Regular Baptists are a diverse group of Baptists in the United States and Canada. The presence of the modifier "Regular" in their names attests to the strong influence of the early Regular Baptists on the growth of Baptists in North America. Two strains of Baptists emigrated from England to America — the General Baptists and the Particular Baptists. The near extinction of the General Baptists, coupled with the expansion of Particular Baptists, especially through the labors of the Philadelphia Baptist Association (org. 1707), probably gave rise to the Particulars becoming the Regular Baptists. Early in the 19th century, the two dominant groups of Baptists in the United States (Regular Baptists & Separate Baptists) effected a merger and dropped their party names in favor of the appellation United Baptists. In spite of this, the term Regular Baptist has persisted to this day.
Primitive Baptists — a number of Primitive Baptist churches and associations, especially in the Midwest, use the name "Regular Baptist" instead of, or in addition to the name "Primitive Baptist".
Old Regular Baptists — a primarily Appalachian group of churches achieving separate status late in the 19th century.
Union Baptists — a strand of Regular Baptists that owes its origin to the Civil War. Churches and associations, especially in border states, were rent asunder by this national conflict. Tensions over secession, war and reconstruction, as well as the fact that Primitive Baptists did not allow members to hold membership in secret societies, combined to incubate the Union Baptists. Many pro-Union Primitive Baptists joined Union Leagues, and were expelled from their churches and associations. The Mountain Union Association, formed in 1867, was the first "Union" Baptist association. Unlike other areas, this distinction, at least in name, has persisted, and some churches and associations consider themselves "Union Baptists". There seems to be no doctrinal distinction between Union Baptists and Regular Baptists. Three associations — Original Mountain Union, Primitive and Union — have about 3300 members in 36 churches. Mitchell River Union Baptist Association may still be in existence.
Regular Baptists — found in 5 local associations; much like the Old Regular Baptists, and located in the same region, but more open to changes in worship and lifestyle. Churches have allowed notated hymnals, Sunday Schools, revivals and even instrumental music. Three associations, mostly in North Carolina, are in correspondence — Little River, Little Valley and Mountain Union (708 members in 15 churches in 1999). Two others are in isolated areas and not connected to the first three — East Washington in Arkansas (1560 members in 10 churches in 1999) and Enterprise in Ohio, Kentucky and bordering areas (4288 members in 63 churches in 1999).
Regular, Old Regular, Primitive and Union Baptists maintain the rite of feet washing, while the GARBC & ARBC do not.