Baptist Union of Great Britain
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Baptist Union of Great Britain

Baptists Together (Baptist Union of Great Britain)
Logo of Baptists Together
ClassificationProtestant
OrientationBaptist
PolityCongregationalist
PresidentYinka Oyekan
Vice-presidentGeoff Colmer
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 websitehttp://www.baptist.org.uk/

Baptists Together (officially The Baptist Union of Great Britain) is an association of Baptist churches in England and Wales. The headquarters is in Didcot.

History

The Baptist Union of Great Britain was formed when the General Baptists and Particular Baptists came together in 1891.[]

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). When the Baptist Union was founded in 1813, it was a Particular Baptist organisation. In 1832, it was restructured to allow for membership of General Baptists. Despite resistance among some Particular Baptists in what was known as the Downgrade Controversy, General and Particular Baptist work was united in the Baptist Union in 1891. The Baptist Historical Society was founded in 1908.

The basis of fellowship in the Baptist Union is a three-part "Declaration of Principle" stating belief in Jesus, Christian baptism, and world evangelisation. The structure includes an annual Baptist Assembly, and the Baptist Union Council, which is made up of representatives from the 13 regional associations and the six Baptist Colleges affiliated with the Union. The national resource and offices are in Didcot, Oxfordshire, England, having moved from Baptist Church House 2–6 Southampton Row,[1] London in 1989.

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."[2]

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).[3]

Membership

According to a denomination census released in 2020, it claimed 1,895 churches and 111,208 members. [4]

Overarching organisations

Baptists in the organisation are also part of the wider Fellowship of British Baptists, the European Baptist Federation, and the Baptist World Alliance.

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)[5] because of its work to promote young people's personal and social development.

Inter-denominational associations

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.

Structure

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

Leadership

The principal of the Union is the General Secretary.

List of General Secretaries

Doctrinal controversies

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.[6][7][8][9] 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.[6]

See also

References

  1. ^ Historic England. "Baptist Church House/Kingsgate House (1378782)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 2013.
  2. ^ 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 2013
  3. ^ The Baptist Union of Great Britain : Baptist Union logo, retrieved 2014
  4. ^ Baptist World Alliance, Members, baptistworld.org, USA, retrieved 5 December 2020
  5. ^ Full list of NCVYS member organisations Archived 12 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ a b "Freedom with Foundation: The George Beasley-Murray Memorial Lecture". Baptist Times. Archived from the original on 16 August 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  7. ^ Thomas, Geoff. "The Divine Glory of Christ". Alfred Place Baptist Church. Archived from the original on 16 August 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  8. ^ "Federation Speaker, in Congregational Concern" (PDF). Evangelical Fellowship of Congregational Concerns. 1993. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 August 2016.
  9. ^ "Liberal Baptist Denominations". Way of Life Literature. 13 April 2014. Archived from the original on 16 August 2016. Retrieved 2016.

Bibliography

  • 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


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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