Southern Baptist Convention
Grace is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention of churches (SBC), which has existed since 1845, primarily for the purposes of cooperating for domestic and world missions. The Southern Baptist Convention exists only for a few days each year when delegates representing more than forty thousand churches meet for the purpose of conducting the business of the convention. Delegates (called “messengers”) elect convention officers, including the president. The president serves a two-year term, is typically a pastor of a local church, and his primary authority rests in appointing members of committees who, in turn, nominate men and women to serve as trustees of the various convention entities (the above-mentioned seminaries and mission boards, Lifeway Christian Resources, the Executive Committee, etc.). The Convention, in its annual meeting, has the sole power to elect those nominated. These trustees, in turn, choose entity presidents, who serve at the will and pleasure of the trustees.
The Executive Committee acts for the Southern Baptist Convention ad interim, or between annual meetings. This committee does not direct or control the other convention entities, but it does review their financial statements and recommends the Convention annual operating budget. In addition, it receives and distributes the monies Southern Baptists give in support of denominational ministries, acts as the recipient and trust agency for all Convention properties, and provides public relations and news services.
The president of the Executive Committee, unlike the convention president, is a full-time position, leads the committee staff, and is often thought of as the “face” of the convention, particularly during the ad interim period. The president serves at the will and pleasure of the Executive Committee trustees, though he might serve for many years (for example, Morris Chapman from Kosciusko, Mississippi served as president from 1992-2010).
Our partnership with the Southern Baptist Convention also affords us participation with the International Mission Board and North American Mission Board, which is advantageous for sending missionaries and church planters from our body. To learn more about Grace Bible Church's work in world missions and church planting, click here.
Mississippi Baptist Convention Board
The Mississippi Baptist Convention Board (MBCB) is a state-level chapter of Southern Baptists. It is a network of over 2,000 different churches joining together to share the gospel with our state and the world beyond. They support churches with teaching, leading, programs, training, and prayer. They connect churches with other church communities and leaders and keep us updated with news, events, and service opportunities. Their ultimate goal is to spread the word of God, so they offer the volunteer opportunities, education, and tools to help churches like ours reach their communities and the world.
Lafayette and Marshall Baptist Association
The Lafayette and Marshall Baptist Association (LAMB and formerly known as the Collaborative Missionary Network) is our local association of Southern Baptist churches, which exists to help the churches in our counties partner together to reach both our community and the ends of the earth. At Grace, we specifically partner with our local association to help support, equip, and provide fellowship for pastors in our areas. We host a monthly meeting known as the North Mississippi Pastors' Conference to that end.