Wednesday, May 02, 2018

More Baptist Voices for the KJV: American Baptist Association

Several churches of the American Baptist Association are included in the “Missionary Baptist” Voices post. I decided to add some more and create a post specific to the American Baptist Association (ABA). I have some knowledge of and background in this group.

The roots of the American Baptist Association are in the Landmark Movement within the Southern Baptist Convention. Events and controversies at the end of the 19th century led to the organization of two new state associations that separated from the older state associations affiliated with the SBC – the Baptist Missionary Association (BMA) of Texas in 1900 and the State Association of Missionary Baptist Churches in Arkansas in 1902. Associations in Oklahoma, Mississippi, Missouri and Louisiana would eventually follow suit. Some who desired to see a national organization for Landmark Baptists organized the General Association of Baptists in the United States of America in 1905. A move for unification of the Baptist Missionary Association of Texas and the General Association led to the formation of the American Baptist Association at Texarkana, Texas in 1924. The BMA of Texas continued as a state organization, and General Association adjourned ‘sine die’ - giving place to the newly formed American Baptist Association.

Later controversies created a division between the ABA and BMAT. A minority of churches pulled out of the BMAT and formed the Missionary Baptist Association (MBA) of Texas in 1950. This body’s current Doctrinal Statement says, “1. We believe in the plenary verbal inspiration and inerrancy of the whole Bible as originally written, and that the Bible is the all-sufficient rule of faith and practice, (Psalm 119-160; II Tim. 3:16-17).” The Statement Of Doctrines of the leading Texas school, Texas Baptist Institute & Seminary, states, “5. The Holy Scriptures, which we call, ‘The Bible,’ in their original expression, are the Words of God; they are verbally inspired and the author of them is God.” This indicates a non-KJV originals-only perspective of the leaders of these bodies. On the other hand, the Missionary Baptist Seminary in Little Rock, Arkansas uses the Doctrinal Statement of the ABA, which speaks of the infallible, verbal inspiration of the whole Bible and avoids mention of the “originals.”[i]

My take: Leading schools and leading preachers of the American Baptist Association are not pro-KJV, but due to the generally conservative nature of the people, their doctrine, and their practice, the rank-and-file often have a specific preference (and beyond) for the King James Bible. The Bogard Press and Baptist Sunday School Literature sticks with the King James Version as its text – possibly for practical reasons more than conviction. Here are some samples from across the web, and a few written sources:

Beacon Missionary Baptist Church, Redding, California, Doctrinal Statement
“We believe the Authorized King James Version of 1611 to be the preserved Word of God for the English speaking people, faithful and true to the original autographs; that other versions are inferior and flawed, with some being outright perversions of God's Word; that other versions are totally unnecessary, as the King James is not only faithful, but an absolutely effective conveyance of God's message to mankind.”

Berean Missionary Baptist Church, Duck Town, Tennessee
“Berean MBC is seeking a pastor. The minister has to be mission minded and believe the King James Bible is the preserved Word of God. Must adhere to ABA doctrine.” The Baptist Anchor, October 2014, p. 10

Bethany Missionary Baptist Church, White Hall, Arkansas, About us page
“The King James Version (KJV) Bible: authoritative, inerrant, our standard for truth and obedience”

Bogard Press of the American Baptist Association, Texarkana, Texas
“Bogard Press has been producing Bible literature for over 100 years – using the King James Version (KJV) and remaining ‘Always True to the Word’.”

“Bogard Press introduced a new logo earlier this year. The new logo is a cross that indicates this is a Christian publication. It also points to one purpose of the literature: to lead people to Jesus who died for man’s sins on the cross. The colors and lettering of Bogard Press indicate the freshness and innovative design we want people to recognize in the literature. What has not changed is the slogan for Bogard Press: Always True to the Word. And it is always King James Version.”

College Town Baptist Church, Hammond, Louisiana
“College Town Baptist Church, an old line Missionary Baptist Church is looking for a like-minded pastor. It presently has an interim pastor who wishes to retire from pastoral duties due to age and health.
We are looking for a pastor with ‘Shepherd qualities’ preferable one with some Bible training, able to feed the sheep, willing to seek out the wanders and lost sheep, user of the King James Bible verison and one who loves to meet and fellowship with people.” West Florida Baptist News, July-August 2017, p. 4

Columbus Baptist Church, Columbus, Indiana, Constitution
“For consistency, all teachers will strive to use the King James Version in their teachings, and use materials in harmony with the doctrinal statement of our Church (II Timothy 3:16-17, Revelation 22:18-19).”

Eastern Landmark Missionary Baptist Church, Rock Hill, South Carolina, Who We Are
“Whether it’s Sunday School, discipleship training or preaching, we adhere firmly to the truth of God’s Word and use the King James Version.”

Emmaus Baptist College, Brandon, Florida, Doctrinal Statement
“Further, Emmaus Baptist College holds that God has preserved His infallible Word in the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts and that the Authorized Version (KJV) is an accurate English translation of the preserved Word of God. It is the College’s practice to use only the King James Version in the classroom and pulpit. The Majority Text is used for Greek instruction and the Masoretic Hebrew text is used for Hebrew instruction.”

First Baptist Church of White City, Fort Pierce, Florida, Our Beliefs
“The Bible. We believe the Holy Scriptures, composed of the thirty-nine books of the Old Testament and the twenty-seven books of the New Testament, are the verbally inspired Word and Revelation of God. The Bible is inerrant, infallible, God-breathed. The initial miracle of divine inspiration of the original autographs also extends to the divine preservation of a pure text to this day. Therefore, we have the very Word of God in the King James Version preserved through the Hebrew Masoretic Text and the Greek Textus Receptus. We stand firmly as a King James only church.”

First Missionary Baptist Church, Mascotte, Florida
“FMBC Mascotte is currently seeking to match ourselves up with the pastor that we faithfully believe God is preparing for us. We firmly believe that this man will preach only from a King James Version Bible.”  The Baptist Anchor, October 2014, p. 10

Gethsemane Bible Institute, Walnut Ridge, Arkansas, Doctrinal Statement
“The Bible - We believe in the infallible, plenary verbal inspiration of the entire Bible and that it is the absolute, sole, authoritative rule for faith and practice. We believe that the Authorized King James 1611 Bible is the perfect preserved word of God for all English speaking people. (Psalm 12:6-7)”

Hallmark Missionary Baptist Church, Surigao City, Surigao del Norte, Philippines, Hallmark page at NetMinistries
“1. We believe that King James Version is the Word of God in English language. The Bible is composed of sixty six (66):39 books and 27 books.”

Hillcrest Baptist Church, Acworth, Georgia, Super Pages
“Our preference for scripture is the King James Version of the Bible. We use it exclusively in our preaching, teaching, and ministry. We are landmark Baptists (independent and self-governing) and fellowship with the American Baptist Association.”

Hyde Park Baptist Church, West Monroe, Louisiana, About Us
“Welcome to Hyde Park Baptist Church; a church that is progressively conservative and distinctively Baptist. Progressive in the sense that we are fully engaged in reaching our world for Christ; doing whatever it takes. Conservative in that we stand for the ‘old-time religion’ and the King James Version of the Bible. This will be readily seen in our teaching, singing and preaching.”

King James Version Resolution, 1973
Bro. J. O. Phillips (South Carolina) read a resolution as follows: “I make a motion that our literature writers be instructed to quote only from the King James version of the Bible (or a translation closer to the original languages) in our literature, and that we do not promote the sale of ‘GOOD NEWS FOR MODERN MAN’ and ‘THE LIVING BIBLE’ in our Book Stores or Publications.”
Brother Chastain moved to insert the words which appear above following the words King James Version of the Bible “or a translation closer to the original languages.” The amendment carried. The motion also carried as amended.
American Baptist Association, 1973 Yearbook, June 19-21, 1973, p. 29; See page 166, and also History of the American Baptist Association: Commemorating the Seventy-Fifth Meeting June 20- 22, 2000, Robert Ashcraft, editor, 2000, p. 347. [It is my opinion that the amendment by Hoyt Chastain[ii] denuded the original motion of all its practical meaning.]

Landmark Missionary Baptist Church, Casa Grande, Arizona, Beliefs
“2. We believe the Bible is God’s inerrant Word and preserved in the King James Bible.”

Landmark Missionary Baptist Church, Pensacola, Florida
“We are prayerfully seeking a God-called preacher who is in agreement with the ABA doctrines, uses KJV and has the qualifications of a pastor given in Timothy and Titus.” The Baptist Anchor, October 2014, p. 10

Louisiana State Missionary Baptist Association, 1981 Yearbook, “Doctrinal Policies,” p. 45
“I. We believe in the infallible, verbal inspiration of the whole Bible (II Peter 1.19-21; II Timothy 3.16) and specifically, that the Bible is the Word of God and does not merely contain the Word of God. We reject any and all modern translations and or versions which are not substantially in keeping with the 1611 Authorized Version of the Bible.”

New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, Kokomo, Indiana
“We are a small church of 20-30 people, located in the flat lands of central Indiana. Kokomo, is an automotive / farm community of approximately 80,000 folks. We are needing a God chosen man to lead us in the spreading of God’s teachings as outlined in the King James Bible, a man grounded in the beliefs that parallel the ABA principles. At present, you would probably need to supplement your church supplied salary with a secular vocation.” Baptist Church Seeking Pastors Group on Facebook (2-7-17)

North Hills Missionary Baptist Church, Helena, Montana, North Hills page on Church Angel
“Bible Used: King James Version” [I know the pastor.]

Northside Missionary Baptist Church, Ocala, Florida
“ currently seeking a full-time pastor. Applicant must believe that the Holy Bible is the inspired and infallible word of God, meet all the qualification of 1 Tim. And Titus, preach and teach only from the King James Version, be a part of and in good fellowship with the American Baptist Association, be in complete conviction/agreement with the ABA Doctrinal Statement...” (“Churches Seeking a Pastor,” West Florida Baptist News, November-December 2017, p. 15)

O’Leno Baptist Church, High Springs, Florida
“O’Leno Missionary Baptist Church of High Springs, Florida is seeking a pastor. The church is 25 miles north of Gainesville and is situated on 8 acres of land. The church is small, but debt-free. They cannot support a pastor full-time. The church believes in the King James version of the Bible and is very supportive of missions.” The Baptist Anchor, May 2014, p. 19

Pastor Thomas Adams, Huntington, Texas, Comment on King James Version
“I believe the King James is God’s inspired and preserved Word. All other versions either take away from God’s intended meaning or are complete error. To preach what God intends for people to hear the preacher must study what God said not what men think He said.
“I believe all scripture should be quoted from the KJV!”

Pigott Branch Missionary Baptist Church, Ludowici, Georgia
“Pigott Branch Missionary Baptist Church is a small rural church located in Southeast, Georgia. We are prayerfully seeking a God called pastor who is in agreement with the ABA doctrine and the KJV Bible. Individual should also possess the qualifications of a pastor given in Timothy and Titus. Pastor may need to be bi-vocational until membership increases.” West Florida Baptist News, November 2014, p. 5

Pilgrim Baptist Church, Florida
“ seeking a Pastor. The Pastor has to be Mission minded and believe the King James Bible is the only true and living word.” (“Churches Seeking a Pastor,” West Florida Baptist News, November-December 2017, p. 15)

Quaker Avenue Missionary Baptist Church, Lubbock, Texas, KJV Churches Website[iii]
“Quaker Avenue Missionary Baptist Church in Lubbock, Texas believes the King James Version of the Bible and offers traditional worship services in English. They have a service on Wednesday Evening. They may be associated with the following associations and fellowships: American Baptist Association. They offer the following ministries: Faith Bible Institute.”

“We are starting our eighth year in translating the King James Bible into Mongolian. In 2014 our completed New Testament was published and put in the hands of every church member. Each church has copies available for any who want one, and it is being used in several countries. At that time, we put together a year plan to have the Old Testament translated, the entire Bible published, and in the hands of God’s people.”

Resolution to Prefer the King James Version
“Whereas, for over two hundred years, the Authorized King James Version of the Bible has been the standard from which the doctrine and practice of English speaking Baptist Churches was derived, and
“Whereas, this standard is becoming obscured as other Bible versions are being accepted among our churches as alternative standards, and
“Whereas, in fulfillment of the words of our Savior, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away,” God has preserved the King James Version for several centuries and it yet meets with wide acceptance and respect in matters of morals and religion,
“Whereas, we the messengers to the American Baptist Association recognize the King James Version as the translated Word of God,
“Therefore, in the spirit of I Corinthians 14:33 and for the sake of unity, we recommend its sole use in our national associational meetings, auxiliaries, conferences, and other joint endeavors.”
Submitted for consideration of the messengers to the American Baptist Association by order of First Missionary Baptist Church, Casa Grande, Arizona, in regular conference, June 4, 2000.[iv]

Sulphur Springs Missionary Baptist Church, Mt. Enterprise, Texas
“Our church is looking to fill the role of Pastor. Our previous pastor retired after 7 years leading the congregation. We are a small country church, We are looking to find the man that God intends to fill our pulpit. We currently have services on Sunday morning and Wednesday evening. We have a parsonage available on site. The individual will most likely need to be willing to work outside the church. We are a King James only congregation.” Baptist Church Seeking Pastors Group on Facebook (4-4-17)

The Baptist Chapel, Grand Bay, Alabama, Our Beliefs
“Our preference for scriptures is the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible.”

Tuscanooga Baptist Church, Groveland, Florida,
“The Tuscanooga Baptist Church of Groveland, FL, is seeking an ABA pastor. We believe and only use the King James Bible and we support several mission works. We are a loving church, who is seeking a pastor to lead, teach and share our burden for lost souls. We are located in a small community, approximately 35 miles west of Orlando.” West Florida Baptist News, May 2012, p. 3

Unity Missionary Baptist Church, Ada, Oklahoma
In its paper The Landmark Baptist, Unity Church promoted the King James Bible, with such articles as “Bible Succession, Part I” and “Bible Succession, Part II” by Neil Quick (February & March, 1987), and “Why I Prefer the King James Bible Only” by Lee R. Tillman (July, 1989).

Zion Missionary Baptist Church (ABA), Van Buren, Arkansas, About us
“Some may say that we are a traditional Baptist church because we still sing the old hymns and use the King James version of the bible, but that’s okay. Our goal is not to be old fashioned. We are just convinced God does not change with the passing whims, movements or programs of every generation.”

58th Avenue Missionary Baptist Church, Amarillo, Texas, About Us
“We use the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible and would recommend its use by all.”

[i] It is my understanding that the Missionary Baptist Seminary in Little Rock – which is the ABA’s oldest seminary – is not and has never been “KJV-O” but would place inspiration and infallibility only in the original autographa.
[ii] Brother Chastain was a “critical text” partisan. In a reply to me in The Waterview Baptist Report (Vol. 1, No. 5., p. 2) he said that “the ‘textus Receptus’ is based on late manuscripts” and “I use many different Greek Texts to make my translations including the three most ancient.”
[iii] I noticed several ABA churches on the website, including: Beacon Missionary Baptist Church, San Angelo, Texas and Carthage Missionary Baptist Church, Carthage, Texas.
[iv] “Re: Resolution,” E-mail from Chad Whiteley to R. L. Vaughn, Monday, July 17, 2000 (The resolution was brought to the floor, debated, and then tabled.)

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