Tuesday, February 21, 2012
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FILE - In this Dec. 7, 2011 file photo, the headquarters of the Southern Baptist Convention is shown in Nashville, Tenn. The nation's largest protestant denomination will definitely remain "Baptist," but leaders are thinking about whether it will be "Southern" for much longer. Southern Baptist Convention President Bryant Wright was expected to present the recommendation of a task force assigned to study a name change to the denomination's executive committee at a meeting Monday night, Feb. 20, 2012. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Leaders of the nation's largest Protestant denomination have endorsed an optional alternative name for the Southern Baptist Convention: Great Commission Baptists.
The measure still must go up for a vote at the annual convention this summer.
SBC President Bryant Wright formed a task force last fall to study the idea, saying he was concerned the name Southern Baptist was hindering the group's ability to reach new people for Christ.
One of the idea's most ardent opponents at that time supported the proposal at a Tuesday meeting of the SBC's executive committee.
Darrel Orman, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Stuart, Fla., said he was relieved by the compromise that addresses the concerns of those who think "Southern Baptist" is a liability while still keeping the name.