The year was 1805...the explorers Lewis and Clark would not discover the Grand Canyon until May nor see the Pacific Ocean until November. Thomas Jefferson was just the third President of the young and struggling America. A new century was dawning with new promise.
Records show that by the early 1700's there were 24 Baptist Churches in America. North Carolina and the center of the state was fertile ground for new Baptist congregations. By 1758 several churches birthed the Sandy Creek Association just south of here in the Sanford area.
By the 1800's there were over 1,000 Baptist Churches and 48 Associations in America. The influence of Baptist forefathers like John Spilsbury, Roger Williams and John Clark was spreading into the South. In 1805 Baptist influence and evangelistic fervor had caused the birth of many new churches in this area and the need for a common fellowship. According to historical records, Wake Liberty Church came into being that year and joined with Wake Crossroads, Holly Springs and Cool Springs and "met at the Stephens Meeting House on the second Saturday before the second Sunday" to form the RALEIGH BAPTIST ASSOCIATION in November 1805.
203 years later the Raleigh Baptist Association has grown to be the largest Association in North Carolina with 131 churches and missions, 22 of which are Language and Ethnic congregations. The total membership now exceeds 60,000 church members.
Hundreds of thousands have come to know Christ because our churches have had a heart for the lost. Since 1960 we have lost ground in our efforts to evangelize the lost in our county. In 1960 there was one RBA Baptist Church for every 2,200 people in Wake County. In 2007 the ratio was one church for every 6,216 people. Simple math shows that we are now 273 churches short of where we were in 1960. That's an Association larger than the RBA is today!
On any given week you will find volunteers doing a variety of acts of kindness, hosting block parties on warm spring and fall days, and providing meals and clean up as a part of disaster relief. Some will be rebuilding homes and hope in the inner city. Others will travel to foreign countries to do good deeds and share the gospel. Through numerous mission and ministry activities, you will find RBA churches doing the Great Commission here at home, around the country and throughout the world.