Association of Baptist Churches in Ireland

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Association of Baptist Churches in Ireland
Association of Baptist Churches in Ireland Logo.png
Logo of the Association of Baptist Churches in Ireland.
Classification Protestant
Theology Evangelical Baptist
Governance Congregational
Region Ireland
Origin 1600 (Formally in 1862)
Separated from Congregational Union of Ireland
Congregations 115
Members 8,500
Worshipers: 20,000
Ministers 100
Missionaries 100
Aid organization Annuity Fund
Baptist Aid
Orphan Society
Tertiary institutions Irish Baptist College
Official website http://baptistsinireland.org/

The Association of Baptist Churches in Ireland (ABC,ABCi and ABCI) is a Baptist Christian denomination based in Ireland. It is a group of 121 autonomous Baptist churches working together in fellowship and evangelism, training and caring ministries. The Association only acts on behalf of the churches for the work which the churches have agreed to do together.

History[edit]

Baptist work was started in Ireland by the middle of the 17th century. By 1653, there were 10 churches (9 in the south and 1 in the north). The Irish Baptist Association was organised in 1862, and was replaced by the Baptist Union of Ireland in 1895. Irish Baptists initially had a close relationship with the English Baptists. But desire for independence caused the Irish Baptists to follow their own path and they set up the Union in 1895. Initially there were 15 churches. They supported Charles Spurgeon during the Downgrade Controversy that raged in the Baptist Union of Great Britain. The Union returned to its original name of the Association of Baptist Churches in Ireland in 1999 highlighting that they are an association of churches of like mind which seek to work and fellowship together.

Organisation[edit]

The Association comprises 115[1] Baptist churches. These member churches have over 8,500 members with a worshipping congregation of over 20,000 each Sunday.[1] Departments include Baptist Women, Baptist Youth, Missions, Welfare, and Training (Irish Baptist Historical Society and Irish Baptist College). The ABC Insight is a bi-monthly magazine serving the churches. The Baptist Centre comprising the administrative offices and the Irish Baptist College is located near Moira, County Down, Northern Ireland. The Association holds an annual assembly in May. The Churches Council meets during the week of the annual assembly and also annually in November. The purpose of the Council is to hear reports and conduct business. Matters are handled between sessions by the Executive Committee elected by the churches at the May Churches Council meeting.

Churches' Council[edit]

Each church appoints at least two representatives to serve on the Churches' Council. This body meets twice each year. It is the final authority within the Association. It appoints the committees and Association Officers, approves the policy and practice of the Association and reviews the work undertaken on behalf of the churches.

Limavady Baptist Church

Between meetings of the Churches' Council the work of the Association is under the control of the Executive Committee of 18 Church Representatives appointed by the Council from among their number and the Association Officers.

The officers of the Association are: President, Vice-President, Ex-President, Honorary Treasurer and Association Director (Association Director is based at the Baptist Centre. They meet with the Executive Committee and deal with matters of urgency arising between meetings.

Executive Committee[edit]

Between meetings of the Churches' Council the work of the Association is under the control of the Executive Committee of 18 church representatives appointed by the Council from among their number and the Association officers.

Management Committees[edit]

The Churches' Council also appoints the Management Committees to oversee the various areas of Association work. There are 8 Management Committees:

Baptist Missions[edit]

Main article: Baptist Missions

The main aims of Baptist Missions (BM) is evangelisation of others and establishing and fostering churches of the Baptist faith and order Association of Baptist Churches in Ireland missionaries sent from churches in Ireland as well as the growing team of Peruvian mission workers.

BM have 23 Mission Partners groups working in a variety of locations.

BM have 13 peruvian partners groups working in a variety of locations.

Baptist Women[edit]

Encourages women to play their full part in our life and witness by promoting fellowship, prayer, study and conference

Northern and Southern Regional Development Committee[edit]

Promote fellowship among the churches through shared evangelism and conference

Training[edit]

Promotes training among the churches and operates the Irish Baptist College which seeks to train men and women for pastoral and necessary services

Finance and Services Committees[edit]

Service the financial and administrative work of the Association

Caring Ministries[edit]

By means of the Orphan Society, Annuity Fund and Baptist Aid provides support for those in need.

Beliefs and Doctrinal Statement[edit]

The churches of the Association hold to the Lordship of the Lord Jesus Christ as Head of the Church. The churches stand in the conservative and evangelical understanding of the Scriptures. While there are differences of interpretation, emphasis and practice evident among the churches each church affirms the doctrinal Statement of those things which are commonly believed.

Each Church in the Association affirms the following doctrines which are commonly believed among us:

  • The Scriptures: The verbal inspiration and total inerrancy of the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as originally given by God; their sole-sufficiency and final authority in all matters of faith and practice.
  • God: One God in three persons, the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, co-equal, co-eternal, sovereign and active in creation, providence and redemption.
  • The Lord Jesus Christ: The essential deity and perfect humanity of our Lord Jesus Christ,the only mediator between God and men; His virgin birth, sinless life and sacrificial death on the cross as the only substitute for sinners; His burial, bodily resurrection and ascension to heaven; His high priestly ministry and personal return.
  • The Holy Spirit: The work of the Holy Spirit in regenerating the sinner and indwelling, sanctifying and empowering the believer.
  • The Devil: The personality of the devil; his evil activity and final doom.
  • Man: The creation of man in the image of God; the entrance of sin through Adam's disobedience; the fallen and totally depraved state of all men; their subjection to God's wrath and condemnation; their responsibility to repent and believe the Gospel.
  • Justification: The justification of the sinner by God's grace alone through faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ alone; the eternal security of the believer.
  • The Church: The church, the body of Christ, made up of those drawn from every tribe, language, people and nation throughout history who are added to it by the work of the Holy Spirit and the exercise of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; the scriptural expression of the church in the world as the local company of baptised believers gathered under the headship of Christ for worship, fellowship, instruction and evangelism, in separation from all systems of belief that do not adhere to the Scriptures and are unfaithful to the gospel of salvation by grace alone; the ordinances of baptism and the Lord's supper: baptism being the immersion of believers on profession of their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and a symbol of their identification with Him in His death, burial and resurrection; the Lord's supper being a remembrance of Christ until He comes and a renewal of commitment to Him; the offices of elder and deacon; the gifts of evangelist and pastor-teacher; the priesthood of all believers and their unity in the Body of Christ; the separation of church and state.
  • The Future State: The unconditional immortality of the soul; the resurrection of the body; the eternal joy in heaven of the believer; the conscious eternal punishment in hell of those who die impenitent.
  • Christian Behaviour: The responsibility of all believers to obey and serve the Lord and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives; the duty of each church to exercise godly discipline in a loving and caring fashion.

This Statement was last updated and approved by the churches in May 2004.

People[edit]

Association members are referred to as Irish Baptists, however some choose to refer to themselves as Association Baptists to distinguish them from other Baptists.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Carson, Alexander (Introduction); Nicholas, Elmer H. (Introduction); Green, Jay. (Preface) (2000) "Baptism, It's Mode and Subjects", Sovereign Grace Publishers Inc, Binding: Hardcover Pub. Date: 2000, ISBN 1-58960-015-0
  • Leonard, Bill J. (c2003) "Baptist Ways", Judson Press, Valley Forge, PA, Binding: (alk. paper), Date: c2003, ISBN 0-8170-1231-1
  • McBeth, Leon H. (c1987) "The Baptist Heritage", Broadman Press, Nashville, TN Date: c1987 ISBN 0-8054-6569-3
  • Wardin, Albert W. (Editor) (c1995) "Baptists Around the World", Broadman & Holman, Nashville, TN Date: c1995. ISBN 0-8054-1076-7
  • White, B. R. (1971–77) "Association records of the Particular Baptists of England, Wales and Ireland to 1660", Baptist Historical Society, London, UK Date: 1971-77 ISBN 0-903166-00-3

External links[edit]

Official sites
Church sites (Northern Region)
Church sites (Southern Region)
Other sites