Posted on September 16, 2020

Southern Baptist Convention Leaders Dropping ‘Southern’ from Name over Slavery Connection

Celine Castronuovo, The Hill, September 15, 2020

Leaders in the Southern Baptist Convention are steadily removing the “Southern” part of the group’s name in an effort that Convention President J.D. Greear said is essential {snip}

In an interview with The Washington Post published Tuesday, Greear said there has been more support to adopt the new name “Great Commission Baptists,” both because of the changing climate in the U.S. and because many have long believed the “Southern Baptist” title no longer adequately encompasses the approximately 50,000 churches that now exist around the globe.

“Our Lord Jesus was not a White Southerner but a brown-skinned Middle Eastern refugee,” Greear told the Post. {snip}

These statements come after the leader also announced in June that he would be retiring a historic gavel named for a slaveholder that Southern Baptists had continued to use to open their meetings.


The convention formed in 1845, splitting from Northern Baptists over Southern support for slavery. While the group had a historic drop in membership last year, it remains the largest Protestant denomination in the United States {snip}


The convention narrowly approved a recommendation allowing Southern Baptist institutions to call themselves “Great Commission Baptists,” but most leaders chose to continue using the previous name.