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- Free Christian Baptist Conference of New Brunswick
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The Free Christian Baptist or Free Will Baptist denomination in New Brunswick originated from the growth of the Free Will Baptist denomination in the New England colonies. This in turn can be dated to the conversion of Benjamin Randall about the late 18th century. In direct contrast to the doctrine of limited atonement held by Calvinist Baptists, Free Will Baptists believed in "universal atonement and a universal call to mankind".
Henry Alline was converted to essentially Baptist beliefs in 1775. A former resident of New England and a former Congregationalist, Alline began to preach his message of redemption in 1776, diverging from the Calvinist beliefs of Congregationalism. His "New Light" revival of religion in Nova Scotia and other parts of the Maritimes led to the founding of many Baptist churches.
Although Free Will Baptists are unable to date precisely the commencement of their work in New Brunswick, they can date the founding of their organizational body, the Free Baptist General Conference, to 13 October 1832 at Wakefield, Carleton County. During the early years, the movements in both New Brunswick and Nova Scotia were influenced by Free Will Baptists in the State of Maine.
The Calvinistic (Regular) and Free Will Baptists grew rapidly, and by 1887 both groups could claim a sizeable number of followers. In 1905 the Baptists of the Maritime provinces and the Free Christian Baptists of New Brunswick amalgamated. A year later, the Free Baptists of Nova Scotia joined the new United Baptist Convention. This union brought together over 61,000 Baptists in three Maritime provinces.
Source: F. H. Sinnot, "The Union of the Regular and Free Will Baptists of the Maritimes, 1905-1906" in Repent and Believe: The Baptist Experience in Maritime Canada ed. By Barry M Moody, 1980.
Free Christian Baptist Conference of New Brunswick
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