St. John baptizing Christ in the Jordan River

A Baptist is a member of a Protestant Christian Church or denomination with roots in England and Wales from the beginning of the 17th century. In the late 19th century, Baptists quickly became an important part of the American Christian landscape.

Today’s Baptist Church is a global phenomenon, the Baptist World Alliance having been established in 1905.

Baptists generally reject infant baptism, believing that sacred scripture points to the necessity of consciously choosing to embrace Christian belief. So for Baptists, a newborn who cannot choose is not ready to accept Baptism.

However, not all Baptists agree on every theological issue as, say, Catholics seem to when professing their common faith in the Mass. In fact, Baptists belief varies considerably. And this divergence of belief isn’t just a private matter, kept under wraps for fear of repercussions or to preserve the Church’s unity. Rather, it’s public. ¹

Not surprisingly, Baptist congregations tend to be run independently. And they’re quite active in organizing missions, schools and youth camps.



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