Missions and Affiliations
The congregation actively supports mission endeavors on the local, state, national, and global levels. the importance of mission work is reflected in four special mission offerings received each year. The Women’s Missionary Union serves as the coordinating organization for all mission groups in the church. The goals of WMU are to teach about mission work, to engage in mission action and personal witnessing, to support missions through prayer and giving, and to interpret and strengthen the work of the church and the denomination.
Mission education for children and youth is provided primarily, but not exclusively, during our Wednesday night program.
Baptist churches are independent and autonomous organizations. We do not have a structural hierarchy that controls the life of the individual congregation. However, since the beginning of Baptist work, churches have voluntarily banded together to pool resources, share encouragement and be challenged to greater vision and ministry. The affiliations below are widely diverse but are supported by vote of the church to help us fulfill our mission.
Our Relationship to the Southern Baptist Convention
Ginter Park Baptist Church was started as a Southern Baptist congregation in 1916. Our roots in this convention were very deep. We had, over the years, great experiences with those in leadership in missions, education, worship and service. However, when the SBC was taken over by a political-religious group using the Bible as a weapon of exclusion, the church took action to separate itself from the SBC, a once great instrument of service to God. Our appreciation for our heritage and our love for missions made the decision very difficult. Our love for Baptist principles made it unavoidable. Because of our love for missions and our connection to missionaries, members of the church may choose to continue to give to the mission offerings of the SBC each year.
Richmond Baptist Association
In 1951, the Richmond Baptist Association was organized in the sanctuary of Ginter Park Baptist Church. Since that time, we have worked alongside other churches in Richmond to do together what we cannot do separately. GPBC encourages our members to volunteer time, energy, and finances to support the work of the RBA.The Alliance of Baptists
The Alliance of Baptists is a very small organization with a very great mission. It was the first national group to organize for life after the takeover of the SBC. It is not a political resistance organization but rather one that seeks to provide for its member churches and individuals, a way of marshaling resources for the life of the churches. It has helped start a seminary, support the Baptist Today independent news journal, and Baptist Women in Ministry among others. It has done missions in a new (for Baptists at least) paradigm, partnership missions. It endorses chaplains for service, addresses ethical issues, and provides resources to congregations studying these issues.
The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship
The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship is another attempt to respond to the loss of Baptist principles by the SBC. It is centered upon missions, particularly taking the gospel to “people groups” who have not had the opportunity to hear and respond. The largest amount of our mission budget goes to this organization.
The Baptist World Alliance
When the Executive Board of the SBC withdrew funding for the Baptist World Alliance, many churches, including Ginter Park Baptist Church took up the slack. The BWA is made up of national organizations and seeks to coordinate among the various Baptist groups so that there will be a more effective use of resources throughout the world.