There are hundreds of different types of Baptist churches, but the two largest Baptist groups in the United States are the American Baptist Churches and the more conservative Southern Baptist Churches. There are about a dozen other major U.S. Baptist groups. Doctrine varies greatly among the groups.Know More
Other major Baptist groups are the Primitive Baptists, Progressive National Baptist Convention, Reformed Baptist Church, New Testament Association of Independent Baptist Churches, North American Baptist Conference, National Association of Free Will Baptists, National Baptist Convention of America, National Primitive Baptist Convention, Baptist General Conference, General Association of General Baptist Churches and the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches.
At the beginning of the 21st century there were about 43 million Baptists worldwide, 33 million of them U.S. residents.
Baptists preach the authority of the Bible, local congregational autonomy, the priesthood of the believer and individual soul liberty. Aspirants to the faith first profess Jesus as Lord and Savior and are then baptized to symbolize cleansing and remission of sins.
An Englishman, John Smyth, began the Baptist movement in Holland in 1609, preaching the need for adults, not infants, to be baptized by immersion in water. Modern branches of the sect are influenced by Calvinism, others by universal salvation, and still others seek a return to primitive New Testament faith. Beliefs about baptism have diversified greatly in four centuries.Learn more in Christianity
To be an ordained Baptist minister, a person must first have a personal and committed relationship with the Lord Jesus. He must be in regular attendance at a local Baptist church, and must be involved with various ministries of the church. The person must have a clear and divine calling for full-time ministry as well as complete theological education, followed by an interview and perhaps an ordination ceremony.Full Answer >
Baptist ushers give the first impression of the church to visitors. The primary responsibility of an usher is to greet churchgoers as they arrive at the church and again at the worship service. They can also escort guests to their seats, if assistance is needed.Full Answer >
In the Baptist Church, deaconesses have a number of different duties, including preparing the communion elements, assisting with baptismal preparations and counseling or mentoring young women in the church and the community. Deaconesses also visit the poor, sick or elderly and provide comfort to those in mourning.Full Answer >
The eastern and western churches split over differences in theology, practice, politics and culture. As Constantinople became an important center of government in the eastern half of the Roman Empire, the church there began to challenge the supremacy of Rome. Without a common language and culture, the two halves of the Christian Church drifted apart in the face of their disagreements.Full Answer >