FAQ

  1. What is Founders Ministries?
  2. What is the purpose of Founders Ministries?
  3. What ministries does Founders encompass?
  4. Where did this ministry originate?
  5. What is the Founders movement?
  6. Do you really think the SBC can be reformed?
  7. How can I participate in Founders Ministries?
  8. Who is on the Founders Board of Directors?
  9. How can I support Founders Ministries?
  10. This is all new to me. Where should I start?
  11. Where can I find historic Southern Baptist writings?
  12. What is the Founders view on . . .?
  13. I have a doctrinal question. To whom can I address it?
  14. What is the significance of the Founders emblem?
  15. How can I find a “Founders church”?
  16. How can I find a “Founders church” to pastor or how can my church find a “Founders pastor”?
  17. Can I reprint and distribute an article from the Founders Journal or web site or put a copy of an article on my web site?
  18. How can I find and engage a Founders speaker?
  19. Where can I go for more information?

 

  1. What is Founders Ministries?
    Founders Ministries, Inc., is a ministry of teaching and encouragement that seeks to promote both doctrine and devotion expressed in the Doctrines of Grace and their experiential application to the local church, particularly in the areas of worship and witness. Founders Ministries takes as its theological framework the first recognized confession of faith that Southern Baptists produced, The Abstract of Principles. We desire to encourage the return to and promulgation of the biblical gospel that our Southern Baptist forefathers held dear.


     

  2. What is the purpose of Founders Ministries?
    Our purpose is to encourage pastors, students and church leaders to recover the gospel of God’s grace and work for the spiritual health and reformation of local churches. Our abiding concerns:

      • We desire to be orthodox without being obnoxious.
      • We want to be confessional, yet contemporary.
      • We are Southern Baptist, though not sectarian.
      • Our goal is to be doctrinally and devotionally balanced.

     


     

  3. What ministries does Founders encompass?
    Founders Ministries incorporates:

     


     

  4. Where did this ministry originate?
    In 1982 a group of seven men met to pray about and discuss the need for reformation within the Southern Baptist Convention. At that time there seemed to be a small but growing resurgence of interest in the “Doctrines of Grace” (the belief that salvation is sovereignly and graciously given by God to sinners). After spending the morning in prayer, it was agreed that the energy generated by this divine renewal should be conserved and guided. A decision was made to host a meeting on the doctrines of grace for pastors and church leaders. “The Southern Baptist Conference on the Faith of our Founders” was scheduled and met in July of 1983 on the campus of what is now Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. The conference met annually there for the first eight years before moving in 1991 to the campus of Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. The conference meets each July, emphasizing a balance of doctrine and devotion in Christian life and ministry. Past speakers have included John Mac Arthur, J.I. Packer, Iain Murray, Al Mohler and John Piper. Themes have included missions, evangelism, revival, preaching, pastoral ministry, sanctification, the doctrines of grace, law and gospel and the church.From this annual conference the Founders Journal emerged in 1990. The Founders Journal is a quarterly theological publication containing articles (reprints from old, largely forgotten works, as well as contemporary writings), book reviews, editorials, news and letters. In conjunction with the sesquicentennial celebration of the SBC in 1995 a special double issue of the journal was published and mailed free of charge to every Southern Baptist pastor, missionary, denominational executive and professor. The journal continues to be published quarterly and is mailed out to every state in the union and dozens of foreign countries.Two more ministries began in 1996. Founders Press was established to provide literature that is consistent with the goals and principles of the original vision. With the explosive growth in the World-Wide Web as a means of publishing, we decided to go online in Winter 1996 to make the journal and conference information more widely available. Our website attracts over 200,000 hits each month.Several regional Founders Conferences have developed through the years. Information on upcoming regional conferences is posted on this website.In 1998 we changed the name of the organization from the Southern Baptist Founders Conference, Inc. to Founders Ministries, Inc, in recognition of the growth and development of our activities through the years. Tom Ascol (Pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, FL) was named as the Executive Director of Founders Ministries.

    In May 2003 we launched the online Founders Study Center under the direction of Ken Puls. The Founders Study Center is the online Ministerial Training Academy of Founders Ministries. The primary purpose of the Study Center is to provide resources for men in the field who are serving in the gospel ministry or pursuing the gospel ministry. Through the Study Center we are able to bring biblically sound, in-depth courses of study to those serving God faithfully in the local church and on the mission field. The Study Center serves in conjunction with a mentoring program, allowing students to work with respected, experienced pastors.


     

  5. What is the Founders movement?
    This is the name sometimes given to the movement in the SBC back toward the doctrines of grace, which the founders of the SBC held dear. Because the Southern Baptist Founders Conference began early in this movement and helped guide and shape it, the Founders movement has largely been associated with Founders Ministries. However, this work of God is much larger than a single conference or ministry, and we embrace and encourage all those who share our vision to see a more biblical expression of the gospel in Southern Baptist life and beyond.


     

  6. Do you really think the SBC can be reformed?
    Absolutely! Not because we have any secret weapon which will bring it about. And not because we have any confidence in our efforts or in those whom God is raising up to call us back to our doctrinal heritage. Rather, we genuinely hope to see sweeping reformation and revival across not only the SBC but across evangelicalism in general because of the character of God and the testimony of His previous work in history. We have already seen more positive developments than many of us dared to dream when Founders Ministries first began. A reformation is under way. How deep it will go and how far it will spread is beyond our ability to know. But there is more evident encouragement to press on in the work of reformation today than there has been in two generations. God is at work in far greater ways than we can measure. But what we can see is tremendously encouraging. Read also “Why Work for Reformation within the SBC” by Tom Ascol


     

  7. How can I participate in Founders Ministries?
    Founders Ministries is a non-profit organization guided by a board of directors, who share a commitment to the biblical gospel that our Southern Baptist forefathers held dear. While no formal membership exists, we encourage all those who share our vision of reclaiming the gospel and reforming churches to participate in our conferences, subscribe to the Founders Journal, take courses through the Study Center and make use of our books and other resources. Individuals and churches may also voluntarily identify themselves with Founders Ministries by adding their names to our Founders Friends and Founders Friendly Churches lists.


     

  8. Who is on the Founders Board of Directors?
      • Tom Ascol, Pastor of Grace Baptist Church, Cape Coral, FL (Executive Director of Founders Ministries)
      • Fred Malone, Pastor of First Baptist Church in Clinton, LA
      • Tom Nettles, Professor of Historical Theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY
      • Phil Newton, Pastor of South Woods Baptist Church in Memphis, TN

    The Founders Ministries Board page has a complete list with biographical sketches and pictures.

     


     

  9. How can I support Founders Ministries?
    We are grateful to God for all those who pray for Founders Ministries and support our efforts in reclaiming the gospel and reforming churches. Click here to learn more about supporting and giving to Founders Ministries.


     

  10. This is all new to me. Where should I start?
    A good place to start for the doctrinal issues is A Southern Baptist Looks at the Biblical Doctrine of Election. To get an overview of where Southern Baptists have come from in relation to the doctrines of grace, see “The Rise & Demise of Calvinism Among Southern Baptists” by Tom Nettles, Professor of Historical Theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. To read about some of the hopeful stirrings of reformation going on currently in the Southern Baptist Convention, see A Quiet Revolution by Ernest Reisinger and D. Matthew Allen, and From the Protestant Reformation to the Southern Baptist Convention by Tom Ascol.


     

  11. Where can I find historic Southern Baptist writings?
    Several of the most popular works have been reprinted and can be ordered from a variety of sources. We also have several works available in our library on our website.


     

  12. What is the Founders view on . . .?
    Answers to these types of questions depend on whether you are thinking of Founders Ministries or the Founders movement. Both stand in the line of Christian orthodoxy, evangelical and Reformed convictions, and Baptist views of the church. A simple doctrinal statement embraced by Founders Ministries is The Abstract of Principles. A more detailed expression of the views of the leadership can be found in the Charleston Confession of Faith, which is essentially the same as The Second London Baptist Confession of 1689.There are many issues not explicitly addressed by these statements of faith that the Founders Ministries leadership hold in common. On other issues, such as details related to the millennial reign of Christ, there is no consensus. These issues simply are not the focus of the ministry and do not represent an official position of Founders Ministries.The Founders movement is a fellowship of pastors, church leaders, and other interested parties who have a common love for the doctrines of grace. Individuals within this movement may or may not agree with every aspect of the Abstract of Principles or the Charleston/Second London Confession of Faith.


     

  13. I have a doctrinal question. To whom can I address it?
    In general, we simply are not able to respond fully to the large volume of individual doctrinal questions we receive. We encourage you to search our site for answers to your questions and to consult other trusted people and resources in the church if you can’t find your answer on our site.


     

  14. What is the significance of the Founders emblem?foundersshieldThe image above is the emblem for Founders Ministries. It is representative of the spirit and heritage that we are seeking to recover in this day. The sword and trowel call to mind the great work of Nehemiah as he both defended and rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem. Of course, the “prince of preachers,” Charles Haddon Spurgeon, also employed this two-fold image to symbolize his ministry in the last century. Defending the truth “once delivered to the saints” and building up the Church of Christ through the work of evangelism is still essential to the gospel ministry. The anvil is the tool of that “tinker,” John Bunyan, whose Pilgrim’s Progress accurately depicts the Christian life in all its stages. The cobbler’s tools are reminiscent of William Carey, who left his native England to travel to pagan lands with the gospel of grace, thereby laying claim to the title, “Father of Foreign Missions.” Prominence is given to the carpenter’s tools, which remind us of the Carpenter from Nazareth, whose perfect life and substitutionary death constructed the full redemption of His people, and whose glorious gospel it is our privileged duty to preach to the end of the age.

     

  15. How can I find a Founders church?
    This is a difficult question. You must first define what one means by a “Founders church.” There are Baptist churches in all stages of reformation. Does the pastor embrace the doctrines of grace? Do most of the members? Does the church have a doctrinal statement that reflects this commitment? One can find churches all along this continuum. Many of those within the Founders movement have personal contacts with others in the movement and can point people to churches that are moving in the direction of reformation. To encourage such networking, we have established two lists on our web site that allow individuals and churches to voluntarily associate themselves with the Founders movement. We invite you to use these lists to find churches or individuals who share a burden for the recovery of the gospel and the reformation of the local church.


     

  16. How can I find a “Founders church” to pastor or how can my church find a “Founders pastor”?
    First, you should read the previous question to clarify what is meant by a Founders church. Second, we have set up a Minister Search forum for churches to post openings and candidates to post resumes and positions wanted. You must first subscribe to have access to the forum. Once your subscription has been approved, you can post an announcement, receive announcements posted, and access the web archive of recent posts. To subscribe to the forum, go to the Minister Search forum information page.


     

  17. Can I reprint and distribute an article from the Founders Journal or web site or put a copy of an article on my web site?
    We receive many requests to reprint our articles. We are happy to encourage the spreading of information which we publish. All of our materials are copyrighted so that we can maintain appropriate control of their content. However, we do hereby grant permission for any publication to reprint our articles in their entirety, without editing, on the conditions that: with each reprint, clear recognition be given as to the source (the article must include our mailing address, website address, subscription information) and the reproductions not be sold for profit. We also ask that you send us a courtesy copy of any publication in which one of our articles appears. The content of our web site that is original to Founders Ministries may not be copied to other web sites without special justification and written permission. If you find an article on our site that you want your web site visitors to read, then we ask that you link directly to the article on our web site and provide a short summary on your site to stimulate interest from the reader. As a courtesy to the visitor and to us, you should indicate on your site that the link is to an off-site article. Other arrangements may be permissible but must be approved in writing by the editor.


     

  18. How can I find and engage a Founders speaker?
    Founders board members are available for speaking engagements by using the form and instructions here to issue an invitation.


     

  19. Where can I go for more information?
    For contact information, please see our contact page. To order a subscription to the Founders Journal online, click here. For information on Founders Press titles (including a current catalog and “where to buy” our books), click here. To order tapes and audio resources (including tapes from our conferences), click here. To enroll or take courses through the Founders Study Center, click here.