Calvinist Missionary Baptists
Calvinist Missionary Baptists
New England Evangelical Baptist Fellowship
New Testament Association of Independent Baptist Churches
South Carolina Baptist Fellowship
1328 16th St. NW, Washington, DC 20036
The Alliance of Baptists is one of several new bodies born from the conflict between the conservative and liberal elements in the Southern Baptist Convention in the 1980s. The effect of that controversy was the domination of the cnvention and its agencies by the conservative majority. In the wake of being largely shut out of participation in running the convention, many chose to disaffiliate.
One small group formed the Southern Baptist Alliance in 1987, which five years later took the name Alliance of Baptists out of a realization of its national character. The alliance sees itself carrying on a traditional Baptist faith that is non-creedal and Bible-based in nature. It has found support from what are now considered sister churches such as the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the United Church of Christ, and the American Baptist Churches in the U.S. Joining the National Council of Churches solidified its emergence as a new liberal Protestant denomination.
The alliance maintains a structure similar to the Southern Baptist convention. It annually elects four officers to lead its national program: president, vice-president, secretary, and the immediate past president. From its beginning, it has moved to affirm the equality of men and women, symbolized by alternating the alliance’s presidency between women and men, and making sure that its officers include both men and women (as well as both clergy and laity). Women are admitted to the ordained ministry.
The alliance has a partnership relation with the Fraternidad de Iglesias Bautistas de Cuba and the Baptist Convention of Zimbabwe. The alliance does not have its own seminary, but sends divinity students to several schools of closely related groups. Its monthly newsletter is also posted on its website.
Not reported. In 2008, the alliance had 115 affiliated congregations. It has also developed a strong working relationship with the American Baptist Churches in the USA, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, and the Progressive National Baptist Convetion.
Connections, PO Box 25461, Greenville, SC 29616.
Alliance of Baptists. www.allianceofbaptists.org.
4605 N. State Line Ave., Texarkana, TX 75501
No sooner had the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) been formed than it became disturbed by the controversy over what came to be called “Old Landmarkism.” Dr. James R. Graves (1820–1893), editor of The Tennessee Baptist, in an attempt to restore Apostolic purity to the churches, called on them to reject Protestants, who could not rightly be considered New Testament churches. This view was shared by Dr. J. M. Pendleton (1811–1891) of Bowling Green, Kentucky, and a number of churches that did not join the Southern Baptist movement.
The issues of “Old Landmarkism” centered on alien baptism, pulpit affiliation, closed communion, and missions. Supporters of Landmarkism opposed recognition of any baptism by a non-Baptist, allowing non-Baptists to join in the Lord’s Supper, the exchange of pulpits with non-Baptist ministers, and missions controlled by boards beyond the local church. The Southern Baptist Convention never accepted Landmarkism, but for many years supporters of Landmarkism remained a dissenting minority within the SBC, strongly affecting its policy toward centralization. The Landmark position involved a theory of the succession of Baptist churches from the time of Christ to the present. According to the theory, the succession begins with the biblical church and continues through the Montanists, Novatians, Donatists, Paulicians, Waldenses, and Anabaptists.
Until 1899, when the Missionary Baptist Association of Texas was formed, Landmarkism remained unorganized. In 1905, however, churches both inside and outside the SBC formed a Landmark denomination, the General Association, which in 1924 became the American Baptist Association (ABA). It is doctrinally like the SBC, except for the Landmark ideals.
The ABA is congregationally governed. It maintains a publishing concern in Texarkana, Texas, and campgrounds at Bogg Springs, Arkansas, and Pine Springs, Texas. The several Bible institutes and seminaries recognized by the ABA are locally owned and controlled, as are several periodicals.
Not reported. Congregations affiliated with the American Baptist Association are found in every state of the union and in the following countries: Australia, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Fiji Island, France, Germany, India, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Lithuania, Mexico, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Philippines, Peru, Solomon Island, Uganda, Vanuatu, Venezuela, and Honduras.
The schools recognized by the American Baptist Association are owned and operated by local churches rather than the association as a whole.
Aba Mexican Baptist Institute, Pharr, Texas.
Antioch Missionary Baptist Seminary, Manuthy, Trichur, India.
California Missionary Baptist Institute, Bellflower, California.
Calvary Mexican Baptist Institute, Juarez, Mexico.
Davao Missionary Baptist Institute and Seminary, Davao City, Philippines.
Florida Baptist Schools, Lakeland, Florida.
Fresno Missionary Baptist Institute, Fresno, California.
Gulf Coast Baptist Institute, Theodore, Alabama.
Historic Baptist Bible Institute, Scarborough, Ontario, Canada.
Landmark Correspondence School, Lookeba, Oklahoma.
Landmark Missionary Baptist Institute, Mauldin, South Carolina.
Louisiana Missionary Baptist Institute and Seminary, Minden, Louisiana.
Mid-South Baptist Institute and Seminary, Bogalusa, Louisiana.
Mission Valley Mission Schools, San Antonio, Texas.
Missionary Baptist Seminary and Institute, Little Rock, Arkansas.
Monterrey Bible Institute, Santa Catarina, Mexico.
Northwest Baptist Institute, Bend, Oregon.
Oklahoma Missionary Baptist Institute, Marlow, Oklahoma.
Oxford Baptist Institute, Oxford, Mississippi.
Peru Missionary Baptist Institute, Trujillo, Peru.
Philippine Missionary Baptist Seminary, Davao City, Philippines.
Seoul Missionary Baptist Institute, Seoul, South Korea.
Somerset Baptist Bible Institute, Somerset, Kentucky.
Tennessee Missionary Baptist Institute, Nashville, Tennessee.
Texas Baptist Institute and Seminary, Henderson, Texas.
Washington Missionary Baptist Institute and Seminary, Auburn, Washington.
West Florida Baptist Institute, Pensacola, Florida.
Calvinist Missionary Baptist. www.abaptist.org.
Nevins, William Manlius. Alien Baptism and the Baptists. Ashland, KY: Press of Economy Printers, 1962.
PO Box 851, Valley Forge, PA 19481
The organization of Baptists in America proceeded in stages. While the first churches were organized in the 1600s, they were too few to formally organize above the congregational level. In 1707, however, five churches (three in Philadelphia and two in the countryside) organized the Philadelphia Baptist Association. That association at one point included churches from as far away as Connecticut and South Carolina. Then, in 1751, the Charleston (South Carolina) Association was formed. The number of Baptists began to grow significantly after the American Revolution. The association became the typical structure by which Baptist congregations affiliated. Tensions emerged among those who saw the association strictly for fellowship and those who saw it as a structure through which the congregations could extend their ministry. Most Baptists have been content to emphasize the autonomy of the local church, while assigning specific tasks such as higher education and foreign missions (not generally possible for a congregation) to the association.
The next major step in Baptist organization was spurred by the new missionary zeal that emerged in the early nineteenth century. Among the first missionaries sent out by the Congregational Church were Adoniram Judson (1788–1850), his wife Ann Judson (1789–1826), and Luther Rice (1783–1836). Rice soon converted to the Baptist perspective and as a result felt he could not work with Congregationalists. Rice returned to America to organize support among the Baptist churches. As a result of his efforts, the General Missionary Convention of the Baptist Denomination in the United States for Foreign Missions was organized in 1814. This organization was the first to draw support from Baptists nationally. It met every three years and became popularly known as the Triennial Convention. The Baptist General Tract Society was founded in 1824. In 1832, it was joined by the American Baptist Home Mission Society, which directed its activity primarily toward the western United States. A third major national society, the Woman’s American Baptist Home Mission Society, was formed in 1877.
Over the next decades, Baptists were served by several mission agencies, each of which developed its own program and appealed to individual congregations. The need for coordination and the elimination of duplicated efforts was evident. In 1845, when the congregations in the South organized the Southern Baptist Convention, a cohesive convention structure had finally been formed. In 1907 the Northern Baptist Convention was organized, and the several missionary agencies became cooperating organizations of the convention. While retaining their official autonomy, the mission boards agreed to hold their regular meetings at the same time and place and to accept representatives of the congregations as voting delegates. The convention gave new national coherence to the majority of Baptists. The Northern Baptist Convention became known as the American Baptist Convention in 1950, and it assumed its present name in 1972.
Doctrinally, Baptists grew out of the Puritan-Reformed tradition in England. The reliance upon the Puritans is visible in the early Baptist confessions of faith, the First and Second London Confessions (1677 and 1689), the Philadelphia Confession (1742), and the New Hampshire Confession (1833). The first major break with the Reformed theological heritage came after the Revolution when attempts were made to move away from a strong doctrine of predestination. The theology of Andrew Fuller was among the most prominent statements of Baptists attempting to provide a place for the free response of men and women to the gospel. This changing emphasis was embodied in the New Hampshire Confession. Eventually, however, confessional statements fell into disuse. The need for doctrinal uniformity was no longer emphasized, and a variety of theological opinions appeared.
The lack of theological unity allowed several new perspectives to become prominent among American Baptists. An emphasis upon social reform in the cities merged with the new discipline of sociology to produce the social gospel movement. Baptists such as Walter Rauschenbush became leading exponents. Prominent Baptist scholars were among the first to absorb the new German higher criticism of the Bible. As both movements gained support within the denomination, the reactions of conservatives threatened the very existence of the new Northern Baptist Convention. It became one of the most heated and bitter battlegrounds for what became known as the fundamentalist-modernist controversy in the early twentieth century. The losses of conservatives at the convention meetings and the resultant decrease of influence in the mission societies led to several major schisms as well as the formation of such bodies as the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches and the Conservative Baptist Association.
The American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A. (ABC) is organized congregationally. Delegates from the individual churches and regional organizations meet biennially. Between meetings, a general board oversees the affairs of the denomination. The work of the ABC is delegated to the boards that have charge of foreign missions, home missions, education and publication, and ministerial and missionary benefits. Under each of the boards are a variety of specialized divisions. Judson Press is the publishing arm of the ABC.
In 1996, the ABC reported 1,503,267 members, 5,807 congregations, and 7,929 ministers.
American Baptist Seminary of the West, Berkeley, California.
Andover Newton Theological Seminary, Newton Centre, Massachusetts.
Central Baptist Theological Seminary, Kansas City, Missouri.
Colgate Rochester/Bexley Hall/Crozer, Rochester, New York.
Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Morehouse School of Religion, Atlanta, Georgia.
Northern Baptist Theological Seminary, Lombard, Illinois.
The School of Theology, Richmond, Virginia.
Colleges and universities:
Alderson-Broaddus College, Phillipi, West Virginia.
Bacone College, Muskogee, Oklahoma.
Benedict College, Columbia, South Carolina.
Eastern College, St. Davids, Pennsylvania.
Florida Memorial College, Miami, Florida.
Franklin College of Indiana, Franklin, Indiana.
Judson College, Elgin, Illinois.
Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Keuka College, Keuka Park, New York.
Linfield College, McMinnville, Oregon.
Ottawa University, Ottawa, Kansas.
University of Redlands, Redlands, California.
Shaw University, Raleigh, North Carolina.
Virginia Union University, Richmond, Virginia.
William Jewell College, Liberty, Missouri.
American Baptist in Mission. • The Secret Place. Available from PO Box 851, Valley Forge, PA 19482.
Calvinist Missionary Baptist. www.abc-usa.org.
Bailey, Ambrose M. Manual of Instruction for Baptists. Philadelphia: American Baptist Publication Society, 1951.
Harrison, Paul M. Authority and Power in the Free Church Tradition. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1959.
Maring, Norman H. American Baptists, Whence and Whither. Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press, 1968.
Maring, Norman H., and Winthrop S. Hudson. A Baptist Manual of Polity and Practice. Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press, 1963.
Straton, Hillyer H. Baptists: Their Message and Mission. Chicago: Judson Press, 1941.
314 Richfield Rd., Upper Darby, PA 19082
The Association of Evangelicals for Italian Missions was formed by 16 Baptist ministers meeting in New York City in 1899 as the Italian Association of America. The new association was the product of mission work among Italian immigrants undertaken by the Northern Baptist Convention, now the American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A., after the Civil War. The association became the Italian Baptist Association of America and recently adopted its present name. The association remains on good terms with its parent body, but carries on a mission to Italian Americans. The New Aurora is published five times yearly. Most churches are in the North and East. There is an annual conference that elects officers.
The New Aurora.
401 E Louther St., Carlisle, PA 17013
The Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America (ARBCA) was founded March 11, 1997, with a charter membership of 24 churches from fourteen states. ARBCA follows in the steps of its forebears, in particular the Baptist Association of London, whose members stated in their 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith that “…churches, when planted by the providence of God, so as they may enjoy opportunity and advantage for it, ought to hold communion among themselves, for their peace, increase of love, and mutual edification” (ch. 26, para. 14). ARBCA works to advance Christ’s kingdom by providing an association in which churches of common confession may find mutual encouragement, assistance, edification, and counsel, and may participate in cooperative efforts in church planting, foreign missions, ministerial training, publications, and other endeavors deemed appropriate by the association.
The foreign mission arm of ARBCA, known as the Reformed Baptist Mission Services (RBMS), provides services to five member churches that have sent five church-planting missionaries and to seven member churches that sponsor seven national pastors. RBMS is not a mission board—a member church is the sending agency for a missionary with sister churches assisting, and any member church may act as a sending church of a missionary.
ARBCA organized the Institute for Reformed Baptist Studies (IRBS) to operate in close cooperation with the Westminster Theological Seminary, a confessional Reformed seminary in Escondido, California. ARBCA also provides academically qualified professors with considerable pastoral experience to teach IRBS courses on the Westminster campus north of San Diego. Offerings include courses in Reformed Baptist doctrinal distinctives, Baptist church theory, the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith, pastoral ministry, and preaching. Earned credits from IRBS transfer to Westminster’s Master of Divinity program, some in place of Westminster’s required coursework and others as electives.
ARBCA churches are also active in starting churches in the United States and Canada, and in publishing literature such as Sunday school material and other aids to the churches. The theological basis for all ARBCA endeavors continues to be the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith.
In 2008 ARBCA reported 64 member churches.
Institute for Reformed Baptist Studies (IRBS).
Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America (ARBCA). www.puritanhope/arbca/.
Waldron, Samuel, E., and Richard C. Barcellos. A Reformed Baptist Manifesto. Carlisle, PA: Reformed Baptist Academic Press, 2004.
17 Laverock St., Tottenham, ON, Canada LOG 1W0
The association is committed to a historic Baptist position and affirms the belief in the inerrant Bible. Also asserted are the doctrines of the trinity, creation, the deity and vicarious atonement of Christ, the personal and visible return of Christ, and eternal punishment of the unsaved. Following Baptist tradition, the association defines the church as the voluntary association of believers who have been immersed (baptized). The association’s position is seen as in general agreement with earlier Baptist confessions (the London, Philadelphia, and New Hampshire).
The association has a congregational polity. Missions are supported in Belgium, France, Jamaica, Martinique, St. Lucia, Spain, Fiji, Madagascar, the Philippines, and Switzerland.
In 2002 there were 15 churches in the association with 10 other supporting churches cooperating in the mission work.
PO Box 191, Springfield, MO 65801
The Baptist Bible Fellowship International was begun in 1950 by former members of the World Baptist Fellowship, including Rev. G. Beauchamp Vick (1901–1975), who had succeeded J. Frank Norris (1877–1952) as pastor of the Temple Baptist Church in Detroit. In 1948 he was made president of the debt-ridden Bible Baptist Seminary. Within two years he was able to wipe out most of the debt. He also discovered that Norris retained and would not surrender to him the ultimate power to run the school. In 1950 Vick was dismissed, and open schism soon occurred as pastors and churches lined up behind either Norris or Vick. Vick led in the founding of a new school, the Baptist Bible College, and a new periodical, the Baptist Bible Tribune.
Doctrinally, the Bible Baptists are in the main line of traditional Baptist beliefs. They are strong fundamentalists and believe in both personal and ecclesiastical separation. Congregations and pastors have no fellowship with individuals and groups deemed to be infidels, idolaters, and/or immoral. There is a firm statement on the supernatural inspiration and verbal inerrancy of scripture. Their Calvinism is very mild. The Bible Baptists believe in God’s electing grace, but also teach that blessings of salvation are made free to all by the gospel. The main way in which the Bible Baptists differ from some other Baptists is in their ecclesiology. They emphasize the autonomy of the local church combined with the strong authority of the pastor as “shepherd of his flock.” Any congregation that accepts the doctrinal statement may affiliate with the fellowship. The fellowship acknowledges two ordinances, baptism by immersion and the Lord’s Supper. The government is to be supported and obeyed in all matters not opposed to the “will of Jesus Christ.”
The work of the denomination is centered on its colleges, its periodical, and, primarily, its missions. A part of the doctrinal statement is a belief in the command to give the gospel to the world. Scriptural giving is one of the fundamentals of faith. A director of missions and a mission committee oversees responsibility for the mission work of the fellowship. In 1997 there were 858 missionaries operating in 107 countries. The Baptist Bible Fellowship has grown tremendously both through its evangelistic activities and by acquisition of independent congregations who choose to join. Among its member churches are some of the largest in the country; their congregations have almost one-fourth of the 100 largest Sunday schools in the country. Congregations are concentrated in the South and Midwest and are divided into 48 fellowship districts.
Baptist Bible Graduate School of Theology, Springfield, Missouri.
Louisiana Baptist Theological Seminary, Shreveport, Louisiana.
Baptist Bible College, Springfield, Missouri.
Boston Baptist College, Boston, Massachusetts.
Atlantic Baptist Bible College, Chester, Virginia.
Louisiana Baptist University, Shreveport, Louisiana.
Pacific Baptist Bible College, Pomona, California.
Baptist Bible Tribune. Send orders to Box 309, Springfield, MO 65801. • Global Partners Magazine, PO Box 191, Springfield, MO 65801.
Baptist Bible Fellowship International. www.bbfi.org.
Department of Missions, PO Box 30910, Little Rock, AR 72260-0016
The Baptist Missionary Association is a fellowship of Baptist churches organized in 1950 and designed to facilitate the cooperation of the churches in missions, Christian education, and benevolence. The association sponsors over 600 missionaries in the United States and other countries. Its publishing agency produces a full line of Sunday school and Christian growth ministry curricula in English and translates much of that material into eight other languages and dialects. Other agencies sponsor broadcast ministries in several languages and dialects, religious education institutions, chaplaincy ministries, camp ministries, and ministers’ retirement plans. State organizations and local associations provide additional ministries. Participating independent congregations adopt a common Doctrinal Statement and subscribe to the Principles of Cooperation of the Association.
In 2008 the association reported 234,110 members in 1,384 congregations, and, in 2002, reported 1,193 pastors. They currently minister to 53 countries and hope to add 10 countries each year.
Baptist Missionary Association Theological Seminary, Jacksonville, Texas.
Central Baptist College, Conway, Arkansas.
Jacksonville College, Jacksonville, Texas.
Southeastern Baptist College, Laurel Mississippi.
BMA of America Missions. www.bmaam.com.
Dugger, John W. The Baptist Missionary Association of America, 1950-1986. Texarkana, TX: Baptist Publishing House, 1988.
Harmon, Sherman, comp. A Fire Was Kindled. N.p., n.d.
Jackson, D. N. Studies in Baptist Doctrines and History. Little Rock, AR: Baptist Publications Committee, n.d.
7185 Millcreek Dr., Mississauga, ON, Canada L5N 5R4
Canadian Baptist Ministries was formed on January 1, 1995, through the merger of the Canadian Baptist Federation and Canadian Baptist International Ministries. The purpose of Canadian Baptist Ministries is “to unite, encourage and enable Canadian Baptist Churches in their national and international endeavors to fulfill the commission of our Lord Jesus Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit, proclaiming the gospel and showing the love of God to all peoples.”
Like Congregationalists, Baptists came to Canada from New England following the British takeover of the area in 1748. Their initial settlements were in Nova Scotia, where the oldest Baptist churches were organized in Sackville (now in New Brunswick) in 1763, and at Horton (now called Wolfville) in 1765 under the leadership of the Rev. Ebenezer Moulton. Both churches were lost when many of their members returned to New England in the 1770s. However, the continuous history of the Baptists can be traced to the ministry of independent Congregationalist evangelist Henry Alline (1748–1784), who began to travel throughout Nova Scotia in the 1770s. Finding little support from either Congregationalists or Presbyterian leaders, his converts founded a number of independent (“New Light”) Congregational churches, most of which later became Baptist churches. Alline also participated in the reconstitution of the Horton church in 1788 under a new pastor, Nicolas Pierson. In 1798 the Baptists and the Alline churches formed the Baptist and Congregational Association, which became the Nova Scotia Baptist Association in 1800.
As Baptist work spread through the three Maritime Provinces, the Nova Scotia Baptist Association became the fountainhead of a number of new associations. In 1846 the association formed the Baptist Convention of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island (shortened in 1879 to the Baptist Convention of the Maritime Provinces). The African Association, consisting of 17 black churches, dates back to the 1830s, and in 1884 it affiliated with the convention.
Contemporaneous with the growth of the Regular (Calvinistic) Baptist churches that made up the Baptist Convention of the Maritime Provinces, Free Baptists from New England arrived in Nova Scotia. Asa McGray and Joseph Norton led in the formation of these Free Baptist churches, the first organized at Barrington in 1795. In 1834 a Free Baptist Association was formed. Not a part of this association, a group led by Norton organized the Union of Free Christian Baptists. In 1867 these two groups merged to become the Free Christian Baptist Conference. An association of New Brunswick Free Baptists, consisting largely of immigrants from Maine, was formed in 1832. Known at first as the New Brunswick Christian Conference, the name was changed to Free Christian Baptists in 1847, and in 1896 to Free Christian Baptist Conference.
In 1905 and 1906 the two streams of Baptist, Regular and Free Will, merged to form the United Baptist Convention of the Maritime Provinces. When Baptist congregations were planted in Newfoundland, the name was changed to the United Baptist Convention of the Atlantic Provinces in 1963.
Baptists began to move into Upper and Lower Canada (Quebec and Ontario) from the United States following the American Revolution, but the first churches were not formed until the 1790s (Calwell’s Manor in the Eastern Townships, Lower Canada, in 1794, and a church near Beamsville, Upper Canada, in 1796). These churches were formed by American ministers in those areas closest to the American-Canadian border. The development of the Baptist church was stimulated after 1815 by the arrival in the Ottawa Valley of Scottish Highlanders who had experienced the ministry of Robert Haldane (1764–1842) and his brother James Haldane (1768–1851), Scottish Baptist evangelists. Cooperation between the various Baptist churches in the province was hindered primarily by disagreement over communion. Those original churches formed in the later eighteenth century tended to practice closed communion (excluding all but correctly baptized church members from participating in the Lord’s Supper). In 1888 a merger of two regional bodies led to the formation of the Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec. Meanwhile, beginning in the 1820s, ex-slaves who had settled in Canada formed a set of black Baptist congregations. In the 1830s French-speaking immigrants from Switzerland settled in Quebec and Henriette Feller (1800–1868) began Baptist work in Montreal and the Eastern Townships. In 1969 the French congregations organized the Union d’Eglises Baptistes Francaises au Canada (Union of French Baptist Churches in Canada) after working for more than a century as the Grande Ligne Mission.
In 1873 the Rev. Alexander McDonald began Baptist work in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The planting of other churches led to the formation of the Baptist Convention of Manitoba and the Northwest in 1884. Extensive work among non–English-speaking immigrant communities was pursued by the Baptists in western Canada, and as a result a number of ethnic congregations were incorporated into the new convention.
Work on the Canadian west coast had progressed since 1876, with help from the United States. In 1897 Baptists organized the Baptist Convention of British Columbia. In 1907 churches in the four western provinces joined to form the Baptist Convention of Western Canada, reorganized as the Baptist Union of Western Canada in 1909.
In 1944 the Baptist Federation of Canada was established as a loose affiliation of the three autonomous conventions/unions. The Union d’Eglises Baptists Francaises au Canada has participated in the federation since 1970. The name was changed to Canadian Baptist Federation in 1983.
The Canadian Baptist work overseas began as early as 1814, when Baptist churches in Atlantic Canada gave financial support to the American Baptist Missionary Union. When Canadian Baptists began to volunteer as missionaries, the American Baptist Missionary Union seemed to be the logical way to send them. The first Canadian Baptist missionaries overseas, Rev. and Mrs. Richard E. Burpee, went to Burma in 1845 to work among the Karen people.
In 1865 the Maritime Baptist Convention incorporated a foreign mission board. In 1867 this mission board made history by sending a single woman, Minnie DeWolfe, to Burma. She was the first single woman sent overseas by any Baptist board in the world.
In 1866 Baptists in Ontario and Quebec formed a “Canadian auxiliary” to the American Baptist Missionary Union, an organization to which they had been making contributions for several years. In 1870 this auxiliary was reorganized as the Regular Baptist Foreign Mission Society of Canada, and in 1889 the name was changed to the Board of Foreign Missions of the Regular Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec.
By 1875 Canadian Baptist missionaries from both the Maritime and the Ontario and Quebec boards were working in the same area of India, but under their respective boards. In addition to their efforts in evangelism and church planting, the early missionaries sought to address the poverty they encountered in India. One response was to establish schools. By 1890 30 village schools were in operation. High schools, boarding schools, vocational training institutes, and teacher training schools followed, and by 1940 there were 440 schools in operation.
In 1898 another need was addressed with the opening of the Star of Hope Hospital at Akividu, India, under the direction of Dr. Pearl Smith. Over the next thirty years, eight more hospitals were founded in India by Canadian Baptists.
Also in 1898, Canadian Baptists from Ontario and Quebec became involved in another mission field—Bolivia—with the arrival of Archibald Reekie in Oruro. He established contact with the Bolivians by opening an English-language school, an approach that was followed by missionaries in La Paz and Cochabamba. In 1905 freedom of worship was granted in Bolivia, largely because of the favorable example set by the Canadian Baptist missionaries.
On a number of occasions between 1875 and 1910 attempts were made to unite the two mission boards in Canada. Finally in 1911, stimulated by the formation of Baptist Unions in western Canada and the frustration of the missionaries working cooperatively in India but under separate boards, the Canadian Baptist Foreign Mission Board was formed. It brought together the Foreign Mission Board of the Maritime Baptist Convention and the Board of Foreign Missions of the Regular Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec, uniting Canadian Baptists in their administration of overseas mission. On May 1, 1970, a revised constitution changed the name to the Canadian Baptist Overseas Mission Board. In 1990 the board’s name was changed again, to Canadian Baptist International Ministries, reflecting changes in attitudes in some countries to the missionary enterprise.
Canadian Baptist Ministries (CBM) was created on January 1, 1995, through the merger of Canadian Baptist International Ministries and the Canadian Baptist Federation. With the increasingly multicultural nature of Canadian society and the rapidly shrinking globalized world, the merger brought together the national and international ministries of Canadian Baptists in a way that was appropriate to the needs and realities of the twenty-first century. In 2007 the four constituent regional denominations that were a part of CBM began the process of standardizing their names as Canadian Baptists of Atlantic Canada, Canadian Baptists of French Canada, Canadian Baptists of Ontario and Quebec, and Canadian Baptists of Western Canada.
In 2008 Canadian Baptist Ministries had personnel in 20 countries, including Canada. One of its ministries is the Sharing Way, which focuses on relief, development, and refugees. CBM also operates a large short-term mission (STM) program with a focus on global discipleship.
A majority of Canadian Baptists accept moderate Calvinism, with an Arminian (free will) minority active as well. Canadian Baptist Ministries is noncreedal but has a statement of mission that addresses basic theological issues as well as questions of purpose, service, and fellowship.
The board of directors, which is the delegated governing body of Canadian Baptist Ministries, meets semiannually. A congregational polity is practiced in Canadian Baptist churches. Local Baptist churches are self-governing but cooperate in missionary and other activities through the respective regional conventions/unions.
Canadian Baptist Ministries is a member of the Baptist World Alliance. It declined invitations to participate in the formation of the United Church of Canada. It was a member of the Canadian Council of Churches until 1980, when it withdrew, although the Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec continues to be a member. All four conventions/unions are members of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada.
The CBM constituency, constituted in the four regional denominations, is made up of approximately 1,200 congregations and 250,000 active participants.
Acadia Divinity College, Wolfville, Nova Scotia.
Atlantic Baptist University, Moncton, New Brunswick.
Carey Theological College, Vancouver, British Columbia.
Faculté de Théologie Evangélique, Montreal, Quebec.
McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, Ontario.
The Canadian Baptist. • The Link and Visitor. Both available from 100–304 East Mall, Etobicoke, ON M9B 6E2, Canada. • The Atlantic Baptist. Available from Box 756, Kentville, NS B4N 3X9, Canada. • Mosaic. Available from 7185 Millcreek Dr., Mississauga, ON L5N 5R4, Canada. • Tidings, 4 Kay St., Salisbury, NB E4J 2J2, Canada.
Canadian Baptist Ministries (CBM). www.cbmin.org/web/.
McBeth, H. Leon. The Baptist Heritage. Nashville, TN: Broadman Press, 1987.
Moody, Barry M., ed. Repent and Believe: The Baptist Experience in Maritime Canada. Hantsport, NS: Lancelot Press, 1980.
Torbet, Robert G. A History of the Baptists. Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press, 1973.
Thompson Margaret E. The Baptist Story in Western Canada. Calgary, AB: Baptist Union of Western Canada, 1974.
Zeman, Jarold Knox. Baptists in Canada. Burlington, ON: G. R. Welch, 1980.
100 Convention Way, Cochrane, AB T4C 2G2
In the late 1940s, Baptists in British Columbia affiliated with the General Association of Regular Baptists Churches voiced increasingly dissatisfaction with the Association on issues of dispensationalism as well as the looseness of the association, which led to a general neglect of member congregations. Concurrently, the Southern Baptist Convention was experiencing significant growth in the Pacific Northwest. Cooperation was stymied by larger concerns of the relationship of the Southern Baptist Convention and various Canadian Baptist organizations, but in 1957, a joint committee was established between the regular Baptists in Canada and the Southern Baptist Convention.
Delays in resolving the larger issues of territoriality led the Canadian Baptists to begin organizing on their own. In 1955 and initial “Southern Baptist” association was formed as the Capilano Association in Vancouver. It was followed by the Midwest Baptist Association (including Alberta and Saskatchewan) in 1957, and in December 1960 the churches in interior British Columbia established the Plateau Association. In 1963 the congregations from the three associations established the Canadian Southern Baptist Conference as a temporary organization that served as a forerunner to a convention fully affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.
It wasn’t until 1977 that the Southern Baptist Convention approved a motion to extend help to Canadian Southern Baptists, another seven years before the Southern Baptist Convention approved a motion to recognize an autonomous Canadian Convention. In 1985, the Canadian Southern Baptist Conference unanimously voted for a new constitution based on the SBC resolution and became the Canadian Convention of Southern Baptists.
The Canadian Convention cooperates with the Southern Baptist Convention in international missions.
In 2008 the Convention completed a four-year process by which it adopted a new name, the Canadian National Baptist Convention (in French, Convention Nationale Baptiste Canadienne). The name change did not affect its ongoing relationship with the Southern Baptist Convention.
In 2000 there were 149 churches, 10,189 members, 103 ministers, and 3 families in international missions in Nigeria, Southeast Asia, and Chile. In 2008 there were 271 congregations in Canada.
Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary, Cochrane, Alberta, Canada.
The Baptist Horizon.
Canadian National Baptist Convention. www.ccsb.ca.
3686 Stagecoach Rd., Unit F, Longmont, CO 80504-5660
CBAmerica, formerly known as the Conservative Baptist Association, dates from 1946, the year Northern Baptists (now American Baptist Churches) met in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The conflict between modern religious liberalism and theological conservative leadership within the convention dates back to the 1920s. Earlier breakaways from the convention over the same issues included the General Association of Regular Baptists in 1932. The Conservative Baptist Foreign Mission Society (now CB International), founded in December 1943, was excluded from the convention in 1945.
At the Grand Rapids meetings, theological conservatives made one final attempt to change the liberal course of the convention. Failing in this attempt, Dr. Albert Johnson of Hinson Baptist Church, Portland, Oregon, introduced the resolution calling for the churches to explore affiliation with other Baptist groups. The final conclusion of the “Committee of 15” called for regional conferences that overwhelmingly endorsed the formation of the Conservative Baptist Association of America. This action was considered at Atlantic City in May 1947 and finalized at Milwaukee in 1948. Actions in Milwaukee included the appointment of a general director and three regional evangelists, a committee to consider and report on the formation of a Home Mission Society in 1949 at San Francisco, and the adoption of a constitution.
Following a move from Chicago to Elk Grove, Illinois, in 1963, the Association built a new headquarters adjacent to the Home and Foreign Mission Society in Wheaton, Illinois, in 1968. More recently it moved its headquarters from Illilnois to Colorado.
The Association ministers in cooperation with the two mission agencies and shares ministry with 23 state associations; three seminaries located in Portland, Oregon, Denver, Colorado, and Dresher, Pennsylvania; and three colleges located in Honolulu, Hawaii, Phoenix, Arizona, and South Portland, Maine. In 2008 there were 1,200 churches affiliated with the CBAmerica.
CBAmerica is a very loose federation of nine regional associations. Together, in 2008, the combined associations reported 1200 congregations with approximately 200,000 members.
Denver Seminary, Denver, Colorado.
Southwestern College, Phoenix, Arizona.
Western Conservative Baptist Seminary, Portland, Oregon.
International College and Graduate School of Theology, Honolulu, Hawaii.
Seminary of the East, Doesher, Pennsylvania.
New England Bible College, South Portland, Maine.
Spectrum. • Impact. Send orders to Box 5, Wheaton, IL 60189.
CB America. www.cbamerica.org/.
A Baptist Primer in Church Discipline. Chicago: Conservative Baptist Fellowship, n.d.
Founded on the Word, Focused on the World. Wheaton, IL: Conservative Baptist Foreign Missionary Society, 1978.
Pegg, Walter A. Historic Baptist Distinctives. Wheaton, IL: Conservative Baptist Foreign Missionary Society, 1952.
Shelley, Bruce R. Conservative Baptists. Denver, CO: Conservative Baptist Theological Seminary, 1962.
Tulga, Chester E. The Independence of the Local Church. Chicago: Conservative Baptist Fellowship, 1951.
309 Lebanon Rd., Kingsport, TN 37663
The Central Baptist Association was founded in 1956. It is conservative fundamentalist in theological perspective, and member churches hold to the absolute authority of the King James Version of the Bible and practice baptism by immersion. The association exists to maintain a common standard of doctrine and practice among member churches. It also operates a summer camp in Jasper, Virginia.
In 1994 the association reported 33 member churches in four associations located in Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, and South Carolina.
PO Box 450329, Atlanta, GA 311-0329
The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) is a product of the struggle between conservative and moderate forces within the Southern Baptist Convention during the last quarter of the twentieth century. Through the 1980s, the more conservative wing within the convention organized and was able to capture the presidency of the multimillion-member denomination in every election. This allowed them to gain control of most of the institutions that the convention supports, including the colleges, universities, and seminaries.
By 1990 the moderate leadership in the convention was feeling pushed aside and cut off from any exercise of power within the convention. Thus, a call in the summer of 1990 for “concerned Baptists” to gather in Atlanta brought 2000 persons together to create a rudimentary organization with a financial structure and an interim steering committee. In May 1991, that organization was officially chartered as the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. The fellowship began operation within the convention and almost all of the founding delegates were drawn from congregations that still considered themselves a part of the convention. However, as frustration over the leadership of the convention continued through the 1990s, an increasing number of them decreased and/or cut off financial support. A few moved formally to withdraw from the convention. A few congregations in the fellowship ran into further conflict over “progressive” practices, namely the ordination of females to the ministry and the acceptance of homosexuals into membership (both of which the convention condemned).
Those who formed the fellowship were theologically conservative and placed themselves within the larger Evangelical movement. However, while strongly affirming the authority of the Bible, they tended to refrain from understanding the Bible as inerrant, and were responsive to the concerns of the modern feminist movement within the church. They separated themselves from the resolution calling for the submission of wives to their husbands later passed by the convention.
Southern Baptists have conducted a strong missionary program from the days of the recovery from the effects of their civil war, and the new fellowship moved quickly to affirm its mission orientation. Several years after its founding, it placed its first missionaries in various locations around the world. The emphasis of its missionaries was on “unreached people groups” (including those without a national identity), and included a growing number of missionaries assigned to various ethnic communities in the United States.
Through the early 1990s, a wide variety of new organizations were founded that paralleled the agencies of the convention. These included a press agency, a publishing house (of church school literature), and several institutions for theological education.
The fellowship is led by a coordinating council, elected by those who attend the annual CBF meeting. That meeting also elects the executive leader, the president, a position held by both clergy and laity and both males and females. The fellowship’s coordinator leads a staff of professionals who administer the fellowship’s affairs and structures between the annual meetings. State organizations now exist in more than 20 states.
The fellowship operated as a dissenting body on the edge of the Southern Baptist Convention through the 1990s, but has increasingly made the transition to become an independent denomination, and has been so recognized by the U.S. Military Office of Chaplains, for the purpose of assigning chaplains to the Armed Forces. The fact that so many congregations identified with it has given it instant status as one of the major denominational bodies in the United States.
In 2008 the fellowship reported more than 1900 affiliated congregations. It supports some 160 Global Missions field personnel and endorses some 520 chaplains and pastoral counselors.
Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. www.thefellowship.info.
Ammerman, Nancy T. “SBC Moderates and the Making of a Post-Modern Denomination.” Christian Century 110, no. 26 (1993): 896-99.
Lolley, W. Randall, ed. FINDINGS: A Report of the Special Study Commission to Study the Question: “Should the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Become a Separate Denomination?” Atlanta: Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, 1996.
Stricklin, David. A Genealogy of Dissent: Southern Baptist Protest in the Twentieth Century. Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 2000.
Current address not obtained for this edition.
The Duck River (and Kindred) Association of Baptists separated from the Elk River Association in 1825. The issue was the atonement, and the “liberals” who believed in a general atonement withdrew from the Elk River Association, which was a member of the Triennial Convention, the initial missionary organization which later evolved into the American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A.
Another issue soon divided churches in the Triennial Convention, the issue of compulsory mission support. In 1843 that issue caused some people to withdraw from churches in the Triennial Convention and from another Duck River Association. With further divisions within churches associated with the Triennial Associations, more Duck River Associations were formed. At the date of last publication, there were four Duck River Associations and three Kindred Associations included in the general association. Most of the churches were in Tennessee and all mission work was local.
Doctrine is mildly Calvinistic and members practice footwashing. Letters are a standard means of communication. Polity is congregational, and ministers are ordained by two or more of their colleagues.
PO Box 457, Guelph, ON N1H 6K9
After World War I, a fundamentalist-modernist controversy split the Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec (now a constituent part of the Canadian Baptist Federation). Leading the fundamentalists was Thomas Todhunter Shields (1873–1955), pastor of the Jarvis Street Baptist Church in Toronto. Shields was intimately involved with the World’s Christian Fundamentals Association and hosted the annual meeting in 1926. He helped found the Baptist Bible Union, a fundamentalist Baptist organization, and led it for nine years.
In Canada, Shields focused the fundamentalist controversy on McMaster University, the Baptist school in Toronto. He led an attack on the school through his periodical, the Gospel Witness. As a result, Shields was ousted from the Convention in 1927 for lack of harmony and cooperation with the Convention’s work. With his supporters, he founded the Union of Regular Baptist Churches, which reported approximately seventy churches its first year, and the Toronto Baptist Seminary, to compete with McMaster. However, internal controversy began to divide the Union. In 1933 a group left and formed the Fellowship of Independent Baptist Churches. After Shields led the Jarvis Street Church and other supporters out in 1949, the Union remained with little of its original substance.
Rebuilding of the divided fundamentalist structures began in 1953 when the Union of Regular Baptist Churches united with the Fellowship of Independent Baptist Churches to form the Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches. In the 1960s, the fellowship absorbed two other fundamentalist groups that had existed independently since their formation in the western provinces. The Regular Baptist Missionary Fellowship of Alberta, formed in 1930, joined the fellowship in 1963, and the Regular Baptists of British Columbia, formed in 1927, joined in 1965.
Beliefs of the fellowship are fundamental and resemble those of the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches. It supports missionaries in India and Japan through its own missionary board, and several hundred others through a variety of approved independent missionary-sending agencies.
Not reported. In 2008 the fellowship included some 500 congregations scattered across Canada.
The Evangelical Baptist. • Intercom.
The Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches. www.fellowship.ca.
Dollar, George W. A History of Fundamentalism in America. Greenville, SC: Bob Jones University Press, 1973.
284 Whig Ln., Monroeville, NJ 08343
The Fellowship of Fundamental Bible Churches was founded in 1939 by former members and ministers of the Methodist Protestant Church. As the merger between the Methodist Episcopal Church, the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and the Methodist Protestant Church approached, some 50 delegates and pastors (approximately one-third of the Eastern Conference) withdrew in protest of the union and what they considered the liberal tendencies of those churches. The congregations represented by those delegates reorganized and continued a separate existence as the Bible Protestant Church. In 1985 the group changed its name to the Fellowship of Fundamental Protestant Churches, a signal of the Fundamentalist theological position they had adopted. Congregations are found in California, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, and Michigan.
As the Fellowship evolved over the decades following its succession from the Methodist Protestant Church, it also largely left its Methodist heritage behind and adopted a theology more reflective of Baptist beliefs; today all of the congregations refer to themselves as either a “Baptist” or “Bible” church. The fellowship has come to closely resemble the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches. The fellowship is a member of the American Council of Christian Churches.
In 2004 the fellowship reported 22 churches, 46 ministers, and 1,208 members.
Fundamental Bible Institute. Various locations.
The Fellowship Link. • The FFBC Spotlight.
Fellowship of Fundamental Bible Churches. jrpeet.truepath.com/ffbc.
No central headquarters. For information, contact:, Audubon Drive Bible Church, 2601 Audubon Dr., PO Box 8055, Laurel, MS 39441
The Fellowship of Independent Reformed Evangelicals (F.I.R.E.) is an association of independent congregation of the Reformed Baptist tradition. The founding members adopted their constitution in 2006. The founders emphasized what they saw as the five “solas” of the sixteenth-century Reformation—namely, “Sola Scriptura” (Scripture Alone), “Sola Gratia” (Grace Alone), “Sola Fide” (Faith Alone), “Solus Christus” (Christ Alone), and “Soli Deo Gloria” (To the Glory of God Alone)—which were to be interpreted in the light of historical Baptist confessions, such as the First and Second London Baptist Confessions of Faith (1644, 1689). F.I.R.E. is not a charismatic organization, and encourages congregations in which the gifts of the Spirit operate to seek fellowship elsewhere.
The Fellowship exists as an association of independent congregations, with the association serving to assist the churches in their ministries’ activities rather than ruling over them. F.I.R.E. is directed by a national executive board, which is led by its moderator.
Not reported. Member churches and ministers are found across the United States and in Brazil, Croatia, Canada, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Mauritius, Mexico, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.
Fellowship of Independent Reformed Evangelicals. www.firefellowship.org/.
Marcellino, Jerry. Rediscovering the Lost Treasure of Family Worship. Laurel, MS: Audubon Press, 1996.
———. Should Christians Have a Heart for Israel? A Biblical Perspective. Hartsville, TN: Heart for Israel, 2000.
Ray, Bruce. Celebrating the Sabbath. Philipsburg, PA: P & R Publishing, 2000.
———. Withhold Not Correction. Philipsburg, PA: P & R Publishing, 1978.
500 W Lee Rd., Taylors, SC 29687
The Fundamental Baptist Fellowship was formed as a result of conflict and controversy in the Conservative Baptist Association. At issue was what was termed the “new evangelicalism,” a trend in conservative Christian circles toward cooperation with and accommodation of certain modern situations, without giving up any essentials of the faith. However, some within the Conservative Baptist Association (CBA) saw the new evangelicalism as a departure from Baptist traditions. The critics also believed in a premillennial eschatology and in separation from those who do not hold to fundamentalist doctrine. The controversy centered on the Denver Conservative Baptist Seminary in Denver, Colorado, founded in 1950 and strongly staffed with exponents of the new evangelicalism.
During the 1950s, controversy centered on attempts to control the seminary by the separatists. Conservative Baptist churches in Colorado began to take sides. The separatist strength was concentrated in the Conservative Baptist Fellowship (CBF), one of the constituent agencies of the CBA. The CBF was headed by Research Secretary Chester Tulga, who spelled out the separatist position in a number of “Case” booklets which attacked modernist and centralizing trends. The new evangelical position was concentrated in the CBA and the Conservative Baptist Foreign Missionary Society. During the 1950, the distance between the two sides grew. The Colorado Conservative Baptists withdrew support from the seminary, and individual churches and leaders began to support either the CBA or the CBF.
The split became final in 1961 when the leaders of the CBF formed the World Conservative Baptist Mission. An aggressive stance toward the CBA was taken, and pre-CBA convention sessions were held to persuade churches to accept the CBF position. In 1967, the name was changed to the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship in order to avoid association with the CBA.
The Fundamental Baptist Fellowship established headquarters in Denver, from which it issued the Information Bulletin, its periodical. The Baptist Bible College offers a two-year curriculum. Close relations are kept with the Minnesota Baptist Convention as a sister organization.
Not reported. In 2008 there were 32 congregations affiliated with the fellowship.
Baptist Bible College, Denver, Colorado.
FrontLine Magazine, 22 Briarwood Court, Schaumburg, IL 60193.
Fundamental Baptist Fellowship International. www.fbfi.org.
1916 Central Ave., Kansas City, KS 66102
The Fundamental Baptist Fellowship Association (FBFA) was founded on August 22, 1962, and incorporated on July 9, 1975. Its stated purpose is to “promote fellowship between Bible-believing Baptist Churches of like faith and order; to foster the spirit of evangelism; to spread the Gospel; and advance the cause of Christ through mutual efforts in Christian education and missions.”
The association is based on affirmation of biblical inerrancy, the Trinity, the depravity of man, and salvation by grace. Member churches and individual associate members also adopt a pre-millennial and pre-tribulation eschatology. The 28 member churches, largely African American, are located in the southern United States and the Midwest, with both a northern and southern national representative. A number of the churches are also connected to the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches. The association has a partnership with the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism (ABWE), an independent mission agency founded in Rhode Island in 1927, known originally as the Association of Baptists for Evangelism in the Orient (ABEO). The partnership with ABWE is particularly significant because of previous conflict between the ABWE and some member churches in the FBFA.
In 2008 Dr. Allen McFarland, senior pastor of Calvary Evangelical Baptist Church in Portsmouth, Virginia, was president of the FBFA.
In 2008 the association reported 28 affiliated congregations.
Fundamental Baptist Fellowship Association. www.fbfa.us/.
1300 N Meacham Rd., Schaumburg, IL 60173
Among the conservative elements in the Northern Baptist Convention (now the American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A.) were a number whose main concern was doctrine. After the Convention’s failure in 1922 to adopt the New Hampshire Confession of Faith, Thomas Todhunter Shields (1873–1955) of the Jarvis Street Church in Toronto led in the formation of the Baptist Bible Union, a union of individuals interested in the purging of modern elements in the Convention. In 1932, the Baptist Bible Union gave way to the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches (GARBC), formed in Chicago by delegates from eight states.
The GARBC considers itself an association of sovereign Bible-believing Baptist churches. The New Hampshire Confession of Faith was used as a model for the Articles of Faith, though emphasis is placed on the fundamentalist issues of the Bible and Christology. A single article concerns the “Resurrection, Personal, Visible Premillennial Return of Christ, and related events.”
The GARBC is also a vocal exponent of separation. Churches in the fellowship are required to withdraw fellowship from and refuse cooperation with any organization or group which permits modernists in its ranks. Their separatist position was included in the name of the GARBC; the term “Regular” was adopted to oppose the other, “irregular” Baptist churches.
Missions are promoted through ten independent mission agencies which hold to the GARBC doctrinal position. They are the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism, Baptist Church Planners, Baptist Mid-Missions, Evangelical Baptist Missions, Baptist Missionary Builders, Western Baptist Home Mission, Northwest Baptist Home Mission, Regular Baptist Church Builders of Colorado, Southwest Baptist Home Missions, and Continental Baptist Missions. There are eight independent college/seminaries that partner with the GARBC. Several compassion ministries, including children’s homes, a senior citizen’s home, and a residential school for the mentally disabled, also partner with the association.
In 2002 the association reported 155,757 members, 1,417 congregations, and 1,600 ministers.
Partnering educational facilities include the following:
Baptist Bible College and Seminary, Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania.
Cedarville University, Cedarville, Ohio.
Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary, Ankeny, Iowa.
Northwest Baptist Seminary, Tacoma, Washington.
Shasta Bible College, Redding, California.
Spurgeon Baptist Bible College, Mulberry, Florida.
Tennessee Temple University, Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Western Baptist College, Salem, Oregon.
General Association of Regular Baptist Churchers. www.garbc.org.
Barndollar, W. W. The Validity of Dispensationalism. Des Plaines, IL: Regular Baptist Press, 1964.
The Biblical Faith of Baptists. 3 vols. Des Plaines, IL: Regular Baptist Press, 1966.
Hull, Merle R. What a Fellowship? Schaumburg, IL: Regular Baptist Press, 1981.
Ketcham, R. T. The Answer: What Are Non-Convention Baptists Doing? Waterloo, IA: General Association of Regular Baptist Churches, 1943.
Murdoch, J. Murray. Portrait of Obedience. Schaumburg, IN: Regular Baptist Press, 1979.
Tassell, Paul N. Quest for Faithfulness: The Account of a Unique Fellowship of Churches. Schaumburg, IL: Regular Baptist Press, 1991.
4431 Tiedeman Rd., Brooklyn, OH 44144
The Global Independent Baptist Fellowship (GIBF), formed in November 2000 in Cleveland, Ohio, is composed of Baptist pastors, evangelists, and missionaries who have agreed to work together in the establishment of New Testament Baptist churches and to promote historic Baptist distinctives. The GIBF founders were responding to growing concerns over what they saw as increasingly liberal tendencies, in terms of attitudes toward Scripture and modes of worship, in the Baptist Bible Fellowship International (BBFI). This latter group formed in 1950 as an alternative to the World Fundamental Baptist Missionary Fellowship led by J. Frank Norris (1877–1952). In 2008 Dr. Kevin Folger served as moderator of the GIBF.
The Global Baptist Times.
Global Independent Baptist Fellowship. www.gibf.org/.
724 N Jim Wright Fwy., Fort Worth, TX 76116
The Independent Baptist Fellowship International is the product of the continued growth in number of theologically conservative Baptist congregations in the last half of the twentieth century. Many of these found their heritage in the ministry of J. Frank Norris (1877–1952), the fundamentalist leader who resided in Fort Worth, Texas. Pastors in that lineage founded the World Baptist Fellowship (WBF) and the Bible Baptist Fellowship International.
In 1984, leaders from a number of independent Baptist congregations came together in Fort Worth to create a new organization with the aims of encouraging fellowship, training pastors, and facilitating joint efforts in foreign missions. The education concern, uppermost in the minds of many of the founders, was focused through the Norris Bible Baptist Institute, under the leadership of Raymond W. Barber, the pastor of Worth Baptist Church in Fort Worth. Barber had formerly been the president of the World Baptist Fellowship and a professor at Arlington Baptist College. His controversy with the WBF occasioned the formation of the Independent Baptist Fellowship, which went hand-in-hand with the founding of the school. The school is self-consciously designed as a Bible training school, not a liberal arts college.
Given the focus on autonomous congregations in the fellowship, a mission agency was created that operates as an advisory board to promote the cause of missions and a channel through which funds may be passed to missionaries in the field. As of 2002, the fellowship supported 26 missionary families serving in 13 different mission fields including Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Hong Kong, Romania, Croatia, and Scotland.
Crown Southwest–Norris Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas.
Independent Baptist Fellowship International. www.ibfi-nbbi.org.
Oldham, Mr. & Mrs. Earl K. USS-WBF: Sail On. Grand Prairie, TX: Authors, 1992.
Wardin, Albert W., ed. Baptists around the World. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 1995.
754 E Rockhill Rd., Sellersville, PA 18960-1799
The Independent Baptist Fellowship of North America (IBFNA) was founded in 1990 by former members of the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches (GARBC) who felt that the Association was drifting from its stated position of complete separation from apostasy. After leaving the GARBC meeting, an initial organizational meeting was held in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, in October 1990, where work began on a constitution and doctrinal statement, and transitional leadership was selected. The new organization was formally constituted in 1991 at a meeting in Philadelphia, which included the acceptance of the constitution and articles of faith.
The issue between the GARBC and the new IBFNA concerns what is termed secondary separation. Both organizations refuse to cooperate with organizations that are seen to be in apostasy—that is, deny essential Christian beliefs. The IBFNA also calls for secondary separation, a withdrawal of fellowship from individuals and organizations which in themselves are orthodox in faith, but who cooperate with organizations deemed to have apostate tendencies. It is this second level of separation that distinguishes fundamentalists from evangelicals. The IBFNA demands a separation form all neoevangelical movements including, for example, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association or the National Association of Evangelicals.
The IBFNA is designed as a fellowship of ministers, lay people, and local churches. It affirms the autonomy of the local church and exists to provide fellowship, a place for churches to speak with a common voice, and an organization to facilitate common endeavors. There is no hierarchy, ruling board, or approval process. Mission concerns are primarily left to local congregations.
The fellowship meets annually, and membership is on a year-to-year basis. All members must reaffirm their allegiance each year and pay annual dues.
Independent Baptist Fellowship of North America. www.ibfna.org.
Brown, L. Duane, et al. What Happened to the GARBC at Niagara Falls? Sellersville, PA: Bethel Baptist Press, n.d.
Pickering, Ernest. Biblical Separation: The Struggle for a Pure Church. Schaumburg, IL: Regular Baptist Press, 1979.
Wardin, Albert W., ed. Baptists around the World. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1995.
Current address not obtained for this edition.
Among the organizations to evolve out of the latter stages of the fundamentalistmodernist controversy was the Independent Bible Baptist Missions founded in Colorado in 1949. By this time the World Council of Churches had been formed and the liberal Protestant-based Federal Council of Churches had announced the formation of its successor body, The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. Also, among more conservative Protestants a new movement had arisen called Neoevangelicalism, which, without giving up any of the doctrinal affirmation of fundamentalism, had a new openness toward the academic world, science, and cooperative endeavors with liberal Protestants.
Among the many conservative Baptists who rejected both liberal Protestantism and Neoevangelicalism was Harvey H. Springer, a pastor at Englewood, a suburb of Denver, Colorado. He called together 12 colleagues who shared his basic perspective and in December 1949 they organized the Missionary Fellowship of Baptist Churches. At this organization’s first assembly in 1950, it adopted the name, Independent Bible Baptist Missions. Headquarters were established in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Doctrinally, the organization followed traditional Baptist beliefs as set forth in the Philadelphia Confession. It held to a premillennial dispensational eschatology. It also specifically forbade members any affiliation with the National Council of Churches or the National Association of Evangelicals, the primary organizational expression of Neoevangelicalism. Organization is congregational and there is an annual general assembly. Foreign missions were established in Brazil, Uruguay, and Mexico.
In 1980 there were approximately 25 churches and 3,000 members.
Piepkorn, Arthur C. Profiles in Belief: The Religious Bodies of the United States and Canada. Vol. IV. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1979.
Current address not obtained for this edition.
The Kyova Association of Regular Baptists was formed in 1924 from the New Salem Association of Regular Baptists. In the 1940s, a controversy arose over whether the United Mine Workers (or any union) was in fact a secret society. As a result of this controversy, the Kyova Association dropped correspondence with the New Salem Association in 1945 and then splintered. Some churches moved into other Regular Baptist associations. The group uses the King James version of the Bible and forbids members to belong to secret societies.
In 1960 the association had 4 congregations and 140 members.
PO Box 10174, Lynchburg, VA 24506
Liberty Baptist Fellowship is an association of independent fundamentalist Baptist churches and ministers founded in 1981. The fellowship grew out of the Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia, founded by Dr. Jerry Falwell (1933–2007) in 1956. The work prospered, and in 1971 Falwell founded Liberty Baptist College with 141 students. Two years later Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary was opened. Both the college and seminary grew as people responded to the television ministry of Falwell’s Old-Time Gospel Hour. By 1983 650 graduates were pastoring churches, each of whom had been taught the aggressive evangelism techniques used by Falwell to build Thomas Road. When Liberty Baptist College became Liberty University, the seminary program was integrated into the university’s overall structure.
Liberty Baptist Fellowship, which has a congregational polity, was formed as the school’s graduates began to assume professional positions as pastors across the United States. In 2006 Dr. Leland Dittman was appointed as the first full-time director of Liberty Baptist Fellowship.
Liberty Baptist Fellowship follows the fundamentalist faith for which Falwell became a national spokesperson. It holds to separatism from religious groups that deny the fundamentals of the faith. The fellowship affirms, within a framework of traditional Christian beliefs, the inerrancy of the Bible, the creation of the earth in six literal days, and the imminent return of Jesus Christ. Evangelism is emphasized; the fellowship believes salvation can come only through the acceptance of Jesus as one’s personal savior.
In 2008 the fellowship reported 13 affiliated churches in several states.
Liberty Journal. • Fundamentalist Journal.
Liberty Baptist Fellowship. www.libertybaptistfellowship.com/lbf/.
Falwell, Jerry. Falwell: An Autobiography. Lynchburg, VA: Liberty House Publishers, 1997.
———. The Fundamentalist Phenomenon: The Resurgence of Conservative Christianity. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1981.
———. Stepping Out on Faith. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1984.
———. Strength for the Journey: An Autobiography. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1987.
———, and Elmer Towns. Church Aflame. Nashville, TN: Impact Books, 1971. Harding, Susan Friend. The Book of Jerry Falwell: Fundamentalist Language and Politics. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2000.
Box 6371, Norman, OK 73070-6371
Mainstream Baptists is a network of Baptist churches and leaders who seek to counter the rising fundamentalism in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). The network can be dated to the formation of Mainstream Oklahoma Baptists who organized in 1997 to coordinate a moderate voice in the larger Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.
Mainstream Baptists adopt an evangelical Christian theology with typical Baptistic emphasis on local church autonomy, believer’s baptism by immersion, religious liberty, and mission outreach. The network also adopts a non-dogmatic approach to biblical inerrancy. They have accused fundamentalist leaders in the Southern Baptist Convention of bibliolatry. The network resisted the 2000 SBC revision of the 1963 Baptist Faith and Message, which has served as the doctrinal statement of Southern Baptists. Mainstream Baptists objected to two new views in the revised version: restriction of pastoral leadership to males only and the addition of a “Family” section that emphasized the submission of the wife to the husband.
Mainstream Baptists have a presence in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Missouri, Texas, and Oklahoma. They have joined in partnership with The New Baptist Covenant, an informal alliance of 30 groups working for a moderate Baptist vision. The New Baptist Covenant community held their first convention in 2008; former presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton participated.
The executive director of Mainstream Baptists is longtime SBC pastor Bruce Prestcott.
Mainstream Baptists. www.mainstreambaptists.org.
PO Box 527, Willmar, MN 56201
As the fundamentalist debate arose anew in the 1940s, Minnesota emerged as one of the few areas where, under the leadership of such men as William Bell Riley (1861–1947), conservatives were in the majority. Controversy developed over support of the mission program of the Northern Baptist Convention (now the American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A.), and in 1944 a “special account” was created by the Minnesota Convention to channel funds to the Conservative Baptist Foreign Missionary Society (CBFMS). Other objections to the Northern Baptist Convention’s program were focused on ecumenism, youth work, and the distribution of funds in the unified budget. The break came in 1948 when the Minnesota Convention became independent of the Northern Baptist Convention.
After the formation of the Conservative Baptist Association (CBA) in 1947, there was a period of cooperation between it and the Minnesota Convention. Individual churches and leaders, such as Dr. Richard V. Clearwaters (1900–1996), were active in both. The Minnesota Convention continued to function, for the CBA accepted only churches (not conventions) as members.
Cooperation with the CBA continued, but the Conservative Baptists were criticized in 1955 when an article in a Minnesota Convention magazine complained that CBFMS missionaries did not believe in the pretribulation, premillennial return of Christ. Later that year, a pretribulation position was adopted by the Minnesota Convention. The convention began to move in a separatist direction; criticism of the CBA continued. The CBA was accused of interfering with local autonomy in the churches and of allowing inclusivist thinking in the early 1960s. (Inclusivist thinking pertained to association with those in liberal associations.) The break between the Minnesota Convention and the Conservative Baptist Association was completed in 1963. The name was officially changed to the Minnesota Baptist Association in 1974.
The association publishes a church school curriculum and as well as various tracts and booklets through the publication ministry of North Star Baptist Press.
In 2002 the association reported 58 churches and approximately 93 ministers.
Pillsbury Baptist Bible College, Owatonna, Minnesota.
The North Star Baptist.
Minnesota Baptist Association. www.mbaoc.org.
Becklund, David. A History of the Minnesota Baptist Convention. Minneapolis: Minnesota Baptist Convention, 1967.
Riley, Marie Acomb. The Dynamic of a Dream. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1938.
850 Mill Rd., McDonough, GA 30253
In the middle of the first decade of the twenty-first century, tensions within the Southwide Baptist Fellowship led to a rupture. The more conservative of the leaders complained that individual churches within the fellowship had become open to new styles of worship that were leading them away from the fundamentalist Baptist beliefs and practices that had been the fellowship’s hallmark. Leading voices denouncing the changes were Dr. Tom McCoy, pastor of the Peoples Baptist Church in McDonough, Georgia, Dr. Mike Norris, pastor of the Franklin Road Baptist Church in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and Dr. Max Barton, pastor of the People’s Baptist Church, Greenville, North Carolina, who became the moderator of the new fellowship.
The Nationwide Fellowship sees itself as carrying forward the traditional fundamentalist beliefs and practices of the Southwide Fellowship.
Nationwide Independent Baptist Fellowship. www.nationwidefellowship.com/.
40 Bridge St., Newton, MA 02158
The New England Evangelical Baptist Fellowship is a small body in the Northeast. It is a conservative body and was formally a member of the National Association of Evangelicals. The president in 1965 was Dr. John S. Viall of Boston.
In 1965 there were 10 churches, 20 pastors and 1,022 members.
8856 E Fairfield St., Mesa, AZ 85207-5124
The New Testament Association of Independent Baptist Churches was formed in 1965 at a meeting in Denver. Twenty-seven churches affiliated at the organizational meeting. Members of the Conservative Baptist Association (CBA) who supported a premillennial, pre-tribulation, separatist position had held a previous meeting been in 1964. Among leaders of the newly formed association was Dr. Richard V. Clearwaters (1900–1996) of the Minnesota Baptist Convention (now the Minnesota Baptist Association). The polity is a loose congregationalism. An annual meeting is held in which each pastor and five lay delegates have voting power. They elect a president, other officers, and members of a board of trustees to implement association programs.
The New Testament Association has adopted a Confession of Faith based on the New Hampshire Confession, but with emphasis on separation and pre-tribulation eschatology. The group is opposed to speaking in tongues. The association defends strongly the autonomy of the local church and does not endorse any schools, mission agencies, or publishing houses, choosing rather to leave such matters to the discretion of the local church.
In 2008, the New Testament Association of Independent Baptist Churches has about 125 congregations.
New Testament Testimonies.
New Testament Association of Independent Baptist Churches. www.ntaibc.org.
Clearwaters, Richard V. The Great Conservative Baptist Compromise. Minneapolis: Central Seminary Press, n.d.
———. The Local Church of the New Testament. Chicago: Conservative Baptist Association of America, 1954.
———. On the Upward Road. Minneapolis: Author, 1991.
Paige, Dr. Richard. What’s in a Name. Booklet available from the NTAIBC.
———. The Ten Commandments. Minneapolis: Central Seminary Press, 1975.
Russel, Stephen D. A History of the New Testament Association of Independent Baptist Churches. A dissertation presented for Church History 602 at Bob Jones University of Greenville, SC (April, 2002).
1 S 210 Summit Ave., Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
The North American Baptist Conference (NABC) originated in the early nineteenth century with German-speaking Americans who had been influenced by English-speaking Baptists to work among the growing number of German immigrants. While tracing their history to a number of efforts begun independently of each other, the German Baptists look to Konrad Anton Fleischmann as the first of their number. A Bavarian, Fleischmann had been converted in Switzerland and joined a separatist church molded on the English model. On a request from George Mueller of Bristol, England, he traveled to America and became pastor of a German Protestant church at Newark, New Jersey, in the spring of 1839, but was fired for refusing to baptize infants. In October, he baptized three people, his first converts, and sent them to an English Baptist church. He traveled throughout eastern Pennsylvania and New York, where he established groups of believers and preaching stations. In 1843, he drew up a series of “Articles” for use by the church at Philadelphia that he founded. It was Baptist in all points except closed communion.
Other missionaries were also at work in the 1840s. Aided by the American Baptist Home Missionary Society, John Eschmann was working in New York City. Alexander Von Puttkamer was converted by English Baptists at Lawrenceville, New York, and began to organize a German Baptist Church in Buffalo while an agent of the American Tract Society. Churches in the Midwest were begun in the late 1840s.
The first conference of German Baptists met in 1851 representing eight churches and 405 members. With the cooperation of the American Baptist Publication Society, they were able to produce a hymnal and a German translation of the New Hampshire Confession. A Western Conference was formed in 1859, and a Triennial Conference met in 1865.
Doctrinally, the North American Baptists affirm the standard Baptist faith as embodied in the New Hampshire Confession, though only a brief statement has been adopted. Polity is congregational. There is a triennial conference every three years, with 19 associations in the United States and Canada. Higher education has been a major concern from the beginning, and as early as 1858, August Rauschenbusch (1816–1899) went to the Baptist Seminary at Rochester and became one of the outstanding exponents of the social gospel.
NABC is affiliated with numerous camps and seven senior homes. Missions are carried on in Mexico, Russia, Romania, Cameroon, Nigeria, the Philippine Islands, Japan, and Brazil, and works with White Cross in Nigeria and Cameroon. They also work with Baptist World Aid to provide disaster relief. Home missions are directed toward various multicultural groups and planting new churches in areas of need. The conference is affiliated with the Baptist World Alliance.
In 2008 the conference reported nearly 65,000 members and 400 congregations. In 2002 there were 421 clergy.
Sioux Falls Seminary, Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Taylor University College and Seminary, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
NAB Today • Intercessor • NAB Highlights • ServantLink. • Discipleship Newsletter • The Inside Scoop.
North American Baptist Conference. www.nabconference.org.
Kerstan, Reinhold Johannes. Historical Factors in the Formation of the Ethnically Oriented North American Baptist General Conference. Ph.D. diss., Northwestern University, 1971.
Ramaker, Albert John. The German Baptists in North America. Cleveland, OH: German Baptist Publication Society, 1924.
Woyke, Frank H. Heritage and Ministry of the North American Baptist Conference. Oakbrook Terrace, IL: North American Baptist Conference, 1979.
Current address not obtained for this edition.
The doctrines of Old Regular Baptists emerged from the larger Baptist history in the colonies. In the aftermath of the Great Awakening, the revival movement that began around 1739 or 1740, there was much disagreement surrounding the old and the new doctrinal standards. The newer doctrine leaned heavily toward Calvinism. The term Regular appears to be in response to this division, suggesting that the group identifies itself with the older doctrine. In an effort to reconcile past differences, many of the old-time Baptists came back together as United Baptists. However, this unity was not to last. The New Salem Association of United Baptists was organized in 1825 with an arm from the Burning Springs Association. In 1854, the name was changed to Regular and in 1892 the name was changed to “Old Regular Baptist.” Most Old Regular Baptists can be traced to the New Salem Association of Old Regular Baptists.
The central Appalachian Mountains contain 16 associations of Old Regular Baptist churches (Dorgan, 1989). These have planted new churches outside the Appalachian region in Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Arizona, and Florida. The Appalachian counties in Kentucky and the Virginias remain home to most of the Old Regular Baptists. The 16 associations have a total membership of approximately 10,000 in some 300 churches.
Dorgan, C. Howard. In the Hands of a Happy God: The “No-Hellers” of Central Appalachia. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1989.
No central headquarters
In the 1740s, during what was called the Great Awakening in the American colonies, the new Baptists were divided into Regular Baptists and Separate Baptists. The Separatists were former Congregationalists who had been affected by the revival and particularly the preaching of George Whitefield (1714–1770). Regular Baptists were members of the Philadelphia Association and adhered to the Philadelphia Convention. The Separate and Regular Baptists spent the second half of the eighteenth century engaging in polemics and attempting to reunify. In 1765, the first Regular Baptist Association was formed by churches in Virginia and given the name Ketoctin. The Regular Baptists spread into Kentucky and the surrounding states.
In 1801, the Separate and Regular Baptists were able to overcome their differences and merge. They formed various associations with the term united in the association names. Some second generation members of these associations, however, became dissatisfied with the term united and many associations dropped it from their name. Larger Baptist bodies absorbed many of these associations.
Toward the middle of the nineteenth century, a move to reconstitute the Regular Baptists began. In 1854, the New Salem Association of United Baptists changed its name to the New Salem Association of Regular Baptists. In 1870 this association adopted another name: Old Regular Baptists. In 1867 the Burning Springs Association of United Baptists changed the term United in its name to Regular. Other associations followed suit. Regular Baptists now live in all sections of the country, with the heaviest concentration of them living in the area from Virginia to Indiana.
The reason for the formation of the Regular Baptists is not clear. By the end of the nineteenth century, though, they clearly represented a rejection of the organizational and methodological innovations of most nineteenth-century Baptists. The group rejects Sunday schools, a trained ministry, secret societies, missionary societies, and organization beyond the associational level.
A doctrinal consensus exists among the Regular Baptists, a body of beliefs very close to the doctrine of the United Baptists. Most statements of belief by Regular Baptists affirm adherence to the Trinity, the Bible as the written word of God, election, inherent human depravity, the eternal security of the believer, believers’baptism by immersion (wherein water covers the whole person), closed communion, the resurrection, and a properly ordained ministry. Beyond that consensus, there is a wide variety of freedom and belief. The statements on salvation and justification are so worded as to be open to both Calvinistic and Arminian interpretations. (Calvinists say the number and identity of the elect was predetermined before the world began; Arminians say salvation is possible for all who, by free will, choose to follow the Gospel.) However, the Regular Baptists have no fellowship with those who reject their statements of beliefs. Their form of government is extreme congregationalism with no central headquarters and no structure beyond the association. Among the periodicals serving the churches are the Regular Baptist from Laurel, Maryland, and the Regular Baptist Messenger of Whitestown, Indiana.
The Regular Baptists have allowed Arminianism but reject hyper-Calvinism, and in the 1890s, they split over absolute predestination. (See separate entry on Regular Baptists-Predestinarian.) The following Regular Baptist associations are in correspondence with each other, display doctrinal similarity, and reject absolute predestination: New Salem, Union, Indian Bottom, Mud River, Sardis, Friendship, Philadelphia, Thornton Union, and Northern Salem Associations.
The International Partnership of Fundamental Baptist Ministries is a global coalition of independent Baptist ministries networking for international work. Partners work in Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Togo, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Korea, Myanmar, the Philippines, Taiwan, Haiti, Jamaica, Guyana, and Peru.
In 2002 there were 1,415 churches and 129,407 members.
The Regular Baptist. • Regular Baptist Messenger.
General Association of Regular Baptist Churches. www.garbc.org
Perrigan, Rufus. History of Regular Baptists and Their Ancestors and Accessors. Haysi, VA: Author, 1961.
Short, Ron. “We Believed in the Family and the Old Regular Baptist Church.” Southern Exposure 4, no.3 (1976): 60–65.
Wallhausser, John. “I Can Almost See Heaven from Here: The Old Regular Baptist Tradition in Appalachia.” Katallagate: Be Reconciled 8, no. 3 (Spring 1983): 2–10.
52 Steele Ave., Somerville, NY 08876
The Russian/Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Union of the U.S.A., Inc., dates from 1901 when Baptists migrated from Russia to Kiev, North Dakota. During the next twenty years, the Baptists absorbed other evangelical groups, many of which were lost in transition to English-language worship. In 1919 the Union was organized at Philadelphia. Missionary work was begun worldwide among Russian immigrants. A Slavic missionary society supported 21 missionaries in Western Europe, South America, and Australia. An English branch works among English-speaking Slavic people. The Evangelical Baptist Camp Home for the Aged is owned and operated by the Union.
Seiatel’ Istin’i (The Sower of Truth; A Russian Christian Monthly), was published monthly in 1955 and 1967–1968.
As of September 1, 2007, there were 20 churches and 1,400 members of Russian/Ukrainian-speaking Americans.
Evangelical Baptist Herald (in English).
Baptist World Alliance. www.bwanet.org.
14470 S. Jonesville Rd., Columbus, OH 47201
The Separate Baptists emerged in the First Great Awakening of the eighteenth century as a result of the hostility of the majority of Congregationalists to the revivalism that swept New England. Some former Congregationalists were rebaptized, including Isaac Backus, who became an outstanding theologian and historian. The Separatist movement spread, but the Separatists were not accepted by many other Baptists for a long time, in part because of their acceptance of those baptized but not immersed. However, in 1801, a union was effected between the Regular and Separate Baptists. Some Separatists did not accept the union, and continued to exist west of the Allegheny Mountains as independent congregations and associations. In 1912, several of these associations came together as the General Association of Separatist Baptists.
The Separatist Baptists are similar to the Regular Baptists. A mild Calvinism is generally held. There is no universally accepted creed. Footwashing is an ordinance. Immersion is the only form of baptism. The government is congregational. Sunday schools and home missionary work are supported on a local level. Education is more highly rated than with the Regular Baptists.
In 2008 there were 78 churches.
Separate Baptists in Christ. www.separatebaptist.org.
Renault, James Owen. “The Changing Patterns of Separate Baptist Religious Life.” Baptist History and Heritage 14, no. 4 (Oct. 1979): 16–25, 36.
Scott Morgan. History of the Separate Baptists. Indianapolis: Hollenbeck Press, 1900.
c/o Tabernacle Baptist Church, 3931 White Horse Rd., Greenville, SC 29611
The South Carolina Baptist Fellowship was formed at a meeting in 1954 in Greenville, South Carolina, called by the Rev. John R. Waters and the Rev. Vendyl Jones. It was known as the Carolina Baptist Fellowship until its incorporation in 1965. Eleven independent Baptist pastors were present at the 1954 meeting. Reverend Waters was editor of The Baptist Bible Trumpet, and in 1955 at the fellowship meeting, it was adopted as the official organ. Doctrine is fundamental and premillennial; polity is congregational. Meetings of the fellowship are held monthly. Missions are supported through independent fundamentalist faith mission organizations. As of June of 2003, the SCBF began meeting quarterly, rather than monthly.
In 1987 there were approximately 300 churches with a membership of approximately 52,000 affiliated with the fellowship, though no formal membership list is kept. There currently are no official figures available. The fellowship has affiliated work in 85 countries and supports 370 missionaries. Their radio broadcast is WTBI AM and FM and on the Internet.
Ambassador Baptist College, Lattimore, North Carolina.
Bob Jones University, Greenville, South Carolina.
Crown College, Powell, Tennessee.
Pensacola Christian College, Pensacola, Florida.
Tabernacle Baptist College, Greenville, South Carolina.
West Coast Baptist College, Lancaster, California.
The Baptist Bible Trumpet is published online at www.baptist-bibletrumpet.com.
Southern Baptist Convention
c/o Executive Committee, SBC, 901 Commerce St., Ste. 750, Nashville, TN 37203
The Southern Baptist Convention was formed in 1845 by the Baptist congregations in the southern United States. Underlying the separation of the southerners were a variety of tensions that would 15 years later divide the nation and lead to the Civil War (1861–1865). Some of those tensions had become focused in the American Baptist Home Mission Board, which many felt had neglected the South and Southwest in the appointment of missionaries. The immediate occasion for the separation of the southern Baptists was the refusal in 1844 of the American Baptist Foreign Mission Board to appoint a slaveholder as a missionary and the American Baptist Home Mission Board to appoint a slaveholder to a mission in Georgia. These refusals seemed to violate long-standing practices and the agreement of the Triennial Convention (the meeting of the foreign mission board) that cooperation in the foreign mission enterprise would sanction neither proslavery nor antislavery.
Delegates met in Augusta, Georgia, in May 1845 to form the convention, which would in turn coordinate the churches as a whole in the propagation of the Gospel. A constitution was adopted and both a foreign and domestic mission board established. Thus, from the beginning, the southerners, without infringing upon traditional Baptist emphases concerning congregational polity, provided a more unified approach in structuring their denominational work. After several attempts to establish a publishing concern failed, a Sunday school board was created in 1891. It provided a single set of materials for the church’s educational program, a major force in unifying Southern Baptist thought.
Significant in the life of the convention was the adoption of the Cooperative Program in 1925 by which all the boards, commissions, and programs (with the exception of the former Sunday school board) supported by the churches came under a unified budget. The program provided stable financial support for all of the church’s ministries and eliminated competitive fund-raising among the congregations.
Southern Baptists inherited the Puritan-Reformed theological tradition, which had been passed through the first and second London Baptist Confession of Faith (1677 and 1689, respectively), the Philadelphia Confession of Faith (1742), and the New Hampshire Confession of Faith (1833). The New Hampshire confession was slightly revised and adopted by the convention as the 1925 Baptist Faith and Message, and it was again slightly revised in 1963. These statements, which place Southern Baptists clearly within the Reformed theological tradition, are balanced by the frequently articulated belief in the freedom of the individual to interpret Scripture unbound by any creedal statement, and also by the theological perspective of fundamentalism, which has the support of many Southern Baptist leaders.
During the twentieth century, the convention has been embroiled in a series of battles between those who have championed a variety of innovative perspectives and the more conservative elements of the convention who have seen any new thought as deviating from traditional Baptist standards of doctrine. The controversy over evolution, which began before the twentieth century, sharply divided Baptists during the 1920s but gradually gave way to an accommodation to the several forms of theistic evolution as a means of reconciling science with the book of Genesis. During the early 1960s, conservatives attacked The Message of Genesis, a book by Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary professor Ralph H. Elliott. Elliott advocated a critical view of Genesis as merely a compilation of various documents, rather than a unitive volume written by Moses. In the resulting controversy, Elliott was forced out of his teaching position.
Crucial to Baptist thought has been the infallible authority of the Bible. The Baptist faith and message declares the Bible to be divinely inspired with God as its author. In recent decades that belief has been interpreted by some in terms of biblical inerrancy. Among conservatives, this has led to debates on exactly how inerrancy is to be defined. More moderate and liberal positions have rejected inerrancy as a means of defining biblical inspiration.
The Southern Baptist Convention has a congregational polity. Congregations are related successively to three levels of cooperative affiliation. Associations operate on the county level. State conventions include churches in one or more states. Nationally, the annual convention is composed of from one to 10 messengers from each congregation that cooperates with the work of the convention and contributes to its support.
To increase operational efficiency, the North American Mission Board (NAMB) was forged in 1997 out of the Home Mission Board, the Radio and Television Commission, and the Brotherhood Commission, a restructuring called Covenant for a New Century.
The national convention has oversight of other organizations: the International Mission Board, Lifeway Christian Resources, and the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. It also oversees six seminaries. Seminary Extension, a ministry of the six seminaries, delivers biblical, theological, and practical education to Christians via the Internet, CD-ROM, local live classrooms, and correspondence. Students can earn a bachelor’s degree by way of distance learning. The program has agreements with Judson College and the Apex School of Theology so students can transfer some of their credits to a school.
Broadman and Holman (B&H) Publishing Group, one of America’s major publishers of religious literature, is the official publishing arm. In 2008 the Southern Baptist Convention had 1,200 local associations and 41 state conventions and fellowships. The international mission program has more than 5,000 missionaries in 153 countries, and about 5,000 missionaries in the United States.
The Historical Commission was dissolved in 1997, but a group of Southern Baptist historians have turned to the Southern Baptist Historical Society, now located in the Baptist center of the Tennessee Baptist Convention, Brentwood. The society is supported by individuals and entities with links to Baptist heritage.
The Southern Baptist Convention has not been among the most active church bodies in the twentieth-century ecumenical movement, which has drawn so many of the larger denominations into cooperative actions. It has preferred to work cooperatively within the larger Baptist family and has been active in the Baptist World Alliance up until 1991; in addition, it helped fund and staff the Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs. The convention, however, refrains from participation in such organizations as the World Council of Churches, the National Council of Churches, or the National Association of Evangelicals.
The Baptist Press is a Monday-through-Friday international news wire service. Formed in 1946 by the Southern Baptist Convention, and supported with Cooperative Program funds, Baptist Press operates from a central bureau in Nashville, Tenn., with four partnering bureaus.
In 2008 there were more than 16 million members worshipping in more than 42,000 churches. In 2004 there were 118,289 clergy.
Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, Mill Valley, California.
Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Kansas City, Missouri.
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, North Carolina.
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky.
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas.
The convention also sponsors numerous colleges and universities throughout the southern United States in Texas, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Missouri, California, North and South Carolina, Mississippi, Virginia, Georgia, Florida, Arizona, Alabama, and Arkansas.
SBC Life. • The Commission. Available from PO Box 6767, Richmond, VA 23230.
Southern Baptist Convention: Reaching the World for Christ. www.sbc.net
Baker, Robert A., ed. A Baptist Source Book. Nashville, TN: Broadman and Holman, 1966.
Fletcher, Jesse C. The Southern Baptist Convention: A Sesquicentennial History. Nashville, TN: Broadman and Holman, 1994.
Hastings, C. Brownlow. Introducing Southern Baptists, Their Faith and Their Life. New York: Paulist Press, 1981.
Hays, Brooks, and John E. Steely. The Baptist Way of Life. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1993.
McClellan, Albert. Meet Southern Baptists. Nashville, TN: Broadman and Holman, 1978.
Wallace, O. C. S. What Baptists Believe: The New Hampshire Confession. Nashville, TN: Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, 1934.
Wardin, Albert W., Jr. Baptist Atlas. Nashville, TN: Broadman and Holman, 1980.
Yarbrough, Slayden A. Southern Baptists: A Historical Ecclesiological, and Theological Heritage of a Confessional People. Brentwood, TN: Southern Baptist Historical Society, 2000.
c/o John R.Waters, Faith Baptist Church, 1607 Greenwood Rd., Laurens, SC 39360
In 1955 at the meeting of the Carolina Baptist Fellowship at Aiken, South Carolina, Dr. Lee Roberson (1909–2007), pastor of the Highland Park Baptist Church of Chattanooga, Tennessee, the main guest speaker, was asked to lead in the formation of a fundamental Baptist church that would draw from the entire South. At a conference the following year at Dr. Roberson’s church, and with the support of the South Carolina group, such a fellowship was formed as the Southern Baptist Fellowship. One hundred and forty-seven clergy and laymen registered as charter members. Though heavily supported by the Carolina Baptist Fellowship, the Southern Baptist Fellowship became a separate body. Many of the South Carolina churches are members in both bodies. The current name was adopted in 1963.
A statement of faith continues the Baptist consensus and emphasizes the autonomy of the local church. The group professes belief in premillennialism. It also holds that the Revised Standard Version of the Bible is a “perverted translation.” It demands separation from all forms of modernism, especially the National Council of Churches.
The headquarters of the Southwide Baptist Fellowship is in Laurens, South Carolina. The fellowship cooperates with the Commission on Chaplains of the Associated Gospel Churches. Foreign work is being carried out in Ghana, Nigeria, Puerto Rico, Canada, Nassau, Nicaragua, Brazil, Japan, St. Lucia, Cayman Islands, and Spain.
In 2000 there were 501 churches, with only 27 in South Carolina but 73 in North Carolina and 72 in Georgia.
Association of Religious Data Archives. www.thearda.com/mapsReports/maps/map.asp?variable=415&state=101&variable2=
No central headquarters, for information contact:, Henry T. Mahan Tape Ministry, 6088 Zebulon Hwt., Pikeville, KY 41501
Out of the post–World War II theological liberalism that many saw as having permeated the churches of the Reformed theological tradition (particularly the large Baptist and Presbyterian denominations), there arose a reaction that emphasized Calvinist theological distinctions, particularly the sovereign grace of God. In 1966, Calvary Baptist Church in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, invited people known to be sympathetic to what was becoming a growing movement to a conference at Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The conference became the focus around which cooperative action by otherwise independent churches and pastors could begin. Most of those attending had come out of either the Southern Baptist Convention or, to a lesser extent, the Presbyterian churches. A few were from independent evangelical congregations. Approximately 100–250 ministers attended the Pennsylvania Conference. By 1969 the loosely organized movement had grown large enough to initiate regional conferences, and no less than three periodicals emerged.
Doctrinally, Sovereign Grace congregations are Calvinistic, accept the Philadelphia Baptist Confession of Faith of 1772, and use the great works of the Reformed theologians such as Calvin, Edwards, and Charles Hodge. An extreme congregational polity has been accepted. Local churches are headed by pastors (who are seen as teaching elders) and ruling elders (lay elders).
Besides the annual conference in Pennsylvania, other conferences have grown up, including ones at Ashland, Kentucky, and Pine Bluff, Arkansas. The Trinity Reformed Baptist Church of Allentown, Pennsylvania, publishes The Sword and Trowel. Among the most substantive of the Sovereign Grace periodicals is the quarterly Baptist Reformation Review, now called Searching Together (according to a non-profit corporation in Wisconsin, www.searchingtogether.org/index.htm), begun by Nobert Ward of Nashville, Tennessee. Ward identifies with the Sovereign Grace Movement as a result of his former position within the Primitive Baptist Church. Before 1972, as a Primitive Baptist, he edited Inquirer.
In 2002 there were approximately 300 Sovereign Grace congregations, 3,000 members and 400 ministers.
Spurgeon Theological Seminary, Memphis, Tennessee.
The Sovereign Grace Message (this is with Sovereign Grace Baptist Fellowship). • Searching Together. Send orders to Box 548, St. Croix Falls, WI 54024 (this is a publication of Word of Life Church, a non-profit corporation in Wisconsin, www.searchingtogether.org/index.htm). • Reformation Today Magazine. Contact Tom Lutz, Edgewood Baptist Church, 3743 Nichol Ave., Anderson, IN 46011 (www.puritansermons.com/banner/reftoday.htm).
Sovereign Grace Baptist Churches. www.sovereign-grace.com/index.htm.
Green, Jay. God’s Everlasting Love for His Chosen People. Marshallton, DE: Sovereign Grace Publishers, n.d.
Johnson, E. W. Questions Concerning Evangelism. Pine Bluff, AR: Sovereign Grace Publishers, 1988.
Thronbury, John. “Calvinist Baptists in America.” Banner of Truth (Nov. 1968): 32–36.
c/o Zion Strict Baptist Church, 1710 Richmond NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504
International headquarters: Gospel Standard Strict Baptist Churches, c/o H. Mercer, Hampton, Highworth, Swindon, Wiltshire, England SN6 7RL.
The Strict Baptists is the American branch of the Gospel Standard Strict Baptist Churches, a division among Baptists that arose in England during the nineteenth century. During the seventeenth century, British Baptists emerged as one segment of the larger Puritan movement, an effort to “purify” the Church of England by appeal to a more literal allegiance to biblical doctrine and practice. Baptists participated in the Puritan debates during the Commonwealth Period, and Baptists were among the leaders of Oliver Cromwell’s government. As such, the Baptists had accepted a basic Calvinist theological perspective, which they shared with the Presbyterians. They departed from the Presbyterians (who were in the majority) over church government, the Baptists championing the authority of the local church and the independence of the church from any affiliation with the state. Baptists were further differentiated from fellow Puritans by their acceptance of adult baptism by immersion as the proper mode of initiation of members into the church.
Baptists split into two branches following the theological lines of the controversy among Dutch Calvinists over predestination. General or Arminian Baptists accepted the opinions of Jacob Arminius that allowed for some free will. Particular Baptists believed that God chose or predestined those who would be saved out of sinful humankind. Strict Baptists arose out of the Particular Baptists and might be said to have begun with the founding of The Gospel Standard, or Feeble Christian’s Support by John Gadsby. The Gospel Standard became the vehicle of several prominent Baptist ministers including William Gadsby (d. 1844; father of the magazine’s founder), John Warburton (1776–1857), and John Kershaw. The immediate occasion for the founding of the periodical was the appearance of another short-lived magazine advocating the preexistence of the human soul; however, Gadsby’s magazine was in full force in the 1840s when a more serious controversy arose among the Particular Baptists over the nature of the divine sonship of Jesus Christ. The appearance of views denying the eternal sonship of Christ prompted articles in defense of the teaching in The Gospel Standard as early as 1844. However, the controversy reached a new level of intensity in 1860 following the publication of a sermon by a Rev. Crowther entitled “The Things Most Surely Believed among Us, as to the Person, Mission, and Work of Christ.” Crowther suggested that Jesus became the son of God as a result of his supernatural begetting in the womb of Mary. By the end of the year the first resolution in support of the eternal sonship was issued by a church in London. Other resolutions followed in 1861 and a gradual separation occurred between those churches that held to the doctrine of Christ’s eternal sonship and those that allowed the preaching of the opposite position.
By the 1870s the Strict or Gospel Standard Baptists were recognized as a distinct group within the larger Baptist movement. The Strict Baptists consisted of a number of independent congregations who accepted the basic views espoused by The Gospel Standard magazine, and who met in association separate from other Particular Baptists.
The doctrinal controversy of the British Particular Baptists did not transfer to the United States, a nation then caught up in the problems of a Civil War. However, during the late-twentieth century several congregations formally related to the Gospel Standard Baptists have arisen under the name Strict Baptists.
There are three congregations of Strict Baptists in the United States—one each in Michigan, Montana, and Wisconsin. Total membership is about 20 to 25 and there are three clergy. There are also three congregations in Australia, with the main body of Gospel Standard Baptists located in England.
Gospel Standard Magazine • Friendly Companion (both published in England and distributed through the church in the United States).
Articles of Faith and Rules of Church Order. Grand Rapids, MI: Zion Strict Baptist Church, n.d. 15 pp.
Gosden, J. H. Believers’ Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Harpenden, Herts, England: Gospel Standard Baptist Trust, 1977. 22 pp.
Paul, S. F. Historical Sketch of the Gospel Standard Baptists. London: Gospel Standard Publications, 1945. 86 pp.
Ramsbottom, B. A. New Testament Church Order. Grand Rapids, MI: Zion Baptist Church, n.d. 11 pp.
970 S Village Oaks Dr., Ste. 101, Covina, CA 91724-0609
Transformation Ministries was formed in 2006 as an affiliation of Baptist churches based in the southwestern United States. Most of the member churches were part of the American Baptist Churches of the Pacific Southwest (ABCPSW) but became alienated from the American Baptist Convention over issues related to homosexuality. Transformation Ministries traces its roots to 1869 with the formation of the Los Angeles Baptist Convention (LABC). The LABC became the Southern California Baptist Convention in 1895, becoming known as the ABCPSW in 1977.
The organization notes that it is “a movement of Baptist churches committed to change their worlds for Christ.” Transformation Ministries links itself to historic Baptist convictions like the individual accountability of every soul to God, the separation of church and state, the supreme authority of the Scriptures for Christian faith and life, the baptism of believers by immersion as a sign of repentance and faith in Christ, the equal standing of all believers before God through Christ, and the autonomy and interdependence of local churches.
Transformation Ministries is affiliated with, among other organizations, the National Association of Evangelicals and the Willow Creek Association. In 2008 Rev. Dr. Dale V. Salico served as executive minister.
In 2008 Transformation Ministries reported 128 congregations.
Northern Baptist Theological Seminary, Lombard, Illinois.
Judson College, Elgin, Illinois, and Rockford, Illinois.
Transformation Ministries. www.transmin.org/.
6751 Riverside Dr., Berwyn, IL 60402
The Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Convention (UEBC) was formed in 1945 as the Ukrainian Missionary and Bible Society by a group of Ukrainian Baptists meeting at Chester, Pennsylvania. The first official assembly was in 1946; the present name was adopted in 1953. The Rev. Paul Bartkow was the first president, serving in that post for twenty years. The UEBC is the conservative branch of the Ukrainian Baptists and is a member of the separatist American Council of Christian Churches.
In line with the anti-communist stance of the American Council of Christian Churches, the convention developed a program aimed at Iron Curtain countries. Missionaries were sent behind the Iron Curtain, and in 1966, the Ukrainian Voice of the Gospel, a biweekly radio program over Trans World Radio in Monte Carlo, began. A publishing house, Doroha Prawdy (The Way of Truth), established in 1954, is operated in cooperation with the sister organization in Canada. Missionary work is carried on among Ukrainian communities in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Australia, France, and Germany. The UEBC supports the Ukrainian Bible Institute in Argentina.
Not reported. In 1970 there were more than 20 churches scattered across the United States. According to The Ukrainian Weekly, the Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Convention supported 46 missionaries in Ukraine during 1999.
The Messenger of Truth. Send orders to 690 Berkeley Ave., Elmhurst, IL 60126.
PO Box 2437, Station Main, Winnipeg, MB R3C 4A7
After the Russian government permitted the British and Foreign Bible Society into Russia to distribute their literature, Baptists began migrating to the Ukraine. In the late nineteenth century, along with other Russian Christian minorities, Ukrainian Baptists began to migrate to Canada. In the early years of the twentieth century, organization proceeded at a swift pace, especially in the western provinces. By 1903 a church was organized at Winnipeg, another a year later at Overstone, Manitoba. In 1907 a congregation was formed in Toronto, and a missionary from England, John Kolesnikoff, arrived to begin work. In 1908 an intercongregational meeting convened at Canora, Saskatchewan.
For a number of years the Canadian-Ukrainian Baptists cooperated directly with the American-based Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Convention, but in 1950 they reorganized the all-Canadian Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Convention of Canada. Though independent, the convention remains in fellowship with the United States Ukrainian Baptists.
The Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Convention of Canada was incorporated in 1961 to promote its work and to spread the gospel message, especially to people of Ukrainian descent who still understand their own language.
While conservative in belief, the convention is less strict doctrinally than the Union of Slavic Churches of Evangelical Christians and Slavic Baptists of Canada, Inc. The Evangelical Mission to Ukraine began in 1977.
In 2008 there were 10 churches.
Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Convention of Canada. www.uebcc.org.
Bolshakoff, Serge. Russian Nonconformity. Philadelphia, PA: Westminister Press, 1950.
Kindrat, Petro. The Ukrainian Baptist Movement in Canada. 1972.
Current address not obtained for this edition.
As Russian and Ukrainian Baptists moved into Canada, they began to divide theologically. Though both groups were conservative, those who were most strict and fundamental in the eastern provinces organized the Russian-Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Union of Eastern Canada in the late 1920s. Other Canadian Ukrainian Baptists organized the Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Convention of Canada. At about the same time, a similar organization was formed in the western provinces, the Union of Slavic Evangelical Christians. Members of the two groups established fraternal ties very quickly. In 1958 a number of the churches of the Slavic Union joined with the Evangelical Baptists to form the Union of Slavic Churches of Evangelical Christians and Slavic Baptists of Canada. The new union was incorporated in 1963.
The union holds to a conservative fundamental Christianity which emphasizes the full inspiration of the Bible, a premillennial eschatology, and eternal punishment for the unsaved. It is affiliated with the Russian-Ukrainian Baptist Union in the United States of America. Mission work is supported in Argentina, Australia, and Europe.
In 1995, there were 11 congregations and approximately 500 members.
Wardin, Albert W. Jr., ed. Baptists around the World. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holdman, 1995.
3001 W Division, Arlington, TX 76012
PO Box 13459, Arlington, TX 76094-0459.
The World Baptist Fellowship emerged around the followers of J. Frank Norris (1877–1952), longtime pastor of First Baptist Church of Fort Worth (1909–1952) and Temple Baptist Church in Detroit (1934–1948). During the 1920s, Norris arose as one of the most charismatic leaders of the fundamentalist movement. Then in 1926, he killed a Fort Worth businessman, the climax to a quarrel he was waging with Roman Catholics in Texas. Though acquitted in court, his name was dropped from the officiary of the Bible Baptist Union. That act, which cut him off from a large segment of the movement, did not stop his active work, which only ended with his death in 1952.
The fellowship was organized around an annual meeting held at Norris’s Fort Worth Church. In 1939 he began the Bible Baptist Institute, which later moved to Arlington, Texas, and became the Bible Baptist Seminary. After Norris’s death, the headquarters of the fellowship moved on campus. In early the 1970s they reported over 550 churches with 800 more supporting the work. The main strength is in Texas and Ohio. Most recently the seminary has added a liberal arts curriculum and is now known as the Arlington Baptist College.
Doctrine is Baptist, with an extremely conservative fundamentalist approach assumed. Mission work is carried out through Fellowship Missions. Polity is congregational.
Arlington Baptist College, Arlington, Texas.
The Fundamentalist. Available online at www.wbfi.net.
World Baptist Fellowship. www.wbfi.net.
Falls, Roy E. A Fascinating Biography of J. Frank Norris. Euless, TX: Author, 1975.
Kemp, Roy A. A Biography of Dr. J. Frank Norris, 1877–1952. Fort Worth, TX: the Author, n.d.
Norris, J. Frank. Practical Lectures on Romans. Fort Worth, TX: First Baptist Church, n.d.
Moffitt, Bill. Formation of an Independent New Testament Church. Arlington, TX: World Baptist Fellowship Home Missions, n.d.
Oldham, Mr. and Mrs. Earl K. USS-WBF: Sail On. Grand Prairie, TX: Authors, 1992.
Russell, C. Allyn. Voices of American Fundamentalism. Philadelphia: Westminister Press, 1976.