Tag Archives: general association of regular baptist churches

31 – Jan. 31 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


[t]he Baptist doctrine of local church autonomy prevailed]
 On Jan. 31, 1938, in a specially-called meeting, the congregation voted 92-18 to concur with the pastor and deacons and withdraw from the Convention and its affiliated organizations. On May 16, 1926, Rev. Ford Porter had become pastor of the First Baptist Church of Princeton, IN. This church held membership in the Northern Baptist Convention, the Indiana Baptist Convention, and the Evansville Baptist Association. The battle between fundamentalism and modernism had recently begun. Pastor Porter had become aware of serious modernistic inroads into the Northern Baptist Convention. Believing in the verbal, plenary inspiration of the Bible, he determined that he would position the congregation solidly upon the inerrant, infallible Word of God. In 1932 during the depression, more than 200 professed conversion or united with the church. The church came to the conclusion that something must be done about their alignments so a special church meeting was called to discuss the matter, when the above vote was taken. However a minority refused to admit defeat and spurred on by denominational leaders they took the church to court asking to be declared the true First Baptist Church of Princeton. We should all rejoice that the Baptist doctrine of local church autonomy prevailed as the court ruled in favor of the majority. Dr. Robert T. Ketcham, one of the founders of the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches testified on behalf of the church in this case. Rev. Porter’s son Robert was only 13 years old at this time. Rev. Porter wrote the famous tract, God’s Simple Plan of Salvation.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. IIII: Cummins, pp. 62-64.

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06 – Jan. 06 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


‘Hail, victorious soldier!’
 On Jan. 06, 1935, Pastor Oliver W. Van Osdel was honored at a memorial service at the Wealthy St. Baptist Church, Grand Rapids, MI.  Dr. David Otis Fuller preached the memorial sermon, “Home – to be with Jesus.”  Dr. J. Frank Norris, who had worked with Pastor Osdel in the formation of the Baptist Union said, “I didn’t grieve for him.  When he went home I said, ‘Hail, victorious soldier!’”  In 1909, at age 62, Van Osdel was called to return to pastor Wealthy Baptist again.  Through much sacrifice and hardship, a new edifice was constructed in phases from 1912-1917.  It seated 1300 for worship and provided 1,000 classrooms.  It served the congregation until 1982.  He also led the church in evangelism and missions.  Upon his death, the church had sent forth 18 missionaries, 13 serving on foreign fields.  He was most influential in the fundamentalist-modernist fight of the early 20th Century.  Because of modernism in the Grand Rapids MI Baptist Association, 14 churches withdrew and formed a new association of which he was the moderator.   He also helped form a new Michigan association.   In 1920 fundamentalists within the Northern Baptist Convention met in Buffalo, NY, and formed the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship, but it had little spiritual strength.  In 1922, the Baptist Bible Union was formed, which included such giants as T.T. Shields from Canada, William Bell Riley from Minneapolis, and J. Frank Norris from Ft. Worth.  Finally, the aging Van Osdel was the driving force, behind the formation of the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches (GARBC).  He resigned from Wealthy St. on Aug. 20, 1934 and died Jan. 1, 1935.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. IIII: Cummins /, pp. 11-13.

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