147 — May 27 – This Day in Baptist History Past
The Birth of a Baby Planted a Church
There is abundant proof that, in many thoughtful minds, serious doubts had arisen among the Congregationalists of Massachusetts concerning the scriptural authority for infant baptism and the right of the secular power to interfere in the religious affairs. Henry Dunster, who had been compelled to resign his presidency of Harvard College and was publicly admonished and put under bonds, had done much to bring about this thoughtfulness. Dunster had great influence on the mind of Thomas Gould, a member of the Congregational Church of Charlestown. When a son was born into his home, Gould called his neighbors in to rejoice with him and to unite in thanks to God for this precious gift. He withheld the child from baptism and was summoned to appear before the church to answer why the child had not been sprinkled. He still refused to comply and was suspended from Communion. He was repeatedly brought before the Middlesex Court on charges relating to the “ordinance of Christ.”
Gould was to inform his Baptist brethren to appear, and the Baptist Church at Newport sent a delegation of three to assist their brethren in the debate. After two days of denunciation of the Baptists, who were not allowed to reply, the authorities claimed a victory. Gould was sentenced to exile from Massachusetts on May 27, 1668.
The First Baptist church in Boston was planted in the midst of great debate, turmoil, and persecution that began with the birth of a child.
Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I Thompson/ Cummins) pp. 216 -217