BAPTIST HISTORY

The modern Baptist movement was born in the 16th century and is now a worldwide denomination with millions of believers worshipping in Baptist congregations.

Year 1612 1612
The first Baptist church met in Spitalfields, London. Thomas Helwys, a founder of the Baptist denomination, published A Short declaration of the mystery of iniquity, one of the first books to call for religious liberty. In the 17th century Baptists refused to conform and be members of the Church of England, arguing that Christ, and not the King (or Queen) was head of the church and were persecuted for their beliefs.


Year 1689 1689
Act of Toleration passed allowing freedom of worship.





Year 1792 1792
Baptist Missionary Society founded by William Carey. It is now known as BMS World Mission.




Year 1812 1812
A group meet in Dr Rippon's Vestry, London to discuss the forming of a Baptist Union.




Year 1813 1813
The first Baptist Assembly held in London.





1832 1832
The formation of the Baptist Union was completed.





Year 1837 1837
The Revd George Cousens, was the first reported West Indian minister to hold a pastorate in Britain, becoming pastor of Four Ways Baptist Church in Cradley Heath, Staffordshire.



Year 1854 1854
CH Spurgeon, one of the most famous Baptist preachers, began his ministry.




Year 1855 1855
The Freeman, now The Baptist Times, first appeared.





Year 1891 1891
General Baptists (who believed that when Christ died on the cross he died for everyone in general) and Particular Baptists (who believed that Christ died for the elect i.e. a particular group of people) came together to form the present Baptist Union of Great Britain.


Year 1905 1905
The Baptist World Alliance (BWA) was formed and held its first Baptist World Congress in London.




Year 1912 1912
The Sustentation Fund started. It is currently known as Home Mission.





Year 1922 1922
Violet Hedger became the first woman to qualifiy as a probationer minister.





Year 1955 1955
The BWA celebrated its fiftieth anniversary Congress in London.





Year 1989 1989
The BUGB moves its offices to Didcot and commits to participation in national ecumenical life.




Year 1998 1998
A Denominational Consultation in 1996 led to the BUGB adopting Five Core Values.




Year 2001 2001
New regional association structure for BUGB inaugurated.





Year 2005 2005
The Baptist World Centenary Congress celebrated in Birmingham, England. BUGB General Secretary, the Revd David Coffey, became President of the Baptist World Alliance.



Year 2006 2006
The Revd Jonathan Edwards voted in as new BUGB General Secretary. The Revd Kate Coleman became the first black woman to be BUGB President.