I have been a Southern Baptist pastor for over 54 years, and presently I am the pastor of Oak Level Missionary Baptist Church in Marshall County. Recently in the Western Recorder, I, along with other members of our church, have noticed there are several “churches” who are not Baptist in name, or practice, yet our convention has accepted them into our fellowship.
We are disturbed that the name “Baptist” is disappearing from many churches and institutions that we have used Baptist money to build and support. Our church is a supporter of the Cooperative Program (5 percent), but we have cut it to 3 percent to make a statement, that we are not in favor of supporting non-Baptist churches. They all say they are Baptist, but are ashamed to put the name Baptist on their sign. They like Baptist support, but they do not support the Baptist name.
There was a school in western Kentucky that took the name “Baptist” out of their name. Many of our Baptist churches stopped supporting the school, and some leaders said they didn’t care. Today the institution is closed. Baptists have a tremendous history, and many of the greatest institutions in the world, both at home and abroad, but we had better be careful how we treat the Baptist name.
Oak Level Missionary Baptist Church is a new work, and it started with 0 members, and 0 money. The KBC supported us in the beginning, for which we are grateful. Now 12 percent of our budget goes to missions, but we are not in favor of any of our mission money going to churches who are ashamed of the name “Baptist.”