Numbers – An Expression of Baptist Power

Few things seem to me more expressive of twentieth-century Southern Baptist spirit than the focus on large numbers on the 1984 monument erected on the site where the Southern Baptist Convention was organized in 1845.

Memorial tablet in front of 1902 building of First Baptist Church, Augusta, Georgia.
April, 27, 2019

In 1983 the denomination reported
36,531 churches
14,185,454 members
394,606 baptisms
7,815,443 Sunday school students
$3,165,237,965 in gifts of which $529,283,289 were for missions
20 national agencies.

Most large U.S. denominations in the twentieth-century reveled in corporate-type reports of their power and operations. But perhaps none more than Southern Baptists.

The original building in which the convention was organized was razed in 1899 was razed in 1899 to make way for the monumental Beaux-Arts building designed by Willis Franklin Denny. It served for about 80 years until it moved to the suburbs.

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