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Also known as Reformed Baptists. Strict Baptists, or Calvinistic Baptists, the Particular Baptists adhere to a Calvinistic doctrine, which holds that God is sovereign in all matters, including salvation, which is only for those whom God has chosen to be saved.

We will use the term Particular Baptists in this category because they were first known by that name, and it is a term still in use.

Particular Baptists trace their origins to the early Particular Baptists of England. Shortly after Baptists became known by that name, there were two groups of Baptists, the General Baptists and the Particular Baptists. The Particular Baptists held to a doctrine of particular atonement, which is that Christ died only for an elect, and were strongly Calvinistic. In contrast, the General Baptists adhered to the doctrine of general atonement, that Christ died for all people rather than for a predetermined group of people. The Particular and General Baptists represented the Calvinist-Arminian factions of early Baptists. The General Baptists had their origins in the English Separatists, while the roots of the Particular Baptists were in non-Separatist independency.

Both factions of Baptists were congregational, and shared many of the same ideas regarding the nature of the church, believing that the church should be patterned after the New Testament churches, which were self-governing bodies composed of baptized believers.

The Particular Baptists have their origins in a non-Separatist church established by Henry Jacob in 1616. In 1638, a large number of its members withdrew to form the first Particular Baptist church. For the first couple of decades, the largest growth was among Particular Baptist churches as Particular Baptist preachers won several converts from Oliver Cromwell's army, while General Baptists lost members to the Quakers. The ranks of General Baptists was further reduced as many of its churches became Unitarian.

Meanwhile, the Particular Baptists became more strongly Calvinistic. In 1770, a Wesleyan faction was formed among the General Baptists, which united with the Particular Baptists in 1891, forming the Baptist Union of Great Britain and Ireland. By the turn of the 20th century, Baptists had reached the peak of their influence in Great Britain, and began to decline after World War I.

Although some emigrants came to the American colonies as Baptists, the movement was largely indigenous to North America. The First Baptist Church in America was established under Calvinist lines by Roger Williams at Providence, in what is now Rhode Island, following his banishment from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. However, Williams soon abandoned the newly established church, leaving it without strong leadership. When it reorganized, it was under a General Baptist platform. At that time, in the 1650s, ther only large concentration of General Baptists was in Rhode Island. Most of their churches declined, including the Providence church, were reorganized under Particular Baptist doctrines.

During the early 18th century, the center of Particular Baptist activity was in the Middle Colonies. In 1707, Particular Baptist churches in Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania formed the Philadelphia Baptist Association, which began active missionary activity, spreading to Connecticut, New York, Virginia, and West Virginia, and later to the Carolinas.

Over time, however, some of these groups merged with other Baptist bodies or separated, forming associations under various names, many of which no longer identified as Particular Baptists.

Groups that exist today, under different names, but differ little from the early Particular Baptists, include the Sovereign Grace Baptists and the Strict Baptists. Many Particular Baptist associations identify as Reformed Baptists or Calvinistic Baptists.

Sovereign Grace Baptists accept God's sovereign grace in matters of salvation and predestination. More narrowly, some churches and associations have incorporated "Sovereign Grace" into their name, rather than identifying as Particular, Reformed, or Calvinisitic Baptists.

Strict Baptists sometimes prefer to differentiate from Reformed Baptists. Although they share the same Calvinist doctrine, they may differ on issues of church governance, adhering to a more congregationalist view of the local church.

Grace Baptist is another name used by various associations and churches who are aligned with Reformed or Particular Baptists.

The focus of this category, or its subcategories, is on Particular, Calvinistic, Reformed, or Strict Baptists, by whatever name they may choose. Web sites representing local churches should be submitted to the appropriate Local & Global category, however.



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