New churches bringing ethnic diversity to Georgia's largest religious organization


JONESBORO, Ga. – Churches that are being started by the steady stream of immigrants moving into the state are adding ethnic diversity to the Georgia Baptist Convention.

Twenty-three new churches were accepted into the Georgia Baptist Convention this week, nearly a third of them bearing names that reflect the state’s expanding international  population.

Georgia, with a population of about 10 million, is home to some 1 million people who were born in other countries, and they’re finding spiritual kinship in the state’s evangelical community.

“It’s exciting to have these new churches coming onboard with us,” said Georgia Baptist Convention President Kevin Williams, pastor of First Baptist Church of Villa Rica. “Our international brothers and sisters have a zeal for evangelism and for missions, and our denomination is stronger because they’re joining us in our efforts to reach our state, nation and world with the gospel.”

The Georgia Baptist Convention’s Credential Committee, which reviews churches that apply for affiliation to ensure their beliefs and practices match those of the Southern Baptist Convention, recommended the new churches at an annual meeting in Jonesboro on Tuesday, and they were voted in by the nearly nearly 1,000 messengers.

The Georgia Baptist Convnetion has some  3,600 churches with about 1.4 million members.

The new churches are Revival Vietnamese Baptist Church of Gainesville, Duluth Korean Baptist Church, New Breed Church International, First Zo Baptist Church of Georgia, Yeshua Fellowship, Mt. Zion Community Church, Fort Baptist Church, Jesus Saves Church, The Pinecrest Church, 1 Church Loganville, Georgia Chin Gospel Baptist Church, The Happy Church, New Life Baptist Church, Greater Grace Temple International Church, La Iglesia en Johnson Ferry, The Life Church, Lighthouse Baptist Church, Iglesia Bautista Latinoamericana of Savannah, Iglesia Cristiana Jasper Springs, Unity in Christ, Hope Fellowship Hogansville, Pine View Baptist Church, and Hiram First Baptist Church.