This work surveys Baptist history from its origins in seventeeth-century England until its transplanting to North America. The historical survey continues in America with attention to the formation of denominational structures and church practice. Four elements of ecclesiology are highlighted: community, individuality, particularity, and universality. The final chapter unites these themes as polarities that must be held together in order to present a Baptist conception of the church as the Body of Christ. The image is developed briefly for social application.