By Evan Knies
Deep South Reformation (DSR) is a group of people who are from the southern United States, live in the south, or love the south. In other words, we love our sweet tea. DSR loves the south’s culture, food, history and people. For many of us, it’s home. However, the “Bible Belt” isn’t what it used to be. That’s why we exist. We have a passion for the preciousness of the gospel, a gospel that the region we love desperately needs. To that end, we want the church to awaken and be revived, but not through the preaching of a legalistic gospel. DSR wants to help churches present a clear gospel that results in both gospel reconciliation and church revitalization.
So who are we? Well, there are two things you may want to know right up front:
First, we are reformed Baptists who hold to both the 1689 Second London Confession as well as the Baptist Faith and Message 2000. That’s who are theologically, but we also want to make it clear that we love and need our other brothers and sisters in Christ, believers from other evangelical denominations as well. So while we’re distinctly Baptist, we want to encourage and equip believers from various traditions who love the gospel.
Second, we desire to see the church grow and become a light for the gospel in the South. We want to help churches be healthy and remain healthy. We want to see men and women repent and believe the gospel, and stand and grow as strong believers. We want to help them engage their churches in becoming light to a dark world and help them engage the culture with the light of the gospel.
These two pillars of our identity are then seen in the three major out-workings of our mission. If those two introductions describe who we are, there are three goals that describe what we hope to do.
First, we want to help churches with gospel clarity. DSR will strive to equip believers to understand the gospel clearly so that they may share the gospel clearly.
Second, we want to help churches take a leading role in racial reconciliation through the gospel. Let’s be honest, the south hasn’t always been at the forefront of that effort, but we believe the gospel demands that we be. And that means our desire for reconciliation can’t just be about black and white. Instead, the gospel grows us into one people: white, black, Latino, Asian. The gospel is for all races, peoples from every language and nation coming to the cross of Lord Jesus, united in him, one in him.
Third, we want to serve churches by providing resources for church revitalization. Churches in the south (and everywhere!) need to be healthy. The pulpits need to preach the word with power. We want to help make that a reality.
That’s who we are and what we aim to do. We’ll be the first to admit that we don’t know everything. We’ll never claim to. We’re just a group of men and women who love the south and love the gospel. We hope you do as well. In that love, Deep South Reformation wants to help church members, students, and pastors engage the world and proclaim the depths of the gospel of the Lord Jesus. We look forward to you joining with us to carry out that task.
Evan Knies, a Louisiana native, is a student at Boyce College and resides in Louisville, Kentucky with his wife Lauren. You can follow him on Twitter at @Evan_Knies.