By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Bulloch History by Roger Allen
Varying Baptist groups emerge
Placeholder Image
Free Will Baptists: This group rejected anything other than the Arminian (named after Jacobus Arminus) doctrine that there is no predestined salvation and that man must work to achieve salvation. In 1727, Paul Palmer began preaching the Free Will doctrine in Chowan, North Carolina, and by 1755 his following had grown to include 20 churches. In 1780, churches formed what they called a “Free Will Baptist” group in New Durham, New Hampshire under the leadership of Benjamin Randall. Randall and Palmer both came South, which led to the formation of the first formal association, the “Cooperative Association of Free Will Baptists” in 1916.
Holiness Baptists: Four churches gathered together in Wilcox, N.C., in 1894, after being asked to leave the local Baptist Association, and formed the “Holiness Baptist Association”. They were strict Sabbatarians: they allowed no smoking, no drinking, no gambling and no dancing. The members were known to frequently speak in tongues, which indicated the presence of the Holy Spirit within one’s body.  This group has at least 50 churches, with some 2,000 members. The Holiness Baptists currently operate two Tabernacles and Campgrounds in Coffee County, Georgia, near the town of Douglas.
Independent Baptists: This group formed three different groups: the “Separate Baptists, who formed at least eight regional organizations; the “Unaffiliated Baptists”, who set up at least four different associations; and the “Independents”, who were completely independent of any formal association. Their leaders denounced the “Bible Denying Apostate Professors”, who were teaching at theological seminaries and colleges across the country. There are over 1,000 of these “Independent Baptist” churches, with over 300,000 members. In Georgia, there are at least three Georgia Independent Associations: the “Georgia Baptist Bible Fellowship”, the “New Testament Association of Independent Baptist Churches” and the “Other Fundamental Baptist Associations and Fellowships”
Landmark Baptists: This group first appeared in Tennessee in 1851, when Pastor James R. Graves began telling his congregants that the Baptist churches were directly linked to Jesus Christ through his Apostles, and how the Baptist faith was the only valid Christian denomination. He believed that the only way you could achieve salvation was to exhibit grace achieved salvation by faith and through baptism by immersion in water. There have been at least two “Landmark Baptist” associations in the State of Georgia: the Georgia Association of Landmark Baptists (1925-1933); and the Georgia State Association of Landmark Baptist Churches (1946 to the present).
Reformed Baptists: This group began to agitate for another direction in the mid to late 1800s, when many members of Baptist churches felt that a more strict interpretation of the Baptist doctrine needed to be applied. They believed that the Bible was infallible, and that any interpretations of this document must be made using the most rigid of standards. Normally, the “Reformed Baptist” churches adhere to either the 1644 or the 1689 London Baptist Confessions of Faith. In modern times, the “Reformed Baptists” have opposed the movement making houses of worship more like houses of entertainment. They state their beliefs to be: God is sovereign in all things; Salvation can only be achieved by Grace; and you must be chosen by God in order to be one of the Elect. There are at least 11 “Reformed Baptist” churches in Georgia.
 Seventh Day Baptists: This group started with the first Baptist Church established in the United States in Rhode Island 1670, as well as having the honor of being the first Baptist Church established in the new colony of Georgia: Tuckasee King (1759 and  by 1750) there eight Seventh Day churches in Georgia alone. They hold to the original belief that Saturday is the seventh day of the week, and the day upon which the Sabbath should be observed. They hold that every member must make a covenant with their home church, and that both parties must faithfully abide by the agreement. Their primary beliefs are: there is one God, infinite and perfect; the Bible is the final and inspired word of God; man is the noblest creation of God; any act of sin is disobedience to God; and that salvation can only be achieved by one’s repentance for their sins. There are two churches currently in Atlanta.

Sign up for the Herald's free e-newsletter