04 – January 04 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


 

Seven preachers in jail

 

1771 – William Webber and Joseph Anthony of Virginia as Paul the Apostle were familiar with the inside of crude prisons. Few men in Virginia suffered more persecution than Webber. He was seized in Chesterfield County, Dec. 7, 1770, and imprisoned in the county jail until March 7, 1771. When the two men crossed the James River into Chesterfield County, there was not a Baptist in the entire county. The magistrates, finding that many were turning to righteousness (to madness, as they would state it)…issued warrants and had them apprehended and cast into prison. The order book of Chesterfield County, No. 4, page 489, Jan. 4, 1771, records that they were brought into court on a warrant for misbehavior for itinerant preaching…being of the sect commonly called Anabaptists. They were fined 150 pounds each and told not to return to the county for the space of one year. At one time there were seven Baptist preachers confined in the Chesterfield County jail. Webber and Anthony preached twice per week. Large congregations gathered to hear them as they preached through the grates of the prison. There were times of great revival and scores of conversions of souls turning to Christ under those windows. Baptist principles were largely advertised in Chesterfield County at the expense of the state.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 05-06.

 

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