He was an overcomer
1794 – A BAPTIST OVERCOMES SIGHT AND VOICE IMPAIRMENT TO BECOME A GREAT PASTOR AND PRESIDENT OF MERCER U IN THE 19TH CENTURY – John Dagg was born in Virginia on February 13, 1794. As a young lad he pursued his studies and mastered Latin, Greek and Hebrew by candlelight permanently impairing his vision. In later years he had to be assisted in both reading and writing. He personally testified to obtaining a “joyful” sense of acceptance with God on his 15th birthday and was baptized in 1813 at 19 years and began to preach three years later at 22 and was ordained a year later. For several years he pastored small Baptist churches in his home state and compensated his income by teaching school. In 1825 he accepted the call to the prestigious Sansom Street Baptist Church in Philadelphia where he succeeded the beloved Dr. William Staughton. Dagg not only had problems with his eyes but was further handicapped by a terrible fall, in his twenties. At times he was housebound and could hardly minister to his people, but with a strong spirit he continued on to serve God. His trials continued however when he developed throat problems and could not speak above a whisper which forced his retirement from the church after nine years. With an invincible will he moved to Tuscaloosa, AL, and took charge of the Alabama Female Atheneum, and although he had never received a formal education, in 1844 he was appointed President of Mercer University in Macon, GA. The 12 years while he was President brought great advancement to the theological department, where he also taught. However, with advancing age, he resigned in 1856. But his work was not done. Retiring to Alabama, Dr. Dagg in 1857 published his Manual of Theology. This volume became most influential in directing the theology of the Southern Baptists. Dagg wrote, “We yield everything which is not required by the Word of God; but in what this word requires, we have no compromise to make.” He was called home on June 11, 1884 at 90 years of age.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 60.
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