Different and Distinctive, but Nevertheless Baptist

A History of Northminster Baptist Church, 1967-2017

Reddit icon
e-mail icon
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
LinkedIn icon
C. Douglas Weaver, Aaron Douglas Weaver
  • Macon, GA: 
    Mercer University Press
    , October
     384 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by W. Glenn Jonas forthcoming.


Local church history is important. What great thinkers have written and what denominational bodies have declared in resolutions and organizational ministries are important, but "lived religion" at the ground level provides a fuller picture of the story of the Christian faith. The fifty-year (1967-2017) story of Northminster Baptist Church in Jackson, Mississippi, is one of those narratives that richly adds to our understanding of how faith has been lived in a particular setting. "Different and distinctive but nevertheless Baptist" is a phrase that tells the rich, unique history of Northminster Baptist Church. Baptist churches are known for claiming the priesthood of believers as a Baptist distinctive, but no church emphasizes it as much or implements it more than Northminster. Alongside a conscious lay emphasis, the church has had notable pulpit ministers like John Claypool and Chuck Poole (twice). Originally affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, its young professional base was seen as an alternative to First Baptist Church, Jackson. The church became involved in the Alliance of Baptists and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. At the same time, the theologically progressive church remained active in the Mississippi Baptist Convention--despite its frequent ordinations of women ministers--until its ouster in 2017. Northminster's story tells of a strong, notable, interfaith relationship with the Beth Temple Israel synagogue, an innovative social ministry (Wider Net) to the inner city of Jackson, and a theology of reverent worship that is liturgically "high church." Different, but proudly Baptist, no doubt

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

C. Douglas Weaver is Professor of Religion at Baylor University.

Aaron Douglas Weaver is Communications Director of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship in Atlanta, Georgia.


Reading Religion welcomes comments from AAR members, and you may leave a comment below by logging in with your AAR Member ID and password. Please read our policy on commenting.