THE BAPTIST CONGREGATIONS

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Imagine a contemporary Baptist congregation. What do you see? Pews, chairs, platform for
lectern, a choir, a glass partition for baptism. But these were not always the standard. Early
Baptist meetings were intimate, with everyone sharing and talking. Yet, these is consistency.
Preaching the Word, the Lord’s Supper, and Believer’s baptism are central to the life of the
congregation. These congregations would be led by a strong pastoral office, but supported by
deacons, as well as the priesthood of all believers.

THE ASSOCIATIONAL PRINCIPLE

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How do Baptists interact beyond the local congregation? It is through association with one another (not a scriptural term, but a practical term by practical people) that Baptists form Associations, Conventions, Unions, and even the Baptist World Alliance. But none of these are superior bodies, but cooperative. They are not held together by coercion, but voluntarily.

BAPTISTS AND MISSIONS

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Synonymous with the word “Baptist” is the word “Missions.” At first, Baptist mission meant sharing the gospel by an elder or pastor, and growing a congregation where a congregation had
not existed yet, usually nearby. But as the world opened up, places like Africa, China, India, and North and South America became new fields for mission work.

BAPTISTS AND OTHER CHRISTIANS

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What relationship do Baptists have with other Christians? Baptists initially were dissenters, much like Quakers, desiring to establish religious toleration in their societies. Baptists were willing to join with other Christians in schools, mission fields, social projects, and evangelism.

THE LORDSHIP OF CHRIST

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An important overarching theme in all Baptist writings, thought, and work is the Lordship of Jesus Christ. With all other Christians, Baptists affirm Jesus as saviour and Lord, and the Trinitarian nature of Jesus. Baptists also affirm the fully human and fully divine nature of Jesus: He is also Lord of all creation, our Saviour, and the resurrected Lord, who will come gain. Jesus as Lord, then, means Baptists are called to be more like Jesus, to follow in his footsteps.

RENOWNED CANADIAN BAPTISTS

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Over the course of their 250-year history, numerous
men and women have stood out for singularly
important contributions to their family. Among them
whom we discover in this final segment of the Series
on Baptist Identity are: David George, Hannah Maria
Norris, Archibald Reekie, Pioneer MacDonald,
William McMaster, Silas T. Rand, Madame Feller, and
Tommy Douglas