African-American Democracies

Gregory A. Wills

in Democratic Religion

Published in print March 2003 | ISBN: 9780195160994
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849574 | DOI:

Series: Religion in America

African-American Democracies

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This chapter focuses on African-American Baptists. In 1870, Baptists numbered 115,000 in Georgia in a state population of 1.2 million, with blacks having a 44% share among Baptists. In the following few decades, Baptist churches proliferated, especially in African-American churches. By 1883, black Baptists outnumbered whites by 131,216 to 123,851. The popular success did not alter the ideal of democratic religion. The African-American churches claimed a prerogative of command over a wide expanse of individual freedom, and members pledged submission as a condition of membership. They endeavored to prove themselves good Baptists, and this meant attending democratic discipline.

Keywords: Southern Baptists; African-Americans; democratic discipline; Georgia; black Baptists

Chapter.  7472 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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