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Articles by J. Gerald Harris

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The starting point for Southern Baptists is not the Great Commission, but "falling in love with Jesus once again," Bryant Wright told messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting June 14.

Wright, president of the SBC and pastor of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta, Georgia, likened Southern Baptists to the New Testament church of Ephesus that Jesus rebuked for having abandoned its first love.

Taking his text from Revelation 2:1-7, Wright noted that Christ began His message to the Ephesian church with words of commendation—and Wright acknowledged that Southern Baptists are doing thousands of good things at home and around the world.

"Ephesus had existed for forty years and endured hardship in the midst of a pagan culture," Wright said. "The Southern Baptist Convention, formed in 1845 in Augusta, Georgia, has survived a civil war, two world wars, the Great Depression, the recent years of economic recession, and years of abundance and great prosperity. In the past fifty years our convention has persevered in the midst ...

With Southern Baptists no longer being a part of the Baptist World Alliance, Bobby Welch, former Southern Baptist Convention president and former pastor (for thirty-two years) of First Baptist Church of Daytona Beach, Florida, has helped the denomination write a new chapter in international relations. Since March 15, 2007, Welch has been Southern Baptists' ambassador of goodwill to Baptist and evangelical bodies around the world.

Southern Baptists voted overwhelmingly to break ties with the Baptist World Alliance on July 15, 2004, at their annual meeting held in Indianapolis.

Baptist Press reported, "The BWA is not a governing body, but is a fellowship organization with headquarters in Falls Church, Virginia. The BWA, which includes 211 member Baptist conventions/unions, was formed in London, England, in 1905, in large part by Southern Baptists."

Southwestern Seminary president Paige Patterson explained why the Southern Baptist Convention should approve th...