262 – Sept. 19 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

A church within prison walls

 

1662 – Francis Bampfield conducted worship in his house for his family and a few neighbors, his text was I Th. 5:6-7. Soldiers broke up the service producing a warrant and arrested Bampfield, Humphrey Philips his assistant, and twenty-five others who were taken to the home of the provost, Marshall, and detained for five days. All received rough treatment and were later released. Bampfield returned to preaching and was arrested again. After a series of arrests, trials, imprisonments, and persecutions he was finally imprisoned at Dorchester, England where his incarceration lasted for nine years. During this time he preached nearly every Sunday, and was able to establish a church within the prison walls. It was during this time that he embraced the observance of the Sabbath Day. Upon his release he started a church in Piner’s Hall in London, on March 5, 1675. He ministered there, whenever his “prison schedule” allowed until his death in 1684. It was also during this time that he came to accept believer’s immersion only as the scriptural means of baptism, and was immersed while an inmate. He led his congregation to that biblical position. On March 17, 1682, he was arrested for the last time. Following his trial, in which the jury, at the order of the judge, gave a verdict of guilty, he was imprisoned for what would prove the remainder of his life. He was imprisoned in the dread prison at Newgate and was buried in a new graveyard purchased by the Baptists near Aldersgate Street on Feb. 19 1684. [Richard L. Greaves, Saints and Rebels (Macon, Ga.: Mercer University. Press, 1985), p. 183.This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 513-15]
Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon

 

 

 

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