Baptists: Healing Old Wounds

For a number of U.S. Protestant churches, the Civil War had the divisive effect of a minor Reformation. The Baptists, Presbyterians, Methodists and Lutherans split into Northern and Southern branches over the question of slavery. Some of these old war wounds have healed—the Methodists reunited in 1939, and Lutheran bodies have been joining together almost continuously since 1910—and now a merger between the nation's two largest white Baptist groups seems at least dimly in the offing.

At Virginia Beach, Va., 85 ministers and laymen from the big Southern Baptist Convention (10 million members) and the American Baptist Convention (1,500,000) met...

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