What is distinct about American Baptists?

Baptist roots date back four centuries to a people seeking the opportunity to worship God in freely organized and freely functioning local churches.


  • We celebrate and believe that expressed personal faith in Jesus Christ assures salvation and eternal fellowship with a loving God.
  • We seek justice for all persons.
  • We find unity in diversity and diversity in unity.
  • We strive to care for the needy, the weak, and the oppressed.
  • We at First Baptist Church of Hingham believe that as Baptists we have a freedom of expression from the pulpit and pew, being accountable to God, with the Bible being our ultimate authority.
  • We embrace a pluralism of race, ethnicity, and gender.
  • We respect individual differences of conviction and theology.
  • We accept people from all walks of life.
  • The American Baptist Churches USA affirms that "our priority as a denomination is to affirm, support, and challenge congregations as they live out their mission." Each congregation has autonomy within the denomination.
  • We decide what projects we want to do for the people of this community.
  • We have excellent national and international missions to which we contribute.
  • We have freedom to be in ministry, regardless of whether one is male or female.
  • We celebrate racial, cultural, and theological diversity.
  • We believe in the competency of all believers to be in direct relationship with God and to interpret Scripture.
  • When desired, church membership can be fulfilled through Baptism by immersion, letter of transfer, or Christian testimony.
  • American Baptists acknowledge that God's family extends beyond our local churches, being called to support cooperative ministries. Our outreach extends worldwide through our relationships with the Denomination, and association with other ministries such as the Baptist World Alliance, the National Council of the Churches of Christ, the World Council of Churches.
  • We support the religious freedom in the separation of church and state.
  • We advocate for people everywhere to be guaranteed the right to worship free from discrimination.
  • We celebrate the special gifts of all believers, testifying that God can use each of us with our own talents in ministry.