MBC begins to celebrate 175th year with logo
By Brian Koonce
JEFFERSON CITY – In honor of its 175th birthday, the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) gave itself a small gift: a new logo.
The new emblem is a simple design with a maroon banner across a gold field dominated by “175” on a white background.
But the design, unveiled last month at the 174th annual meeting in St. Louis, is more than just a means of corporate identification or an excuse to order new stationery. It’s a reminder of Missouri Baptists’ past, present and future Kingdom service. David Daughenbaugh, the chairman of the Missouri Baptist Historical Commission, introduced the new logo in St. Louis and issued a challenge based on its elements.
“The maroon represents the blood of Christ that cleanses us,” Daughenbaugh said. “It also gives us our mission. The gold represents the streets of Heaven and that we are to fill as full as we possibly can. The white represents the purity of the believer once they accept Christ. The 175 reminds us of the missions and ministry Missouri Baptists have been doing since 1834.”
What would become the MBC was organized at Providence Baptist Church in August 1834 as the Baptist Central Society of Missouri. In was later known as the General Association of United Baptists in Missouri and still later as the Missouri Baptist General Association. That first meeting saw only 18 ministers and 13 laymen. Their goal was to “deliberate upon the state of religion within the bounds of the churches to which they belong, and to consult if any special measures are necessary and practicable to promote the preaching of the Gospel within the bounds of the state.”
The digits in the new icon don’t just signify the MBC’s age, they hearken back to the idea that Missouri Baptists are to “promote the preaching of the Gospel.”
“One, seven, five,” he said. “Every time you see that new emblem, let it be a reminder that you have ‘one’ thing to do. In the next ‘seven’ days, tell someone these ‘five’ words: ‘Jesus loves and forgives you.’”
What better way to celebrate the convention’s 175th anniversary than with an evangelism thrust, Daughenbaugh said.
“I have a desire to see our 175th year be record-breaking in church attendance and baptisms,” he said. “This is just a simple way to remember that we have a big task, but it’s not too big that we can’t accomplish it if we work together.”
According to Daughenbaugh, following that 1-7-5 pattern will keep Missouri Baptists focused on what really matters.
“The tone of the annual meeting was one of a lot of frustration and hurt,” he said. “I want to remind people we’ve been here before. For 175 years, we’ve had frustrations and always had people fighting. We’ve been here before and God has pulled us through it. One of the great things about Baptists is that we agree to disagree and still give out the Gospel message.”
The old logo, featuring the outline of the state, a church building, globe, and Bible, has been retired and the 175 logo will serve through the next year. Presumably the MBC will hire a new executive director in the next year and he will have input as designers work on a new, permanent identifying MBC mark.
Daughenbaugh has another challenge for Missouri Southern Baptist churches. He is asking them to consider having revival services on or around the week of Aug. 29, 2009, which is the actual day that marks 175 years of Missouri Baptist missions and ministry.
“It would be a great time to remember your church history and remind ourselves that we still are a vital tool in God’s plan,” he said.