FEMA roots started sixty-years ago
1961 – David L. Cummins was pastoring in an industrial suburb of Detroit, MI when he was severely tested as to whether he would stand on his Baptist convictions, or compromise over what many would consider an insignificant issue. Those days were the height of the “cold” war between the U.S. and Russia when the media and movies were warning of the fall-out from a nuclear attack. Many citizens were building bomb shelters in their back yards and equipping them in case of an atomic attack. Against that background, Pastor Cummins was asked by the city officials to represent the community in a government sponsored training school, geared to train religious leaders in preparation for a possible nuclear attack by the Soviet Union. He consented and attended such a training session in classes daily, at Sheepshead Bay, NY, with about forty other clergymen for a week. On one occasion, after an attack, a young lady asked the pastors to give the “last rites” to her dying child. The instructor asked for a show of hands those who would be willing to do so. Cummins was the lone dissenter claiming the time honored Baptist doctrine of “soul liberty.” From then on he was ostracized by the others. This is the kind of treatment that preachers can expect, who refuse to go into the world religious system that will include all religions. [This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 521-23]
The Baptists Withstood the Communists
1867 – Nikita I. Voronin, having received the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Savior, was baptized by Brother M. Kalveit in the Kura River in the city of Tiflis, now called Tbilisi. From this humble beginning came the first Baptist church in Russia in 1869 with N.I. Voronin as the first pastor. Voronin, a wealthy merchant had come to Baptist convictions some time earlier but could find no one to baptize him. This was the first known baptism in Tsarist Russia. Brother Kalveit had moved to the Caucasian region from Lithuania where he had been a part of the German Baptists. Baptists grew rapidly in Russia, and by the twentieth century they were ranked as the third largest community of Baptists in the world. They have been persecuted greatly, both under the Tsars (influenced by the Russian Orthodox State Church) and later by the Communists. The “Evangelical Christians” (Baptists), withstood the Communists during the reign of terror. [Alexander de Chalandeau, The Churches in the USSR (Chicago: Harper and Company, w 978), p.2; This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp 455-456]
Prepared by Rev. Dale R. Hart – email@example.com
A Patient Sowing and Enduring Bringeth Forth Fruit
“…not many noble, are called:” But thankfully He does call some.
On April 7 1657 – Henry Dunster, President of Cambridge College (now Harvard), was so stirred in his mind that he turned his attention to the subject of infant baptism and soon rejected it altogether. It was upon the persecution of Obadiah Holmes and others who had taken a strong stand for believers’ baptism that the faithfulness of Holmes, the publicity his enemies gave to his convictions, his willingness to suffer for convictions, and the beastliness of a church-state (Congregational), that denied its citizens religious freedom, all magnified the truth he propagated.
Dunster’s success in promoting Harvard by furthering its interests, collecting large sums of money in its behalf, and even giving one hundred acres to it, was marvelous and testified to his commitment to the institution. But he had a higher commitment to the truth of God and began to preach against infant baptism in the church at Cambridge in 1653, to the great alarm of the entire community. Armitage quotes Prince in pronouncing Dunster “‘one of the greatest masters of the Oriental languages that hath been known in these ends of the earth’, but he laid aside all his honors and positions in obedience to his convictions.”
Dunster was forced to resign his presidency of Harvard College, April 7, 1657, after which he was arraigned before the Middlesex court for refusing to have his child baptized.
Dr. Dale R. Hart from: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 141-142.
C. H. Spurgeon’s Convictions of Baptist Beginnings
On April 2nd 1861 a public meeting was held for the Baptist brethren of London at the famed “Metropolitan Tabernacle,” known to many as “Spurgeon’s Tabernacle,” where dedicatory services were extended as church members and London residents united in praising God for His blessings!
Consider the words of greeting from Spurgeon, as he welcomed the area Baptist brethren to the new building.
“We believe that the Baptists are the original Christians. We did not commence our existence at the reformation, we were reformers before Luther and Calvin were born; we never came from the Church of Rome, for we were never in it, but we have an unbroken line up to the apostles themselves. We have always existed from the very days of Christ, and our principles, sometimes veiled and forgotten, like a river which may travel underground for a little season, have always had honest and holy adherents. Persecuted alike by Romanists and Protestants of almost every sect, yet there has never existed a Government holding Baptist principles which persecuted others; nor, I believe, any body of Baptists ever held it to be right to put the consciences of others under the control of man. We have ever been ready to suffer, as our martyrologies will prove, but we are not ready to accept any help from the State, to prostitute the purity of the Bride of Christ to any alliance with Government, and we will never make the church, although the Queen, the despot over the consciences of men.
Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 134-135.
He Had a Baptist Bible
Oliver Willis Van Osdel was born to godly Methodist parents on October 30, 1846, in the village of Middlebush, near Poughkeepsie, New York. His father was a blacksmith and served the Lord until his death. The family moved to Illinois in 1854. Oliver intended to prepare for a career in law but sensed God’s call to the ministry. This led him to an examination of his own beliefs. Though Methodist by heritage, he had come to the conclusion that New Testament truth was most accurately taught by the Baptist people. Thus on March 7, 1869 Oliver was baptized by immersion and joined the Baptist church of Yorkville, Illinois. That night he preached his first sermon. When Oliver’s family pressed him about his decision to become a Baptist, he replied flatly that: “he had a Baptist Bible.” Oliver attended the old Chicago Baptist Theological Seminary, and in 1874 he assumed the pastorate of the Community Baptist Church in Warrenville, Illinois, and was ordained to the ministry on April 30, 1874. The next thirty-five years were eventful as Oliver held a number of pastorates during this period.
Van Osdel developed some strong convictions and the courage to stand by them during his years of ministry. He faced opposition from several fronts throughout these years and stood firmly for the Gospel, for the truth of God’s Word, and against unbelief. In 1909 something unusual happened to Oliver. He was called to return to Grand Rapids to pastor the church he had formerly led, the Wealthy Street Baptist Church. At age sixty-two, he began a ministry that would span twenty-five years!
Dr. Dale R. Hart, adapted from: “This Day in Baptist History III” David L. Cummins. pp. 137 – 138.