Baptist General Conference
Heritage Highlights in Chronological Order
1847--August 1, Fredrick Olaus Nilsson baptized in the river Elbe, Hamburg, Germany.
1848--September 21, The First Baptist Church in Sweden was organized with six members, at Frillesas. (Frillesas is a small town on the west coast of Sweden just south of Gothenburg.)
1850--April 26, Fredrick Olaus Nilson sentenced to exile from Sweden.
1852--June 27, Gustaf Palmquist baptized at
August 8, Palmquist baptized three believers in the Mississippi River, at Rock Island Illinois and five days later, on August 13 these three formed the First Swedish Baptist Church in America.
1853--June, The exiled Fredrick Olaus Nilsson, together
with a company of twenty-one Baptists from Sweden, came to America.
August 10, Village Creek (Lansing Center), Iowa, at present the oldest Conference church organized on this day.
1856--June 20-25, First conference of Swedish Baptist anywhere in the world organized at Rock Island, Illinois.
1858--September 20-21, The Minnesota Conference organized at Scandia.
1860--December 11, The exiled Fredrick Olaus Nilsson returned to Sweden and received his pardon from King Carl XV.
1864--The Illinois-Iowa Conference was organized with five churches and 187 members.
1866--August 19, The First Swedish Baptist Church of Chicago, (now Addison Street), was organized.
1869--Not less than six churches were organized: Trade Lake and Wood River in Wisconsin; Oakland, Nebraska; Big Springs, South Dakota; Forest City and Meriden, Iowa.
1871--Captain John Alexis Edgren started the
Theological Seminary in Chicago, with one student, Christopher Silene.
May, John Edgren began to publish Zions Waktare (The Watchman of Zion). This marks the beginning of a denominational press.
1872--July, The Western Iowa-Nebraska Conference was organized at Oakland, Nebraska.
1879--June 12-14, Organization of the Swedish Baptist General Conference of America, at Village Creeek, Iowa.
1880--Eric Wingren arrived in Chicago and took
over from Edgren the responsibilities of "Evangelisk Tidskrift"
Christopher Silene became the first home missionary of the Baptist General Conference.
1883--Three conferences were organized:
February 11, The Swedish Baptist Conference of the Eastern States at New Haven, Connecticut.
June 29-30, The Iowa Conference at Des Moines.
June, The Nebraska Conference, at Oakland.
June 3, A Scandinavian Baptist Church was formed in Seattle, the first on the west coast.
1884--Not less than fifteen new churches were
organized, covering the whole country from Brooklyn to San Diego.
Three state conferences were organized:
The Missouri Conference.
The Michigan Conference, at Ishpeming--See 1893
The Wisconsin Conference at Ogema.
John Edgren's Theological Seminary moved from Chicago to St. Paul under the name "The Swedish American Bible Seminary."
1886--February, The Seminary moved to Stromsburg, Nebraska where it remained two years Its new name was "The Central Bible Seminary."
Anderson, St. Cloud, Minnesota, the
first Swedish Baptist foreign missionary, sailed for Burma.
The Seminary returned to Morgan Park, Chicago, and became a separate Swedish department of the Baptist Union Theological Seminary, with Eric Sandell as the acting dean.
1889--The Washington Conference was organized. See 1930.
1890--The Ola Hansons began their nearly forty years of outstanding labor in Burma. He reduced the Kachin language to writing and translated the entire Bible into that tongue.
1893--Dr. O.L. Swanson
and his wife began their forty-three years of missionary service in Assam,
India. Swanson became known as "The
Billy Sunday of Assam."
The Michigan Conference was divided into the Upper and Lower Michigan Conferences.
1899--June 19, The California Conference was
organized at San Francisco.
July 29, The New England Conference was formed at Worcester, Massachusetts.
1900--December 12, The General Conference was legally incorporated under the law of the state of Illinois.
1902--September 25-28, The Fiftieth Jubilee Celebration of the Swedish Baptist was held in the Immanuel Baptist Church (American), Chicago. About 1,00 delegates were registered. John A. Edgren was the guest of honor. The denomination then had 324 churches with a combined membership of 21,769.
1903--May 20, John Eric Klingberg began his Children's Home at New Britain Connecticut.
1905--Fridhem, Home of Rest, Chicago, officially
October 2, Bethel Academy, with Arvid Gordh as its first principal, began operation in the Elim Baptist Church, Minneapolis.
Mounds Park Hospital was started, the first patient being admitted January 7.
1907--June 24, Elim
Park Home of Rest, Shelton, Connecticut was dedicated.
Organization of the Central Conference, Canada.
1909--December 1, The beginning of the publishing ministry and the book store of the General Conference, Chicago.
1911--"Svenska Baptist Standaret," later "Svenska Standaret," and in 1940, "The Standard" was started, with Erik Sjostrand as editor.
1914--The Theological Seminary moved for the second time, from Chicago to St. Paul, and was merged with Bethel Academy under the name "Bethel Institute," and later to "Bethel College and Seminary." The year 1914, marked the beginning of a General Conference owned and operated school work. Gustave Arvid Hagstrom was elected president of the combined schools, Carl Gustaf Lagergren remained dean of the Seminary and A.J. Wingblade principal of the Academy.
1918--Jonas Oscar Backlund began his twenty-seven years of service at Baptist Conference Press, first as Business Manager of the Conference Press and associated editor of "Svenska Standaret," and later editor in chief, financial secretary of the General Conference.
1919--Founding of the Verdugo Old People's Home, Los Angeles, California.
1923--Carl George Ericson assumed his duties as associated editor of "Svenska Standaret" and later editor of Youth Publications. See 1940
1925--Karl Johan Karlson succeeded Arvid Gordh as dean of Bethel Theological Seminary.
1927--August 25-28, The Swedish Baptist Diamond Jubilee Celebration held at the Moody Memorial Church, Chicago. Dr. Frank Peterson and Carl Gustaf Lagergren, the two "grand old men" of the denomination, served as honorary chairmen and delivered the main addresses. At that time the General Conference fellowship was composed of 33 churches, with a combined membership of 33,830. The registered delegates numbered 2,225.
1930--The Washington Conference became the Columbia Conference.
1931--The Bethel Junior College launched, with Walfred Danielson as its first dean.
1932--Edna and Reuben Holm sailed for Assam, India, supported by the Swedish Baptist young people.
1935--Ragner Andreas Arlander became Mission Secretary of the General Conference.
1936--Emery A. Johnson became dean of the Bethel Junior College.
1940--Carl George Ericson became Business Manager of The Baptist Conference Press.
1941--G. Arvid Hagstrom retired as president of Bethel College and Seminary after twenty-seven years. He was succeeded by Henry C. Wingblade.
1944--Foreign Mission Advance launched, with Walfred Danielson as the Mission Secretary and Sten Lindberg of China as the first Advance missionary.
1945--William Turnwall succeeded R.A. Arlander as
Home Mission Secretary.
Name changed from the Swedish Baptist General Conference of America to Baptist General Conference of America.
C.E. Carlson was elected dean of the Junior College.
1946--William Hagstroms and Warren Johnsons appointed as first Conference missionaries under the Advance program to Assam, India.
1947--Bethel Senior College was launched.
1948--Edwin Omark succeeded K.J. Karlson as dean
of Bethel Theological Seminary.
Francis Sorleys appointed as first Conference missionaries to Japan.
Agnes Erickson, Irwin Bjellands and Andrew Nelsons: first Conference missionaries to the Philippines.
1950--James Luckmans became the first Conference missionaries to Ethiopia.
1951--Completion of new headquarters building at
5750 N. Ashland Avenue, Chicago.
Jessie Perfectos were the first Conference missionaries in Mexico under the Home Mission Board. See 1774.
1952--June 26-29, The Centennial at St. Paul,
Ministry with the American Indians started in Minnesota.
1953--William Tapper elected executive secretary
of Board of Trustees.
Carl Lundquist succeeded H.C. Wingblade as President of Bethel College and Seminary.
1954--John Wilcox became secretary of the Foreign
Elving Anderson succeeded C.E. Carlson as dean of Bethel College.
1955--Donald Goldsmiths and Karl Lachlers were appointed to start our mission work in Brazil.
1956--Clifford Larson succeeded Elving Anderson
as dean of Bethel College.
Alford Gustafsons and James Hills launched the Conference mission work in Argentina.
1957--Vancouver Bible Institute accepted by Conference and became a part of the Home Mission Board ministry.
1959--Franklin Nelson appointed as secretary of
Foreign Mission Board.
Lloyd Dahlquist elected executive secretary Board of Trustees and General secretary of the Baptist General Conference.
1960--Oriel Hanson elected Manager of Harvest Publication.
1961--Oriel Hanson elected secretary of Board of
Conference wide Capital Funds Program, LIFT (Living Investment Forward Thrust, launched to raise $3 million.
1962--Gordon H. Anderson succeeded William
Turnwall as Home Missions secretary.
The First Baptist Church, St. Croix, Virgin Islands started by Home Mission Board.
1964--Gordon G. Johnson succeeded Edwin Omark as
dean of Seminary.
Donald E. Anderson succeeded Martin Erikson as editor of the Standard.
1965--Bethel Seminary moves to new campus in Arden Hills, Minnesota.
1968--Evangel Spanish Baptist Church, Chicago,
first Hispanic Church to join the Conference.
"Crusade of America" evangelistic thrust on western hemisphere, Baptist General Conference joins with other Baptists.
Virgil Olson elected dean of Bethel College.
The first black church affiliates with the Baptist General Conference.
Warren Magnuson succeeded Lloyd Dahlquist as executive secretary of the Trustee Board and General secretary of the Baptist General Conference.
1970--The Baptist General Conference Headquarters
moved from 5750 N. Ashland, Chicago to 1233 Central Street, Evanston, Illinois.
Mission: SHARE! capital gifts program launched to raise $3 million over a three year period.
1972--The Baptist General Conference Foundation organized.
1973--Bethel College joins Bethel Seminary on
Arden Hills campus.
The Hispanic Bible Institute inaugurated by Home Mission Board.
"Key 73" Baptist General Conference joined other North American evangelical denominations in an evangelistic thrust.
1974--The Mexican field was
transferred to the World Mission Board.
Boston Missionary Baptist Church, Dorchester, Massachusetts is the first Haitian Church to affiliate with the Baptist General Conference.
1975--DOUBLE IN A DECADE program launched.
Virgil Olson succeeded Franklin Nelson as secretary of World Missions.
1977--Ralph Pareliuses was the first missionary
to the Ivory
Coast, West Africa.
L. Ted Johnson succeeded Lawrence Swanson as secretary of Christian Education.
1978--Barbara Knudsen and Eleanor Sorensen began
their work with North American Baptist Mission in Cameroon, West Africa.
It was voted in the annual meeting to discontinue Vancouver Bible College.
It was voted in the annual meeting to relocate Conference Center in the greater Chicago area.
June 25-28, 100th Annual Meeting of the Conference held in Fresno, California.
|Return to Baptist General Conference Page|