116 – April 26 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

The General’s Right Hand Man

 

Prior to the Civil War there were few black Baptist preachers in the North or the South.  But it is a thrill to read of the exploits of those few that existed.  “Uncle” Harry Cowan was a slave to Thomas L. Cowan.  On one occasion Mr. Cowan was present for a funeral where his servant was to preach, and he was shocked at Uncle Harry’s grasp of the Scripture.  This resulted in the master granting “privilege papers” allowing Uncle Harry to preach, marry, and baptize any one who makes a profession of Faith.”  In time Uncle Harry’s success caused his master to extend this privilege of preaching wherever his slave had “protection.”  The blessing of God was attendant upon this choice servant of the Lord, and literally thousands of both races heard him gladly.  His ministry extended from before the Civil War, during that awful conflict, and following it as well.  In fact, during the Civil War, Uncle Harry served as Confederate General Joseph Johnston’s body servant.  He preached every night during the war, with the exception of May 2, 1863, when General Stonewall Jackson fell in battle.  He served General Johnston faithfully until the General’s surrender on April 26, 1865

 

 

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