HISTORY OF THE
of the American Baptist Association
The History and Archives Committee produced the History of the American Baptist Association to commemorate the 75th meeting of the Association in June, 2000. The following statements were in response to a request made by Bro. Steve Reeves, Director of Publicity for the A. B. A.
Perhaps the most compelling desire was that all pastors and churches, as well as prospective pastors, would be able to understand the reasons the founders had in mind for first organizing a national association of Missionary Baptist churches. I felt this could best be done by delineating the situations that existed when the call was made for a meeting to discuss the organization.
Another strong desire was that the actual inter-workings of the association of churches would be demonstrated. Therefore, the sections on missions and publications received considerable attention. In addition, the carefully selected resolutions presented to the messengers were intended to indicate responses to situations that were of importance.
A further objective was biographical information on some of the early leaders. Previously, little was known about J. A. Scarboro, H. B. Pender, and J. T. Moore. The biographical sketches show the tremendous influence those men exercised.
Finally, many have asked just what was the importance of Ben M. Bogard? Why was he honored by the adoption of the name Bogard Press as the official name of our publications? Hopefully, the section on the influence of Ben M. Bogard will answer those questions.
It is my personal conviction that every A. B. A. pastor, and ministerial student, should be familiar with the contents of the history to understand the nature and purpose of the association. Every church library should have a copy as a reference to those interested in the associated work.
This History is unique in several ways:
is the history of the largest and oldest national association based on the
Landmark principles espoused by J. R. Graves, J. M. Pendleton, J. N. Hall and
Ben M. Bogard.
insistence upon a historic succession of Baptist-like churches from New
Testament times until the present,
History gives an alternative view to the generally accepted position that
Roger Williams led in organizing the first Baptist Church in America.
History details the origin of the Regular and Separate Baptists, who eventually
became United Baptists, and finally Missionary Baptists.
4. The History explains the desire and foundation for a national association of churches that recognizes the authority and responsibility of local congregations in fulfilling the Great Commission. Also, details the factors leading up to the “split” of 1950 that had church authority as one of the basic issues.
5. The History relates the spread of these concepts into the various states and foreign mission fields. Most of these articles were written by people from each respective area, including foreign missionaries on the field.
6. The appendix gives biographical information on Presidents and other associational leaders, history of schools sponsored by churches fellowshiping in the association, and Texarkana Baptist Orphanage.
698 pages with eleven chapters, appendix and index, $29.95 (to order online from the Baptist Book Store click here).
I. Our Heritage as A. B. A. Missionary Baptists
II. Our Landmark Legacy
III. Baptist Expansion and Settlement
IV. Early Landmark Churches and Associations
V. Organization of a National Work
VI. Organization of the A. B. A.
VII. Internal Conflicts
VIII. Regrouping and Expansion: 1951-1974
IX. Recent History: 1976-1998
X. Other State and Regional Associations
XI. Foreign Churches and Mission Fields Appendix