committed to historic Baptist & Reformed beliefs







time-line of baptist history


  • The SBC Committee suggested a continuing Committee on Co-Operation to come up with a plan to more efficiently raise and disburse funds.


  • Missionary work undertaken in the Philippines.

  • Central Baptist Theological Seminary is founded.


  • 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.


  • Organization of the Baptist World Alliance in London.


  • Union of Freewill and Particular Baptists in the United Baptist Convention of Canada, possibly as early as 1905.


  • 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 Convention.

  • 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 Berlin.

  • 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.


  • Union of the two Women's Home Mission Societies into the Woman's American Baptist Home Mission Society (WABHMS).


  • 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, TX.


  • Merger of the Free Will Baptists with the Northern Baptist Convention.

  • The Ministers and Missionaries Benefit Board (M&M) founded.

  • Second Congress of Baptist World Alliance at Philadelphia.


  • December 24, Death came to the frail servant of Christ, Lottie Moon, on Christmas Eve aboard ship in the harbor of Kobe, Japan.


  • Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission is founded.


  • The Commission on Efficiency established to improve the plans and methods of SBC.
    Candler School of Theology is founded. School joins with Emory in 1915.


  • 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 executive board.

  • 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.


  • Woman's Baptist Foreign Missions Societies East and West merge to form the Woman's American Baptist Foreign Mission Society (would eventually become the Board of Education Ministries, BIM) Annuity Board is founded.


  • 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 proposal.


  • 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 spreading liberalism.

  • Baptist Mid-Missions formed; Church of the Nazarene enters Syria.
    The Baptist book store operation begins.

  • The department of survey, statistics and information begins.


  • Helen Barrett Montgomery is elected the first women president of the Northern Baptist Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana.


  • Baptist Bible Union formed.


  • Committee on Basis of Representation formed to deal with increased attendance at Southern Baptist conventions.

  • Baptist Mid-Missions begins work in Venezuela.


  • 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 fundamentalist.

  • Georgia Baptists adopt the Cooperative Program.

  • The 1925 Confession of Faith was adopted despite much opposition.


  • Duke University Divinity School is founded.


  • George Washington Truett is President of the SBC.


  • 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.


  • Baptist Mid-Missions enters Liberia.


  • General Association of Regular Baptists formed, leaving Northern Baptists.


  • Ministers Council founded.

  • T.L. Holcomb is elected fourth chief executive of the Baptist Sunday School Board.


  • Lee Rutland Scarborough is President of the Southern Baptist Convention.


  • The Broadman Hymnal is produced.


  • The church music department of the Baptist Sunday School Board is organized.


  • 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 States.

  • 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, Wisconsin.

  • 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 became constituent member of the World Council of Churches; first assembly held at Amsterdam.


  • Southern Baptist Mission opens work in Venezuela.


  • Northern Baptist Convention (NBC) changed name to American Baptist Convention (ABC).

  • First World Fellowship Offering, now the World Mission Offering, WMO.

  • Northern Baptist Convention becomes one of the founding communions of the National Council of Churches of Christ.

  • Approximatley 77,000 Baptist Churches.


  • First America for Christ Offering collected.

  • Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary is founded.


  • James L. Sullivan is elected fifth chief executive of the Baptist Sunday School Board.


  • 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 administrative functions.


  • Auca Indians kill Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Ed McCully, Pete Fleming, and Roger Youderian in Ecuador.


  • Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary is founded.


  • Reorganization Plan adopted by American Baptist Convention (making the convention a more coherent and efficient denominational body).


  • 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."


  • The SBC adopted a new Baptist Faith and Message, replacing the 1925 version.


  • American Baptist Publication Society and the American Baptist Education Society merge to form the American Baptist Board of Education and Publication.


  • 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.


  • Forming of North American Baptist Fellowship.

  • Commission on Christian Unity established by General Council of American Baptist Convention.


  • In response to "demands" of a Black Caucus, the General Council of the ABC provided for fuller participation in denominational leadership.

  • Merger of the ABFMS and the WABFMS completed.


  • American Baptist Convention and Progressive National Baptist Convention entered into an "associated relationship".

  • 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 1963?"


  • American Baptist Personnel Services founded to help churches find ministerial leadership.


  • 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 Ministries (BEM).

  • The American Baptist Churches and the Church of the Brethren move toward an associated relationship to begin in 1973.


  • 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 interpretations."

  • Grady C. Cothen is elected sixth chief executive of the Baptist Sunday School Board.


  • First Retired Ministers and Missionaries Offering collected (RMMO).

  • (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 the SBC.


  • Denominational Review Commission reported that reorganization 1972-1977 had been successful in achieving its purposes and made minor adjustments.


  • General Board, after four-year study, reaffirmed membership in National and World Councils of Churches and adopted "official Observer" relationship with National Association of Evangelicals.


  • Cooperative Baptist Fellowship is organized.

  • Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond opens for classes.

  • Baptist Center for Ethics begins.


  • Gardner-Webb University School of Divinity begins classes.


  • 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.


  • Mercer University classes began in the Fall.


  • Wake Forest Divinity School opens.

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