History of the Suburban Baptist Association

The Suburban Baptist Association was organized in March 1917 and it is still going strong. The name noted in the First Constitution is as follows: “The name of this body shall be the Suburban Baptist Church Association of Missionary Baptist Churches of the Suburbs of Philadelphia and Vicinity.”

The purpose of the Association was to promote fellowship, unity and greater effectiveness among member churches in their joint effort in executing the mandates of the “Great Commission of Jesus Christ.”

The membership of the Association would consist of churches of the Suburban Philadelphia area and other churches recommended by the Executive Board and voted upon by the Association. The member churches duties would be to support the Association’s goals and objectives, financially and fully co-operate to promote unity and fellowship.

SBA Leadership

The leader of the Association was called Moderator, whose duty would be to see to the overall direction and supervision of the Association; to provide leadership in setting and reaching stated goals; to convene the Executive Board and the Association and to represent the Association in its affiliation with related bodies. Other officers were: First Vice Moderator; Second Vice Moderator; Secretary; Corresponding Secretary and Treasurer.

The different departments of the Association include the following: Executive Board; Laymen’s League; Women’s Auxiliary; Youth Department and Field Representative.

Concerning Ordination

An ordination council will be called by the Moderator upon request of a member church. This Council examines the applicant for ordination and gives final approval. The candidate for ordination must be “called” to the gospel ministry; be a member in good standing with a member church of the Association; be recommended for ordination by the member church and show evidence of formal training for the gospel ministry and/or involvement in a program of continuing education. The member church requesting the ordination council must assume financial responsibility. A minimum of five members are required to make up a council.

SBA Membership

Any member church may voluntarily withdraw its membership from the Association by submitting to the Moderator a written notice outlining the reasons for its action. The Association may terminate the membership of a church in a case of irreconcilable doctrinal differences.

The Annual Meeting of the Association shall be held on the week following the third (3rd) Sunday in October each year.

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