You become a Southern Baptist by uniting with a Southern Baptist church, one in friendly cooperation with the general southern Baptist enterprise of reaching the world for Christ. Typically church membership is a matter of receiving Jesus as your Savior and Lord and experiencing believer’s baptism by immersion. Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior, the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus.

The Lord’s Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby church members memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming.

The Gospel – The fact that Jesus died for our sin, was buried and then rose from the grave is foundational for Southern Baptists. He lives today and stands ready to give abundant and eternal life to all those who repent of sin and place their faith in Him. Southern Baptists invite everyone to receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

Statistics –

  • Southern Baptists are starting an average of 5 churches or church-type missions a day. Some churches, of course, close, but overall there is a significant increase in churches from year to year. As of October 2005, there were 43,465 Southern Baptist churches.
  • In 2004, 387,947 people were baptized in Southern Baptist churches in the United States and 607,132 were baptized in SBC-related churches overseas. This averages about 1 baptism every 32 seconds.
  • Each SBC church is self-governing under the Lordship of Jesus. The churches elect messengers to the meetings of the various denominational assemblies. The messengers determine the course of the many programs and institutions of these Baptist bodies.



1608/9 – Religious refugees from England establish the first Baptist church (Amsterdam)

1638/9 – First Baptist church in America (Providence, Rhode Island)

1696 – First Baptist church in the South (Charleston, South Carolina)

1707 – First Baptist association (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

1792 – British Baptist Missionary Society organized

1814 – First national Baptist body in the United States

1821 – First state Baptist convention (South Carolina)

1833 – New Hampshire confession of Faith (basis for the Baptist Faith & Message)

1845 – Southern Baptist Convention (Augusta, Georgia)

1905 – Baptist World Alliance

1925 – Cooperative Program adopted by Southern Baptist Convention

1963 – Constitution of Vermont church means a Southern Baptist Convention church in every state

1977 – Southern Baptist Convention adopts Bold Mission Thrust to reach entire world by year 2000

1997 – Southern Baptist Convention implements Convention restructuring plan

2000 – Partners in Harvest Campaign Marks Cooperative Program’s 75th Anniversary Celebration

2002 – Empowering Kingdom Growth- Calling Southern Baptists to seek first the King and His Kingdom