MBC annual baptism number dips below 13,000
JEFFERSON CITY – Baptisms in the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) have fallen below the 13,000 level, continuing a four-year slide that has resulted in a total of 12,503 baptisms for 2006.
Baptisms in 2003 were 13,325. They dropped to 13,243 in 2004 and 13,060 in 2005. Statistics are measured over the span of a 12-month church year, which roughly correlates from July of 2005 through June of 2006.
MBC President Mike Green, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Republic, said he is troubled by the reality of the four-year slide in Missouri.
“I’m disappointed that we’re not making any more of an impact evangelistically on our state than we have been doing,” Green said.
The MBC fell about 7,500 baptisms short of the goal of 20,000 that State Evangelism Director Bob Caldwell established for 2006. It has been announced that Caldwell’s last day of MBC service will be Jan. 31; he is preparing to join the staff of First Baptist Church, Arnold, as a missions and evangelism pastor.
Meanwhile, the MBC has announced this year’s “Pacesetter” churches, or those that have led the MBC in baptisms for the past year. The complete list of Pacesetter churches with associational affiliation and baptisms is as follows, broken down into the average Sunday School attendance categories:
Average 1-50: Smithton, Harmony, 55; Set Free, Blue River-Kansas City, 43; North Heartland Community, Clay Platte, 43; Colony, Fellowship, 36; Fairview, St. Louis, 35.
Average 51-100: LifeQuest Community, Non-Associated, 48; The Bridge, Tri County, 36; Unity, Mt. Zion, 30; Unity, Charleston, 30; Coon Creek, Fellowship, 28; Mt. Carmel, Miller, 27; Union, North Grand River, 25; First Stover, Lamine, 25.
Average 101-150: Cornerstone, Harmony, 61; Cedar Grove, Fellowship, 51; Splitlog, Shoal Creek, 45; First Warsaw, Fellowship, 44; First Princeton, North Grand River, 37; United Believers Community, Blue River-Kansas City, 37.
Average 151-200: New Salem, St. Francois, 51; First, Grand Crossings, 39; New Hope, Harmony, 31; Wildwood Southern, Spring River, 30; Oak Grove, Dent, 28.
Average 201-300: Wildwood West County Community, St. Louis, 64; First Nevada, Osage River, 46; First Lake St. Louis, Twin Rivers; First Cameron, Heartland, 45; Meadow Heights, Non-Associated, 44.
Average 301-400: Broadway, Greene County, 75; First Macon, Macon, 46; First Wentzville, Twin Rivers, 45; First Sedalia, Harmony, 29; Tower Grove, St. Louis, 28.
Average 401-500: First Troy, Twin Rivers, 76; Westside, Pulaski, 72; Miner, Charleston, 60; First Oak Grove, Blue-River Kansas City, 55; First DeSoto, Jefferson, 44.
Average 501-750: First Warrensburg, West Central, 135; Lynwood, Cape Girardeau, 110; First Poplar Bluff, Cane Creek Stoddard, 62; Concord, Concord, 53; First Cassville, Barry County, 50.
Average 751-above: Pleasant Valley, Clay Platte, 265; First Raytown, Blue River-Kansas City, 234; Ridgecrest, Greene County, 130; First Arnold, Jefferson, 127; Forest Park, Spring River, 113.