There are two groups of Strict and Particular Baptist churches: The Gospel Standard and the non-Gospel Standard (Independents). While they all share the same faith and order (Strict Communion and High-Calvinism), yet the Gospel Standard require churches to conform to their exact doctrinal statement and culturally distinct traditions. There are currently 90 Gospel Standard churches (most of which have an average attendance of between 3-15). There are 19 non-Gospel Standard churches, but I can only confirm 8 of these continue to embrace the Strict and Particular Baptist teachings. Here are some photos of Strict and Particular Baptist chapels, provided by the Strict Baptist Historical Society:

Wattisham Strict and Particular Baptist Chapel

A water tower in Canterbury, converted into a Strict and Particular Baptist Chapel

Old Strict Baptist Chapel, The Broadway, Bexley Heath, c. 1950′s.

Local Strict and Particular Baptist Sunday School, c. 1920′s.

At the turn of the 20th century, there were over 600 Strict and Particular Baptist chapels scattered around England, making up almost one third of all Baptist churches in the country. Contrary to popular belief, the Lord richly blessed the “high-calvinism” of these churches as multitudes of sinners were saved under the gospel ministry of pastors and itinerate preachers. Nevertheless, the churches have suffered a devastating decline over the last hundred years. Of the 600 chapels, more than 300 have closed and the majority of the others have been commandeered by the Reformed Baptists and other such groups.

Bethesda Baptist Church, the congregation that I pastor, is a Strict and Particular Baptist church organized in 1866. Although there were at that time at least thirty to forty Strict and Particular Baptist chapels in London, today Bethesda is the only congregation remaining. Indeed, the numbers suggest an ominous future for the Strict and Particular Baptists, unless something be done to reverse the trend of decline.

An article which appeared in a Strict and Particular Baptist magazine, recording the services which were held when Bethesda Baptist Church was organized, 1866


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