Triennial Convention
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Founder
Luther Rice
Time Period
5/18/1814
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 Religious Events and People in American History
Religious Groups
Baptist Family: Other Timeline Event Entries
Baptist Family: Other Timeline Biography Entries

Baptist Family: Other ARDA Links

Timeline Entries for the same religious group Restoration Movement

Biographies
Campbell, Alexander
Leland, John
Judson, Adoniram
Movements
The Second Great Awakening
Missionary Movement
Photographs

Luther Rice silhouette- Wikimedia

Adoniram Judson portrait 2- Internet Archive

Proceedings of the Baptist Convention for Missionary Purposes- Internet Archive

Baptist mission house in India- Internet Archive
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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