Reformed Baptist Church

Reformed Baptist Church

 

The Reformed Baptist Alliance of Canada (Reformed Baptist Church) was founded in 1888 by a group of Free Christian Baptists following the expulsion of five ministers for refusing to renounce strict adherence to their views on “scriptural holiness.” As part of the broader “holiness movement,” the Reformed Baptist believed in the doctrine of “instantaneous sanctification” (the experience of “entire sanctification”) separate from initial conversion/salvation.  Through this “second definitive work of grace,” it was believed one was cleansed from the tendency to commit sin leading ultimately to “Christian perfection.”

In only two months, the Reformed Baptists had organized nine churches in Canada’s Maritime Provinces, principally New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, with a total membership of 540. By the beginning of the twentieth century, the Alliance had expanded to forty churches and a membership of sixteen hundred.  Growth thereafter slowed.

Dr. and Mrs. H. C. Sanders became the first missionaries of the Reformed Baptist Church arriving on the Natal coast of South Africa in 1901. Other Reformed Baptists missionaries followed working among the Zulu peoples. The church later expanded into Southern Rhodesia with the founding of Bethesda Mission in 1957.

The Reformed Baptists merged with the Wesleyan Methodist Church in 1966 and subsequently became part of the larger merger with the Pilgrim Holiness Church in 1968 creating the Wesleyan Church. Wesleyans have their historical roots in the holiness movement and a break with the Methodist Episcopal Church in the 1800s over the issue of slavery.  The mission station in former Southern Rhodesia, present day Zimbabwe, is now under the control of the Wesleyan Church of South Africa.

Missions

References

Contributors
  • Mark Loomis