- Baptist Bible Fellowship International
Infobox Christian denomination
name = Baptist Bible Fellowship International
imagewidth = 100px
orientation = Fundamentalist
polity = Congregationalist
World Baptist Fellowship
International Baptist Network
The Baptist Bible Fellowship International (BBFI) is a separatist
fundamentalistorganization formed in 1950 by members who separated from the World Baptist Fellowship. While it "approves" schools, it is not an "accreditor" for institutions of higher learning according to the United States Department of Education. [ [http://www.chea.org Council for Higher Education Accreditation] ]
BBFI Headquarters are in
Founding and history
J. Frank Norriswas the recognized leader of the WBF and the Bible Baptist Institute of Fort Worth, Texas. In 1948, George Beauchamp Vick (Norris' co-pastor in Detroit, Michigan) agreed to take the presidency of the school in Fort Worth. In May, 1950, Norris opposed Vick, ousted him from the presidency, and installed a new president. When the World Baptist Fellowship met, no solution could be found, and Vick officially resigned. Noel Smith, W. E. Dowell, Sr., Fred Donnelson, Vick, and other pastors met in the Texas Hotel and laid groundwork for a new fellowship. They moved to Springfield, started the Baptist Bible College, the "Baptist Bible Tribune", and this fellowship of like-minded churches and individuals. They embarked on an aggressive missions program and have continued to grow. A recent controversy over Bible versions, contemporary music, secondary separation and other issues led to division and formation of the Global Independent Baptist Fellowship.
The structure of BBFI makes it actually a fellowship of pastors rather than churches: "Affiliation with the Baptist Bible Fellowship International is open to any Baptist pastor of a supporting Baptist church believing in and adhering to the Word of God, on the basis of the Articles of Faith appended hereto." The organizational structure includes President, Vice-Presidents, Secretary, Treasurer, and Directors, one from each state and elected by State Fellowships. Within this organization, there are State Fellowships in each of the fifty states of the United States. The stated purpose of the Fellowship is to obey both the letter and the spirit of the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20. Some of the largest Sunday Schools in the U. S. are found in BBFI churches. Some BBFI churches and pastors also affiliate with and support other fellowships, such as the WBF. To further church planting BBFI is cooperating in the
International Baptist Network.
Although the current number of members is not public knowledge, most experts believe that membership in the BBFI has declined in the past 10 years. The Fellowship owns the original
Baptist Bible College, as well as Boston Baptist College.
Association with Jerry Falwell
For a period
Jerry Falwellwas a member of the Baptist Bible Fellowship International, but later affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.Fact|date=February 2007 Falwell retained his affiliation with the Baptist Bible Fellowship, and the church he founded, Thomas Road Baptist Church of Lynchburg, Virginia, is listed in the current BBFI directory.
* [http://www.bbfi.org/ Baptist Bible Fellowship International Web Site]
* [http://www.jbbf.org/english/index.html Japan Baptist Bible Fellowship Web Site]
* [http://www.connectionpoint.net/ Baptist Bible Fellowship Missions Web Site]
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