Chapter 11: Baptist Family
Consult the "Contents" pages to locate the entries in Part III, the Directory Listings Sections, that comprise this family.
The Baptist churches are free churches, called "free" to show that they are free associations of adult believers. Other free-churches include those in the European free-church family, discussed in the previous chapter, and those in the independent Fundamentalist family, discussed in the next chapter. A cursory examination might suggest that the Baptists are a subgroup of the European free-church family, which includes the Mennonites, the Amish, the Brethren, and the Quakers. The Baptists, like that family, are anti-authoritarian, lay-oriented, and nonliturgical; they oppose state churches, and they baptize adult believers, not infants.
But the size of the Baptist churches and their continued growth suggest significant differences between the Baptists and the relatively small European free-church family, and such is the case. The Baptists make up the second largest family on the American religious scene, second only to Roman Catholics. One difference between the Baptists and the smaller European free churches is historical. The Baptists emerged out of British Puritanism, whereas the European free churches developed from the initial efforts of the continental radical reformers. Second, Baptists are free from some significant hindrances to growth that characterize the European free churches. These hindrances include pacifism, the ban (a form of excommunication), and prohibitions against participation in public life such as voting, holding public office, and serving in the armed forces. Finally, the Baptists' evangelistic revivalistic lifestyle has attracted many followers. All of these factors help explain why great numbers of people find the Baptist churches appealing.
HISTORY. History is a problem for the Baptists. When and where did the Baptists originate? Baptist scholars give widely divergent answers to that question.
One school, the earliest to appear in Baptist circles, holds to what has popularly been called the "Jerusalem-Jordan-John theory." These scholars believe that the Baptists can be dated to John the Baptist and his baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River. David Benedict, writing in the second decade of the nineteenth century, expresses this view:
"All sects trace their origin to the Apostles, or at least to the early ages of Christianity. But men, and especially the powerful ones, have labored hard to cut off the Baptists from this common retreat. They have often asserted and taken much pains to prove that the people now called Baptists originated with the mad men of Munster, about 1522. We have only to say to this statement, that it is not true. And not withstanding all that has been said to the contrary, we still date the origin of our sentiments, and the beginning of our denomination, about the year of our Lord twenty-nine or thirty; for at that period John the Baptist began to immerse professed believers in Jordan and Enon, and to prepare the way for the coming of the Lord's Annointed, and for the setting up of his kingdom." (David Benedict, A General History of the Baptist Denomination in America and Other Parts of the World [Boston: Lincoln and Edmunds, 1813], 1:92).
Followers of this school generally deny that the term Protestant has any reference to them because, they assert, they predate Luther. They are also concerned with what might be thought of as an "apostolic succession" of Baptist congregations and take great pains to define and locate it.
A second group of scholars criticized the first group for seeking a continuity of organization and called upon them to seek rather a continuity of doctrine. The second group tended to locate Baptist organizational origins in the Anabaptist wing of the Reformation. (Anabaptists called for an adult believer's baptism, which necessitated the rebaptism of those baptized as infants.) This second view was theologically, if not historically, attractive for a church that sought to recreate the first century church. As Thomas Armitage put it:
"If it can be shown that their churches are the most like the Apostolic that now exist, and that the elements which make them so have passed successfully through the long struggle, succession from the times of their blessed Lord gives them the noblest history that any people can crave. To procure a servile imitation of merely primitive things has never been the mission of Baptists. Their work has been to promote the living reproduction of New Testament Christians, and so to make the Christlike old, the ever delightfully new. Their perpetually fresh appeal to the Scriptures as the only warrant for their existence at all must not be cut off, in a foolish attempt to turn the weapons of the hierarchy against itself. The sword of the Spirit must still be their only arm of service, offensive and defensive. An appeal to false credentials now would only cut them off from the use of all that now remains undiscovered and unapplied in the word of God. The distinctive attribute in the Kingdom of Christ is life; not an historic life, but a life supernatural, flowing eternally from Christ alone by his living truth." (Thomas Armitage, A History of the Baptists [New York: Bryan, Taylor andCo., 1887], 11–12).
The final school of thought on Baptist origins, which gained ascendancy in the twentieth century, looks to seventeenth-century England for the beginnings of the Baptist movement. Robert Torbet, a twentieth-century exponent of this view, pointed out in relation to the first school:
"To say, however, that any single one of these early segments of the Christian church may be identified definitively with the communion we now know as Baptists is to make an assertion which lacks convincing historical support. That there are similarities of teaching between each of these groups and the Baptists is not to be denied. Yet, although it is not possible to trace a clear lineage of Baptists as an historical entity back to the early church, Baptist history may certainly be traced from the stirring days of the Protestant Reformation." (Robert G. Torbet, A History of Baptists [Chicago: The Judson Press, 1950], 15).
Torbet also refuted the Anabaptist theory by holding up the difference between Baptist and Anabaptist theology:
"Baptists have not shared with Anabaptists the latter's aversion to oath-taking and holding public office. Neither have they adopted the Anabaptists' doctrine of pacifism, or their theological views concerning the incarnation, soul sleeping, and the necessity of observing an apostolic succession in the administration of baptism." (Torbet, 62).
One could also note the lack of vital intercourse and familial attachment between the contemporary Baptist churches and the contemporary Anabaptist churches (i.e., the Mennonites, Hutterites, and Amish) and the lack of Anabaptists in Baptist ecumenical bodies.
Henry C. Vedder is cited by Torbet as an able exponent of the third school. Vedder believed that "after 1610 we have an unbroken succession of Baptist Churches" (Torbet, 201). Further support for this third school is found in the theology of the early Baptists: they continued to operate out of their basic Calvinist theology, deviating at two points–the sacraments and the church–rather than adopt a Mennonite theology that was adjusted for their use. While they differ with their Presbyterian and Congregationalist forefathers on two issues, they disagree with the Anabaptists on a number of issues.
English Baptists can trace their history to Holland where Separatists had located after the execution of some of their leaders in 1593. John Smyth's congregation and another led by John Robinson arrived in Holland in the first decade of the seventeenth century. In a short time Smyth issued a tract, The Differences of the Churches of the Separation (1608), in which he explained why the two congregations could not fellowship. Baptism was not an issue; extemporaneous preaching was. Smyth's congregation became heavily influenced by the Dutch Mennonites and in the winter of 1608–09, Smyth and about 40 people were rebaptized. Continued Anabaptist influence led to schism, however, and Smyth, whose congregation was absorbed by the Mennonites, returned to England. The schism resulted from the collision of the Calvinists' belief in predestination and the Mennonites' belief in free will. Thomas Helwys, the leader of the schismatic group, tried to reject both by adopting an Armenian theology. He also rejected any attempt at tracing the Apostolic succession of the true church.
John Smyth founded the first Baptist Church on English soil in 1611. In England and later in America, the first Baptists were Armenian in their theology instead of Calvinist. That means the first Baptists believed in a "general" atonement–salvation is possible for all–not in the "particular" atonement or limited atonement– predestination–of the Calvinist Baptists. Thus the first Baptists were called General Baptists; the Calvinist Baptists were called Particular Baptists. The growth of Smyth's church and local squabbles among Baptists led to the founding of five more churches in England by 1630 and 41 more by 1644.
The founding of the second main grouping of Baptists, the Particular Baptists, came about through the Puritans' move toward a Baptist position in the 1630s. In 1638, a group in the church at Southwark pastored by Henry Jacob rejected Congregational Church baptism because it was of the Church of England. Anabaptism began to emerge; dismissals led to the formation of a Calvinistic Baptist church pastored by John Spilsbury.
Among these Particular Baptists (or Calvinistic Baptists), the issue of immersion as the correct mode of baptism was raised. In 1644, they promulgated the London Confession of Faith, which provided for immersion and incorporated Calvinist theology with a call for religious freedom. This confession outlined the major issues that were to separate Baptists from other Christian bodies. Baptists would be congregationally governed but completely separated from the state. While being orthodox Christians, they would hold to adult baptism by immersion as the Apostolic, hence correct, mode of baptism. They would divide among themselves on Calvinist and Armenian lines.
A third Baptist group believed that Saturday was the true Sabbath. This belief arose as early as 1617. Overall, Seventh-day Baptists have never made up a large percentage of Baptists, but have persisted as one of the oldest continually existing Baptist bodies, and have been the ultimate source of almost all Sabbatarian teaching in the United States.
In rejecting affiliation with the state and asserting the sovereignty of the local congregation, Baptists took the major step toward their typical form of congregational government. The next step came in the 1600s when various issues led local congregations to associate together in order to present a united front on an issue. As early as 1624, General Baptists issued a common document against the Mennonites. In 1644, Particular Baptists issued the London Confession. These united-front gatherings eventuated into associations–regular structures for affiliation of congregations. As a rule, General Baptists began to move toward strong associations with more centralized authority, while Particular Baptists tended toward a very loose organization.
BELIEFS. Baptists have generally been among those churches that professed a "noncreedal" theology. This position does not imply an absence of either doctrinal standards or creedal statements. Rather, it suggests that Baptists assign a secondary role to creeds in the life of the church, that they recognize their subordination to the Bible, and that they attempt (by no means always successfully) to refrain from calling individuals to account for their dissent from any particular creedal formulation. In that tone, the Baptists have continually produced confessions of faith with the purpose of acknowledging consensus internally and of informing the world of their stance in relation to other churches.
Among the first of the Baptist confessions were the London Confessions of 1644 and 1677, the latter a revision of the Presbyterian's Westminster Confession, a second edition of which appeared in 1688. In the United States the Philadelphia Confession of 1742, based upon the English Baptists' confessions, circulated widely until the middle of the nineteenth century. Then it began to be superseded by the New Hampshire Confession, which would subsequently assume importance as the most used and revised statement of belief for American Baptists. The confession was approved in 1833 by the Baptist Convention of New Hampshire and represented a modification of the strict Calvinism of the older British confessions whose authors were trying to affirm their close theological ties to the Presbyterians and Congregationalists.
The New Hampshire Confession might have become a mere relic had not J. Newton Brown inserted it in the 1853 edition of The Baptist Church Manual, issued by the American Baptist Publication Society. From there it passed into other church manuals used by National (i.e., black), Southern, and Landmark Baptists. It was also found acceptable by some of the fundamentalist Baptists.
Briefly, the confession summarized the traditional Christian affirmations of the much longer and more detailed London and Philadelphia confessions. Following the practice of the Westminster Confessions, it begins with an affirmation of the authority of Scripture, followed by paragraphs on the Trinity, the role of grace in the salvation of sinful humanity, and the nature of Christ as the mediator between God and humanity. The major emphasis of the confession is salvation and the Christian life, in which the confession reflects a middle ground between the two major groupings (Calvinist [predestination] and Armenian [free will]) within the larger Baptist community. The confession affirms both Calvinist emphases such as the depravity of humans, the absolute need of God's grace, and the perseverance of the saints, as well as Armenian emphases such as the free gift of salvation to all and the role of human free agency.
The Baptist Confessions place the Baptist clearly in the theological center of Christianity. They affirm the major conclusions of the ecumenical councils of the Christian movement that occurred from the fourth to the eighth century and were embodied in the Nicene and Chalcedonian creeds. They also affirm the principle doctrines of the Protestant Reformation on such issues as the authority of the Bible, salvation by faith alone, and the priesthood of believers.
The confession's brief statement on the relation of Christians to civil government is similar to the position of both Presbyterians (Westminster Confession) and Mennonites (Dordrecht Confession) in affirming a proper role of civil government and the duty of the Christian to obey it in all matters not opposed to the will of God. Not mentioned, but assumed from earlier statements, the confession denies the Mennonite positions on bearing arms, oaths, and holding government office.
The sacraments are central to the differences between Baptists and the other groups of the Puritan milieu out of which the Baptists emerged. Baptists have generally rejected the notion of sacrament in their consideration of the common Christian rites of baptism and the Lord's Supper. They have termed these rites ordinances, by which they affirm that they are followed out of obedience to God's command (in Scripture). Baptists deny that they have in and of themselves any supernatural effects. The Lord's Supper is considered a memorial meal. Baptism by immersion is seen as an emblem of the believer's faith. It is limited to adults, those old enough to make a profession of faith.
Also at issue between the Baptists and other Puritans was the doctrine of the church and its relation to the state. The Baptist rejected both episcopal (leadership by bishops) and presbyterian (leadership by elders) forms of polity in which a leadership beyond the local church is in authority. To Baptists, the local church is the main focus of church life and authority. Each local church is autonomous and affiliated with other churches for fellowship, common endeavors, and advice. Neither another local church nor a judicatory higher than the local church should be given the power to dictate to any local congregation (though, of course, a group of churches may judge a minister or congregation so different in belief and practice as to be out of fellowship with them). While Congregationalists also favored the power of the local church, Baptists rejected the Congregationalists' attempts to tie themselves to the state. The Congregational Church, when given the opportunity in the Massachusetts colony, tried to establish itself as the one true church, with the state's backing. Under Congregationalist rule, Baptists suffered greatly from the associated intolerance.
IN AMERICA. Some Baptists came to America from England; some emerged from the established British churches in the colonies. The earliest Baptist churches were founded by Roger Williams (c. 1603–c. 1683) and John Clarke (1609–1676) in Rhode Island. First Church in Providence, founded by Williams, dates to 1639, and Clarke's Newport congregation to 1648. Apart from the Rhode Island churches, the early Baptists were persecuted for not allowing their infants to be baptized. This persecution was all but ended in 1691 with the Americanization of the British government's 1689 Act of Toleration.
In the 1680s, Baptists began to enter the middle colonies. A short-lived congregation was founded in 1684, and, in 1688, the Pennepack Church in Philadelphia opened. Because of the lack of established churches in the middle colonies, the Baptists were to thrive here in a way not possible in the Northeast or South until after the Revolutionary War.
In 1707, the first Baptist association in the colonies was formed. The Philadelphia Association was patterned on an English model. It was a loose association acting only as an advisory body. To it was left the task of disciplining the ministers and of acting as a council of ordination. In 1742, the association adopted the London Confession of Particular Baptists of 1689, thus identifying American Baptists with Calvinist doctrine. Benjamin Griffith and Jenkin Jones added a statement on the relation of churches and the association "based on theological agreement."
In the South, Baptists arrived in the late 1600s and formed the first Baptist church in 1714. The earliest Baptists were Armenians, which means they opposed strict Calvinist views on predestination and instead believed people were given free will so they could choose whether or not to follow the gospel. From the Armenian Baptists would come the Free-Will Baptist associations.
In the early 1700s the Great Awakening, a revival movement that spread through the colonies in the 1740s, began to affect the Baptists. Their number increased tremendously, but they also found themselves involved in new controversy. Among the Particular Baptists arose the Separatist Baptists, whose membership requirement was the personal experience of regeneration (in modern terms, the "born again" experience, involving an awareness of Jesus as personal savior). The Separatist Baptists separated themselves from those who practiced anything less. Among both the Particularists (now called Regulars) and the Separatists, divisions arose on the emotional appeal of revivalism. The New Lights were for it and the Old Lights against it. A final union of the various Particular groups was effected in 1801. The 1700s also saw the rise of Particular Baptists to predominance over the General Baptists in most areas.
The 1800s were a time of significant growth for Baptists, who were beginning to structure themselves and develop the adjuncts of a successful church–a publishing concern, a missionary arm, and institutions of higher education. In 1824, the Triennial Convention was formed. This meeting was, at its inception, a convention of associations called together for missionary concerns. "The General Missionary Convention of the Baptist Denomination in America" was the official designation, but the meeting every three years was popularly called the Triennial Convention. While missionary in its base, it became the forum in which many issues would be argued and out of which most schisms would come. Most Calvinistic Baptists, in the beginning, related themselves to the convention.
IN CANADA. Baptists in Canada had three separate starts, each essentially unrelated to the others, which are currently reflected in the three large regional conventions that make up the Canadian Baptist Federation. The first Baptists in Canada came from New England to Nova Scotia around 1760 to move onto land vacated because of the government's expulsion of the Arcadians. Ebenezer Moulton arrived from Massachusetts in 1761 and founded the first Baptist church at Horton (now Wolfville). Though Moulton left the ministry and Canada two years later, his congregation survives and is the oldest Baptist church in the country.
Coming with the Baptists were a number of Congregationalists and Presbyterians, among whom were some who had accepted revivalism and its associated phenomena. They were called Newlights. A break began between the Newlights and the more staid traditional Congregationalists and Presbyterians, with the Newlights moving to form independent Separatist congregations. Into this situation stepped Henry Alline (1748–1784), devoted Newlight preacher. His efforts throughout the New England settlements brought many Presbyterians and almost all of the Congregationalists into the Newlight Separatist camp. As in the United States, these Separatist congregations eventually identified themselves as Baptists, and, by the time of the merger between the Newlights and the older Baptists, the former actually constituted the bulk of the Baptist movement in the Maritimes.
There were enough Baptists in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick by 1798 to form an initial association. As the work extended, the other associations formed. These associations came together in 1846 to constitute what is known to today as the Baptist Convention of the Maritime Provinces.
A decade after the first Baptists arrived in Nova Scotia, other Baptists slipped across the American Border into Ontario and Quebec. The migration increased with the influx of Loyalists after the American Revolution. However, the first congregation was not formed until 1788, at Beamsville on the western tip of the peninsula in southern Ontario. From this early church established by Jacob Beam, Sr., the Baptist movement spread through Ontario. The first congregation formed in Quebec was a rural church established in 1794. Baptist growth was small in the province. The first association was formed in 1836 in the Bay of Quinte area. Other associations, including a missionary association, were formed over the century. Finally in 1888, the Baptist work came together as the Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec.
Further west, Baptist settlement began in 1862 when John Morton began to farm some 600 acres of what is now downtown Vancouver. The Reverend McDonald, a home missionary, initiated work in 1873 in the prairie provinces from his residence in Winnipeg. As the railroad was laid, congregations were formed in the communities along the rail line. Many of the churches were built around converts from the various ethnic groups that moved onto the new farm land. Consolidation of the western work led to the formation of the Baptist Union of Western Canada in 1909.
The three Baptist conventions, joined by a small group of French-speaking Baptists in Quebec, came together in 1946 to form the Canadian Baptist Federation. The federation is a loosely organized body and much of the work of the denomination was retained by the several member conventions.
THE GROWTH OF THE LARGER BAPTIST BODIES IN THE UNITED STATES. The founding of the Triennial Convention was a signal for other cooperative efforts to form. The American Baptist Publication Society began in 1824, the American Baptist Home Mission Society in 1832, and the American Foreign Bible Society in 1837. A number of state societies and conventions were also organized. These were the building blocks out of which a national group consciousness could grow and from which a national convention or the equivalent of a national denomination eventually could emerge. It is difficult to say just when that national consciousness emerged, but it was certainly before 1907, when the American Baptist Convention was formed. That convention represents a gradual move toward centralization.
Proceedings in the Triennial Convention moved in the 1830s from missions to educational leadership and publications. In the 1840s, however, a new issue emerged–slavery. In April 1840, an "American Baptist Anti-Slavery Convention" was organized to press the issue that had been resisted earlier as a topic for consideration.
At the 1841 Triennial Convention, the Southerners, led by Richard Fuller, protested the abolitionist agitation and argued that, while slavery was a calamity and a great evil, it was not a sin according to the Bible. The Savannah River Association threatened to withdraw cooperation unless the abolitionists were dismissed from the board of managers. The debate began a controversy that would result in the gradual withdrawal of the Southern Baptists from participation in convention activities and from support of the Missionary Magazine and missions.
The 1844 session proved decisive; the Southern delegates showed up in force with several test cases. The Alabama Convention sent a query to the Board of Foreign Missions asking "whether or not slaveholders are eligible and entitled equally with nonslaveholders to all the privileges and immunities of the several Unions." The Georgia Baptists chose a slave-owner as a missionary and forwarded his appointment to the Home Mission Society as a test case. The convention dodged the issues by referring them to the respective subsidiary boards.
Because the issue of slavery was raised in the nomination from Georgia, the board ruled that it was not at liberty to consider it. The Alabama query was answered in the negative. Appointment of a slaveholder would make the Northern brethren responsible for an institution they could not conscientiously sanction. The situation of the mission board was further complicated by the formation of a Free Mission Society, which refused "tainted" Southern money. In the face of these two issues, the Southern members decided to withdraw, and in 1845, they formed the Southern Baptist Convention.
The split brought to the forefront a second issue between Southern and Northern Baptists, organizational centralization. The Southern Baptist Convention became a single organization overseeing all the activities that were separated in the Northern boards and conventions. Some 300 churches entered the new church convention, which met every two years.
The Northern and Southern churches are similar in church government, both being congregationally oriented, and in doctrine, both accepting the New Hampshire Confession of Faith. The Southern church, in fact, is more centralized in its aggressive mission activity, and has expanded northward in the twentieth century. The Northern church has been much more open to modern theological trends, the ecumenical movement, and social activism, and it tends to be more "liberal" in its outlook.
As a rule, ecumenical participation by Baptists has been hindered by both the extreme congregational polity and the demand for doctrinal unity with those with whom they fellowship. Many of the missions established in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries outgrew their mission status as they became autonomous indigenous churches. They now fellowship through the Baptist World Alliance. The larger Baptist bodies, however, have tended to refrain from the affiliation with non-Baptists in such organizations as the National Council of Churches and World Council of Churches or even the National Association of Evangelicals. In Canada the Canadian Baptist Federation joined, then withdrew, from the Canadian Council of Churches.
CONSERVATIVE BAPTIST MOVEMENT. In the early decades of the twentieth century, the Northern Baptist Convention, like its presbyterian counterpart, was rent asunder by the fundamentalist-modernist controversy. Among the Baptists, the Fundamentalist movement focused on the issues of social action and the deviation from doctrine by missionaries. The Fundamentalists opposed the post-World War I policies that seemed to involve unsuitable social activism, and they opposed the sending of missionaries who did not hold a strong conservative Baptist position. When the convention turned away from their demands, the members of the Fundamentalist Fellowship organized, in 1920, the Conservative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) to continue their understanding of the gospel.
For many years, the CBF continued within the Northern Baptist Convention, but during World War II, plans for separation were pursued. Over the years, at least five new Baptist denominations have resulted from splintering associated with the CBF.
The Conservative Baptist movement must also be seen as a reaction to the centralization signaled by the formation of the Northern Baptist Convention, itself, in 1907. An extreme congregational polity exists in churches belonging to the Conservative Baptist Fellowship. Congregations associate freely. Mission work is carried on by separate but approved mission agencies; schools tend to operate similarly.
PRIMITIVE BAPTISTS. In the years following the American Revolution, a great wave of enthusiasm for missions swept across the American church. Among the Baptists, this enthusiasm was occasioned by the acceptance of the Baptist view on immersion by two Congregationalist missionaries on their voyage to the mission field in India. Having lost the support of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, Adoniram Judson and Luther Rice turned to the Baptists to support their work.
In response to Rice's appeal, a new structure, "the General Missionary Convention of the Baptist Denomination in the United States for Foreign Missions," was created in 1814. In 1815, Elder Martin Ross presented to the Kehukee Association meeting at Fishing Creek, North Carolina, a report on the new mission board. Elder Ross had already built up a reputation for missionary zeal. In 1803, he had placed his concern before the association in the form of a query:
"Is not the Kehukee Association, with her numerous and respectable friends, called on in Providence, in some way, to step forward in support of that missionary spirit which the great God is so wonderfully reviving amongst the different denominations of good men in various parts of the world?" (Cushing Biggs Hassell and Sylvester Hassell, History of the Church of God from Creation to A.D. 1885, Including Especially the History of the Kehukee Primitive Baptist Association [Atlanta, GA: Turner Lassetter, 1962; reprint of original edition, Middletown, NY: Gilbert Beebe's Sons, 1886], 721).
In both 1803 and 1815, Ross met with a favorable response. Similar actions were occurring across the country. Nevertheless, there remained a minority who viewed the missionary movement as an innovation and who, a decade later, were able to unite in opposition to a number of "new" causes. An effective voice arose in the Kehukee to confront the eloquent Martin Ross. Joshua Lawrence, of no formal education but great native ability, authored a "Declaration of Principles" for the churches of the Kehukee Association. At the 1827 association meeting, a lengthy debate on the declaration was followed by a resolution to "discard all Missionary Societies, Bible Societies and Theological Seminaries, and the practices heretofore resorted to for their support, in begging money from the public." The Kehukee Association further resolved:
"If any persons should be among us, as agents of any of said societies, we hereafter discountenance them in those practices; and if under a character of a minister of the gospel, we will not invite them into our pulpits; believing these societies and institutions to be the inventions of men, and not warranted from the Word of God."
Masonry was one of the issues combined with opposition to the new missionary groups, and the Kehukee reacted against members who joined the lodge. "We declare non-fellowship with them and such practices altogether" (Hassell and Hassell, 736–37). The lengthy action was finally adopted in complete consensus. There were no dissenting votes.
This action did not go unopposed by those who had for years supported the missionary cause, both within and outside of the Kehukee Association. Within the association, churches began to withdraw and to continue their support of mission societies. Other associations withdrew their letter of correspondence (doctrinal and ethical similarity) with Kehukee. One of these, the Neuse Association (North Carolina), split in 1830–31, and the Contentea Association was formed around the Kehukee position against missionary groups. The Little River and the Nauhunty associations adopted the Kehukee position at the same time.
In August 1832, the County Line Association came out in opposition to missionary societies. The following month a similar action was taken at an "unofficial" meeting of some churches of the Baltimore Association who gathered at the Black Rock church in Baltimore County in Maryland. The action at Black Rock was significant, as it was bringing the issue close to Philadelphia, home of the mission board. In the North, those opposed to mission societies were called "Blackrockers."
No segment of the Baptist church, particularly in the South, was unaffected by the debates, and, as associations were divided, a unitive consciousness of being the "true," "primitive," or "old school" Baptist church developed among those who refused to support what they termed "innovations." A national body of likeminded believers who registered their consciousness of one another through "letters of correspondence" began to emerge. By 1840, Primitive Baptist associations covered what was then the United States, reaching north into Pennsylvania and west to Missouri and Texas.
Primitive Baptist beliefs were hammered out in debates with the growing Missionary Baptist movement on the one hand and the Arminianism of the United and the Free Will Baptists on the other hand. (Arminians believe salvation is possible for all through free will, a belief opposed to the predestination believed in by the strict Calvinists.) The heritage of the Primitive Baptists was the New Hampshire Confession and British Puritan Calvinism. Primitive Baptists' response was to affirm their traditional Calvinism and independency. Primitive Baptists are not, as a whole, theologically trained, and their differences have arisen over acceptance or rejection of traditional statements.
The Statement of Faith is included in most copies of annual association minutes. Typically, the statement will include articles on the Trinity, the Scriptures as the only rule of faith and practice, original sin, human depravity, election, perseverance of the saints, baptism by immersion, closed communion, the resurrection, and ordination. Differences among Primitive Baptists are manifest primarily on the doctrine of election and/or predestination. All hold to a belief in election, that God elected the saved before the foundation of the world. Some go beyond, and hold that God predestined everything that comes to pass. Upon that doctrine, associations have split. Foot washing is practiced by many Primitive Baptists, but very few make it a test for fellowship. Some consider it an ordinance. The King James Version of the Bible is preferred. Secret societies are frowned upon.
Primitive Baptists have an extreme congregational form of government, and many assert in their articles of faith that an association has no right to assume any authority over local churches. For the overwhelming number of Primitive Baptists, there is no organization above the loose associations that typically cover several counties. Associations consist of representative member churches and can sit in advisory capacities only.
Except for the few Primitive Baptist groups that have organized more formally, there are no headquarters, institutions, or official publications. As with the Plymouth Brethren, periodicals become a major means of communication and are identified with various divisions. Generally speaking, each periodical serves a specific geographic area for a particular doctrinally definable group.
The local church consists of members, deacons, and elders. Members must be adult baptized believers. Deacons oversee the temporal affairs. Ministers have little or no theological training and, typically, no salary. They are expected to study the Scriptures. No musical instruments are used in worship. Sermons are delivered extemporaneously, in a distinctive sing-song voice. Also associated with the Primitives is Sacred Harp singing, a cappella singing in four-part harmony that sounds much like eighteenth century folk music.
While not organized in an hierarchical fashion, there is a definite organizational structure to the Primitive Baptist movement that can be defined by doctrine and by letters of correspondence. Each association has a sister association to which it sends annual letters of greeting. Such letters are recognition of being in communion and professing similar doctrines. Doctrinal differences among associations in correspondence manifest the generally low level of doctrinal freedom allowed. With rare exceptions, associations in correspondence will not overlap geographically. Several groups have taken steps to organize more formally and to form supra-associational structures. Finally, race has also become a means of distinguishing a set of corresponding associations.
If one defines a primary religious body among the Primitive Baptists as an association and those associations with which it is in correspondence and has doctrinal unity, no fewer than 13 distinct Primitive Baptist groups emerge. Each one of these bodies meets the criteria of a primary religious group as outlined in the introduction. Each asks for the primary allegiance of its members, has two or more centers of operation, and has at least one item of doctrine or organizational principle that will be distinctive from its closest neighbor.
AFRICAN AMERICAN BAPTISTS. Baptist missions among the African slaves date to the beginning of Baptist history and the efforts made among the African members of Roger Williams' Providence Church. But in the 1700s as Baptists moved into the South, slaves grew to be a large percentage of the membership. The first black Baptist church was formed at Silver Bluff, South Carolina, between 1773 and 1775, and was made up of residents of the plantation of John Galphin. Leadership was provided by a Brother Palmer, the church's founder, the Reverend David George, and the Reverend George Lisle. The late date of this formation is symbolic more of the hesitancy of slave owners to allow separate churches (which could become independent centers for subversive activities) than of any lack of success preaching the gospel among the slaves. Within a few years, a second church was formed at Williamsburg, Virginia, at the initiation of the white Baptists. A third church was formed in Savannah in 1779. From these three, others sprang up across the South.
Northern blacks established Baptist churches after the turn of the century. The Jay Street Church of Boston was founded in 1804, with New York (1808) and Philadelphia (1809) following in quick succession. The Boston and New York churches were formed by the Reverend Thomas Paul (1773–1831). The Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York would later be pastored by the flamboyant Congressman Adam Clayton Powell (1908–1972).
Like their white brethren, the blacks were active in foreign mission work, sending a missionary to Haiti in 1824. In 1821, the Reverends Lott Carey (c. 1780–1828) and Collins Teague were sent by the Triennial Convention to work in Liberia. They traveled to their new home with a group of blacks sponsored by the African Colonization Society.
As the reaction of slave owners to slave revolts cut into the freedom of slaves to spread their religion, and as many slaves fled north and west, Baptist churches spread in the Midwest. In 1836, the Providence Baptist Association in Ohio became the first Black Baptist Association in the country. Two years later in Illinois, the Wood River Association was formed. In 1840, the American Baptist Missionary Convention was formed by black Baptists in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic states. It was active in freedman's aid as the Civil War drew to a close.
After the Civil War, several organizational attempts met with varying success until, in 1879, the Reverend W. W. Colley (1847–1909) returned from Africa with a vision of the role of black Baptist churches. At a meeting in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1880, the Foreign Mission Baptist Convention of the U.S.A. was formed. This convention became the rallying point of black Baptists, and its organization is usually accepted as the founding date of the National Baptist Convention, U.S.A., Inc., the largest African American Baptist organization. Within the Foreign Mission Baptist Convention, machinery was provided for the calling of a meeting at which the American National Baptist Convention was formed in 1886. In 1893, a third body, the Baptist National Educational Convention, was formed. Other regional bodies joined in these national efforts, and the stage was set for the formation of the National Baptist Convention in 1895.
GENERAL BAPTISTS. The first Baptists in both England and America were Arminian in their theology, meaning they adhered to the reformed theology articulated by Dutchman Jacob Arminius (1560–1609) and held that salvation was possible for all. They believed in a "general" atonement (thus the name "General Baptists") in opposition to the "particular" atonement or strict predestination of the Calvinist Baptists, who said the number and identity of the elect were predetermined before the world began. John Smyth founded the first Baptist church in England in 1611; many General Baptists in America trace their seventeenth-century roots to Smyth. The English Baptists faced persecution, but were able to set up a central organization, "the General Assembly," in the 1660s. By 1699, this assembly included some 10 local associations.
In America, the General Baptist history begins in 1639 with Roger Williams' church at Providence, Rhode Island. Other churches spread in the East over the next century. In the first decade of the eighteenth century, General Baptist centers were established in the South. A group settled in Virginia and, in 1709, applied to England for a minister. The minister died soon after his arrival, and the church moved to North Carolina under the leadership of William Sojourner. In the same year, Paul Palmer baptized nine persons and formed the Chestnut Ridge Church in Maryland. He, too, moved to North Carolina. Through his labors, William Parker was converted; under Palmer, Parker, and Sojourner, a thriving General Baptist movement was organized.
Much of the General Baptist work was lost to the militant Calvinists in the late 1700s. The Philadelphia Association absorbed the Northern Baptists and their missionaries, and organized the Kehukee Association from members in North Carolina. Those not absorbed by the Kehukee became known as "Free-Willers," a name that stuck.
SEVENTH-DAY BAPTISTS. Seventh-Day or Saturday worship has been a recurring issue raised by serious students of the Bible. For the Baptists who were in search of ways to recover the primitive church, it was an early theme. Modern Sabbatarians find it practiced throughout Christian history, but its modern history begins in the 1550s with scattered reports of Sabbatarians among the British reformers. As early as 1595, a book was published on the question by Nicholas Bownd.
The first congregation of Seventh-Day Baptists seems to have arisen in 1617 under the leadership of John Trask in London. The church met at Millyard and it had a checkered existence as a result of continued persecution. A second congregation was added in 1640 at Nutton, Gloucestershire. The congregation included both Sunday and Saturday worship at first, but by the end of the century, the Sabbatarians were in control. In all, some 15 congregations seem to have existed by 1700.
In 1664, a member of the Bell Lane Seventh-Day Baptist Church of London, the Reverend Stephen Mumford, came to America and affiliated with the Newport, Rhode Island, Baptists. He began to raise the Sabbath issue, encountering both support and opposition, the latter from the church elders. On December 23, 1671, he formed the Newport congregation, the first Seventh-Day Baptist church in America.
Other individuals migrated to America from various Sabbatarian Baptist churches in England. In most cases, they existed as Baptists until driven out as heretics. Churches were formed at Philadelphia (1680s) and Piscutaway, New Jersey (1705). Over the century, growth was slow but steady. The Sabbatarians spread throughout the colonies, south to Georgia.
Among the pietists of Germany, a second strain of Sabbatarianism developed in the wake of the Bible study promoted by Francke and Spener. Among these Sabbatarians was the famous Woman in the Wilderness Commune that settled along Wissahickon Creek near Germantown, Pennsylvania, in 1694. They were among a number of German dissenters who settled in Pennsylvania at the invitation of William Penn. They were early in communication with both Abel Noble, founder of the Philadelphia Church, and the Newport Brethren. The community dissolved in the early 1700s.
In 1720, Conrad Beissel (1690–1768) arrived in Philadelphia ready to join the Wissahickon brethren; only then did he learn of the community's demise. However, he was able to meet with a few of its former members. The following year Beissel went west to Lancaster County and founded a settlement. In 1724, he made a tour of the coastal settlements, visiting the Labadist Community at Bohemia Manor and the Rhode Island Sabbatarian Baptists. Shortly after that visit, he became a Sabbatarian himself. Through the influence of the German Baptist Brethren, he became a Baptist in 1725 and later the leader of the newly organized Conestoga Church near his home. Under Beissel and a Brother Lamech, who kept the diary of the congregation, the sabbatarian issue was raised to prominence.
In 1728, the split in the congregation became effective, and Beissel formed an independent sabbatarian church. Beissel immediately published an apology, Mystyrion Anomias, on the seventhday Sabbath. Further activities led to the formation in 1732 of the famous Ephrata Cloister, a communal Seventh-Day Baptist group, from which others would grow.
CHRISTIAN CHURCH (DISCIPLES OF CHRIST) AND RELATED CHURCHES. Many members of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and its sister bodies would be offended by being thought of as "Baptists," but they would also, upon reflection, find many reasons for being considered in a chapter with the Baptist family. The Christian Church began with three ex-Presbyterian ministers in the early 1800s, two of who belonged to a Baptist association from 1813 to 1830. The Christian Church holds some beliefs and practices in common with Baptists; for example, believers' baptism by immersion, the celebration of the Lord's Supper as a memorial meal, and the effort to restore New Testament Christianity.
The Christian Church had its origin in the work of three exPresbyterian ministers–Thomas (1763–1854) and Alexander Campbell (1788–1866) and Barton Stone (1772–1844). The Campbells were Scots-educated Irishmen who had, during their years of training, become heavily influenced by some Presbyterian leaders who had adopted a free-church position. (Free churches oppose state churches and are anti-authoritarian, lay-oriented, nonliturgical, and noncreedal. They practice adult baptism, not infant baptism.) Presbyterian leaders John Glas, Robert Sandeman, and the Haldane brothers had left their respective churches to establish independent congregations. In America, other antiauthoritarian movements were begun by Methodist James O'Kelly(c. 1757–1826) and Baptists Abner Jones (c. 1772–1841) and Elias Smith (1769–1846).
Thomas Campbell came to America in 1807 and joined the Philadelphia Synod of the Presbyterian Church, but his name was removed from the rolls in May 1807 under charges of heresy. Thomas founded the Christian Association of Washington (Pennsylvania) to give form to the anti-authoritarian protest. At about the same time, Alexander Campbell broke with the Scotch Presbyterians and sailed for America.
The Campbells, repulsed by the Presbyterians, began to form congregations, the first of which was the Brush Run Church. In 1813, the Campbells and their followers united with the Red Stone Baptist Association, a union that lasted until 1830. During those 17 years, the central ideas of the Campbells crystallized. Some of those ideas were in direct conflict with Baptist precepts, a development that led to the dissolution of fellowship in 1830.
The ideas that eventually caused the schism were clustered around the notion of "Restoration"–the striving to restore New Testament Christianity. While restoration, in itself, would not be objectionable to Bible-oriented Christians, the implementation of restoration with specific programs and notions was not so acceptable. For example, in direct contradiction to Baptist teaching, Alexander Campbell began to teach a distinction between grace and law, and the New Testament versus the Old Testament. He wanted to establish the New. Organizationally, the Campbells were also becoming involved in the same struggle that produced the Primitive Baptist church in the East and South–the rejection of associations and other supracongregational structures with power to legislate for the member churches. Associations, said the Campbells, were for fellowship and edification only. Alexander Campbell, in the pages of the Christian Baptist, which he published, also began to speak against the mission boards.
A major thrust of Campbellite thinking concerned the unity of the church, a common problem in early nineteenth-century Protestantism. The Campbellites felt that a restoration of the New Testament would include a union of all Christians as an essential aspect of the primitive order. Of course, other church bodies did not agree on what constituted primitive Christianity. For example, churches with strong supracongregational structures gave many reasons for their system as opposed to a congregational system, while the restoration movement became known for its defense of the congregational system.
While he was among the Baptists, the sacraments or ordinances became a major issue for Alexander Campbell, and believers' baptism by immersion replaced the common presbyterial form (pouring). The Lord's Supper was viewed as a memorial meal; although as it came to be practiced, it has been a point of distinction between the Christian Church and other churches. The Lord's Supper was commemorated each Sunday and was open to all Christians, even those who had not been immersed.
Barton Stone was the third person chiefly credited for the formation of the Christian Church. In the early 1800s, he began to have doubts about both the doctrine and polity of his Presbyterian Church. After his ministering at the camp meeting at Cane Ridge, he and four other ministers were censured by the Synod of Kentucky. They withdrew and formed the Springfield Presbytery. The Presbytery was dissolved on June 28, 1809, and in a celebrated document–"The Last Will and Testament of the Springfield Presbytery"–founders set out their protest of Presbyterian polity. Emphasis was on the independence of the local church, the Scriptures as the only authority, and conferences of churches for fellowship and edification only. The group took the name "Christian Church."
In 1830, the Campbells finally departed from the Baptists, and correspondence with Barton Stone, already initiated, continued. The two groups following the Campbells and Stone consummated a merger in 1832. No sectarian designation was wanted, so several "non-sectarian" names began to be used–Christian Church and Disciples of Christ being the most common.
At the heart of the Disciples' organization was a protest of certain structures that they saw present in Christendom. They protested the division of Christianity, which they called a result of sectarian ideas (as expressed in creeds) and church polity not based on the Bible. They took the "Bible only" as their uniting creed and an ultracongregational polity as the New Testament form. They did not like any structures that either usurped the duties of the local church (as mission societies did) or that exerted power over the church, as some Baptist associations, presbyteries, or bishops did. They at first saw themselves as independent societies functioning as a leaven for the lump of sectarian Christianity.
Between 1830 and 1849, the Disciples experienced rapid growth. Fellowship was expressed in quarterly and annual meetings of regional gatherings. Independent colleges and publishing interests were founded and continued. Then in 1849, the first general convention was held. Its purpose was to further the work of the societies and to represent them. The convention adopted the name "American Christian Missionary Society," and its task centered on church extension, foreign missions, and evangelism. Over the next 60 years, other agencies were formed to handle specific tasks. They reported to the annual convention.
By the turn of the century, the creation of a number of boards and agencies led to a demand for centralization and coordination. A debate was precipitated when the 1910 convention adopted a resolution to form one general convention of the Disciples, which would unify all organizations, coordinate the collection of money, and make more efficient the administration. Finally in 1917, the International Convention was organized.
In the twentieth century, the Restoration movement divided into three major divisions. The Disciples of Christ began with the formation of the International Convention in 1917. It took periodic steps that brought it into denominational Christianity and associated with other liberal Protestant churches in the major ecumenical councils. Three groups that rejected the abandonment of the nondenominational stance of the movement's founders are the noninstrumental Churches of Christ (whose membership is largely centered in the South), the Christian Churches, and Churches of Christ. All three groups are about the same strength. The theologically conservative Churches of Christ has experienced a number of schisms, the most important one being the formation of the International Churches of Christ (ICC) in the 1980s. The ICC, also known as the Boston movement, emerged out of a revival movement within the main body of the Churches of Christ, but eventually departed on a number of important points, especially on the matter of more centralized church authority, the discipling of members, and the use of instrumental music in worship.
CHRISTADELPHIANS. The Christadelphians date to 1844 when Dr. John Thomas (1805–1871), a physician in Richmond, Virginia, began a monthly magazine, The Herald of the Future Age. Dr. Thomas, who immigrated from England in 1832, became associated with Alexander Campbell and the Christian Church, which Campbell and his brother helped form. Over the years, however, Thomas found himself in disagreement on a number of points of doctrine. He came to feel that knowledge and belief of the gospel must precede baptism, and he was rebaptized. A polemic began that led to a complete break in 1844. Groups began to form and were termed ecclesias (the Greek word for assembly from which the word ecclesiastical is derived).
The Christadelphians hold views similar to those of the Campbells, but are non-Trinitarians and resemble the early Unitarians in Christology. The Holy Spirit is God's power that executes his will. Thomas also denied man's natural immortality and believed that man was unconscious from death to the resurrection. At the end time, Christ will appear visibly; all believers will be resurrected and judged, and the kingdom will be established. The kingdom will be the kingdom of Israel restored in the Holy Land. The wicked will be annihilated. Most important, Thomas taught that baptism by immersion after receiving knowledge of the gospel was essential for salvation. Closed communion is practiced. The Christadelphians do not participate in politics, voting, or war; nor do they hold civil office.
The organization of the ecclesias is congregational. Each ecclesia elects local officers, or "serving brethren." The serving brethren include managing brethren and presiding brethren. The former conduct the temporal affairs and the latter the speaking, teaching, and pastoral work. Groups of ecclesias meet in fraternal gatherings that have no legislative powers.
In the 1890s, a controversy that developed between Robert Roberts and J. J. Andrew, two leading brothers in England, spread among the Christadelphians. The controversy involved the issue of what was termed "resurrectional responsibility" and split the Christadelphians into two factions generally termed the Amended and Unamended. Through the twentieth century, several efforts to reconcile the two groups of Christadelphians proved unable to resolve the problems between them.
Sources–The Baptist Family
The study of the Baptist movement is supported by the American Baptist Historical Society, 1106 S. Goodman St., Rochester, NY 14620, which maintains the official depository library for the American Baptist Churches of America and the World Baptist Alliance, operates the American Baptist Center at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, and publishes the American Baptist Quarterly; and the Historical Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, 901 Commerce St., Ste. 400, Nashville, TN 37203, which operates the convention's archives and publishes Baptist History and Heritage. The Seventh-day Baptist Historical Society is located at the headquarters in Janesville, Wisconsin, and the most complete Primitive Baptist archives is at Elon College, North Carolina. The Canadian Baptist Archives is located at McMaster Divinity College in Hamilton, Ontario.
The Disciples of Christ Historical Society (and archives collection) is at 1101 Nineteenth Ave., S., Nashville, TN 37212. It publishes the quarterly Discipliana.
Baptist Origins and History
Armitage, Thomas. A History of the Baptists. New York: Bryan Taylor & Co., 1887. 978 pp.
Baptist Advance. Forest Park, IL: Roger Williams Press, 1964. 512 pp.
Benedict, David E. A General History of the Baptist Denomination in America and Other Parts of the World. Boston: Lincoln & Edmunds, 1819. 470 pp.
Brackney, William H. Historical Dictionary of the Baptists. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1999.
Brackney, William H., ed. Baptist Life and Thought: 1600–1980.. Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press, 1983. 448 pp.
Collinsworth, J. R. The Pseudo Church Doctrines of Anti-Pedo-Baptists Defined and Refuted. Kansas City, MO: Hudson-Kimberly Publishing Co., 1892. 496 pp.
The Encyclopedia of Southern Baptists. 3 Vols. Nashville: Broadman Press, 1958.
Newman, Albert Henry. A History of Anti-Pedobaptism. Philadelphia: American Baptist Publication Society, 1897. 414 pp.
Torbet, Robert G. A History of the Baptists. Philadelphia: Judson Press, 1963. 585 pp.
The Baptists in North America
Armstrong, O. K., and Marjorie Moore Armstrong. The Indomitable Baptists. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1967. 392 pp.
Baker, Robert A. A Baptist Source Book. Nashville: Broadman Press, 1966. 216 pp.
Boney, William Jerry, and Glenn A. Iglehart. Baptists & Ecumenism. Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press, 1980. 177 pp.
Boyd, Jesse L. A History of Baptists in America 1845. New York: The American Press, 1957. 205 pp.
Brackney, William H., ed. Baptist Life and Thought: 1600–1980, A Source Book. Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press, 1983. 448 pp.
Gaver, Jessyca Russell. "You Shall Know the Truth." New York: Lancer Books, 1973. 368 pp.
McBeth, H. Leon. The Baptist Heritage. Nashville: Broadman Press, 1987. 850 pp.
Stiansen, P. History of the Norwegian Baptists in America. Chicago: The Norwegian Baptist Conference of America and the American Baptist Publication Society, 1939. 344 pp.
Wood, James E., Jr. Baptists and the American Experience. Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press, 1976. 384 pp.
Bush, L. Russ, and Tom J. Nettles. Baptists and the Bible. Chicago: Moody Press, 1980. 456 pp.
Carson, Alexander. Baptism, Its Mode and Its Subjects. Evansville, IN: The Sovereign Grace Book Club, n.d. 237 pp.
Lumpkin, W. L. Baptist Confessions of Faith. Chicago: Judson Press, 1959. 430 pp.
Robinson, H. Wheeler. Baptist Principles. London: The Carey Kingsgate Press, 1925. 74 pp.
Wallace, O. C. S. What Baptists Believe. Nashville: Broadman Press, 1934.
Hassell, Sylvester. History of the Church of God. Middletown, NY: Gilbert Beebe's Sons, 1886. 1008 pp.
Piepkorn, Arthur Carl. "The Primitive Baptists of North America." Baptist History and Heritage, 7, No. 1 (January 1972), pp. 33–51.
Rushton, William. A Defense of Particular Redemption. Elon College, NC: W. J. Berry, 1971. 48 pp.
Brawley, Edward M., ed. The Black Baptist Pulpit. Freeport, NY: Books for Libraries Press, 1971. 300 pp.
Fitts, Leroy. A History of Black Baptists. Nashville: Broadman Press, 1985. 368 pp.
McCall, Emmanuel L., comp. The Black Christian Experience. Nashville: Broadman Press, 1972. 126 pp.
Washington, James Melvin. Frustrated Fellowship. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1986. 226 pp.
Latch, Ollie. General Baptists in Church History. Poplar Bluff, MO: General Baptist Press, 1968. 130 pp.
Seventh Day Baptists in Europe and America. 2 vols. Plainfield, NJ: American Sabbath Tract Society for the Seventh Day Baptist General Conference, 1910.
The Restoration Movement
Allen, Leonard. The Transforming of a Tradition: Churches of Christ in the New Millennium. Ed. by Lynn Anderson. New Leaf Books, 2001. 216 pp.
Casey, Michael W., and Douglas A. Foster, eds. Stone-Campbell Movement: An International Religious Tradition. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 2002.
Dowling, Enos E. The Restoration Movement. Cincinnati Standard Publishing, 1964. 128 pp.
Ford, Harold W. A History of the Restoration Plea. Oklahoma City, OK: Semco Color Press, 1952. 217 pp.
Gates, Errett. The Early Relation and Separation of the Baptists and Disciples. Chicago: The Christian Century Co., 1904. 124 pp.
Harrell, David Edwin. The Social Sources of Division in the Disciples of Christ. Athens, GA: Publishing Systems, Inc., 1973. 458 pp.
Humbert, Royal. Compend of Alexander Campbell's Theology. St. Louis: Bethany Press, 1961. 295 pp.
McAleister, Lester G. and William E. Tucker. Journey of Faith. St. Louis, MO: Bethany Press, 1975. 506 pp.
Murch, James DeForest. Christians Only. Cincinnati: Standard Publishing, 1962. 392 pp.
A Declaration of the Truth Revealed in the Bible. London: "The Dawn" Book Supply, 1970. 30 pp.
Roberts, Robert. Christendom Astray. London: "The Dawn" Book Supply, n.d. 462 pp.
Thomas, John. A Brief Exposition of the Prophecy of Daniel. Birmingham, England: "The Christadelphian," 1947. 122 pp.
——. The Last Days of Judah's Commonwealth and Its Latter Day Restoration. West Beach Post Office, South Australia: Logos Publications, 1969. 99 pp.