Ten years that equaled a century
It is for some to go, and for others to hold the rope for others that go to the heathen world. Such was the lot of the Rev. Samuel Pearce who was ordained in 1789 as pastor of the Cannon Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, England in which he served until his death on Oct. 10, 1799. Though it only lasted ten years, William Cathcart said, “Measured by usefulness instead of years this young pastor preached for at least a century.” Pearce was a dear friend of Wm. Carey before the beginning of the missionary enterprise, and was one of the strongest advocates of the worldwide mission’s cause that the world has ever known. He desired to go with Carey but because of his physical frailties, the Missionary Society convinced him that he was of greater value for the cause of missions in England. His eloquence in the pulpit stirred many throughout England and Ireland to volunteer for and support of the work in India. As a staunch prayer warrior, Pearce carried every matter to the Lord and expected and received answers to his prayers. In 1794 he wrote to the ministers in the U.S. urging the formation of the American Baptist foreign missionary society, and credit must be given to Pastor Pearce, for the seed fell on good soil and bore fruit a hundredfold. Pearce was born in Birmingham, England, in July 20, 1766. As a boy he experienced seasons of great conviction as he considered his sin. When he was fifteen he saw a man die who cried out, “I am damned forever.” He was filled with terror for a year and hearing Rev. Birt of Plymouth, England, he was pointed to the Lamb of God, and found full assurance and peace with God. He was trained in the Bristol College. At 33 years of age he fell victoriously asleep in Jesus, with his dear wife comforting him.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 297-98.