Payne, Ernest A[lexander] (1902-1980)
British Baptist leader, historian, and ecumenical statesman
Payne grew up in east London and studied at Regent’s Park College with a view to becoming a a Baptist Missionary Society (BMS) missionary in India. Further studies followed at Mansfield College, Oxford, and the University of Marburg (under Rudolf Bultmann). Prevented by family circumstances from going to India, Payne entered the Baptist ministry in England, but in 1932 he became young people’s secretary of the BMS. He developed an interest in the history of the Baptist denomination and its missionary society that later issued in a stream of authoritative books. From 1940 to 1951 he taught at Regent’s Park College, which had moved to Oxford. From 1951 to 1967 he was general secretary of the Baptist Union of Great Britain and Ireland. A deeply committed ecumenist, Payne served as a member of the central committee of the World Council of Churches (WCC) from 1954 to 1975 and for much of this period was the committee’s vice chairman. He played a part in the integration of the International Missionary Council into the WCC in 1961 and presided over the controversial fourth assembly of the WCC in Uppsala in 1968.
Brian Stanley, “Payne, Earnest A(lexander),” in Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, ed. Gerald H. Anderson (New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 1998), 522.
This article is reprinted from Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, Macmillan Reference USA, copyright © 1998 Gerald H. Anderson, by permission of Macmillan Reference USA, New York, NY. All rights reserved.
Barth, Karl, and Ernest A. Payne. The Teaching of the Church Regarding Baptism. London: SCM Press, 1948.
Payne, Ernest A. The Anabaptists of the 16th Century and Their Influence in the Modern World. London: C. Kingsgate Press, 1949.
_____. The Baptist Movement in the Reformation and Onwards. A Lecture Delivered Before the Newcastle Theological Society at King’s College, Newcastle. London: The Kingsgate press, 1947.
_____. The Baptist Union: A Short History. London: Carey Kingsgate Press, 1959.
_____. The Baptists of Berkshire Through Three Centuries. London: Carey Kingsgate Press, 1951.
_____. The Baptists of the World and Their Overseas Missions. London: Carey Kingsgate Press, 1955.
_____. Baptists Speak to the World: A Description and Interpretation of the Sixth Baptist World Congress, Atlanta, 1939. London: Carey Press, 1939.
_____. The Bible in English. London: Epworth Press, 1949.
_____. The Church Awakes: The Story of the Modern Missionary Movement. London: Edinburgh House Press, 1942.
_____. College Street Church, Northampton, 1697-1947. London: Kingsgate Press, 1947.
_____. The Fellowship of Believers: Baptist Thought and Practice Yesterday and Today. London: Kingsgate Press, 1952.
_____. The First Free Church Hymnal, 1583. London: Congregational Historical Society, 1956.
_____. The First Generation: Early Leaders of the Baptist Missionary Society in England and India. London: Carey Press, 1936.
_____. The Free Church Tradition in the Life of England. London: S.C.M. Press, 1944.
_____. The Free Churches and Episcopacy. London: Carey Kingsgate Press, 1952.
_____. The Free Churches and the State; A Lecture Delivered to the Congregational Union Assembly on Wednesday, 14th May, 1952. London: Carey Kingsgate Press, 1952.
_____. Free Churchmen, Unrepentant and Repentant, And Other Papers. London: Carey Kingsgate Press, 1965.
_____. Freedom in Jamaica: Some Chapters in the Story of the Baptist Missionary Society. London: Carey Press, 1946.
_____. The Great Succession: Leaders of the Baptist Missionary Society During the Nineteenth Century. London: Carey Press, 1946.
_____. The Growth of the World Church; The Story of the Modern Missionary Movement. London: Edinburgh House Press, 1955.
_____. Harry Wyatt of Shansi, 1895-1938. London: Carey Press, 1939.
_____. James Henry Rushbrooke, 1870-1947, a Baptist Greatheart. London: Carey Kingsgate Press, 1954.
_____. Out of Great Tribulation: Baptists in the U.S.S.R. London: Baptist Union of Great Britain & Ireland, 1974.
_____. The Prayer Call of 1784. London: Baptist Laymen’s Missionary Movement, 1941.
_____. Roade Baptist Church, 1688-1938: The Story of a Northamptonshire Church During Two and a Half Centuries. London: Wyman, 1938.
_____. Roger Williams (1603-1683). London: Independent Press, 1961.
_____. The Saktas: An Introductory and Comparative Study. New York: Garland Pub, 1979.
_____. South-East from Serampore: More Chapters in the Story of the Baptist Missionary Society. London: Carey Press, 1945.
_____. The Story of the Baptists. London: Baptist Union Publications, 1978.
_____. Thirty Years of the British Council of Churches, 1942-1972. London: British Council of Churches, 1972.
_____. Thomas Helwys and the First Baptist Church in England. London: Baptist Union of Great Britain & Ireland, 1966.
_____. A Venerable Dissenting Institution Dr. William’s Library, 1729-1979. London: Dr. William’s Trust, 1979.
_____. Violence, Non-Violence and Human Rights. London: Baptist Union of Great Britain and Ireland, 1971.
_____. The World Council of Churches, 1948-1969. London: Baptist Union of Great Britain & Ireland, 1970.
Payne, Ernest A., and David Gnanaprakasam Moses. Why Integration?: An Explanation of the Proposal Before the World Council of Churches and the International Missionary Council. London: Edinburgh House Press, 1957.
West, W. M. S. To Be a Pilgrim: A Memoir of Ernest A. Payne. Guildford, Surrey: Lutterworth Press, 1983.