According to today’s website pick there are ” 932 counties in the United States that do not have a solid, fundamental, independent, King James only, Baptist preaching church.” So in order to help this situation they’re picking the top 100 counties to launch new soulwinning efforts. You can even view state maps to see exactly how desperately your county needs a fundy curch.

It’s interesting that there seems to be a total inability to realize that the issue with church growth isn’t the lack of salesmanship but the product they’re selling.

309 thoughts on “FWOTW: BSALT.org”

      1. Hey, I’ve never been first before! Sometimes it’s the little pleasures… πŸ™‚

    1. Perhaps “BSALT” is short for “basalt,” the name of the stone they want to throw at sinners.

      1. I thought it stood for bath salts; which is what you’d have to be smoking to agree with their theology.

      2. BASALT was what I read the first time. I wondered when the volcano had erupted.

  1. And of course, they don’t care that some of us have gratefully and happily gone to the “red” or “yellow” counties to escape from the kind of culture that supports these churches. There should be no escape permitted!

  2. Why is that that counties that have majority minority populations get the ribbons for top priority despite being yellow, and red counties that have mostly white people aren’t as important? I see they are hiding behind “population”, but I don’t think it’s difficult to figure out the real motivation.

    1. Well, the most important thing is to get people who voted for Obama to be saved. I would be interested to see a comparison of their “map” with the map of how each county voted in the last presidential election.

    2. My county is overwhelmingly minority, population-wise, and votes heavily Democratic. They have it colored yellow on the map, and marked with one of their blue-ribbon thingies (targets?), despite the fact that there’s a church on every corner here, with about half the churches being Baptist or otherwise Fundamentalist. But they say only 4 churches in the county are acceptable and we need 70 more.

      1. I’d wager that NO historically black denomination (e.g., AME, NBC, etc.) meets with their approval.

      2. My county has a large Hispanic population and is heavily Democratic, and it’s colored yellow too on the map.

        1. BSALT probqably assumes that if you are Hispanic you are trapped in the “Darkness of Catholicism” (a term I have heard used abong Protestants herein Northern Ireland)

  3. I can think of churches in Cook County, IL, and Franklin County, OH, that should count. Maybe they don’t past muster?

    1. According to the site, there’s not enough of the churches that pass muster in cook county. So Cook gets a “top 100” designation and the 20 or so red counties without a church can wait. I’m sure race of Lawrence, Edwards, Putnam, Fayette counties have nothing to do with why Cook needs more fundy churches and those without any are just fine to keep on as is.

      1. Taking a quick sampling of about 3 states, I noticed that all of the “Top 100” counties are the most populous ones in their states, irrespective of their green, yellow, or red status.

        1. You’re right, although it is close to Las Vegas, NV.

          But three states was undoubtedly too small a sample.

    1. The “good news” is that even the dark green counties still need more fundy churches according to the detailed report. I’m not going to check, but I’m guessing there are 0 counties in the US that have sufficient or too many IFB KJVO churches.

        1. I did find a few that according to their detailed list need 0 additional. I can’t fathom that he’d be honest enough to list anywhere as having too many.

  4. Davidson County in Tennessee is yellow? Excuse me for a moment…

    *collapses in a fit of laughter*

    Nice try.

  5. RobM: I know looking at my own state’s maps that those cities were hotbeds of liberalism and other such dirty things.

  6. “BSALT is a soulwinning ministry that believes the only hope for America is the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.” But, that gospel can only be shared by non-Calvinist, KJV-only, fundamentalist Baptists. So the gospel alone isn’t enough. *sigh*

    1. That IS what they think and it’s so incredibly divisive. While there are churches that no longer hold to the ancient creeds, there are still many, many outside the IFB that are still proclaiming the Gospel.

      I was at a rummage sale in a Methodist church and noticed a poster on the wall clearly stating that we are sinners and Christ died for us and we are to believe on Him.

      1. I actually think that many Methodist congregations have become MORE aligned with the “traditional” gospel message than they were a few decades ago. My mother, who grew up Methodist, will tell anyone she meets that “you will NEVER hear the gospel in a Methodist church.” Yet, just about every Methodist service I have ever attended in the last 10 years or so (and I’ve been to lots) you hear the gospel at some point during the service.

        Of course, I happen to believe that if you recite the Apostle’s Creed and believe it, then you are a Christian. On that basis, I think you hear “the gospel” in every creedal church on a weekly basis. My mother disagrees.

        1. Your mother is clearly using a rather specialized definition of “the Gospel” there.

          The only church I’ve ever been to with a Bible-free service was a Unitarian-Universalist congregation. And even they have Bible readings on some Sundays.

        2. The Methodists went through a really bad patch in the (IIRC) mid-late 70’s to whenever (I was no longer Methodist by then). They’ve really come out of that slough of flowing with the culture strongly, though. In our area, the Methodists spread the Gospel and disciple pretty effectively.

        3. The United Methodist Church, on the whole, has become decidedly more conservative in the past ten years. Three groups have led this somewhat-rightward pull: the UMC’s non-North American churches and bishops, which have always leaned more toward evangelicalism; the influence of Asbury Seminary, which, being in Kentucky, has had close ties with what’s going on in the Southern Baptist Convention; and the “paleo-orthodox” movement led by Dr. Thomas Oden of Drew University, which seeks to steer the UMC away from from liberal/liberationist theology and back toward orthodoxy (in some circles, specifically, back toward Methodism’s Anglican roots — including the Prayer Book liturgy). It’s all quite interesting. Many people on both sides are predicting an eventual schism in the denomination.

        4. I don’t think there will be a UMC schism. Much of the backward drive is powered by retired clergy, who have votes in the annual and general conferences (the UMC’s policy-making bodies). As one of my United Methodist friends likes to say, “There’s nothing wrong with our denomination that a few good funerals won’t cure.”

          However, many of the seminaries (not just Drew) have become much more conservative in the present generation, which may auger otherwise.

        5. I don’t expect schism – the UMC has weathered worse, and other than a few breakaways, the denomination has held together. This looks pendular to me. As time passes and things change in the culture, I expect a shift in another direction. I’m finally getting to the point where I can say “I might not be around to see it.” Which is a WEIRD feeling.

        6. I’m in the same place, Berater– realizing I might not be around to see the next big thing– and yes, it does feel weird.

        7. Oh, I don’t know. I think a lot of us will be around to see several new big things.

          I am 56, and I see major sociological changes occurring more often than in the past. With the great connectivity we have, challenges to long-cherished social norms can occur in a moment.

          It almost makes me want to yell, “Don’t wind the watch up too tight!”

          Think about the major religious, social, economic, and political shifts occurring — many of them interconnected. I almost expected rioting on the right when the Supreme Court did not hold against gay marriage in California.

          So I intend to stick around for more of them. Eventually, the watch may indeed be wound too tight and we will all get to see the SPROING! as they go off like a floor full of mousetraps.

          Keep the popcorn handy. The results will be mixed, but should be entertaining.

    1. This is a joke perpetuated against fundamental bible school students. This tricks them not to drop out and find more worthy career paths.

  7. I actually like this website. It does seem to be accurate (as far as my county and state are concerned at least) regarding population and actual Bible-believing churches. Of course, I can only comment for the existence of actual Bible-believing churches in our local area (not the state). Sadly the good and bad churches are lumped together (as usual). We have a couple IFB churches in this county that we could do without for various reasons, but a few good non-denom. and Bible churches that kind of make up for them…

    1. It’s not accurate for the counties with which I am familiar. For example, the county I grew up in has a population of approximately 80,000 and has somewhere between 100 and 200 churches, of which at least 4 are IFB. Thus, I don’t understand why it is listed as needing 1-10 new churches.

      The county I now live in has about 260,000 population and a HUGE number of churches. At least 4 are IFB. Yet, it is listed as needing over 10 churches.

      The thing is, in both of these counties, the IFB churches are EXTREMELY SMALL. Thus, the need isn’t for more churches, but growth in the existing churches. That website isn’t focused on that. They seem to believe that the more churches there are, the better. That’s not necessarily true.

      I would be interested to know their methodology for compiling their map.

      1. SFL: Wasting church resources planting & supporting churches that have no business being there due to lack of demand.

        1. Yes to both Deacon’s Son and RobM.

          I grew up in a small IFB church of about 50 people. I remember one Easter Sunday being so happy because we broke 100 in our attendance! One of the reasons I picked BJU over other Christian college was its size: I was so tired of not knowing any other Christian young people.

          A Hyles-grad recently started a church near our church. He’s renting another church and meeting around 2 p.m., I believe. However, less than a mile away is another Hyles-type IFB church. Why in the WORLD anyone thought another church was needed there is ridiculous. The two churches are actually in two different towns because the second, older church is actually located RIGHT ON THE TOWN LINE. (And these aren’t “towns” the way I grew up thinking of them, but suburbs jam-packed right up next to each other.)

        1. Yeah, it took a while for me to figure out what the 10,000 meant. I think it means just any 10,000 people anywhere in the country will have 200-250 church going, tithing IFB KJVO people in their midst. Very poor numbers work by a guy that apparently used to be an accountant.

        2. Aroostook County, ME Population 60,000 six churches, probably centered around Caribou, Pop. 9000 and Presque Isle, Pop 8000. That means that most other people would have to travel anywhere from fifty to three hundred miles, to get salted.

          To put it in perspective, that is like living in Beirut, but going to church in Jerusalem. Or living in Boston and having to travel to NY city for church.

        3. If you only look at averages, and not distribution, you get those kind of results.

          My Dad likes to say that if you stand with one foot in a bucket of ice, and the other foot in a bucket of boiling water, on the average, you’re comfortable.

    2. What on earth is an “actual Bible-believing church?” Every church I have ever been in had Bibles in it, the Bible was read from at every service, there were midweek Bible studies, the Sunday school classes used the Bible . . . and nobody ever looked straight at a table stacked with Bibles and said, “I don’t believe there is anything on that table.” πŸ˜†

      But I was never Baptist. Is that what you mean? πŸ™„

      1. In some denominational churches, the miracles that are described in the Bible are considered merely “helpful fables”; or they don’t believe the Bible concerning Jonah and the “whale” (“great fish”). People who don’t believe in such parts of the Bible are decried by other churches as not being “Bible-believing”.

        This also goes for creation vs evolution. Most (?) IFB churches believe in a literal 7-day creation, and those churches that teach these are “ages” or that God created “stuff” and it evolved and not considered “Bible-believing” by those that do believe it.

        You asked…

        1. It is a SIX-day Creation!!!!
          144 hours!
          God rested on the 7th day. 24 hours.
          You are obviously not a bible believer

    3. I have two issues, as many others have pointed out:
      a) They aren’t really counting anything like “Bible-believing” churches, or even local Bodies of Christ in submission toi Him, but rather Little Churches Just Like Us. Even if it’s done well, it’s an utter waste of time from the Kingdom’s point of view.
      b) Whoever compiled this really doesn’t get population dynamics, statistics, etc. I think they are trying to grow a political majority where none exists by using a network of new IFB churches. You might consider this an attempt to conjure up a past political alliance, but I’d REALLY like it if they’d stop abusing the name of Jesus and the Great Commission for this.

      1. I also suspect/assume that this guy in NM is making a power play to set himself as an IFB king (or at least a player at SOTL conferences, etc) that runs all the visitation programs throughout the country, etc.

  8. I disagree with this completely, Marion County, Indiana has one of these “den of vipers” its called Colonial Hills Baptist Church – they were in the news recently…

    1. Yes Larry, they were in the news lately. It seems that their youth group was involved in a deadly bus accident returning from Youth Camp. But perhaps this “den of vipers” had it coming to them. πŸ˜‰

      1. Um, HECK NO. If that’s a joke, it’s in bad taste. If it’s not, then 😯

        1. No, the statement by Larry is callous and in bad taste. He continues to make fun of a church in spite of this terrible tragedy that put them in the news.
          And I’m not a troll Rob, just like to see people who claim to be Christians to act like it.

  9. And I thought one FBC Hammond church and one PCC church in my county were good enough. πŸ™„

    According to their site I need at least 8 more?! They want total global domination. πŸ‘Ώ

  10. I find it completely offensive that the red color on their map indicates “counties that have no church.” What they mean is counties that have no IFB church. But that’s not what they said. It’s clear that they don’t believe that any church that doesn’t agree with their theology is legit.

    1. I don’t think there’s one county in the whole USA without a church (of some kind).

    2. If you want to be sort of OCD about it, some states don’t have counties. Louisiana has parishes, for example, and Alaska has boroughs. But those, too, have churches in them.

  11. Their welcome text is surprisingly “truthful”, though not quite in the way they intended…

    Yes, the great commission isn’t restricted to faraway places.

    Yes, there are lots of counties without fundy churches (as if that had anything to do with it… πŸ˜‰ .)

    But no, increasing the number of churches isn’t the key to spreading the gospel. Believers living it out day by day, rather than either screaming it at hapless bypassers or shutting up completely is what is needed…

    Also, their website doesn’t look like it was put together by some unfortunate “computer literate” teenager over the weekend… πŸ™‚

    1. No, it looks to be put together by a kindergartner. And did they really spell Calvinist incorrectly? SMH

  12. It gets worse and worse! They invite 10,000 people to church, from which they derive a list of only 200-250 prospects. That, right there, is what is wrong with the IFB. They should see all 10,000 people as prospects (other than those that are already believers, of course). Actually, they shouldn’t see anyone as a “prospect.” They should see them as human beings with whom they need to build loving, compassionate, caring relationships.

    I see the head of this organization is a former accountant. That explains the faux-scientific methodology employed to help jump-start churches. But, isn’t importing the methods of the business world into church growth the same thing they accuse Rick Warren and his ilk of doing? Hmmm.

    1. Don’t be ridiculous! This is about numbers!!!!

      People, lives, relationships, blech. SO touchy feely. πŸ˜‰

      Please see #4 under BSALT Challenge.

      Pssst… only your pastor can officially accept the challenge.

    2. If someone in THEIR circle (or they themselves) do it, it’s OK. If an evangelical does it, it’s EEEEvil.

    3. I think the numbers he’s trying to generalize is that for every 10,000 people in the general population of an area he believes there should be 200-250 baptists. IDK where he came up with that number, but it seems wildly optimistic with no basis in fact, and no ability analyze dense populations vs rural one, or the likelihood of that number changing from location to location depending on the demographics.

      I think I see why he’s not a baseball numbers analyst.

    4. I do think that’s the problem. Your neighbors aren’t “prospects,” they are humans who need love.

      Many churches look to find the needs in their communities, and think about how to help meet those needs.

      But if you start with the presumption that the only thing anyone needs is to be an IFB, you’re already trapped.

  13. My county still needs about 60 churches according to this website….never mind that there are about eleventy billion other churches already located here. Many preach the gospel, though I’m sure few are KJV only.

  14. Now, on to their Statement of Faith. Some observations:

    (1) They are pretty liberal on the Bible. They refer to the King James as a translation and not as the “very Word of God” (whatever that means, but that’s the correct verbiage).

    (2) “The Ecumenical Movement” and “The Charismatic” warrant larger font.

    (3) “Freemasons” are listed as participants in “The Ecumenical Movement.”

    (4) They REALLY hate “The Charismatic.” Good thing there’s only one!

    (5) They have no idea what “neo-orthodoxy” is.

    1. Wow! They still renounce and separate from the Promise Keepers too! Does that still exist?

      1. I wondered, too, so I just checked.
        The Promise Keepers’ web site looks active, and they have events scheduled this year. Their filling-a-football-arena days seem to be over, though.

        I think they have been eclipsed by the rival movement, Promise Breakers (started by Tom and Ray Magliozzi of “Car Talk” fame).

        It’s sort of weirdly fascinating that BSALT lists Freemasons as part of the “ecumenical movement.”

  15. I appears as if my county has 2 and needs 7 more. I’m not planning on going to them.

  16. “Click on one of the top 10 counties to watch a Google Earth tour of the county that shows satellite photography of the population and the housing of those that need the Gospel. You must have Google Earth installed on your computer.”

    That is just creepy. 😯

    1. You have to *install* Google earth? I thought it was a web application, not a program or phone app. I certainly never installed it on my PC…

      1. Google Earth != Google Maps. And it has a downloadable component, whether it’s web-based or not. Not too surprising, since the page boasts of 3D rendering, which exceeds easily-implemented Web technology.
        And look! Google Earth Pro! Be still, my beating heart. πŸ™„

  17. Huh, whaddya know, there are no churches in my county in Minnesota. None, nada, zippo. Wonder who’s ringing all those bells on Sunday? πŸ™„

  18. Hahaha, Bucks County PA needs OVER 10 more churches. We have my old fundy church, which runs somewhere between 300-500 people, we have another fundy church right down the street that’s significantly smaller and basically consists of people who defected after there was a new pastor. I can think of two more that probably run 50-150 people, and then another two that run about 50. So that’s six IFB churches in only lower Bucks!

    1. Okay, so I just looked at the detailed report for my county…apparently there’s only 7 IFB churches in the whole county (which, first of all, I’m pretty sure is BS, considering I counted six in a 15 mile radius of me). But they think we need 56 more! I don’t even know where they would put them.

  19. Apparently, Atlanta needs more than ten churches. I forgot that there’s a road just down from me with at least five, side by side. In fact, I just did a google search for churches in my zip code, and there are 36. 😯

      1. You’d practically be in a low blood pressure coma if you were to attend any of those! πŸ™‚

        1. πŸ™„ Don’t I know it. I’ve only grown stronger in my faith in my year at a non-fundy church here. I mean, it’s despicable.

          Actually, in all seriousness, I know nothing. I cannot debate anything spiritual, because all I’ve ever known is fundyism. I don’t know truth from man’s word, but I’ve been leaning slowly. Actually reading scripture – scary, because the blinders are off now. I can’t just rely on man. I feel like a newborn, having to learn everything from scratch. Anyway, seriousness over now. 😎

  20. It just occurred to me, we can use this map to play a game of what state is the most IFB state in the nation. My money is on West Virginia.

    1. If we stick with the aggregate totals that the site likes to use to confuse the readers (and probably the author too), Alaska is in need of only 7 total churches for the entire state, and therefor the most spiritual/Christian state I can find. And of those 7 total needed only 16 are in the Anchorage county/municipality. 16 of 7. And that guy used to prepare taxes for people?

      1. Good to see that my borough is listed as churchy enough. You can stand in front of one fundamentalist church and see another one literally across the street, walk for 10 minutes one way to see another one, and 10 minutes the other way to find one more. How in the heck could we wedge another one in–Tetris?

        1. Church Tetris, enabled by Google Maps – the great new game for your phone! Help Fundy planters! Lead the charge! And for an additional 29.99, get access to zoning regs, building permits and population data to really make an impact!
          OK, that’s enough coffee. I hate babysitting slow installs.

        2. I wouldn’t pay for the zoning & safety regs part, IFB aren’t going to follow those anyway! πŸ™‚

        3. RobM, you’re right about the regs. I attended a business meeting at my last religious social club and I was horrified to hear the mog say that it was better to ask forgiveness than to ask permission of the city in regards to a signage issue.

          Also, I happened to be looking up something online and found — not to my surprise — that the mog had gotten in trouble with his town because when he rebuilt a structure on his property he did it too big without going through the proper permitting process. So much for rules, eh?

        4. You don’t necessarily get away with flouting city ordinances because you’re a church. I know of churches that have built new buildings that they couldn’t occupy because they didn’t comply with zoning.

        5. The religious social club I mentioned didn’t get into trouble. It was a possibility but everything lined up the way mog wanted it.

    2. WV is a bad bet. We are solidly United Methodist (it’s not even close).

    3. I think it’s difficult to judge here. There are a lot of Baptist churches that are unaffiliated, use only the KJB, are young earth creationist, dispensationalist, etc., but do not really fit the IFB mold at all. They have no ties to any Fundamentalist institution and probably have no Fundamentalist literature in the church. They’re just churches that happen to be independent and due to being old-fashioned happen to hold to many of the same practices.

    4. American Baptist churches in WV are closer to IFB than they are to SBC, except maybe the big downtown ABC church in the larger towns. The only real difference is that ABC churches very often do not have an invitation at the end of the service.

      The poster below is correct that the UMC dominates most of West Virginia, at least in the number of churches and people who claim to be Methodist, but that’s mostly small country churches that run maybe 15-30 people.

  21. In my county, they list 13 independent Baptist churches with a need of 61. Interestingly enough, there are about 30 GARBC churches that are non KJB but happen to be fundamentalist(fundy-lite). And another 20 or so non-KJB/non-GARBC independent Baptist churches. There are another 20 or so IFCA (Independent fundamental churches of America) churches that are Baptistic and non-kjb, but don’t have Baptist in the name.

    1. A number of people here use the term “fundy-lite,” but I don’t know what that means in terms of doctrine and practices. What do you mean by it?

      1. I use it to mean basically Fundy with a few concessions – maybe women can wear pants during winter or maybe they sing a few praise and worship choruses and this makes them feel like like they’re “not like THOSE fundies” even though they still preach a man-centered, works-based gospel and don’t understand that sanctification is just as much by grace as justification. I would probably describe our last church as fundy lite. Women wore pants, the church used KJV officially but didn’t object to members using other translations, but the preaching was clearly fundy.

        1. “and don’t understand that sanctification is just as much by grace as justification”

          That, and the need for control, are the two biggest problems fundamentalism has, in my humble opinion. Of course, sanctification by works opens the door to controlling and being controlled….

      2. They are fundys that are non KJV-only, their pastors aren’t nearly the MOG types, they will blend modern praise music with hymns and sometimes even utilize drums in their services, yet they still struggle with grace in the area of sanctification as Elizabeth has indicated. Most of them are traditional dispensationalists and are still leery of any cooperation with the broader body of Christ, including conservative evangelicals. For instance, when Cedarville University developed a strong SBC influence within the board and administration over the past 7 or so years, the fundy-lite GARBC decided that it must separate from them in certain areas.

        I once did a few workshops at a ministry conference that was more fundy-lite and I was drawn into an intense discussion/rabbit trail with a gentleman that was petrified that his church was going down the tubes because they were changing the constitution by eliminating the requirement to completely abstain from alcohol. He felt that would lead to drunkenness among its members. I quoted to him a verse I learned in S.S. Titus 2:11-12 and explained to him that it is the Grace of God that teaches us not to sin, not individual rules and moralism, which he agreed, but still wanted to add to rules to the grace of God…..

        These are some of the characteristics of fundy-lite.

  22. Why on earth do they have cities listed as counties too in their top 100? They have both Baltimore City & Baltimore County listed in the top 100. I see “Salt Lake City” listed, which I assume is different from Salt Lake County (not listed). St Louis is another one with both the city & county listed in the top 100.

    1. Some kind of glitch in their listing process, I guess.

      Some counties have the same name as their main city. Dallas, TX is in Dallas County, and El Paso is in El Paso County. But others don’t: Houston is not in Houston County, and Austin is not in Austin County, although there are Texas counties with those names.

    2. Baltimore City, Maryland is independent of Baltimore County, Maryland. There are real demographic differences also. Baltimore City is overwhelmingly African American and votes Democratic. Baltimore County is 2/3 white and much more conservative.

      1. Is that true of St Louis too, anyone know? I’m not familiar with cities that aren’t part of some larger county/municipality/whatever.

        1. I found that Virginia has just under 40 free cities, which explained why their spreadsheet had so many cities listed (none in the top 100 though).

  23. Whew! Kearny Co. KS, population 4,169, is covered with four IFB churches — one being…(drumroll)…Victory Baptist and fallen, oops, FALLING angels.

    Now back to other counties in my home state.

    1. Been keeping an eye out for something like that!

      That’s 4 too many by his math. I guess you could claim that every county needs 1 regardless of population, but still 3 too many. At least he has them with a surplus, but doesn’t seem to be suggesting any kind of consolidation or relocation of them to other counties!

      1. Yep, there are some counties that don’t have even one and yet his chart indicates that they don’t NEED even one because their population is too small. What happened to actually having God call you to plant a church somewhere, even if “the numbers” don’t support going to that location?

      2. AHA! There’s a totals at the bottom of his page for churches needed in the state, and it does indeed for places that have <10,000 population and 3-10 churches subtract those 3-10 churches from the total state need.

        I don't think he thought that through very well, cause if you are saying those churches need to close their doors or move, that's not stated anywhere that I can find, and it doesn't total up correctly the number of new churches that he's saying are needed.

        1. Tyranny of the spreadsheet.
          He forgot to have counties with under 10,000 population default to 1 instead of 0.

        2. I don’t think I understand at all what his column “gospel years” thing is supposed to mean. I get that he wanted to show the world that he knows how to use division in a spreadsheet, but after anywhere from 0.5 years to 375 years (or whatever the low & high numbers are), does that mean the gospel has maxed out and we can close all the churches in that county?

  24. I’m disappointed that my county, Will, in Illinois, isn’t among the top 10. But I’m surrounded by others – DuPage, Cook, Lake – hooray for most of Chicagoland! I’m *proud* our area is on the list…

  25. BSALT’s home town, Los Lunas, NM, has a grammatical error in its name. “Luna” (Spanish for “moon”) is a feminine nound, so its plural is “Las Lunas.”

    Anyway, why is it plural? Do they live on a planet like Jupiter, that has multiple moons?

      1. That’s pretty common. Referring to a patriarchal head of an extended family as The {whatever}. Especially if noble or gentle.

      2. Wikipedia’s Los Lunas entry explains it this way: ‘The name “Los Lunas” is a partial Anglicization of the name of the Luna family, who originally settled in the area (los Luna, in Spanish).’

        Hmmmm. “Partial Anglicization”? I find that concept both confusing and amusing.

        The Luna clan, by the way, has been influential in New Mexico. It is referenced in the famous novel, “Bless Me, Ultima” by Rudolfo Anaya.

  26. Not surprisingly, we have a surplus in Greenville County. Could we convince a couple of them to close, please? I realize that would be easier than asking them to combine.

    1. The IFB movement is all about numbers. How many saved, how many baptized, how many attending services, how much the offering is, how many buses, etc.

  27. I do love that this page:


    Has 3 links to e-mail bsalt, and they all go to the same e-mail address with no subject line included in the link to know which one the user clicked on, or what they are interested in when they clicked. Smart data mining!

  28. RE: Hover text, according to his spreadsheet Escambia county has 5 IFB churches TOO MANY, not in need of 5 more. Total Churches needed: 30, they have 35, and the number when not in parentheses indicates a surplus.

    1. I nominate closing the Campus Church. With no board, no Pastoral leadership, untrustworthy counselling services (that will report back to the Deans all confidential info), they don’t fit the model of accountable church stewardship prescribed in the NT, and should cease to exist. Please feel free to nominate 4 more to close in Escambia.

      1. Believe it or not, the fact that CC started from the college and not the other way around was nearly cause enough for my parents to disapprove of my going to PCC. But none of the other crazy stuff gave them pause.

        1. I often think that fact is what saved me from being pressured to go to PCC or BJU. Neither of them were started and run by churches (like Heartland, WCBC, Crown, etc.). My parents, my father especially, were VERY uncomfortable with that. So I said, well, how about I don’t go to any Bible “College” and instead just pursue a real degree at a real college. Surprisingly, he was okay with that. (My mother was another story, but this was one time that dad won.)

        2. I believe that both PCC & BJU are for-profit enterprises, and a church run by for-profit enterprises makes me uncomfortable at least.

  29. Just for the fun of it, I looked up Texas. At least they admit that the really tiny counties don’t need an IFB church!
    My own state has 1 read, 1 dark green, a few light green, and the rest yellow.

  30. Dear SFL Reader …

    ‘solid, fundamental …’

    Those two words together give me double vision. Why is that?

    Christian Socialist

    1. Only “solid” churches are counted. The apparent belief in the possibility of liquid or gaseous churches is another data point in support of the hypothesis that the people who run this site live on a gas planet like Jupiter or Saturn.

        1. That falls into the same category as ant-matter. It is probably related to black hole theory, and since the black hole is likely the bottomless pit, no good can come of it.

          I’m sure I heard this in a “science” sermon in my Fundy youth, (Except plasma wasn’t a form of matter back then) along with the computer that counted the days back to creation and found a day missing.

      1. Gaseous church = the church after a sweet old lady brings her crock pot of beans and ham to the church potluck. πŸ˜†

      2. Dear Big Gary:

        The thing is, many churches that are deemed ‘solid’ have wretched theology. While this holds in many places, IFB churches tend to prove the rule, rather than the exception.

        Christian Socialist

        1. Fundamentalist and Fundy-lite theologies are wretched indeed.

          Oh, some parts may be okay. But most parts of their theology are twisted by their overall worldview and dedication to intransigent ignorance.

          Their end-times theology began in the 1700s. That’s right. There was no “rapture of the Church” talk before the theology was developed by the Plymouth Brethren. In point of fact, there was almost none of the doctrines formed by taking a verse here with a snippet there, a phrase from an OT psalm having nothing to do with the subject at hand, tied up with a sermon and sprinkled with eau du cologne to mask the smell.

          In point of fact, much of it was generated in competition with the Calvinistic systematic theologies (who were doing the same things).

          And yes, for many years, I did it too. It was done in an attempt to dehumanize the Bible, to dismiss any human element, and to make the Bible almost a god in its own right.

          And that is wretched indeed.

  31. It’s sad to think how much TIME someone had to spend compiling all this useless data!

  32. I would like to know the basis for the information posted. He lists my county as having one suitable church, needing six more. I know of at least four KJV churches, three Independent Baptist. The other doesn’t have Baptist in the name, but appears to be very Fundy. There are at least two other churches that are probably KJV-IFB, but I don’t know enough about them to be certain.

    The county next to us is 1/5 our size. He says it has seven good churches. If there are that many Fundy churches there, they are meeting in homes and not telling anyone. It does technically have one church that should meet the criteria, but it gets included in both county lists. Address in one county, tax base in the other because of where it sits on the line and its proximity to a city.

    The “About” page begins with, “BSALT exists for the sole purpose of providing facts“. Yet, the first (and only) two counties I looked at have incorrect information. I reckon I won’t be quoting this in my next Sunday School lesson.

    1. Why can’t you quote it? You can use it an example of how not everything on the interwebz is reliable, especially when it comes to fundy math.

  33. It’s darkly amusing that BSALT cared more about establishing fundamentalist King James Bible churches than helping their fellow human beings. Poverty, illiteracy, discrimination, and violence apparently don’t deserve as much attention in the US as soul-winning.

  34. Yay! My county is red and it’s the only one in my state! Wait..red’s good, right?

  35. I call BG.
    The very fact tha North Carolina has any red in it whatsoever is proof that this site is BULL GIPP!

    *sigh* …but of course Forsyth County, home of the Sword of the Lord convention Mothership and several IFB battle cruisers is fully covered according to the standards this site requires in order to be right with their god… and it’s junk like that which just royally pisses me off. πŸ‘Ώ 😑

  36. More math problems!

    He’s rounding, so counties with anywhere from 5,000 to 14,999 only need 1 church, and counties with 15,000-24,999 need 2, etc. Only counties with < 5,000 people need 0 churches, and those counties still count in the total of 932 counties that have 0 churches and are in desperate need for churches to be planted.

    1. I guess whether you draw the line at 5,000 rounded up or actual 10,000 I think it’s safe to say from the spreadsheet that there are hundreds of counties in the US that Jesus doesn’t care about the inhabitants thereof.

    2. The really good news is that out of the 932 counties that don’t have a “solid, fundamental” church in them, there are 312 that have < 5,000 population and according to his numbers don't need one. That gets us down to just 620 that still are churchless.

      Of those 620, if we use the 10,000 population number that I think we should assume God gave him (probably somewhere in Ezekiel, let's not get too worried about where), there are 387 that are below 10,000 population and above 4,999, and that leaves only 233 counties that need a church!

      I feel like I've saved 699 counties today! I'm very glad that the total wasn't 666.

  37. Yes! Mine is read surrounded by yellow. Thank God. Although…I would categorize the ginormous SBC church across the street as fundamentalist. I suspect the non I and the contemporary music disqualify it from consideration.

    1. They probably have the Holman version in their materials, so the aren’t spreading the gospel of the KJV.

  38. Took a closer look: my county and the counties around me are YELLOW! 😯 There are SO MANY IFB churches here, including some major BJU-supporting ones. But they probably fail to meet the criteria somehow and they wish to foist more churches on a well-saturated area. What is needed is NOT more churches. What is needed are more Christians showing the fruit of the Spirit and following Jesus, not man-made rules.

    1. KJVO was criteria, BJU is not quite there from what I hear.

      My county shows a zero and a need of 2, where we have 2 BJU aligned churches already. One has BJ grad and one has Ambassador grad. Basically KJ users but not strict enough.

      But how the heck do these goofs get that data about two podunk churches in my nowhere county? I am not buying into the quality of this data.

      1. As far as I can tell he goes by self reporting? If you think your church doctrine is good enough you can contact them with a form & he’ll decide if you are good enough to count or not. I’m not certain he started with just 1 church in all of America (his) that qualified and expanded from there or got some lists from like his alma mater and/or home church/supporting organization.

        Beyond that it appears to be self reporting by the churches so you could have 150 in a county, and if only 1 or 2 of them (or 0) have informed him they exist he’s going to list it as having 0 churches.

        His “months of research” might’ve involved googling churches & their doctrine, but I kind of doubt it.

        1. If this is self reported, then this underlying data sucks.

          As a geographer and GIS user, I do give respect to this idea. When you get beyond those data issues, this is a interesting presentation and use of a geographic data set. There is no way that is being done at bible college. I would give it a solid B+.

        2. I’d fail him.

          There’s no adjustments for population density, or congregation density.

          There’s no heat mapping of population & church densities.

          There’s no methodology described at all.

          There’s no sourced material on where he came up with 1 church per 10,000 population, or 200-250 IFB KJVO members from any random sampling.

          There’s no demographic work on where (whatever the actual number is) would vary by based on population demographics.

          There’s no accounting for churches/populations that reach across county borders.

          There’s no accounting for other denominations, or even same denominations that might have some unstated fault that DQs them.

          There’s no stated policy of exactly what qualifies a church (solid, fundamental, non calvinist, KJVO is not a thorough description, and he’s leaving out other capricious measurements he’s using).

          Very very very flawed methodology.

          By his own measurements there are hundreds of counties that don’t need any church (whether you count his measuring stick as <10,000 or the rounded one he incorrectly actually used of <5,000) and he counts all of them in counties that need churches.

          It's very dishonest, & a very poor understanding of how numbers & statistics work.

        3. Sure, you COULD tear it apart, but it is an interesting effort and idea. It could stand all those improvements, of course. It was a straightforward effort at a very complicated question.

          As an undergrad project it is surely passing, as a thesis project, not so much.

          I like the apparently-custom “gospel rate (years)”. Some kind of custom index…shows creativity. With some work that could have all kinds of fundy applications.

          “The fifth column is the number of churches needed in each county. This is calculated based on how many churches are needed to share the Gospel with each person in the county once a year, assuming that each church will share the Gospel with 10,000 people a year. The Gospel Rate column is the number of years that it takes to witness to a person based on the current number of churches, still assuming each church is sharing the Gospel with 10,000 people a year. So if a rate says 4.5, then if each church in that county is sharing the Gospel with 10,000 people a year. If a church witnesses to a person today, it will take 4 and a half years to come back around to that same person to witness to them again. ”

          I still like it, no one tries even this hard to do fundy research. It shows potential.

        4. I don’t think it’s so much dishonest as based on, yes, “a very poor understanding of how numbers & statistics work.”

          The metric of “Gospel Rate (yrs)” does seem to be an innovation by BSALT, but the fact that it is nowhere explained (at least, I couldn’t find an explanation despite some searching) makes it impossible to either evaluate or use. Its meaning may be something like what Andy proposes, but then again, it may not be. And if it is based on some number like “each church witnesses to 10,000 unique people per year, with no repeats from previous years,” then where does that figure come from, and what is the evidence for it?

        5. Nah, high school economics would teach anyone economies of scale, and high school level statistics would teach you densities & ratios much better than this guy pulled off.

          The weird “Gospel Rate (Yrs)” stat (I don’t see that explained anywhere), is just a really poor done fomula that takes the population, divides by 1,000 and then divides by the church count. When the church count is 0, he didn’t even take the time correct the divide by 0 error.

          There’s nothing professional or presentable about his “stats”.

          I’d fail a high school level kid for that both on effort & results.

        6. Oops, that was to @Andy.

          @BG, I posted what his formula pretty obviously is for that “Gospel Rate (Yrs)”. It’s pretty intuitive just looking at his numbers, even if he had taken the time to clean up the div0 erros which made it obvious what his formula was.

        7. Gotcha, that makes some sense. I think his formula for arriving at what he thinks is that “years to contact every person in the county” is very incorrect. I did find some of that stat category that showed no direct correlation that I could find to the number of churches. Using the /1,000 that appears to be the default for his formula is off by a decimal point and would overstate the need for churches by 10 fold. Will have to do some more math on what he’s trying to calculate tomorrow.

        8. BTW, based on that description you found on their site, I don’t see much evidence that he knows how to convert word problems into formulas either.

        9. Thanks, Andy, that’s the explanation I couldn’t find. But it takes me right back to asking where he gets those numbers (10,000 people per year per church, etc.). I suspect he pulls them out of his derriere, so to speak.

        10. He admits somewhere else that it is likely much worse than that, even admitting that some solid churches barely evangelize.

        11. @BG,

          From what I can tell (he REALLY worded his explanation poorly, and left details out), he used a “low” congregation size of 200 * 52 weeks a year, assumed each person would evangelize 1 person per week for the entire year (all unique). 200*52 = 10,400. That’s my best explanation (so far) for where 10,000 came from. It’s still a lot of lame premises.

          His explanation thing lists each entire church contacting 1 person per day, so if he meant each of 250 members contacting 1 unique person per day, he was off by 10 fold (would be rounded to 100,000 population, not 10,000. The 1 per day rule he posted as his explanation would leave his site pretty much out of business with very few to no churches needed at all. It also just takes as a given assumption/premise that all churches in a county are coordinating visitations not only within their own community to always touch unique people, but also coordinating amoung each other to not be cross evangelizing the same people in order to get to everyone.

          I’m still baffled by his assumption of all these millions of poeple around America who are completely unfamiliar with the gospel.

        12. Even if you have 200 people attending a church, not all of them are going to be making “contacts for the kingdom”. How many infants are gonna tell someone about Jesus and invite people to church?

        13. Rob: Where’s the basis for these numbers, other than making them up?

          I know you didn’t say there’s some other basis for them, but I can’t see how there could be any actual facts behind them.

        14. As far as I can tell, his data doesn’t distinguish between a church that has 10 members and a church that has 1000 members. (Most churches are closer to having 10 active members than 1000 or even 200.)

        15. I don’t see any rational basis for his coming up with 200-250 members in a congregation.

          I don’t see any rational basis for assuming each member/congregant would reach a unique person per week (on average, even if you assume a door knock is 2-6 people).

          I don’t see any planning for geographic location (a church on the edge of a county is highly unlikely to reach someone on the opposide edge, or possibly even centrally depending on county size).

          I don’t see that he’s done anywhere near sufficient research on how many churches actually exist (and their congregation size, etc).

          We all know he’s assuming that people only learn of the Gospel through the door knocking campaigns with members of his preferred doctrines, with the right Bible version, and non Calvinistic beliefs, which obviously is flawed on multiple levels.

          I can’t really justify where any of the real numbers came from, I just am using what I think is reasonable deductions from the numbers he proposes where he’s getting things like 10,000 population per church, and still working on where that Gospel (Yrs) thing is (appears to vary somewhat, or could be he plugged in wrong numbers at locations).

          I love breaking down spreadsheets a little bit too much. πŸ™‚

  39. A map that would be much more beneficial to most IFBers looking to plant a church would be a breakdown of American counties by percentage of citizens who tithe!! Although . . . I imagine Utah would end up taking the top spot!!

  40. Well, with counting “solid” churches, they can exclude whomever they want. Not sure what “Baptist-preaching” is — is it anything like preaching Jesus Christ??

    Sadly, the web site is blocked at work, so I cannot look at it.

    1. It’s another version of the beloved “No True Scotsman” argument.

      “Sure, you have churches, but they aren’t Baptist, KJVO, skirt-wearin’, sin-hatin’, Grandma-slappin’ churches, so they aren’t SOLID churches.”

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