Those With Whom We Are Connected
As a Baptist Church, we believe that the local church is autonomous, that is, that God has equipped each individual church through His Spirit to be fully operable without outside control from any other church or organization. Therefore, there is no synod or any other ruling body over our church to make decisions for us. We do, however, voluntarily align ourselves with other churches and individuals for the accomplishment of the work of the kingdom of Christ.
Historically, these kinds of alignments have been called "associations," a term which is still used in Baptist life. The Southern Baptist Convention in reality is not a "convention" for more than three days a year - the rest of the year we are a group of churches who associate together for the furtherment of the gospel. The same is true of the Tennessee Baptist Convention - it is an association of churches for the state of Tennessee. These associations are completely voluntary on the part of the church, and a church can associate with as many bodies or individuals as they desire.
Here at South Woods, we are denominationally associated with the Southern Baptist Convention, the Tennessee Baptist Convention, and the Mid-South Baptist Association. We also are supporters of Founders Ministries, an association of Baptist churches who are seeking to bring our churches back in line with historic Baptist - better said, Biblical - teachings.
We partner with other Baptist churches to accomplish the mandate given in the Great Commission by supporting missionaries through funding the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. We also seek to support other missionaries with whom we have personal relationships and kindred hearts. We are personally involved in helping these missionaries by sending people from our own congregation to help them on their mission fields, as well as taking care of needs they have here in America and hosting them when they are back in the states. We currently are supporting Philippe & Francoise Serradji in France; John & Jennifer Balmer serving with Training Pastors International; Kevin & Edineia Millard in Brazil; Paul & Milka Ndungu in Kenya; David Boakai in Liberia; Ronnie Stevens in Hungary; various missionaries in Central Asia whose names cannot be mentioned; two national pastors in the Portuguese speaking world; and Olford Ministries International.
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