Independent Baptist churches (some also called Independent Fundamental Baptist, or IFB) are Christian congregations, generally holding to conservative (primarily fundamentalist) Baptist beliefs. The term "independent" refers to the doctrinal position of church autonomy and a refusal to join any affiliated convention or hierarchical structure.
The Independent Baptist tradition began in the late 19th and early 20th centuries among local denominational Baptist congregations concerned about the perceived advancement of modernism and liberalism into national Baptist denominations and conventions in the United States and United Kingdom.
In response to the concerns, some local Baptist churches separated en masse from their former denominations and conventions and reestablished the congregations as Independent Baptist churches. In other cases, the more conservative members of existing churches withdrew from their local congregation and set about establishing new Independent Baptist churches.
Members of Independent Baptist churches comprised two and a half percent of the United States adult population according to a 2008 survey. According to the same survey, they represent between ten and fifteen percent of adults who consider themselves Baptist.
- Marsden; George M. (1980). Fundamentalism and American Culture. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-502758-2
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