Updated: Apr 24
January 1, 2023
Withdrawing from the Southern Baptist Convention
This past month the members of Bass Chapel Missionary Baptist Church unanimously voted to withdraw from the Southern Baptist Convention, effective January 1, 2023. Bass Chapel was established in 1948, and joined the SBC in 1953. With a seventy year history as part of the SBC, we do not take this decision lightly. This may not make waves in the greater SBC world. We are a small country church of 15 members who has not financially supported the SBC Cooperative Program in many years.
First, we want to commend the great work done by the Holston Valley Baptist Association under the leadership of Mark Roberts, and the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board under the leadership of Randy Davis. These are Kingdom-minded men who keep the Gospel of our great sovereign Triune God at the forefront of all that they do. We want to also commend Melinda Eidson and Kelly Snodgrass for the work they do with the Holston Valley Baptist Association. You have all been wonderfully encouraging in your service to our King, the Lord Jesus Christ.
This past year, the question repeatedly came up “if we are in the SBC, shouldn’t we financially support it?” That is a fair question? Are we part of it just because we are a part of it? If we believe in the work being done through the SBC, should we not financially support that work?
As each SBC entity was discussed, we saw that there was not a way we could contribute to the Cooperative Program that would not go against conscience. The lack of biblical fidelity of the entities of the SBC has been well documented, so we shall not go into detail here. We had an optimistic outlook regarding the last two annual meetings, with presidential candidates such as Mike Stone and Tom Ascol, but as long as the Baptist in the pew is funding entity employees’ trips to vote at the annual meeting, we cannot see a conservative resurgence on the horizon.
Praise the Lord for faithful churches and pastors willing to continue the fight. God granted one resurgence to the SBC during the battle for Scriptural inerrancy, and we pray He will grant another during this current battle for Scriptural sufficiency and authority. As for Bass Chapel, we will seek to glorify our great God and Savior and enjoy Him apart from the SBC.
But you, O man of God, flee from these things, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which He will bring about at the proper time—He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal might! Amen. -1 Timothy 6:11-16 LSB
Soli Deo Gloria,
The Elders of Bass Chapel