Missionaries Come Home
By MARTIN E. MARTY NOV 2, 2015
2015 Conference poster, Grace Baptist Church of Kankakee, Illinois (creative commons license)
Newspeople and commentators outside the South ordinarily pay little attention to the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). They find little reason to notice this church body if they are geographically remote from, or see the SBC as remote from public affairs or ecumenical and interchurch activities.
They should find reason to care even insofar as mere statistics and size alone count. A demographic shocker to many: there are more Southern Baptists in the United States than there are Jews in the world. Only the number of Roman Catholics in America dwarfs the Southern Baptist population.
Through the middle of the last century Southern Baptists were becoming more noticeable and note-worthy in the eyes of others, often for negative reasons. Their policies were anti-civil rights for blacks, and most members vigorously supported segregation of races, in church and elsewhere.
Their first poppings-up in the