POSTED: Thursday, December 8, 2011 - 5:43pm
UPDATED: Friday, December 9, 2011 - 1:10pm
TYLER — The results of a new survey is prompting the Southern Baptist Convention to consider changing its name.
The results, which were released Wednesday, found that 40 percent of Americans have an unfavorable view of Southern Baptists.
Some East Texans think it's a name that shouldn't be tampered with.
"Leave the name the way it is," Larry Farquer said. "They've been Baptists for 400 years. Why bother to change now?"
The president of the Southern Baptist Convention appointed a task force to study whether the church's name was hurting it's mission.
Larry Craig, Senior Pastor of Southern Oaks Baptist Church thinks there are two main reasons why.
"Theres a lot of connotations about any denomination today because we have succeeded in breaking down a lot of the barriers, and because (Southern Baptist) has a regional connotation to it," Craig said. ..."Part of it is, 'southern' is identified with slavery, and we felt like this is something we need to clear our hearts with so we publicly apologized."
Craig says the convention officially made that apology he is referring to several years ago.
In Craig's opinion, call "them" whatever you want, changing their name will never change their purpose.
"The church as we knew it 20 years ago is not the church of today," he said. "And because it's changing, we don't change the message -- we change the method. And so if changing our name is important to the method to reach people for Christ, so be it. Let's do it."
For the full details of the survey, click here .