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Dockery: ‘Great Commission Baptists’ points to hopeful future for SBC

NASHVILLE, Tenn.Feb. 20, 2012 – An informal, non-legal description for the Southern Baptist Convention as “Great Commission Baptists” will emphasize the denomination’s commitments to the Great Commission, Union University President David S. Dockery said Feb. 20.

Dockery was a member of a task force appointed by SBC President Bryant Wright to study the possibility of changing the SBC’s name. In its report to the SBC Executive Committee Feb. 20, the committee proposed keeping “Southern Baptist Convention” as the body’s official name but also adopting “Great Commission Baptists” for informal usage.

“Every member of the task force has joined together in unanimous support of the recommendation to keep the historic and legal name of the Southern Baptist Convention,” Dockery said. “I am very pleased with this decision.

“The group was also unanimous in their support for a way to clarify and prioritize our commitments as a convention to the Great Commission, as given by our Lord Jesus Christ,” Dockery continued. “In that sense we seek to move forward into the 21st century as Great Commission Baptists. We trust this proposal will both capture the best of our historical identity while pointing us forward to a blessed and hopeful future in our service together all across this country and around the world.”

The Executive Committee’s administrative subcommittee will consider the proposal Feb. 21. If approved by the entire Executive Committee, the measure would then be presented to the SBC at its annual meeting in New Orleans in June.

Dockery said he was honored to serve on the task force, which was led by former LifeWay Christian Resources President Jimmy Draper.

“The committee has worked hard for many months and prayed faithfully, while diligently examining options for the future of the SBC,” he said. “The group has listened to pastors and other leaders from across the country, while doing important historical research related to this important question.”

Media contact: Tim Ellsworth, news@uu.edu, 731-661-5215

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