Black network eyes membership growth

Baptist Press
Posted: Apr 25, 2014 4:52 PM
BALTIMORE (BP) -- The Black Denominational Servants Network continues to focus on strengthening participation in the face of a declining membership base as it prepares for its 2014 meeting in Baltimore, network president Eugene McCormick said.

The network will meet from 8:30-10:30 a.m. June 9 at Colonial Baptist Church, 9411 Liberty Road in Randallstown, Md., in advance of the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting June 10-11 at the Baltimore Convention Center. "Keep on Keeping On" will be the network's theme.

"New people have joined the network, but not as much as I'd hoped for," McCormick said. "Hopefully things will continue to move in that direction." About 25 people attended the group's last meeting at the Black Church Leadership and Family Conference in Ridgecrest, N.C., in July 2013.

"You know the last couple of years we've lost a lot of people in denominational life, I guess due to the economy and just different directions that organizations have gone," McCormick said.

The specific number of African Americans employed among the SBC entities is not available. The network has active participation of as many as 35, McCormick said.

"We're looking at ways we can continue to promote our group, looking at what we do and really just trying to get more participation," McCormick said.

In its Baltimore breakfast meeting, the network will elect officers and recognize outstanding denominational servants.

Robert Anderson, a former member of the SBC Executive Committee, is host pastor.

The network seeks to encourage networking among African American employees of SBC entities. Membership fees are $25 for students, $50 for individuals, $250 at the institutional level and $500 for a 10-year silver membership.

To join the network, send checks payable to the "Black Southern Baptist Denominational Servants Network" to Florida Baptist Convention, c/o Eugene McCormick, 1230 Hendricks Ave., Jacksonville, FL 32207. Fees may be paid at the annual meeting.

Diana Chandler is Baptist Press' general assignment writer/editor. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook ( and in your email (

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