Oldest ABC-USA Church in WV Affiliates with SBC

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Oldest ABC-USA Church in WV Affiliates with SBC

Postby Sandy » Tue Feb 05, 2019 5:13 pm

http://wvcsb.org/churches/info/simpson_ ... ist_church

The oldest and largest ABC-USA congregation in West Virginia has affiliated with the West Virginia Convention of Southern Baptists. I haven't seen a news article to that effect, but knew it was in the works a couple of years ago. I'm guessing they're dually affiliated since they are still listed with the WVBC, which is the ABC-USA affiliated convention. I have family members there, my paternal grandfather's brothers were both members and they both still have children and grandchildren who are members there. My great grandparents were both members there as well. The church was organized in 1770 and according to their in-house historians is the oldest Baptist church west of the Alleghenys. There's a church in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, Severns Valley Baptist, which lays claim to the same title but its records show that it was organized in 1783.

Apparently West Virginia Southern Baptists are not bothered by dually affiliated ABC congregations since there are several of them. Simpson Creek has always seemed much more like an SBC congregation to me, though in West Virginia, many of the ABC-USA churches are like that, at least, the ones I've attended are. The pastor at Simpson Creek is a Southwestern grad, and I think one of their other staff members went to Southern.
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Re: Oldest ABC-USA Church in WV Affiliates with SBC

Postby Rvaughn » Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:37 pm

Sandy wrote:Apparently West Virginia Southern Baptists are not bothered by dually affiliated ABC congregations since there are several of them. Simpson Creek has always seemed much more like an SBC congregation to me, though in West Virginia, many of the ABC-USA churches are like that, at least, the ones I've attended are.
I am not personally familiar with churches in West Virginia, but in collecting minutes/yearbooks of Baptist associations, it seemed to me that WV churches had something of a "different flavor" -- also finding some ABCUSA churches who seemed to move fairly easily from ABC to independent missionary Baptists.
Sandy wrote:The pastor at Simpson Creek is a Southwestern grad, and I think one of their other staff members went to Southern.
I found a Simpson Creek Staff web page that shows the Southwestern Fort Worth connections, and also to Bob Jones University (not SBC, of course, but popular in evangelical-conservative-fundamental type circles).
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Re: Oldest ABC-USA Church in WV Affiliates with SBC

Postby Haruo » Tue Feb 05, 2019 11:48 pm

My general impression has always been that WV had the highest number of ABC churches of any Region, and that they were for the most part, and certainly on average, the most conservative Region. But I would have thought them more likely to go the Indie route, or maybe switch to GARBC or something, rather than SBC.
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Re: Oldest ABC-USA Church in WV Affiliates with SBC

Postby Haruo » Tue Feb 05, 2019 11:51 pm

But historically, of course, the only reason they AREN'T just as SBC as the VA ones, is the bifurcation of VA in the Civil War.
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Re: Oldest ABC-USA Church in WV Affiliates with SBC

Postby Tim Bonney » Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:50 am

Haruo wrote:My general impression has always been that WV had the highest number of ABC churches of any Region, and that they were for the most part, and certainly on average, the most conservative Region. But I would have thought them more likely to go the Indie route, or maybe switch to GARBC or something, rather than SBC.


My info was always that they were the most conservative region in the ABC as well. When issues of same sex marriage were up for discussion in the ABC there was some thought that the whole convention might pull out. But now having been out of the baptist world of nine years (time flies) I don't even know how the ABC is dealing with those differences now.
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Re: Oldest ABC-USA Church in WV Affiliates with SBC

Postby Sandy » Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:14 am

In most state conventions, Southern Baptists have done away with "dual affiliation" when it comes to ABC-USA congregations and in many cases, they've either pushed CBF out the door or are in the process. Obviously the conservative nature of ABC-USA congregations in West Virginia creates a different situation. That's a real good example of how local church and organizational autonomy works among Baptists. And, of course, the SBC state convention has the additional motivation of increasing its CP receipts.

We're a long way from the Civil War and the somewhat unique circumstances that created West Virginia in the first place. Baptists, collectively, are the largest Christian group in West Virginia, and the ABC-USA and Southern Baptist churches are very much alike, while the Primitive and Old Regular Baptists, who are dying out but still numerous up in those mountain "hollers", are much different and very separated. Growing up, while visiting relatives there, I couldn't tell the difference between the two churches where I have relatives and where we attended when visiting (one of them Simpson Creek) and the SBC church I grew up in. One of them, way up in the "hollers" was a "half-time" church, with preaching only on the second and fourth Sundays and a "joint" service with the other Baptist church that shared the pastor on the fifth Sundays, alternating locations.

Maybe the Baptists in the Mountain state can show us how to get along and work together.
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Re: Oldest ABC-USA Church in WV Affiliates with SBC

Postby Haruo » Thu Feb 07, 2019 11:11 am

Sandy wrote:Maybe the Baptists in the Mountain state can show us how to get along and work together.

Something tells me gender theories (from who can be ordained: women? gays? transhumans? to who can sing in the choir? to what stick-on signs to buy for the restroom stall doors and/or hall doors?) will conduce to keep us separated brethren.
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Re: Oldest ABC-USA Church in WV Affiliates with SBC

Postby JE Pettibone » Thu Feb 07, 2019 3:57 pm

Haruo wrote:
Sandy wrote:Maybe the Baptists in the Mountain state can show us how to get along and work together.


Hauro "Something tells me gender theories (from who can be ordained: women? gays? transhumans? to who can sing in the choir? to what stick-on signs to buy for the restroom stall doors and/or hall doors?) will conduce to keep us separated brethren.



Ed: Hauro, given a general consensus that West Virginia is the most conservative region in ABC-USA you are probably correct in statement just above.
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Re: Oldest ABC-USA Church in WV Affiliates with SBC

Postby Tim Bonney » Thu Feb 07, 2019 7:39 pm

Sandy wrote:Maybe the Baptists in the Mountain state can show us how to get along and work together.


Well maybe. What this really shows me is that conservative Christians who match other Christians with a similar conservative theology can get along fine together. I think we already knew that.
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Re: Oldest ABC-USA Church in WV Affiliates with SBC

Postby Sandy » Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:46 am

I think regional culture, even as we are more than 150 years out from the Civil War and the cultural lines have been blurred for a long time, has a lot to do with church identity and culture. West Virginia was some of the most fertile ground for Baptists prior to the Civil War and their remaining with the Union aligned the majority of their churches with the Northern Baptists. But the state's culture is very much Southern, the "Mountaineer" culture very much at the core of that so the Baptists retained much of that cultural expression. Isolated by the mountains, Baptists and other Christian denominations in the state are much more "southern" when it comes to the expression of their faith and the way they do church.

I don't expect that any major movement toward some kind of unity among Baptists will occur, though I wonder if the two groups might merge or partner in some ways within the state.
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Re: Oldest ABC-USA Church in WV Affiliates with SBC

Postby Dave Roberts » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:29 am

In 1960, the Southern Baptist Convention and the American Baptist Churches met jointly in Atlantic City, NJ, for their gatherings. There was talk and even hope of reunification. Several churches in the South, especially in Virginia, affiliated with the ABC while some in border state areas affiliated with the SBC. I served an interim with one of those in Virginia that joined the ABC, and after the CR, became ABC as their predominant relationship. Most of the reunification efforts died in the early 1960's when the ABC took strong stands on civil rights. That's my brief history lesson for the morning.
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