This is something I read from hrc
Although ABCUSA shares many traditions, beliefs and values with other Baptists, ABCUSA is a distinct entity from its relatives, the American Baptist Association (ABA), the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), the Alliance of Baptists, and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.
(this is why I assume these groups are even comparable)
So we have
- ABCUSA, a " mainline Baptist Christian denomination"
- ABA, "an association of Baptist churches"
- SBC, "a Christian denomination based in the United States"
- AoB, "a fellowship of Baptist churches and individuals"
- CBF, "a Christian fellowship of Baptist churches"
Notably, only the last two are considered "fellowships" while the first 3 are either denominations or associations, which becomes even more confusing when you consider that they are all under the Baptist denomination, which is a subsect of Protestantism.
Obviously these are groups of churches that associate with each other, but what makes each group an association, denomination, or fellowship? Is there even a meaningful difference? Are some of these interchangeable?