236 – August 24 – This Day in Baptist History Past
How the gospel spread in Ireland
Alexander Carson died on August 24, 1844. He was one of the most illustrious of the Irish Baptists. He was born in the north of Ireland in 1776. He settled as a Presbyterian pastor in 1798 at Tubbermore for £100 per year from the government. He was a Greek scholar, and had been willing to sign the “Standards” of the Church of Scotland, and could have become Professor of Greek in the University of Glasgow. He finally adopted Baptist principles, gave up his Presbyterian pastorate and salary, and gathered a little band of Baptists about him in a church without a meetinghouse, while he himself endured deep poverty. He was probably the leading scholar, writer and reasoner among the British Baptists. He aided in operating a Baptist seminary at Belina from 1830-1840. He had a stabalizing effect when confusion prevailed that laid the ground work for the “Prayer Meeting Revival” that spread from America to Ireland in the late 1850s. Often the fruit of our labors does not come forth until we have entered into our rest after enduring the heat of the day of sowing and cultivating. During the decade of the 1650s, at least 11 Baptist churches were formed when Cromwell’s army over ran Ireland in 1649. Its leadership consisted of many Baptists. Many Baptists abounded in his forces. Among them were twelve governors of towns and cities, ten colonels, four lieutenant colonels, ten majors, twenty captains, and twenty-three officers on the civil list. Most of these churches were founded and sustained by the officers and soldiers in Cromwell’s army. London Baptists, responding to an appeal sent a number of preachers to Ireland. That’s how the Baptist foothold got its start in Ireland to begin with.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 349-50.
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The Welsh revival spreads to America
The Philadelphia Association of Regular Baptists began meeting as early as 1688, in what they called general, and some-times yearly meetings. The business of these meetings was confined to the ministry of the Word and the administration of the gospel ordinances. But at their meeting July 27, 1707 they seem to have taken more the form of an association, therefore this is the date that historians use for the founding of the Philadelphia Association. The members and ministers that made up these churches came from the great Welsh migration in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Such leaders as Jenkins Jones, Abel Morgan, and Samuel Jones brought with them their tradition of great preaching, love of singing, and warm and fervent evangelism. They were a feeble, though faithful, band of believers at that time, consisting of but five churches: Lower Dublin, Piscataqua, Middletown, Cohansie, and Welsh Tract. There were only 14 Baptist churches in all of the colonies at that time. Some things that were discussed in their meeting were things wanting in the churches especially pertaining to who was not to preach in their associational meetings. “…a person that is a stranger, that has neither letter of recommendation, nor is known to be a person gifted, and of good conversation, shall not be admitted to preach, nor be entertained as a member in any of the baptized congregations in communion with each other.” They were careful to emphasize that they desired no creed and that a “Gospel church is the highest earthly ecclesiastical tribunal and is in no wise subject to any other church, or the decrees of associations or councils. They believed strongly in the sovereignty of God, but kept a fiery spirit of evangelism.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 307-09.
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The Gospel is “the power of God unto Salvation”
The following account is found in the records of the Kiokee Church (Georgia), about the blessed conversion of “Brother Billy”, ‘about one hundred years old’, formerly a slave but at that time, ‘a free man of color.’ This took place on July 17, 1841, and Billy united with the church. The evidence exists that slave members of some Baptist churches were allowed to vote. As with the white males, black male members were “assessed” for church expenses and required to attend business meetings. The female, black and white, did not vote in the business matters of the churches. The slave membership of many Baptist churches greatly outnumbered the whites, and thus the churches often appointed spiritually faithful slaves to serve as a discipline committee among their own. The churches chastened heir slave membership primarily for problems of morals and honesty, and they chastised their slaveholder members for these infractions as well as for cruelty and barbarity to their slaves. It is apparent that slaves were better off being owned by Christians than by unbelievers! Black slave preachers were licensed and ordained by the Baptist churches, and the impact of those slave preachers was unique! Much of the evangelism among the slaves resulted from the preaching on the plantations by these faithful men who were slaves twofold: first to the Lord Jesus Christ and then to an earthly master. Segregation in the services was always maintained. In some of the old church buildings in the areas where slavery was practiced, we can still observe “slave balconies.” In other church buildings a portion of the facility was designated for the slave members. However, Baptists in the South often assisted the former slaves by helping them establish their own churches.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 292-93.
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IRA M. Allen
Sunday school: “the most successful opponent of the Prince of darkness”
In 1824 the “Latter Day Luminary,” a Baptist magazine for promoting missions, reported, “The Sunday School properly conducted is the greatest and most successful opponent of the Prince of darkness….Let these schools be cherished, let them be increased; soon the solitary place shall be glad for them, and the wilderness shall blossom as the rose.”
In time, Sunday school associations appeared, but these did not meet the need of Baptist churches, for literature had to be supplied that taught the Baptist distinctives. One of the first to see this need was Ira M. Allen, agent of the Baptist General Tract Society. In 1832 Allen wrote, “As it is, a part of the truth of God is excluded from all the Sunday School books published by the American Union, which furnish the principal reading for hundreds of thousands of youth throughout the land. And we, as a denomination, have not a single book for Sunday Schools, containing our distinguishing sentiments.”
“This was finally accomplished on April 30, 1840, in New York City when representations from fifteen states, from New Hampshire to Louisiana, voted to change the complexion and name of the tract society to ‘The American Baptist Publication and Sunday School Society.’”For the first time, it was possible for Baptist Sunday schools to secure biographical, doctrinal, and historical material written from a Baptist perspective.
Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 175-176
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http://the-trumpet-online.com For those interested, here is the place I get Baptist History. I am sure there would be a book available if interested. One would need to question by email to find availability. I do believe the title of the book would be – “This Day in Baptist History” Authored by Cummins Thompson.
A Call for the Ongoing of the Gospel
The mission’s magazine that was used to stir Judson
Pastors Samuel Stillman of Boston’s First Baptist Church and Thomas Baldwin of Boston’s Second Baptist Church were the prime movers behind the establishing of the mission, and the two churches issued a call to the other Baptist churches in the state to unite for the purpose of the ongoing of the gospel. The appeal was dated April 29, 1802, and the meeting was held in the First Baptist Church. “The object of this Society shall be to furnish occasional preaching, and to promote the knowledge of evangelistic truth in the new settlements within these United States; or further if circumstance should render it proper.” “At once they sent out their first missionaries: John Tripp, Isaac Case and Joseph Cornell. . . . The three were to find their own horses, but they were to have a weekly salary of five dollars plus expenses. They were to keep clear of politics, to keep an exact journal, and primarily to evangelize and encourage those people so sadly deprived, by distance and isolation, of church ministries.
In 1803 the society established The Massachusetts Missionary Magazine. It was the September of 1809 issue of this magazine that Adoniram Judson was stirred so as to offer himself for missionary service to India.
Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 174
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The Separation was amiable
1867 – Brother Billy Hariss, colored, was ordained into the gospel ministry according to the minutes of The Baptist Church of Christ at Kiokee, Georgia. This is but a small example of the relationship between the races during the early development of our nation, both before and after the Civil War. Dr. John Clarke organized the Baptist church in Newport, R.I. in 1639, and “Jack”, America’s first black Baptist was baptized in 1652 and added to the membership of the church, being a “free man.” However, many among the slave population in the South came to know Christ and outnumbered whites in the membership of Baptist churches 6-to-one in ratio. The First Baptist Church of Richmond, VA elected Black deacons to watch over free and slave Negro members. They also licensed certain colored men to “exercise their spiritual gifts in public.” At least fifteen years prior to Carey ‘s sailing for India, George Lisle, the first Black ordained Black Baptist in America, went to Jamaica as a missionary. Lott Carey, a member of First Baptist of Richmond purchased his freedom for $850 in 1813 and with Colin Teague, sailed in 1821 for Liberia and established the first Baptist church in Monrovia. Prior to the Civil War, Abraham Marshall, pastor at Kiokee, ordained Andrew Bryan in Savannah. It was also prior to the Civil War that John Jasper was saved and sent by his “master” to preach the gospel. After the war the blacks desired their own places of worship and the white churches either gave them the old church and built new ones or helped the blacks build new ones. The separation was amiable.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson /, p. 161.
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Edward Wightman, the last Baptist to be executed by the fires of the stake at Lichfield outside the St. Mary’s Catholic Church on April 11, 1612. Bishop Neile of Lichfield and his coadjutors, who acted as Royal Commissioners on the occasion, were manifestly “forgers of Lies. “ Thomas Crosby mentions that “many of the heresies they charge upon him are as foolish and inconsistent, that it very much discredits what they say.” What was the real cause of his martyrdom? “Among other charges brought against him were these: ‘That the baptizing of infants is an abominable custom; that the Lord’s supper and baptism are not to be celebrated as they are now practiced in the church of England; and that Christianity is not wholly professed and preached in the church of England, but only in part’ “ Though they found him guilty of many heresies, some of which were probably unknown to him, even by name, the account that he claimed “the use of baptism to be administered in water only to converts of sufficient age and understanding.” Was true.
What kind of man really was Edward Wightman? His son, grandson, great grandson, for two more generations all pastored Baptist churches in America! That is a great tribute to his faith.
Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: A History of the Baptists, by John T. Christian /A History of the English Baptists, by Joseph Ivimey.
Congregational singing began
1640 — In that we have no leap year in 2014 we are going to use the entry of Feb. 29 on this date because of its importance to our Baptist churches. This was the day that Benjamin Keach was born into the home of John Keach of Buckinghamsire, England. By the age of 15 Benjamin became convinced of believers baptism and submitted himself to the ordinance upon his profession of faith in Christ. By the age of 18, the society of believers that he fellowshipped with saw fit to set him apart for the gospel ministry. At age twenty-eight he became pastor of the Baptist church in Horsleydown, London. In the beginning they met in homes because of the persecution but finally built a meeting house which was enlarged several times up to nearly a thousand. He wrote many treatises and apologies on the issues of his day which found him in court on many occasions. He not only differed with the state church officials but with some of his Baptist brethren relating to doctrine and practice. Baptists have always differed on non- cardinal issues. One such controversy involved congregational singing. Because of persecution, it had been necessary to avoid singing in worship until around 1680. The whole issue turned on one point, whether there was precept or example of the converted and unconverted, to join in the singing as a part of divine worship. Also they believed that those whom God gifted could sing as the heart dictated the melody but not by rhyme or written note. First they only sang at the Lord’s Supper and then later after the sermon and prayer. Some of the dissenters would leave the building and stand in the yard. Later they withdrew and started their own non-singing church, but then started singing around 1793. Thanks to Benjamin Keach and others we have congregational singing in our churches today.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 83.
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John L. Dagg
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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Posted: 09 Feb 2014 02:11 PM PST
Hille Cliff today
Oldest Baptist church
on earth (in England)
Baptists in 14th Century England
1830 – HILL CLIFFE CHURCH – COUNTY OF CHESTER -THE OLDEST BAPTIST CHURCH IN GREAT BRITAIN – 1357 – James Bradford died on February 10, 1830, Pastor of the Baptist church at Hill Cliffe in the County of Chester, one of the oldest Baptist churches known in Great Britain dating back to 1357 found on a gravestone located near the ancient chapel. The members suffered greatly during the reign of the bloody Queen Mary, because on June 27, 1558, Roger Holland was martyred for his faith in Christ. Apparently it was at that time that a hole about four yards long and three yards wide was made in the sandstone beneath the chapel as a haven for those fleeing their persecutors. An outdoor baptistery of stone was uncovered when the chapel was rebuilt in 1800 showing that immersion had long been practiced. The earliest minister identified by a deed was a Mr. Weyerburton, who served the church until his death in 1594. The church had prospered under Bradford now that the days of persecution was past and according to the Baptist Magazine of July 1880, more than 1,600 came to the funeral which was preached by Moses Fisher of Liverpool which had to be conducted outside. On the gravestone it said that he was ordained Oct. 12, 1820 and was 44 years of age, Exemplary: His Ministry Useful: His Death Happy.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 56.
Hille Cliffe Baptist Church web site:
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