Nettles Moves to SBTS

Tom Nettles, Professor of Church History at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, has accepted a position as Professor of Historical Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He has formerly taught at Southwestern and Mid-America seminaries. Dr. Nettles is one of the original members of the planning committee of the Founders Conference and is a contributing editor of The Founders Journal. He is scheduled to begin his new duties in the Fall semester of this year.

Founders Fellowship Breakfast at the SBC in Dallas

This year’s Fellowship Breakfast is scheduled for Tuesday, June 17 at 7:00 AM at the Convention Center in Dallas. The cost is $10.00 per person. Because of the time and the convenient location, it will be very easy to attend the breakfast and the opening session of the Southern Baptist Convention later that morning. Dr. Mark Dever, pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington D.C., will speak on “Recovering the Priority of Preaching for Church Renewal.” Dr. Roger Nicole, Visiting Professor of Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida, will speak on “Recovering Sound Doctrine for Church Renewal.” Reservations may be made by sending money to Founders Fellowship Breakfast, c/o Pastor Steve Farish, 1190 Winchester Road, Libertyville, IL 60048. Phone: (847)362-7120.

1997 Southern Baptist Founders YOUTH Conference

The next Founders YOUTH Conference is scheduled for June 16-20, 1997 at Panama City Beach, Florida. Preachers for the week are Dr. Phil Newton, Pastor of Southwoods Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee and Mr. Paul Stith, Associate Pastor of Northside Baptist Church in North Ft. Myers, Florida. For more information contact Pastor Bill Ascol at (318)798-7088.

Founders Press Moves Forward

Two more titles are due to be published this Spring by Founders Press. A Foundation for the Future: The Southern Message and Mission, by Tom Nettles is an excellent introduction into the heritage, present challenges and future prospects of the Southern Baptist Convention. A String of Pearls Unstrung: A Theological Journal into Believers’ Baptism by Fred Malone is the long-anticipated chronicle of the author’s move away from paedo-baptism to believers’ baptism.

Other works which are scheduled to be published include A Southern Baptist Looks at the Biblical Doctrine of Election, by Ernest Reisinger; A Sermon on Election, by C. D. Mallary; and The Way of Faith, by Phil Newton. Several other projects are under consideration.

Please pray for the work of Founders Press as it seeks to develop and produce literature which will help promote spiritual and theological renewal. This work is dependent on the financial contributions of those who stand with us for the cause of reformation and revival. Tax deductible gifts may be sent to Founders Press, P. O. Box 150931, Cape Coral, FL 33915.

C. H. Spurgeon Pastors Conference

The Spurgeon Pastors Conference will convene May 20-22 on the campus of William Jewell College in Liberty, MO. Speakers include Don Whitney, Tom Nettles. Michael Haykin, John Armstrong and Tom Ascol. Cost for the conference, including room and board, is $120.00 per person or $170.000 for married couple. For more information contact Pastor Doug Shivers, Boulevard Baptist Church, 1722 North National, Springfield, MO 65803.

Home Mission Board Report Speaks Volumes

A Large Convention of Small Churches: Analysis of the Distributions of Southern Baptist Churches by Phillip B. Jones was released in October 1996 by the Research Division of the Home Mission Board of the SBC. The report is based on Annual Church Profiles and Uniform Church Letters of SBC churches from 1972-1995. Examination of median statistics from the latest available data suggests that the “typical” Southern Baptist Church has 233 members, 55 of which are non-resident. It has 70 people in a Sunday morning worship service; has 98 persons enrolled in Sunday School with 55 in attendance on an average Sunday. It reported 5 baptisms and 5 other additions “generally transfers from other Southern Baptist churches”) during the 1994-95 year, but only saw an increase in total membership of 1. The report notes that, “Given the propensity of Southern Baptist churches not to remove members from their rolls, it is likely that most churches are declining in active membership.”

Ninety percent of SBC churches had less than 250 in attendance on a typical Sunday morning in 1995, thus justifying the name of the report. Although “megachurches” are often set forth as models for successful ministry, the fact remains that the overwhelming majority of SBC pastors will never serve such a congregation. The HMB report wisely calls on denominational leaders to take note of this fact when planning programs and materials for churches.

Free Journal Trial

The Banner of Sovereign Grace Truth is a journal which focuses on Reformed, experiential truth by publishing a wide range of articles from the 16th century to today, aiming to cover all age groups–including a special section for children and youth. Ten issues are published each year for a domestic subscription price of $12.50 per year. The journal is edited by Dr. Joel Beeke, well-known author, pastor and conference speaker. A sample copy will be mailed upon request. The address is: 2080 Brandon N.W., Grand Rapids, MI 49504.

Founders Online announces SBCsearch

The Founders web site is offering a new web resource called SBCsearch that should be of interest to all Southern Baptists. SBCsearch is a comprehensive index of Southern Baptist web sites and a search engine for accessing the index. Since the various Southern Baptist entities do not all share a common web site, we created SBCsearch as a convenient way for users to find Southern Baptist information from a single starting point.

We hope that SBCsearch will be used widely among Southern Baptists and that it will introduce more visitors to the Founders web site. Each SBCsearch page has a link that will take users to the Founders site. The URL for the SBCsearch info page is SBCsearch has several attractive features that are not available on the major search engines. We encourage you to use the search engine and to tell others who might be interested. The success of this venture depends on wide knowledge and use of SBCsearch among Southern Baptists. If you know of Southern Baptist entities on the web who could benefit from SBCsearch, please send an email to the appropriate webmasters and ask them to include a link to the search engine.

First Annual Convention of Newly Formed ARBCA

On March 11, 1997, over 100 pastors and messengers from throughout the United States and Canada met at the Cornerstone Bible Fellowship in Mesa, Arizona, to form the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America (ARBCA). Twenty-four churches formally joined, and twenty-five others officially observed in anticipation of joining. The churches adopted the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith (1689) as the association’s doctrinal standard. A meeting of ARBCA is scheduled for November 11-13, 1997, in Anderson, Indiana.

The stated purpose was “to advance Christ’s kingdom by providing a fellowship in which churches of common confession may find mutual encouragement, assistance, edification and council, and participate in cooperative efforts such as ministerial training, publications, church planting, and other efforts as the Association deems appropriate.”