Stephen Douglas Wilson, dean emeritus and chair of the social studies/history department of Mid-Continent University in Mayfield, Kentucky, has written an excellent, brief article about how Southern Baptists have historically perceived Easter. While American [Northern] Baptists embraced Easter a bit earlier than did their Southern counterparts, Baptists at large in America are relatively new converts to celebrating the holiday.
From Wilson’s article:
“Southern Baptists originally did not attach much significance to Easter. This was much the same regarding Christmas (see “Southern Baptists have not always embraced Christmas ” in Baptist Press, Dec. 23, 2011).
Both days were not recognized as a special day of worship in any of the historic Baptist confessions; allusions to them were rare in Baptist history volumes before the 20th century; and both holidays possessed an association with worldliness, and even paganism, in the minds of many Baptist ministers. Even as late as 1903, a writer for the North Carolina state Baptist paper, the Biblical Recorder, wrote an anti-Easter article that stated that “Baptists do not keep this day” (March 18, 1903).”