liberty for all and advocate the complete separation of church and state.
Worship is non-liturgical and follows the Protestant free-church tradition.
Numerically, the largest Adventist body, both in the United States and
throughout the world, is the Seventh-Day Adventists. Doctrinally, the
Seventh-Day Adventists are evangelical conservatives. The overall adminis-
trative body of the church is the executive committee of their general
The church has a disaster and famine relief organization known as
Seventh-Day Adventist World Service (SAWS). Annually, millions of people
throughout the world receive assistance from this group through its mobile
aid units, community service centers, and world service organizations.
BAPTIST CHURCHES.Baptists constitute one of the major
Protestant groups in the United States. Baptist churches were influenced by
the teachings of John Calvin. Roger Williams founded the first Baptist
church in America in 1639 in Providence, Rhode Island. Rhode Island was
the first state in which complete tolerance in religious matters prevailed.
Baptist churches are one of the most democratic religious bodies in
America. Baptists have traditionally insisted upon freedom of thought and
expression in their churches and upon the absolute autonomy of the local
congregation. Baptist churches are normally grouped into local, state, and
national bodies for the purpose of education and missions.
Worship tends to be non-liturgical and is similar, in many aspects, to that
of other Protestant free-church faith traditions. Two ordinances, the
Lords Supper and Baptism of adult believers by immersion, are generally
observed. They reject infant baptism as unscriptural. Baptists believe they
have no founder but Christ and that Baptists have been preaching and
practicing Christian principles from the days of John the Baptist.
Northern and Southern Baptist churches in America split over issues
stemming from the slavery question before the outbreak of the Civil War.
While their basic beliefs are much the same, Southern Baptists generally hold
to a more conservative and more Calvinistic theology than Northern (now
called American) Baptists.
In addition to the Southern Baptist Convention and American Baptist
churches, other large Baptist bodies in the United States are the National
Baptist Convention, Inc., the General Baptists, and the Conservative Baptist
Association of America.
THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH (DISCIPLES OF CHRIST).The
Christian church (Disciples of Christ) was established in the 19th century.
Led by evangelists Barton Stone, Thomas and Alexander Campbell, and
Walter Scott, the Disciples of Christ emphasized a simple faith in Christ as
the Lord, the Bible as the Word of God, baptism by immersion, and weekly
observance of the Lords Supper.
Worship generally begins with the singing of a hymn and maybe followed
by responsive readings, recitation of the Lords Prayer, scripture readings,
pastoral prayer, anthems, the sermon, an invitation to fellowship, gathering
of tithes and offerings, communion service, benediction, and a final hymn or
recessional. On occasion, the sermon may be omitted, but communion is
seldom omitted and at times it may precede the sermon.