In 1870, an American missionary founded the first Baptist church in Madrid. Swedish missionaries started work in the Mediterranean region. “We can only thank God for his faithfulness”, the Evangelical Baptist Union of Spain says.
This year, the Evangelical Baptist Union of Spain (UEBE) is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the first Baptist mission in the country.
In 1870, the American missionary William Knapp, who had arrived in Madrid the year before and since then had been working with Presbyterian missionaries, founded the first Baptist church in Madrid.
The work of this missionary was brief, but a few years later Swedish missionaries continued his work, especially on the Mediterranean coast.
Later, at the beginning of the 20th century, American Baptist missionaries arrived and helped to promote the work throughout the country. Missionaries from several Latin American countries were added some time later.
In those early days, Baptist work suffered its ups and downs due to social difficulties, in a country where religious freedom had little room for development.
“There were times of persecution but the testimony has remained until today and precisely in 2020 we celebrate 150 years of that testimony for which we can only thank God for his faithfulness”, the UEBE says.
The UEBE, which will celebrate its centenary in 2022, is the heir to all that great missionary effort and continues to work with new partners to extend the Kingdom in Spain with 175 points of testimony, more than 200 pastors and a church attendance of around 25,000 people.
The UEBE has also extended its missionary work to several countries and has maintained stable missionaries for almost 25 years in Equatorial Guinea and recently in Mozambique, as well as supporting the church in North Africa.
According to the UEBE, the logo of its anniversary aims to unite three valuable concepts for the Baptist work in Spain: the fruit of the Holy Spirit, the Baptist principles and the different regions of Spain.