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Previously known as the Baptist General Conference, Converge Worldwide was formed in the United States, but it has its roots in the 19th-century Pietist movement in Sweden.

A schoolteacher by the name of Gustaf Palmquist immigrated from Sweden to the United States, was baptized and ordained as a pastor in 1852. He and some others organized a Swedish Baptist congregation in Rock Island, Illinois in August of that year, drawing a large following.

By the time the Swedish Baptist General Conference of America was organized in 1879, there were sixty-five churches in the fellowship. For several decades, the Conference was aided by the American Baptist Home Mission Society and the American Baptist Society of the Northern Baptist Convention. While there was an expectation among some that the body would eventually merge with the Northern Baptists, the more conservative Swedish Baptists chose to go their own way, and eventually became self-sufficient.

A theological seminary was established in Chicago in 1871. Until 1944, its foreign missionary activities were coordinated through the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society.

After World War I, the denomination went through a period where both English and Swedish were used within its churches, but English became the language of the denomination in the 1940s, as its members had become more comfortable with an American identity. The word "Swedish" was dropped from the name in 1945, when it became the Baptist General Conference, after which it began attracting a more diverse membership. Today, fewer than half of Converge pastors are of Swedish descent, and several of its churches have very few Swedish members.

Converge Worldwide operates Bethel Theological Seminary and Bethel University in Arden Hills, Minnesota, and maintains business offices in Arlington Heights, Illinois, although its headquarters are now in Orlando, Florida.

In 2008, the General Baptist Conference decided to change its name to Converge Worldwide. It seems that several congregations in the denomination no longer wanted to identify as Baptist, and felt that the term carried negative stereotypes.

The doctrine of churches associated with Converge tends to be theologically conservative and continues to hold to standard Baptist tenets despite the name change.

Converge holds that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, as inspired in the words of the original manuscripts, and is the ultimate authority in matters of faith and conduct.

There is one true God, who exists in three persons who are equal in their divine nature and attributes. These are God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

People are sinful by nature as a result of the sin of Adam and Eve. Due to the sinful nature of mankind, humanity is under condemnation. However, those who repent of their sins and trust in Christ are regenerated by the Holy Spirit. Once done, their salvation is secure.

The church is the spiritual body of Christ, of which Christ is the head. The church consists of all regenerate Christians, and the task of the church is to preach the gospel to a lost world. Each church is autonomous, and church government is congregational, although churches can cooperate with other churches, even outside of the denomination, in order to further the cause of Christ.

Women can be ordained as pastors within the Converge body.

Converge adheres to the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's Supper. Baptism is by immersion and is only for those who have given a credible profession of faith. The Lord's Supper symbolizes the death of Christ on the cross, and should be celebrated until Christ returns.

Jesus Christ will return one day to establish His kingdom. At that time, the dead will be resurrected to face a final judgment, after which the righteous will be rewarded with eternal bliss in heaven, while the wicked will be sentenced to endless suffering in hell.

The focus of this category is on the Baptist denomination known as Converge Worldwide, known as the Baptist General Conference until 2008. Websites representing local churches or congregations should be listed in an appropriate Local & Global category, however.



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