Seventh Day Baptist

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Seventh Day Baptists are Christian Baptists who observe seventh-day Sabbath, which is (according to Genesis 2:2-3 and Exodus 20:8) the Biblical Sabbath for the Judeo-Christian tradition. The Seventh Day Baptist World Federation today represents over 50,000 Baptists in 22 countries.

Contents

History

The first recorded Seventh Day Baptist meeting was held at The Mill Yard Church in London in 1651 [1] under the leadership of Dr. Peter Chamberlen. However many Seventh Day Baptists believe that records showing that it had originated in 1617 were lost in a fire.

The first Seventh Day Baptist church in America was at Newport, Rhode Island in December 1671.[2] Samuel and Tacy Hubbard, two members of the First Baptist Church of Newport, pastored by John Clarke (1609-1676), withdrew from that church and joined with Stephen Mumford, a Seventh Day Baptist from England, and 4 others, covenanting to meet together for worship, calling themselves Sabbatarian Baptists. Mumford, for his part, arrived in Rhode Island in 1665, and was mentioned as an advocate for seventh-day Sabbath in many records of that time. Other churches rose in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and soon spread north into Connecticut and New York, and south into Virginia and the Carolinas. Seventh-day Sabbatarianism also emerged among the Germans at Ephrata, Pennsylvania, (founded in 1735). Ephrata was incorporated as the German Religious Society of Seventh Day Baptists in 1814, and the site where their community was founded came to be known at the Ephrata Cloister. The Seventh Day Baptist General Conference was organized in 1801.

In 1995, the Seventh Day Baptists had 253 churches and over 20,000 members in India, 78 churches with 4885 members in the United States, 2 churches with 55 members in England, and 1 church of 40 members in Canada. Conferences and associations exist in many other countries including Australia, Brazil, India, Jamaica, the Netherlands, New Zealand and amongst the Seventh Day Christians of Poland. Some conferences have sent missionaries to other nations including Malawi, Fiji and Argentina. The Seventh Day Baptist World Federation was founded in 1964–1965, and it now represents over 50,000 Baptists in 17 member organizations in 22 countries.

Other than the belief that Christian Sabbath is Saturday rather than Sunday, Seventh Day Baptists are very similar to other Baptists. However, due to the Baptist tradition of freedom of conscience, even within Baptists, there are a lot of variations in doctrines. The same principle applies to Seventh Day Baptists. The Seventh Day Baptists do not hold a binding creed, and the belief system is relatively more flexible than mainstream Christianity, and the teachings Seventh Day Baptists hold may also vary from member to member.

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