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BAPTIST HISTORY Lesson 27. Formation of the Southern Baptist Convention. The Work of the Triennial Convention (formed 1814). I. Foreign Missions. II. Home Missions. John Mason Peck. 1832 The American Baptist Home Missions Society. III. Education. Columbian College (1821).

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Baptist history lesson 27


Formation of the Southern Baptist Convention

Baptist history lesson 27

The Work of the Triennial Convention (formed 1814)

I. Foreign Missions

II. Home Missions

John Mason Peck

1832 The American Baptist Home Missions Society

Baptist history lesson 27

III. Education

Columbian College (1821)

Newton Seminary (1825)

William Staughton


IV. Publishing

The Latter-Day Luminary (1822)

American Baptist Missionary Magazine

1825 General Baptist Tract Society

The Baptist Tract

American Baptist Publication and Sunday School Society (1840)

Judson Press

Baptist history lesson 27

Three Divisive Controversies

  • Campbellism

II. Anti-missionary movement

III. Sectionalism

III. Sectionalism

A. Basic distrust between the North and the South over slavery

The occasion for the breakup was disagreement over slavery, but this was not the cause

The cause of the breakup was the assumption of legislative power by the acting board of the General Missionary Convention (Triennial)

Baptist history lesson 27

B. Chronological Overview

1. 1832 – harmony still existed between North & South

2. 1833 – letter from English Baptists concerning abolition

3. 1834 – Secretary Bolles replied; group of Boston Baptist sent separate reply the next year

4. 1840 “American Baptists Anti-Slavery Convention” held in NYC. Resolution denouncing slavery sent to Baptists in the South.

5. 1841 – Richard Fuller’s ‘neutrality resolution’

6. 1844 – Georgia Baptists submitted James Reeve as candidate for Home Missions support

7. 1844 – Alabama Baptist Convention sent hypothetical question to the GMC

“If any one should offer himself as a missionary, having slaves, and should insist on retaining them as his property, we could not appoint him. One thing is certain, we can never be a party to any arrangement which would imply approbation of slavery.”

Baptist history lesson 27

Formation of the Southern Baptist Convention

The Consultative Convention: Augusta, GA, May 8-10, 1845

Johnson’s “ Address to The Public”

Cause was constitutional

Principles of New Convention would be those of the Old Convention

Object of New Convention was to extend Messiah’s Kingdom & the Glory of God

William B. Johnson,


Reasons for Separation:


Missionary Imperative


Home Mission Work

Baptist history lesson 27

Responses to Division

A painful division has taken place in the missionary operations of the American Baptists. We would explain the

origin, the principle and the objects of that division, or the peculiar circumstances in which the organization of

the Southern Baptist Convention became necessary.

Let not the extent of this union be exaggerated. At the present time it involves only the Foreign and Domestic

Missions of the denomination. Northern and Southern Baptists are still brethren. They differ in no article of the

faith. They are guided by the same principles of gospel order…. We do not regard the rupture as extending to

foundation principles, nor can we think that the great body of our Northern brethren will so regard it.

Original Constitution of the Southern Baptist Convention

North: societal method strengthened

Triennial Convention renamed American Baptist Missionary Union

American Baptist Publication Society

American Baptist Home Mission Society

American Baptist Education Society

All remained independent societies through the end of the 19th century

Baptist history lesson 27

Foreign Mission Board (FMB)

Richmond, VA was the headquarters

James B. Taylor first corresponding secretary

J. B. Jeter first president

Earliest fields: China, Liberia, Nigeria and Brazil

Gospel Mission Controversy

T. P. & Martha Crawford

Churches to the Front

Charlotte Diggs “Lottie” Moon (1840-1912)

We believe there are men and women in our Southern Baptist churches who but require to be

assured of the pressing demand for more laborers in some specific field, in order to respond, “Send

us.” We believe, too, that the money needed is in the denomination and that it will be forthcoming.

We are convinced that the brethren and sisters at home will not allow these missionaries which God

has blessed so abundantly to languish for want of more laborers or of material support. In this faith

we wait, believing we shall hear from home that the needed re-inforcements will be sent.

Lottie Moon, “Notes from North China,” Foreign Mission Journal (June 1874), in

Keith Harper, ed., Send the Light: Lottie Moon’s Letters and Other Writings, p. 178

Baptist history lesson 27

Home Mission Board (HMB)

History is less auspicious than the FMB

The Tichenor Administration, 1882-1902

The most important denominational leader of the final decades of the 19th century

I. T. Tichenor (1825-1902)

Territorial Tensions with Northern Baptists

1864 – War Department allowed American Baptist Home Missions Society workers to occupy SBC properties

Henry Moorhouse, Corresponding Secretary of the ABHMS favored expansion into Southern areas

1894 – meeting at Fortress Monroe, Virginia “comity agreement”

Baptist history lesson 27

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

“Three Changes in Theological Education”

  • Provide a first rate graduate education for men with a college degree and a quality practical education for men without classical training

  • Provide special courses and further educational opportunities for those men aspiring to teaching and writing ministries and original scholarly research

James P. Boyce


  • Maintain a clear theological identity through the use of a confession of faith that all professors must affirm in order to teach at the school

The Abstract of Principles

1877 – relocates to Louisville, KY

Basil Manly Jr.


John A. Broadus