American Baptist Society

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by tinytim, Mar 13, 2004.

  1. tinytim

    tinytim
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    In our association's constitution (that was written 100 yrs ago) there is a mention of supporting the Bible work of the American Baptist Society.

    My Questions:
    What is/was this Society?
    What kind of Bible work did they/do they do?
    Do they still exist?
    Did they merge with someone else?
    If so, Who?

    When I first looked at it it I thought of the American Bible Society, but I don't think it means that.


    I'd appreciate any help.
     
  2. rsr

    rsr
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    Just a guess, but I think it refers to the American Baptist Publishing Society, one of the formerly independent societies that was bound to the "Northern Baptist Convention" when what is now the ABC-USA (of which your church is a member) took shape.

    So far as I can tell, it survives as the Judson Press.

    http://www.judsonpress.com/aboutus.cfm
     
  3. Rosell

    Rosell
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    I think that is correct. It was originally a Bible publishing and distribution organization and, like most of those belonging to denominations, got involved in publishing Sunday School literature, and then books and Bible study materials. It was similar, in its early days, to what eventually became the Baptist Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention which is now Lifeway. When it operated as a "society," along with the foreign mission society, the home mission society, etc., it raised money by going around to the individual churches and asking to be included in their budget. My Dad, who is still a pastor in the ABC-USA, would tell you that the societies who had the best preachers as leaders would be the ones that got the most money. It wasn't the most efficient way to do publication work, but it sure kept the societies in touch with the local churches--at least with the larger ones.
     
  4. tinytim

    tinytim
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    thanks for the info.
    It is my understanding that the ABC-USA has got rid of it's education/publishing branch, and has incorporated Judson Press under something else now.

    Here is what is on ABC-USA's educational ministries' page:

    "At their June 2003 meetings, the Educational Ministries Board and the American Baptist Churches General Board voted to reassign Educational Ministries’ discipleship and publishing ministries to National Ministries. Discipleship will be within a new National Ministries ministry center, which will continue discipleship ministries such as: age group; racial/ethnic; conferences; camping; scholarships; college, seminary, and campus ministry relationships; and leader development. Publishing will continue to publish Judson Press books, the Secret Place, and Judson Bible Journeys, plus sell curriculum and church supplies.

    Telephone numbers, including 800 numbers, and e-mail addresses will not change. Many details have yet to be worked out, but if you have specific questions about this transition, please contact Art Munson ([email protected]), 1-800-ABC-3USA, ext. 2087.

    For more information on the Board actions, please see the American Baptist News Service news releases of June 25 and June 26. There are several news items on one page; you may need to scroll down to find a particular news item."


    Although our church is ABC, we would rather use Lifeway than Judson.

    Are there others with more info?
     
  5. Rosell

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    The ABC-USA is doing pretty much the same thing that the SBC has done in recent years. They are reorganizing the tasks and services assigned to denominational departments for more efficient operation, and are streamlining the number of different departments that are operating.

    Things in Baptist denominational life are changing. One thing that has really changed in both ABC-USA and the SBC is the use of Sunday School literature and Bible study curriculum in the churches. When I was growing up as a preacher's kid in an ABC-USA church, the Sunday School literature, anything related to Bible study, and just about any other publication used in the church came from Judson. It was almost regarded as a "sin" to use anything else. But a lot of independent publishers in the Christian book industry have crossed a lot of those boundaries and the "brand loyalty" of the older generation just isn't there anymore. Almost half of what Judson produces these days is sold to non-ABC or non-Baptist churches. When I pastored an SBC church, the Sunday School Board had experienced a steep decline in orders from SBC churches, but was broadening its appeal to churches of other denominations, hence the "Lifeway" name came about, to avoid the strict Baptist identity.

    Our church, which is two thirds former Baptist, uses several publishers for both Bible study and Sunday School material. We mainly use Baptistway in our adult departments, which comes out of Dallas, and our youth and children use Smith and Helwys stuff.
     
  6. tinytim

    tinytim
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    I've been trying to convince the youth team to go with Lifeway's VBS "rickwhaw Rally" for this year's VBS, but some are afraid that since it is SBC, it will emphasize SBC's missions.
    Is this so?
    Or is it designed so that any Baptist Denomination can use it?
     
  7. Squire Robertsson

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    Between the time of the disolution of the Triennial Convention and the formation of the Northern Baptist Convention, Northern Baptists organized their inter-church works along functional lines. While there was no "central authority", the brethren did cooperate with each other through organizations like the Publishing Society mentioned above and the Foriegn and Home Missionary Society.
     
  8. Debby in Philly

    Debby in Philly
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    Not to turn this thread into a VBS one, but I would ask you to reconsider Lifeway this year, not because it is SBC, but because of the ethnic stereotypes being used. It lumps all Asian cultures together as if they were all the same, andsome have found it offensive. Check out Gospel Light (SonGames), Standard (Power-up), and Group (Lava lava island) for Gospel based materials, without the ethnic issue. I am from a former ABC, now CBA church, and we are using Gospel Light.
     

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