CORPUS CHRISTI, TX - Recent research (click here) within the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) shows that its baptisms are on the decline. Since this is one of the prime statistics the SBC uses to analyze its own health, the numbers are very troubling. Many churches within the SBC don't baptize anyone at all. Most churches have either plateaued or are declining in membership.
Despite this bad news, there are a few churches that continue to grow. There are, in fact, several mega-churches that are adding new members left and right. They baptize numerous people, both male and female, each Sunday. TBNN has found one unique church that falls somewhere in the middle. At Free Grace Baptist Church of Corpus Christi (FGBCCC), the rate of male baptisms is down as in the rest of the SBC. However, female baptisms have seen a spike ever since late 2006. Since that time, FGBCCC has baptized 8 males and 247 females.
Senior Pastor Steve Kaman told TBNN, "We can't be certain of the reason for our skyrocketing baptisms among women. It might have something to do with our construction project that was completed in November of 2006, but we cannot be sure about that. Whatever the reason, we are thrilled that the Lord keeps blessing us in this way. Now if we could just figure out how to get more men to come to church."
TBNN has learned that in November of 2006, FGBCCC completed construction on a large addition to its main building. The addition was designed to both increase seating capacity and make the members feel more comfortable. In conjunction, FGBCCC launched a new program named Makeover and Baptism Combo. Visitors to the church are encouraged to get a free facial, manicure, and foot massage. These are all in preparation for their baptism in the new church spa (pictured above). TBNN has discovered that women are far more likely than men to take advantage of this offer.
Assistant Pastor Kenneth James lamented, "Our new program is certainly working well in that we have so many women getting baptized. However, we still have two big problems. First, most of the ladies who get the Makeover and Baptism Combo don't ever return here to attend church. Second, we still can't get men to come to FGBCCC. I'm not sure what we are going to do."
Youth Pastor Cade Varden has proposed an idea to the deacons for increasing male baptisms. So far it has not made it out of committee. Varden explains his idea this way, "When we have pool parties, our youth girls all wear bikinis. Why not have them do the same while helping with baptisms? I figured we would get a lot more male youth into the church that way. If its good enough for the pool party, why not have it the same way for baptisms?"