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178 — June 27 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

Living Sacrifices for God’s Honour

Roger Holland had come from the affluent family of Sir Robert Holland, and in the first year of the reign of Bloody Mary, Roger married Elizabeth, a Christian maid of Master Kempton to which Roger was an apprentice.  Apparently, Roger Holland became a member of the Hill Cliffe Baptist Church about this time. “Two of the signatories to the letter of 1654 from Hill Cliffe are of the same name, Holland. This points to, at any rate, a probability of his having been a Hill Cliffe Baptist, perhaps minister there.”

On one occasion as forty people gathered for a service of prayer and the expounding of the Word, twenty-seven of them were carried before Sir Roger Cholmly. Some of the women made their escape, twenty-two were committed to Newgate, who continued in prison seven weeks. Previous to their examination, they were informed by the keeper, Alexander, that nothing more was requisite to procure their discharge, than to hear Mass. Easy as this condition may seem, these martyrs valued their purity of conscience more than loss of life or property; hence, thirteen were burnt, seven at Smithfield, and six at Brentford; two died in prison, and the other seven were providentially preserved…They were sent to Newgate, June 16, 1558, and were executed on the twenty-seventh.

As was so often the case, Roger Holland’s death at Smithfield instead of destroying the faith of the Baptists only made it stronger. His relatives and friends were afterward more determined than ever to uphold the principles for which he died! May we with these heroes of the faith and with the hymn writer state and mean, “Thou (my Lord) art more than life to me,” for then our lives shall be in a true sense “living sacrifices” for God’s honor.

Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. (Thompson/Cummins) pp. 261 – 262.

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66 – March 07 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


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.

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