The Association of Baptist Churches in Ireland - an association of churches serving Baptists in Ireland.
Baptist work was started in Ireland by the middle of the 17th century. By 1653, there were 10 churches - 9 in the south and 1 in the north. The Irish Baptist Association was organized in 1862, and was replaced by the Irish Baptist Union (or Baptist Union of Ireland) in 1895. The Irish Baptists initially had a close relationship with the English Baptists. But desire for independence and development along more conservative theological lines caused the Irish Baptists to distance themselves from the English Baptists. They supported Charles Haddon Spurgeon during the Downgrade Controversy that raged in the Baptist Union of Great Britain. This conservatism has also kept them from joining the Baptist World Alliance. The Union is now called the Association of Baptist Churches in Ireland.
The Association of Baptist Churches in Ireland is comprised of over 100 Baptist churches. The majority of the churches are in Northern Ireland, but there are also churches in the Republic of Ireland. These member churches of the association have almost 8,500 active members. Departments include Baptist Women, Baptist Youth, Missions, Welfare, and Training (Irish Baptist Historical Society and Irish Baptist College). The Irish Baptist Life is a monthly magazine serving the churches. The Baptist Centre and Irish Baptist College are located near Moira, County Down, Northern Ireland. The Association holds an annual assembly in May. The Churches' Council meets during the week of the annual assembly and also annually in November. The purpose of the Council is to hear reports and conduct business. Matters are handled between sessions by the Executive Committee elected by the churches at the May Churches' Council meeting.
The doctrinal statement of the association includes ten articles on doctrine and behavior, which must be affirmed by member churches.
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Prominent Irish Baptists