Original Research

Exploring the critical moments when the Baptist denomination divided: Does revisiting these moments give hope to reconciliation between the ‘Union’ and ‘Convention’?

Luvuyo Ntombana, Adam Perry
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 68, No 1 | a1029 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v68i1.1029 | © 2012 Luvuyo Ntombana, Adam Perry | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 February 2011 | Published: 05 March 2012

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Luvuyo Ntombana, University of Fort Hare, South Africa
Adam Perry, University of Fort Hare, South Africa

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This article evaluated interpretations between members of the Baptist Union of South Africa (BUSA) and the Baptist Convention of South Africa (BCSA), revisiting a particular moment, the merger talks of 1980s, at the time when the Baptist Church further entrenched these divisions. The Baptist Church has a crippling historical relationship to the present, particularly as members of the faith interpret their sides of the story as being the ‘right’ ones. This article grew out of the ethnographic work undertaken by the primary author, Luvuyo Ntombana (2007), and his involvement with the Baptist Church. It is felt that in order to create a sacred Church, congregations ought to move away from arguing about past events toward a more positive rethinking of what lessons can be learned from the past. Therefore, this article argued that by revisiting critical moments for the Church, such as the period of reconciliation between denominations within South Africa, conversations can be reinvigorated to help reconcile and unite current factions which currently harbour animosity and weigh down the faith through unnecessary infighting.


Reconcilliation; Merger; history; apartheid


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