The Philadelphia Association accepted Freewill Baptist Baptism

The claim that the new IMB guidelines on baptism are nothing more than “what Baptists have always believed” is simply not true. There is ample evidence to the contrary. The historical record indicates that the influential Philadelphia Baptist Association did not require “rebaptism” of those who had been baptized in Arminian churches.

Tom Nettles documents this in the newly released volume 2 of his 3 volume work entitled, The Baptists. He describes a missionary trip taken by John Gano of the Philadelphia Association to General Baptists of “free-will principles” in North Carolina in 1754. After winning their confidence through his candor and goodwill, Gano gained the privilege examining many of the ministers on their views of salvation. Nettles writes, “Due to Gano’s instruction, examination, and further preaching from ministers of the Association, the churches became Particular Baptist and eventually joined the Philadelphia Association” (111).

Their previous baptism in churches of “free-will principles” was not ruled invalid. It was acceptable to the Philadelphia Association missionaries and churches.

Tom Ascol has served as a Pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, FL since 1986. Prior to moving to Florida he served as pastor and associate pastor of churches in Texas. He has a BS degree in sociology from Texas A&M University (1979) and has also earned the MDiv and PhD degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas. He has served as an adjunct professor of theology for various colleges and seminaries, including Reformed Theological Seminary, the Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary, African Christian University, Copperbelt Ministerial College, and Reformed Baptist Seminary. He has also served as Visiting Professor at the Nicole Institute for Baptist Studies at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. Tom serves as the President of Founders Ministries and The Institute of Public Theology. He has edited the Founders Journal, a quarterly theological publication of Founders Ministries, and has written hundreds of articles for various journals and magazines. He has been a regular contributor to TableTalk, the monthly magazine of Ligonier Ministries. He has also edited and contributed to several books, including Dear Timothy: Letters on Pastoral Ministry, The Truth and Grace Memory Books for children and  Recovering the Gospel and Reformation of Churches. He is also the author of From the Protestant Reformation to the Southern Baptist ConventionTraditional Theology and the SBC and Strong and Courageous. Tom regularly preaches and lectures at various conferences throughout the United States and other countries. In addition he regularly contributes articles to the Founders website and hosts a weekly podcast called The Sword & The Trowel. He and his wife Donna have six children along with four sons-in-law and a daughter-in-law. They have sixteen grandchildren.
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