Primitive Baptist & Landmarkers

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by tyndale1946, Nov 4, 2002.

  1. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
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    Baptist

    Most anyone familiar with "Christianity" knows of the name "Baptist." Baptists have been viewed as a more fundamental denomination within the "Christian" religion, although that is rapidly changing today. One glance in the yellow pages or a Sunday morning spent watching televised religious programs undoubtedly will show that "Baptist" churches are of many different persuasions and hold to many different beliefs. The Baptist movement (by name) is approximately three centuries old. The term "Baptist" is actually a trimmed down version of the term "Ana-baptist", which means to "re-baptize." (The Anabaptists received this name because they practiced believer's baptism and therefore re-baptized all who came to them from the Catholic and Protestant churches, both of whom practiced infant baptism). This trimming down effect was not accomplished by the Baptists themselves, but by their opponents within the Catholic, and later Protestant, churches. These opponents used this term more as a label than as a name. Baptist hatred and intolerance was not new, just as the faith the Baptists held to dearly was not new. The Baptists were of the same system of faith and doctrine as their ancestors (i.e. The Anabaptists, the Waldenses, the Albigenses, the Paulicians, the Donatists, the Novatians, the Christians, the Way, the Apostles); the only new thing about them was their name. Although Baptists started out under their new name as true churches, many Baptists have left their origins and fallen away. Now, sadly enough, only a few Baptist groups remain who trace their faith and history back to the days of Christ and His Apostles. As history has shown many times in their past, perhaps Christ's true Anabaptists will again receive a new "label" to distinguish themselves and their doctrines. Whatever happens, we can be certain that God will keep a remnant in the world who will truly, and willfully, purify themselves with the teachings of the primitive church and obey the Covenant God established through His Son.

    Landmark

    Now on to the word "Landmark." This name began as another scornful term used to describe those who chose to keep with the teachings of their Anabaptist forefathers. However, this time the ones who labeled the Landmarkers came from within the Baptist ranks. The term "Landmark" originally comes from two scriptures--Proverbs 22:28 and Proverbs 23:18....

    "...remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set..."

    "...remove not the old landmark; and enter not into the fields of the fatherless..."

    This term was used first by J.M. Pendleton in a series of four articles which appeared in The Tennessee Baptist, a paper whose editor was J.R. Graves. Mr. Pendleton's articles later appeared in a pamphlet, An Old Landmark Re-Set. J.M. Pendleton and J.R. Graves disagreed with the Southern Baptists recognition of Pedobaptist, or infant baptising, ministers as Gospel preachers. To Pendleton and Graves this disgraced and defiled the true churches of God and therefore needed to be halted immediately. The more liberal Southern Baptists, as well as the Pedobaptists, took issue with Graves and Pendleton and labeled these two, as well as others with similar convictions, "Landmarkers" or "Old Landmarkers". A noted meeting in Montgomery, Alabama in 1854, organized to "put the matter to a test" ended in a day long debate between the Landmarkers, the Southern Baptists, and the Pedobaptists who were invited by the liberal Southern Baptists to attend and participate in the "deliberations" at hand.

    Soon these contentions expanded to include the Convention system of the Southern Baptists. The Landmarkers took issue with the Convention system, stating that this system took control of mssionary efforts and left local churches out of the decisions concerning mission work. Graves and the Landmarkers believed that missionary work fell under the authority the local churches, and not under any convention or other institution. This contention further separated the Southern Baptists and the Landmark Baptists.

    The Landmark controversy lasted beyond Graves and Pendleton's lifes. However, it was by then in full force and carried on by worthy men of the faith. One noted Landmarker who carried on the work of Graves and Pendleton was Ben M. Bogard. By the time the controversy was over, the Landmarkers had split from the Southern Baptists in order to hold on to the ancient teachings of the Anabaptists as well as the belief in church perpetuity.

    Today you can find Landmark Baptist churches throughout the world. Landmarkers hold on dearly to the distinctive beliefs that set us apart from Christendom. Throughout every century since Christ established His church there have existed assemblies of believers who have held to the ancient landmarks and stood for the faith once for all delivered to the saints.

    "We believe that his kingdom has stood unchanged, as firmly as we believe in the divinity of the Son of God, and, when we are forced to surrender the one faith, we can easily give up the other. If Christ has not kept his promise concerning his church to keep it, how can I trust him concerning my salvation? If he has not the power to save his church, he certainly has not the power to save me. For Christians to admit that Christ has not preserved his kingdom unbroken, unmoved, unchanged, and uncorrupted, is to surrender the whole ground to infidelity. I deny that a man is a believer in the Bible who denies this".
    --J.R. Graves (from Old Landmarkism, What Is It?)

    "The Baptists are the only body of known Christians that have never symbolized with Rome."
    --Sir Issac Newton

    "Before the rise of Luther and Calvin, there lay secreted in almost all the countries of Europe persons who adhered tenaciously to the principles of modern Dutch Baptists."
    --Mosheim (Lutheran)

    "It must have already occurred to our readers that the Baptists are the same sect of Christians that were formerly described as Ana-baptists. Indeed this seems to have been their leading principle from the time of Tertullian (Tertullian was born just fifty years after the death of the Apostle John) to the present time."
    --Edinburg Cyclopedia (Presbyterian)

    quotes taken from "The Trail of Blood . . ."

    The Article made this quote... As history has shown many times in their past, perhaps Christ's true Anabaptists will again receive a new "label" to distinguish themselves and their doctrines.
    Whatever happens, we can be certain that God will keep a remnant in the world who will truly, and willfully, purify themselves with the teachings of the primitive church and obey the Covenant God established through His Son.


    The other Primitive Baptist brethren are free to answer this but my answer is they have already and are called Primitive Baptist and church history proves our doctrinal lineage unbroken!

    My question to those who are Landmarkers is how does Landmarkism differ from Primitive Baptist?... I have been in the Primitive Baptist Church for 35 years and have within the last couple of years heard of Landmarkers though I never been to a Landmark Church how are we similar and how are we different?... Brother Glen [​IMG]

    [ November 04, 2002, 11:40 AM: Message edited by: tyndale1946 ]
     
  2. Frogman

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    Bro. Glen,

    I have also been wondering this and have compiled some information, predominantly with your assistance.

    I do not at present have time to go into it; but I will return to the topic later this evening.

    The primary differences I have noted are:

    1). We do not practice foot washing

    2) We do have salaried ministers, but not all churches, this is viewed as a possible avenue to begin to please men and not God. I do not know of any of our preachers who have successfully quit "working" and only drawed a living from thier pastorate. Of those who have, they seem to leave something wanting in their ministries.

    3) We do support missions through BFM which is an organization which only accepts missionaries from local churches. (I am beginning to take issue with this).

    4) The "Primitive" Baptist churches in our area follow a system of Grace/Works; so you are correct in stating that many have taken a name they Know not What.

    5) We do not believe a God called preacher has any need for a Seminary/or Bible College Training. (There has been one young preacher I know of, who attempted this, [by conviction], now he is also involved in a system which has opened doors to "youth ministry" which more often than not uses the Roman Road to read, or pray people into salvation. (by his own statement to me he has discontinued following the Spirit, but goes into his work and waits to see if the Spirit is in it). [The mission assoc. I mentioned above also draws heavily upon 'Bible Colleges' and I have an issue with them over this.

    6) Not all of our churches practice the use of fermented wine in the Lord's Supper. (Though I am guessing on the actual numbers, there is a growing number who have recognized the scriptural basis of wine in the Supper, but from the # opposed in my own church I would say each church is constituted the same.

    Well, I have listed the primary differences I can see; now you can tell me if I am incorrect, or correct, or what I have left off. I am sure there are other differences, these are the primary ones I see.

    God Bless.
    Bro. Dallas
     
  3. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
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    Right off the bat Bro. Dallas I would say that the main differences are we have no Sunday Schools. There have never been any in any Primitive Baptist Churches that I'm aware of Old Liners... Old School that is. Sunday School was only used to teach the poor children to read. That was the basic reason for it... Using the Bible as a tool to teach children who worked in the factories to read. This was noted in David Benedicts Fifty Years Among The Baptist.

    Another thing I notice is in any Baptist Church they use various types of instruments singing songs unto the Lord. The true Primitive Baptist have never used any instrumental musical accompaniment in our worship service... We sing accapella.

    We don't believe in the Mission System but right now the liberals in our camp are trying to change those things... There is unrest now in true Zion and I guess that is up for interpretation... The way I understand it is that some among us that wear our name are trying to reestablish our landmarks the old paths that our forefathers set that have never moved.

    Feet washing... Not all Primitive Baptist practice foot washing as this is not a test of fellowship... Hope this helped!... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  4. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
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    Brother Dallas here is a link to Hassells Church History a Primitive Baptist standard if you are not familiar with it. I'm know Brother Robert is... In chapter 9 are the Twelve Marks of the Apostolic Church and chapter 10 gives our stand on the doctrine of Grace and Missions... I hope this is helpful to you and those who are curious what a Primitive Baptist believes and teaches... Brother Glen [​IMG]

    http://www.pbministries.org/History/S.%20Hassell/church_of_god.htm
     
  5. Frogman

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    Bro. Glen,

    Thanks for the url, I will visit and read it. I will probably copy the information for further study.

    When I wrote the list earlier Sun. School crossed my mind, but I forgot it completely.

    We have several in our church who do not agree with Sun. School and do not attend; We watch it very closely, most of our classes use text strictly from Scripture. That we order often we find unagreeable.

    We do use a piano, (you had mentioned this before) It just slipped my mind.

    I believe your stand on missions is not 'no missions' just no associational supported missions, is that correct? Missions are limited to God called preachers moving to their respective fields, I am beginning to see the need for this.

    I believe I understand the issue with Sun. School, but what about music.

    God Bless.
    Bro. Dallas
     
  6. Frogman

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    Bro. Glen,

    There is music playing on the site? :D

    Just a joke, couldn't pass it up, Brother.

    God Bless.
    Bro. Dallas [​IMG]
     
  7. tyndale1946

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    Bro. Dallas I want to tell you up front that I will keep this discussion in an orderly and christian manner. I am the moderator with Brother Robert on here and I'm looking to understand the Landmarkers and also for them to understand us. I want to keep this discussion God honoring and edifying for all. I'm sure this is your goal also for each of us to understand each other. I believe we are the two closest Baptist groups on here nearer the gospel truth... The Primitive Baptist and the Landmarkers... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  8. rlvaughn

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    Bro. Glen, you have asked a very hard question. One reason is that we first must decide which Landmarkers and which Primitives, because there are some variations among the Primitives (Old Line, Absolute, progressive Old Line, and Progressive), and a lot of variations among the Landmarkers. For example, one could take some of the progressive Landmarkers and compare them to the Progressive Primitive Baptists and find very little difference. Again we could take some of the Old Line Primitive Baptists and some of the old-time landmarkers and find a lot of similarities. But if we were to compare the Absoluters with the progressive Landmarkers, the difference would be like night and day. Also, I would say that the Primitives overall have a lot less variation among them than Landmarkers do. I think first I will comment on some of the things that that you and Dallas have stated:
    1. Feetwashing - hard to compare here because a minority of Primitives DO NOT practice feetwashing and a minority of Landmarkers DO practice feetwashing.
    2. Salaried ministers - I know some Primitive Baptist churches that pay a set amount to their ministers, but these would be a small minority (and probably reserved to the Progressives and more progressive element among the Old Liners). Some Landmark churches do not pay a salary. For example, the Interstate & Foreign Landmarker Missionary Baptist Association has declared against salaries in their articles of faith (and for feetwashing).
    3. Missions and missionaries - here most Landmarkers would diverge from the Primitives, but not all. Some do not support missionaries in the traditional missionary Baptist sense. But most associational Landmarkers have some kind of missionary system with committees and recommendations of missionaries, etc.
    4. I'm not familiar with grace/works systems among PB's, so can't comment on this one.
    5. Theological seminaries - Landmarkers again vary widely here. Most would probably be toward the end favoring seminary education, though none require it (as far as I know). A fair minority would believe that whom God calls He qualifies.
    6. Fermented wine - more Landmarkers in my acquaintance use grape juice than use fermented wine. This is usually a "testy" issue between those who use one with those who use the other. I do not know of any Primitive Baptists that use grape juice, but I'm sure one could find a few.
    7. Sunday Schools - I think this would be a main difference, for most Landmarkers I know have some kind of Sunday School, from full-blown graded class systems with the newest innovations to a whole church class with an ordained minister or deacon teaching only from the Bible. I do know of one Landmark association in south Mississippi that is anti-Sunday School.
    8. Musical instruments - I think this would be another main difference. As far as I know, even Landmarkers that do not use musical instruments do not make it a test of fellowship with those who do.
    9. Sovereign Grace/Calvinism/TULIP - Here some Landmarkers would agree with Primitives and some would not. To my knowledge, the majority of Landmarkers are modified Calvinists (2 & 3 pointers), but a number are died-in-the-wool 5-pointers with some divergence on gospel or spirit regeneration. J. R. Graves, a Landmarker of Landmarkers, was an Amyraldian, holding that Christ's death was sufficient for all, but efficient only for the elect.

    Brother Glen, I looked back over Hassell's twelve marks of the apostolic church, and think that most Landmarkers could agree with him, though some would take exception with his comments about ministers' salaries. I would say the strong belief of both groups in # 12 - The Twelfth Mark of the Apostolic church was that it was absolutely the only divinely recognized religious organization in the world - coupled with the fact that they each believe that they are that organization, would ultimately keep Landmarkers and Primitives that are almost identical from fellowshipping with one another.
     
  9. tyndale1946

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    Shame on me I should have stated there were different factions of Primitive Baptist... I'm Old Line myself but some say we are going liberal... I was Old Line that last time I looked and haven't changed since then.

    I didn't know there were different factions of Landmarkers but then again my brain took a vacation... It does that a lot!... Thanks for clearing all that up Brother Robert. I don't know what group of Landmarks Bro. Dallas belongs to but I sure he will clear this up soon. Not here for an argument to much of that on the forum already... only here to learn!... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  10. tyndale1946

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  11. Frogman

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    Forgive me for making light of the topic. It is of a serious nature for me as well.

    I have run into opposition over missions in my own camp; at first I was confused by this, now as I study and learn more and am more exposed to the operations, I am coming to a greater understanding of why the opposition.

    As for the list Bro. Vaughn suggested I will look at it and get back to you.

    We do have a 'graded' Sun. School, but no one is held to this grade. The adult class is taught by an ordained deacon; and the class I attend when not preaching somewhere is taught by the Pastor. All classes are open to anyone regardless of age level, it only depends upon where you want to go. Our young adults are also taught primarily by an ordained deacon. I will consult the list in greater detail and see if I can determine the strain we would run in.

    Of course, generically speaking you could ask any of our preaching brethren and they would tell you we are also old-liners.

    I am learning alot, however, and am very grateful to our Lord for the opportunity.

    God Bless each of you in your walk and service to Him
    Bro. Dallas
     
  12. Farley

    Farley
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    I don't know a lot about the Primitive Baptists in my area of the mountians of S.W. Virginia, but they are very clannish. I am a Baptist who is covenant and a-mill though. I do listen to the Baptist Bible Hour on Sunday mornings with Lasear Bradley out of Cincinatti. Which group of the Primitive Baptists does he most identify with?
     
  13. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
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    Farley I'm not the expert on the Primitive Baptist in Virginia but Brother Jeff is and he maybe looking over our shoulder as we speak. I'll send him a pm and invite him over and he can clear up all your questions.

    Bradley is questionable at the time and seems to be leaning to the liberal side... I'm Old Line and I know Brother Jeff is to. I'm also amill covenant but lean toward the partial preterist view. Welcome to the Baptist History Forum Farley and I hope you enjoy your stay here. You have a question we will try our best to answer it!... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  14. Jeff Weaver

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    Farley

    Howdy from Smyth County. [​IMG]

    I know that some of our folks can be a bit clannish, till you get to know them. There are some reasons for this which are difficult to explain in a brief note, but if you are interested perhaps we could in off-board conversation. Some of our folks, however, are quite open. There are also three different camps of Primitive Baptists in the mountains of Virginia (four total major camps) and some have had some bad experiences with those coming to try to save us poor hillbillies.

    From your profile I see you are a Reformed Baptist type person. Does your church have a web-site? I am curious as to what differences there might be between your folks and ours.

    If you are curious about us, and want to see for yourselves, let me know and I will arrange to get to talk to you face to face or someone else if they might be willing and are closer to where you are. Our folks, me included, travel fairly great distances to attend services here and there.

    In hope
    Jeff
     
  15. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
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    Brother Jeff I knew you were here... I didn't even have a chance to put the stamp on the envelope... Will be sending you a pm later on my situation and you can give us a buzz. Farley you are definately in the right hands... Save us poor hillbillies? :D ... Brother Glen ;)
     
  16. Frogman

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    Brethren,

    I only came to Grider Memorial Baptist about 4 yrs. ago.

    Before this my history was mostly Protestant;

    I must say, my on studies never concluded much of what was taught in some of these, though much of it has an overtone of scriptural truth.

    I attempted to announce my calling in an United Methodist church and was immediately informed I must attend a Methodist College, along with some other limitations.

    I declined these as being Biblical.

    When I came to Grider it was after moving 40 miles west along the Cumberland Pkwy. from Columbia, KY to Glasgow, KY. due to a job change. A co-worker was a member there and invited us to visit.

    When I first went I learned alot of things (from a specific group tied to this person) that I have since learned are not altogether the way it is.

    One person in this group (who also is a deacon) I have heard make the comment that youth ministries are necessary ( we do not have one, but some were trying to coax me into beginning this soon after I announced my call here). These were viewed necessary because an older pastor could not communicate with the youth of the church, I held then and still hold this to be unscriptural.

    This same person will tell you if you ask, the reason our church is 'old-line' is because we seek to do only what is scriptural. Then you hear statements such as the other, which are certainly untrue, a minister, pastor, elder, no matter the name, can reach any person, no matter the age, provided only that the Holy Spirit is truly working through the preaching brother, is this not correct?

    The interesting thing is this: (This man has two sons who have been called into the ministry (preaching) and one of them has entered into a 'youth ministers' position at another church. So I have learned, our beliefs, though should be based solely upon scriptural grounds are often tainted with circumstances much closer to us.

    This is why I am searching for differences and what have you, to determine the true path we are on, Biblically and begin to teach these things.

    I don't believe we should call ourselves biblical if any of our teachings etc. are 'extra-biblical' and it seems today it is considered o.k. to call anything done as biblical. The error of this is evident, when that which we do, or permit is not to be found in scripture.

    I was told our church had no VBS, but found later this was because of a lack of young persons, since our coming this has change somewhat and VBS is enjoined. These things, I have noticed have a way of bringing into the church views which are not held, we are Calinistic (5 pters. mostly) and much of the materials used for our Sun. School and VBS if utilized is confusing as it offers the other view, I think this is confusing, especially to the youth and to those who do not understand the doctrine of Grace and all it involves.

    We have had one member leave our congregation with his wife (a preaching brother), left after a combination of the following:

    1) disagreement with the use of Wine in the Lord's Supper
    2) his son pastor's another church who invited us to attend the ordination of a # of deacons, we declined when we found one of them has been married twice and has two living wives. (All ordained members of Grider were consulted concerning this and were in agreement that we could not show association with this).
    3) After our pastor delivered a sermon one evening from John Ch. 11 concerning the inability of Lazarus to 'come forth' until enabled by the Father through Christ, he said he could not agree with telling people they had no power to repent apart from the enabling power of God. (This was not the first time this topic was preached or taught or discussed in Grider in my four years, but seems to be what caused the man to leave us)

    I believe it is a combination of the above that resulted in his decision.

    This is what concerns me. Either we are Biblical on all things, or we are not. If not, then we are not trully Biblical in nature, but permit other things to influence what we call Biblical.

    For this reason I am searching.

    Thanks for all of your help in the past, bro. Jeff, Glen and Robert. May God Richly bless each of you in your walk and service to Him.

    Bro. Dallas
     
  17. Jeff Weaver

    Jeff Weaver
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    Bro. Glen.

    ... Save us poor hillbillies? ...

    I should explain I suppose. In my personal vision it has happened twice in the past 25 years. That being at the close of the services, we always ask if anyone wants "to talk to the church." Twice we I have had men whom I had never seen before come up and start in on how we calvinist (hyper-calvinists) were going to split hades wide open for our views of God and not accepting Christ as our personal savior. This is what I meant by "saving us poor ignorant hillbillies."

    It is hard to know what to do in such cases. But it has its effect in making some of our folks a bit stand-offish to those we don't know. I have heard that this type event has happened in different places, but I have seen it with my own eyes.

    How would you brethern handle such a situation? I haven't known of it happening since the mid-1980s, BTW.

    Jeff
     
  18. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
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    Brother Jeff I knew what it meant but wondered why you poor hillbillies needed saving and from what?... Probably from those trying to save you? [​IMG] ... I think that if that happened in our church we would let the person blow off steam and have a good chuckle over it later. Can't speak for the sisters though they are unpredictable... They may tar and feather him and run him out of town :D ... Though I live in San Diego other churches of other denominations look at ours as poor ignorant hillbillies and I've never been to Virginia!... Is there such a person as a California Hillbilly? Sorry to get off topic do you know anything about Landmarkers Brother Jeff? Why is there no mention of them in Hassells Church History?... Brother Glen [​IMG]

    [ November 06, 2002, 07:15 PM: Message edited by: tyndale1946 ]
     
  19. Jeff Weaver

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    Bro. Glen scribbled in a previous note:

    Sorry, Bro. Glen, we don't have them around these parts (within 50 miles or so) -- that I know of at any rate, some of the churches that don't have anything to do with anybody might be Landmarkers. We do have a very few IFBs, Old Regulars (of three different flavors), Separates, Primitive (of three different flavors), Southern Baptists, Free Wills, Universalists and some that don't have anything to do with anybody -- and that's just the Baptists. We also have lots of Methodists, Presbyterians, and Pentecostals of various shades. Occasionally you encounter a Church of Christ, Mennonite, Lutheran, Episcoapl, or very rarely a Catholic church, Mormon, or Jehovah's Witness congregation.

    As for why Hassell didn't mention them, I cannot say. I suspect they were a rare breed at the time he penned his massive tome. In the section of the country in which he lived at the time he was alive, there were only three factions of Baptists -- Primitive, Southern and Free Wills.

    Elder Hassell also missed several Primitive Baptist Associations that were active when he wrote as well. I suspect limitations of time, communication, etc. that existed at that time.

    Hope Charlotte is doing well. I've been trying to remember you all in the closet.

    Jeff
     
  20. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
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    Brother Jeff brought up a good point... If I'm not mistaken the majority of Primitive Baptist are in his part of the country... I believe speaking of demographics of brethren the biggest density of Primitive Baptist are in the East.

    Maybe one of you brethren could enlighten us on the demographics of the Landmark brethren where is the largest pool of Landmarkers located? What states are they the most active in?... Brother Glen :confused:
     

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