The nation's largest Protestant denomination
has voted to adopt an alternative name for churches that feel the title 'Southern Baptist' could be a turn-off to potential believers.
The denomination's name will officially remain Southern Baptist Convention. Many delegates still opposed the optional 'Great Commission Baptists'.
Those who supported the new name argued that it would help missionaries and new churches to reach more people.
"Now that there is an African American at the head of the organization, there needs to be a name change," said Kunteia Carson. "For me, it wouldn't matter, because we know what we stand for and in whom we believe. But if there is a certain stereotype, then it should be changed."
"Southern Baptist has been around for years and years and years and that's what I associated it with, not necessarily the new name," said Randy Diveley. "I kind of hope they stick with Southern Baptist. It gives us Southerners something to rely on."
An online poll of 2,000 Americans by the SBC's Lifeway Research found that 44 percent said that knowing a church was Southern Baptist would negatively impact their decision to visit or join.
The term "Great Commission" refers to Jesus' command to his apostles to go forth and make disciples of all nations.
Fifty-three percent of delegates voted in favor while 46 percent voted against.