Ethnic Baptist Groups in the US

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by rlvaughn, Nov 15, 2001.

  1. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2001
    Messages:
    5,139
    Likes Received:
    25
    In our topic on "Baptist Groups in the USA", we briefly mentioned ethnic Baptist bodies. There are a few ethnic bodies of Baptists that are often not counted as major bodies because the churches participate with other national Baptist groups such as the American Baptist Churches in the USA, National Baptist Conventions, Southern Baptist Convention, etc. Below I am listing five such ethnic bodies. If you have additional information on any of these, or other ethnic bodies not named, let us know what you know about them.

    Association of Evangelicals for Italian Missions - Upper Darby, PA - org. 1899
    Czechoslovak Baptist Convention of the USA & Canada - Philippi, WV - org. 1912 - 1500 members in 7 churches
    Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Mission Convention, USA, Inc. - Washington, DC - org. 1897 - 1,050,000 members in 2100 churches
    Russian-Ukranian Evangelical Baptist Union, USA, Inc. - Union, NJ - org. 1919 - 1900 members in 26 churches
    Union of Latvian Baptists in America - Lansdale, PA - org. 1950 - 390 members in 8 churches

    All except the Association of Evangelicals for Italian Missions are members of the Baptist World Alliance, and the AD 2000 statistics are from the BWA website. The churches that support the Lott Carey Convention are usually also members of one of National Baptist Conventions. I am unsure how the other four bodies relate to the major Baptist groups.

    [ February 10, 2003, 05:37 PM: Message edited by: rlvaughn ]
     
  2. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2001
    Messages:
    5,139
    Likes Received:
    25
    After researching a little further last night I have found a total of 11 ethnic bodies that are autonomous or semi-autonomous, yet all or some of the churches participate in other bodies. Including the five initially listed, they are:

    ABCUSA related
    Association of Evangelicals for Italian Missions
    Czechoslovak Baptist Convention of the USA & Canada
    Hungarian Baptist Convention of North America, Inc. (Formerly The Hungarian Baptist Union of America) - org. 1908 - 11 churches 500 members in 1995
    Portuguese Baptist Convention of New England - org. 1903
    Romanian Baptist Association of the US & Canada - Morton Grove, IL - org. 1913
    Russian-Ukranian Evangelical Baptist Union, USA, Inc.
    Union of Latvian Baptists in America

    NBC related
    Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Mission Convention
    National Baptist Evangelical Life and Soul-Saving Assembly - Detroit, MI - org. 1920

    SBC related
    Polish Baptist Association in the USA & Canada - org. 1913 - 7 churches 200 members in 1995
    Ukranian Evangelical Baptist Convention - org. 1946 - 20 churches 3500 members in 1995

    I would expect, but have not found, autonomous or semi-autonomous Spanish-speaking Baptist bodies.

    [ November 21, 2001: Message edited by: Barnabas ]
     
  3. bb_baptist

    bb_baptist
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2000
    Messages:
    7,227
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Hungarian Baptist Convention of North America (the correct name for the Hungarian Baptist Union) is not affiliated with ABC-USA (although some member churches may have received the tax exemption through ABC umbrella exemption back in the 1910's.
     
  4. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2001
    Messages:
    5,139
    Likes Received:
    25
    Webmaster, when you have time, would you inform us in greater detail on the origin, history, headquarters, present status, etc. of the Hungarian Baptist Convention?

    [ November 16, 2001: Message edited by: rlvaughn ]
     
  5. bb_baptist

    bb_baptist
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2000
    Messages:
    7,227
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sure.

    The Convention was founded in 1908 in Homestead, Pennsylvania, with 13 member churches. For more than 90 years, it helped Hungarian Baptist churches to stay connected. At its peak it had over 100 member churches.

    Today, there are 10 or 11 Hungarian Baptist Churches in the US (with a total membership of about 500-600). Most of the members meet at the annual convention (Los Angeles in 2001) for a weekend of fellowship. The Convention serves a vital need that is common among ethnic churches in the US. In my opinion, without the Convention, Hungarian Baptist churches would have disappeared by the 1940's.
     
  6. bb_baptist

    bb_baptist
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2000
    Messages:
    7,227
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Convention does not have headquarters [​IMG]

    Barnabas (Halo) was the Convention's secretary for many years in the past and he might have additional info.
     
  7. bb_baptist

    bb_baptist
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2000
    Messages:
    7,227
    Likes Received:
    0
  8. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2001
    Messages:
    5,139
    Likes Received:
    25
    Neat website! :cool:

    A few more questions out of curiosity concerning Hungarian Baptist Convention churches:
    In what language are the worship services held?
    Are the churches scattered throughout the U.S. or are they mostly in a certain region?
    Do these churches participate in other missions or fellowship organizations besides the HBC?
    What happened to the other churches that used to participate in the HBC? Are there still some connections with them?
    Do you the churches of the HBC have any doctrines that separate them from the main body of Baptists, or is the main reason for the existence HBC to edify and promote fellowship among the Hungarian Baptist?

    Thanks, webmaster, for the good information. Does anyone have information on the other bodies mentioned above?
     
  9. bb_baptist

    bb_baptist
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2000
    Messages:
    7,227
    Likes Received:
    0
    >In what language are the worship services held?

    Hungarian.

    >Are the churches scattered throughout the U.S. or are they mostly in a certain region?

    Churches are obviously scattered throughout the US and Canada (New York, LA, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Toronto, etc.)

    >Do these churches participate in other missions or fellowship organizations besides the HBC?

    Member churches may be affiliated (in name only) with other Baptist denominations (SBC, ABC) due to the fact that they received their exempt status through one of the larger denomination's umbrella exemption in 1910's.

    >What happened to the other churches that used to participate in the HBC? Are there still some connections with them?

    They stopped being Hungarian. Remember, there were 2 (maybe 3) major waves of Hungarian immigrants: in the early 1900's, in 1956, and late 1970's - early 1990's. Generally, second generation immigrants tend to be more comfortable with English, so unless there is a constant stream of new immigrants, an ethnic church will stop being ethnic after 20-30 years.

    >Do the churches of the HBC have any doctrines that separate them from the main body of Baptists, or is the main reason for the existence HBC to edify and promote fellowship among the Hungarian Baptist?

    Many Hungarian Baptist immigrants (including my parents) do not understand English well enough to join an English speaking church, so the main reason of the HBC is to help maintain ethnic churches where new immigrants can worship in their native tongue. Also, I grew up in one of the largest Hungarian Baptist churches in Eastern-Europe. Quite of few members of that church are in the US now, so the annual convention is a great opportunity to meet with them.

    One last thing. Baptists in Hungary (and other Hungarian-speaking territories) make up less than 0.5% of the population. So you have a closer community with a well-defined range of theological beliefs.

    Hope this helps.

    [ November 21, 2001: Message edited by: webmaster ]
     
  10. Barnabas H.

    Barnabas H.
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Oldtimer</b>

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2000
    Messages:
    6,807
    Likes Received:
    0
    Interesting thread rivaughn! Thanks for your interest in the The Hungarian Baptist Convention of North America, Inc. (as it is called today), which is an auxiliary of The American Baptist Churches USA. Here is some more info on the subject [Now, due to health reasons I have not been able to attend the most recent conventions, nevertheless I tried to keep abreast of what is happening].

    As you may know, before WWII the present ABC-USA had mission outreach privileges over the East European countries. Hence, when the emigrants arrived to the United States from Hungary, many of them being Baptists, were immediately helped by the ABC-USA. They were helped to obtain buildings for their places of worship, secure Pastors, and they even subsidized some of their salaries until the churches became self-sufficient. ABC also helped with Sunday School educational materials, an assortment of curriculums, and the various legal assistance needed in the day-to-day operation of the churches. Many of the old churches were purchased with the direct financial assistance of ABC-USA. Many churches secured ecclesiastic mortgages through them as a result. As a ministry would come to a close, the descendants of the former folks became proficient in the English language and they slowly integrated into the American fabrics. Some of these churches are still in existence and open, but were deeded over to the neighborhood, such as the one in Chicago, IL.; Buffalo, NY.; Garfield, NJ.; Akron, OH.; Bridgeport, CT., and many others. The symbiotic relationship between HBC churches and the ABC-USA existed for many years, and in some extent continue even to the present.

    As a footnote to the above, I might mention that since the ABC-USA’s doctrinal stand on fundamental issues has vacillated over the years, our Hungarian Baptists Churches tried to distance themselves from them. Beginning from the early eighties individual churches severed ties with the ABC-USA and joined other organizations, such as the SBC, and in Canada their regional Baptist organizations. It may be of interest to you that in 1980 the HBC split into two entities over mission directives and for 10 years they operated independently. A few dedicated individuals on both sides were praying for the brethren to reconcile their differences and bring the two feuding groups back together. It took 10 years to break the hearts of those feuding folks and to realize that there will be no separate compartments in heaven. The reunion was sweet, and once again the Hungarian Baptist brethren are serving the Lord together on this continent.

    The Hungarian language, as the webmaster alluded to is a unique entity. No other nation speak it, hence if there is no new supplies of emigrants, the second and third generation will inadvertently be assimilated into the English speaking worship mode. The Convention is a relatively small group of churches. From an initial 48 churches circa 1920 to1940, today we only have 8. But there are also two missions group (one in the US and the other one in Canada), and other vestigial Hungarian Baptist churches in Argentina, Australia, and Brazil, which are members at large of the HBC. There is no designated headquarters, as the finances of the Convention are insufficient for that purpose. But convention related correspondence is usually sent to the President, who is Sandor Kulcsar at the present time. He is the Pastor of the First Hungarian Baptist Church of New York City, NY.

    I see, you have already visited the site of our paper, The Gospel Messenger at http://www.evangeliumihirnok.net and have seen the layout. The paper is in two languages; when you can click on the English info you can visit the sites of the churches listed there. Most churches (but not all) have their own websites. Hope this little addition to the above posts by the Webmaster will help. [​IMG]

    [ November 21, 2001: Message edited by: Barnabas ]
     
  11. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2001
    Messages:
    5,139
    Likes Received:
    25
    Brethren, this is some great information on churches of which I have had very little knowledge. I'm thinking about the waves of Hungarian immigrants mentioned by the webmaster and wondering then if most of those now participating in the Hungarian Baptist Convention are new waves of immigrants or churches, assuming those who have been here a long time have assimlated into American culture and the English language? And am further wondering if this is probably not the pattern of all these "European-oriented" ethnic bodies? I notice all of them are fairly small, but that would be perfectly natural if all of them have or are following a similar process as the Hungarian churches. It might be interesting to note in this context that two of the larger Baptist bodies in the U.S. - Baptist General Conference (Swedish) and North American Baptist Conference (German) - have maintained a separate identity long after they are no longer considered ethnic bodies (these may not be large in comparison to the SBC, but they are among the "larger" of the "smaller" national bodies).
     
  12. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2000
    Messages:
    9,625
    Likes Received:
    310
    While your listing contains Russian and Ukrainian organizations, they look to be ones concentrated east of Dodge City. From their founding dates, they also look to be rooted in either the pre-1918 immigrantion or in the post WW2 refugees.

    In 2001, the two major Evangelical Christian-Baptist organizations on the West are the SBC affiliated Pacific Coast Slavic Baptist Association and the Western US and Canada "presbytery" of the Council of Evangelical Christian-Baptists (Initiativniki), Moscow, RusFed. The PCSBA is affliated with the SBC for much the same reason the Hungarians affiliated with the ABC. As I understand it, the SBC had a missionary in Vienna that wrote checks for pastors of the registered EC-B churchs. So when they got here in the early 90s..... Providentially, the SBC is in better shape doctrinally than the ABC.

    I will write more on the Western Presbytery of the Council of Evangelical Christian-Baptists (Initiativniki) in aother post.
     
  13. bb_baptist

    bb_baptist
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2000
    Messages:
    7,227
    Likes Received:
    0
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by rlvaughn:
    Brethren, this is some great information on churches of which I have had very little knowledge. I'm thinking about the waves of Hungarian immigrants mentioned by the webmaster and wondering then if most of those now participating in the Hungarian Baptist Convention are new waves of immigrants or churches, assuming those who have been here a long time have assimlated into American culture and the English language?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Your assumption is correct. The majority of our current church members in NY are third-wave immigrants. Me and my family emigrated to the US in the 1990's. However, we do have some second-wave immigrants (like Barnabas) in our church and we have some descendents of first-wave immigrants who chose to stay (even though they do not understand everything).

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by rlvaughn:
    And am further wondering if this is probably not the pattern of all these "European-oriented" ethnic bodies? I notice all of them are fairly small, but that would be perfectly natural if all of them have or are following a similar process as the Hungarian churches.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Most likely, all other European ethnic bodies follow a similar pattern. As for their size, obviously, they are small. The number of Baptists in Hungary is less than 10,000. In fact, all "evangelicals" do not reach 20,000. The percentage of Baptists is very small in Europe (0.5% in Austria, 0.1% in France, etc.) and if that's not enough, the 70 years of communism did not help Eastern-European churches either.

    [ November 21, 2001: Message edited by: webmaster ]
     
  14. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2001
    Messages:
    5,139
    Likes Received:
    25
    Brother Squire, when you post again on the Western Presbytery of the Evangelical Christian-Baptists, I am wondering about this:

    Does this group maintain their affiliation with the EC-B's in Russia; and do they have any affiliation with any of the North American groups?
     
  15. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2000
    Messages:
    9,625
    Likes Received:
    310
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by rlvaughn:
    Brother Squire, when you post again on the Western Presbytery of the Evangelical Christian-Baptists, I am wondering about this:
    • <LI>Does this group maintain their affiliation with the EC-B's in Russia; and<LI>do they have any affiliation with any of the North American groups?
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    • <LI>They are organically linked to the Council of Evangelical Christian-Baptists in hq'd in Moscow.<LI>No, they are not linked with any North American group.
    Until the early '60s, there was only one organization of Baptists, the All Union Council of Evangelical Christian-Baptists. In the early '60s, the Ministry of Religous Affairs ordered churchs to cease all evangelistic activities, to cease the religious teaching of persons under 18, to forbid persons under 18 from attending church services. Suffice to say, there was a split (schism may also be used). The Initiativniki (the Initiators, the ones taking the initiative) were men like Georgi Vins, Gennady and Yuri Kryuchkov, M.S. Krevko, et. al. To Americans, this group became known as the underground, unregistered church. A fictional portrayal of their activities may be seen in the BJU movie The Printing.

    [ November 28, 2001: Message edited by: The Squire ]
     
  16. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2000
    Messages:
    9,625
    Likes Received:
    310
    Any more questions about the EC-B?
     
  17. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2001
    Messages:
    5,139
    Likes Received:
    25
    THREE MORE GROUPS THAT PROBABLY SHOULD BE COUNTED

    I found the following groups while researching in the World Christian Encyclopedia, 1982, David Barrett, editor.

    Creek Independent Indian Baptist Churches (OK) - 2750 members in 41 churches, 1983
    Miccosukee Independent Indian Church (FL) - 500 members in 5 churches, 1990
    Seminole Independent Indian Church (FL) - 500 members in 5 churches, 1980

    Barrett lists these groups as autonomous Baptist bodies, and Robert G. Gardner follows his lead in Baptist History and Heritage: Baptist General Bodies in the USA, January 1996. The statistics above are from Gardner.

    DO ANY OF YOU KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THESE AMERICAN INDIAN CHURCHES??

    [ December 02, 2001: Message edited by: rlvaughn ]
     
  18. Taufer

    Taufer
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2001
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    You might think this is out of my line, but I do know a little something about the American Indian Baptists. There is an excellent book called "The Seminole Baptist Churches of Oklahoma : Maintaining a Traditional Community" by Jack M. Schultz, University of Oklahoma Press, 1999. I can't remember if the Seminole churches of Oklahoma are independent from the Creek churches or not. They do work together since they are closely related and speak the same language (Muskogee). The Miccosukees in Florida speak a different dialect but are usually considered a subgroup of Seminoles.

    You are no doubt aware that there are whole SBC associations composed entirely of Indian churches. These are mostly from the so-called "Five Civilized Tribes" originating from the southeastern states: Cherokee, Creek, Seminole, Choctaw, Chickisaw. And there is the Burnt Swamp Association of the Lumbee Indians in North Carolina. But I guess these wouldn't be considered semi-autonomous.
     
  19. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2001
    Messages:
    5,139
    Likes Received:
    25
    Taufer, I think the American Indian churches would make an excellent study. I find it interesting that there seems to be very few that have there own independent organizations. Perhaps they have not had the motivations other ethnic Baptist groups would have to remain autonomous or semi-autonomous. I checked back in the World Christian Encyclopedia, by Barrett, and found that he comments that the two Florida groups are EX-SBC.
     
  20. Taufer

    Taufer
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2001
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    I contacted the pastor of a Native American Independent Baptist Church in Florida and asked him about the Baptist churches among the Miccosukeee and Seminole people. He said there are certainly not two Independent Indian Baptist organizations as stated in the World Christian Handbook and Baptist History and Heritage. The terms Miccosukee Independent Baptist Churches and Seminole Independent Baptist Churches mentioned in these sources were not familiar to him. The pastor said that there are four SBC churches and four Independent Baptist churches and one Baptist church gone charismatic in the various Indian communities in Florida. There are plans to start an additional Indian church next year. There is one each of SBC and Independent Baptist churches at the four main Indian communities in the state: Brighton, Big Cypress, Hollywood, and Tamiami Trail. These churches have had fellowship with the Seminole and Creek Baptists in Oklahoma for many years and have contact with many other Indian Baptists. A revival meeting planned next year at the church of the pastor I wrote to will feature a Choctaw evangelist and an Oneida/Mohawk soloist. The Seminoles and Miccosukees still use their tribal languages to some extent in their churches. The hymn and Bible language of the Seminoles (including Miccosukees) in both Florida and Oklahoma is Creek (Muskogee). There is now an effort by Indian Baptists to translate the Bible into Miccosukee and offer instruction in the laguage to children.
     

Share This Page

Loading...