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There was a pastor near here who walked 23 miles each way to his church in the 1880s. In 1813, Samuel Eyles Pierce said he walked to London then caught the stage to Maidstone on Christmas Eve, then he walked  26 miles to Faversham, preached twice the following day, then three times the day after, "it beeing the Lord's Day", then walked about 10 miles to Canterbury for the New Year.  5 years later Samuel founded a Baptist Church in Faversham.

Edited by Invicta

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On 5/26/2017 at 9:21 AM, heartstrings said:

I

 I have attended one Missionary Baptist church in the area which is King James only and they seem sound, but they are about 40 minutes away. I don't know of any "General Baptists" around here so I don't know anything about them.

General Baptists are a slightly more moderate version of Free Will Baptists.

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A Turkish sheep buyer/customer of mine once asked me "why so many churches" (in the USA)? Regrettably, I didn't have an immediate answer for him. Perhaps what he meant was "why so many denominations?" or "religions?". But after some thought, my answer is "freedom". Unlike some countries, the USA we have freedom to believe any way and worship any way we choose as long as it doesn't involve harming others. Of course, some churches DO harm others emotionally and spiritually but I'll save that for another discussion. The reason we have so many "Baptist" churches is because people can't agree on simple doctrines. But the Bible tells us there will be divisions and heresies and all that stuff so it should be no surprise.

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I am in this very situation. I moved to an area that has 70+ Independent Baptist Churches, one of which came highly recommended by my then and still current pastor.

I attended the church for 3 months, every service. My family got involved in work days and other areas of the church. We were rejected because we were Northerners in a Southern church. No one spoke to us, fellowshipped with us or even learned our name (Including the Associate Pastor and his wife). We left the church to begin our search for a church. 72 churches later, we still have not found a church I would attend. Our criteria is simple

1. Good Preaching (This one is a must - Out of 72 churches, maybe 3 have had good preaching. A lot of yelling about the Bible, but no preaching)
2. Good Music (Conservative, God honoring) - Most of the churches had the whole church go to the Choir and sing 4 or 5 songs and 1 congregational song. Must be a southern thing as it is very consistent, but unfortunately a visitor cannot participate in the worship of God through music.
3. Friendliness (More than just saying hello and thank you for coming) - Out of 72 churches, 1 or 2 were friendly. None made us feel welcome once they found out we were Northerners.

So what have we decided to do after 4 years without a church. We are moving. It is sad to say that there are few good churches in the "Bible Belt", but I have lived in 2 cities in North Carolina for the last 8 years and have found 1 church that I would classify as a good church out of over 200 visited.

For the last 4 years we have either driven the hour and a half to church (Calvary Baptist Church - King, NC) or we have watched them live on Facebook.

As for other churches we would consider - My daughter goes to a Southern Baptist since there are no good churches in her part of NC either. It's the best of the worst. The pastor is an older pastor who preaches the Word of God, the church is friendly, but the music is more contemporary. We have visited a couple Southern Baptists, but the ones in our area the preaching is no good.

There is a Methodist church and a non-denominational church my neighbors go to. They claim their churches preach verse by verse and are super friendly. I have considered going, but I struggle know that the churches doctrinal statements online are not in alignment with my positions on major doctrine, which is why we have not gone.

It's been a tough 4 years, but it is time to move.

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