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The North American Baptist Conference was founded in 1865, although its roots go back to mission work among German immigrants in the late 1830s.

A Swiss separatist by the name of Konrad Fleischmann was active in ministry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, preaching believer's baptism. The first German Baptist Church was organized in Philadelphia in 1843 and, by the end of the 1850s churches had been organized in Illinois, Missouri, New York, Wisconsin, and Ontario.

The Conference of Ministers and Helpers of German Churches of Baptized Christians was formed in 1851 in Philadelphia. The General Conference of German Baptist Churches in North America was organized in Wilmot, Ontario in 1865.

Beginning in the 1940s, churches within the Conference began shifting from being German-language churches to English. Representing this change, the Conference adopted its current name in 1944, eliminating its ethnic reference.

Today, the North American Baptist Conference is strongest in the Midwest, California, and Alberta, Canada. Headquartered in Roseville, California, the Conference is sorted into eleven regions.

The Alberta Baptist Association includes churches from Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan. Although not the largest in area, the Alberta Baptist Association has the most churches.

The Atlantic Association covers a region that includes New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and eastern New York, an area that included some of the first German Baptist churches in North America.

The British Columbia Association includes British Columbia, as well as one church just south of the Canada-United States border.

The Central Plains Region is itself broken into three groups, the Southern Association (Louisiana, Texas), the Southwestern Association (Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma), and the Great Plains Association (Iowa, South Dakota).

The Eastern Association covers a broken area that includes parts of Ontario, Pennsylvania, and New York.

The Great Lakes Association consists of churches from southern Michigan to Kentucky.

The Northern California Association includes churches as far south as San Jose, the majority in the Sacramento area, as well as Nevada and Utah.

The Northern Plains Region includes the Manitoba Baptist Association and the North Central Association, with churches in southern Manitoba and Saskatchewan, North Dakota, and portions of South Dakota and Montana.

The Northwest Region includes churches in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington.

The Saskatchewan Baptist Association includes churches in Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Manitoba, as well as Good Spirit Bible Camp, which serves First Nations children.

The Southern California Association is made up of churches in Southern California, Arizona, and New Mexico.

The Upper Mississippi Region includes churches in southern Illinois and Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.

The Florida Association covers churches in Florida and Georgia.

Theologically, the North American Baptist Conference doesn't differ much from other Baptist bodies. Its statement of faith attests to the authority of Scripture, the revelation of God in Christ, regeneration, the baptism of believers by immersion, separation of church and state, and the autonomy of the local church. Its ministries include evangelism, discipleship, church planting, leadership training, counseling, camping programs for youth, and the care of the elderly. Membership is based on a personal experience of saving grace.

The North American Baptist Conference operates two schools, the Sioux Falls Seminary in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Taylor Seminary in Edmonton, Alberta. Within the Conference, clergy and lay representatives supervise the work of education, publication, and international missions. The Conference includes missions to the Brazil, Mexico, the Cameroon, Japan, the Philippines, and eastern Europe.

Approximately 70% of the churches within the Conference are in the United States, and 30% in Canada.

The focus of this category is on the North American Baptist Conference. Topics related to the Conference as a whole, or to its Regions and Associations are appropriate for this category, whether official or unofficial. Sites representing individual churches or congregations should be submitted to the appropriate Local & Global category.



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