Baptists Together

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Baptists Together (Baptist Union of Great Britain)
Logo of Baptists Together
ClassificationEvangelical Christianity
TheologyBaptist
PolityCongregationalist
PresidentGeoff Colmer
Vice-presidentHayley Young
Distinct fellowshipsOld Baptist Union,
Baptist Union of Wales,
New Connexion of General Baptists
AssociationsWorld Council of Churches,
Baptist World Alliance,
Conference of European Churches,
European Baptist Federation,
Churches Together in Britain and Ireland,
Fellowship of British Baptists,
Churches Together in England
RegionEngland and Wales
HeadquartersDidcot
FounderCharles Spurgeon
OriginThe Baptist Union of Great Britain was formed when the General Baptists and Particular Baptists came together in 1891.
SeparationsGrace Baptist Assembly,
Association of Grace Baptist Churches,
Seventh Day Baptists,
Strict Baptists,
Gospel Standard Baptists
Congregations1,895
Members111,208
Aid organizationNational Council for Voluntary Youth Services,
BMS World Mission,
Annuity Fund
Baptist Aid
Orphan Society
Official websitebaptist.org.uk

Baptists Together (officially The Baptist Union of Great Britain) is a Baptist Christian denomination in England and Wales. It is affiliated with the Baptist World Alliance and Churches Together in England. The headquarters is in Didcot.

History[edit]

The Union has its origins in the Baptist Union founded in 1813 by 60 Particular Baptist churches.[1][2] In 1832, it was restructured to allow for membership of General Baptists. General Baptists and Particular Baptists work was united in the Baptist Union in 1891.[3] The Baptist Historical Society was founded in 1908.

In 2013 Lynn Green was elected, with no votes against, as the first female General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Great Britain to commence in September 2013. She was received at the vote by a standing ovation and her inaugural message included "I believe that our union is ready for generational change... It is time to cast off the institutional mindset that has served us well in the past, and embrace a new way of being for the 21st century."[4]

Also in 2013, the Union publicly re-branded itself as "Baptists Together" and introduced a new logo to reflect the change (although it is still known in an official capacity by its former name, the Baptist Union of Great Britain).[5]

Membership[edit]

According to a denomination census released in 2020, it claimed 1,895 churches and 111,208 members.[6]

Overarching organisations[edit]

The Fellowship of British Baptists and BMS World Mission brings together in ministry the churches that are members of the Baptist Union of Scotland, Wales, the Irish Baptist Networks, and the Baptist Union of Great Britain. It is itself a member of The National Council for Voluntary Youth Services (NCVYS)[7] because of its work to promote young people's personal and social development.

Inter-denominational associations[edit]

The Union maintains membership with Christian ecumenical organisations such as Churches Together in England, Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, the Conference of European Churches, and the World Council of Churches.

Missionary Society[edit]

The Particular Baptist Missionary Society for Propagating the Gospel among the Heathen (later the Baptist Missionary Society, and now BMS World Mission) was organised in 1792, under the leadership of Andrew Fuller (1754–1815), John Sutcliff (1752–1814), and William Carey (1761–1834).[8][9]

Beliefs[edit]

The convention has a Baptist confession of faith.[10] It is a member of the Baptist World Alliance.[6]

Schools[edit]

The union is a partner of Spurgeon's College.[11]

Structure[edit]

Since 2001 the Baptist Union of Great Britain has been divided into 13 regional associations:

  • Central Baptist Association
  • East Midlands Baptist Association
  • Eastern Baptist Association
  • Heart of England Baptist Association
  • London Baptist Association
  • North Western Baptist Association
  • Northern Baptist Association
  • South Eastern Baptist Association
  • South Wales Baptist Association
  • South West Baptist Association
  • Southern Counties Baptist Association
  • West of England Baptist Association
  • Yorkshire Baptist Association

Leadership[edit]

The principal of the Union is the General Secretary.

List of Presidents[edit]

  • 2022 The Revd Hayley Young
  • 2021 The Revd Geoff Colmer
  • 2020 The Revd Yinka Oyekan
  • 2019 The Revd Ken Benjamin
  • 2018 The Revd Dr Dave Gregory
  • 2017 The Revd Dianne Tidball
  • 2016 The Revd Rupert Lazar
  • 2015 The Revd Jenni Entrican
  • 2014 The Revd Dr Chris Ellis
  • 2013 The Revd Ernie Whalley
  • 2012 The Revd Chris Duffett
  • 2011 The Revd Pat Took
  • 2010 No president[nb 1]
  • 2009 The Revd K Appiagyei
  • 2008 The Revd Dr J D Weaver
  • 2007 No president
  • 2006 The Revd K O Coleman
  • 2005 The Revd R Searle
  • 2004 The Revd P D Manson
  • 2003 The Revd J C Rackley
  • 2002 The Revd Dr N G Wright
  • 2001 The Revd P J Wortley
  • 2000 Professor G W Ashworth
  • 1999 The Revd M I Bochenski
  • 1998 The Revd D G T McBain
  • 1997 The Revd V F George
  • 1996 The Revd J C James
  • 1995 The Revd P H K Tongeman
  • 1994 The Revd S J Gaukroger
  • 1993 The Revd Dr B Haymes
  • 1992 The Revd E J Westwood
  • 1991 The Revd R Jenkins
  • 1990 The Revd Dr D J Tidball
  • 1989 Dr J Biggs
  • 1988 The Revd Dr C Marchant
  • 1987 The Revd M F Jarman
  • 1986 The Revd D R Coffey
  • 1985 The Revd N P Wright
  • 1984 The Revd F Cooke
  • 1983 The Revd Dr D S Russell
  • 1982 Dr D J Charley
  • 1981 The Revd T F Wilson
  • 1980 Dr S G Browne
  • 1979 The Revd Dr W M S West
  • 1978 Mrs A Alexander
  • 1977 The Revd E A Payne
  • 1976 The Revd F A Goodwin
  • 1975 The Revd S A Turl
  • 1974 The Revd G Cumming
  • 1973 The Revd D H Hicks
  • 1972 The Revd J J Brown
  • 1971 The Revd Dr G Henton-Davies

[2]

List of General Secretaries[edit]

  • 1898 – 1924 John Howard Shakespeare
  • 1925 – 1951 Melbourn Aubrey
  • 1951 – 1967 Ernest A. Payne
  • 1967 – 1982 David S. Russell
  • 1982 – 1991 Bernard Green
  • 1991 – 2006 David Coffey
  • 2006 – 2013 Jonathan Edwards
  • 2013 – Lynn Green

Doctrinal controversies[edit]

At the Baptist Union Assembly in April 1971, Michael Taylor, then Principal at the Northern Baptist College, asserted, "I believe that God was active in Jesus, but it will not do to say quite categorically: Jesus is God." The statement bred controversy, and some charged him with denying the Deity of Christ.[12][13][14][15] Nigel G. Wright, later Principal of Spurgeon's College, commenting on the affair, claimed the, "Spectre of theological downgrade had lingered within the denomination throughout the 20th century," alluding to the Downgrade Controversy of a century earlier.[12]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ No president following the death of Revd R Martin

References[edit]

  1. ^ Robert E. Johnson, A Global Introduction to Baptist Churches, Cambridge University Press, UK, 2010, p. 104
  2. ^ a b Stephen R. Holmes, Baptist Theology, A&C Black, UK, 2012, p. 51
  3. ^ William H. Brackney, Historical Dictionary of the Baptists, Scarecrow Press, USA, 2009, p. 77
  4. ^ Allen, Robert 'Bob' (6 May 2013), "Woman Named to Lead British Baptists", News, Associated Baptist Press, archived from the original on 23 October 2013, retrieved 28 July 2013
  5. ^ The Baptist Union of Great Britain : Baptist Union logo, retrieved 9 September 2014
  6. ^ a b Baptist World Alliance, Members, baptistworld.org, USA, retrieved 5 December 2020
  7. ^ Full list of NCVYS member organisations Archived 12 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Robert E. Johnson, A Global Introduction to Baptist Churches, Cambridge University Press, Royaume-Uni, 2010, p. 99
  9. ^ J. Gordon Melton and Martin Baumann, Religions of the World: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Beliefs and Practices, ABC-CLIO, USA, 2010, p. 292
  10. ^ Baptists Together, Declaration of Principle, baptist.org.uk, UK, retrieved 5 December 2020
  11. ^ Spurgeon's College, Mission and Values, spurgeons.ac.uk, UK, retrieved 5 December 2020
  12. ^ a b "Freedom with Foundation: The George Beasley-Murray Memorial Lecture". Baptist Times. Archived from the original on 16 August 2016. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  13. ^ Thomas, Geoff. "The Divine Glory of Christ". Alfred Place Baptist Church. Archived from the original on 16 August 2016. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  14. ^ "Federation Speaker, in Congregational Concern" (PDF). Evangelical Fellowship of Congregational Concerns. 1993. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 August 2016.
  15. ^ "Liberal Baptist Denominations". Way of Life Literature. 13 April 2014. Archived from the original on 16 August 2016. Retrieved 16 August 2016.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Wardin, Albert W jr, Baptists Around the World.
  • Payne, Ernest Alexander, The Baptist Union: A Short History.
  • Brown, Raymond, The English Baptists of the Eighteenth Century.
  • Briggs, JHY, The English Baptists of the Nineteenth Century.
  • Clements, Keith, Baptists in the Twentieth Century.

External links[edit]