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    About CBF

                             HISTORY

    Baptists have existed in various islands/territories of the Caribbean since the 1780’s.  However, for reasons deeply-rooted in Caribbean history and geography, which contributed to insularity rather than unity, there was very limited opportunity for meeting each other and working together.

    At the eleventh Congress of the Baptist World Alliance held in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. in June 1965, and at the instance of the Reverend Dr. Ruben Lopes of Brazil, a proposal to launch a five-year programme of evangelism in the Americas and the Caribbean was accepted. The “Crusade of the Americas” served to bring Baptists of the Caribbean region closer together and revealed the need as well as the opportunity and possibility for a closer working relationship.

    At the invitation of the Jamaica Baptist Union, a meeting of Caribbean Baptist leaders was held at the Baptist Conference Centre in Duncans, Trelawny, Jamaica, June 1-3, 1969, where thirty-seven  representatives of fourteen islands/territories voted to recommend the formation of an organization to be known as the Caribbean Baptist Fellowship.

    The organization was formally constituted at a meeting held at the Conference Centre of the Florida Baptist Convention, Lake Yale, Florida, U.S.A., on April 13, 1970, comprised of the following thirteen member bodies:  Bermuda Baptist Mission, Bahamas National Baptist Missionary and Educational Convention, Jamaica Baptist Union, Puerto Rican Baptist Association, St. Kitts Baptist work, Guadeloupe Baptist Mission, the Guyana Baptist Mission, Haitian Baptist Convention, Cayman Islands Baptist Mission, St. Thomas (U.S.V.I.) Baptist Association, St. John’s (U.S.V.I.) Baptist Association, the Baptist Union of Trinidad & Tobago and the Trinidad Baptist Mission.

    An application sent to the Baptist World Alliance Executive Committee for recognition of the Caribbean Baptist Fellowship as a regional entity in that body was formally approved at the BWA meeting held in Tokyo, Japan in July 1970.

     

    WHAT WE BELIEVE

    DECLARATION OF FAITH: The Caribbean Baptist Fellowship is a voluntary association of Baptist entities bound together by the following commonly-held tenets of faith and practice:

    Belief in:

    1. A sovereign and loving God who reveals Himself as Creator of the universe and Supreme Lord of history and human destiny; who redeems humankind through personal faith in Jesus Christ; and who enables each believer and the church to fulfill their mission in the world through the work of the Holy Spirit;

    2. The Holy Scriptures as the inspired Word  of God and the final authority in all matters of faith, conduct and practice;

    3. The Church as a community of believers who:

       a.  are united through personal faith in Jesus Christ;

       b.  observe the two scriptural ordinances of believers’ baptism and the Lord’s Supper;

       c.  acknowledge the centrality of preaching in the proclamation of the gospel;

       d.  covenant together to obey the teaching of Jesus Christ as revealed in Holy Scripture;

       e.  subscribe to the autonomy of the local Church and are committed to voluntary association and cooperation at various levels for the advancement of the kingdom of God; and

       f.  believe the scriptural teaching that every Christian is commissioned and equipped by the Holy Spirit to
           participate in the mission of the Church to advance the kingdom of God on earth.

     

    OUR MISSION

    The Mission of the Caribbean Baptist Fellowship is to encourage and facilitate the coming together of Caribbean Baptists at national and regional levels for worship, and for shared witness and ministry.  To this end the CBF works to provide its member bodies with opportunities to be inspired, motivated, encouraged and equipped for service; and to be an agent through which they can pool and channel their human and financial resources towards carrying out the Great Commission of Jesus Christ and expressing  in word and deed the love of God for every person within the Caribbean region and beyond.

     

    OUR COMMITMENT

    In keeping with its Mission the CBF is committed to achieving the following goals:

    1.       The deepening of the spiritual life of all Christians;

    2.       The proclamation of the love of God for every person;

    3.       The making known of the truth that only through faith in and obedience to Jesus Christ, can there be true progress in the social, physical, economic and spiritual life of individuals, communities and nations.

    4.     Participating in the equipping of member bodies and churches to enable them to fulfill the mission of Jesus Christ in their time and place.

     

    OUR PURPOSE

    In accordance with the above stated mission and goals, the CBF tries to fulfill the following purposes and functions:

    1.  Promote fellowship, cooperation and service among Baptists throughout the Caribbean, by means of correspondence, called meetings, study and the promotion of appropriate activities for the development of Christian maturity, ministry and witness.

    2.   Produce and promote the use of appropriate and culturally-relevant literature and media materials for the spiritual nurture of  our people and the growth of our churches.

    3.   Encourage and coordinate efforts in evangelism, mission and church development designed to result in the strengthening of existing churches and the planting of new congregations.

    4.   Serve as a channel of communication, understanding and cooperation among Baptists within the region.

    5. Seek as far as possible to come to the speedy assistance of persons in need both at regional and international levels.

    6.   Advance the study of Baptist beliefs, polity and practices.

    7.   Actively pursue the safeguarding of human rights including religious liberty, justice and individual freedoms.

    8.   Be faithful to the biblical prophetic role and the historic Baptist tradition in addressing moral, social, economic and political issues as they affect human life and well-being.

    9.   Serve as the regional expression of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA), encourage participation in its programmes and ministries and be a channel of communication between the BWA and the member bodies of the CBF.

    10.  Undertake such additional functions as the CBF may decide upon from time to time.

     

    MEMBERSHIP

    Membership consists of bona fide Baptist entities in the Caribbean region. Such entities are churches cooperating with each other and located within the Caribbean.  Currently our member bodies are drawn from:

    English speaking Caribbean: Antigua, Barbados (2 groups), Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, The Bahamas, Trinidad (3 groups), St Lucia, St Vincent, Turks & Caicos Islands, US Virgin Islands.

    French & Creole speaking  Caribbean: Guadeloupe, Haiti, Martinique, St Martin (French)

    Spanish-speaking Caribbean: Cuba (2 groups), Dominican Republic
    Of the above-listed groups the largest are Haiti (60,000+), Bahamas (50,000+), Jamaica (40,000),
    Cuba (20,000).

    In addition to Member Bodies, the CBF also has Associate Members, Friends of the CBF, and Observers at our meetings.

     

    ADMINISTRATION

    The affairs of the CBF shall be administered and governed through the following bodies:

      a. The Midterm Assembly – meets in year two or three after General Assembly

      b. The General Assembly- meets every five years

      c.The Executive – meets annually

      d.The Officers