Who We Are

  1. Home
  2. About Us
  3. Who We Are

The Baptist Union of Scotland is a network of about 160 churches across the length and breadth of Scotland. We are local churches who recognise that if we are to fulfil the commission Jesus has given his disciples, it is better to work together than continue alone.

We are a relational network who support one another through prayer and encouragement. We share resources and experience in mission. We equip and accredit leaders. We work together to develop vision and ensure legal compliance.

We have existed as a network since 1869, though some of our churches have been in existence since the 1750s.

Our ambition is to see Increase and we are focusing on three strategic priorities:

  • Prayer – defining ourselves as a prayer network
  • Planting Churches – investing in new congregations, revitalisations and innovative new churches
  • Developing Pathways – for training and equipping church planters and evangelistic leaders

The vision around which we gather is our Declaration of Principle, which states:

  • That the Lord Jesus Christ our God and Saviour is the sole and absolute Authority in all matters pertaining to faith and practice, as revealed in the Holy Scriptures, and that each Church has liberty, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to interpret and administer His laws.
  • That Christian Baptism is the immersion in water into the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, of those who have professed repentance towards God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins according to the Scriptures; was buried and rose again the third day.
  • That it is the duty of every disciple to bear witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to take part in the evangelisation of the world.


Beyond this Declaration of Principle, our Assembly has made a number of significant decisions over the years which affect all our churches.

In 1905 we agreed to be among the founder members of The Baptist World Alliance and continue to be active participants in its mission. In 1964 we became members of the European Baptist Federation and in 1992 we co-founded the Fellowship of Baptists in Britain and Ireland. In 1997 we agreed to join the Evangelical Alliance.

In 1999, recognising our member churches hold differing views on the role of women in ministry, we agreed that decisions about the calling of people to ministry should be devolved to local churches and that any candidate, male or female, commended by a local church could enter our accreditation process for ministers.

In 2011, we adopted the European Baptist Federation Resolution on Marriage which affirms the traditional biblical view of human sexuality that marriage between a man and a woman is the creational and biblical setting for any sexual relationship.

Alongside these specific decisions, over the years we have corporately expressed views on a range of social issues, including our openness to welcoming people from other countries (1923), our concern about the testing of nuclear weapons (1961), the need for positive industrial relations (1984) the urgent requirement to tackle poverty in Scotland (1996) and a call to increase UK international aid (1996 and subsequent years).

Our history

You can read a detailed reflection on Christian discipleship based on our Declaration of Principle in Becoming Who We Are: Re-envisioning Christian Identity by Jim Purves, previously a member of our national team.