The nation's largest protestant denomination will not be changing its name. A panel for the Southern Baptist Convention has instead approved a new, add-on description for the denomination.
The task force is encouraging local churches that don’t like the name Southern Baptist to use the name “Great Commission Baptists.” Southern Baptist Convention President Bryan Wright has said he’s concerned the “Southern” name is too regional and hinders the denomination’s effort to expand outside the south. The panel rejected a complete name change, citing the legal costs and just too much hassle. They also considered the positive associations many hold with the Southern Baptist name, such as its disaster relief organization. While the 16 million-member denomination continues to plant new churches in the U.S. and around the world, it has seen a decline in baptisms and membership in recent years.