The American Baptist Historical Society is the archive and historical interpreter of a major religious denomination — American Baptist Churches USA — made up of 5,800 churches and 1.5 million people.
We also serve as the Baptist historical society of America, collecting documents from many different Baptist denominations in North America and around the world. As the oldest Baptist historical organization (founded in 1853) with the largest and most diverse collection of Baptist historical material, our holdings are of irreplaceable value to church, national, and global history.
ABHS serves as keeper of the record of the modern missionary movement. Our shelves hold unparalleled resources documenting African-American church associations, women’s work, local church and association minutes and the social gospel movement. We publish the oldest Baptist journal, the American Baptist Quarterly, interpreting for modern readers the lives and issues of the past that shape who we are today.
Materials held in the Archives Center include:
- original correspondence of home and overseas missionaries,
- official denominational minutes and publications,
- documents from the Baptist World Alliance,
- personal papers of Baptist leaders,
- photographs and glass slides,
- artifacts and mementos.
Among our rarest materials are:
- An original printing of the London Confession of 1644, the first statement of Baptist principles
- Manuscript letters written by missionary pioneers Adoniram Judson, Ann Judson, Sarah Judson, and Emily Judson as well as their children
- African-American Baptist association minutes as early as 1829
- Official denominational minutes and publication for ethnic Baptists, including Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, German, Italian, and Slovakian immigrant congregations
- Official records of the Baptist World Alliance
- Records of missionary Marian Boehr, letters of Lott Carey and Luther Rice, and the ex-slave narrative of George M. Horton
American Baptist Historical Society is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. All donations to ABHS are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.
Rev. Dr. Priscilla E. Eppinger
Financial & American Baptist Quarterly Secretary