The Baptist Pillar ©      Brandon Bible Baptist Church     1992-Present

"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15

Church Succession, Perpetuity,

and Continuity

"Just as God created the first swarm of bees, and from that first swarm has come all the bees in the world, so the Lord has created the first church, and all true churches have come out of her, or from churches that have been organized out of the one at Jerusalem." (L. D. Foreman)

"Succession among Baptists is not a linked chain of churches or ministers, uninterrupted and traceable at this distant day ... The true and defensible doctrine is that baptized believers have existed in every age since John baptized in Jordan, and have met as a baptized congregation in covenant and fellowship where an opportunity permitted." (S. H. Ford)

"All that Baptists mean by 'church succession' is: there has never been a day since the organization of the first New Testament church in which there was no genuine church of the New Testament existing on earth." (W. A. Jarrell)

"Baptists do not claim perpetuity upon the basis of a successive and unbroken chain of baptisms. I do not believe that it is necessary to have a linked succession of baptisms in order to have valid baptism. If such were the case, any of us would be hard pressed to establish that link, unbroken, back to apostolic times." (Roy Mason)

"If every church of Christ were today to become apostate, it would be possible and right for any true believers to organize tomorrow another church on the apostolic model of faith and practice; and that church would have the only apostolic succession worth having a succession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and obedience to Him." (H. C. Vedder)

"History will not support the theory of a linked-chain type of church succession ... it will support the view of the continued existence of the church." (Bob Ross)

"The New Testament churches were independent, self-governing, democratic bodies like the Baptist churches of today. We originated, not at the Reformation, nor in the Dark Ages, nor in any century after the Apostles, but our marching orders are the Great Commission, and the first Baptist church was the church at Jerusalem. Our principles are as old as Christianity, and we acknowledge no founder but Christ." (George McDaniel)

"From the time the Lord Jesus Christ established his New Testament church during His earthly ministry, until the present time, there have always existed believers and churches apart from both Romanism and Protestantism that have held to the essentials of New Testament truth ... It is one thing to prove historically that New Testament churches have existed in every age since the apostles; it is altogether different to seek to prove a linked succession of such churches' This is what distinguishes historic Baptists from those who are ardent 'Landmarkers.'" (W. R. Downing)

"We believe that the Baptists are the original Christians. We did not commence our existence at the Reformation, we were reformers before Luther or Calvin were born: we never came from the Church of Rome, for we were never in it, but we have an unbroken line up to the apostles themselves. (C. H. Spurgeon)

"The footsteps of the Baptists of the ages can more easily be traced by blood than by baptism. It is a lineage of suffering rather than a succession of bishops: a martyrdom of principles rather than a dogmatic decree of councils: a golden chord of love, rather than an iron chain of succession, which, while attempting to rattle its links back to the apostles, has been of more service in chaining some protesting Baptist to the stake than in proclaiming the truth of the New Testament." (J. T. Christian)

"The authenticity of a Baptist church depends, not on its ability to trace an unbroken line of connection to the apostles, but rather in its ability to demonstrate that it presently possesses the doctrines, principles, and practices which the apostles had and which are evident on the pages of the New Testament. If a church were forced to demonstrate its 'kosher' pedigree in order to be recognized, this would require that organized assembly to rely upon the word of man rather than the Word of God, since the inspired genealogical tables came to the object of their existence with the birth of Christ and were not continued beyond that." (Kenneth Good)

"When we speak of Baptist succession, we mean that since the time of Christ's earthly ministry there have appeared in every generation churches like the one He founded while He was here on earth ... and that such churches will continue to exist until the Rapture." (David Gonnella)

"I mean by the term Baptist church perpetuity that the church as an institution has existed in every age since the personal ministry of Christ. There has never been a day since the organization of the Jerusalem church in which there was no genuine church of the New Testament order existing on earth.' (Milburn Cockrell)

"Churches like the first church have continued to exist from that day to the present time. Christ promised that they would not cease to exist. Those today who claim that they and the churches of the Reformation have restored New Testament Christianity overlook the fact that the church Jesus built would not have to be restored." (M. L. Moser Sr.)