Seeing the Real Colors of New England
Beauty by God...
The reputation of New England’s beauty is truly understated. From coastlines to magnificent mountain vistas, God’s glory is on display. Within its 70 thousand square miles exists picturesque rural farms, autumn color beyond compare, fishing villages, historical mills, 200-year-old churches, splendid coastal mansions, ski lodges, and natural preserves. God is not only on display through the beauty of the landscape, but also through he people of New England, particularly through Christ-followers who continue to labor to bring the gospel to a diverse culture.
The six states of New England have an incredible heritage that continues to impact the culture there today. The region is known for a unique mixture of old Protestant individualism and European liberalism. Not only was New England the seed bed for the nation, but it was also the foundation of religious liberty and the start of Baptists in America.
A People Christ Died For...The majority of New England's population (75%) and most of its major cities are concentrated in its three southernmost states: Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. By New Englander standards, these places are considered “thickly settled.”
Links to sites about New England:
The most populous state is Massachusetts, and the most populous city is Massachusetts' political and cultural capital, Boston. Western Massachusetts and Northwestern Connecticut are less densely populated than the rest of Southern New England and are more similar to their rural counterparts in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. This characteristic of the region's population is due mainly to historical factors; the original colonists settled mostly on the coastline of Massachusetts Bay.
New England's coast is dotted with urban centers, such as Portland, Portsmouth, Boston, New Bedford, Fall River, Newport, Providence, New Haven, Bridgeport, and Stamford as well as smaller cities.
The majority of New England people are spiritually lost. On any given weekend less that 3% of the 14.3 million people will attend an evangelical church. In Vermont and Connecticut, it is less than 1%. These percentages total only 429,000 active believers in our six states. This means that 97 out of every 100 people living in New England do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and hardly anyone is introducing Him to them.
It is estimated that there are at least 1,000 towns and villages in New England that have no evangelical presence of any kind. How would you like to live and die in such a town? Many do! (Please take a moment and pray for New England before you go on and read some more.)
Rich in People Groups...
About 150 languages and people groups exist in New England. This has caused both challenges and opportunities for the gospel. Nearly half of Southern Baptist Convention churches in New England minister in another language. Baptist Convention of New England (BCNE) churches minister in about 20 different languages that we are aware of, with Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Russian, and French being the languages of multiple people groups. We believe we are ministering to approximately 50-60 people groups, some of which speak the same language but come from different countries and different people groups. God has created many opportunities to reach internationals right here in New England.
Campuses that Impact the World... New England is renowned for its schools of higher
education. Four Ivy league schools (Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, and
Brown) reside in New England along with 233 other fine colleges and
universities with a student base of more than 970,000. Many nations of
the world send their citizens and leaders to New England for a quality
education. The Baptist Convention of New England (BCNE) supports and works with more than 30 collegiate ministers reaching this rich diversity of students for Christ. The Baptist Convention
To really understand the scope of work in the Baptist Convention of New England, one must realize that only 320 churches and mission church plants exist to serve all six states. This has been the work of many sacrificial servants, missionaries, pastors, and pioneers over the last 50 plus years.
New England is divided in to 7 Associations. Each association is responsible for their own church planting strategy for their own context. At the BCNE, we help resource and assist in any way that we are called upon. We attempt to work together as partners to accomplish such a large task for any one group. Challenges are everywhere, and with God’s great grace we will prevail.
We need missionaries who will start a church that begins other proclaiming points in and around their area. These in turn will become new churches. Our goal is to begin 25 new church plants each year (which are not enough for the immensity of work which abound), keeping in mind the average 80% survival rate. This is a very large, God-sized goal!
Churches, Missionaries, Partners and Volunteers are changing New England... Of the many opportunities for service in New England, some include:
Southern Baptist Convention churches of New England value your help, prayers, partnership, and support. ALL Southern Baptists can and do participate in opportunities in New England through the Cooperative Program.
- Long-term workers (Numerous missionary positions, pastors, church planters);
- Short-term mission teams (Variety of GPS evangelism events, construction, survey, prayer walking, camp & recreational ministries, youth & collegiate opportunities);
- Partnerships (Association to association or church to church) for short and long-term projects, including church planting, teaching, disaster relief, church strengthening, and leadership events;
- Financial support for church planting, church construction, leadership development, and more.
Would you pray about your part in bringing the gospel to New England? God may want to use you or your church to partner with Him in pushing back the darkness!
For a reproducible color brochure with this information, download our PDF BCNE ONE flyer here
for use with small groups.