The General Missionary Baptist Association of Mississippi was organized in October 1872 in Columbus, Mississippi after the Reverend Jesse Freeman Boulden of Columbus resisted efforts of others to bring his associational work into the General Convention. The General Baptist Association was what the writer would call an “Association of Associations.” The influence of the General Baptist Association of Mississippi was felt from Jackson in the south to Winona in the north and east to Columbus. The work of this body continued until 1890.
Despite personality differences, the General Baptist Association and the General Convention were merged in 1890 to form the General Missionary Baptist State Convention of Mississippi (GMBSC) under the leadership of the Reverend Randle Pollard, an old ex-slave preacher hailed as the “Father of Negro Baptists in Mississippi.” At the time, the convention was made up of 400 churches representing 70,000 Black Baptists. One of its accomplishments was the founding and operation of Natchez College.
Natchez College was founded in hopes of providing schooling beyond the limited levels provided by the State of Mississippi for Black children. The convention also founded and sponsored high schools and seminaries for the training of ministers. After 1954, the privately operated church supported schools had to re-evaluate their mission and seek wider support for their programs.
The role of the president of a Black Baptist Convention on the national and state levels has been to define the mission and defend the integrity of a Black Convention. From a historical perspective in Mississippi, State Convention agendas were and are articulated by their respective presidents. Each man had his own vision from which he challenged the convention to move toward and offered solutions that would accomplish his goals. The organizations then attempted to personalize the visions and implement them to meet perceived problems.
The Purpose of the General Missionary Baptist State Convention is to provide a state-wide organization through which Missionary Baptist churches can collectively participate and promote: evangelism, discipleship, Christian Education, missions, ministries, social services and any other objective that the Convention may consider to be appropriate and desirable.
Furthermore, the purpose of this Convention is to empower and equip pastors, preachers, and local congregations to maximize their individual potential for engaging in effective ministry.
Our vision is to impact our local communities, our state, our nation, and the world through pastoral and lay leadership development training as well as through the proclamation and performance of the Gospel in such fashion that sinners will be evangelized, saints will be edified, and the Savior will be exalted.
Basis for Core Beliefs
Christ is the Head and final authority for the Church. His Word, the Bible, is the binding and final authority in all matters of faith and practice. We believe the Bible was inspired by God, is inerrant and infallible in the original autographs and is preserved by God in such a way as to be authoritative and totally reliable today. We also believe that it is truth without any mixture of error in all realms of reality: historically, scientifically, doctrinally, and prophetically.
1. We believe in one God, infinite spirit, creator, and sustainer of all things, who exists eternally in three persons, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. These are one in essence but distinct in person and function.
2. We believe the Father is the first person of the Trinity and the source of all that God is and does. From Him the Son is eternally generated and from Them the Spirit eternally proceeds. He is the designer of creation, the speaker of revelation, the author of redemption, and the sovereign of history.
3. We believe the Lord Jesus Christ is the second person of the Trinity. Eternally begotten (not made) from the Father, He is God. He was conceived by the virgin Mary through a miracle of the Holy Spirit. He lives forever as perfect God and perfect man; two distinct natures inseparably united in one person.
4. We believe the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity, proceeding from the Father and the Son and equal in deity. He is the giver of all life, active in the creating and ordering of the universe; He is the agent of inspiration and the new birth; He restrains sin and Satan; and He indwells and sanctifies all believers.
5. We believe all things were created by God. Angels were created as minister agents, though some, under the leadership of Satan, fell from their sinless state to become agents of evil. The universe was created in six historical days and continuously sustained by God; thus it both reflects His glory and reveals His truth. Human beings were directly created, not evolved, in the very image of God. As reasoning moral agents, they are responsible under God for understanding and governing themselves and the world.
6. We believe that Adam, as the first man, willfully disobeyed God, bringing sin and death into the world. As a result, all persons are sinners from conception, which is evidenced in their willful acts of sin; and they are therefore subject to eternal punishment, under the condemnation of a Holy God.
7. We believe Jesus Christ offered Himself as a sacrifice by the appointment of the Father. He fulfilled the demands of God by His obedient and sinless life, died on the cross in full substitution and payment for the sins of all, was buried, and on the third day He arose physically and bodily from the dead. He ascended into heaven where He now intercedes for all believers.
8. We believe each person is saved only through the work of Jesus Christ; through repentance of sin and by faith alone in Him as savior. The believer is declared righteous, born again by the Holy Spirit, turned from sin, and assured of heaven.
9. We believe the Holy Spirit indwells all who are born again, conforming them to the likeness of Jesus Christ, the Word of God in separation from sin.
10. We believe the church is the local assembly of baptized believers, under the discipline of the Word of God and the lordship of Christ, organized to carry out the commission to evangelize, to teach, to administer the ordinances of believer’s baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Its offices are the pastors, and deacons. It is self-governing. It functions through the ministry of gifts given by the Holy Spirit to each believer.
The General Missionary Baptist State Convention will conduct its ministries in accordance with these principles:
We will conduct Convention business in accordance with Biblical principles and precepts and will endeavor to be consistent both in conversation and conduct.
We will foster an atmosphere of teamwork and conduct all of our affairs in a manner that will help to generate unity of purpose and practice between our local, state and national denominational missions and ministries.
As a Convention, God’s redemptive love will govern and guide our attitude and our actions, as we engage in ministries of caring, sharing and supporting.
We believe that the true measure of commitment is conduct. Therefore, we will endeavor to match our assertions with actions, our propositions with practice, and our conversations with our conduct.
We shall seek to improve our capacity for excellence by being intentional in our training, our teaching and the growth and development of our professional skills.
We shall perform our work in a manner that is consistent with the need to be accountable not only to our constituents but ultimately to Christ.
|Henry P Jacobs||1869-1876|
|Randall Pollard (Interim)||1876|
|George Washington Gayles||1876-1894|
|H. W. Bowen||1894-1896|
|Arthur Alexander Hamilton||1896-1904|
|Elbert B. Topp||1913-1922|
|Peter E. Frisby||1922-1940|
|A. A. Cosey||1940-1944|
|Harrison Henry Humes||1944-1958|
|R. W. West||1958-1966|
|Eugene Emmet Spencer||1966-1974|
|Isiac Jackson, Jr.||2010-Present|