Illinois Baptist 07 01 2020 E Edition Page 1

Nashville, Tenn. The Southern Baptist Convention has reported its largest decrease in membership in more than a century, and its lowest baptism to- tal since World War 2. The declines, reported in the 2019 Annual Church Profile (ACP) released in June, follow downward trends over the last several years, but, in terms of membership, represent a historically steep drop. Total membership in the SBC fell almost 2% from 2018 to 2019. The de- cline of 287,655 members is the larg- est single-year drop in more than 100 years. Baptisms fell by more than 4%. In 2019, there was one baptism for ev- ery 62 Southern Baptists. Keeping students connected My lessons from lockdown P. 13 Illinois Baptist Nonprofit Organization U.S. POSTAGE PAID Peoria, Illinois Permit No. 325 News journal of the Illinois Baptist State Association JULY 1, 2020 Vol. 114 No. 9 Lift every voice Online all the time IllinoisBaptist.org IB MISSION P. 4 BY THE NUMBERS SBC shrinks Churches report historic membership drop in 2019 PLUS: Chicagoland pastors on the front lines in focus What concerns over the pandemic shutdown are showing us Are our freedoms fading? P. 11 PLUS: Gay rights rulings impact on churches IBSA's abortion coverage lawsuit filed SPECIAL REPORT: How the church is speaking up P. 7-9 Saving summer ministry P. 16 Churches reopen (with limits) P. 3 P. 12 P. 10

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