An Exciting Missionary Adventure
The die was cast on April 25, 1844, when Richard Fuller, prominent pastor from Charleston, South Carolina, presented a resolution at the Triennial Convention to restrict its action to missions and not to become involved in the problem of slavery. From 1814 until 1845, missionary efforts had been primarily made through the Triennial Convention, but in 1845 the split between North and South occurred. However, Baptist associations in various states had formed small, independent mission agencies as well. Richard Henry Stone, born in Culpeper county, Virginia on July 17, 1837, he was sent as a missionary by a Georgia association to serve the Lord in Africa. He united with the Salem Baptist church in Culpeper County and answered the call of the Baptists in Georgia for a missionary to Africa, he and his wife Susan sailed out of Baltimore on November 4. They were three months on the journey, and landed at Lagos. They disciplined themselves to learn the Ijayte language, but with failing health, the couple was forced to return to the States. Mr. Stone then joined the confederate army, and served as a chaplain with the 49th Georgia, Benning’s Brigade. In 1867, with the completion of the war, Mr. Stone returned to Africa and Lagos for two years. The last twenty years of Mr. Stone’s life were spent in Virginia and Kentucky where he supported his family by teaching. Mr. stone died on October 7, 1894, and he was buried in the Fairview Cemetery in Culpeper.
Dr. Dale R. Hart adapted from: This Day in Baptist History III (David L. Cummins) p.p. 239 – 241
Salvation Free to All
1843 – Ephraim Moore, who was born on July 1, 1793, saw his efforts against the hyper-Calvinist’s who taught that, “salvation is for the elect only”, and those Baptists who believed that, “the gospel should be preached to every creature” come to fruition. On this day and the next, the joint convention of representatives of the Holston, Tenn., Nolachucky and East Tenn. Associations, gathered to meet with the Pleasant Grove Church, in Cocke County. In the revision of their Articles of Faith, ‘Article 7’ a change was made as follows: ‘That the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the gospel, and that nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth but his own voluntary refusal to submit to the Lord Jesus Christ, which refusal will subject him to an aggravated punishment.’ This was a large and widely representative body of East Tenn. Baptists, and its adoption was unanimous. Moore, a veteran of the War of 1812 was raised in reformed Presbyterianism. He came to believe that he could repent and believe the gospel having read John 6:28-29. He was baptized and became a member of the South Baptist Church in Morristown, Tenn. Later he was called for a heresy trial on the issue mentioned above and excluded from the church, along with his followers, and became Pastor of the Friendship Baptist Church of Warrensburg, Tenn. for twenty-five years. Because of the faithfulness of Moore and others, the great missionary movement was launched among Baptists in the 19th Century. [J.J. Skethches of Tennessee’s Pioneer Baptist Preachers (Nashville: Press of Marshall and Bruce Company, 1919) pp. 382-83. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 464-466.] Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon
Prayer for Persecutors and Freedom
The Separate Baptists in Virginia had divided into two associations for the convenience of the messengers, and on May 14, 1774, the Southern District met in the Banister Baptist Church of Halifax County. There they transacted one of the most important aspects of an associational ministry, a phase that is all but dead among us in these days. For three or four years there had been severe persecutions against the Baptists in many parts of Virginia. Letters were received at their association from preachers confined in prison, particularly from David Tinsley, then in the Chesterfield jail. The hearts of their brethren were affected at their sufferings, in consequence of which they: “Agreed to set apart the second and third Saturdays in June as public fast days, in behalf of our poor blind persecutors, and for the releasement of our brethren.”
Those two days of prayer were Saturday, June 11, and Saturday, June 18, 1774, and the saints prayed for the enlightenment of the spiritually blind persecutors and the freedom of their ministers. We ought not to be surprised to observe that during that decade, the Separate Baptists “achieved their greatest growth . . . with 221 churches and unconstituted local bodies with 9,842 members.” Some of the persecutors were converted and became Baptist preachers, and freedom of religion was gained for the whole state of Virginia.
Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. (Thompson/Cummins) pp. 240 -241.