Some years ago, I am told, a young secretary in Dallas went to her bank to get some traveler's checks. "What denomination?" asked the teller. "Why, Baptist, of course!" she replied. I don't recall whether she smiled or not. It doesn't really matter. It is apparently easy for the uninformed to confuse banks and churches in Texas. Throughout the Lone Star state, as well as in small towns all over the South and Midwest, imposing Baptist churches share Main Street with impressive bank buildings. One out of every three American Protestants is a Baptist. And at least one of the other two has probably come to share some Baptist conviction.
The Conservative Baptist Association came into existence in 1947 with the purpose of providing a fellowship of churches that hold in common certain basic convictions concerning core issues of biblical faith and Baptist polity. The very word “conservative” gives identity to the movement, because the intent was to conserve (to keep, to retain) the basic biblical distinctives that have historically distinguished Baptists as a people of God. Furthermore, Conservative Baptists have, from their inception, been deeply involved in a worldwide missionary outreach.
On a chilly day in 1943 in Chicago, the temperature hovered around zero most of the day. Newspapers on Michigan Avenue told about the Russian advance against the Germans at the Dnieper River. But across town at the Tabernacle Baptist Church, the men and women who climbed the steps to the auditorium of the church had neither the weather nor the war on their minds.