JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (BP)–Baptisms in the Missouri Baptist Convention rose for the second consecutive year.
With 84.2 percent of churches and missions reporting as of Jan. 6, the number of baptisms for 2009 was reported as 11,390. The 2008 total was 11,105, and the number for 2007 was 11,071.
“I want to give all credit, glory and praise for baptisms being up this year to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,” MBC evangelism director Gary Taylor said. “It is His task to build His church, according to Matthew 16:18, and that’s what He is doing when people are born again and begin as disciples by being baptized.”
Taylor also credited the work of Bob Loggins, MBC prayer and spiritual awakening specialist for helping Missouri Baptists be a people of prayer, and The Pathway newsjournal for frequently carrying the message of reaching Missouri for Christ.
The baptism statistics are measured over the span of a church year roughly from July 2008 to June 2009. The percentage of churches and missions reporting in the two previous years was around 85 percent.
Baptism statistics for the Southern Baptist Convention, along with the number of churches and members and other statistics, are released each April from Annual Church Profile information filed by SBC churches.
Allen Palmeri is associate editor of The Pathway (www.mbcpathway.org), newsjournal of the Missouri Baptist Convention. Missouri’s “Pacesetter” churches that have led the MBC in baptisms the past year, reported by Sunday School attendance categories, can be accessed at http://www.mbcpathway.com/article224057c3057736.htm.