American Baptist Association

The American Baptist Association (ABA) is an association of independent Landmark Baptist churches fellowshipping to carry out missions, benevolence and education.
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Roots

Though the American Baptist Association (distinct from the American Baptist Churches in the USA) was organized in 1924, the ABA stems from an independent "New Testament Church" movement, also known as Landmarkism. This movement is Baptistic in teaching, and is based on the history of Baptist churches stemming from those that existed during Christ's ministry.

The Baptist movement in America began with John Clarke in Rhode Island in the early 17th Century. Baptist churches spread from New England through New York and Pennsylvania, to the Midwest and the Southern states. As the "New Testament Church" movement spread to the Virginias and the Carolinas, some churches decided to convene regularly for missionary and governmental policy-making, others holding to local church authority. These boards or conventions, gave rise first to the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions and later to the Southern Baptist Convention.

Controversy

The roots of the American Baptist Association go back to the mid 19th century. A series of controversies arose in the middle 1800s among the Baptist churches, primarily in the south, but also to a smaller degree in the north, concerning Baptist theological and governmental principles. This movement to return to the old Baptist doctrines and polity became known as Landmarkism. Important to the early development of Landmarkism were leaders such as James R. Graves, James M. Pendleton, and Amos C. Dayton.

The Cotton Grove Resolutions, adopted at a meeting at the Cotton Grove Baptist Church (near Jackson, Tennessee) in 1851, were probably the first systematized expression of Landmarkism, though all the tenets existed among Baptists in some form or another prior to them. Logical application of Landmark emphases on "local church only" and "the Great Commission given to the church" led toward dissatisfaction with SBC structure and programs (such as Mission Boards). Conflicts between Landmarkers and non-Landmarkers were behind at least four important Baptist controversies in the late 1800s – Gospel Missions, the Whitsitt controversy, the "Hayden" Controversy in Texas, and the "Bogard" Controversy in Arkansas.

The two state controversies led to the organization of two new state associations - the Baptist Missionary Association (BMA) of Texas in 1900 and the State Association of Missionary Baptist Churches in Arkansas in 1902. Soon Oklahoma, Mississippi, and Louisiana would follow. The Texas association formed its own foreign mission work, but others desired to see a national organization for Landmark Baptists. Some of these organized the General Association of Baptists in the United States of America in 1905. The General Association never garnered full support of Landmark Baptists.

Southern Baptist Churches eventually decided that the standing boards or conventions were necessary to the efficient ministries of its participants, and made them permanent bodies. Some local associations that withdrew from the Southern Baptist Convention still remain aloof from any national organization.

A move for unification of the Baptist Missionary Association of Texas and the General Association came to fruition at Texarkana, Texas in 1924. The BMA of Texas continued as a state organization. The General Association adjourned 'sine die,' and was replaced by the newly formed American Baptist Association (ABA). The ABA has steadily grown, but also suffered a serious setback in 1950 with a schism that led to the formation of two new general bodies – the North American Baptist Association (now Baptist Missionary Association of America) and the Interstate & Foreign Missionary Baptist Associational Assembly of America (now Interstate & Foreign Landmark Missionary Baptist Association of America). Other churches withdrew and remain independent.

The Association Today

The numerical strength of the American Baptist Association is in the Old Southwest – Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas – but there are several churches in California and Florida. Also there are several participating churches and missions in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Ohio. Initially a midwestern and southern movement, now there are at least a few ABA participating churches in most of the United States. Mission work has expanded the association worldwide. In 2000, there were 225,479 members and 1,867 churches in the US.

The American Baptist Association has developed a distinctive structure, though similar in principle and covenant with some SBC organization. The ABA is more oriented to the local church. Most churches participate in local and state associations in addition to the national body. Churches support local, state, interstate, and foreign missionaries, a publishing house, several seminaries (each sponsored by a local church), youth camps, etc.

Beliefs and Practices

The ABA participating churches are evangelistic; and for the most part are still partisans for the Landmark view of ecclesiology. Most churches will not accept "alien" immersion (immersion performed by other than Baptists), offering the candidate for membership a "Scriptural Baptism," in picture ordinance of Christ's baptism by John the Baptist. This has the candidate participate in a remembrance ordinance which "sets according to Scripture," one's baptism. Certain candidates can be received by letter from other ABA or Baptistic, "New Testament" churches.

Each ABA participating church holds "Closed Communion", which usually limits participation in the Lord's supper to only the members of that church, due to the belief that this was practiced by Christ with the Apostles, at the Last Supper. Since it is supposed that the Apostles and Christ removed themselves from the rest of the disciples, so the local church congregation shows reverence for the ordinance, offering the Lord's Supper only to members, with the observance of respected guests. Those observing are offered invitation to join the local church, thus allowing their participation as eventual members, by the church's covenant.

Premillennialism is the eschatological view adopted in the ABA Doctrinal Statement, and all churches hold some shared principles of the Christian faith: Genesis account of Creation, the Atonement, the Trinity (though in ABA churches the Trinity is generally referred to as the "Triune" God, for the more specific reference to the three distinct natures of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, in One Creator); etc. They reject Calvinism, specifically the Calvinistic doctrine of Limited Atonement. The ABA participating churches also hold to the inerrancy of the Bible, as the inspired word of God, through its authors. The ABA Doctrinal Statement denies the existence of a universal church, holding that the church is exclusively a local, visible entity. ABA churches generally describe the universal body of believers as the "Family of God". The Apocrypha and Psuedepigraphae are not generally recognized as Canon. The churches generally recommend the Authorized (King James) Version of the Bible for English services and study. Some others use the New King James Version (NKJV), or the New International Version (NIV) Bibles.

External links

Sources

  • Association minutes
  • Baptist Around the World, by Albert W. Wardin, Jr.
  • The American Baptist Association: A Survey and Census of Its Churches and Associations, by R. L. Vaughn
  • Handbook of Denominations, by Frank S. Mead and Samuel S. Hill
  • Religious Congregations & Membership in the United States, 2000, Glenmary Research Center
Landmarkism is a type of Baptist ecclesiology. Landmarkism may also appear as Old Landmarkism in some works. Adherents are normally styled Landmark Baptists or simply Landmarkers within the United States, but are known as Landmarkists in the United Kingdom.
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Christianity

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Church Theology
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Dispensationalism
Apostles Kingdom Gospel
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Christianity

Foundations
Jesus Christ
Church Theology
New Covenant Supersessionism
Dispensationalism
Apostles Kingdom Gospel
History of Christianity Timeline
Bible
Old Testament New Testament
Books Canon Apocrypha
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General Baptist is a generic term for Baptists that hold the view of a general atonement, as well as a specific name of groups of Baptists within the broader category.
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Particular Baptist can denote either of the following related terms:
  • Strict Baptists – some of whom are known as Strict and Particular Baptists
  • Reformed Baptists – Baptists with a Calvinistic theology that includes a belief in particular redemption

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Beliefs of Baptist Churches are not totally consistent from one Baptist church to another, as Baptists do not have a central governing authority, unlike most other denominations.
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The of this article or section may be compromised by "weasel words".
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Prima scriptura is a doctrine that says canonized scripture is "first" or "above all" sources of divine revelation.
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Christianity

Foundations
Jesus Christ
Church Theology
New Covenant Supersessionism
Dispensationalism
Apostles Kingdom Gospel
History of Christianity Timeline
Bible
Old Testament New Testament
Books Canon Apocrypha
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See also: Ordinance (Latter Day Saints)
Main article: Baptist


Baptists recognize only two ordinances—believer's baptism and the
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Baptists generally recognize two Scriptural offices, those of pastor-teacher and deacon.

Theological basis

The office of elder, common in some evangelical churches, is usually considered by Baptists to be the same as that of pastor, and not a separate office.
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1600s
  • 1644 First London Baptist Confession - revised in 1646
  • 1651 The Faith and Practice of Thirty Congregations
  • 1654 The True Gospel-Faith Declared According to the Scriptures
  • 1656 The Somerset Confession of Faith

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Christianity

Foundations
Jesus Christ
Church Theology
New Covenant Supersessionism
Dispensationalism
Apostles Kingdom Gospel
History of Christianity Timeline
Bible
Old Testament New Testament
Books Canon Apocrypha
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John Smyth (157 - c. August 28, 1612) was an early Baptist minister of England and a defender of the principle of religious liberty. Many historians consider John Smyth as a founder of the modern Baptist denomination (see Baptists).
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Thomas Helwys, (c. 1550 - c. 1616), was one of the joint founders of the Baptist denomination.

In the early 17th century, Helwys was principal formulator of that distinctively Baptist request: that the church and the state be kept separate in matters of law, so that
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John Bunyan (November 28, 1628 – August 31, 1688), a Christian writer and preacher, was born at Harrowden (one mile south-east of Bedford), in the Parish of Elstow, England. He wrote The Pilgrim's Progress, arguably the most famous published Christian allegory.
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Andrew Fuller (1754-1815) was an eminent Baptist minister, born in Cambridgeshire, and settled at Kettering.

Fuller was a zealous controversialist in defence of the gospel against hyper-Calvinism on the one hand and Socinianism and Sandemanianism on the other, but he
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John Gill (November 23, 1697 - October 14, 1771) was an English Baptist, a biblical scholar, and a staunch Calvinist. Gill's relationship with hyper-Calvinism is a matter of academic debate.

He was born in Kettering, Northamptonshire.
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Charles Haddon Spurgeon, commonly C.H. Spurgeon, (June 19, 1834 – January 31, 1892) was a British Reformed Baptist preacher who remains highly influential amongst Christians of different denominations, among whom he is still known in various circles as the "Prince of
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Samuel 'Sam' Sharpe, or Sharp, (1801, Jamaica - May 23, 1832, Jamaica) was also known as Daddy Sharpe, was the slave leader behind the Jamaican Baptist War slave rebellion.
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American Baptist Churches USA

Classification Protestant
Orientation Mainline Baptist, evangelical minority
Polity Congregationalist
Branched from Northern Baptist Convention (org.
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The Baptist World Alliance is a worldwide alliance of Baptist churches and organizations, formed in 1905 at Exeter Hall in London during the first Baptist World Congress.
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Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Inc. (CBF)—"a fellowship of Baptist Christians and churches who share a passion for the Great Commission of Jesus Christ and a commitment to Baptist principles of faith and practice.
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National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.

Classification Protestant
Orientation Mainline Baptist
Polity Congregationalist
Origin September 24, 1895: Atlanta, Georgia
Merge of the Foreign Mission Baptist Convention (org.
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Southern Baptist Convention

Reaching the world for Christ.
Classification Protestant
Orientation Baptist
Polity Congregationalist
Origin May 8-12, 1845: Augusta, Georgia
Separated from The Triennial Convention
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The Baptist Union of Great Britain is the oldest and largest national association of Baptist churches in Great Britain.

English Baptists have a known continuous history from early in the 17th century.
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The Brazilian Baptist Convention or Convenção Batista Brasileira is the oldest Baptist group in Brazil. The first Baptist missionary in Brazil appears to have been Thomas Jefferson Bowen, who served there for the Southern Baptist Convention from 1859 to 1861.
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American Baptist Churches USA

Classification Protestant
Orientation Mainline Baptist, evangelical minority
Polity Congregationalist
Branched from Northern Baptist Convention (org.
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20th century - 21st century
1890s  1900s  1910s  - 1920s -  1930s  1940s  1950s
1921 1922 1923 - 1924 - 1925 1926 1927

Year 1924 (MCMXXIV
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John Clarke may be:
  • John Clarke (1609-1676), the co-founder of Rhode Island
  • John Clarke, the pseudonym adopted by Richard Cromwell after his abdication
  • John Clarke (dean of Salisbury) (1682-1757), dean of Salisbury Cathedral, mathematician, natural philosopher, and

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State of Rhode Island
and Providence Plantations


Flag of Rhode Island Seal
Nickname(s): The Ocean State, Little Rhody
Motto(s): Hope

Official language(s) English

Capital Providence

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