Baptist Church Denomination

Overview of the Baptist Church Denomination

Southern Baptist History
Fotosearch / Getty Images

Number of Worldwide Members

The Baptist denomination is the largest free church denomination in the world with 43 million members across the globe. In America, the Southern Baptist Convention is the largest American Baptist Organization, with more than 16 million members in approximately 40 thousand churches.

Baptist Church Founding

The Baptists trace their origins to John Smyth and the Separatist Movement beginning in England in 1608. In America, several Baptist congregations came together in Augusta, Georgia, in 1845 to form the largest American Baptist organization: the Southern Baptist Convention.

Prominent Baptist Church Founders

John Smyth, Thomas Helwys, Roger Williams, Shubael Stearns.


More than 3/4 of all Baptists (33 million) live in America. 216,00 live in Britian; 850,000 live in South American; and 230,000 live in Central America. In the former USSR, Baptists comprise the largest protestant denomination.

Baptist Church Governing Body

Baptist denominations follow a congregational church governance in which each individual congregation is governed autonomously, free from the direct control of any other body.

Sacred or Distinguishing Text

The Bible.

Notable Baptists

Martin Luther King Jr., Charles Spurgeon, John Bunyan, Billy Graham, Dr. Charles Stanley, Rick Warren.

Baptist Church Beliefs and Practices

A primary Baptist distinction is their practice of adult believer's baptism, rather than infant baptism.

Sources:,,, and the Religious Movements Web site of the University of Virginia.

mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Fairchild, Mary. "Baptist Church Denomination." Learn Religions, Aug. 26, 2020, Fairchild, Mary. (2020, August 26). Baptist Church Denomination. Retrieved from Fairchild, Mary. "Baptist Church Denomination." Learn Religions. (accessed May 30, 2023).