Heirs of the Landmark Movement

Discussion in 'Baptist History' started by imported_J.R. Graves, Oct 8, 2005.

  1. imported_J.R. Graves

    imported_J.R. Graves
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    Bro. Mark,

    In another post you mentioned that "The American Baptist Association is the primary heir of the Landmark movement".

    While the ABA is perhaps the largest "organized" group of Landmarkers, would you agree that they are not the largest group of landmark churches? I would say there are more independent Baptist churches that are landmark in the U.S. than there are ABA churches. By "independent" I mean not a part of any formal association. And this does not count the multitudes of Landmark SBC and BMA churches. My area is one example. Western Kentucky is one of the strongest landmark areas in America. Many of the most famous Landmarkers (J.B. Moody, J.N. Hall, J.H. Grime, Roy Mason, D.B. Ray, H.B. Taylor, J.M. Pendleton, Ben Bogard, C.D. Cole, S.E. Tull, etc.) either pastored here or were from here. Yet I has always found it interesting that there is not a single ABA church in west Kentucky. If you want to find a Landmark church here you either look to the dozens of independent Landmark Baptist churches here or the dozens of Landmark Southern Baptist churches here.

    Perhaps I would reword your statement as the ABA is "one of" the primary heirs of the Landmark movement.
     
  2. rlvaughn

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    The American Baptist Association is probably the most easily recognizable heir, but possibly not the largest one in number of churches. I would agree that there are more independent landmark churches than ABA churches in the U.S. But that data is not really available because the unaffiliated nature of these churches. In or around the year 2000, I carried out a survey of unaffiliated landmark Baptist churches and was able to identify 1305 of them. This is slightly smaller than the number of churches in the ABA. But considering that these churches are not in associations, and the difficulty of even knowing they exist, I wouldn't be surprised if there are at least two or three times that many - maybe more.

    But I would say as you said above, the ABA is the largest "organized" group.
     
  3. Bro. James

    Bro. James
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    Try to survey this group: Sovereign Grace Landmark Missionary Baptist Assemblies.

    The biggest "landmark" is the 5-points of sovereign grace; followed by closed communion.

    The commission is still in effect, The Bride is alive and well, waiting for the Bridegroom.
    You probably won"t find Her in the "yellow pages" very often.

    Selah,

    Bro. James
    (the less)
     
  4. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
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    Bro. James,

    I did survey Sovereign Grace Landmark Baptists as part of my unaffiliated landmark Baptist survey. Of the seven somewhat arbitrary categories of landmark Baptists I used, the Sovereign Grace Landmark Baptists were the largest group. I was able to identify 419 such churches, though all were not in fellowship with one another. I'm sure there are many more.

    I once had a thread on the Baptist Board about this survey. I searched History and Archives forums and could not find it.

    I do notice in my records that I have Grace Bible in my records.

    P. S. - all the churches recorded were totally unaffiliated - not in associations, fellowships, etc. - at least as far as I could tell.
     
  5. Bro. James

    Bro. James
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    rlv,

    Thank you for your response.

    One clarification: we have a fellowship of sorts with other assemblies of like faith and practice; this is in the form of Bible conferences which are held somewhat sporadically at different meeting houses during the year. We gather and preach The Word, praise the Lord and fellowship for two or three days.

    We do independently support the same missionary in several instances; while the missionary answers to the assembly which sent him. We have no boards of any sort.

    In His Service,

    Bro. James
     
  6. R. Charles Blair

    R. Charles Blair
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    And there are still lots of "Landmarkers" (maybe
    "small l") among Southern Baptists, enough that when we voted at Orlando on the 2000 Faith & Message Statement, one pastor stunned the group when he rose to try to take out the "closed communion" (his term!), since not all of our congregations practice it. He was voted down resoundingly, after a good defense (by Richard Land) of our esablished statement, which reads: "The Lord's Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members of the church, through partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming." Note the term
    "members of the church." While it is likely that many SBC congregations practice "denominational commmunion," the worst possible compromise, and some are even more "open" in varying degrees, we still have lots of SBC churches which try to hold to church communion, not all in one area of the country but scattered across the nation. Remember, J. R. Graves was a Southern Baptist! And almost no SBC churches would be comfortable with a known reprobate (unless it was the chairman of deacons, maybe!), or a person known not to be baptized; while they might not walk back and knock the cup out of a person's hand, it would be discussed with the individual privately and most SBC churches would try to prevent such mockery, in my humble judgment after watching us for some 60+ years (out of my 70).

    You may ask why I call "denominational com." "the worst possible compromise." It invites people whose life and testimony no one in the church, or only one or two family members or friends, may know, while rejecting those who live, possibly even worship regularly, among us but whose background differs in some way and who have not seen fit to actually join that church. I think of some good immersed believers who do not want to be "rebaptized," yet worship with an SBC church near them, participate in Bible study groups, give good evidence of Christian faith and biblical insight. Drawing the line at the SBC (or any such organized group - ABC, etc.)
    boundaries is "neither fish nor fowl." If we are to go past the local church boundary (and I do not want to go there), we would need to invite those whose testimony we know and who are in doctrinal agreement, not people visiting whose lives we do not know. One key is that no such people are actually under the discipline of that church. I Cor. 11 makes it abundantly clear that there are to be "no divisions" "when ye come together as a church" to partake at the Lord's table, and there is no way to know that unless we know the persons involved. Yes, the members of that church are to examine themselves, just as Paul wrote to that local congregation. No, it is not a "Christian" ordinance, (show me a passage that says that!), but a church ordinance, and as such is best observed by the "one body" (see your church covenant!). Yes, it is more difficult with the larger "megachurches," and probably they have gone to "examine yourself whoever you are," so that the real significance of the local body is completely lost. But if each local congregation is a whole church (I Cor. 14:23), and Christ is Head of each such body, then failure to discern the body is a failure to obey the Head. For the local church represents His body that died, was buried, and was raised. It is a "continuing incarnation" of its Lord.

    Well, I realize this is different than most of the posters out there, but we are surely here to state our convictions and learn from one another!

    Best in Him - Charles - Ro. 8:28
     
  7. rlvaughn

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    Thanks. Let me also clarify that my use of fellowships meant organized fellowships that have "memberships", "articles of cooperation" and such like.

    Also my intent was not to determine or worry about whether the "totally unaffiliated" groups were more landmark than any of the others. My whole intent was to count the uncounted.
     
  8. El_Guero

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    So how does campbellism fit with landmarkism? Or was campbellism founded upon landmarkism?
     
  9. rsr

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    Landmarkism was in direct conflict with Campbellism; the Campbellites claimed not only to be the true churches — with Scripture as the only source of faith and doctrine — but also that they represented a Restoration, which obviously meant the Baptists had gotten lost somewhere along the way.

    At mid-century, Baptists were competing fiercely on two flanks: against the Restorationists and, at the same time, against the paedobaptists (the Methodists and Presbyterians in particular.)

    Some of the fires lighted then are still smoldering.
     
  10. Mark Osgatharp

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    Alexander Campbell once made the statement that the kingdom of God was hidden among the Baptist churches till he came along and called it out. He was every bit the restorationist as the Mormons, Modernists, and other infidels.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  11. Bro. James

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    "Isms and schisms"--Whatever happened to the New Testament Churches which were founded on Jesus and preserved by The Holy Spirit? Mt. 16:18, Jude 3. Jesus said He would never leave them nor forsake them.

    What need is there to restore or reform something which God has preserved? Has Jesus forsaken His Bride?

    Creo que no!!!!

    Selah,

    Bro. James
     
  12. bro_ken128

    bro_ken128
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    I am glad to hear all the responses about Landmark Baptist Churches. I know ther is alot of them.
     
  13. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
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  14. Frogman

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    Just a side note some identify themselves as SGLMB and others as SGILMB.

    I think this is redundant, if one is landmark in ecclessiology he is certainly independent.

    Aside from the already mentioned loose associations.

    Bro. James, were you in Tyler, TX on Nove. 3-6? Grace Baptist, pastored by Brother Dan Cozart.

    Just wondering.

    Bro. Dallas
     
  15. Squire Robertsson

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    We are alive and well in San Francisco aka Corinth-by-the Bay. Planted by Regular Northern Baptists in 1881. And we are most certainly not forsaken.
     
  16. Erasmus

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    Hello. I am a professor of Baptist History and my area of expertise is in Landmarkism. One group that needs to be mentioned is the Baptist Missionary Association of Texas. They are true Landmarkers, not Gospel Missions men or anything else. They are also some of the nicest folks I have ever met. The ABA is probably the largest group. I have studied this a lot lately for my new book on the BMA and the Hayden Controversy. If you would like to take a look at it please go to http://www.baptisthistorybooks.com This book details the birth of a Landmark group.
     
  17. rlvaughn

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    ON the subject of heirs of the Landmark movement, I believe the following represents a fairly complete list of known Landmark bodies/categories in the U.S.
    </font>
    • American Baptist Association</font>
    • Baptist Missionary Association of America</font>
    • Interstate and Foreign Landmark Missionary Baptist Association</font>
    • California Missionary Baptist Association (never chose to affiliate with a national body, but lost many of its churches to the ABA)</font>
    • Old Time Missionary Baptists - which consists of about 22 similar local missionary Baptist associations, many of whom correspond with one another. The majority of these are in Tennessee and Kentucky, but they are also found in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Missouri, and Ohio.</font>
    • Other independent Landmark local associations - there are at least four other local associations (in TX, AR, MS, & CA) that are landmark but will not fit the old-time missionary Baptist classification</font>
    • "Landmark" United Baptists - 5 corresponding associations in Tennessee and Kentucky</font>
    • Unaffiliated independent Landmark Baptist churches</font>

    The second & third on the list (BMAA & IFLMBA) are dissents/divisions from the ABA. This would be true of some of the unaffiliated independent churches as well.

    Other churches/associations have similar practices - reject alien baptism & pulpit affiliation, practice restricted communion, believe in Baptist succession - but I am not counting them as "heirs of the Landmark movement" simply because they has have no historical connection to the SBC or the Landmark movement. For example, I have included 5 United Baptist associations above. They are definitely Landmark and had at least nominal connections to their respective SBC state conventions well into the 20th century.

    Though not "completely Landmark" (which may be true of none but the smaller associations), the following demonstrate evidence of Landmark churches within their ranks:
    </font>
    • Southern Baptist Convention</font>
    • Bible Baptist Fellowship, International</font>
    • World Baptist Fellowship</font>
    • Global Independent Baptist Fellowship</font>

    I have heard that there is a remnant of Landmark Baptists in Kentucky which affiliates with the National (African-American) Baptist Convention.

    [ December 27, 2005, 07:37 PM: Message edited by: rlvaughn ]
     
  18. Mark Osgatharp

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    I recently heard, it may have been on this board but I'm really not sure, that the black Baptists around Lexington, Kentucky declined an offer to unite their association with the Southern Baptists because they (the Southern Baptists) received alien immersions. I don't know how true this is but would be an interesting fact if it is.

    I have a book which contains a sermon on the "Origin of the Baptists" which was delivered before the National Baptist Convention in the early 1900s. The sermon traces the origin of the Baptists into eternity past when God, in His wisdom, ordained that His manifold wisdom would be made known through the church.

    Now that is about as Landmark as it gets!

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  19. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
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    Now that I think about it, I probably shouldn't have used the word "remnant". Seems now I remember that there is a black state association in Kentucky that remains somewhat aloof from the national organizations, while allowing churches to affiliate with them as they see fit. Maybe "J. R. Graves", Erasmus, Charles Blair or one of the other Kentucky Baptists can enlighten us.

    One of the black local associations here in Texas is named "Old Landmark". Wonder where they got that name? But they are not truly old landmark anymore. One of the churches in Nacogdoches is named "Iron Wheel Baptist Church". I wonder if they got that from the "Great Iron Wheel" book title? Sometime I going to find out.
     
  20. Rhetorician

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    To all who have an ear;

    Especially to Erasmus above.

    I was reared in Nashville, TN. I studied Baptist History w/Tom Nettles @ Mid America in the mid 80s. Do I remember correctly that the Landmarkers were all Baptists of the South (notice I did not say Southern Baptists) when they came to be.

    FBC Nashville was in some controversy over whether or not their messengers would be seated or not.

    How about a little help here Prof Early?

    sdg!

    rd
     

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