By David Wise
One of the distinctive marks of the Primitive Baptist Church is our assertion to be the original and true church that Jesus established in His earthly ministry. “Primitive” simply means “original”, so we hold that we are the “Original Baptist Church”, still preaching the same doctrine and maintaining the same worship and practice as originally established by Christ. Furthermore, we deny the label of “Protestants”, since we did not come out of a protest from the Catholic church, but we predate the Protestant Reformation by almost 1,500 years. How do we support these claims that almost 2,000 years later after Christ and the apostles we can still trace our origin in an unbroken chain back to the original Baptist church?
We must study church history in a very careful manner to track the true church throughout all those centuries, even when seemingly at times the church vanished from public view. Even though the true, original Baptist church was obscure for many years, particularly in the Dark Ages, we can still identify this unbroken chain of church succession back to Christ and the apostles. History of the Church of God, by Elders C.B. and Sylvester Hassell, is the most comprehensive defense of the historical identity of the church all throughout the centuries. However, since Hassell’s History is over 1,000 pages long, we hope this study guide serves as somewhat of a “cliff notes” version of the church’s history. This study guide was originally published by Elder Larry Wise in 1991, and we reproduce the study guide with minimal updates to the original copy. We hope this study guide is a profitable resource and reference in your study of the history of the Primitive (Original) Baptist Church.