World Baptist Fellowship - a separatist fundamentalist Baptist organization. The name World Baptist Fellowship goes hand in hand with John Franklyn [J. Frank] Norris (1877-1952) of Texas, a fiery southern fundamentalist leader in the first half of the 20th century. Though the rise of liberalism among Baptists reaches back into the 19th century, the fundamentalist opposition to liberalism came to the forefront early in the 1900s, especially with the publication of The Fundamentals: A Testimony to the Truth between 1910 and 1915. The Fundamentals was a series of twelve articles defending the 'fundamentals' of the faith, such as the inerrancy of the Bible, the virgin birth of Christ and the literal return of Christ. In 1920, Curtis Lee Laws, a Baptist editor of The Watchman-Examiner coined the term 'fundamentalist' and defined a fundamentalist as one "ready to do battle royal for the Fundamentals of the faith." J. Frank Norris became a combatant in the fundamentalist/modernist controversy. He edited a paper entitled The Fundamentalist. Both the Southern Baptist Convention and the Baptist General Convention of Texas expelled Norris because of his controversial behaviour. Norris, C. P. Staley and others formed the Premillennial Missionary Baptist Fellowship in 1933 at Fort Worth, Texas. In 1938, the name was changed to World Fundamental Baptist Missionary Fellowship and then to World Baptist Fellowship (WBF) after the schism that created the Baptist Bible Fellowship International. The WBF suffered a second division in 1984, when a group led by Raymond W. Barber established the Independent Baptist Fellowship International and the Norris Bible Baptist Institute.
The WBF considers itself a missions agency. Its missionary work is headed by the Mission Committee, whose members are nominated by the existing committee and approved by the General Assembly in annual meeting. In 2003, the WBF has 85 approved missionaries, with Tommy Raley serving as the Mission Director. National Fellowship meetings are held twice per year. Arlington Baptist College, a four year accredited Bible College, is its educational arm. Headquarters are in Arlington, Texas. The World Baptist Fellowship had 945 churches in 1995, with its primary strength in Texas, Florida and Ohio. More than half of these churches also participate in other independent fundamental Baptist fellowships.