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Historian L. B. Jordan records that in 1880, there were nearly two million former slaves in Baptist churches which created a need for a national aggregation of African-American Baptists. On Wednesday, November 24, 1880, one hundred fifty-one (151) messengers, representing eleven states throughout the United States, met at the First Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama and organized the Foreign Mission Baptist Convention of the United States. The Reverend W. H. Alpine of Alabama was elected as the first permanent president.
 
In 1886 the American National Baptist Convention was organized in Saint Louis, Missouri, and in 1893 the Baptist National Educational Convention was organized in the District of Columbia. There was the recognition for unification among our African-American brothers and sisters; therefore, on September 28, 1895, in Atlanta, Georgia, at the Friendship Baptist Church, these three great conventions united and formed the NATIONAL BAPTIST CONVENTION, making it the largest African-American Baptist organization in America with a membership in the millions.
 
In order to carry out the mission of the National Baptist Convention, three boards were created: The Foreign Mission Board, the Home Mission Board out of Little Rock, Arkansas; and the Educational Board located in Washington, D.C.
 
The preamble affirms:
 
Whereas, it is the sense of Colored Baptist of the United States of America, convened in the City of Atlanta, Georgia, September 28, 1895, in the several organizations known as ‘The Baptist Foreign Mission Convention of the United States of America,’ hitherto engaged in mission work on the West Coast of Africa, ‘The National Baptist Educational Convention,’ which has sought to look after the educational interest, that the interest of the kingdom of God required that the several bodies above named should unite in one body. The Name of the new organization is given as "The NATIONAL BAPTIST CONVENTION of the Unites States of America."
 
Article II gives the objective as follows:
The objective of this convention shall be to do mission work in the United States, in Africa, and elsewhere abroad; to foster the cause of education and to promote the publication and circulation of religious literature.
 
In 1919, controversy surfaced regarding a charter of incorporation for the Convention and the ownership of the National Baptist Publishing Board. The end result was the emergence of The National Baptist Convention of America (Unincorporated) and The National Baptist Convention U.S.A., Incorporated. In 1987, The National Baptist Convention of America was incorporated in Shreveport, Louisiana under the new caption, THE NATIONAL BAPTIST CONVENTION OF AMERICA, INCORPORATED.
 
In September, 1988 the National Baptist Convention of America, Incorporated and the National Baptist Convention U.S.A., Inc. met in their annual sessions in Dallas, Texas and Fort Worth, Texas, respectively. A joint worship service convened in the Reunion Arena in Dallas, Texas, celebrating their togetherness and protesting apartheid in South Africa.
 
Following the joint worship service, the National Baptist Convention of America, Incorporated re-convened in its 104th Annual Session in Fort Worth, Texas. The controversy over the ownership and control of the National Congress prevailed and caused division among the Convention messengers. The heart of the controversy was whether the National Convention would operate its own Congress with the status of an auxiliary like all of the other auxiliaries, or whether the Convention would continue to relate to a National Congress chartered, owned, and controlled by the National Publishing Board with no responsibility to the Convention. After spirited debate and a democratic vote, the National Baptist Convention of America, Incorporated voted to operate its own National Congress. As a result of this decision, a new National Missionary Baptist Convention was born in November 1988.
 
Today the NATIONAL BAPTIST CONVENTION OF AMERICA, INCORPORATED has made tremendous growth in numbers, ministries, and in honoring its commitment to education, evangelism and mission at home and abroad. The National Baptist Convention, Incorporated continues to support mission fields in the Virgin Islands, Panama, Haiti, Country of Jamaica, and Ghana in West Africa.
 
The National Baptist Convention of America, Incorporated, continues to honor its commitment to its nature and function as articulated in its constitution which states:
 
The National Baptist Convention of America, Incorporated is organized and operated exclusively for religious purposes; to foster unity and efficiency of Foreign Mission, Home Mission, and educational work throughout its membership constituency and the world; to serve as an agency of Christian Education, Missionary and Church Extension; to marshal the efforts of Baptist Churches and organizations in extending the gospel of Jesus Christ at home and to the foreign fields; to propagate Baptist doctrines of faith and practice and its distinctive principles throughout the world; to lend its influence in maintaining and safeguarding full religious liberty and spiritual independence at home and on the foreign fields. It is committed to harnessing the Christian scholars and creative religious writers for the publication of Baptist literature and to provide the opportunity for them to be participants throughout the Christian world. It is committed to safeguarding the principles of civil liberty, social justice, and the equality of human kind as children of God.

 

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