Time-Line of Baptist History
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
This is not to be considered
an exhaustive or conclusive historical account of Baptist history. It is, however, an attempt to present Baptist history by whatever name Baptists have
been known. It is not an attempt to establish the grounds or criteria for what a Baptist is or isn't for it has been said, if you are not a Fundamental Baptist, you
are not a Baptist. The same has been stated by Southern Baptists, Northern Baptists, Primitive Baptists, Free Will Baptists, Calvinists, Arminians, and so
on. The problem with this is that prior to our current time in history, by whatever name we call a Baptist, we seem to have forgotten how to define what
a Baptist is, rather than who a Baptist is. My intent is not to declare the formation of the Baptist denomination (for lack of a better phrase)
in the 1st century, but merely to present histories of those who have been known as Baptists since the time of Christ. We face the continual problem of
however further back in time we go of seeing little or no mention of the word 'Baptist', yet we find what a Baptist is the closer we approach
the 1st century church. On the other hand, the further away from the 1st century church we have come, we often see little or no resemblance of 1st century
Christianity among many who call themselves 'Baptists'. A Reformation among Baptists is greatly needed to return to 1st century Biblical Christianity.
Consider the following as a preface to ancient Baptist histories:
History of the Welsh Baptists, from the Year 63 to the year 1770, Jonathan J. Davis, published 1835
History of the Baptists in Wales, Joshua Thomas,
Baptists in Wales, David Benedict, published 1848
The Anabaptist Movement begins in Germany under the leadership of Thomas Müntzer. Prior to being called Anabaptists in Germany, they were briefly known as Catabaptists, referring to the Swiss Anabaptists by
Zwingli and Oecolampadius in their Latin writings. It did not, however, succeed in displacing "Anabaptist," which became the standard term. It is an original Greek
word translated into Latin, not found in German or English.
Felix Mantz was a native of Zurich, and had received a liberal education. Having early adopted the principles of the Reformation, he became an intimate friend of
Zuingli (Zwingli) and other Swiss Reformers. He began to doubt the scriptural authority of infant-baptism, and of the Church constitution which then existed at Zurich,
and he suffered imprisonment in consequence. After this he preached in the fields and woods, whither the people flocked in crowds to hear him, and there he baptized
those who professed faith.
Balthazar Hubmeyer returned to Ratisbon, and continued there a year, propagating the principles of the Reformation. When he resumed his residence at Waldshut,
he formed an acquaintance with the Swiss reformers, particularly Zuingli and Ecolampadius, and enjoyed frequent opportunities of intercourse with them.
Swiss Anabaptists broke with Zwingli.
Baptism of Hubmäier.
Peasants Revolt led by Thomas Müntzer.
The (Radical) AnaBaptist's bible meetings and antipaedobaptist views were condemended by Zwingli and the Zurich city council. In defiance, on the 25 January,
the Radicals formed the first congregation of believers through baptism (by pouring).
Felix Mantz was drowned at Zurich for violating the magistrate's order against re-baptizing. As he came down from the Wellenberg to the fish market,” says Bullinger,
“and was led through the shambles to the boat, he praised God that he was about to die for His truth.
Jacob Falk and Heine Reyman were drowned for violating the Zurich's magistrate's order against re-baptizing.
Balthazar Hubmeyer was arrested, probably at Brunn, where he was teacher off the church, at the command of King Ferdinand, and sent to Vienna. After some days he
was thrown into the dungeons of the castle of Gritsenstein. After having been sentenced to death, He steadfastly went to the scaffold, and on the 10th of
March, from the midst of burning flames and embers, his spirit ascended to that region where those that have come out of great tribulation suffer and weep no more.
Anneken of Friburg, a Christian woman, was drowned, and her body was afterwards burnt for violating the Zurich's magistrate's order against re-baptizing.
Louis Hetzer, another Baptist minister, was beheaded at Constance, on the 4th of February. He also had been on intimate terms with Zwingli, Ecolampadius, and their
associates, and was highly esteemed by them till he became a Baptist.
The persecution was so fierce in Germany and Switzerland, that there seemed to be no safety but in emigration. Many thousands of Baptists, inhabitants of
the Tyrol, Switzerland, Austria, Styria, and Bavaria, emigrated under the leadership of Jacob Hutter, and settled in Moravia.
Ferdinand, King of Bohemia, ordered the expulsion of the Baptists in Moravia, and sent a military force to carry the order into effect. Their property was seized, and
all the indulgence they could obtain was liberty to carry away their movables. They withdrew into the forests, and there lived as they could, worshipped God,
and possessed their souls in patience. Hutter exhorted and comforted them. Be ye thankful unto God,” he said, that ye are counted worthy to suffer persecutions and
cruel exile for His name.
King Edward issues a commission to Archbishop "to search after all Baptists", and under that condition the celebrated Joan of Kent, who was a Baptist, was burnt on
May 2nd. Several others shared the same fate (Baptist Children's Magazine and Youth's Missionary Repository, Vol. III, p.102, 1853).
In the seventeenth year of Elizabeth's reign, a congregation of them (Baptists) was found without (outside) Aldgate, London, of whom some were banished,
twenty-seven were imprisoned, and two were burnt to death in Smithfield. John Fox, the celebrated author of Book of Martyrs, penned a most eloquent letter to the
Queen on their behalf; but in vain (Baptist Children's Magazine and Youth's Missionary Repository, Vol. III, p.103, 1853).
A royal proclamation was issued, in which it was ordained that all Baptists, and other heretics, should leave the land; but they seemed to gather fortitude, for
some formed themselves into separate societies (Baptist Children's Magazine and Youth's Missionary Repository, Vol. III, p.104, 1853).
John Smyth formed one of the first Separatist churches in England, having renounced Anglicanism and became minister at Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, to a group of
Separatists who had similarly abandoned the Church of England.
Obadiah Holmes was born in England (year approximate).
Smyth’s congregation fled to Holland to avoid Anglican persecution. Met Mennonites (one of several Anabaptists groups)
Smyth became convinced that believer's baptism was biblical and infant baptism was not and after having adopting Baptist principles in Holland, Smyth baptized
first himself and then others, including Thomas Helwys, later an influential London Baptist.
Organization of first General Baptist church in England by Thomas Helwys and Murton.
Thomas Helwys led a group opposed to the merger back to England and established the first Baptist church in England.
Thomas Helwys rejected particular atonement, free will and partial depravity.
John Smyth publishes his confession of 1611 and was the first Baptist confession among English speaking believers.
This movement grew into the General Baptists who held to Arminian theology. Initially baptized by pouring, later by immersion.
Lost members to the Quakers and the Unitarians.
Thomas Helwys, formerly of Smyth’s
congregation, returns to England and forms the first General Baptist church.
His classic, A Short Declaration of the Mistery of Iniquity, is the first
claim for freedom of worship in the English language.
Plea to James I for religious freedom.
After returning to England, Helwys was thrown into Newgate Prison by order of King James I probably for what was in his plea to the (Christian) James I; The
King is a mortall man and not God, therefore hath no power over ye immortall soules of his subjects to make lawes and ordinances for them and to set spirituall Lords over them.
Death of Thomas Helwys, one of the founders of the
Baptist faith while in prison under King James' order.
Henry Jacob began another Baptist movement of
non-separatists. This movement became Particular
Baptists and held to hyper-Calvinist theology.
Henry Browne set up a Congregational Society in Norwich
before being forced to flee with his followers to
Holland. The movement was re-established in London.
Societies, known as Independents, were founded in
different parts of the country. Like the Baptists, each
church was a separate body supporting its own minister,
but might belong to a voluntary district association.
The Independent congregation of which Henry Jacob was
pastor, having become very numerous, a division took
place, and that portion which had adopted the opinions
'of the Baptists, chose Mr. Spilsbury for their pastor.
This was the first separate Baptist Church holding the
hyper-Calvinistic doctrine (An Analytical and
Comparative View of all Religions Now Extant Among
Mankind, p.381, 1838, Josiah Conder).
July 22, Under the leadership of John
Robinson, English Separatists, began to emigrate to North America -
eventually, they came to be known as the Pilgrims.
September 16, The Mayflower left Plymouth,
England with 102 Pilgrims aboard. The ship would arrive at Provincetown on
November 21st and then at Plymouth on December 21st.
The Baptists present to King James I, Loyal subjects,
unjustly called Anabaptists, and to Parliament as the
confession of their faith.
Birth of John Bunyan in the parish of Elstow, in
Bedfordshire, to Thomas Bunyan and Margaret Bentley
(Thomas's first wife, Anne Pinney, had died the year
before without any surviving children).
September 6, Puritan colonists landed at
Salem and started the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
Roger Williams accepted the post of chaplain to Sir
William Masham at his manor house at Otes in Essex. His
courtship of Jane Whalley was brought to an abrupt
termination by the disapproval of her aunt, Lady
Barrington. Stung by the rejection, the young clergyman
became ill of fever and was nursed back to health by
Mary Barnard, a member of Lady Masham's household. She
is believed to have been the daughter of the Rev.
Richard Barnard in Nottinghamshire. Rogers Williams and
Mary Barnard were married at High Laver Church in Essex
on December 15.
Williams became a chaplain in the household of a wealthy
Samuel Skelton was elected the first
pastor of Salem, Massachusetts. The church covenant created by Skelton made
his congregation the first non-separating congregational Puritan Church in
Two groups of Baptists emerge. Both believe that only
those who put their trust in Christ can be saved, but
while the so-called General Baptists believe that anyone
can have such faith, the Particular Baptists believe
that the only people capable of having such faith are
those few who have already been pre-chosen by God.
After fifty-seven days of a storm-wracked voyage, Roger
Williams and his wife anchored off Nantasket on February
3 and arrived in Boston on the 5th. His arrival in
America was duly noted by the MA Bay Colony Governor,
John Winthrop, in his carefully kept diary. Winthrop
described Williams as a "godly minister" and it is
certain the young clergyman was welcome in the new
colony in Boston.
Williams refused an invitation to become the minister of
the church in Boston because he opposed its ties to the
Church of England.
The General Court of the Massachusetts
issued the decree that "no man shall be admitted to the body politic but
such as are members of some of the churches within the limits" of the
First Baptist church in North America founded in
Providence, RI by Roger Williams. Eventually moved
toward General Baptist views.
Williams became the minister of a church at nearby
Roger Williams was ordered by the General Court (MA Bay
authorities) to be banished from Massachusetts and
threatened with deportation to England if he did not
renounce his convictions. "Whereas Mr. Roger Williams,
one of the Elders of the church of Salem, hath broached
and divulged new and dangerous opinions against the
authority of magistrates, as also written letters of
defamation, both of the magistrates and churches here,
and that before any conviction, and yet maintaineth the
same without any retraction; it is, therefore, ordered
that the said Mr. Williams shall depart out of this
jurisdiction within six weeks now next ensuing," etc.
Williams publicly proclaiming that the MA Bay charter
was invalid, since the king (James I) had no right to
give away lands belonging to the Indians. He also
denounced them for forcing religious uniformity upon the
colonists. He believed in what he called "soul-liberty",
which meant that every man had the complete right to
enjoy freedom of opinion on the subject of religion.
An attempt was made to seize Roger Williams and
transport him to England, and he, forewarned, escaped
from his home at Salem and proceeded alone to Manton's
Neck, on the east bank of the Seekonk river.
September 8, Harvard College (later
University) was founded by the Massachusetts Puritans at New Towne. It was
the first institution of higher learning established in North America, and
was originally created to train future ministers.
The first Particular Baptist church organized by John
Organization of the first Baptist church in America; at
Providence, R. I., by Roger Williams, or in Newport, R.
I., by John Clarke.
March 22, Religious dissident Anne
Hutchinson was expelled from the Massachusetts Bay Colony as punishment for
Roger Williams joined the Baptist faith and founded the
first Baptist church in America. However, within a few
months he withdrew from this group and became a
Baptists persuade Roger Williams and
Ezekial Holliman to accept their view of the church, and thus the first
Baptist congregation in America is formed, in Providence, Rhode Island
At the request of Massachusetts, Williams' mediation
prevented a coalition of the Pequots with the
Narragansetts and Mohegans. He wrote of this service in
later years: Three days and nights my business forced me
to lodge and mix with the bloody Pequot ambassadors,
whose hands and arms me thought reeked with the blood of
my countrymen murdered and massacred by them on
June 21, American theologian Increase
Mather was born.
Particular Baptist church founded in Newport, RI.
Southwark church became convinced of believer's baptism
and were baptized by immersion, pastored by Henry Jessey.
Roger Williams went to England to obtain a charter to
unite Providence with the settlements of Warwick,
Newport and Portsmouth, which were coveted by MA Bay,
Plymouth and CT. On the voyage wrote his Key to the
Indian Languages. In his dedication he says, "A little
key may open a box where lies a bunch of keys." The
charter he obtained proved to be very important as it
was indisputable for the next 20 years.
London Confession of 1644: Calvinistic, emphasized
baptism by immersion and religious liberty.
Organization of Association of London Particular
John Bunyan enlists in the Parliamentary army, joining
with the Newport Pagnell garrison, at the regulation age
General Baptists published a pamphlet "The Fountain of
Free Grace Opened" which defended free will and general
Newport Pagnell garrison moves to Leicester. Most
probably, it was here that Bunyan's comrade was shot.
"When I was a soldier, I, with others, were drawn out to
go to such a place to besiege it; but when I was just
ready to go, one of the company desired to go in my
room; to which, when I had consented, he took my place;
and coming to the siege, as he stood sentinel, he was
shot into the head with a musket bullet, and died." -
John Bunyan, from "Grace Abounding".
John Tombes, BD, a man of great ability and a native of
Bewdley, was appointed Curate of St. Anne's. He
entertained very strong objections to infant baptism,
and so, while still retaining his office in the Church,
he founded a separate Baptist society, which numbered 20
George Fox tells us that Tombes said he had a
wife, and he had a concubine ; and his wife was the
baptized people (Baptists) and his concubine was the
A confession of faith of seven Baptist Churches in
London is published.
New England Puritan theocracy enacts laws
requiring church attendance and belief in the Bible.
Charles executed; Oliver Cromwell rules England as
Protector of Commonwealth.
The first Baptist church in Wales was established at
Ilston on the Gower peninsula in 1649. Baptist churches
are generally self-governing within a Baptist Union.
There are separate Baptist Unions for English and Welsh
The colony of Maine passed legislation
creating religious freedom for all citizens, but only on the condition that
those of "contrary" religious beliefs behave "acceptably."
Midland Association of thirty General Baptist churches
Confessions, signed by some of the General Baptists,
were published in 1651 by thirty churches in the Midland
Cirencester Baptist Church founded.
In the month of July, in company with Dr. John Clarke
and Mr. Crandall, Obadiah Holmes made a visit to William
Witter, A Baptist, who resided at Lynn, Massachusetts.
The day after their arrival being the Sabbath, they
arranged to have a religious service at Witter's home.
While Dr. Clarke preached, two constables presented to
him the following warrant: "By virtue hereof, you are
required to go to the house of William Witter, and to
search from house to house for certain erroneous person,
being strangers and them to apprehend, and in safe
custody to keep, and to-morrow morning at eight o'clock
to bring before me. Robert Bridges."
September 5, Obadiah Holmes Whipped for writing a
catechism, among other Baptist beliefs.
John Bunyan joins St. John's church in Bedford, where he
meets Mr. Gifford, the pastor.
First meeting of the General Assembly of General Baptists at London. Baptists are prominent in Parliament and Cromwell’s New Model Army
John Bunyan moves to Bedford and becomes a deacon of St.
First wife dies soon after move, leaving John with four
motherless children. Mr. Gifford dies in September of
the same year.
Publishes first work entitled "Some Gospel Truths
Henry Jessey visits Gloucestershire.
July 1, The first Quakers (Mary Fisher and
Ann Austin) to arrive in Boston are arrested. Five weeks later they were
deported back to England.
August 5, Eight Quakers arrived in Boston.
They were immediately imprisoned by the Puritan authorities because Quakers
were generally regarded as politically and religiously subversive.
Publishes second work entitled "Vindication of Gospel
Truths" (year is approximate).
John Bunyan is formally recognized as a preacher.
Roger Williams contributed to Rhode Island's decision to
provide refuge for Quakers who had been banished from
other colonies, even though he disagreed with their
John Bunyan is scheduled to preach at the hamlet of
Lower Samsell (November 12). Upon his arrival, he is
informed that a warrant has been issued for his arrest.
After a lengthy interview with Mr. Francis Wingate, and
another with Wingate's brother-in-law, William Foster,
(who unsuccessfully tries to persuade Bunyan into a
concession), John was placed in Bedford prison. He was
charged with "devilishly and perniciously abstaining
from coming to Church to ear Divine Service, and for
being a common upholder of several unlawful meetings and
conventicles, to the great disturbance and distraction
of the good subjects of this kingdom, contrary to the
laws of our sovereign lord and king." Within
approximately eight days of John's arrest, his wife
gives birth, only for the infant to die soon after. "I
am but mother-in-law to them, having not been married to
him yet full two years. [Elizabeth, John's second wife,
spoke this in 1661.] Indeed, I was with child when my
husband was first apprehended; but being young, and
unaccustomed to such things, said she, I being smayed at
the news, fell into labour, and so continued for eight
days, and then was delivered, but my child died." - John
Bunyan's wife, from "A Relation of My Imprisonment"
Organization of General Assembly of all Associations of
General Baptists in London.
Beginning of the time known as the Great Persecution and
the Restoration of the Monarchy (through 1688). Baptist
women especially come under persecution.
General Baptists publish their confession of faith.
On July 26, the Baptist churches of Lincolnshire, in
their petition to Charles II., say: "We have been much
abused as we pass in the streets, and as we sit in our
houses, being threatened to be hanged if but heard
praying to our Lord, in our own families, and disturbed
in our so waiting upon Him by continual beating at our
doors and sounding of horns; stoned when going to out
meetings ; taken as evil-doers, and imprisoned when
peaceably met together to worship the Most High in the
use of His most precious ordinances.
The Bloody Theater or Martyrs Mirror , was published by
There were more than 200 Baptist churches in England
(about 130 Particular Baptist, and 110 General Baptist),
with more in Wales.
Members of the Seventh Day Baptist congregation at Bull-Stake-Alley in London are jailed at Newgate Prison and their pastor, John James, is hung, drawn, and quartered.
Parliament passes a series of acts that exclude Baptists and other
Nonconformists from holding public offices, forcing them out of schools and
penalizing them for not attending Anglican services and for preaching without a
The Assizes of 1662. John Bunyan endeavors to have his
name entered in the calendar of offenders, so his case
would come before the judges. However, the Clerk of the
Peace alters John's entry, thus making it possible for
Bunyan to remain in prison for the next four years.
John Bunyan Writes "I Will Pray With the Spirit and With
the Understanding Also, or a Discourse Touching Prayer".
John Bunyan publishes "A Discourse Touching Prayer".
John Bunyan writes "Christian Behavior".
John Myles, founder of the first Baptist church in Wales, persuades most
of his congregation to emigrate to the colonies, and they settle at Swansea,
John Bunyan publishes "One Thing Is Needful" on single
sheets to be sold by his wife and children, to aid them
financially (date is approximate.
Isaac Backus arrives in New England and at once joined
with Dr. Clarke's First-day Baptist Church at Newport,
though his views favored the observance of the seventh
March 24, Roger Williams was granted a
charter to colonize Rhode Island.
May 27, At the age of 24, colonial
theologian Increase Mather became the minister of Boston's Second
(Congregational) Church. He would serve there until his death in 1723.
John Bunyan writes "The Holy City", and "The
Resurrection of the Dead and Eternal Judgment" from
John Bunyan writes a poem entitled "Prison Meditations"
in response to a letter he received, exhorting him to
hold his head above the flood.
Thomas Goold refuses to allow his children to be baptized in the Puritan
church and is banished from the colony. Later in the year he helps to
organize the first Baptist church in Boston.
John Bunyan publishes "Grace Abounding to the Chief of
A brief period of freedom follows re-incarceration "He
was let out again, 1666, being the year of the burning
of London, and, a little after his release, they took
him again at a meeting, and put him in the same jail,
where he lay six years more."—Charles Doe, A friend and
biographer of John Bunyan.
Organization of the first Seventh Day Baptist church in
America at Germantown, Pennsylvania.
John Bunyan is released from Bedford prison, after
twelve years of imprisonment. His formal pardon is dated
September 13, 1672, but he received a royal license to
preach five months earlier.
John Bunyan writes "The Pilgrim's Progress" during six
months of incarceration. After being released the same
year, he resumes his pastorate in Bedford.
May 3, Massachusetts passed a law that
required church doors to be locked during services - evidently to keep
people from leaving before the long sermons were finished.
Confession of 1677, a revision of the Westminster
Some' Baptists felt a need to identify themselves with a
large body of non-Anglicans.
John Bunyan publishes "The Pilgrim's Progress". Second
edition of "The Pilgrim's Progress" is published in the
The first Baptist meetinghouse in the colonies is raised in Boston.
English General Baptists produce the Orthodox Creed that seeks to unite
all Protestants against the Catholic tendencies of King Charles II.
John Bunyan publishes "The Holy War". Publishes the
eighth edition of "The Pilgrim's Progress", and makes
last improvements. Publishes "The Barren Fig Tree".
Obadiah Holmes dies, his sufferings having made a
lasting effect upon the lives of many, (William
Cathcart, Baptist Encyclopedia, 1881)
May 11, After two years, two key laws were
repealed by the General Court of Massachusetts: one which prohibited people
from observing Christmas and another that set capital punishment for Quakers
who returned to the colony after being banished.
Baptist beginnings in Middle Colonies of America(?)
John Bunyan publishes ninth edition of "The Pilgrim's
Progress". Publishes the second part of "The Pilgrim's
Progress". Publishes "Seasonable Counsel".
Elder Thomas Dungan from Ireland left his native home to
escape persecution, and coming to Rhode Island he joined
himself to the First Baptist Church of Newport, Rhode
Island, where Doctor John Clark was the pastor.
Elder Dungan and a small group of members left the
church at Newport to organize the Cold Spring Baptist
Church in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
John Bunyan publishes tenth edition of "The Pilgrim's
Progress". Bunyan is in danger of returning to prison.
Forced Out of New England, Baptists Thrive in Carolina – Somerton, South Carolina
John Bunyan publishes "The Water of Life". Publishes
"The Jerusalem Sinner Saved" in a pocket volume of eight
sheets. Preaches his last sermon from John 1:13 (August
Bunyan travels through drenching rain on behalf of a
young man, whose father was angry with him. After
succeeding his mission, he returns to his lodging on
Snow Hill. After enduring ten days of violent fever, he
dies and is buried in Bunhill Fields.
"The Barren Fig Tree" is reprinted a few months after
Elias Keach came to Pennsylvania and posed as a
minister. While preaching he came under terrible
conviction and had to stop. He confessed his lost
condition and the people sent him to Elder Thomas Dungan
pastor of the Cold Spring Baptist Church in Bucks
County, Pennsylvania. Elias Keach was saved there by the
grace of God. He was baptized and ordained by the Cold
Spring Baptist Church and as a missionary out of the
Cold Spring Baptist Church he organized the Pennepeck
Baptist Church (also known as the Lower Dublin Baptist
Church) at Pennepeck, Pennsylvania.
Even after William and Mary of Orange ascended to the
throne and abolished oppressive laws, Baptists still had
to pay taxes to support the state church.
General Assembly of General Baptists threatened by Arian
teachings of Matthew Caffyn.
Congregational Singing 'Unsafe' – General Baptist Convention Rules – London, May 23.
London Confession of Particular Baptists is published.
General Assembly of Particular Baptists organized in
The Piscataway Baptist Church of Shelton, Middlesex
County, New Jersey was organized as a separate, or
independent church. Until that time in history, it had
been a branch of the Lower Dublin Baptist Church under
the ministry of Elias Keach.
General Six Principle Baptists, who practice the laying on of hands, organize the first Baptist association in America in the environs of Providence, Rhode Island.
Bunyan's "The Jerusalem Sinner Saved" is reprinted (3rd
Charles Doe publishes "An Exposition on the First Ten
Chapters of Genesis, and Part of the Eleventh", an
unfinished commentary on the Bible, found among John
Bunyan's papers after his death, in his own handwriting.
John Bunyan's "Of Antichrist and His Ruin", "Christ a
Complete Saviour", "A Discourse of the House of the
Forest of Lebanon", and "The Saints' Knowledge of
Christ's Love", are published.
24 Baptist Churches in America.
Birth of Separate Baptists–revivalistic
In the north, Separate Baptists merged with older
Baptist churches and in the south, Separate Baptists
English General Baptists who had settled in the Province
of Carolina requested help from the General Baptists in
After the Keithians had all but dissolved any assembly,
John Hart and many former Keithians became Baptists.
Hart joined Pennypack Baptist Church, in lower Dublin
township (PA), and was made assistant minister and
became as satisfactory a preacher among the Baptists as
he had among the Quakers.
Organization of Original Freewill Baptists in Virginia
and North Carolina.
The first Baptist congregation in North Carolina forms
as Shiloh Church, in Chowan Precinct.
Twenty-Eight Baptists Jailed for Refusal to Pay Clergy Tax – Bristol, Mass., March 20.
Baptists, Quakers Exempted from Tax to Support Clergy –Boston, Mass., May 10.
Progress of Baptists Alarms Governor of North Carolina – Shiloh, N. C., October 12.
Rev. George Whitefield preaches in Philadelphia, Pa
starting America’s first Great Awakening.
Rev. Whitefield preaches in Williamsburg, VA invited by
Anglican preacher James Blair.
Division of American Baptists into Regular and Separate
Baptists as a result of differences over the Great
Awakening, (date approximate).
Isaac Backus was converted during the Great Awakening
under the preaching of Eleazar Wheelock, founder of
July 8, Jonathan Edwards preached his
classic sermon, 'Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,' a key step in the
beginning of New England's Great Awakening.
The Philadelphia Baptist Association adopted the Calvinistic 1689 Baptist Confession from London with two additions, the laying on of hands and the singing of Psalms, and became the Philadelphia Baptist Confession of Faith in 1742.
Baptist Churches Split over Revival Practices – Philadelphia, Pa., January 5.
Connecticut Passes Laws to Keep Out Evangelists – Hartford, Conn., June 1.
Shubal Stearns' church became involved in the controversy over the proper subjects of baptism. Soon, Stearns rejected infant baptism and sought baptism at the hands of Wait Palmer, Baptist minister of Stonington, Connecticut.
The Separate Baptist movement migrated south in 1754,
largely through the labors and influence of Shubal
Stearns and Daniel Marshall.
The two ministers worked
for a while in Virginia with Baptists connected to the
Philadelphia Association prior to moving on.
The Reverend Shubal Stearns leads a group of 15 Separate
Baptists from Connecticut to Orange County and
establishes Sandy Creek Baptist Church, the "mother of
Southern Baptist churches."
The Separate Baptist movement in the South established
itself first in north-central North Carolina as a result
of the coming to that area in 1755 of a small colony of
Baptist from Connecticut who themselves had been
awakened spiritually in connection with the revivalism
of English evangelist George Whitfield and ended
December 31, 1776.
January 16th, Isaac Backus formed the first Baptist
church in Middleborough. Backus would have stayed with
the Separates, but when he changed his views on baptism,
his congregation grew cold toward him.
Sandy Creek Association created in North Carolina. It
became the epicenter of the Separate Baptist revival in
the South, spawning 42 churches and 125 ministers within
One of the first recorded black congregations is
organized on the plantation of William Byrd in
The Montgomery Baptist Church in Montgomery Township,
Montgomery County, Pennsylvania released John Marks on
August 12, 1761 to go to Virginia where he and a man by
the name of David Thomas organized the Broad Run Baptist
Church on December 2, 1762.
Founding of the College of Rhode Island by Baptists, now
known as Brown University.
When the First Baptist Church of Philadelphia refused to
allow women to participate in the election of deacons,
the women held a separate meeting and framed a vigorous
protest. They pointed out that they had voted since the
church's founding in 1698. The men pointed out that they
had no political voice in society and, therefore, should
have none in the church (Southern Baptist Sisters: in
Search of Status, 1845-2000 by David T. Morgan).
Warren Association was organized with particular
reference to the large and influential Separate Baptist
interest, and not without reference also to the General
Baptists, who had held the ground before the arrival of
"New Connection" (Connexion) Free Grace General Baptist
Assembly organized in England.
Morgan Edwards published the first of a proposed
twelve-volume series on American Baptist history,
Materials Toward a History of the Baptists in
Pennsylvania. By doing so, Edwards became the first
Baptist historian in America.
Baptists agree to establish Virginia General Baptist
Twelve Virginia Separate churches, standing apart from
other kinds of Baptists, organized their “General
Association of the Separate Baptists in Virginia”.
The first session of the Virginia Separate Baptist
Association was held at Craig's Meeting-house in Orange
county in May. Delegates from fourteen churches were
present, representing thirteen hundred and eighty-five
c.1773-1775, Plantation slave preacher George Liele, the first black Baptist in Georgia, founds the Silver Bluff Baptist Church in Silver Bluff, South Carolina. The congregation includes free and enslaved blacks. One of Liele's original followers, Andrew Bryan, goes on to become ordained by the Baptist Church in 1788, and founds the Bryan Street African Baptist Church, which is later renamed the First African Baptist Church of Savannah.
Patrick Henry Wins Freedom for Jailed Baptist Preacher – Chesterfield, Va., October 20.
The Baptists analogized their persecution to that of
Americans by the British, Isaac Backus and other New
England Baptist leaders protested, even taking their
plea to the First Continental Congress.
Because of Baptist oppression, James Manning, President
of College of Rhode Island, was a firm supporter of the
colonial stance against Parliament but advocated loyalty
to the Crown until just before the war, hoping that the
king might come to the rescue of New England dissenters.
Baptists grew from 494 congregations to 1,152.
The first German Baptist (Dunker) congregation in the
state forms near Muddy Creek in present-day Forsyth
County, (date approximate).
July 29, The American Army began employing
chaplains, making theirs the oldest branch of army after the Infantry.
Black Baptist churches organize in the Virginia cities of Williamsburg and Petersburg.
Separate Baptist Revival of the South; Began: Wed, Jan 1, 1755, Ended: Tue, Dec 31, 1776.
William Carey attended prayer-meeting that changed his life, February 10.
Virginia Governor Thomas Jefferson introduces bill for religious freedom.
Constitution date listed in John Asplund's 1794 Baptist Register for “Negro Baptist Church - York and James City Counties”.
The First Baptist Church of Manchester was formally organized on June 22, 1781 under the name “The Church of Jesus Christ in Manchester” by Elder Nathan Mason and a delegation from the Baptist Church of Lanesborough, Massachusetts. The fellowship that signed the sixteen articles of faith drawn up as a covenant were one hundred and ten members from Manchester and eighty-two from Dorset.
Severn's Valley, constituted June 18, 1781. Members 37
George Liele is considered to be the first American missionary. As pastor of the First African Church of Savannah, Ga., hearing that the British were declaring peace with the colonies, Liele indentured himself to a British officer in order not to be re-enslaved by his former master's heirs. He and his family moved to Kingston, Jamaica. After two years he had paid back his indenture and was able to devote all his energy to preaching. With four other former American slaves, he formed the First African Baptist Church of Kingston. In 10 years the church grew to over 500 members.
John Ryland baptized William Carey in the River Nene and Carey later joined a Baptist church in Olney. 30 years later Ryland wrote the following: "On October 5, 1783, I baptized in the Nene, just beyond Dodridge's meeting house, a poor journeyman shoemaker, little thinking that before 9 years elapsed he would prove the first instrument of forming a society for sending missionaries from England to the heathen world, and much less that later he would become professor of languages in an Oriental College, and the translator of the Scriptures into 11 different tongues."
The Baptist General Association of Virginia was dissolved and replaced by a General Committee made up of delegates from the district associations.
The Georgia Baptist Association, the state’s first, is formed.
Baptist General Committee meetings met to discuss grievances having to do with religious liberty.
Jefferson’s Statute for Religious Liberty was adopted by the General Assembly (Baptist General Association of Virginia), and Virginia became the first state to establish by statute the separation of church and state.
The minutes of the Broad Run Baptist Church (Abbeville County, SC) state that on October the 25th several families including the Shurley's and the Foster's where dismissed to go south. These families traveled to Abbeville County, South Carolina and the Turkey Creek Baptist Church was organized on January the 29th in 1785.
Baptists held aloof from the Great Awakening, but thousands of converted Congregationalists turned Baptist and these Separate Baptists won the South. In Virginia, Regular and Separate Baptists, having co-operated in a successful struggle for religious liberty, united in 1785. Widespread revivals after the Revolution brought multitudes into their ranks. Religious enthusiasm and dearth of educated ministers caused hundreds of illiterates to enter the ministry and a widespread aversion to educated ministers and to every form of denominational work resulted.
William Carey is called to the ministry at Olney, August 10.
The first Baptist association in Tennessee, the Holston Association, was founded at the Cherokee Church by several churches which had previously identified themselves with the Sandy Creek Association in North Carolina. The association linked churches for fellowship, discipline, and doctrinal inquiry.
The General Assembly of General Baptists in England sent a petition to Parliament in behalf of abolition of slavery.
William Carey was formally ordained to the gospel ministry.
Regular and Separate Baptists in Virginia formed a union, adopting the name "United Baptist Churches of Christ in Virginia." In course of time similar unions were formed in most of the other states in which the southern branch of the Separate Baptists had organizations. A few Separate Baptist churches, however, refused to join in this movement, and they have maintained distinct organizations until the present time.
Andrew Marshall, an African-American, is ordained as pastor of the First Colored Church in Savannah.
The earliest church organization among them (colored Baptists) was the First African Baptist Church of Savannah, Ga., instituted January 20, 1788, at Brampton's barn, three miles west of Savannah, by Abraham Marshall (white) and Jesse Peter (colored).
The Middle District Association (Baptist General Association of Virginia) divided, resulting in the constitution of the Roanoke Association (since 1926 called the Pittsylvania). Seventeen churches formerly associated with the Middle District joined with three North Carolina churches in organizing the new association.
May 31, The first General Baptist sermon in Derby (United Kingdom) was delivered in the open air, on Willow Row, by Rev. Dan Taylor.
Baptists had grown to 979 churches
Prince Williams, a freed slave from South Carolina, went to Nassau, Bahamas, where he started Bethel Meeting House. In 1801 he and other Blacks organized the Society of Anabaptists. At age 70 Williams erected St. John's Baptist church and pastored there until he died at age 104. Subsequently, 164 Baptist churches were planted in the Bahamas.
William Carey and others found The Particular Baptist Society for Propagating the Gospel among the Heathen (later named the Baptist Missionary Society) at Kettering.
William Carey writes Enquiry into the Obligations of Christians to use means for the conversion of the heathen.
May 30, William Carey preached the Missionary Sermon that founded the Baptist Missionary Society at Friar Lane Baptist Church, Nottingham.
Andrew Fuller was appointed the first Secretary and William Carey, bound for India, the first missionary.
The birth of Conventionism is traced to Kettering, England, in October 1792, when the English.
Baptist Missionary Society was formed, for the purpose of "spreading the Gospel among the heathen nations. Andrew Fuller was appointed the first Secretary and William Carey, bound for India, the first missionary.
David George left the Silver Bluff, S.C. Baptist Church - the first Black Baptist church in America - to go to Nova Scotia and minister to exiled Blacks there. Later, in 1792, he traveled with 12,000 Black settlers to Sierra Leone, West Africa where Great Britain had established a city of refuge for former slaves. About the same time, Brother Amos, from the Savannah church, sailed for the Bahamas and settled in New Providence, where he planted a church that grew to 850 members by 1812.
William Carey and Dr. John Thomas were appointed Baptist missionaries to India by the British Society for the Evangelization of the Heathen.
In 1793, there were only three (known) Baptist ministers west of Albany. By 1798, fifteen were laboring. Nearly all were connected with the Otsego Association.
William Carey Baptized a Portuguese, his first convert.
August 28, William Ward was baptised at George Street Baptist Church, Hull.
Formation of English Baptist Home Mission Society.
Baptist Itinerant society formed.
John Leland speaks on abolition of slavery.
Formation of Baptist Union of Wales.
May 24, William Ward embarks on the American sailing ship 'Criterion' for Serampore, India for missionary work.
At least 48 Baptist Associations existed and became interested in foreign missions.
January 10, William Carey moved to Serampore.
December 28, Baptized Krishna Pal, first Bengali convert.
William Carey elected Professor of Sanskrit and Bengali languages in Williams College.
William Carey completes the New Testament in Bengali, February 7.
The General Association of General Baptists dates to the work of Benoni Stinson. He was a member of a United Baptist group formed in Kentucky by the union of Separate Baptists and Regular Baptists. These United Baptists adopted an article of faith that allowed Arminian preaching, which emphasized free will, not predestination.
Organization of Massachusetts Baptist Missionary Society, the first state convention to be organized in America.
The principles of Conventionism were borrowed from our English Baptist Brethren and born in America, when the Massachusetts Baptist Missionary Society was organized to "extend the influence of the Gospel. Article IV states: The object of this society shall be to furnish occasional preaching and to promote the knowledge of evangelic truth in the new settlements within these United States; or farther if circumstances should render it proper.
General Conference of Seventh Day Baptists created.
The First African Church multiplied until 1802, when on the 26th of December the Second Baptist Church, Savannah, GA, (colored) was organized with two hundred members.
The Massachusetts Baptist Missionary Society votes to publish a missionary magazine now known as The American Baptist, the oldest surviving religious magazine in the U.S.
William Carey, self-supporting missionary organization founded.
William Carey completes translation of Bible in Bengali, June 24.
Adoniram Judson, the same year he joined the Congregational church, became burdened to become a missionary. He found some friends from Williams College with the same burden and often met with them at a haystack on the college grounds to earnestly pray for the salvation of the heathen and petition God to open doors of ministry as missionaries to them. That spot has been marked as the birthplace of missions in America.
Adoniram and Ann Judson (after having only been married for 2 weeks) along with Samuel and Harriet Newell sailed for India on the Caravan.
A Congregationalist and paedo-Baptist, Adoniram was convinced believer's baptism was the only Biblically correct view and was converted. His wife, Ann was not immediately convinced but later was.
Jacob Bowers is converted. Two years later, Jacob became a Baptist minister. In his long, hardworking life, he rode over forty thousand miles carrying the gospel to others, organizing churches and ordaining new ministers. He had to overcome serious opposition from Baptists opposed to mission work.
Organization of General Union of Baptist Ministers and Churches in England, forerunner of Baptist Union of Great Britain and Ireland.
Luther Rice was an appointed Congregational missionary, who like his contemporary. Arrives in Georgia to promote foreign missions.
Adoniram Judson, became a convinced Baptist after leaving America. After his baptism in Calcutta, Rice set sail back to America for the purpose of gathering support for the mission effort among Baptists.
Adoniram and Ann (Nancy) Judson were forced to leave Madras, India and boarded the only ship in harbor ready to sail, which was bound for Rangoon, Burma; they arrived at that port July 13, 1813. It would be 6 years before they would baptize their first convert.
Conversion of Adoniram Judson to Baptist principles.
Formation of the Triennial Convention (General Convention of the Baptist Denomination in the United States for Foreign Missions) in Philadelphia. Convened in order to pool resources for the support of Baptist foreign missionaries Luther Rice and Adoniram Judson. A completely voluntary organization that exercised no control over matters of theology. Its sole purpose was he financial support of foreign missions, and upporters of its work could be found in local churches nd associations throughout Southern and Northern tates. In response to appeals made by Luther Rice, among American Baptists, to raise support for Adoniram Judson in India, "The General Convention of the Baptist Denomination in the United States for Foreign Missions" was organized May 1814 at Philadelphia. Because this convention met every three years, it came to be known as "The Triennial Convention".
Organization of the Irish Missionary Society.
American Baptist Home Mission Society.
American Baptist Publication Society.
First recorded baptism of a Chinese convert, Cai Gao; American Baptist Foreign Mission Society formed.
Netherlands Bible Society founded; four Native Americans from beyond the Rocky Mountains come east to St. Louis seeking information on the "palefaces' religion".
First missionaries arrive in New Zealand led by Samuel Marsden.
First recorded baptism of a Chinese convert, Cai Gao.
Lott Carey, a Black Baptist missionary, sails with 28 colleagues from Norfolk, VA to Sierra Leone.
Lott Carey was born a slave in Virginia. He became pastor of the 800-member African Baptist Church in Richmond, Va., and in 1815 led in the formation of the Richmond African Baptist Missionary Society. After collecting $700, Carey and his wife sailed for Sierra Leone in 1821 and established a mission among the mandingoes. He dies in 1828 during a battle with inhabitants in Liberia. Carey is credited with being the first American missionary to Africa.
William Carey publishes New Testament in Punjabi.
Organization of the Church of God by John Winebrenner in Philadelphia.
Peck and Welch sent out as home missionaries to the Middle West by the Triennial Convention.
James Thompson begins distributing Bibles throughout Latin America.
General Baptist Missionary Society formed.
The Mississippi Baptist Association convened with Bogue Chitto church, Pike county, October 18th to 21st. David Cooper preached the opening sermon from II Timothy, 2:15. Letters from thirty-one churches were received and read. The moderator and clerk were David Cooper and Benjamin Davis. Five churches asked for admission, as follows: Vermion, New Chapel, Canaan, Green's Creek and the First Church of Natchez. A. Harper and H. Tilman were from New Chapel; J. Stringer and W. Cooper from Green's Creek, while B. Davis and N. Robinson came from Natchez. No names are given from Vermion and Canaan. The Lord's day services were conducted by Elders Scarborough, Davis, Ranaldson and Courtney.
Founding of Hamilton Literary and Theological Institution in New York.
William Carey publishes Old Testament in Sanskrit.
Mississippi Baptist Association meeting was with New Providence church, Amite county, commencing October 17th. Elder Josiah Flowers delivered the first sermon, his text being Matt. 16: 17, 18. Thirty-one churches were represented, and eight others received, as follows: Pinckneyville, Sharon, Dilling's Creek, Beulah, Bala Chitto, Silver Creek, east of Pearl river, Friendship and New Orleans. The messengers were: T. Hunter and J. Ellsberry, from Pinckneyville; J. A. Ranaldson and E. Estes, from Sharon; J, P. Martin and J. Barnes, from Dilling's Creek; H. Bond and William Cook, from Bala Chitto; William Sparks and William Stamps, from Silver Creek, east of Pearl; T. Matthews, from Beulah; N.Williams, from Friendship, and B. Davis, from New Orleans.
Organization of the first Baptist church in France.
June 27, Judson baptized the first Burmese believer, Moung Nau. Judson jotted in his journal: "Oh, may it prove to be the beginning of a series of baptisms in the Burman empire which shall continue in uninterrupted success to the end of the age."
The Sabbath Recorder (Seventh Day Baptist) created, an unbroken publication since 1844.
Serampore college opened (William Carey).
Founding of Newton Theological Institution near Boston,
oldest Baptist Seminary in America.
William Carey Completes Dictionary of Bengali and
The Bethel Baptist Association, located in and around
Logan County, Kentucky, was formed in answer to a
controversy. A contentious spirit of disagreement had
lately begun to enter the Red River Association
concerning the issues of limited atonement and the
preaching of the gospel to the unregenerate.
Origin of Old Two-Seed-in-the-Spirit Predestinarian
Baptists, (date approximate).
Government gave William Carey "Grant in Aid" for education.
The Division of the Red River Association, written by a committee of the following: Reuben Ross, Pastor of
Spring Creek West Fork, William Tandy, ordained Minister of Bethel, Sugg Fort, pastor of Red River.
William Cathcart (Baptist Historian,
author) was born in the County of Londonderry, in the north of Ireland, November 8.
Thomas Walsh becomes the first recorded recipient of an educational scholarship from the Georgia Baptist Convention.
Campbellites and Separate Baptists division in Auburn Baptist Church, Cannon County, TN. Although combined at the beginning, divided and held separate services. Elder Clark Hubbard and others went over to the Campbellites while the United Baptists (as the Regular Baptists were then called) remained with Salem Association and Separatists affiliated with Concord No. 2 of Separate Baptists.
Suttee (former Indian funeral practice in which the widow immolated herself on her husband’s funeral pyre) prohibited thru William Carey's efforts, December 4.
As early as December 26, 1829, John Smith, James Smith, Charles Polk, David Patrick, Rhoda Shields and Mary Ross met for consultation concerning the organization of a Baptist church. As a result of this preliminary meeting, these same parties and probably others, met on February 20, 1830, and perfected an organization, assisted by John Knight and John Lemon from Deer Creek Baptist church, and Elder Samuel Arthur of Wea church. James Smith was chosen permanent moderator and Charles Polk, clerk of the church. The name, Eel River Baptist church, was adopted, often designated as the First Baptist church. Meetings were held in private houses and the Old Seminary, a brick structure, the first public building erected in Logansport, on the northeast corner of Market and Fourth streets. Elder .James Smith administered to the spiritual wants of the society once or twice a month at these meetings, assisted by Elder William Berry, until 1838, when Elder William Corbin was employed. The latter continued with the congregation until his death, November 8. 1841, only thirty-two years of age. His wife died the month previous and both lie at rest in the old cemetery.
The great need of the Baptists was an educated ministry. Many of their most vigorous and aggressive ministers had gone over to the Reformers. A number of the enterprising ministers and laymen of the Baptist persuasion petitioned the state legislature, in January, 1829, for a charter incorporating a board of trustees called ''The Kentucky Baptist Educational Society." This charter was granted. The society had in view the establishment of a college under the control of Kentucky Baptists.
The American Baptist Home Mission Society was organized
in the Meeting House of the Mulberry Street Baptist
Church, New York, New York, on Friday April 27, 1832,
during an adjournment of the Triennial Convention.
Article II of its Constitution states: "The great object
of the Society shall be to promote the preaching of the
Gospel in North America," H. C. Vedder in "A Short
History of the Baptists" (page 328) states: ...During
its earliest years, Elder Peck [John Mason Peck] was the
Home Mission Society in the West - its visible
embodiment, its chief advisor, and local executive...
William Knibb's agitation against the slave traffic in
the British Colonial Empire.
The Baptist Irish Society and British and Irish Baptist
Home Mission formed.
Adoniram Judson translates the New Testament into Burmese.
New Hampshire Confession written to combat the
Arminianism of Free-will Baptists.
Baptist work in Thailand begins with John Taylor Jones.
Free-Will Baptist Foreign Missionary Society begins work
The Christian Index moves to Georgia.
Organization of the first Australian Baptist church in Sydney.
William Carey died at age 73 on June 9. He was surrounded by Jabez and William Carey (his sons) who were both also missionaries as well as Jonathan Carey who had finally gotten saved after much prayers by his father.
Adoniram Judson completes a translation of the whole Bible into the Burmese language.
In October 1834, twenty-two members of the Rogers Crossroads Baptist Church, which is now Wake Crossroads Baptist Church, left their church (in good standing) to constitute a regular Baptist church in Rolesville. On December 26, 1834, a presbytery consisting of the Rev. Dr. Samuel Wait, the Rev. Amos J. Battle, and the Rev. John Armstrong met with the twenty-two dismissed members of the Rogers Crossroads Church in Rolesville. The Rev. John Armstrong delivered the first sermon. The Rev. Dr. Samuel Wait, of Wake Forest College, gave the prayer of blessing and extended the welcoming right hand of fellowship to the members of the newly constituted church.
Organization of the Primitive Baptists in New York and Pennsylvania.
Appointment of Oneken as an agent for the Triennial Convention in Germany.
North Carolina Baptist State Convention appoints a committee “to consider the establishment of a female seminary of high order.”
Finney's Lectures on Revivals.
The Providence Missionary Baptist District Association was formed, one of at least six national organizations among African American Baptist whose sole objective was African missions.
Plymouth Brethren begin work in Madras, India.
George Müller begins his work with orphans in Bristol, England.
The Providence Missionary Baptist District Association is formed, one of at least six national organizations among African Baptists whose sole objective was missionary work in Africa.
Formation of the Bible Translation Society in England.
The Convention accepts ownership of The Christian Index.
Rev. Isaac McCoy, a Baptist clergyman, published "History of Baptist Indian Missions; embracing remarks on the former and present condition of the aboriginal tribes, their settlement within the Indian Territory, and their future prospects.
Campbellites and Separate Baptists who divided in 1827
at the Auburn Baptist Church, reunited into one body
representing the Concord Association.
Micajah Cicero Barnett was pastor of the
Gilead Baptist Church (Grindal Shoals, Union Co., South Carolina 1770 –
1870) in 1863 and continued in this capacity through 1866. He was ordained
to the gospel ministry by the Cedar Spring Baptist Church in Spartanburg
County, S. C., on December 24, 1842.
American and Foreign Free Baptist Missionary Society
organized by abolitionists in Boston.
A Baptist pastor from Vermont named William Miller
calculated that Christ's second coming would occur this
year. He later revised the date to 1844. The Seventh Day
Adventist church started from these false predictions.
Baptist John Taylor Jones translates New Testament into
B. H. Carroll, pastor of the First Baptist church, Waco,
Texas, and associate editor of the Texas Baptist, was
born December, in Carroll Co., Miss.
Baptists split North and South, never re-united.
On May 8, 1845 about 293 Baptist leaders of the South,
met in the First Baptist Church, Augusta, Georgia and
organized the Southern Baptist Convention. While this
division between Northern and Southern Baptists was
several years in the making, the final catalyst came in
1844, when Georgia Baptists were refused an appointment
for a missionary, who was a slaveholder. Later that same
year, Alabama Baptists asked if the American Baptist
Home Mission Society would appoint a slaveholder as
Missionary, the answer was no. This resulted in Virginia
Baptists calling for Baptists of the South to meet at
Augusta, Georgia in early May, 1845.
The Triennial Convention renamed American Baptist
Southern Baptist Convention formed, splitting from the
Triennial Convention in support of slavery because of
opposition to appointing slave holding missionaries by
the Triennial Convention.
International Mission Board, originally referred to as
the Foreign Mission Board, is founded.
William Bullein Johnson, of South Carolina, becomes the
first President of the Southern Baptist convention.
Jeremiah Bell Jeter called the first meeting of the
Board of Managers of the International Mission Board.
The members gathered in the library of Second Baptist
Church, Richmond, Virginia. Their primary concern was to
secure a permanent Corresponding Secretary.
May 20, Jeremiah Bell Jeter called the first meeting of
the Board of Managers. The members gathered in the
library of Second Baptist Church, Richmond, Virginia.
Their primary concern was to secure a permanent
June 30, China was chosen as the first mission field.
September 1, the board appointed the first missionary,
Samuel C. Clopton.
The Baptist General Missionary Convention reorganizes as
the American Baptist Missionary Union (ABMU).
James Robinson Graves organized the Nashville Indian and
James B. Taylor (1846-1871) was appointed the first
Corresponding Secretary of Foreign Mission Board.
The Foreign Mission Board appointed two
African-Americans to serve in Liberia. Brother John Day
occupied a mission station at Grand Bassa and Brother A.
L. Jones at Cape Palmas on the west coast of Africa.
The board appointed the first medical missionary, Dr. J.
Sexton James, to serve in China.
The monthly publication, Southern Baptist Missionary
William Catchart was baptized by Rev. R. H. Carson, of Tubbermore, in
Establishment of the first Baptist church in Sweden.
The design of Baptist associations was discussed by
members of the Bethal Baptist Association, as it relates
to the church, S. Baker, pastore of Russellville. The
author stresses that a church ought always to retain her
independence while cooperating with other sister
churches in the Lord's work.
Beginning of Baptist work in Hungary.
Robert Hill was sent to Liberia by the Southern Baptist
The board began publication of The Commission. Monthly
circulation of the periodical reached 7,000 by April
The board’s first single woman, Miss Harriet A. Baker of
Powhatan County, Virginia, was appointed to China.
Organization of the American Bible Union.
Mary Sharp College for Women Winchester, TN is
Adoniram Judson dies and is buried at sea in the Bay of
Bengal on April 12.
Hudson Taylor was the only passenger in the sailing
vessel, Dumfries. He had a tempestuous voyage as the
ship on two occasions was within a few feet of being
wrecked. One harrowing experience is worth remembering.
The sailing vessel was becalmed in the vicinity of New
Guinea. The captain despaired as a four knot current
carried them swiftly toward sunken reefs near shore.
"Our fate is sealed!" Cannibals were eagerly awaiting
with delight and fires burning ready. Taylor and three
others retired to pray and the Lord immediately sent a
strong breeze that sent them on their way. Again one of
his favorite texts, John 14:13 was proven. He finally
reached Shanghai, China, March 1.
The German Baptist Church of Wilmington was founded by Rev. Jeremiah Grimmell, who in 1855 devoted his leisure to fostering the religious interests of the German Baptists, whom he invited to meet at his house, where he conducted worship. At the first service there were thirteen persons present, and these comprised the original members of the German Baptist Church, which was organized in 1856. His house being too small to accommodate those attracted by his preaching, Rev. Grimmell was offered a room in the residence of John Swager, corner Fourth and Pine Streets, where services were continued for quite a period. Rev. Leonard Fleishman preached to the converts of Mr. Grimmell on several occasions and encouraged him in his religious labors. In March, 1856, nine of them were baptized in the Second Baptist Church. Through the efforts of Miss Annie Semple, who manifested a zealous interest in the work, the church corner of Fifth and Walnut Streets was purchased for three thousand dollars. Here the congregation was organized April 17, 1856, by Rev. Mr. Grimmell and his wife, Edward Austermúhl, John Mühlhausen and Sophia, his wife, John Swager and Elizabeth, his wife, Peter Braunstein and Susan, his wife, Frederick Neutze, Mrs. Elizabeth Kaiser, Mrs. Theresa Herzel and Catherine Braunstein. A Sunday-school was also organized the same year.
Spurgeon leased the Surrey Music Hall in the Royal Surrey Gardens for services. This was London's "largest, most commodious and most beautiful building, erected for public amusements, carnivals of wild beasts and wilder men." Many criticized Spurgeon for leasing a building designed for worldly amusements, but the hall held ten to twelve thousand people and that number packed the building for the first service on this day, October 19th. It seemed at least as many people were outside the building as were inside. The service had only gone a few minutes when there was the frightening cry of "Fire! the galleries are giving away, the place is falling!" In the ensuing panic to flee the building, many people were trampled. Seven died and others were seriously injured. Spurgeon was tremendously depressed over the event, and his grief was so deep some feared his reason had left him. He spent hours "in tears by day, and dreams of terror by night." Within two weeks, however, Spurgeon had recovered sufficiently to preach again. The crowds were even bigger than before.
Approximately 12,000 Baptist Churches in America.
Organization of the first Baptist church in Norway.
First baptism on Latvian soil.
1861-1865 – Throughout the Civil War the Foreign Mission
Board continued limited operations in China and Africa
and most missionaries were self-supporting.
Tai Ping rebels in Yentai, Shantung Province, China,
murdered Missionary J. Landrum Holmes.
In the spring of 1861, the Metropolitan Tabernacle was
completed; this was to be Spurgeon's pulpit for the next
Throughout those years an average of
five thousand people attended each morning and evening
Sunday service. Spurgeon's was the megachurch of
nineteenth century London.
Fusion of the Bible Translation Society and the Irish
Missionary Society into the British and Irish Baptist
Home Mission Society.
The Foreign Mission Board had no available funds so the
Treasurer was authorized to charge to profit and loss
the Confederate bonds so as to balance his books.
Exhortation to enter the work with renewed energy in
light of the war having ended, G. W. Inman, pastor of
Spring Creek Baptist church (Bethel Baptist Association)
B. H. Carroll is ordained.
The first African-American Baptist associations in
Georgia were established.
Francis Wayland dies, September 30th.
Mission Society by the American Baptist Missionary Union.
In the proceedings of the First Baptist Antioch Association which met in December, 1868, we find the appointment of a Missionary Board, which was empowered to appoint missionaries and fix their salaries. Thus showing that they realized their responsibility in helping to carry out the great commission.
Begins the journey of Baptist Women in Ministry.
Women, it would seem did not actually attend the annual
meeting of the SBC until 1868, when the convention was
in Baltimore. Even then they were not there as
messengers. Most were there to accompany their husbands
but they held a separate meeting in the home of Mrs. Ann
Graves, who read to the gathering some letters from her
son Rosewell Graves, a missionary to China. Rosewell's
letter talked of the need for women missionaries in
China, for custom there required women to reach Chinese
women for Christ (Southern Baptist Sisters: in Search of
Status, 1845-2000, p.53, by David T. Morgan.
Canadian Baptist missionary Americus Timpany begins work
among the Telugus in India.
Formation of the Baptist Union of Scotland.
Organization of the first Baptist church in Finland.
On July 12, 1869, one year after the organization of the first associational gathering The Baptist Missionary Convention, now known as The General Baptist Missionary Convention of Mississippi, held its first session at Port Gibson. Revs. R. Pollard and H. P. Jacobs were elected temporary and permanent presidents, respectively. An account of this gathering appears in Thompson's History and shows prominent Baptist preachers from Missouri and Louisiana were visitors.
Organization of the Woman's Baptist Foreign Mission
Society (forerunners to the Board of International
Ministries (BIM) of the ABC/USA)(East.
Mercer University moves from Penfield, GA where it was
founded in 1833.
James B. Taylor died (Foreign Missions Board).
The first Baptist church was organized in Brazil, on the
10th of September, 1871, in the City of Santa Barbara,
State of São Paulo. This was a church founded by
North-American colonists who, after the Secession War
(1861-1865) established several colonies in Brazil. In
Santa Barbara the Presbyterians, the Methodists and the
Baptists organized churches.
Lottie Moon becomes a Georgia Baptist while teaching in
In view of the Centennial year of our national independence, the Baptist Ministerial Union, of Pennsylvania, appointed Dr. Cathcart to prepare a paper, to be read at their meeting in Meadville in 1876, on "The Baptists in the Revolution." This paper, by enlargement, became a duodecimo volume, entitle "The Baptists and the American Revolution."
September 13th, Dr. James M. Haswell died after
forty-one years of missionary service in Burma with his
dear wife Jane Mason, who he had married on August 23,
1835, and sailed for their chosen field one month later.
He was more fruit from the Hamilton Theological
Institute in Bennington, Vermont. Dr.Haswell mastered
the Burmese language and then turned to the Pegulan
dialect to reach the 80,000 of that tribe. He only took
two furloughs, one in 1849 and another in 1867, and
those were used to spur interest in missions. He was
most diligent that his son James should follow him which
he did, but tragically died of cholera a year after him
in 1877. But the Haswell vision lived on through their
daughter Susan who founded the Maulmein Leper Colony in
which she invested sixty years of her life. The
government gave the land and the lepers themselves built
the thatched roof buildings with, in some cases, stumps
for hands and feet. It stood for years as a memorial to
her and the faith of the lepers. Untold thousands were
On Tuesday, October 24, 45 delegates, from 23 churches, met at Goshen Bridge and organized the Augusta Baptist Association. Twenty-four churches from the counties of Allegheny, Augusta, Bath, Rockbridge, and Rockingham formed the Association, 10 of the churches coming from the Valley Association and 14 from the Albemarle Association.
Organization of the Women's Baptist Home Mission Society
of the East; also organization of the Women's Baptist
Home Mission Society of the West.
The Georgia State Mission board is constituted.
Second meeting of Augusta Association, held at Laurel Hill.
Important decision of the Southern Baptist Convention to
maintain its organization apart from the American
Baptist Missionary Union.
Beginning of first permanent mission work in Spain.
Baptist Foreign Mission merged and formed the National
Baptist Convention USA.
Brazil was being considered as a Mission field.
Another church was organized for North-American
colonists, called Station Baptist Church, also in Santa
Barbara, and in this same year Elijah Hoton Quillin,
pastor of the first church in Santa Barbara, wrote to
Richmond, affirming his desire to be recognized as a
self-sustaining missionary, for the purpose of carrying
on missionary work in the surrounding country, both
among emigrants from the Unites States and native
Fourth meeting of Association, held at Mt. Crawford.
Bible controversy settled in the Bible Convention at
Saratoga, N. Y.
G. B. Rogers was educated at
Mississippi College. His ordination to the ministry occurred December 23, 1883,
in the Baptist church at Clinton, Miss., the ordaining council being composed of
Elders W. S. Webb, J. B. Gambrell, A. V. Rowe, J. W. Collins, T. J. Walne and
George Whitfield. His first pastorate was at Woodville, Miss., where he served
two years, afterwards accepting an appointment by the State Mission Board as
missionary on the Mississippi Valley Railroad.
Organization of the American Baptist Education Society
at Washington, D. C.
American Baptist Education Society founded to promote
higher education, Becomes the American Baptist Board of
Education (ABBE) (a forerunner of the Board of
Educational Ministries (BEM) of the ABC/USA.
Lottie Moon is able to have the first Christmas offering
started. This offering provided support for three
additional persons to aid Lottie Moon in China.
Southern Baptist work in Japan actually begun.
After a delay due to the Civil War and Reconstruction as
well as the general lack of interest in women's
education, Leonidas Polk introduces a resolution to the
Convention for a Baptist female college. His resolution
is adopted unanimously.
Formation of the Baptist Union for Great Britain and
Ireland; a merger of the Particular Baptists and the New
Connexion of General Baptists.
James Marion Frost goes to Nashville, TN to begin his
secretariship of the Sunday School Board. He founded the
Sunday Lifeway Christian Resources is founded.
Organization of the Baptist Young People's Union of
The state legislature grants a charter for the Baptist
Participation of Baptists in the National Free Church
Council in England.
Landmark leader, J.R. Graves, died in Memphis.
The Baptist Sunday School Board begins the practice of
contributing funds toward the support of other
Dr. T. P. Bell is elected second chief executive.
To raise money for the Baptist Female University, Oliver
Larkin Stringfield begins traveling across the state and
Fannie E. S. Heck organizes the Woman's Executive
Committee of the Baptist Female University.
The National Baptist Convention. Several Baptist
organizations combined to form the National Baptist
Convention of the U.S.A.; the Baptist church is the
largest black religious denomination in the United
William Heth Whitsett is President of Southern Baptist
WMU adopted the Sunbeams, the children’s missions
organization begun in 1886 by the Foreign Mission Board.
Dr. J.M. Frost is re-elected as chief executive.
Christian Flag is created on Sunday September 26. The
speaker for a Sunday School Rally at Brighton Chapel in
Coney Island, NY does not show up. This impromptu
opportunity for Charles C. Overton to fill the space
gave way to the flag. There was an American flag draped
across the pulpit he spoke from, thus inspiring him to
discuss its symbolism. The symbolism was then stressed
as necessary for the Christians to also have a flag that
expresses their presence in the world.
The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) formed a Centennial Committee for preparation of the new century.
Baptist Sunday School Board publishes its first book, a venture which later results in Broadman Press.
Salem Baptist Church (Dobson, NC) was organized on December 26, 1898, by a Presbytery composed of C.H. Stone, chairman, A.J. Williams, spokesman, and C.L. Jarvis, clerk. Some of the first members were S.L. Edmonds, Allen Kidd, J.E. Edmonds and Lucy Kidd. C.H. Stone was elected the first pastor. Services were held in the old Edmonds one-room schoolhouse during the winter and under a brush arbor in the summer.
Edgar Young Mullins becomes President of Southern
Baptist Theological Seminary. He, without consent,
succeeds William Heth Whisitt.
Baptist Female University opens in September with
nineteen faculty/staff members and more than 200
students. James C. Blasingame is president. A college
year is three terms of three months each. Room and board
costs $36 per term, and tuition is $17.50, with
additional fees for music and art.
Baptist Sunday School Board's first published hymnal
helps standardize worship in Southern Baptist churches.
Trustees change name from Baptist Female University to
Baptist University for Women. Baptist University for
Women Students publish the first yearbook, Oak Leaves.
Formation of the Northern Baptist Convention; attempt to
integrate work of various special-purpose societies (now
the American Baptist Churches, USA).
A general meeting of all the three societies-Foreign,
Home and Publication-met to set up the Northern Baptist
Laymen’s Missionary Union of the Southern Baptist
Convention organize. Purpose was for world mission. A
counterpart to the already established Women’s
Missionary Union (WMU).
Southern and Northern Baptist Conventions formally
divided the country following WW II, the SBC abandoned
regional limitations and spread across the country.
The first Congress of European Baptists, meeting at
The Annie Walker Armstrong building in Burnsville, NC
was dedicated in appreciation for her service.
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary is founded.
Baptist Historical Society founded.
The American Baptist Missionary Union (ABMU) becomes the
American Baptist Foreign Mission Society (ABFMS).
First known paid Sunday School Superintendent (pastoral
staff),1st Baptist, Dallas.
Southwestern Theological Seminary moves to Fort Worth,
Merger of the Free Will Baptists with the Northern
The Ministers and Missionaries Benefit Board (M&M)
Second Congress of Baptist World Alliance at
December 24, Death came to the frail servant of Christ, Lottie Moon, on Christmas Eve aboard ship in the harbor of Kobe, Japan.
World Wide Guild founded.
Founded in 1913 in Nanjing, China as a women's Christian
college, Ginling College officially opens with eight
students and six teachers. It was supported by four
missions: the Northern Baptists, the Disciples of
Christ, the Methodists, and the Presbyterians.
M.H. Wolfe of the SBC moved to amend and revise articles
of the Constitution in order to create one strong
I.J. Van Ness is elected third chief executive of the
Baptist Sunday School Board.
Executive Commitee formed to oversee all SBC ministries.
New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary is founded.
James Bruton Gambrell is elected president of the SBC.
1917 Oswald Chambers (b. 1874), Scottish Bible teacher
and evangelical mystic, died. The son of a Scottish
Baptist pastor, Chambers was converted after hearing C.
H. Spurgeon preach. While studying for the Baptist
ministry, Chambers met William Quarrier and from him
learned a simplicity of faith and prayer. For three
years he worked as a traveling missioner for the
Pentecostal League of Prayer (founded by Reader Harris).
He then became principal of the League's Bible Training
College at Clapham Common in London. Chambers died in
1917 in Egypt after two years of working as a YMCA
chaplain among the desert troops. He was a man of mystic
faith and intense prayer who taught that the Christian
life was to be a victorious one. His most important book
is his classic devotional "My Utmost for His Highest",
still in print and available in several languages.
White Cross project to help medical missionaries begun.
Effects of the Landmark still evident, Baptist Standard
editor J.B. Gambrell wrote, "Baptists antedate the
Reformation by many long centuries. Spurgeon said with a
good view of truth: "Baptists sprang directly from the
loins of Christ and his Apostles."
At Denver convention of the NBC the New World Movement
was launched. This was an effort to collect $10 million
between 1919-1924. Money was to be used to strengthen
Baptist work at home, overseas, and ecumenical projects.
The movement was able to raise $45,009,378.04.
$75 million campaign launched by the Southern Baptist
Convention, it was an effort to raise $75 million
between the years 1919-1924.
As with the NBC the SBC
didn't have much success because of the world war
economy. Raised $58,591,713.69.
The SBC considers requiring FMB missionary candidates to
subscribe to "A Statement of Belief" but rejects the
Curtis Lee Laws, editor of the Baptist
Watchman-Examiner, coins the term fundamentalist.
Conservatives in the Northern Baptist Convention
organize the Fundamentalist Fellowship to combat
Baptist Mid-Missions formed; Church of the Nazarene
The Baptist book store operation begins.
The department of survey, statistics and information
Fundamentalist-Modernist controversy of the 1920's which
marks a time of great debate between the Fundamentalist
W.B. Riley and the Modernist George Foster, 1858-1918,
Walter Rauschenbusch, 1861-1918.
Cooperative Program Formed by the Southern Baptist.
Encouraged the churches to send their offerings for
denominational ministries and state conventions. The
states would keep a portion and send the rest to the SBC
office in Nashville. It was a victory for the
Georgia Baptists adopt the Cooperative Program.
The 1925 Confession of Faith was adopted despite much
The SBC issued a statement on Relation of Southern
Baptist Convention to Other Baptist Bodies.
The Baptist Sunday School Board assumes responsibility
from the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee
for the operation of Ridgecrest Baptist Assembly.
Eleven American Baptist Foreign Mission Society
Missionaries die as martyrs for the Gospel of Jesus
Christ at Hopevale in the Philippines during WWII.
Southern Baptist Convention received some California
churches into its membership violating the Fortress
Monroe Conference committee agreements and beginning the
expansion of Southern Baptists into all the United
Organization of the Conservative Baptist Foreign Mission
Society; leads to secession from the Northern Baptist
Convention in 1947
Founding of American Baptist Assembly and Green Lake,
Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary is founded.
Following controversy and heated debate, a resolution is
passed at Grand Rapids convention stating: "We reaffirm
our faith in the New Testament as divinely inspired
record and therefore trustworthy, authoritative and
all-sufficient rule of our faith and practice..."
Southern Baptist Foundation is founded.
Conservative Baptists formed, leaving Northern Baptists.
Conservative Baptist Foreign Mission Society begins work
among the Senufo tribe in Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast).
Northern Baptist Convention (NBC) changed name to
American Baptist Convention (ABC).
First World Fellowship Offering, now the World Mission
Northern Baptist Convention becomes one of the founding
communions of the National Council of Churches of
Approximatley 77,000 Baptist Churches.
American Baptist Foreign Mission Society and Woman's
American Baptist Foreign Mission.
Society merge administrative functions leading to a
merger in 1968.
American Baptist Home Mission Society and Woman's
American Baptist Home Mission Society merge
Auca Indians kill Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Ed McCully,
Pete Fleming, and Roger Youderian in Ecuador.
National offices of American Baptist Convention moved to
Valley Forge, PA.
The SBC at its annual meeting approved a motion to
revisit the 1925 Baptist Faith and Message and
"present...some similar statement which shall serve as
information to the churches." The committee comprised
the "presidents of the various state Conventions" (as
qualified by Bylaw 18), with the motion also indicating
"It is understood that any group or individuals may
approach this committee to be of service."
September 18, the Russian Baptists broke from their
forced union with other evangelicals, forming their own
organization, the CCECB—the Council of Churches of
Evangelical Believers, Baptists.
In response to "demands" of a Black Caucus, the General
Council of the ABC provided for fuller participation in
Merger of the ABFMS and the WABFMS completed.
American Baptist Convention and Progressive National
Baptist Convention entered into an "associated
The SBC Foreign Mission Board introduces a requirement
that missionary candidates respond to a question
concerning the Baptist Faith and Message. The question
asked is "Are your doctrinal beliefs in substantial
agreement with those printed in Baptist Faith & Message
(1963) and adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention in
Implementation of recommendations of Study Commision on
Denominational Structure (SCODS); General Council
replaced by a more representative 200 member General
Board, office of the General Secretary strengthened, and
name changed to "American Baptist Churches, USA".
Under restructuring the American Baptist Foreign Mission
Society (ABFMS) becomes the Board of International
Ministries (BIM), the American Baptist Home Mission
Society becomes the Board of National Ministries (BNM),
and the American Baptist Board of Education and
Publication (ABBEP) becomes the Board of Educational
The American Baptist Churches and the Church of the
Brethren move toward an associated relationship to begin
The SBC FMB changes the question for missionary
candidates concerning the BF&M to "Are you familiar with
the contents of the Baptist Faith & Message? Are you in
substantial agreement with this statement? Please cite
and explain the areas of differences in beliefs and/or
Grady C. Cothen is elected sixth chief executive of the
Baptist Sunday School Board.
First Retired Ministers and Missionaries Offering
(Sept. 6) Date of letter by Paul Pressler to Bill Powell
proposing an organized campaign to change the SBC's
leadership at the 1979 convention. In the letter he
wrote "I do not believe in fighting a battle unless
there is a good chance of winning. If we fight and lose,
we lose credibility. Therefore, I think it is imperative
that we plan, organize, and effectively promote what we
are trying to do before we attempt any strong action."
33 million members in the Baptist World Alliance (1/3
were Southern Baptists).
The SBC adopted its first definition of the Cooperative
Program, defining it as undesignated gifts only.
The Baptist Hymnal is translated into Spanish.
Recommendations of a two-year study on Women in
Ministry, commissioned by the Minister's Council in
1977, approved by the Council.
Fundamentalist burrowing of the SBC begins.
Conservative Southern Baptists began to take control of
Cooperative Baptist Fellowship is organized.
Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond opens for
Baptist Center for Ethics begins.
A new denominational emphasis, ABC 2000: Renewed for
Mission, is launched at the San Jose Biennial.
Mercer University's Board of Trustees votes in June to
establish a School of Theology.
A History of the Baptist Churches in the United States,
A.H. Newman, 1898, American Baptist Publication Society
A Study of the Older Protestant Missions and Churches in
Peru and Chile, J.B.A Kessler Jr.
Christian Biography Resources
D. E. Hoste, A Prince with God by Phyllis Thompson,
London, China Inland Mission
Faithful Witness. The Life and Mission of William Carey
by Timothy George, New Hope, 1991
Shadow of the Almighty. The Life and Testament of Jim
Elliot by Elizabeth Elliot, Harper & Brothers 1958
Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives
The Challenge of Missions. Oswald J Smith
World Wide Missionary Biographies
Jude 1:3 Ministries
International Mission Board (SBC)
Acacia, John Bunyan Online Library
Wm. Robert Johnston.
A Dictionary of Religion and Ethics
History of Middle Tennessee Baptists, J.H. Grime
Kentucky Baptist History 1770-1922, Reverend William Dudley Nowlin, D.D., LL.D.