The organizations with which our church is associated.
At Westside, we gladly associate ourselves with three important groups of churches for the purpose of reaching more people for Christ and starting even more churches.
1. The Halifax Baptist Association is made up of other Baptist churches in our area who desire to reach more people and start more churches. There are currently 32 churches in this association.
2. The Florida Baptist Convention is made up of about 2800 churches all over our state. We have committed to work together to impact our state for Christ.
3. The Southern Baptist Convention is made up of about 45,000 churches and about 16 million members. It is the largest association of Christian churches in America. SBC churches include every race, nationality and ethnic group. Each Sunday, services are held in over 110 language groups. Also, it is one of the fastest growing groups. The SBC baptizes over 1,000 new Christians a day in the U.S., and begins nearly 5 new churches a day.
Why not just be an independent church?
We ARE an independent church! Every SBC church is completely independent. We voluntarily affiliate ourselves for the purpose of accomplishing the Great Commission. 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:
Every SBC church chooses its own pastor.
Every SBC church owns its own buildings and assets.
Every SBC church determines its own programs.
What are the advantages of affiliating with the SBC?
It allows us to identify ourselves with other Christians around the world who are known for their commitment to the Bible. Unlike other groups, the SBC has no man-made creed... the Bible is our sole authority.
It allows our church to participate in the largest missionary organization in the world. Through the SBC's "Cooperative Program," we help support over 9,000 career missionaries in 125 countries.
It allows us to be a part of a tremendous mobilization of church members around the country. About 100,000 Southern Baptist each year participate in short-term mission and disaster relief projects, at home and abroad.
It allows us to be a part of training, through our six seminaries, about 12,000 pastors and others each year who are called to vocational ministry.
It allows us to be a part of the LifeWay Christian Resources, the largest publisher of religious materials in the world. Orders come from over 70 countries around the world.