention’s strong international mission, the name Global Baptist Alliance has been suggested. Those wishing to share their thoughts and suggestions can do so at


  • Diana Swift

    Diana Swift is an award-winning writer and editor with 30 years’ experience in newspaper and magazine editing and production. In January 2011, she joined the Anglican Journal as a contributing editor.

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