About Us

Why General Baptists?

A home-grown religious movement had its beginnings in the 1820s in Evansville, Indiana. General Baptists came into existence because of the revival preaching of Elder Benoni Stinson. He boldly and frequently proclaimed the good news of the gospel that “Jesus Christ, by the grace of God, tasted death for everyman” with the result that “whosoever will may be saved”. This preaching from texts found in the New Testament books of Hebrews and Romans resulted in the planting of new churches, a networking with other like-minded groups, and the birthing of a national organization in 1870. 


But why General Baptist? The name is actually a summary of the core theology of the movement reflecting belief in a general atonement that anyone who is willing to trust Jesus as Savior may be saved. This theological name stood in contrast to those groups of the 19th century who advocated a particular or limited atonement for in their theology only a few, not the many, could be saved. 


Though the term “atonement” is not in the General Baptist Statements of Faith, few terms are more important to our historical identity. The “general” in General Baptist is derived from our position on atonement. Atonement can mean the compensation, the restitution paid, or expiation given by God through Jesus Christ for our sin. Atonement can describe the actions of Jesus to secure our salvation, and thus the redemptive work of Jesus can be described as the atonement. 


Many Protestants continue to disagree over whether atonement is general (i.e., for all) or particular (i.e., only for those who are “elect”). General Baptists argue that the atonement is for all, but the benefits of the atonement “can be received only through repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Statement of Faith IV). Because we believe in a general atonement we are naturally evangelistic and intentionally missionary. How else will our world hear the Good News?


Statements of Faith

I. GOD

We believe that there is only one true, living, and eternal God and that the Godhead is revealed as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 

(A) One True and Eternal God: Deut. 6:4; 33:27; Jer. 10:10; Matt. 3:15-16; 28:19; Mk. 12:29; Jn. 14:9-11; 10:30; Rom. 8:9- 11; I Cor. 8:4-6; II Cor. 3:17; I Thess. 1:9; I Tim. 1:17; 2:5; 6:17; Heb. 1:1-13; 3:12. (B) The Godhead: 1. God as Father: Gen. 1:1; Matt. 6:9; Eph. 4:6. 2. God as Son: Isa. 9:6; Matt. 16:16; Jn. 1:1; 3:14, 16; 14:28; I Cor. 15:28; Heb. 1:8. Virgin Birth of Jesus: Matt. 1:18-25; Lk. 1:26-38. 3. God as Holy Spirit: Jn. 14:16, 26; Acts 1:5, 8; 2:1-4; Rom. 8:16. 


II. THE BIBLE

We believe that the Holy Scriptures are the Old and New Testaments, the inspired and infallible Word of God, and therein is found the only reliable guide of Christian faith and conduct. 

(A) The Inspired Revelation: Lk. 24:44-46; Rom. 16:25-26; II Tim. 3:15-17; Heb. 1:1-2; II Pet. 1:20-21. (B) The Infallible Word: Isa. 40:8; Lk. 21:33; Jn. 17:17; Titus 1:2; I Pet.1:25. (C) The Reliable Guide: Deut. 6:6-9; Ps. 19:7-10; 119:105, 140; Jn. 5:39; Acts 17:11-12; Rom. 10:14-15; 15:4; II Tim. 3:16-17. 


III. MAN

We believe that God created man in His own image to bring Him honor through obedience, and that when man disobeyed, he became a fallen and sinful creature, unable to save himself. We believe that infants are in the covenant of God¹s grace and that all persons become accountable to God when they reach a state of moral responsibility. 

(A) Man¹s Origin: Gen. 1:26-27; 2:7; Ps. 8:5. (B) Man¹s Purpose: Gen. 1:28-31; 2:15-25; Isa. 43:7. (C) Man¹s Sin: Gen. 3:1-24; Ps. 51:5; Jer. 13:23; Rom. 1:18-3:23; 5:12-21; 7:1-25. (D) Man¹s Accountability: Matt. 19:13-15; Rom. 4:15; 5:13; 6:16; Heb. 11:24-26. 


IV. SALVATION

We believe that salvation (regeneration, sanctification, justification and redemption) has been provided for all mankind through the redemptive work (life, death, resurrection, ascension, and intercession) of Jesus Christ, and that this salvation can be received only through repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Salvation: Heb. 5:9; I Thess. 5:9; I Pet. 1:9; Heb. 7:25. Regeneration: Jn. 3:3-8; 1:11-13; I Pet. 1:23; Eph. 2:1-10; II Cor. 5:17; II Pet. 1:4; Titus 3:5. Sanctification: I Cor. 1:30; Eph. 5:26; Heb. 10:9-10, 29; II Tim. 2:21; Heb. 13:12; Rom. 12:1-2; I Pet. 1:2. Justification: Rom. 3:20-24; 5:1-2, 18; 8:30-33; Acts 13:38-39; I Cor. 6:11; II Cor. 5:21. Redemption: Matt. 20:28; Isa. 53:6; Col. 1:14; Titus 2:14; I Pet. 1:18-19; Rev. 5:9. Christ¹s Redemptive Work: Jn. 3:16; Rom. 5:8; Heb. 2:9; Rev. 22:17; II Pet. 3:9; Jn 14:6; Acts 4:12; Rom. 6:23; Eph. 2:8-9. Life and Death: Rom. 5:10; Heb. 9:12-15; Jn. 10:11; I Jn. 3:16. Resurrection: Rom. 4:25; I Pet. 1:3; I Cor. 15:14, 17. Ascension: Heb. 4:14-16, 6:19-20; 9:24; 10:11-12. Intercession: Rom. 8:34; Heb. 9:15; Isa. 53:12; I Tim. 2:5. Repentance: Isa. 55:6-7; Lk. 24:47; Lk. 13:3-5; Acts 2:38; I Thess. 1:9-10. Faith: Jn. 3:16-18; Heb. 11:1, 6; I Pet. 1:5. 


V. ASSURANCE AND ENDURANCE

We believe that those who abide in Christ have the assurance of salvation. However, we believe that the Christian retains his freedom of choice; therefore, it is possible for him to turn away from God and be finally lost. 

(A) Assurance: Matt. 28:20; I Cor. 10:13; Heb. 5:9. (B) Endurance: Matt. 10:22; Lk. 9:62; Col. 1:23; Rev. 2:10-11; 3:3-5. (C) Warnings: Jn. 15:6; Rom. 11:20-23; Gal. 5:4; Heb. 3:12; 10:26-29; II Pet. 2:20-21. (D) Finally Lost: Jn. 15:6; I Cor. 9:27; Heb. 6:4-6. 


VI. CHRISTIAN DUTIES

We believe that Christians should live faithfully by serving in and through the local church, praying diligently, witnessing earnestly, practicing tolerance, showing loving kindness, giving as God prospers, and conducting themselves in such a way as to bring glory to God. 

(A) Faithful Service: I Chron. 16:11; Ps. 101:6; Matt. 28:18-20; Jn. 15:7-14; Rom. 12:14; I Cor. 13; II Cor. 8, 9; Eph. 4, 6; Heb. 12:1. (B) Prayer: II Chron. 7:14; Dan. 6:10; Matt. 6:1-13; 26:41; Lk. 18:1; I Thess. 5:17. (C) Witnessing: Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 1:8. (D) Tolerance: Matt. 18:15-17; Lk. 10:27; Gal. 5:22-23; II Pet. 1:5- 9. (E) Loving Kindness: Jn. 13:35; I Jn. 3:11; 4:7, 11-12. (F) Financial Stewardship: Matt. 23:23; I Cor. 16:2; II Cor. 9:6-7. 


VII. THE CHURCH

We believe that the Church Universal is the Body of Christ, the fellowship of all believers, and that its members have been called out from the world to come under the dominion and authority of Christ, its head. We believe that a local church is a fellowship of Christians, a part of the Body of Christ, voluntarily banded together for worship, nurture, and service. 

(A) The Church Universal: Matt. 16:18; Jn. 10:10; I Cor. 3:16; 12:12-14, 27; Eph. 1:22-23; Col. 1:18, 24; Heb. 12:23. (B) The Local Church: Matt. 18:17; Acts 2:38-47; 11:19-30; Rev. 1:4; 3:22. 1. Worship and Service: Rom. 12:1; I Cor. 14:12, 23-25; Heb. 10:25; Ja. 1:26-27. 2. Nurture: Eph. 4; II Pet. 1:2-8; 3:18. 


VIII. ORDINANCES

We believe that baptism and the Lord¹s Supper are ordinances instituted by Christ to be observed by Christians only. We also believe that the Biblical mode of baptism is immersion and that participation in the Lord¹s Supper should be open to all Christians. (Note: Several associations and local churches recognize feet washing as an ordinance. We believe that this should be left to the individual, and that neither the practice nor the non-practice of it should be any bar to fellowship, either in the church, the local association, the Presbytery, or the General Association. 

Jn. 13; I Tim. 5:10.) (A) Baptism: 1. Instituted: Matt. 3:13-15; 28:19. 2. Subjects: Acts 2:41; 8:12, 37-38; 10:47-48; 16:30-33; 19:5. 3. Biblical Mode: Rom. 6:3-5; Col. 2:12. 4. Purpose: Matt. 3:14; I Pet. 3:21. (B) Communion: 1. Instituted: Matt. 26:26-29; Mk. 14:22-25; Lk. 22:19-20; I Cor. 11:23-25. 2. Subjects: I Cor. 11:27-29. 3. Purpose: I Cor. 11:26. 


IX. THE LORD¹S DAY

We believe in the Sanctity of the Lord¹s Day, the first day of the week, and that this day ought to be observed by worshipping God, witnessing for Christ, and ministering to the needs of humanity. We believe that secular work on Sunday should be limited to cases of necessity or mercy. 

(A) Sanctity: Ex. 20:8; Isa. 58:13-14. (B) Observance: Mk. 2:27:28; Lk. 4:1-16; 14:1-6; Acts 20:7; I Cor. 16:2; Rev. 1:10. 


X. LAST THINGS

We believe in the personal return of Jesus Christ, and in the bodily resurrection of the dead. We believe that God will judge all mankind by Jesus Christ; that He will reward the righteous with eternal life in heaven, and that He will banish the unrighteous to everlasting punishment in hell. 

(A) Return: Matt. 24, 25; Lk. 12:40; Jn. 14:3; Acts 1:11; I Jn. 3:2; Rev. 1:7. (B) Resurrection: Jn. 5:25, 28-29; 6:40; 11:24-25; Rom. 8:11; I Cor.15; Phil. 3:21; I Thess. 4:16-17; Rev. 20:4-6. (C) Judgment and Reward: Matt. 25:21; Mk. 9:43-48; Jn. 5:27; Acts 17:31; Rom. 2:16; 14:12; II Cor. 5:1, 10; Col. 3:24; II Thess. 1:7- 10; Heb. 9:27; II Pet. 3:8-13; Jude 21; Rev. 2:7; 14:13; 20:10-15; 22:12. 


1970 Revised Edition


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