Regular Baptists

1700s

“Regulars” favored the limited use of confessions of faith, orderly worship, formal hymns, educated pastors, and women who kept silent in worship. In all of these things they differentiated themselves from the Separate Baptists, who in the colonial South emanated from Sandy Creek, North Carolina, and who in South Carolina tended to be backcountry and rural.

Though in no way a full-blown organization, this largely eighteenth-century movement identified with the 1742 Philadelphia Baptist Confession of Faith and at earlier times with the 1689 London Confession, both of which reflected the modified Calvinism of English Particular Baptists. William Screven of Massachusetts Bay is said to be largely responsible for bringing this form of Baptist life to South Carolina when he settled in Charleston in 1696, but Oliver Hart gave the movement its lasting influence when he brought to Charleston in 1749 the values of the Philadelphia Baptist Association. Throughout the eighteenth century the coast and the lowcountry continued to be the center of the movement in the state, and the Charleston Association was formative for the movement in the South. “Regulars” favored the limited use of confessions of faith, orderly worship, formal hymns, educated pastors, and women who kept silent in worship. In all of these things they differentiated themselves from the Separate Baptists, who in the colonial South emanated from Sandy Creek, North Carolina, and who in South Carolina tended to be backcountry and rural. In 1787 in Dover, Virginia, there was a formal union between the groups that mirrored what was already happening less formally in South Carolina. Merger of the groups in South Carolina was instigated by persons such as Richard Furman, who had friends and sympathies on both sides of the divide. By 1790, as associations of Baptists were formed across the state, little mention of “Separates” and “Regulars” appears in the histories of these organizations.

King, Joe M. A History of South Carolina Baptists. Columbia: General Board of the South Carolina Baptist Convention, 1964.

Owens, Loulie Latimer. Saints of Clay: The Shaping of South Carolina Baptists. Columbia, S.C.: R. L. Bryan, 1971.

Turner, Helen Lee. “The Evangelical Traditions I: Baptists.” In Religion in South Carolina, edited by Charles H. Lippy. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1993.

 

Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Title Regular Baptists
  • Coverage 1700s
  • Author
  • Keywords William Screven, Oliver Hart, favored the limited use of confessions of faith, orderly worship, formal hymns, educated pastors, and women who kept silent in worship
  • Website Name South Carolina Encyclopedia
  • Publisher University of South Carolina, Institute for Southern Studies
  • URL
  • Access Date December 2, 2020
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update October 25, 2016
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