The first annual convention of the Southern Baptists was held in 1845.
In this convention the International Mission Board and the North American Mission Board were established.
The purpose of each board is still "the propagation of the gospel," with one board focusing on national issues and the other on foreign issues.
After Reconstruction of the South the Southern Baptists began to thrive, and from Reconstruction to the end of World War I, Southern Baptists had gone from a bunch of unorganized and scattered churches with little in common into a denomination of an even larger number of churches and people sharing both culture and program, and training and mission.
By the twentieth century Southern Baptists were a cultural establishment influencing many people all over the country and world.
In 2012 the SBC elected its first black leader, Rev. Fred Luter, and gave its members the option to call themselves "Great Commission Baptists.