January 11, 2016
To have a common understanding of our denominational affiliation, we must first define the meaning of denomination. Webster’s defines denomination as
"a religious organization whose congregations are united in their adherence to its beliefs and practices"
By way of example, churches that practice believer’s baptism by immersion have been “denominated” by others and themselves as Baptist for centuries.
What has been our historical affiliation?
When Berean Baptist Church began in 1957 it was aligned with the then recently formed Baptist Bible Fellowship International (BBFI) based in Springfield, MO.
The BBFI is “officially a fellowship of pastors, and by extension, a network of preachers, churches, missionaries, and educational institutions worldwide, affiliated for the purpose of church planting and sharing the truth of the Word of God”.
Berean along with other cooperating churches contributes to missions through the BBFI Missions Office which serves as a clearinghouse for missions giving and missionaries around the world.
Through this affiliation Berean has given literally millions of dollars to assist in planting churches, both domestically and around the world.
Are we abandoning our historical affiliation or autonomy?
No. Berean will continue to be affiliated with the BBFI and continue supporting missions and missionaries through the BBFI Missions Office as well as Baptist Bible College and Boston Baptist College. Yet, while dual affiliation will provide us with increased opportunities for missions both home and abroad, we will remain a local autonomous body.
Why are we affiliating with the Southern Baptist Convention of Texas?
Affiliation with the SBC will allow Berean to participate in the largest missionary organization in the world. Through the SBC “Cooperative Program” we can help support over 7,500 missionaries in 104 countries around the world. While we support the SBC, we do not plan to send delegates to the annual convention.
Additionally, it will allow us to access the vast resources of the SBC, including a wide array of literature, workshops, retreats, conferences, volunteer missions opportunities, video and audio material to name a few.
With affiliation members of Berean who are considering furthering their education at an SBC affiliated college, university or seminary have the opportunity to do so at a reduced rate.