our history

A Sample of History Writing

Who was the first Baptist, and where was the first Baptist church? When did Baptists begin, and who was their founder?

A lot of people ask these questions. We want to know about our denominational roots. To know our beginnings will help us understand ourselves today.
These sound like simple questions, and one might expect brief and simple answers. The story of Baptist beginnings, however, is surprisingly complicated; and not everyone agrees on the conclusions. Perhaps this is one reason such questions have been so controversial in the past.
Some people try to trace organized Baptist churches back to New Testament times or to John the Baptist. One writer even suggested that Adam was the first Baptist! Certainly we believe that our doctrine and faith root in the New Testament, but we first meet our organized denomination considerably this side of Adam.

Our best historical evidence says that Baptists came into existence in England in the early seventeenth century. They apparently emerged out of the Puritan-Separatist movement in the Church of England. Some of these earnest people read the Bible in their own language, believed it, and sought to live by it. They formed separate congregations which accepted only believers into their membership, and they baptized converts upon their profession of faith. Their opponents nicknamed them “Baptists,” and the name stuck. This pamphlet will fill in some of the details of that story.
The English Background
Who was the first Baptist, and where was the first Baptist church? When did Baptists begin, and who was their founder?

A lot of people ask these questions. We want to know about our denominational roots. To know our beginnings will help us understand ourselves today.
These sound like simple questions, and one might expect brief and simple answers. The story of Baptist beginnings, however, is surprisingly complicated; and not everyone agrees on the conclusions. Perhaps this is one reason such questions have been so controversial in the past.
Some people try to trace organized Baptist churches back to New Testament times or to John the Baptist. One writer even suggested that Adam was the first Baptist! Certainly we believe that our doctrine and faith root in the New Testament, but we first meet our organized denomination considerably this side of Adam.

Our best historical evidence says that Baptists came into existence in England in the early seventeenth century. They apparently emerged out of the Puritan-Separatist movement in the Church of England. Some of these earnest people read the Bible in their own language, believed it, and sought to live by it. They formed separate congregations which accepted only believers into their membership, and they baptized converts upon their profession of faith. Their opponents nicknamed them “Baptists,” and the name stuck. This pamphlet will fill in some of the details of that story.
The English Background
Who was the first Baptist, and where was the first Baptist church? When did Baptists begin, and who was their founder?

A lot of people ask these questions. We want to know about our denominational roots. To know our beginnings will help us understand ourselves today.
These sound like simple questions, and one might expect brief and simple answers. The story of Baptist beginnings, however, is surprisingly complicated; and not everyone agrees on the conclusions. Perhaps this is one reason such questions have been so controversial in the past.
Some people try to trace organized Baptist churches back to New Testament times or to John the Baptist. One writer even suggested that Adam was the first Baptist! Certainly we believe that our doctrine and faith root in the New Testament, but we first meet our organized denomination considerably this side of Adam.

Our best historical evidence says that Baptists came into existence in England in the early seventeenth century. They apparently emerged out of the Puritan-Separatist movement in the Church of England. Some of these earnest people read the Bible in their own language, believed it, and sought to live by it. They formed separate congregations which accepted only believers into their membership, and they baptized converts upon their profession of faith. Their opponents nicknamed them “Baptists,” and the name stuck. This pamphlet will fill in some of the details of that story.
The English Background