Southern Baptists considering name change

AP News
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Posted: Sep 20, 2011 3:52 PM
Southern Baptists considering name change

The Southern Baptist Convention is considering changing its name.

SBC President Bryant Wright said Monday that he's appointing a task force to study the idea. Wright says the name is too regional and creates challenges as the denomination tries to grow.

Southern Baptists are the largest Protestant group in the United States. But they've seen a decline in baptisms, church attendance and membership in recent years.

The denomination was formed in 1845 amid disputes with other American Baptists over slaveholding. Southern Baptists apologized to African-Americans in a 1995 resolution for the role that slavery played in the convention's founding.

Any name change would need approval from a majority of participants in two consecutive annual Southern Baptist meetings. Several attempts to change the name over the years have failed.