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241 – August 29 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

baldwin. Thomas jpg

The first Baptist missions society in America

Dr. Thomas Baldwin on August 29, 1802, co-authored the call for the establishment of the Massachusetts Baptist Missionary Society. In 1803 he became editor of the “Massachusetts Baptist Missionary Magazine” and served until his death. Dr. Baldwin received a letter from Adoniram Judson in February, 1813 in which he wrote, “Should there be formed a Baptist Society for the support of missions in these parts, I shall be ready to consider myself their missionary!” Baldwin immediately invited several leading pastors from Mass. to meet and confer on the matter. The result was the organization of a temporary society to assist the Judson’s until such time the Baptists nationally could rally forces for the undertaking. Ultimately, with the formation of “The General Missionary Convention of the Baptist Denomination in the U.S. for Foreign Missions,” Dr. Baldwin served as secretary. Thomas Baldwin was born on Dec. 23, 1753, in Bozrah, CT. When he was 17, he received the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Savior and soon declared in favor of Baptist doctrine. He severed ties with his denomination in which he had been raised and therefore many of his friends severed ties with him. Upon moving to Canaan, NH, Baldwin, though young was chosen to represent his village as a legislator in the General Court of the State. However in due time he surrendered for the ministry and on June 11, 1783, Baldwin was ordained and for seven years pastored the Baptist church in Canaan, CT. In 1790 he was installed as pastor of the 2nd Baptist Church of Boston, Mass. A great revival broke out under his leadership with 212 added in 1803.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 356-57.

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142 — May 22 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

An Historian Who Made History

 

On a tombstone in the burial ground of Nonconformists in London called “Bunhill Fields,” one can find these words:

 

Here lies interred the mortal remains of the Rev. Joseph Ivimey, in his lifetime the respected pastor of the Baptist Church, which met in Eagle Street, Red Lion Square, for upwards of 29 years. He departed this life on the 8th day of February, 1834, aged 60 years.

 

GRACE REIGNS.”

 

Joseph Ivimey was born at Ringwood, England, on May 22, 1773, into a family of eight children.

 

In 1794 young Ivimey moved to Portsea, and “he became a member of the Baptist church in that town, which was under the pastoral care of Mr. Daniel Miall.” Soon he was persuaded to try village preaching, and though his own evaluation of his efforts was not too pleasing, apparently others thought differently.  “But receiving an invitation from the Baptist church at Eagle Street, London, to preach for three Lord’s days, he acceded to the request.” He was called by that congregation and was ordained in January 16, 1805. As his tombstone reminds us, for the next twenty-nine years he led “the forces of the Baptist denomination. Joseph Ivimey’s services can hardly be overestimated. For many years he was the moving spirit in the London Churches.” He authored the four-volume History of the English Baptists, which is considered the finest of its kind.

 

Pastor Ivimey encouraged many young men to consider Christian service. In the arena of religious freedom, Ivimey was at the fore. He never feared controversy and was known for his appearance in the House of Lords.

 

As his physical condition worsened, Ivimey thought and talked a great deal about heaven.  As death approached, his mind was calm, and when the words, “And the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin,” were read, he cried, “Ah! that is it! There’s the foundation, there’s my hope.” His last request was to be raised up. Then, looking at his wife, his dying words were, “It’s all over.”

 

“In his will he had stated his wishes with respect to his funeral, in the following words, ‘I desire to be buried in my family grave in Bunhill Fields, and that on the head-stone, after my name and date, there be added, and that only, GRACE REIGNS.’”

 

Dr. Dale R. Hart, adapted from:  This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. Thompson/Cummins) pp. 209 –  210

 

 

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