The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with the United States and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (December 2018)
Independent Baptist churches (some also called Independent Fundamental Baptist, Independent Fundamentalist 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 Baptist denomination, convention or hierarchical structure.
The modern Independent Baptist tradition began in the late 19th and early 20th centuries among local denominational Baptist congregations whose members were concerned about the advancement of modernism and liberalism into national Baptist denominations and conventions in the United States and the 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 congregations and set about establishing new Independent Baptist churches.
Although Independent Baptists vary differently on certain doctrines, all IFB churches practice believer's baptism by immersion and believe in the priesthood of all believers. They typically take a literal view of creation, and are congregational in polity, upholding the autonomy of the local church. Most IFB churches will only use the King James Version of the Bible.
Timothy Gloege, Guaranteed Pure: The Moody Bible Institute, Business, and the Making of Modern Evangelicalism (2015).
Barry Hankins, God's Rascal: J. Frank Norris & the Beginnings of Southern Fundamentalism (1996).
Andrew Himes, The Sword of the Lord: The Roots of Fundamentalism in an American Family (2011).
George M. Marsden, Fundamentalism and American Culture: The Shaping of Twentieth Century Evangelicalism, 1870-1925 (1980).
Robert F. Martin, Hero of the Heartland: Billy Sunday and the Transformation of American Society, 1862-1935 (2002).
Daniel K. Williams, God's Own Party: The Making of the Christian Right (2010).