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Triennial Convention - Timeline Event

Founder

Luther Rice

Time Period

05-18-1814

Description

The Triennial Convention was the first formal Baptist missions organization in America. Baptist preacher and former missionary Luther Rice founded the Convention to encourage voluntary contributions from individual members for the support of domestic and foreign missionaries like former co-workers Adoniram and Ann Judson. The Convention grew rapidly, claiming more than 2,500 affiliated churches and 158,000 members by 1816. By the 1830s, the Convention had morphed into a full-blown denomination, albeit one that valued congregational autonomy.

Not all Baptists, however, supported the Convention. These "anti-mission" Baptists, including Alexander Campbell and John Leland, believed that the Convention was a human fabrication that threatened congregational autonomy. They accused the Convention of engaging in coercive fundraising and encouraging the rise of a professional clergy. Instead, they sought a return to a primitive, unadorned Christianity, which led to the founding of various Primitive Baptist associations and, under Campbell, the beginning of the Restorationist movement.

Interactive Timeline(s)

Baptist Events and People

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Religious Groups

Baptist Family: Other ARDA Links
Baptist Family: Religious Family Tree
Timeline Entries for the same religious group: Restoration Movement
Restoration Movement: Other ARDA Links
Restoration Movement: Religious Family Tree

Biographies

Campbell, Alexander
Judson, Adoniram
Leland, John

Movements

Missionary Movement
The Second Great Awakening

Related Dictionary Terms

Christianity

Photographs

Luther Rice silhouette- English Wikipedia
Luther Rice silhouette- English Wikipedia
Courtesy, Virginia Baptist Historical Society

Adoniram Judson portrait- Internet Archive- from The Earnest Man by H. C. Conant
Adoniram Judson portrait- Internet Archive- from The Earnest Man by H. C. Conant

Proceedings of the Baptist Convention for Missionary Purposes, title page- Internet Archive
Proceedings of the Baptist Convention for Missionary Purposes, title page- Internet Archive

Baptist mission house in India- Internet Archive- from The Life of William Carey, D. D. by George Smith
Baptist mission house in India- Internet Archive- from The Life of William Carey, D. D. by George Smith

Book/Journal Source(s)

Williams, Michael and Walter Shurden, 2011. Turning Points in Baptist History: A Festschrift in Honor of Harry Leon McBeth Macon, GA: Mercer University Press. (Notes: See chapter 12, "Baptist 'Anti' Movements and the Turn toward Progressivism: 1820/1832/1845." ).

Web Page Contributor

Paul Matzko
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in History

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