What is BACE?

As the new Executive Director of BACE, I have noticed that when I talk with leaders, many will ask me, “What is BACE?” This is nothing new for BACE or any other organization. Whether we serve in churches, school settings, or with other Christian ministries, we will all be asked this question. We operate under the assumption that everyone knows what we know about where we serve, but they don’t, and that’s o.k.! It is up to us to help people know who we are and how we can help. So let me tell you a little bit about BACE.


Since its early beginnings, Baptist Association of Christian Educators (BACE) has grown out of a desire from Christian educators in Southern Baptist churches to have a common place to focus on current practices, build relationships, and offer support to one another as they serve the cause of Christ through the local church. In 1955, there were three distinct regional associations that supported this work. The Baptist Sunday School Board (LifeWay), at the invitation of these three associations, led the effort to unite these three groups into one organization, the Southern Baptist Religious Education Association (SBREA). Over the years there have been additional opportunities to unite with other Baptist associations such as the Baptist Religious Educators Association of the Southwest (BREAS). In 2001, SBREA changed its name to Baptist Association of Christian Educators (BACE) in order to better address the changes taking place in the world of education ministry in the local church.


Uniting together to focus on Christian education ministry in the local church is vital if we are to continue to join Christ in His mission of making disciples and equipping the saints.  Dr. J.M. Price, a pioneer and advocate for the work of Baptist Christian education, stated that there had been “great progress . . . yet there remains much ground to be possessed.” That statement still holds true today.

Change has certainly affected the Christian education landscape over the past several years. Even the term, Christian education, has taken on different meanings and is expressed in different ways. Staff members responsible for this area of work might be called by different titles – Minister of Education, Discipleship Pastor, Small Groups Pastor, Adult Pastor, Young Adult Pastor, etc. – but we all focus on a common goal: building and growing up the body of Christ, His church!


We launch a new chapter of BACE this year as we look toward the future. The website is just one part of that future. As a BACE member you will enjoy all the current and future benefits of BACE that will enable you to:

  • Encourage others, and be encouraged.
  • Network with church leaders.
  • Discover resources and opportunities.
  • Learn from one another and experts in the field of Christian education.
  • And, receive a few discounts on resources, events, and other items along the way!


Today, BACE stands poised to support the next generation of Christian educators, no matter how that ministry is expressed or described. I hope you will join me on this journey by becoming a member of BACE. Also, if you join or renew your membership between now and January 31, your will receive a $20 discount off of the annual BACE conference.

Find out more about renewing or joining BACE ($20 Annual Conference discount will be included by a link on your membership receipt.)

John McClendon

John McClendon BACE Executive Director

John McClendon
BACE Executive Director

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