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April Hughes

Thesis Outline
20 January 2008
I. Introduction/Thesis defined
1. History of controversy
2. Historical Baptist Stereotype
3. General Development in USA, yet no national
unification (why will be discussed later in text)
II. Historiography (Debate of Baptist Origins)
1. 1609 Amsterdam (puritan/separatist+Armenian)
2. 1641 London (purtain/separtatist+Calvinism)
3. 1525 Anabaptist Reformation (Zwingli)
III. My Consensus of Origins
IV. Introduction of all Baptist sub-sets and their influences
1. General Baptists
a. Amsterdam 1609
b. John Smyth, Thomas Hewlys, John Murton
c. Mennonite Influence
d. Flee to Holland, then the colonies
2. Particular/ Regular Baptist
a. London 1641
b. Puritanistic Calvinism in doctrine
c. Who Started this?
3. Separate Baptists
a. Armenian
b. Separated from Congregationalist Churches
c. ??
V. Baptists in America
1. Origins
a. Roger Williams (exiled)
b. George Fox
c. 1st Baptist Church
i. 1639 Providence, Rhode Island
ii. 12 members
d. Kept Dissenting Reputation
2. New England Baptist
3. Baptist in Middle Colonies
a. Spread late 17th century
b. Culturally Diverse Area
c. Religious Toleration
d. Delaware
e. New Jersey
f. Pennsylvania
i. Philadelphia (Baptist Stronghold…why?)
ii. 8th Baptist Church in Penn. Formed 1698
g. Philadelphia Convention
i. “general meetings”
ii. 1707 delegated body
iii. 1742 London Confession (Calvinistic)
iv. Membership double btwn 1762 and 1776

4. Southern Baptists
a. Expansion
i. Philadelphia Convention
ii. Colonies led by business men (more
tolerant), not religious groups
iii. Spread along coast
iv. Expanded to backcountry
b. Virginia
c. S. Carolina (spread from VA)
i. 1st Church Charleston 1683?
d. Georgia
5. Western Baptist
a. Should I talk about frontier???
b. These developed much later (Might be outside
of period I want to talk about for the paper)
VI. Great Awakening
1. New Relgious Fervor
a. Origins
b. General Effects
2. Bolstered Baptist Membership (Which groups?)
a. 60 congregations (1740) 1000 in (1790)
b. By 1790 Baptist = 67,000 members
c. Separate Baptists (They are the ones who held
the revivals. Their Armenian nature led them
to believe that individuals could accept God’s
call and receive salvation. These revivals were
used to invite others to follow Christ.)
3. Baptists Entered Protestant Mainstream
4. GA in South
a. Biggest Gain for Baptists (according to W.W.
b. Shaped Baptist piety
VII. Ministers
1. Generally, ministers were one of the few members of
colonial society who would have had some form of
formal education.
a. Baptist/not known for stressing education and
seminary/but most had some education
2. Ministers as Colonial Leaders

VIII. Oliver Hart

1. Influential Baptist Minister and Leader (Background)
a. From Philadelphia
b. Regular Baptist?
c. Moved to SC
2. Formation of SC Convention
3. Hart’s impact on SC
a. Charleston (where his congregation was)
b. Backcountry
***Should I talk about Oliver Hart or the Revolution first? I feel like if I
introduce the Revolution first that it won’t flow, but my information on Hart
is so intertwined with the Revolution that I am afraid I might be very jumpy.

IX. Revolution
1. General Background
2. Dissenters in the Revolution
a. Sympathetic to Patriot Cause
b. Why?
c. Saw British dominance over colonies same as
Anglican Church dominant over colonial religion
3. Baptist in Revolution
a. Strongest commitment to democratic principles
b. Valued individuality and freedom (show
c. Because they were dissenters, they already
know how to lobby and petition for their beliefs
and they used these same methods during the
revolution to show support for the Americans.
4. Hart in the Revolution
a. His letters
b. Related Sermons
c. Trip to the Backcountry

X. Slavery and the Baptists

1. General History
2. Reputation of each Baptist subset for owning slaves
3. Hart’s Slaves
a. Evidence
4. What this means
a. Reputation of all Baptists during this time as
abolitionists is false
b. Some Baptist subsets more sympathetic
towards slavery than others
c. Slavery is just one more issue in which
Baptists, yet again remained divided.
XI. Conclusion