SPRINGDALE, Ark. (BP) – Ronnie Floyd, in just over 3 and a half minutes, speaks volumes about ethnic inclusiveness within the Southern Baptist Convention.
Floyd speaks in English and, through a translator’s voice, in Spanish and Korean in a new video to invite Southern Baptists to the SBC annual meeting next June in St. Louis.
More than 3,200 Hispanic churches and church-type missions are among the 40,700-plus Southern Baptist congregations across the U.S. and its territories.
Korean churches and church-type missions number more than 840, according to the SBC’s current statistics.
“With these two language groups comprising hundreds and hundreds of our churches, we want and need them to join us in St. Louis,” Floyd told Baptist Press.
“With 20 percent of our churches being non-Anglo and our nation becoming filled with ethnicities from across the globe, we must understand that reaching all ethnicities with the Gospel is imperative to reach America and the world for Jesus Christ.” Floyd, senior pastor of Cross Church in northwest Arkansas, said in written comments. “This is why we want not only our Anglo churches to come to St. Louis, but all of our non-Anglo churches to join all of us.”
Across Southern Baptists’ ethnic spectrum, there are 3,500-plus African American churches and church-type missions, along with more than 430 that are Native American; 444 Haitian; 228 Chinese; 223 Multi-Ethnic; 185 Filipino; and 20 additional ethnic, language and racial groups with fewer than 100 churches each.
Floyd’s Spanish- and Korean-language videos continue a series of initiatives by SBC leaders to broaden ethnic involvement in the convention. In 2011, for example, messengers embraced a 10-point set of recommendations for steps by the SBC president and convention entities “to foster conscious awareness of the need to be proactive and intentional in the inclusion of individuals from all ethnic and racial identities within Southern Baptist life.”
For churches intent on sending messengers to the SBC annual meeting, two messengers can register from each cooperating church that contributes to convention causes during the preceding fiscal year. Additionally, the convention will recognize 10 additional messengers from a cooperating church under one of the following options:
– One additional messenger for each full percent of the church’s undesignated receipts which the church contributed during the fiscal year preceding through the Cooperative Program, and/or through the convention’s Executive Committee for convention causes, and/or to any convention entity.
– One additional messenger for each $6,000 the church contributes in the preceding year through the normative combination of the Cooperative Program, designated gifts through the Executive Committee for convention causes or to any SBC entity.