Conservative Baptist Association of America

Conservative Baptist Association of America



The first organization of Conservative Baptists was the Conservative Baptist Foreign Mission Society (CBFMS), now called WorldVenture, formed in Chicago, Illinois in 1943. The Conservative Baptist Association of America was organized in Atlantic City, New Jersey in 1947. The Association operates under the name CBAmerica. The Conservative Baptist Association emerged as part of the continuing Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy within the Northern Baptist Convention. The forming churches were fundamental/conservative churches that had remained in cooperation with the Northern Baptist Convention after other churches had left, such as those that formed the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches. At the 1946 NBC meeting, the old convention made it clear that it would not allow a competing missionary agency to operate within it. Churches withdrew, forming the new association, and hundreds of others withdrew in the following years. The conservatives were in the majority in Minnesota and Arizona, and the Northern Baptists lost those state agencies.[1]


The movement presently supports three national agencies - CBAmerica, WorldVenture (formerly CBFMS, then CBInternational), and Missions Door (formerly Conservative Baptist Home Mission Society, then Mission To The Americas). Conservative Baptists also cooperate with affiliated institutions of higher learning as well as youth and women's ministries. Each local Conservative Baptist church is an autonomous organization in voluntary affiliation with each other through regional associations.


Until a structural reorganization began in early 2004, CBAmerica was a network of churches and ministries, committed to evangelization and church planting. In 2003, its membership comprised over 1200 churches representing over 200,000 church members.

Following the dissolution of an Organization Task Force after an unsuccessful attempt to unite the national agencies in a single structure and vision, CBAmerica was reorganized to become "the amalgamate voice of 9 regions."[2] In 2005 new bylaws were adopted whereby local churches ceased to be the members of CBAmerica, in favor of a membership composed of regional associations.[3] Churches continue to be the members of the regional associations but have no direct participation in the national organization.

Stephen LeBar served as the last executive director of CBAmerica from 2004 until his resignation in 2009 and was not replaced. The staff listed on the website of CBAmerica as of 2010 is limited to a part-time National Network Facilitator, who also serves as an associate director of a regional association, and a part-time Chaplaincy Director, who is a retired Army chaplain. The stated purpose of CBAmerica as reorganized is limited to servicing regional associations: "CBAmerica exists to serve, resource and represent regional fellowships of Conservative Baptist churches."[4]

The slogan on its website is "a church-based network of regional ministries." There is no explanation offered as to the meaning of "church-based" for an organization that no longer includes churches, and no specific services to regional fellowships are presented despite the stated purpose of CBAmerica. The "About Us" page has not been updated since at least 2009, referring to Stephen LeBar, who resigned that year, as the current executive director. The reorganization appears to have reduced the national organization of Conservative Baptists to little more than a name for the sake of identification.

International ties

CBAmerica maintains fellowship and relationship with networks of churches in other countries of the world through CBGlobal, which has a board consisting of national organization leaders but no staff of its own.


Associated educational institutions

External links


  • Baptists Around the World, by Albert W. Wardin, Jr.
  • Dictionary of Baptists in America, Bill J. Leonard, editor
  • Handbook of Denominations, by Frank Mead & Samuel Hill
  • CBAmerica Official Web Site

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