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“Swearin’” Jack got saved”
John Waller represents, on this birthday of our great nation, the men and women who paid a dear price for religious liberty. He carried the scars of his scourging to his grave, which is located in the Waller-Hackett family burial ground in Abbeville County, near Greenwood, S.C. Waller was one of the more able preachers of his time. Before his conversion, his ability in profanity earned him the title of “Swearin’ Jack.” However after his conversion, his ability in the pulpit in preaching the gospel of Christ, and pointing out the errors of the dominant religious and civil authorities of his day attracted the attention of the authorities and he spent a total of 113 days in four different county jails for preaching without a license. He was also subject to severe physical abuse. In Caroline County, Virginia he gave the following account during a worship service in a home: “While preaching, a huge fellow pulled him down and dragged him about by his hair. One who came to his rescue grabbed one arm while the ruffian grabbed the other. Both pulled on him like until they nearly pulled him apart. He suffered for a long time from the ordeal. During the preaching they jerked him violently off of the stage.” He preached for 35 years, baptized more than two thousand persons, assisted in ordaining 27 ministers and in organizing 18 churches. He died July 4, 1802, in his sixty-second year.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 273-75.
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