Southern Hospitality Northerners Feel at Home with Baptists

By Nickerson, Matthew | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), April 27, 1997 | Go to article overview

Southern Hospitality Northerners Feel at Home with Baptists


Nickerson, Matthew, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Matthew Nickerson Daily Herald Staff Writer

Kathy Burke is a Southern Baptist in spite of herself.

The Glen Ellyn woman was brought up Roman Catholic, has lived north of the Mason-Dixon line almost her whole life, and previously believed unflattering stereotypes about the conservative Protestant denomination.

"I hated them," the 47-year-old woman said. "I thought they were phony believers, Bible thumping."

But after her teenage brother was killed in an accident, she underwent a spiritual journey, and found her way to Glenfield Baptist Church in Glen Ellyn. It's a Southern Baptist congregation where she met people she considers "true believers."

Burke's background may seem unusual for a Southern Baptist.

But Glenfield is full of people like Burke: Northerners who converted to the Southern Baptist denomination.

Two-thirds of the church's families are from outside the South. Most of them came to the Southern Baptist church from another religious background.

It wasn't always like that.

Glenfield, located across from College of DuPage on Lambert Road, was founded in 1962 with a 100 percent Southern congregation, according to Ben Rizer, a retired Lisle man who is the Sunday school director.

The church was a haven for Southern corporate transferees, but Glenfield leaders started bringing in native Midwesterners, people who weren't likely to move back to Little Rock, Ark., or Jackson, Miss., after a couple of years.

Now, during services in the red brick building, the Lord is referred to as both "Gad" in flat Chicago dialect and "Gaw-ud" in richer Southern tones.

Glenfield is a place, Rizer said, for "all who believe like we do."

Those beliefs - rock-solid but not legalistic - are what drew Burke, the ex-Catholic, to Glenfield.

The death of Burke's brother led her to an experience that she describes as meeting the son of God, which sent her looking for a church where others knew Jesus Christ as she did.

One church that held no interest for her was the Southern Baptist denomination, to which her grandmother belonged.

Burke had been turned off after hearing her grandmother criticize Catholics for not reading the Bible, even though she was never seen cracking the good book herself.

Burke was taken by her sister-in-law to Glenfield, not knowing what sort of church it was.

"The pastor's wife sang a song," Burke recalled. "I burst out crying, and I knew that she knew what I knew."

Converts like Burke have triggered an explosion of Southern Baptist churches in the Chicago area and other nontraditional locales.

The sect was virtually nonexistent here until the 1950s, but now there are 200 Southern Baptist churches in Cook and DuPage counties, including ones in Naperville, Lombard, Bloomingdale, West Chicago, Bartlett, Addison and Clarendon Hills.

Southern Baptists make up America's largest Protestant denomination, with 15 million members. They include, incidentally, Billy Graham and Bill Clinton.

According to Keith Draper, new church specialist with the Chicago Metropolitan Baptist Association, Southern Baptists have grown far beyond their rural, Southern roots.

The image of a minister with blow-dried hair, backed by a say-amen gospel choir, is an outmoded one, he said. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Southern Hospitality Northerners Feel at Home with Baptists
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.