April 29, 2009

Baptists celebrate 400th anniversary

by David Masters

British Baptists are gathering in Bournemouth this week to celebrate the 400th anniversary of their denomination.

Four centuries ago, a priest and a lawyer disillusioned with the church of England travelled to Holland and baptised themselves.

Later that year – 1609 – the first ever Baptist congregation was founded in Amsterdam.

Baptists have since risen to become the third largest Christian denomination in the world – behind only Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy.

At the annual Baptist Assembly from 1 May to 4 May, the Baptist Union of Great Britain and BMS World Mission will be celebrating the anniversary.

Speakers at the assembly will include Baroness Caroline Cox, best selling author Adrian Plass, and General Secretary of the Baptist World Alliance, Neville Callam.

A Europe-wide celebration of the anniversary is to be held in Amsterdam in July.

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