We share the modern concern for family history, although our resources are limited. For Baptists, baptism means total immersion in water of those who are old enough to confess Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. Therefore, records of Baptist baptisms will not be found in parish registers, but will probably be recorded in the Minutes of the local Baptist Church.
The local church is the centre of Baptist life - each church is brought into being and sustained by the faithful sovereignty of God. If your church has just discovered it's fifty, hundred or more years old next year, and you have been asked to write the story of God's Baptist people locally, we can offer some practical advice. With the Society's help you can do it!
The magistrate is not by vertue of his office to meddle with religion, or matters of conscience, to force or compell men to this or that form of religion; but to leave Christian religion free, to every mans conscience, and to handle onely civil transgressions…for Christ onelie is the king
Consult the wide range of our Society publications, there will probably be something to help you know Baptists better. For example, our accessible English Baptist History and Heritage, which was completely revised, extended and illustrated in 2005 and provides a concise overview of Baptist life.
Obviously there is strength to be found in a community of people and congregations that have a common background, and wish to understand their origins. It was George Santayana who said 'the fate of those who forget their past is to have to relive it.' We invite those who share that concern to join our society and enable our vital work to continue.
We have begun an oral history programme, and one such interview is available. You can read a transcript of Revd Dr Leonard Champion, one time minister at Minehead and Rugby, Principal at Bristol Baptist College, and President of the Baptist Union in conversation with Roger Hayden.