Tag Archives: baptist petition

278 – Oct. 05 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

Author of Soul Liberty in CT

 

1772 – Stephen Smith Nelson was born to Thomas and Ann Nelson of Middleboro, Mass. His conversion to Christ was at age fourteen and he was baptized by William Nelson, a near relative, and became a member of the Baptist church in his home town, whose pastor was the celebrated Isaac Backus, the great advocate of religious liberty. Stephen graduated from Brown U. in 1794, and continued his studies under Dr. Samuel Stillman, the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Boston. At 24 he was licensed to preach, and after filling the pulpit at Hartford Conn., he was ordained in 1798. The church met in several places including the old courthouse, and though it was crude in appearance, and they had rough furniture, they experience the remarkable presence of God, and more than one hundred converts were baptized into the church. Nelson took an active part in preparing “The Baptist Petition,” a remonstrance addressed to the Conn. Legislature, supporting absolute soul liberty, which was accomplished in 1818, with the disestablishing of the state church. He was also one of those appointed by the Danbury Baptist Association to write a congratulatory letter to Thomas Jefferson which was answered with the famous “Wall of Separation” quote which we still here about today. Nelson ended his life in Amherst, Mass., preaching to feeble and destitute churches. He always enjoyed a fruitful ministry wherever he preached. He died at 82 years of age in 1853. [Wm. B. Sprague, Annals of the American Pulpit (New York: Robert Carter and Bros., 1865), 6:366. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. 545-46.] Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon

 

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125 – May-05 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

Sunday Evening Services

 

In the Baptist petition to the House of Burgesses of Virginia, on May 5, 1774, the Baptists wanted the privilege of having evening meetings. The record reads, “A petition of sundry persons of the community of Christians called Baptists . . . was presented to the House and read, setting forth that the toleration proposed by the bill ordered at the last session of the General Assembly to be printed and published not admitting public worship, except in the daytime, is inconsistent with the laws of England, as well as the practice and usage of the primitive churches, and even of the English church itself; that the night season may sometimes be better spared by the petitioners from the necessary duties of their callings; and that they wish for no indulgences which may disturb the peace of government; and therefore praying the House to take their case into consideration, and to grant them suitable redress.”  Many Baptist pastors are afraid to invite guest preachers today, because the saints of God have adopted the habit of being only Sunday morning believers and or attendees.  The Sunday night attendance is only a sparse crowd compared to Sunday morning, and God help if you have only part of them on Wednesday night.  Shouldn’t Sunday and Wednesday night be as important as Sunday morning!!  Let me challenge you to shock your pastor and determine that you are going to become faithful to every service, day or night.

 

Dr. Dale R. Hart adapted from:  This Day in Baptist History III (David L. Cummins) pp. 260 – 262

 

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