The Pastor of Firsts
1764 – Rev. Samuel Stillman became the sixth pastor of the First Baptist Church of Boston, Mass., which was the fourth oldest church in America. The church had endured persecution, decline and revivals. At age 27, Stillman found around sixty discouraged members. Those of prominence often attended services, including President John Adams. Samuel, a small man weighing less than 100 pounds at the time of his death in 1807 did gigantic exploits for God, many of them firsts. He had to flee during the Revolutionary War but returned to re-gather his flock. He helped establish America’s first Baptist College. He was a leader in the organization of the Warren Baptist Association to assist in the fight against the entanglement of the church and state. In 1802, ten years before the Judson’s and Rice went to Burma he led in starting the Mass. Baptist Missions Society. And First church was the first to install a stove for heat against the bitter New England winters. Alas, what worldliness, (Ha). [Nathan E. Wood, The History of the First Baptist Church of Boston (Philadelphia American Baptist Pub. Society, 1899), p. 242. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 494-95.] .] Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon
No Protection for Hypocrites
The events surrounding the ministry of Isaiah Wallace of New Brunswick, was published in the Christian Messenger on March 29, 1871. Wallace was born in Hopewell, New Brunswick on Jan. 17, 1797, the first-born child of James and Catharine Wallace. Early on he trusted the Lord Jesus as his savior, and was baptized by immersion. As he reached maturity, God the Holy Spirit burdened him to preach, and he did so as the opportunity presented itself. He served as a pastor, agent for the Baptist College at Acadia, and an evangelist. Everywhere he ministered he experienced the hand of the Lord upon him, and the Baptist work greatly expanded throughout both Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. How we need to pray that God will once again awaken that beautiful but spiritually destitute portion of North America. Often in his evangelistic crusades, Bro. Wallace would preach three times a day, baptize converts, serve communion and move on to another area to do the same thing, crossing bodies of water in cold weather and often walking for many miles. Many times multitudes were saved in his evangelistic meetings. At another time ministering in the northern portions of New Brunswick, he was able to establish the Campbellton Baptist Church. A lady of high social standing requested baptism. She had belonged to another communion and her friends discouraged her on the basis that she would surely endanger her health by going into the cold water. Her husband asked Rev. Wallace if he knew of any that he had baptized, taking cold, and Wallace, said, “No.” He then asked him if he had ever heard of anyone taking cold and Wallace said that T.S. Harding told him that out of a 1,000 converts that only one had caught a cold and that she was a hypocrite. The man said, “My wife is no hypocrite.” So he allowed her to be baptized without incident. Let us pray that Nova Scotia and New Brunswick will once again know the power of God.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, adapted from: This Day in Baptist History III (David L. Cummins), pp.182-184.