In 1960, a booklet was written by Curtis Whaley titled, “Who are the Baptists”. Reprinted in 1974 by the First Baptist Church of Harrison, Ohio, it is now available on the web at the above link. Why it is important for you to read this booklet is given in the booklet itself. Here is a small portion of the text:
I have been impressed more than ever during these changing, and somewhat unpredictable days, with the importance of knowing what you are, and having firm convictions for being what you are. The words of Peter are ringing a fresh tone of urgency in my soul as I observe the appalling indifference that underlies the reasoning and thinking trend of our day. He said, “…Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (I Peter 3:15). Can the slightest trace of conviction be found in the answers with which many respond, when they are asked, “Why Are You A Baptist?” When I ask a man that question, I am hardly impressed with such answers as, “My parents were Baptists,” or, “I believe once in grace, always in grace,” or worse yet, “The Baptist Church is the nearest to our home.”
If you are a Baptist, you should know why you are a Baptist, and to know why you are a Baptist, you should know who the Baptists are. To know who the Baptists are, you should know where the Baptists began, what the Baptists believe and what the Baptists have done.