253 – Sept. 10 -This Day in Baptist History Past


 

He refused the “Test Oath”

 

1866 – Rev. B.F. Kenny, a respected Baptist minister, of Daviess County in Missouri, was arrested on three indictments found against him by a grand jury for the crime of preaching the gospel without taking the ‘Test Oath’. The State Convention had inserted this oath into the new constitution on Jan. 6, 1865, at the close of the Civil War, making it mandatory for pastors to vow loyalty to the state above Christ and His Word. 400 pastors out of the 450 in the state suffered rather than bowing until the act was repealed by the Supreme Court of the U.S. on Jan. 14, 1867. Several of them were imprisoned. Rev. J.H. Luther, Editor of the Missouri Baptist Journal was arrested, held on $1,000 bond, to answer the charge of preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ without re-ordination from the commissioner of the state church. Another Baptist preacher was dragged from his home at mid-night, pistol whipped and beaten, and warned to leave the county because he refused to sign the ‘test oath’. [R.S. Duncan, A History of the Baptists in Missouri (St. Louis: Scammell & Co. Publishers, 1882), pp. 926-27. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 496-97.]  Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon

 

 

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