The real root of fundamentalism
1863 – Dr. A.T. Robertson, universally known as the greatest Greek scholar of his day, was born in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. In that he died in 1934 he lived during the Fundamentalist/modernist battles. However, like many of his Southern brethren he never became involved in those controversies except to oppose A.H. Strong’s pantheism. Following is one of his most famous quotes: “Give a man an open Bible, an open mind, a conscience in good working order, and he will have a hard time to keep from being a Baptist.” Baptists have long held the tenet that the Bible is our only rule of faith and practice. Literal interpretation leads one to dispensational/premillennialism. In the early days Fundamentalists could be found in most denominations but today Fundamentalism is primarily a Baptist movement. All others refer to themselves as Evangelicals. Dr. A.J. Frost, a Baptist Bible teacher addressed the 1886 International Prophecy Conference with the thesis that the world’s moral condition was “growing worse, etc.” based on II Tim. 3:13. Ernest R. Sandeen concluded that millenarianism was the root of Fundamentalism. But the real root is the literal interpretation of God’s Word. Dr. Robertson taught the book of Colossians from his Greek N.T. in the Calvary Baptist Church in New York City as Dr. H.A. Ironsides listened. Then he listened as Dr. Ironsides taught 1st and 2nd Thessalonians in English. Dr. Robertson told Dr. Ironsides that if he had his life to live over again he would be much more positive about this matter concerning premillenialism, because in all of his ministry he had never met a premillennialist who was a Modernist. [George M. Marsden, Fundamentalism and American Culture (New York: Oxford University Press, 1980), p. 66. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. 606-07.] Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon
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First Baptist Church in Louisiana
1812 – Was the likely date that the first Baptist church was organized in Louisiana. Most believe that Rev. Ezra Courtney founded the church, with the help of two laymen, Joseph Lewis and Joseph Irwin. Its name was The Half Moon Bluff Baptist Church and it functioned until about 1870 when it ceased to exist. The oldest church in the state with a continuous history is the Calvary Baptist Church in Evangeline Parish, near Bayou Chicot, that was organized on Nov. 13, 1812. Joseph Willis, a mulatto who was a licensed Baptist preacher, had labored with Richard Curtis in Miss. He courageously crossed the Mississippi River as early as 1804 and began to preach wherever he could gain a hearing. It was this effort that the church was started. Willis was used of God in establishing churches in five other towns. Other men of God joined him in his labors on Oct. 31, 1818 in Cheneyville and organized the Louisiana Baptist Association. When Baptists first entered the territory of Louisiana, the law of the land provided, that religious services could be conducted only by Roman Catholic priests. The territory had been in the hands of France by Treaty from Spain since Oct. 1, 1800 so Romanism had total control when the U.S. made the Louisiana Purchase of 885,000 for $15 million on April 30, 1803. The first record of Baptists going into the state was when Rev. Bailey E. Chaney from S.C. went from the Natchez in Mississippi into eastern Louisiana or West Florida in 1798. He was arrested and imprisoned in Baton Rouge. In time he was released but not allowed to establish a church. [William Cathcart, The Baptist Encyclopedia (Philadelphia: Louis H. Everts, 1881, 2:718. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. 559-60.] Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon
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A Diligent Soul-Winner
From the day he came to know Christ as Savior, Bernard H. Frey, Bernie, as he was affectionately called, felt compelled to share the Gospel with an intense love of witnessing.
Following his conversion, Bernie and two other men organized the Calvary Baptist Church in his hometown of Rushmore, Minnesota. He taught the men’s Sunday school class, ministered as Sunday school superintendent, served as a deacon, and led the way as a soul-Winner. More than twenty men went into the ministry from the church, primarily from Bernie’s influence. Bernard was not a young man when he answered the call to preach, but he entered Northwestern College in Minneapolis, Minnesota along with his oldest daughter. Both transferred to Pillsbury Baptist Bible College in Owatonna, Minnesota, upon its opening in 1957. Bernard was among Pillsbury’s first students, and the first grandfather to graduate from the institution. He was greatly influenced by Dr. Monroe Parker who became President of Pillsbury on February 5, 1958. While still in College, Bernard pastored a Baptist church in Canon City, Minnesota.
In the spring of 1972, Bernie was chosen coordinator of the New Testament Association of Independent Baptist Churches. April 17, 1974 is a date indelibly stamped on the minds of his children as a day they said good bye to their father. Three of Bernards’ children are serving the Lord in full-time service as a direct result of their father’s example of godliness.
Dr. Dale R. Hart, adapted from: This Day in Baptist History III (David L. Cummins), pp. 73-75.
“Amazing Grace how sweet the sound”
Jan. 22, 1949, was the wedding date for Dr. and Mrs. E. Robert Jordan. From the entry of Jan. 19, you will remember that it was the date of his conversion to Christ. A young sailor named Tim, had accompanied the Naval Chief his drinking bouts as he made his rounds to the bars and night clubs, he didn’t drink, but would patiently take the abuse that Robert would heap upon him. After getting busted in Bermuda and spending a night in jail, Tim gave Robert his preacher brothers card and told him that if he was ever in Atlantic City to “look him up.” When their ship docked, Robert did just that, and knocked around mid-night, and told Frank that his brother Tim had told him to come and see him. Frank immediately began to witness to him by giving him the plan of salvation. Night after night, for food and explanation of the scriptures Robert would return. Finally he went to evangelistic services at Frank’s church and became angry because he thought that Frank had told the preacher about his drinking, cursing, and gambling. Finally under great conviction the Pastor led him to Christ in his study, along with Tim, who realized that though a cleaner sinner than Robert, he had never really been saved. Robert returned to his ship at 4:30 am, awakened his men and told them how he was gloriously saved. The next Sat. he went to the Mission and preached and saw 16 men receive Christ. Robert completed Bible College, pastored the Calvary Baptist Church in Lansdale, PA for fifty years, helped in starting 100 churches; and founded the Calvary Baptist Seminary. Amazing Grace how sweet the sound,
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. IIII: Cummins, pp. 45-47.