We end our survey of the early Particular Baptists in England by looking at several of the churches of that time and some common characteristics they shared. Dr. James M. Renihan in his lecture “The Churches And Their Beliefs” relates the importance with which these churches treated membership and the respect they showed for other churches, even those who differed from them such as General Baptists and Congregationalists. Church offices and interchurch associations were also highly esteemed.
Since this blog is specifically for women, it is interesting to note the role of women in these churches. Dr. Renihan recounts how the female members of the Plymouth church demonstrated their influence in 1690 concerning the calling of Samuel Buttall, who had signed the 2nd London Baptist Confession of Faith the year before. While they could not vote or be present at the meeting, the ladies wrote a letter expressing their recommendation of Buttall to the men assembled. The men agreed with this recommendation. It is also fascinating that in every church mentioned in the lecture, female members outnumber the male. Dr. Renihan does not have any specific reason as to why this is the case, but we can be thankful nonetheless for our Particular Baptist sisters of the past.