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Baptist

Baptizing in the Jordan by Silas Xavier Floyd.

Baptist, in the broadest sense of the term, refers to any system of church that interprets baptism in the Bible as the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer's faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Saviour (Jesus Christ), the believer's death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to his faith in the final resurrection of the dead. In a more restricted sense, Baptist refers to people who are associated with Baptist churches.

"So those who received his word were baptized", Acts 2:41
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The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is a United States-based, mostly conservative Christian denomination. The name "Southern" stems from its having been founded and rooted in the South. The SBC became a separate denomination in 1845 in Augusta, Georgia, following a regional split with northern Baptists over the issue of slavery in the US South.

It has become the world's largest Baptist denomination and America's largest Protestant body with over 16 million members and more than 42,000 churches. Southern Baptists put a heavy emphasis on the individual conversion experience including a public immersion in water for baptism and a corresponding rejection of infant baptism. Hence, membership statistics do not include infants or children who have not received believer's baptism. SBC churches are evangelical in doctrine and practice. Specific beliefs based on biblical interpretation can vary somewhat due to the congregational governance system that gives autonomy to individual local Baptist churches. Historically, Baptists have played a key role in encouraging religious freedom and separation of church and state.

Since the 1940s, SBC churches have spread to all the states and has lost some of its regional identity. While still heavily concentrated in the US South, the SBC has member churches across America and has 42 state conventions. (More...)

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Martin Luther King Jr NYWTS.jpg

Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an African American clergyman, activist and prominent leader in the American civil rights movement. His main legacy was to secure progress on civil rights in the United States and he is frequently referenced as a human rights icon today.

A Baptist minister, King became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957, serving as its first president.

King's efforts led to the 1963 March on Washington, where King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. There, he raised public consciousness of the civil rights movement and established himself as one of the greatest orators in U.S. history.

In 1964, King became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to end racial segregation and racial discrimination through civil disobedience and other non-violent means. By the time of his death in 1968, he had refocused his efforts on ending poverty and opposing the Vietnam War, both from a religious perspective.

King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee. He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977 and Congressional Gold Medal in 2004; Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was established as a U.S. national holiday in 1986. (More...)

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