NAB Conference History
Konrad Fleischmann at the age of nineteen found himself searching for spiritual direction and fulfillment. On vacation one day while crossing Lake Geneva on a boat, another young man handed him a Christian tract stressing reconciliation with God through the blood of Jesus Christ. Reading this tract led him to become a believer. He then became an evangelist and pastor in Switzerland. Later, he emigrated to the United States where he understood that people were more open to hearing the Gospel.
Fleischmann baptized five German-speaking candidates in March of 1843 in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Several weeks later he met with a group of 19 to observe the Lord’s Supper. In 1843, this congregation was officially organized and first called itself “The German Church of the Lord that Meets on Poplar Street”. Several years later the words over the church building entrance read “Meeting House of the Baptized Church.” In time, this church became known as the Fleischmann Memorial Baptist Church.
The Fleischmann Memorial Baptist Church is regarded as the oldest church of the North American Baptist Conference. Thus, 1843 is considered to be the beginning of the German Baptist Conference. It was in 1852 that the first assembly of the German Baptist Conference was held in this church in Philadelphia. Representatives from four German Baptist Churches attended along with other interested persons.
The Fleischman Memorial Baptist Church continued its ministry until July 2002.
Now many years later, the North American Baptist Conference honors that beginning by working in 27 states in the US, five Canadian provinces, and seven foreign countries. Its ministry covers evangelism and discipleship, church planting and developing, Biblical and pastoral training of leaders, counseling and camping as well as care for the elderly.
Through these years, God has blessed the NAB Conference by allowing us to participate in His ministry of proclaiming the Gospel, not only in North America (United States and Canada) but throughout the world, using a host of missionaries and NAB pastors to reach Brazil, Cameroon, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, the Philippines, and Eastern Europe.
Here in the United States and Canada, the Conference has grown to consist of almost 400 churches with almost 65,000 members.
Over 70 NAB missionaries are serving in various countries mentioned above “to make disciples of Jesus Christ at home and internationally.”
You can visit the Conference website to learn more about current activities.