One gets the sense that many assume President Bryant Wright is leading (or pushing, depending on one's perspective) Southern Baptists to launch out into treacherous waters where they have never before sailed. Even Wright himself (as does Al Mohler) seem(s) to assume such a posture because, according to him (them), "Southern" as in "Southern Baptist Convention" is much too regional and hence no longer reflects Southern Baptists' global concern* >>>
However, according to a resolution passed by the 1903 Southern Baptist Convention in Savannah, Georgia, Southern Baptists have been concerned about the implications of regionalism for well over a century:
WHEREAS, By the express words of the Constitution under which this Convention was organized in 1845, the scope of its work embraces the whole United States, and all persons of our denomination making the necessary contribution; and all constituent bodies of the same who cooperate with us are invited to representation in this body, without reference to locality, or territory, or latitude; and,
WHEREAS, In naming this body the phrase "Southern Baptist Convention" was used at the date above named to suit conditions then existing, but which have long since passed away; therefore, be it
RESOLVED, 1. That the name of this body be changed from "Southern Baptist Convention" to that of "The Baptist Convention of the United States," so that the same may better harmonize with the true nature and opportunities of this body.
2. That appropriate steps be taken for carrying this action into effect by appropriate change in the charter under direction of a committee to be appointed by the president; and that such change of name be operative so soon as said charter amendment shall have been procured (//link)
Why "The Southern Baptist Convention" did not become "The Baptist Convention of the United States" according to the expressed resolve of the 1903 Savannah convention is not readily apparent.
Perhaps someone will ask Drs. Jerry Vines or Paige Patterson who remain the only living Southern Baptists who were active in the convention at that time.
With that, I am...
*as one frequent commenter rightly quieried, "While the task force is studying this issue, do you think they should also study the potential name change of The "Southern" Baptist Theological Seminary?"