What does it mean to be baptist?
For some, being a Baptist means little more than having been born into a Baptist family and continuing “the family tradition.” For many others, being a Baptist means favoring and being guided by certain ideas and attitudes: the Lordship of Christ, the authority of the Bible, believer’s baptism, the priesthood of all believers, the congregational church, local church autonomy that encourages cooperation with others, the separation of church and state, and religious liberty. Diversity is an important word in the Baptist vocabulary.
Is CBF a denomination?
CBF is one of many groups that identify themselves as Baptist. It is a part of the larger Baptist family. However, it has chosen not to call itself a convention. It considers itself a fellowship of churches and individuals. In practice, some churches look to CBF as their convention. Other churches look to CBF as one partner among many. The level of commitment to CBF is up to the individual or church. Click here for a copy of CBF/GA’s Constitution and by-laws.
How did CBF come into existence?
After more than a decade of increasing differences with Southern Baptist conservatives moderate Baptists first held their own conference in Atlanta in 1990 to discuss the possibility of forming a separate organization. These moderates disagreed with the growing SBC fundamentalist theology, the smothering hierarchical structure, the unyielding opposition to women in pastoral roles, and the insistence on a literalist interpretation of the Bible. A groundswell of support was experienced, and what is now called the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship was formed in Atlanta in 1991 with a great sense of freedom and much enthusiasm. For more information on early CBF/GA history, download the history book here.
How can I connect to CBF?
A person can connect with CBF in a variety of ways. You can join a church that supports CBF. You can become a member as an individual by simply making a contribution to the CBF. Participating in CBF events is a good way of connecting. The National General Assembly is normally held in June of each year. Most state organizations have one or two annual meetings. CBF/GA has a General Assembly in the fall. CBF organizations also sponsor a variety of conferences each year. Finally, having your name added to the quarterly publication Visions and the monthly e-newsletter Re-Visions will help keep you up to date with what is going on in CBF life.
What does it mean to say “we’re a CBF church?”
It means that at some level your church has voted to identify with CBF. Baptist conventions do not own churches. Churches govern themselves in accordance with their own constitution and by-laws. First, for a church to be identified as a “CBF church” it must decide to take that step. This can come in the form of voting to put the CBF in the budget and sending the contribution to the state or National CBF office.
Secondly, the church can request to be listed on our web page as a participating member. Some churches participate in CBF events though they have not voted to identify with CBF in an official way. Such participation is welcomed. In some cases, large groups of individuals in a church support CBF by sending contributions directly to CBF. Even though the church is not officially related to CBF, it is considered to be a supporting friend.
How many CBF churches are there in Georgia and nationally?
At the moment, about 1800 churches contribute to National CBF. About 140 of those are in Georgia. Of the 140 in Georgia about 120 gave to CBF/GA last year. An additional 20 or so churches participate with us in various ways though they do not formally contribute financially.
How can I find a CBF church in my area?
Go to the CBF/GA web page and point to Churches. Click the geographical area. A list of churches in that area will appear. Not every supporting church is listed. If a particular church is not found you might want to call the CBF/GA office and ask for additional information.
How do I give to CBF?
You can give to CBF/GA through your church:
- Your church may send a check to National CBF with a note requesting that a certain amount or percentage be forwarded to CBF/GA.
- Your church may send a check to CBF/GA with a note requesting that a certain amount or percentage be forwarded to National CBF.
- Your church may send separate checks to National CBF and CBF/GA.
- Your church may give online by clicking the Give Now button above.
You can give to CBF/GA directly:
- You may send your personal check directly to CBF/GA. Contact the office for envelopes.
- You may use the CBF/GA Mission Offering envelope for year-round giving to missions or for a mission-offering emphasis in your church. Contact the office for envelopes.
- You may give online by clicking the Give Now button above.
Where does my money go?
- You provide scholarships for ministerial students in schools such as McAfee and Candler Schools of Theology. [we have students in these and other schools]
- You provide placement assistance to local churches looking for staff and also to ministers who are seeking places to serve.
- You provide assistance to new churches in Georgia.
- You support women pastors and Baptist women in ministry across Georgia.
- You provide funds for our annual weekends of March Mission Madness held throughout the state of Georgia.
- You support training through co-sponsorship with other churches and organizations to promote education, leadership, and church development
- You provide support to the Baptist Women in Ministry of Georgia.
- You enable CBF/GA to keep telling the story of free and faithful Baptists and provide much-needed assistance to some of the poorest communities in the world.
- You provide the Visions newsletter to over 6,000 households and churches.You enable CBF/GA to “tell the story” to individuals and groups in person, in writing, through the internet, and through music.
- You contribute toward paying staff salaries, providing staff development and continuing education, providing payment for utilities, computer equipment and maintenance, and all the day-to-day office operations of the CBF/GA office.
What is your position on controversial social issues?
CBF affirms the authority of the local church and does not seek to dictate to the congregation positions on matters of social concern. Churches are encouraged to seek God’s guidance on controversial matters without fear of pressure from others.
What seminaries do you support?
Do you publish your own missions and Sunday school curriculum?
What statewide events does CBF/GA hold?
CBF/GA has a Spring General Assembly each year. A variety of training and educational conferences are conducted each year. A youth missions event called March Mission Madness occurs at two or three separate locations in March. A February collegiate missions weekend, Now Serving: Atlanta, is sponsored by CBF/GA and McAfee. The Georgia Youth Choir Festival is held in January. The CBF/GA Senior Celebration occurs annually, presently in the fall.
How can I get a CBF/GA representative or a CBF missionary to visit my church?
How can I find a ministry position in a Georgia CBF church?
Locate the Vocations section on this website and fill out the Minister Information Form. You will be contacted by someone from the CBF/GA office. You can also contact the National CBF office in Atlanta through the National website.