Tag Archives: Brother Pearcy

362 – Dec. 28 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

 

The isolation of love

 

 1871 – Issachar Jacob Roberts, but known by his first two initials I.J., died in Upper Alton, Illinois. No one should be surprised that it was of leprosy, having ministered to the lepers in China for many years. I.J. was born in Tennessee on Feb. 17, 1802, and at the age of nineteen was converted and baptized. He then entered into studies at Furman institute in S.C. to prepare for the work of the ministry and was ordained in Shelbyville, TN, on April 27, 1827. He then settled in Mississippi, where he owned property worth thirty thousand dollars. Being burdened for the mission field of China, in 1836, he sold his property and formed a missions’ agency called the Kentucky China Mission Society, but not having enough funds he applied for and was accepted by the Triennial Convention on Sept. 6, 1841. Still it wasn’t enough, so he made saddles in China. Fearing that leprosy was contagious, Roberts found himself isolated from his fellow missionaries, in fact he wrote in his diary, “I feel very lonely, the missionaries seldom come to see me; and Brother Pearcy, to whom I applied for board, thinks we can love each other better apart.” The next seven years he spent ministering between Macao and Hong Kong. In 1844 he established a church in Canton. Leasing a lot, he built a chapel and mission house. He also purchased a floating chapel and maintained worship there. One of his journal entries read, “Preached before breakfast to eighteen lepers.” A Chinese mob assaulted his house, and sank his “floating chapel.” He left the TC in 1846 and the Southern Baptists started supporting him. He left them in 1852. [This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: 2000 A.D. pp. 711-12. G. Winfred Hervey, The Story of Baptist Missions in Foreign Lands (St. Louis: C.R. Barns Publishing Co., 1892), p. 523.]   Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon

 

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