A Survey of Calvinistic Baptist History
from 1950 forward
We’re not the only Baptists who believe the Doctrines of Grace!
1. Contemporary history is difficult!
•People have myopic vision
•Participants are often still alive
•All aspects of Reformed Baptist history are not particularly pretty
Reformed Baptist history has probably been neglected because in some ways it can be very
painful and awkward to pursue that subject very far –especially in attempting to draw
conclusions about what has happened. Sadly, our modern history has included such painful,
grieving things as: immorality, other unfaithfulness, and in some cases outright apostasy by
leaders; divisions within local churches and between local churches; personality conflicts and
possibly rivalries; pastors treating sheep and other churches abusively; perhaps in some cases
people treating pastors abusively; etc. We could go on, but we certainly have our dirty laundry
which is in many ways hard to face, and which in many regards should not be our focus –
David Merck unpublished notes: Modern Church History-Module Six , p. 342
Pastor Stu “David, take a Chronicles view”
2. Reformed Baptists Churches (movement?) is/are so very small
74,000 + Baptist
350 RB chs
3. But we will study because
• It is our history
• It has importance
Condition of the Protestant Church in the mid 20th century
1. The Mainline denominations had all but lost the gospel
2. The largest evangelical denomination (SBC) could be characterized by
“atheological pragmatism” and described as “programmatic” in its operation
3. Rise of Independent Fundamental Baptists
Decisions, decisions, decisions!
4. All efforts by conservatives to reform the NBC failed resulting in the
formation of the GARBC in 1933 and the CBC in 1947
5. New phenomena of the city wide crusade
Could you find emphasis on grace anywhere?
Rise or Revival of Reformed Theology
1. Writings of A.W. Pink
1918 “Sovereignty of God”
I. C. Herendeen
The Bible Truth Depot
1922 “Studies in Scripture”
2. Ministry of David Martin Lloyd-Jones
D. Martin Lloyd-Jones
Bethlehem Evangelical Church
Arthur W. Pink
3. Establishment of the Banner of Truth Trust
1955 First Issue of Banner of Truth magazine
1957 Formation of The Banner
of Truth Trust
“To republish Reformed literature in this country”
Iain H. Murray
4. Other Christian publishers
Jay Green and Sovereign Grace Publishers
But what about the Baptists?
Sovereign Grace Baptists
Influence of Rolfe Barnard
•Parents dedicated him to Jesus
•Hardin Simmons College age 15!
Pres of Infidel club
•School teacher in West Texas
•“the battle was fought out – God won!
•SWBTS – W.T. Conner/sermons of B.H.Carroll
1950 Ashland Kentucky
1954 – Sovereign Grace Bible Conference in Ashland
Sovereign Grace Baptist Churches
South, Southwest, Ohio and Michigan
Thoroughly Calvinist in soteriology
Differ from RB in covenant theology, abiding nature of the Sabbath
Many (most) remain pre-mil in eschatology; Landmark in ecclesiology
No direct link from Sovereign Grace Baptists to
present day Reformed Baptist
Rolfe P Barnard
First distinctly Reformed Baptist Church: Grace Baptist, Carlisle, PA
•Returned to Carlisle; began lay ministry
•1951 Grace Chapel founded
•Walter Chantry enters Dickenson College 1956
“A carpenter who has been my spiritual father and principle teacher in the faith”
•1959 adopted 1689 Confession of Faith
•1963 Walt becomes interim the full time pastor
•1966 sponsored first Pastor’s Conference
•Passion to plant other churches
•Home of Banner of Truth US office
•Began Reformed Baptist Family Conference 1970
Pine Brook; Harvey Cedars; Massanetta Springs; Eagle Eyrie
Lycoming College, Williamsport; Tuscarora Inn, Mt. Bethel, PA
•Reformed Baptist Association - 1969
•Reformed Baptist Mission Service - 1985
Ernie with Walt Chantry
24 chs in 1997
Ca. 75 today
Other churches in the NE in the 1960’s – 1970’s
•Paradise, PA Charles Barnhart
•Grace Fellowship, Hazelton, PA Tedd Trip
•Grace Baptist, Chambersburg, PA,
•Faith RB, Media Wayne Mack/Bruce Ray
•John Reisinger-Rochester/Webster: Bill Franklin
Trinity Baptist Church – Montville, NJ
Albert N. Martin
•Trinity Pulpit tape ministry
•Pastor Martin’s conference ministry
•Trinity Ministerial Academy - 1977
•Trinity Pastors Conference - 1985
As a word of summary at this point, it is generally recognized that Walt Chantry has
had a profound influence among and beyond Reformed Baptists especially through his
writing, while Al Martin has had his most profound influence through his preaching not only through tapes of messages, but at many conferences and speaking
engagements as well.
Merck, pg 387
How about the rest of America?
Reformed Baptist Churches are located in almost all 50 states
360 + congregations listed on Johnny Farese’s web site:
Rise of Calvinism in other ‘movements’
“The Southern Baptist Conference on the Faith of our Founders”
Memphis, July 1983
Our purpose is to encourage pastors, students and church leaders to recover the gospel
of God's grace and work for the spiritual health and reformation of local churches.
Our abiding concerns:
We desire to be orthodox without being obnoxious.
We want to be confessional, yet contemporary.
We are Southern Baptist, though not sectarian.
Our goal is to be doctrinally and devotionally balanced.
Ernest Reisinger and distribution of Boyce’s Abstracts of Theology
Rise of NEW CALVINISM in many evangelical denominations
Collin Hansen Young, Restless, Reformed
‘the grass withers, the flower fades,
but the Word of our God endures forever!