Southern Baptists drop ‘southern’ over racial connotations

Leaders in the Southern Baptist Convention are dropping references to the South as the largest Protestant denomination in the country grapples with its history of supporting slavery.

Instead of using “Southern,” church leadership will now refer to themselves as “Great Commission Baptists,” President J.D. Greear announced Monday. The 50,000 churches in the convention, however, are mostly independent and can still refer to themselves as Southern Baptists if they so choose.

“Utilizing ‘Great Commission Baptists’ is simply one more step to make clear we serve a risen Savior who died for all peoples, whose mission is not limited to one people living in one time at one place,” Greear
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