FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dec. 22, 2020
Contact: Brad Jurkovich, spokesman, Conservative Baptist Network
(318) 588-0819; [email protected]
Bossier City, La. — The Conservative Baptist Network continues to gain momentum across the United States, announcing Tuesday, Dec. 22, the launch of two new state chapters representing both the east and west coasts. Baptists in the Northeast and in California have organized and formed state chapters in their respective regions, becoming the second and third groups to do so with more entering the queue each week. The national network formed in February 2020 to bring positive, biblical solutions that strengthen the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) in an effort to fulfill the Great Commission and influence culture.
Northeastern Baptist College President Mark Ballard joins the group forming the Northeast chapter, which consists of the six New England states and the state of New York. He said the nature of Scripture—that it is inerrant, supreme and sufficient—and the nature of the gospel – that Christ died for the sins of the world, was buried and rose again (1 Cor. 15:3,4) – represent the chief emphases that precipitated the formation of the Northeast chapter.
“The Southern Baptist Convention and the Cooperative Program have been a great blessing to us in the Northeast,” Ballard said. “However, we have concerns that we believe threaten the very cooperation that has been such a blessing. It appears that some in our convention sign off on the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 and even the Chicago Statement on inerrancy but then emphasize worldly philosophies such as Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality which are themselves contrary to Scripture. It seems like every other day we hear ‘this is a gospel issue’ or ‘that is a gospel issue.’ In all the talk about the gospel there seems to be confusion about what is and what is not the gospel.”
Ballard recently released a book titled, “Words Matter: What is the gospel?” which examines in greater depth the definition of the word, “gospel,” and the ways in which some have separated the term from its actual meaning.
People living in the New England area have proven to be open to the gospel, the Northeast chapter reported, citing rising baptisms in the region for the past several years.
“Despite the challenges of our day, God is at work all around the Northeast,” Ballard said. “It is exciting to live in one of the least-churched regions of the nation but to see God at work bringing people to faith in Jesus.”
Following the lead of the national network, the Northeast chapter will have a Steering Council and a spokesman for the Northeast. The initial Steering Council includes Ballard; Michael Carrel, pastor of North Pownal Congregational Church in Pownal, Vt.; Samuel Coberley, pastor of Lake Sunapee Baptist Church in Newport, N.H.; David Lee, pastor of Newbury Bible Church in Newbury, Vt.; Tyler Ray, associate pastor of New Covenant Baptist Church in North Berwick, Maine; Gary Rowe, a former president of the Baptist Convention of New England; and Jospeh Ferguson, director of admissions and assistant professor of applied theology at Northeastern Baptist College. Ballard will also serve as the spokesman.
View the Northeast chapter here.
On the opposite coast, Californians have also organized a state chapter of the Conservative Baptist Network and have begun mobilizing pastors and laymen to connect with one another and to vote for conservative values and candidates at the SBC annual meeting in Nashville.
The California chapter has selected Greg Davidson, senior pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Vacaville, Calif., to serve as the state coordinator; Jason Robertson, senior pastor of Huntington Beach Church in Huntington Beach, Calif., as the southern California coordinator; and Michael Cook, director of missions (DOM) for the Mother Lode Baptist Association, as the northern California coordinator. Bill Logan, senior pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Ridgecrest, Calif., who serves on the national Steering Council, will also serve on the California Steering Council.
View the California chapter here.
National spokesman Brad Jurkovich, a native Californian and current pastor of First Baptist Bossier in Bossier City, La., enthusiastically welcomed both the Northeast and California chapters and their leaders.
“I saw God do some incredible things as a teenager growing up in Southern California,” Jurkovich said. “So thankful for the Southern Baptist church I was a part of. To see one of our newest Conservative Baptist Network chapters launch in California is awesome! God is moving across the country, and we can’t wait to see all the additional state chapters launch in the coming weeks and months.”
The Conservative Baptist Network is a broad-based grassroots movement of Southern Baptists of all generations who are committed to the sufficiency of Scripture for all facets of life and application. Its 56-member Steering Council includes pastors and laypeople from across America, including well-known figures such as former Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, past SBC President Charles Stanley, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association Vice President Tom Phillips, and immediate past SBC Executive Committee Chairman Mike Stone. The Steering Council can be found online at ConservativeBaptistNetwork.com.