Origins of the FBFI – A Clarification


"The FBFI is the continuation of what James Leo Garrett says first bore the name of 'The National Federation of Fundamentalists of the Northern Baptists.'” 

What needed

clarification is before the 60s the FBF (though a distinct organization) existed inside other organizations i.e. the NBC or the CBA.  In the 60s, it evolcedinto a stand alone organization.

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

What about the New Testament Association?

"The FBFI is the continuation of what James Leo Garrett says first bore the name of 'The National Federation of Fundamentalists of the Northern Baptists.'”

Why does that mantle fall exclusively on the FBFI, as opposed to the New Testament Association of Independent Baptist Churches? It would seem that though both the FBFI and the NTA trace their heritage back to the same origin, since they diverged from one another in the 1960s, Bauder's point that Moritz is responding to would have merit.



Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

FBF (actually CBF) document circa 1962

A brochure in my files from the Conservative Baptist Fellowship (circa 1962) indicates that the CBF considered itself the organizer of the CBFMS (1943), CBA (1947), CBHMS (1950) and WCBM [which became Baptist World Mission] (1961). The NTA did not come about until 1965.

The Conservative Baptist Fellowship claims in that publication that its birthplace was Buffalo, NY, 1920. That was the organization date for the Fundamentalist Fellowship of the Northern Baptist Convention. I came upon this pamphlet in the summer of 1963 when I was hired, by the CBF leadership, to clean out the office at 2561 North Clark Street in Chicago.

I also hosted the 55th Annual Meeting of the FBF at Faith Baptist, St. Paul, MN in 1975, one year after I went on the FBF board. At that meeting we gave registrants free copies of former CBF Executive Secretary, C.E. Tulga's  famous "Case Books" that had been published and distributed by CBF. At that time no one doubted that the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship was one in the same as the Fundamentalist Fellowship of the NBC and then the Conservative Baptist Fellowship. My father had served on the CBF board in the 1940s and 50s.

Gerry Carlson

Sebring, FL




Gerry Carlson

Trail of CBF

This is from Gerry's files:

You can click on the picture for a larger view.

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

Help me, then...


At what point did the FBF and the CBA diverge? What exactly happened there? Is the FBF the remnant of the CB "hardcore," and the CBA the "softcore"? I'm fuzzy on that history.

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

The divergence occurred in

The divergence occurred in the 60s over the then hot button questions of Neo-Evangelicalism and ecumenical evangelism as typified by Billy Graham.  As for hard\soft core, yes the FBF was made up of the hard core faction. 

Greg Linscott wrote:


At what point did the FBF and the CBA diverge? What exactly happened there? Is the FBF the remnant of the CB "hardcore," and the CBA the "softcore"? I'm fuzzy on that history.

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

A Long and twisting tale

I wrote a B.D. (M.Div.) thesis in 1966-67 on the last battle in the NBC (1946-47). My conclusion was that the emerging CB movement in the 40s dealt with the doctrinal problem in the NBC (liberalism), but did not adequately deal with the organizational mindset of conventionism. As a result political and jurisdictional disputes in the CB movement began to manifest themselves early on. This has also been seen in other groups subsequently. 

There were also fissures developing in the 50s between the four distinct, and separate, entities in the CB movement -- CBF, CBA, CBFMS & CBHMS. Premillennialism and pretrib issues developed because most of the churches wanted the movement to be premil & pretrib, but the mission agencies and Denver Sem. wanted to allow for a greater latitude. The organizational structure of the movement facilitated a contentious political environment that permeated annual meetings. 

In 1959 I attended the annual meeting and heard keynote speaker, M.R. DeHean, bring a ringing defense and promotion of a premil/pretrib position. At the same conference I heard Vernon Grounds, Denver Sem president, repeat his famous line, that "fundamentalism" was "too much fun, too much damn, too little mental." All of this was happening in the context of whether broader theological and interdenominational latitude (such as ecumenical cooperation) should be/would be encouraged and promoted in the CB movement. 

Ultimately in 1961 the CBF led in the formation of the World Conservative Baptist Mission as an additional and alternative mission agency for churches in the CB movement. This was not welcomed by the CBFMS and CBHMS, and those desiring a broader evangelical involvement.

From 1961 on most of the Midwestern state associations that were previously in the CB movement had withdrawn and become independent. By the end of the 60s the fundamentalist churches had left the CB movement. 

Gerry Carlson


That's my understanding of the situation.  My take, believe it or not, is the FBF\CBA was made up of men who stayed in the mother movement.  Until (from their perspective), that movement had all but kicked them out.

Hoping to shed more light than heat..



This is valuable and it's fantastic to have first hand accounts and witnesses to the in's and out's of those who were fighting to stay in......or keep in.....or throw out.....or leave......Especially good is the close look at why people left. Was is it doctrine? Was it personality? Was it leaders who were control freaks that couldn't work with other control freaks? Were the issues clear.......were the issues fuzzy? Did you have both clear and fuzzy?

(I have a view of the answers based on my own books, letters, pamphlets, first-account-witnesses of the Minnesota wars from the 1950's - early 70's.) All that to say we need to give Gerry the "rubber fish of the month" award for bringing that pamphlet out of moth-balls! I guess Greg get's honorable mention for the post? Wowzers what a find!

Let's give Gerry and his buds (guys like Fred M. and the rest of you old-timers from Clearwater-Central Days) that watched all this stuff unfold - let's give them their own thread and just tell those guys to "talk." You older guys need to talk more about what you saw! Rob, Bauder, Straub, et al..... all of you that really know the history of these movements and counter-movements, you add much when you give us as much history as you can give. Don't worry that not everyone loves you or the history you give. Bring it men! ......good stuff!

No doubt there are implications with know......something about history repeating itself. Don't back off just because your afraid some jerk will brand you with his own A, B or C......or bringing history of these kinds of things is far more valuable than anyone's view of the present here. I promise.........

Straight Ahead!



Dr. Joel Tetreau serves as Senior Pastor, Southeast Valley Bible Church (; Regional Coordinator for IBL West (, Board Member & friend for several different ministries;

I agree

Joel.  If nothing else we need to know why the last war(s) was (were) fought.  If for no other reason than it's to only way we can avoid re-fighting them.

Generals usually prepare to win the last war, if they lost it.  They want to re-fight it if they won it.

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

What I remember

The GARBC and CBA men whom I knew that experienced these battles summed it up this way: After years of fighting, the GARBC made its exit in the early 1930's. The CBA was evicted in the 1940's and the FBF separated from the CBA after that.

What was interesting was how long these groups stayed in and fought and how the ones who stayed in the longest before separating were intolerant of conservatives who stayed in other denominations like the SBC and fought the same battle. That left me with the impression that separation was to be an immediate response and not a last resort.

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

I second Joel's comment. Not

I second Joel's comment. Not long ago, I had the opportunity to talk with my father about his experience at Pillsbury and Maranatha in the late 60's. Fascinating stuff that should not be forgotten.

▴ Top of page