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What is the National Baptist Convention, USA?

National Baptist Convention USA audio

The National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc., headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, is the largest African-American denomination in the United States. The National Baptist Convention, USA, officially began on November 22, 1880, when 151 people met in Montgomery, Alabama, and formed the Baptist Foreign Mission Convention. Their goal was to unite Baptist African-Americans to reach the unreached people groups of Africa.

Six years later, 600 representatives from churches in 17 states gathered at the First Baptist Church of St. Louis, Missouri, and formed the National Baptist Convention of America. Seven years later, they formed the National Baptist Education Convention to further the cause of Christian education among African-Americans. In 1895, they voted to merge the two conventions and elected their first president, E. C. Morris, adopting the new name National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.

The National Baptist Convention, USA, holds to traditional Baptist doctrine, with the exception of placing more emphasis on Sunday as the “Christian Sabbath” than do other branches of the Baptist faith. Their website states, “We believe the Scriptures teach that the first day of the week is the Lord’s Day, or Christian Sabbath, and is to be kept sacred to religious purposes, by abstaining from all secular labor and sinful recreations.”

The National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc., also maintains a housing commission that seeks to provide affordable housing for low-income families. They operate fundraisers to help with disaster relief for Christians affected by natural or manmade disasters. They produce their own printed materials through their Sunday School Publishing Board, the largest black religious publishing agency in the world. The National Baptist Convention, USA, exists to fulfill their part of Jesus’ Great Commission: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:19–20).

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This page last updated: January 4, 2022