He was the leader of the Separates
1745 – THE SEPARATE BAPTISTS WERE FOUNDED BY SHUBAL STEARNS WHO WAS A CONVERT OF GEORGE WHITEFIELD Shubal Stearns was born on January 28, 1706. In 1745 he joined the ‘New Lights’ and preached as a ‘New Light Congregationalist’. He was a convert of George Whitefield the English Anglican Evangelist. Many of his converts became Baptists as they began to study the scriptures and became convinced of believer’s baptism by water immersion. Stearns was one who became the leader of the Separate Baptists; Isaac Backus was another, he became known as “The Apostle of Liberty”, and Daniel Marshall was the other who became the founder of the Baptist effort in Georgia. Shubal was baptized in 1751 and ordained on May 20. In 1755 he moved to Sandy Creek, N.C. where he organized a Baptist church and saw a great out pouring of God’s Spirit and in a short time they had over six hundred members. His assistants were his brother-in-law Daniel Marshall and Joseph Breed. Shubal traveled continually and they not only saw the lost saved but a host of young men called to preach. Some of them were John Dillahunty, Philip Mulkey, Joseph and William Murphy, James Read, Nathaniel Power, and James Turner. Churches flourished in Virginia and the Carolinas and the Sandy Creek Association was formed. Stearns was lovingly revered as the “Old Father.” He died on Nov. 20, 1771.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon; adapted from: Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson/ pg. 37.
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The power of Whitefield tormented him
1770 – Benjamin Randall was saved. He was born on Feb. 7, 1741, in the township of New Castle, New Hampshire. His father was a sea captain and young Benjamin pursued that way of life until he was eighteen. He was raised a Congregationalist and in 1770 had been privileged to hear George Whitefield during his last tour of America. He opposed the great English preacher but was drawn back to the services. He said later that, “The power with which he spoke was a torment to me.” Furthermore he determined to hear him preach one more time but before he could hear him Whitefield had died. The announcement pierced his heart with conviction and he confessed later to thinking, “Whitefield is now in heaven and I am on the road to hell.” This led him to Heb. 9:26 – “But now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” That truth led him to salvation. The birth of his third child led him to consider infant baptism and realized that he could not bow to that doctrine, but concluded that he needed to be immersed himself and was baptized into the Baptist church of Berwick, Maine. He began preaching, rejected Calvinism, espoused universal atonement, universal grace, and a universal call of the gospel. But he did not preach “universalism,” which claims automatic salvation to all men. He also came to the Baptist conviction that no tie should exist between state and church. Mr. Randall created a circuit of preaching meetings in N.H., Vermont, and Maine that gave shape to the growing Freewill tradition. He pastored his church in Durham, N.H. until he died Oct. 22, 1808. [William Henry Brackney, The Baptists (New York: Greenwood Press, 1988), p. 248. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. 564-66.] Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon
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Some who want liberty only want it for themselves
Thomas Patient migrated to America as a Congregationalist preacher after graduating from either Oxford or Cambridge University. Meeting Baptists he re-examined the Scriptures concerning Baptism and concluded that “infant baptism” had no foundation in Scripture.” However, because of severe persecution from his church he was forced to return to Great Britain. The Pilgrims had come to find religious liberty but there was not liberty for others. He served as co-pastor with William Kiffin in London in 1640 and was one of the Baptist leaders who signed the Particular Baptist Confession of Faith by seven Baptist churches in London in 1644. This was during the Commonwealth under Cromwell and the English Parliament voted to appoint six ministers to preach in Dublin, Ireland, and Patient accepted one of those positions. He spoke to large audiences and he acted as chaplain for Colonel John Jones, who was actually the Gov. of Dublin and Patient was invited to preach each Lord’s Day in the Council of Dublin and thus the aristocracy of the Anglo-Irish society heard the living gospel. Patient baptized a large group in Dublin and it is believed that he founded the First Baptist Church in Ireland following the Reformation in Ireland. He apparently assisted in establishing the Baptist church at Cloughkeating. All the congregation were tried for their lives, but in God’s providence the foreman died, and they were all acquitted. Because Patient was willing to accept government remuneration for preaching, it is evident that the Baptists of London distanced themselves from him. But to him is the honor of building the first Baptist meetinghouse in Ireland. The man of God fell asleep in Jesus on July 30, 1666 having paid the price for his convictions on Baptism.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon: adapted From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 312-13.