Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Religion (MAR)



First Advisor

Dr. Carl E. Goodson

Second Advisor

Dr. Bob Riley

Third Advisor

Mrs. Betty Jo McCommas


This thesis is a historical report of the facts which led to the organization of the North American Baptist Association, from the meeting of the American Baptist Association in Lakeland, Florida, in 1950, through the year 1963. It also is a review of the foundational principles up which the Association was founded and stood, noting particularly the position held on Church equality and Church cooperation in promoting a world-wide mission program.

Special attention is given to the active development of the missionary efforts of this Association in the area of selecting, supporting, and governing those individuals serving the Association as foreign missionaries. The method of selecting missionaries is studied and shown to be the action of independent churches co-operating in the Association. The salaries of the missionaries are discussed and special notice is given to the increase of the salaries during the years covered in this thesis. Attention is called to the fact that the Association exercises control over the missionaries only in the event that misconduct is noted. A review of the personnel of the Foreign Mission program is made. The names of all missionaries who had been elected by the Association from its organization in 1950 to 1963 are given, along with the country where they were serving, or planning to serve. The practice of using native missionaries is also discussed.

The progressive report of the foreign mission program from 1950 to 1963 is summed up in three major periods. These periods are noted as the early ears, 1950-1953; the expanding years, 1954-1960; and the establishing years, 1961-1963. The growth of the Association is noted in number of cooperating churches, number of missionaries sponsored, and amount of funds received for the purpose of carrying on the mission program of the Association.



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