RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Southern Baptist Convention missionaries and groups they work with in other nations established 6,520 new congregations and baptized 451,301 believers last year, the denomination's International Mission Board reported.
That represented a 37 percent jump over 1999 in newly formed congregations, while baptisms increased 24 percent. Overseas independent Baptist churches now have 5.6 million members, a 14 percent increase for the year.
In addition to career missionaries, the board sends short-term volunteer workers from the U.S. In 1975 it set a goal of 10,000 volunteers on the field, but last year the total participating was 30,512.
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