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332 – Nov. 28 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

He refused a license to preach

 

1628 – Is the traditional birth date of John Bunyan; the “immortal tinker” and “glorious dreamer”, as historians call him, was born in the village of Elstow, near Bedford, England. In 1644 he was drafted into the army, and in June 1645 he returned to his home of Bedford. He said that he was vile in his youth, but about 1649 married a poor girl who brought with her two books, The plain man’s Pathway to Heaven, and The Practice of Piety. One day he overheard some women talking about spiritual matters and he entered in, but was no match for them. They were members of a little Baptist congregation in Bedford whose pastor was John Gifford to whom they introduced the tinker. Gifford immersed Bunyan after he had endured a lengthy and trying period of deep seated, emotional conviction, when the Lord spoke sweet peace to his heart. He explains it in his book, Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners (1666). In 1660 while preaching in a farmhouse near Ampthill, Bunyan was arrested, tried, and imprisoned. He spent the next twelve years in the Bedford jail. He could have been released at anytime if he had only taken a license from the Church of England to preach. In 1672 he was released by the Declaration of Indulgence, and at that time he became a licensed preacher and Pastor by the Baptist church at Bedford. The next year the Edict was cancelled and he was rearrested and imprisoned again for six months. Some believe that it was at this time that the famed Pilgrim’s Progress was written. He served as pastor for 16 years until his death and is buried at Bunhill Fields, the dissenter’s Westminster Abbey. [This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 651-53. Alfred W. Light, Bunhill Fields London: C.J. Farncombe & Sons, Ltd., 1915)., pp. 17-18.]
Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon

 

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34 – Feb. 03 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


The Eternal Optimist
Glen H Schunk was born in Scales Mound, Illinois, on February 3, 1918 into a German-Irish Catholic family.
Glen met an honor student from his local school in Freeport, Illinois, on a blind date, Irma Hartwig. After two years of courtship, they married August 29, 1938, in Dubuque, Iowa.  Irma was converted at the age of thirteen. When Glen enthusiastically came to his new-found faith, his personal witness led some family members to the Lord.
America’s involvement in World War II  saw Glen being drafted into the army.  Being on the front lines,  often in foxholes, with bullets flying overhead, he would take out his New Testament for consolation.  During  those experiences Glen won many fellow soldiers to Christ.  Glen was wounded in action and sent to a military hospital in Naples, Italy and placed in a ward with 1,000 men.  There the Lord moved in Glen’s heart as he saw the spiritual need of the men, and concluded that God wanted him to preach.  As a result of his converts there, over 400 men were in attendance at the Bible study classes.  Many of those men went into the ministry.  Glen and Irma Shunk traveled together for twenty-two years, and in nearly 900 revival meetings, it is estimated that they witnessed the salvation of over 60,000 people.  On June 6, 1978 the Lord called his servant home.  An amazing number of preachers attended his funeral in South Bend, Indiana, with the auditorium filled with those who wished to pay respects to a man who had faithfully proclaimed the Gospel of Christ.
Dr. Dale R. Hart, adapted from:  This Day in Baptist History  III (David L. Cummins), pp. 69-70

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