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320 – Nov. 16 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


At every opportunity he preached the gospel

November 16, 1786 – Abraham Marshall returned to his beloved home state of Georgia from a round trip on horseback to Connecticut to care for matters of his deceased father’s estate. The trip had begun on May 10. The bachelor pastor made a similar trip of 2,200 miles in 1792 in search of a life partner. Abraham’s greatest delight was in his preaching. At every opportunity he preached the gospel and defended the faith. As he traveled northward he met a man named Winchester who knew some of his relatives of whom one was Rev. Eliakim Marshall, Separatist, Congregationalist minister, respected citizen, and long-time pedobaptist in New England. When Abraham arrived at Windsor, CT, he was the house guest of his cousin Eliakim, and it wasn’t long until the subject of Baptism came up. After long discussions from the Word, Eliakim was convinced of immersion. But his wife opposed it on the basis that he had been raised a Congregationalist. But after his conversion he had left the church and was fined in 1746 for non-attendance. He had been ordained as a pastor of a New Light Separatist church in Wetherfield, CT. He was also active politically and served the state assembly and also ran for governor in 1780, thus his wife thought it demeaning for him to admit doctrinal error. But he did so in a powerful sermon in the presence of his congregation. Abraham Marshall recorded in his diary, “…then we advanced…to a river…and baptized Eliakim Marshall in the presence of hundreds who had never seen the ordinance administered according to the pattern and example of the great Head…before.” The following day Abraham had the privilege of delivering the ordination sermon of Eliakim as a Baptist preacher, and until his death Eliakim served as a Baptist pastor.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins /Thompson/, pp. 476-78.

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313 – Nov. 9 – This Day In Baptist History


November 09, 1798 – Asahel Morse was baptized, and then licensed to preach in 1799. In 1818 he became a member of the State Convention in Connecticut to frame a new state constitution. He wrote the article on religious liberty that secured the rights of conscience. He was a man of great power and influence among the Baptists, and in 1820 he went to Philadelphia as a delegate from the Conn. Baptist Missionary Board to the Baptist General Convention. All of this came about because of the spiritual awakening called the “New Light Stir”, under the preaching of George Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards, and there was no greater “stir” than in the colony of Connecticut. The controversy continued for many years and centered on the Half-way covenant. pedobaptism, and religious liberty. The legislature passed laws against the separates, Congregationalists who were called, “New Lights” because they renounced infant immersion and embraced Baptist principles of believer’s baptism, etc. They were dismissed from public office and students from Yale College, and also excommunicated them from their churches. Many of the New Lights, having embraced and suffered with the Baptists for decades united with them, including in some instances entire churches. Here again is another example of how the Baptists were at the forefront of the battle for religious liberty in the beginning of our nation.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 466-67.

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