Black History Sept. 28: National Baptist Convention

The National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. (National Baptist Convention) is the largest predominantly African-American Christian denomination in the United States and is the world’s second largest Baptist denomination. The Convention’s membership is near 10 million nationwide and is headquartered at the Baptist World Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

At the initial 1880 meeting, Rev. W. H. Alpine of Alabama was elected President of the Foreign Mission Convention and is considered the first President of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. Subsequently, two other national Black conventions were formed. In 1886, Rev. William Simmons of Kentucky led the formation of the American National Baptist Convention. In 1893 Rev. W. Bishop Johnson of Washington, D.C. led the formation of the National Baptist Education Convention. The desire to have one convention remained alive and the movement reached its fruition in September of 1895 at the Friendship Baptist Church in Atlanta, when these three conventions came together to form the National Baptist Convention of the United States of America. The heart of the new convention was that the three former conventions serve as the three boards of the convention: Foreign Missions, Home Missions, and Education.

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