History of Ohio Baptists - Chapter 1
3rd May 2023
"Baptists have steadfastly denied all necessity for apostolic succession and ecclesiastical tradition. They have disclaimed any need for an uninterrupted episcopacy transmitted from the days of the apostles. Baptist historiography, however, until more recent years, disclosed a sizeable amount of literature forging a lineal relationship to primitive Christianity. 'The Baptists claim their origin from the ministry of Christ and his Apostles,' asserted one religious encyclopedia dated 1873, claiming 'to be able to trace their history in a succession of pure churches, under various names, down to the Reformation of the sixteenth century.' . . . the importance of such a succession theory to the Baptist mind suggests in part the underlying reason for the emergence of the modern Baptist movement in the early years of the seventeenth century. All of the pre-Reformation non-conformists, together with the Baptist movement, possessed what Ernst Troeltsch termed a 'Sect-type' character. They aspired after a 'personal inward perfection' which sought to identify with primitive Christianity. Renouncing the 'Church-type' institution, which ascribed to itself a supernatural character quite apart from the holiness of its members, the Sect churches emphasized the direct rule of Christ as the basis for 'direct personal fellowship' within the relatively small circle of members."
Thus begins Chapter 1, Baptist Beginnings in Europe and America, of our soon-to-be released book - A History of the Baptist Churches in Ohio, 1789-1907, written by Dr. Richard Clossman, edited by Patrick Kennedy and Terry Wolever.