Baptist Church History

It is expedient that you know something about the church in whose denomination you hold membership. The cause of Jesus Christ in your life is not served in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Methodist, Presbyterian, Apostolic or Pentecostal Church!

The Baptist Church is the most democratic of Protestant Churches in that it is governed by the people and with the people choosing their own minister and leader. Each Baptist church is an entity in and of itself, having no council or ecclesiastical body to ask of or answer to. We encourage each person to rely on his/her conscience and listen as God speaks to him/her. We oppose the baptism of infants and insist that baptism should be restricted to believers who are old enough to make their own declaration of faith. We insist upon baptism by immersion rather than by pouring on or sprinkling of water. Persons are received into fellowship and membership of the Baptist Church by baptism, Christian experience, letter, restoration or watch care.

The first Baptist congregation was started by John Smith and 36 exiled Englishmen who later became the Pilgrims of New England. Roger Williams, an Englishman, has been called the father of the American Baptist Church on American soil in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1639.

During the year just before and after the American Revolution, the number of attestation increased greatly. The Methodists, at one time, ranked as the largest Protestant denomination in America. Baptist now form the largest Protestant group in the United States.

Approximately half of the Baptist in the United States are affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. The three black National Baptist groups form another large segment. A fourth major group, the American Baptist Churches, is an active and large Baptist group.

The size of the black Baptist Church ranges from a handful to thousands. In methods of worship, we range from highly emotional to the most sophisticated. Black Baptist Churches are not confined to their four walls. Active outreach programs are carried on extending into the community, nation and even foreign countries. Black Baptist look to the church not only for religion and moral leadership, but social, economic and political guidance as well.