We have just completed the compilation of the Annual Church Profiles submitted by Kentucky Baptist Convention churches for the most recent reporting year, and we have good news to share! Baptisms, church membership, and church financial receipts all increased over the prior reporting year.
Churches reported a total of 14,223 baptisms. That’s up from 13,975 the previous year. Reported church membership is now up to more than 710,000, and undesignated receipts came in at more than $300 million. Actual growth in these and other categories could have been significantly higher than reported, considering that nearly 20 percent of KBC churches didn’t file reports or respond to requests for information.
On the baptism front, Hillvue Heights Church in Bowling Green led the state again last year with 511 baptisms. Hawk Creek Baptist Church in London was second with 252. Valley View in Louisville reported 234 baptisms. Immanuel Baptist Church in Corbin reported 152.
First Baptist in Somerset, Crossland Community in Bowling Green, His House Ministries in Mayfield and the Bell County Forest Camp Mission all reported more than 100 baptisms, some significantly more.
Churches in the largest association, Long Run, which serves the Louisville area, had 1,035 baptisms, the highest number reported by any association in 2014. Warren Baptist Association came in a very close second with 1,031 baptisms.
In celebrating these reports, we give credit to the Son of God who owns the church by right of His sacrificial payment upon the cross. We give credit to the Spirit of God who convicts and converts lost sinners, bringing us within the fold of church. And we give credit to God the Father, who “chose us in him before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4).
Acknowledging “salvation belongs to our God” (Revelation 7:10), we also know that it is appropriate to rejoice over the faithful testimonies of the saints of God who are sharing the good news of the gospel all across Kentucky. In the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans 10:14, “How are they to hear without someone preaching?” I thank God for those who preach the gospel in the commonwealth!
Let me also express appreciation to our directors of missions. They are tremendous partners in the collection of ACP data. Many of our associations have a consistent track record of 100 percent of their churches completing the ACP reports. I am most grateful for their investment of time and energy!
Lastly, I am grateful for our Mission Board staff. The KBC was created by churches, for churches, to help churches reach Kentucky and the world for Christ. Our KBC staff members are living out that mission statement, diligently working with churches across the state in order to help strengthen their ministries. And today we are celebrating what God is doing!