What is an American Baptist?

abc-crossThe American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA) is one of over thirty Baptist denominations in the country.  Tracing its history directly back to the early 1600’s, the denomination’s birth and continued life are deeply rooted in the core value of soul freedom (see the statement on FBC’s Core Values).  While there is a large range of theological views within the ABCUSA it is generally regarded as the most progressive of the Baptist denominations.  The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was an American Baptist and we are the first of any denomination in the United States to be presided over by a woman—Helen Barrett Montgomery in the 1920’s.  A denomination of over 5400 independent churches, we unite together for the sake of mission, both national and international.  Our name comes from our practice of adult baptism by immersion. The Bible, as interpreted by each individual congregation, is considered our guide for faith and practice.   Believing in the priesthood of all believers, there are no creeds, affirming the freedom of each person to follow Jesus Christ as they understand him.  The denomination is a historic supporter of religious liberty and respect for the faith expressions of others.  For further information go to www.abc-usa.org.

We are members of  American Baptist Churches USAAmerican Baptist Churches of Wisconsin, and the Alliance of Baptists. We also affiliate with the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America, and the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists. We also support Camp Tamarack (Baptist summer camp in Wisconsin) and the Green Lake Conference Center (American Baptist Assembly).

Our ecumenical relationships include the Wisconsin Council of Churches, the National Council of Churches, the World Council of ChurchesChurch Women United – Madison, and the Crossing Campus Ministry (ecumenical student ministry at UW-Madison).