Conviction waned before returning
1807 – John Chin was ordained to the gospel ministry. John was the youngest son of a farming family and was born near Blanton, England, in May of 1773. He always talked in glowing terms of his parents but especially of his godly mother who instructed him early in the scriptures. John was brought, as early as eight, to his need of Christ but the conviction subsided when he was apprenticed, while a lad to a craftsman in Bristol. However he was attracted to the preaching of an independent minister named Hey and began attending the chapel at Horsely Down. It was there that he came deeply under conviction of sin and received the Savior of Calvary, was baptized, and united with the church. The pastor encouraged John to exercise his gift of preaching and door to door evangelism. From there John moved to London and became involved with the Baptist church that met in Church Street, Blackfriars. He then began to serve with Pastor Joseph Swain and the saints in Walworth. Following the death of Mr. Swain, a second church was formed, property secured, and a chapel was erected. A sizeable congregation gathered, and Mr. Chin was asked to become their pastor. Mr. Chin was preaching regularly in various places, and he did not accept an immediate call, in fact it was nearly three years before he was finally persuaded to accept the challenge and was ordained. For the next thirty-two years he served this congregation faithfully, and it was necessary on several occasions to enlarge the chapel. At the conclusion of his ministry it would seat near a thousand. On August 28, 1839, at age 66, John Chin laid aside his robe of flesh. [This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: 2000 A.D. pp. 712-14. Alfred W. Light, Bunhill Fields (London: C.J. Farncombe and Sons, Ltd., 1915), p. 69.]
Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon
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She was truly a “Gift of God”
1798 – Dr. Caleb Evans, two years after the death of Anne Steele, published her memoir, who wrote under the pen name of Theodosia (Gift of God). She had been confined to her “chamber” for some two years before her death suffering with the most excruciating pain imaginable, yet with a Christian dignity, joy, and peace beyond human understanding. When her time to depart came, she uttered not a murmuring word, but took the most affectionate leave of her weeping friends around her, and with these words on her lips, “I know that my Redeemer liveth,” fell gently asleep into the arms of the Lord Jesus. She founded no church, built no chapels, went to no mission fields…she only wrote a few of the sweetest hymns, but her usefulness has far distanced her fame. She exerts an influence where history is unknown; she ministers by many a sickbed; she furnishes a song in many a night of affliction. Every Sunday hears her hymns in thousands of sanctuaries and her poems that were written in times of pain have been sung for two centuries in thousands of closets. Her body lies in a cemetery in the quiet village of Broughton in England. Besides her physical suffering, she also suffered emotionally from the tragic accidental drowning of her fiancé, Robert Elscourt, on the eve of their wedding. Many of her hymns reflect the Blessed Hope of the coming of her Lord. Her life was greatly influenced by her great-uncle, Henry Steele, who was the pastor of the Baptist church in Broughton for forty years, and then his nephew William Steele, who succeeded him, who was likewise a man of deep piety and ministerial ability. [Freda West, Great Baptist Women, ed. A. S. Clement (London: Carey Kingsgate Press Limited, 1955), pp. 30-31. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 615-18.] Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon
They reached the Navajo
1852, Rev. and Mrs. Samuel Gorman were approved by the American Baptist Home Mission Society to serve among the Navajos in New Mexico. That field had recently been opened by H.W. Read of Connecticut. Two additional couples had also recently gone to that field of service, including James Milton Shaw and his wife from New York. A letter from Bro. Gorman dated in 1876 relates many of the trying experiences from the time that they arrived in Laguna in 1852. They had a nine month delayed entrance into “the Pueblo” as promised by Capt. Henry L. Dodge. The priests (Catholic) had done everything possible to “rout” them from the village including suing them at law in Taos, which they won at great cost of time and money. At times they had a hard time finding enough to eat and out of funds most of the time. Thankfully when Capt. Dodge did come he persuaded the Indians to allow them to teach their children and to preach Christ to them. He was able to preach every Sabbath except when on mission tours and finally in 1858 he was able to build a little chapel. The first Indian convert in N.M. was Jose Senon who carried on the work when the missionaries had to leave when the area was occupied by the Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. Gorman died at 92 after he pastored successful churches in Ohio and Wisconsin. [Lewis A. Myers, A History of N.M. Baptists (Baptist Convention of New Mexico, 1995), pp. 59-60. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 525-27.] Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon