1610 Baptist

I. Group Profile

1. Name - Baptist
2. Year Founded - 1610 - England
3. Founder - John Smyth, Thomas Helwys and thirty six others
A. Date of Birth & Death - d. 1612
B. Place of Founder's Birth
C. Founder's Religion - Church of England
4. Sacred Texts
5. Size of Group
II. History

      The line of English churches that can be traced, who called themselves Baptists, began in 1610 in Holland. This is not to say there were no Baptists in Britain earlier, but that this began a line of churches whose history can be traced. It began with a man named John Smyth who was a bishop in the Church of England. In 1606, after nine months of soul searching and study of the New Testament he was convinced that the doctrines and practices of the Church of England were not Biblical, and thus he resigned his position as priest and left the church.

      Because of persecution by the Anglican church of all who disagreed with it and who refused to submit to its authority, John Smyth had to flee England. In Amsterdam, he along with Thomas Helwys and thirty six others formed the first Baptist church of Englishmen known to have stood for baptism of believers only.
      Smyth, believed that the only real apostolic succession is a succession of Biblical New Testament truth, and not of outward ordinances and visible organization such as the Church of England or the Roman Church. He believed the only way to recover was to form a new church based on the Bible. He then baptized himself (which is not biblical) and then the others of his congregation. In only a few years however, the church had lost all but ten members to the Mennonites and other groups in Holland. Smyth died in 1612, and the church ended in Holland shortly thereafter with Helwy, Thomas and John Murton returning to England as persecution there had lessened. History records that the members of this Baptist church went back to England or remained in Holland and joined Mennonites. It did not produce a succession of other churches, but those who founded it went on to establish other Baptist churches in England.

      Back in England these men formed the first recorded Baptist church on English soil. By 1626, the churches had grown from one, to five churches and by 1644 there were forty congregations. Through the preaching of the New Testament, the Gospel went forth in power and the Baptist movement grew rapidly.

      These first Baptist churches formed in England were Armenian in theology, which taught that all men could be saved. The Calvinistic or Particular Baptists were a different group and believed in limited atonement in which only the elect could be saved. Particular Baptist had their beginnings around 1616, when some "dissenters" left the Church of England and were lead by the Rev. Henry Jacob. By 1644, these congregations grew to seven churches." SOURCE

III. Beliefs of Group
IV. Organization
SOURCE: 

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