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Discussion in 'Baptist History' started by Ben W, Dec 12, 2004.
Does anyone have any information on how the Freewill Baptist Church got started?
From what I have read, their gene pool comes from the General Baptists rather than the Particular Baptists. It's one of those debates we settled and parted ways over back in the seventeenth century.
The definitive history book for them may be the following:
A History of Original Free Will Baptists by Michael R. Pelt
Mount Olive College Press
Mount Olive, NC
The National Association of Free Will Baptists has a concise history at:
FREE WILL BAPTIST HISTORY
Without this causing a fight or anything like that, what are the main differences between the Free Will Baptists and the SBC?
The Free Will Baptists believe a Christian can become a non-Christian. Southern Baptists disagree.
The Free Will Baptists also believe like the Pentecostals, that there is a baptism of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. I don't know if there is a general opinion about women in the ministry. I know of two Free Will Baptist churches right now, one who believes in women in the ministry and one that doesn't.
"The Free Will Baptists also believe like the Pentecostals, that there is a baptism of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues."
I think that is true only among the Pentecostal Free Will Baptist Church and perhaps some isolated instances elsewhere. The National Association of Free Will Baptists, the largest group, is not charismatic.
RSR is right. That is the PFWB.
The big difference with Free Will Baptists is that they do not believe in eternal security (or as some say they have a different definition). They also practice the washing of saints feet and are not autonomous.
Curious. How are Free Will Baptist churches not autonomous?
Licensure and such is done through the denomination's associational offices.
I understood it was customary for the association to ordain, but that the local church is the final authority over such matters. And while the association may discipline a minister, it cannot deal with the minister's relation to the local church.
Oh, well I wasn't sure. I know that one must test for licensure and they must go before the local association for ordination. I have a friend who's going through it. I thought that's what he told me. Then again he could have been wrong because he's so new to the FWB denomination. I looked into it in college as well because I went to an OFWB college here in NC. I should have rephrased what I originally said. They are not autonomous in the way other baptists such as the SBC are.
I belong to a FWB church in Cincinnati, and we are autonomous, but we do not practice tongue-speaking or foot-washing.
Thanks for the info. It is always dangerous to generalize about Baptists; the Free Will Baptists I have known keep footwashing as a third ordinance, as outlined in the Treatise.
I did not mean that FWB's practice speaking in tongues. It is the Pentacostal Free Will Baptists that do. Some FWB churches practicing the washing of saint's feet more than others too.
The FWB church my wife and I attend is a lot like many of the other Baptist groups. Here are some points which may differ from other congregations or groups:
The church we attend preaches that salvation can be lost. I was raised SB and don't really follow this belief myself.
Our church observes communion, or "the Lord's Supper," twice a year - once around Easter/Passover, and once around Christmas.
Our church has one general business meeting each year, and that is in the fall of the year when the congregation votes on members of the church board and other functions like ushers, etc. Church membership, Sunday School teachers, etc., are determined by the church board. Every three years the pastor is "elected" by the general congregation.
Many of the members of our church are very much into the KJVO movement, but I think that most of our KJVO people are not as outspoken and militant as many on this discussion board. I think this is something left to the individual congregation, rather than actually being a characteristic of the FWB denomination. Our KJVO people never make a huge issue out of the KJVO question, but it is mentioned occasionally.
It is believed that the first recognizable Free Will Baptist church in America was formed in North Carolina by Paul Palmer in 1727, but with some links to remnants of General Baptists from England. Another group began in the north under the leadership of Benjamin Randall around 1780. Most of the northeastern Free Will Baptists eventually merged with the old Northern Baptist Convention. The southern/southeastern churches and the remnant of the northern churches merged to form the National Association in 1935. There are several bodies that exist independently from the National Association, including two black conferences.
I don't feel we should think that local Free Will Baptist churches are not autonomous. But some relationships they choose to enter may seem more restrictive than the looser fellowships of many of the Regular Baptist descendant churches. The Original Free Will Baptists of North Carolina separated from the main body over connectional relations. They maintain the convention can settle disputes and discipline churches.
Some associations maintain something that might be called a standing presbytery, which is responsible for ordinations, etc. Many other Baptists only call a presbytery together at the time of an ordination. Mt. Olive College may be the one untangled is talking about. They are affiliated with the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists of North Carolina.
Original Free Will Baptist Convention
It was never a practice of the northeastern churches, but was strong in the south. The National Association and other bodies include washing the saints' feet as an ordinance. But individual churches may not necessarily practice it. A FWB church near here maintains it in their doctrinal statement, but simply never mentions it when they have communion - has been that way a number of years now.
Bro. Robert, it seems this way with many Primitive Baptists, don't you think?
I have yet to ever go to a church that did not practice foot-washing, but I hear it is pretty common not to practice it in northern areas of the country.
I wonder why the correlation? How is the practice of foot-washing viewed by our northern brethren here?
I think I'll start a poll on this.
Don't know if I qualify as a northern person or not, but I was a member and pastored a Primitive Baptist Church in the north (Delaware) for some years. The church didn't practice foot/feet washing, and never had. The church was a daughter church of Welsh Tract, the emigrant church, which likewise never had practiced foot/feet washing. I brought it up, and was quickly shot down. That said, the Churches in Northern Virginia dont practice it either for the most part, but some in Maryland do.
It was something they just would not discuss, so even though I was a member of Wilmington Church for several years, I can't answer the question.