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That tradition has emphasized the Lordship and atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, believers’ baptism, the competency of all believers to be in direct relationship with God and to interpret Scripture, the importance of the local church, the assurance of freedom in worship and opinion, and the need to be Christ’s witnesses within society.

The following facts are representative of the tradition and practice of American Baptists.

1 American Baptists believe that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior, and that the Bible is the divinely inspired word of God that serves as the final written authority for living out the Christian faith.

American Baptists celebrate the fact that belief in Jesus Christ assures salvation and eternal fellowship with a loving God.

Baptist roots date back four centuries to a people seeking the opportunity to worship God as individual members of freely organized and freely functioning local churches.

Baptists always have maintained the need for autonomous congregations, responsible for articulating their own doctrine, style of worship and mission.

While not all of one mind as to how to deal with challenges, American Baptists do affirm the need to follow Christ’s example by being actively involved in changing society.

American Baptist Churches USA today is the most racially inclusive Protestant body.According to Bruce Gourley, who served as executive director of Baptist History & Heritage Society, there are four main opinions on how Baptists originated.The first is that Baptists grew from within the English Separatist movement, where in the 16 centuries, Protestant Christians separated from the Church of England.As people of faith, American Baptists seek renewal and revitalization.Informed by their history and tradition, motivated by contemporary needs and challenges, and strengthened by God’s leading and the example and sacrifice of their Savior, American Baptists seek to bring a transforming witness to an uncharted future.Baptism, an act of full immersion following Christ’s example, is undertaken by those spiritually mature enough to understand its profound, symbolic significance: resurrection to new life in Christ.

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