Northern Baptist Convention

Northern Baptist Convention

The Northern Baptist Convention was founded in Washington, D.C. on May 17, 1907. Charles Evans Hughes, the governor of New York, served the body as its first president. Soon after this organization was founded, most of the churches of the Free Will Baptist General Conference merged with it in 1911. The Northern Baptist Convention is directly related to the old Triennial Convention formed in 1814, the first American Baptist foreign missions organization. Baptists in the south withdrew support from the Triennial Convention and formed the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) in 1845. The SBC offered Baptists a more centralized organizational structure for carrying on missionary and benevolent work, as opposed to the loosely associated societies such as the American Baptist Home Mission Society (org. 1832), American Baptist Publication Society (org. 1841), American Baptist Education Society (org. 1888), etc. The majority of churches in the north continued to work through these societies for missions and benevolence, until the formation of the Northern Baptist Convention. Each society was independent of the others, which sometimes led to overlapping or duplication of services, and competition for funding. The apparent purpose of the Northern Baptist Convention was to bring about a consistent cooperation between these bodies. The name of the Convention was changed in 1950 to American Baptist Convention, and the current name, American Baptist Churches in the USA was adopted in 1972. In 1995, the American Baptist Churches in the USA had 5801 churches with 1,504,573 members.

Northern/Free Baptist historically affiliated educational institutions


  • Baptists Around the World, by Albert W. Wardin
  • Dictionary of Baptists in America, Bill J. Leonard, editor

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