The nation’s largest Protestant denomination and the world’s largest Baptist association, it was founded in the United States in 1845. It is the second-largest religious group in the United States after the Catholic Church. Like other Baptist bodies, the SBC places great store in the authority of the Bible, the independence of every congregation and the “priesthood of all believers” — the right and responsibility of every believer to personally understand the will of God. The SBC also puts great emphasis on “The Great Commission,” the passage in Matthew where Jesus commands his disciples to “make disciples of all the nations” (28:18-20). The national convention is a voluntary association of state conventions. Technically, the leadership of the SBC holds no authority over any churches or church members. In practice, the current leadership of the convention has emphasized a document called the Baptist Faith and Message, which sets out specific interpretations of the Bible on issues including the nature of God and Jesus, the role of women and men in the family and the church, and the end times. The SBC was formed when it split from a national Baptist association because of its support of slavery, a stand it formally apologized for in 1995. SBC is acceptable on second reference.
Southern Baptist Convention
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