I consider myself one of the lucky ones in that I grew up in church.
I’m in my twenties now, yet since birth, I’ve called First Baptist Church Cochran home.
FBC Cochran has been my place for singing, eating, praying, and worshiping, save the stint when I went off to college.
Admittedly, during this time, I went nondenominational there for a minute. Those FBC deacons almost didn’t let me back in (Kidding!! Kind of…).
Now, let me be clear: I love Jesus, and I love my church family.
But, let’s be honest- Baptists are some of the quirkiest folk out there.
As much as we love Jesus, the reality is that, when it comes down to it, we are kind of weird and totally predictable.
That being said, here are 10 things you know to be true if you grew up Southern Baptist
1. Your Easter outfit consisted of a white dress paired with frilly white socks and matching white shoes.
Easter outfits were a source of much weeping and gnashing of teeth for this gal.
2. There was always ONE homemade macaroni and cheese that was drier than the Sahara dessert.
Now, if you are Baptist, you know that family get-togethers revolve around two things: Christ and casseroles.
You know the drill: the church provides the meat while the congregation covers the sides.
However, on that long table of abundance and bounty, there would always be one platter of the driest, most non-cheesy mac and cheese. Somehow, my plate always runneth over with this dish.
My greed and bad judgement proved King Solomon’s saying: “The righteous had enough to satisfy his appetite, but the stomach of the wicked is in need.
This gal always needed a glass of sweet tea STAT.
3. Don’t even think about uttering the “D-word”: dancing.
King David, dancing into the city with the Ark of the Covenant, was obviously a Pentecostal.
His wife, Michal, on the other hand, looked down on him from the window.
She clearly was the Baptist in that relationship.
4. The only think worse is whispering the “S-word” (sprinkle).
You dunk your Oreos, you dunk your Donuts, and you dunk your Baptists.
5. Clapping was thought to be sinful for some time.
You might hear an Amen here or there, but claps, for the most part, are few and far between.
While we have progressed into allowing clapping now, for a time there, one person would awkwardly clap once or twice until realizing where he or she was.
The person in question would then nip that in the bud real quick, lest a deacon carry them away.
6. The alter-call is normally “I Surrender All” or “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus.”
You can count on one thing in this life: Jesus. The next most likely thing is that the Baptists will be singing one of these songs at the end of a service.
7. You can count on cheesy marquee signs.
Examples? I have a few…
- Our church is prayer-conditioned
- Prevent Truth decay- brush up on your Bible
- Bring your sin to the altar and drop it like it’s hot.
8. Your father had a suit he would wear specifically on the Sundays he had to pray in front of the congregation.
Maybe this is just me, but if my daddy (this still holds true!) will be praying in front of everyone and their mommas, he is going to wear the “prayer suit” to make sure everyone knows he means business!
9. You have “understood” assigned seats in the sanctuary.
We’ve sat in the same seats for as long as I can remember. I make a beeline for the front pew in the balcony every Sunday.
Now, is there a reason for this? Not particularly, save one that all Baptists value: tradition.
10. The service is broken up the same way every Sunday, like clockwork.
Sunday Service Schedule:
- 5 minutes for announcements
- 5 minute for jokes and background from music pastor
- 15 minutes of singing
- 3 minutes for offering
- 2 minutes to spare for transitions
- 30 minutes for the sermon
If those Baptists aren’t out by 12:05 at the latest, they get antsy. After all, the term First Baptist comes from the fact that we get to the Sunday dinner restaurants before all the other denominations.
All jokes aside, I truly believe that the very heart of church (and Christianity itself!) is loving Jesus, each other, and the world. I think that we should take these things seriously.
However, our denominational intricacies are worth a chuckle.
I’m thankful for the church on this street corner that built me. It was instrumental in making me who I am today.
And it sure gave me some great stories to share later.