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Sunday, 19 February 2012

Baptist

Baptists originated among early 17th century English Dissenters led by a preacher from Gainsborough called John Smyth. These “Baptists” were Christians who had rejected the Church of England and Catholic Church but couldn't accept orthodox Calvinism. They advocated adult baptism, as they couldn't understand how a baby can appreciate the importance of infant baptism.

Due to persecution in England the early Baptists were forced to emigrate to Amsterdam. John Smyth and fellow English Non-Conformist, Thomas Helwys, founded there the first official Baptist church 1809.

The first English Baptist church was built at Spitalsfield, London by Thomas Helwys and a small group of fellow Christians in Newgate in 1612.

The first American Baptist church was established at Providence, Rhode Island, in 1612 when Roger Williams, the founder of Rhode Island, was baptized before proceeding to baptize eleven others.

The very first package tour was organised by an English Baptist minister named Thomas Cook who on the July 5, 1841, for a return fare of 1 shilling, took a party of 570 people from Leicester to a temperance rally 11 miles away at Loughborough. He subsequently organised other package tours as part of his fight against the demon drink.

Of the world total of approximately 31 million Baptists, some 26.5 million are in the USA .

According to the 2005 English Church Census 8% of regular churchgoers in England are Baptists. There 2,386 Baptist churches with an average congregation of 107.


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