Baptist church music
- David W. Music
Baptists are an evangelical Christian denomination whose name is derived from the distinctive doctrine of believers' baptism, usually administered by means of total immersion. Traditional Baptist beliefs also include the authority of the Bible, the soul-competency of the individual believer, a symbolic interpretation of the Lord's Supper, and the autonomy of the local church (although churches have often joined together in voluntary associations and conventions). In most other doctrines Baptists are similar to other mainstream evangelical groups. From modest beginnings in the 17th century Baptists have grown into one of the world's largest evangelical Christian denominations; in 1994 their numbers were estimated at over 37 million worldwide (Wardin, 1995, p.8).
The earliest English Baptist churches grew out of 17th-century Separatism. In 1607 John Smyth, the pastor of a Separatist congregation at Gainsborough, led his flock to Amsterdam to avoid persecution. Smyth came under the influence of continental Anabaptist ideas and, in about ...