Elder John Leland married Miss Sallie Devine on Sept. 30, 1776, and God blessed them with eight children. As the Apostles, along with Patrick Henry, Carrington, and Washington, he would have been considered an “unlearned and ignorant” man, in that he had received no formal education. But his proficiency in the gospel, law and politics was as profound as any of his contemporaries. Born in Grafton, Mass. on May 14, 1754, he was saved after a lengthy period of conviction over his sins. In June of 1774 he moved to Virginia, was ordained, and assumed the pastorate of the Mount Poney Baptist Church in Culpepper County. For the next fifteen years he served in a very successful evangelistic ministry that covered 75,000 miles, and the preaching of over 3,000 sermons. Altogether he baptized 1,352 converts. One woman’s husband came to shoot him but he got her under while the members detained him. His shrewd and witty mind aided him in championing soul liberty and religious freedom. It was primarily through his able leadership that we have the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. He also opposed slavery when it was unpopular to do so, and was successful in disenfranchising the Protestant Episcopal Church which was supported by taxation in Virginia. He ended his life still preaching the gospel in his native Massachusetts and died at age 67 on Jan. 14, 1841. [Robert Boyle C. Howell, The Early Baptists of Virginia (Philadelphia: Bible and Publication Society. 1857), p. 242
Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, pp. 535 – 36
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His outspoken ways brought great persecution
Balthasar Hubmaier received the doctorate of theology from the University of Ingolstadt in Germany and entered the Roman Catholic ministry on Sept. 29, 1512. Through his studies he became disillusioned with what he had been taught and by 1523 was in contact with the Protestant reformer, Zwingli and he was transformed by the grace of God. Later he left Zwingli over believer’s immersion. His outspoken ways brought great persecution down upon him. He like Peter, under pressure, denied the truth, but repented and was able to give a glorious testimony to God’s grace in the flames of martyrdom on March 10, 1528. Three days later his wife Elizabeth, undaunted in her faith, was thrown into the Danube River and drowned. The doctrine that caused our Anabaptist forebears to suffer at the hands of Catholic and Protestant Reformers alike was infant baptism. That wicked heresy was established in the third century as Cyprian consulted with sixty bishops upon the question of whether children were to be baptized on the third or eighth day from their birth? Our forefathers the Donatists, repudiated this falsity. The Reformers, Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin continued in this heresy, and also persecuted the Baptists, and other non-conformists over this issue, which they had received from Augustine. [Wm. R. Estep, The Anabaptist Story Nashville: Broadman Press, 1963), p. 49.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, pp. 533 – 34.
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The ground is level at the cross
Sept 28, 1930 – Charles Evans Hughes, chief justice of the United States Supreme Court presented himself for membership in a Baptist church in Washington, D.C. It was the custom of the church to invite the new members to come forward and introduce them to the congregation. On this same morning a Chinese laundryman had come for membership, having moved to the Capitol from San Francisco. A dozen others came forward and stood on the opposite side of the pulpit from the Chinese man named Ah Sing who stood alone. Chief Justice Hughes was called who took his place beside Ah Sing. After welcoming the new members into the church the pastor said, “I do not want this congregation to miss the remarkable illustration of the fact that at the cross of Jesus Christ the ground is level!” Charles Evans Hughes had been born into the family of a Baptist pastor. Early in life he responded to the gospel and was saved. During his entire political career he was a faithful witness to the gospel of Christ. He served two terms as Gov. of New York. He was defeated for President in 1921 by Woodrow Wilson. He served twice on the Supreme Court, the last time he was appointed by Pres. Herbert Hoover. He had a reputation of “fearless integrity”. [“Hughes, Charles Evans,” Microsoft Encarta 97 Encyclopedia. 1993-96 Microsoft Corp. Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, pp. 531 – 32.
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Excellent – Exactly what I wanted to say.
Colby College Today
They were balanced in their doctrine
Thomas Francis served on a committee on Sept. 26, 1811, to petition the General Court in the District of Maine to establish a school of higher learning among the Baptists. When Maine became a State, the Maine Literary and Theological Institute became Colby College. Francis served the Baptist church at Leeds as pastor and the following report was sent to the Association upon his death. “Our meetings are fully attended, we have many refreshing seasons; have a neat and comfortable house of worship; we stand fast in doctrine, neither Antinomian [Hyper-Calvinism] nor Arminian.” Francis had apprenticed as a youth to a physician but ran off to sea and came to America. The ship wrecked off the coast of Maine and Thomas along with some of the sailors found shelter in the home of a Mr. and Mrs. Stinchfield. Later, at Leeds, Maine Francis was saved while reading the scriptures and began to teach others. Some Methodist preachers came to minister but Thomas along with a few in the group were not satisfied with their doctrine of “falling from grace” and left. James Potter, a Baptist preacher, hearing of the group, came and baptized Francis in 1795 and it wasn’t long until he became pastor of a Baptist church in Leeds. The Lord had turned the seventeen year old runaway around and made him a useful servant of Christ. [Henry S. Burrage, History of the Baptists in Maine (Portland, Maine: Marks Printing House, 1904), p 137.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, pp. 527-29.
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They loved the Navajos
Rev. and Mrs. Samuel Gorman were approved on Sept. 25, 1852, by the American Baptist Home Mission Society, to serve among the Navajos in New Mexico. That field had recently been opened by H.W. Read of Connecticut. Two additional couples had also recently gone to that field of service, including James Milton Shaw and his wife from New York. A letter from Bro. Gorman dated in 1876 relates many of the trying experiences from the time that they arrived in Laguna in 1852. They had a nine month delayed entrance into “the Pueblo” as promised by Capt. Henry L. Dodge. The priests (Catholic) had done everything possible to “rout” them from the village including suing them at law in Taos, which they won at great cost of time and money. At times they had a hard time finding enough to eat and were out of funds most of the time. Thankfully when Capt. Dodge did come he persuaded the Indians to allow them to teach their children and to preach Christ to them. He was able to preach every Sabbath except when on mission tours and finally in 1858 he was able to build a little chapel. The first Indian convert in N.M. was Jose Senon who carried on the work when the missionaries had to leave when the area was occupied by the Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. Gorman died at 92 after he also pastored successful churches in Ohio and Wisconsin. [Lewis A. Myers, A History of N.M. Baptists (Baptist Convention of New Mexico, 1995), pp. 59-60.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, pp. 525-27.
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“Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness,” Psalm 29:2.
In Psalm 29, David depicts the power and glory that God demonstrates in nature. It ends with the Lord giving His people peace after the storm.
In the frontier saga, Salt Lick I, Robert Brock writes the true account of his third grade teacher caught up inside a tornado. Helpless, she prayed as the lights went out. After the storm, her family found her in an oak tree with her hair tangled in the limbs. The storm had vacuumed the air from her lungs, but they were able to revive her.
Mankind is a part of the natural environment in which God has placed him. “God that made the world . . . hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; that they should seek the Lord . . . though he be not far from every one of us” (Acts 17:24, 26, 27). People from the mountain have a different culture from those raised on the beach. We are not only products of God’s design, but He sets people under the care of particular parents with siblings and environments of His choosing to influence their character and prepare them for His service. In all this supernatural selection, we see God’s power and glory which makes us understand we are not in control.
Like the third grade teacher, God’s children see His power in the storms of life, also they see His grace and peace in the calm. Like David, they should praise God when the hurricane is blowing trees down in their lives and when the sun is shining after the storm.
IN OTHER WORDS
The same God that was in charge of Hurricane Rita was in charge of the bluebonnet fields of West Texas.
The pastor had, perhaps, plunged a thousand in the creek
Elder Devin, the Pastor of the Grassy Creek Baptist Church of Granville County, N.C. baptized fifty ‘happy’ converts on Sept. 22, 1850 in that noble stream, by the same name, that flows by the church. The church historian claimed that the pastor had, perhaps, plunged a thousand in the creek in the same manner. Grassy Creek church had spawned many other churches and itself had existed in its purity for more than a century since its inception by Shubael Stearns and Daniel Marshall in 1757 shortly after they arrived from New England. Grassy Creek planted small groups for Bible study throughout a forty-mile area that ultimately grew into churches. They also believed in “protracted” or lengthy meetings. One such meeting in 1775 garnered eighteen souls by membership through baptism. Large crowds would gather to see these baptismal services which were great testimonies to the grace of God in themselves. Grassy Creek church also maintained a great interest in missions at home and abroad. And the congregation was never lured away by entertainment more than involvement, having “itching ears.” [Robert I. Devin, A History of Grassy Creek Baptist Church (Raleigh, N. C.: Edwards, Broughton & Co., 1880), p, 70.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, pp. 519-21.
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“The Lord saveth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand,” Psalm 20:6.
An agnostic mountain climber in the freezing Alps, holding to his rope, fell from a cliff. He came to the end of his rope facing up. Looking straight into the sky, all he could see above him was the cliff covered in heavy falling snow. He knew he must do something quickly before he froze to death. Looking into the snowy-white atmosphere above, he decided to see whether God really was up there. “God! If You are up there, help me before I die!” “Sure,” God yelled back, “Just turn loose of the rope.” The rescue team found him three days later, still clinging to the rope, hanging in space, looking up, three feet from the ground.
In the human experience, many trust in that which can be seen and held in their hands. Those who know Jesus Christ as Savior trust in the unseen God. That which is not of faith is sin. The Holy Spirit generates faith in the unseen God.
The rich young ruler had everything going for him, health, wealth and position. Jesus indicated whatever one trusts in for security that is his God.
Since God is Spirit and must be trusted in spirit and in truth, how then are we assured we are worshiping and trusting the right God? “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him” (John 14:21). After faith comes obedience, then He says He will make it clear that He is busy bringing about His will in our lives.
IN OTHER WORDS
Turn loose of the rope.