Baptist Convention of Western Cuba
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Baptist Convention of Western Cuba or Convención Bautista de Cuba Occidental is an association of cooperating Baptist churches in western Cuba.
The first Cuban Baptists were patriots who were exiled to the United States during the Ten Years' War (1868–1878). Some became Baptists while in the U. S., and later returned to Cuba. Exile Albert Díaz joined a church in New York City. He returned to Cuba in 1882, and organized an independent congregation at Havana in 1883. In 1885, he was ordained as a Baptist minister, and, in 1886, he led his church to become Baptist. Southern Baptists sent C. R. Daniel to oversee the work in 1901, and he was instrumental in organizing the Baptist Convention of Western Cuba in 1905.
Other Baptist organizations in Cuba are the Baptist Convention of Eastern Cuba or Convención Bautista de Cuba Oriental (org. 1905), the Free Will Baptist Convention of Cuba or Convención Bautista Libre de Cuba (org. 1943), and the Fraternity of Baptist Churches of Cuba or Fraternidad de Iglesias Bautistas de Cuba (org. 1989).
The Fraternity of Baptist Churches was started in 1989 by three churches expelled from the BCWC because of views related to politics, open communion and open baptism. A recent reconciliation between the Fraternity of Baptist Churches in Cuba and the Baptist Convention of Western Cuba led to the "Fraternity" becoming a member of the Baptist World Alliance, of which the Western Convention was already a member. Baptists in Cuba form one of the largest non-Catholic denominations on the island. Churches in Cuba are free to hold meetings in their church buildings or in homes, but not in public places.
The Baptist Convention of Western Cuba had 7,627 members in 113 churches in 1995. The Convention is an independent organization, but cooperates with both American Baptists and Southern Baptists. Victor Gonzales is the general secretary of the BCWC (2000).
- Baptists Around the World, by Albert W. Wardin, Jr.