Southern Baptists consider name change
“I think they have a genuine concern,” said the Rev. Lanny Reich, pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Carrollton. “I have not been part of the Southern Baptist Convention for several years … My theology is a little more modern. I think as soon as people hear ‘Southern Baptist,’ they think fundamentalism and legalism. They might be doing smart thing. I think it’s a legitimate concern.”
Wright wouldn’t say whether new names have been proposed for the denomination of 16 million, but he has said the word “Baptist” would remain.
“The reason for doing this is simply to say: ‘Do we have any unnecessary barriers in reaching people for Jesus Christ?” Wright said.
If Wright does propose a change at the February meeting, the proposal would have to pass a vote of the delegates to the denomination’s general convention over two consecutive years.
Figures released by the Southern Baptist Convention earlier this year showed total membership declined in 2010 for the fourth straight year, despite a renewed missionary effort.