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Southern Baptists launch own version of popular online game Wordle to promote annual meeting

The Southern Baptist Convention has launched its own daily word game following the overnight success of Wordle.

“We’re always looking for unique ways to promote engagement around the annual meeting,” Jonathan Howe, executive vice president of communications for the SBC Executive Committee said. “The Wordle craze is a perfect avenue for us to engage with Southern Baptists on a daily basis while having some fun in the process.”

Much like Wordle, currently available for free on the “New York Times”’ website, players have six tries at guessing the correct five-letter word of the day. In the Baptist version, the letters are gray if they are not in the correct word, yellow if they are but are currently in the wrong place and blue if they are both in the word and in the correct position.

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Initially a joke, Howe said he first presented the idea of a Baptist Wordle knock-off on “SBC This Week,” the podcast he hosts with Amy Whitfield. After mentioning it, he contacted Patrick Watts, a business information analyst at LifeWay Christian Resources, to see if it was even possible to recreate the guessing game. Sure enough, it was.

After figuring out the technical side of recreating the game — which came about thanks to an open-source clone of the game and a programming language, React, that he already was acquainted with — Howe said the toughest part was coming up with a laundry list of words to use for the game, which restarts every 24 hours.

“The hardest part was coming up with the word list,” Watts said. “You try to find words that are relevant that are also five letters.”

The game itself, Watts said, is unimportant, but it’s worth the time investment if it draws people to the SBC annual meeting, which will be held in Anaheim, Calif., on June 12-15.

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice