National Baptist Convention of America, Inc.
Records show that in 1880 there were nearly two million former slaves in Baptist churches in the USA. The need for a national congregation of African-American Baptists led to the creation of the Foreign Mission Baptist Convention of the United States (1880), the American National Baptist Convention (1886), and the Baptist National Educational Convention (1893). These three united and formed in 1895 the National Baptist Convention. Controversy over the adoption of a charter and the ownership of the National Baptist Publishing Board led in 1919 to a split and the formation of two separate bodies, the National Baptist Convention USA, Inc. and the National Baptist Convention of America (Inc.); the latter was incorporated in 1987. The matter was discussed again in the annual session of the NBCA, Inc. in 1988, after a joint worship service with the NBC USA Inc., but the controversy prevailed.
The National Baptist Convention of America, Inc. has made tremendous growth in numbers, ministries, and in honouring its commitment to education, evangelism, and mission at home and abroad. It continues to support mission fields in the Caribbean, the Virgin Islands, Panama, Haiti and Ghana. Its mission statement reads: "The National Baptist Convention of America shall serve to promote and support Christian education, Christian missions, and church extension through the combined efforts of Baptist churches, and shall seek to cause the gospel, as understood and practiced by our Baptist faith, to be spread throughout this nation and to the foreign nations. The Convention shall seek to positively impact and influence the spiritual, educational, social and economic conditions of all humankind."
The NBCA, Inc. convenes three times per year. One of the annual sessions is designated as the Convention at Study, which focuses upon the teaching ministry of the church, and is implemented through the National Baptist Congress of Christian Workers and the National Youth Convention. The NBCA, Inc. has several auxiliaries, for senior, intermediate, and junior women, and for men, all focusing on evangelism and leadership training; a health awareness team ministers to the physical needs of the family of God; an usher's auxiliary promotes support for the convention through prayer, Bible study and a covenant action plan for financial support; the pastors' and ministers' conference seeks to foster unity and to address the critical matters related to the task of ministry in the local church. Another set of organs of the convention are the boards. The college and seminary board, and the educational board, are in charge of relations with, and assistance to, educational institutions for the training of men and women for effective and full-time Christian service. The evangelical board is responsible for evangelism. It organizes annually a winter evangelism conference and a tent revival campaign. There is a publishing board, a home mission board for assistance to churches, pastors and individuals experiencing dire financial need, and a foreign mission board. Finally, the convention has a number of commissions, dealing with chaplaincy (especially in the armed forces), with orthodoxy (safeguarding Baptist distinctives and doctrinal beliefs), social justice (the welfare of oppressed people, global issues related to equity and justice), community and economic development, and labour relations.