On Tuesday (Jan 4), Pastor Josh Buice of Pray’s Mill Baptist Church in Douglasville, Georgia tweeted that “sometimes, separation is the best option,” and shared a statement in which he explained why his church is separating from the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC).
Buice is the founder and president of G3 Ministries, which stands for “Gospel, Grace, and Glory.” According to their YouTube page, the ministry was formed to educate, encourage, and equip people for the work of ministry and the glory of God. G3 holds an annual conference to equip pastors and Christians. Over 5,500 people attend.
The pastor received his M.Div. and D.Min in expository preaching from the SBC’s Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Like fellow outspoken SBC pastors Tom Buck from Texas’ First Baptist Church of Lindale and Mike Stone from Georgia’s Emanuel Baptist Church, Buice has been known as one of the most conservative voices within the SBC.
Buice has served as the pastor for three different SBC churches. Pray’s Mill Baptist Church is the church where he and his wife, Kari, grew up as children.
Pray’s Mill Baptist Church has been a longtime member of the SBC, but Buice shared that “in recent days we came to the conclusion that there was no profitable path forward for us within the SBC and we made the decision to officially separate.”
In explaining the reason for Pray’s Mill Baptist Church’s departure from the SBC, Buice cited a “devious deconstruction plan” that some leaders have been working behind the scenes to accomplish. Recent scandals, controversies, and divisions led to the decision to break away from the 176-year-old denomination.
The G3 Ministries’ president wrote a small section commending the SBC for the good it has done. Buice said that he was appreciative of the many SBC seminary professors who invested in him and helped prepare him for ministry. Buice also mentioned the “many good pastors and local churches who have been healthy and profitable in supporting Christian education and church planting for many years within this network that we know as the SBC.”
Buice claims that evangelicalism is “not well,” including the SBC. According to Buice, the SBC has shifted from a theologically conservative denomination toward a more leftward [liberal] direction, especially over the last four to five years.
“The biggest catalyst to this leftward movement undoubtedly was the acceptance of the social justice agenda which has resulted in the greatest downgrade in our modern era of church history,” Buice said. “Any denial of this downgrade is simply a refusal to report the facts about where the SBC is today, where the SBC was yesterday, and where the SBC is moving tomorrow.”
It was during a 2018 meeting in Texas with a group that assembled to discuss the problems of social justice that Buice noted as the time the shift to a more liberal theology within the SBC began to pick up the pace.
According to Buice, that meeting exposed many SBC institutions and leaders to a “devious movement,” and “the top tier SBC leaders continue to double down on their positions. They have sought to deflect charges of theological capitulation and rigorously work to protect their positions through cultural virtue signals and theological word salads.”