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A Baptist association is a group of churches, usually in a geographic area, that work together in the areas of evangelism, ministry and missions.  Associations exist to provide resources and establish churches that can provide for the religious needs of its members and the community at large. 

An association is one way that churches collectively can engage in activities beyond their capablities.  The association provides a means of communications between local churches and the denomination as a whole.  In California, there are 31 associations of churches, ranging in size from just a few, to more than 200.