151 – May 31 – This Day in Baptist History Past
A preacher who was a lawyer
Elder John Bryce was born of Scotch parents in Goochland County, Virginia, May 31, 1784. He was confirmed in the Episcopal Church but became convicted of his sin under the powerful preaching of Andrew Broadus, at the age of 21, and united with a small Baptist church. About the same time he was admitted to the bar, and for some time practiced law and preached the gospel in Richmond, VA. At this time he was master in chancery for some years under Chief Justice John Marshall. He was also active in the American Colonization Society, liberated forty of his slaves and sent them to Liberia. Bryce moved to Georgetown, KY, where he practiced law and participated in the political affairs of the state. He then located in Crawfordsville, IN and practiced law and preached for ten years and also served in the state legislature. In 1844 he was appointed the surveyor of Shreveport, LA and later was elected mayor. When he arrived in Shreveport there was not a Baptist preacher within 200 miles, but when he left in 1851 there were
20 Baptist churches. This was accomplished though opposed by Catholic Bishop Polk. Bryce returned to KY in 1851 and pastored the church in Henderson where he invested the latter years of his life. His calling as a preacher constrained him to obey these words, “As you therefore go, make disciples.” Because of men like John Bryce, as settlers moved westward so did the gospel, and Baptist churches were planted adds a permanent testimony throughout the land. Bryce also helped establish Concordia College in Washington, D.C. and Georgetown College while he was in Kentucky.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 222-223.