The Kentucky Baptist Convention is a cooperative missions and ministry organization made up of nearly 2,400 autonomous Baptist churches in Kentucky. These churches have a total membership of more than 750,000.
The term “Kentucky Baptist Convention” refers to both the denomination and its annual meeting. Working through 71 local associations and in cooperation with the Southern Baptist Convention, Kentucky Baptists share a common bond of basic Biblical beliefs and a commitment to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the entire world.
Each church is self-governing under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Churches elect messengers (not delegates) to various denominational meetings, including the annual convention. The messengers determine the course of many programs, ministries and institutions of the convention and its staff as guided by the KBC Constitution and Bylaws.
When the annual convention is not in session, the convention’s Mission Board provides leadership for the convention and its staff. Board members are members of Kentucky Baptist churches and serve three-year terms as nominated by their respective associations. Some board members serve at-large terms.
People Serving and Working Together
The Mission Board staff is responsible for planning, coordinating and implementing a variety of programs and ministries. The convention staff operates out of the Kentucky Baptist Building located in Louisville.
The Kentucky Baptist Convention also relates to 10 Kentucky agencies and institutions and one auxiliary — the Kentucky Woman’s Missionary Union. While these organizations relate to and cooperate with the state convention in varying degrees, they operate under the direction of separate boards.
The agencies and institutions are: Clear Creek Baptist Bible College, University of the Cumberlands, Oneida Baptist Institute, Baptist Healthcare System, Sunrise Children’s Services (formerly Kentucky Baptist Homes for Children), Kentucky Baptist Foundation, Kentucky Baptist Assemblies and the Western Recorder (the state Baptist newspaper).
Join the KBC
Is your church interested in affiliating with the Kentucky Baptist Convention? The Executive Office of the Kentucky Baptist Convention would be please to assist you through the process. The following will walk you through some of the details:
- Information and Guidelines for Churches Seeking Affiliation with the Kentucky Baptist Convention. This document is an excellent place to start. This document outlines the purpose and process for affiliating with the Kentucky Baptist Convention.
- Request for Affiliation with the Kentucky Baptist Convention. You must complete and return this form to the Kentucky Baptist Convention Committee on Credentials no later than Sept. 1. The Committee on Credentials meets to consider affiliation requests in October.
- Data Sheet This form also must be completed and returned with the Request for Affiliation.
- Also, please attach to the application forms copies of any church approved documents which describe your purpose, rules of governance and bylaws, doctrinal statement, organization, participation in missions and ministries, financial condition and stewardship, and any other information that helps the Committee on Credentials become acquainted with your church.
The Committee on Credentials also encourages churches seeking affiliation to gain an understanding and appreciation of the Cooperative Program, our method for promoting missions and ministry endeavors here in Kentucky and beyond.
The Committee encourages churches seeking affiliation to establish a consistent, regular support through the Cooperative Program for two reasons:
It is one criteria used for determining representatives (messengers) to the annual meetings of the KBC and the Southern Baptist Convention; and
It is perhaps the best indication to the Committee that the church is seeking to be a fully cooperative church.
Along with continued financial support, affiliation carries a responsibility to report annually to the KBC on the Annual Church Profile (ACP).
For more information, contact the Executive Office Team by email or at (502) 489-3577 or (866) 489-3577 toll free in Kentucky only.
Constitution and Bylaws
We are here to serve Kentucky Baptists, and we love hearing from the people we serve! Here’s how to get in touch with us.
Kentucky Baptist Convention
Visit the Kentucky Baptist Building
The Kentucky Baptist Building is open from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (EST) Monday through Friday. To arrange for a building tour, contact the Communications Department at (502) 489-3376 or call toll-free in Kentucky at (866) 489-3578.
In an effort to ensure that every visitor to the Kentucky Baptist Building has a safe and pleasant visit, several guidelines have been instituted:
- Guests are asked to check in at the front desk when they arrive.
- Guests will be issued a guest badge when they check in. They are asked to wear the badge throughout their visit.
- Guests are then asked to return their badge and check out when they conclude their visit.
Baptists have a rich history in Kentucky. Imbued with the spirit of the Baptist pioneers who conquered the Alleghenies and headed westward with the Gospel of Christ, the state has long taken a leadership role in the life of the Southern Baptist denomination.
The Kentucky Baptist Convention was formed in 1837, eight years before the Southern Baptist Convention was founded in 1845. The Kentucky Baptist Convention is one of the oldest state Baptist conventions.
Historical highlights include:
- The first preacher to set foot on Western soil was Squire Boone II, visiting Kentucky in 1769.
- The first preaching in the West was conducted by Thomas Tinsley and William Hickman, at Harrodsburg in April of 1776.
- The first evangelical church, organized west of the Alleghenies, is Severns Valley, at Elizabethtown, founded June 18, 1781.
- The first district association west of the Alleghenies is Elkhorn, organized September 30, 1785, at Clear Creek Church.
- The idea for the plan of the American Baptist Home Mission Society was developed in Kentucky, by John Mason Peck and Jonathan Going, at Shelbyville in September, 1831.
- In 1842 Louisville was chosen as the first “location of the Board of Managers” of the American Indian Mission Association.
- The first seminary in the West, Western Baptist Theological Institution, was founded at Covington in 1845.
- Russellville, because of its economic prosperity, was the first city in the South to entertain the Southern Baptist Convention after the Civil War, May 22-26, 1866. The same forces led to relocating The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary from Greenville, South Carolina, to Louisville, Kentucky, in 1877.
- Spring Meadows Children’s Home, established June 30, 1869, as the Louisville Baptist Orphans’ Home, is the oldest Baptist children’s home in the South.
- The birthplace of the idea of the Baptist World Alliance is Kentucky. An article entitled “Why Not a World’s Baptist Congress?” written by A. T. Robertson and appearing in The Baptist Argus, Louisville, January 14, 1904, is pointed out as the immediate origin of the idea and plan.
- The idea of the Cooperative Program originated in Kentucky. On November 16, 1915, the General Association of Baptists in Kentucky met at Jellico, Tennessee, near the Kentucky state line and adopted a budget plan for the support of all denominational objects, state and Southwide. “This was ten years before the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting at Memphis in 1925, adopted a similar budget plan known as the Cooperative Program.” A leader in this plan was Harvey Boyce Taylor who developed the idea in the First Baptist Church of Murray beginning about 1900.
- The 30,000 Movement had its inception in the mind of C. C. Warren from a tragedy which occurred in an unchurched family at Danville, Kentucky, in June, 1930, when Dr. Warren was pastor of the Lexington Avenue Church there.
- Three Kentuckians have served as president of the Southern Baptist Convention: James P. Boyce, E. Y. Mullins, and John R. Sampey; each one was also president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary at the time he was president of the Convention. E. Y. Mullins also served as President of the Baptist World Alliance.
Excerpted from the Kentucky Baptist Historical Society, Publication No. 6, 1964.