Our church has chosen to affiliate ourself with 3 larger groups of evangelical believers:
Locally: We fellowship with over 39 churches and missions who call themselves the North Central Florida Baptist Association.
Statewide: we identify ourselves with over 4000 churches that form the Florida Baptist Convention.
National/international: we participate in a world of missionary efforts with nearly 42,000 other churches who choose to be a part of the Southern Baptist Convention. With 16 million members, the SBC is America’s largest Protestant group – larger than the Presbyterian, Lutheran, Methodist, Episcopal and Pentecostal groups combined!
We also seek to cooperate with all other believers if we believe it will advance God’s purpose.
Why not just be an independent church?
We are an independent church! Within the Southern Baptist convention, churches are completely independent of each other. There is no denominational control or hierarchy, as there is in most other denominations. Each church is self-governed and determines its own affairs. For example, in many groups, the local congregation has no right to select its own pastor. Pastors are moved around by the denomination. But in the SBC, each local church calls its own pastors, and determines its own plans and programs.
Another example of our independence: in most denominations, the church land and buildings are owned by the denomination, even though they were paid for by the congregation. Within the SBC, each church owns and controls its own property and assets; and governs its own affairs.
The advantages of affiliation
It allows us to identify with other Christians around the world who basically believe like we do. It lets others know that we are part of a legitimate group of Christians, that is known for its commitment to the Bible. Unlike many other groups, the SBC has no man-made creeds. Our only creed is the Bible.
Affiliating with the SBC makes it possible for our church to voluntarily participate in the largest missionary organization in the world. Through the SBC Cooperative Program, we help support nearly 6,000 missionaries in North America and other countries around the world.