Where Faith and Justice Meet

They say a picture is worth 1000 words. And while no picture could ever truly capture the full personality of Second Baptist-Downtown Little Rock, I’m proud of the image we’ve created to help tell our story.

For us this colorful logo immediately signifies a vibrant congregation.

When we started asking folks to describe Second Baptist, two words came up repeatedly: vibrant and historic. At first glance, these two words can seem like complete opposites but they kept showing up together. And it makes sense. Second Baptist was founded 137 years ago and yet, somehow, by the grace of God, vibrancy has been a part of our legacy since the beginning. This is a congregation that doesn’t get stuck or apathetic no matter what the world throws at us, and life at 2BC is anything but dull. From hosting dances for USO soldiers returning from World War I and being a target of arson because of it, to buying and promptly integrating Lake Nixon; from ordaining women deacons in the 1970’s, to ministering to those with AIDS in the 1990’s; from beginning a structured literacy program at Martin Luther King Elementary School, to formally voting to be welcoming and affirming for all people, Second Baptist is a historically vibrant congregation always on the lookout for ways to join in God’s dream for the world. Even in the midst of a pandemic, 2BC has remained active and vital—providing Covid relief funds for those who have experienced loss, supporting Afghan refugees, and more. (Click here to learn more about our history.)

The Little Rock skyline is an important focal point, rooting us in our downtown location—a central part of our identity.

Second Baptist is a downtown congregation with a regional reach. We are intentionally rooted to our downtown heritage, choosing to stay downtown even when moving to the suburbs seemed tempting, and yet we have members from all over central Arkansas. We gather from our scattered places at the corner of 8th and Cumberland to learn together how to love God and our neighbors—both our physical downtown neighbors and those scattered around the state, country, and world. (Visit us downtown!)

The water at the bottom of the logo has a double meaning, indicating both our proximity to the water and the healing, life-giving waters of baptism.

In a culture where Baptists come with a very specific stereotype, it has been tempting to want to drop that word from our name. We often find ourselves clarifying, “We’re a different kind of Baptist church.” I think, however, I prefer the word unique. We are not what you might expect from a Baptist church in the south, but this is not a negative thing and our Baptist heritage is not something for which we need to apologize. The waters of baptism cleanse us, heal us, and mark us as followers of Jesus. They remind us that we have committed our lives to following Christ all the way to death and into new life. 

The rainbow in the sky reminds us of God’s covenant and love for all people.

Second Baptist is adamant that just as a rainbow extends from one horizon to another, God’s love extends to all people regardless of race, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, physical and mental ability, and nationality. For us, this is not a platitude or ideal that stops in the pew. Our commitment to inclusivity has and will continue to lead us into difficult conversations and careful, intentional reading of scripture. But we have heard the call of Jesus to open the table wider and wider still, and we are constantly striving to find ways to include all people in full participation in the life of the church—in leadership, discipleship, fellowship, and all the sacraments of the church. 

But most importantly, our entire logo is set within and centered around the cross. This is what motivates and guides us and we are committed to being a church who follows Jesus no matter the cost.

By God’s grace, may it be so. Amen.

For more information about Second Baptist-Downtown Little Rock visit us online at www.2bclr.com and follow us on FacebookYouTube.

by Brittany Stillwell,
Associate Pastor with Students & Families

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