He evangelized a wild and barbarous people
Sept. 03, 1884 – W. Holman Bentley sailed from England to the Congo to begin his second tour of missionary service, married for the first time with four other men and their families. Holman was the son of Rev. William Bentley, Baptist minister at Sudsbury, Suffolk, England. Holman was born Oct. 30, 1855. At 17 young Holman was reading from the Hebrew Psalter and Greek New Testament, and at 19 was baptized into the Downs Chapel (Baptist) at Clapton. He became actively involved in witnessing. He was appointed as a missionary by the Baptist Mission Society on Jan. 15, 1879. The Congo missionaries had many trials including escapes from wild animals, disease and cannibals. Bentley served longer than any of the others who left with him in 1879. Even though he only lived to be fifty he translated the N.T. into Congolese and gave the people a complete dictionary and grammar. He saw over 1200 baptized and according to historians saw a whole district of wild, barbarous people almost completely evangelized and civilized, if not Christianized. [H.M. Bentley, W. Holman Bentley-The Life and labors of a Congo Pioneer (London: religious Tract Society, 1907), p8.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 481- 83.
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Blessed is the Peacemaker
1880 – BAPTISTS EVANGELIZED THE SLAVE POPULATION IN THE SOUTH AND STARTED THE FIRST AFRICAN BAPTIST CHURCH IN AMERICA – Dr. J. B. Jeter
died on February 18, 1880. Jeremiah Bell Jeter had accepted the call to the 1st BC of Richmond, VA in 1836 and realized that the segregated space for the 1,384 black members was not large enough. After studying the matter for two years he recommended that the congregation give the facility for the First created African Baptist Church, and build a new building for the white folks which they did. He then prevailed on Robert Ryland, President of Richmond College, to be the pastor of the African church. Jeter was born on July 18, 1802, and was saved in an old fashioned camp meeting, and baptized while a teenager, in Dec. 1821. After he was baptized, he gave a public testimony and within a few weeks preached his first sermon, and was ordained May 4, 1824. They say that he was not a great orator but he baptized over 1,000 people in 9 years. The records show that in the 14 years as pastor he baptized another 1,000. In 1842 one protracted meeting lasted for five months which saw 167 members added by baptism. Pastor Jeter was very mission minded and when Adoniram Judson came to Richmond he gave the welcoming address. He served as President of the Virginia Baptist Foreign Mission Society and was on the Board of Managers of the Triennial Convention of American Baptists. After the division took place he served as president of the Southern Foreign Mission Board also. At the close of the Civil War, Dr. Jeter became the editor of The Religious Herald and sought to be a reconciler between the Baptists of the North and South. He served in that capacity until his death.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 67.
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Evangelize or Fossilize
T. T. Martin was born on April 28, 1862, in smith county, Mississippi. In his youth the lad desired to become a lawyer. While preparing for his chosen career, T. T. Martin experienced a growing burden to preach. Following intense self-examination, he surrendered to the leading of the Holy Spirit and devoted himself to prepare for the ministry. To support himself, he served as professor of Natural Science from 1886 to 1888 at which time he enrolled in Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. In 1900 a new door was opened to evangelism, and T. T. Martin began a full-time evangelistic ministry. Protracted Meetings ran from fifteen to twenty-one days, and the man of God preached twice daily and four times each Lord’s Day. His schedule often kept him on the road for six months at a time. As demands for his services continued to proliferate, T. T. Martin organized a corps of gospel singers and evangelists. He booked these men throughout the country. This group was named the Blue Mountain Evangelists, and he chose choice men whose singing and preaching was Christ-centered. Somehow, midst his strenuous schedule of evangelism, T. T. Martin authored a number of books. He continued in his active ministry until the last few months of his life, entering the presence of his Lord on May 23, 1939.
Dr. Dale R. Hart adapted from: This Day in Baptist History III (David L. Cummins) p.p. 246 – 247