Three generations of pastors
1832 – Jabez Marshall died and ended three generations of the Marshall’s family as the pastors of the Kiokee Baptist Church in Georgia. His father Abraham and his grandfather Daniel had followed before him. Jabez died of the complication of measles at the age of thirty-nine along with that of an overworked body. This ended sixty years of the ministry of this one family. Jabez was also the pastor of the Sharon Baptist Church and had founded the Salem Baptist Church. Jabez had performed the marriage of Issachar J. Roberts in 1830 and his bride who pioneered a missions to lepers in China and finally died there of leprosy himself in 1866. Jabez was a zealous advocate of all mission’s activities at that time. At his own request he was buried at the church rather than in the family cemetery. The Marshall family were Separate Baptists who ministered from 1772 to 1832. Jabez was the oldest son of Abraham and Ann Marshall, but his early life didn’t hold much hope of spiritual fulfillment. His father sent him off to college but he had little interest in an academic life. When he returned home he was soon under great conviction of sin and was saved and baptized. It wasn’t long until he was preaching and exhorting, and after proving the sincerity of his faith was ordained into the gospel ministry. Abraham passed away in the summer of 1819 and Jabez served as the interim pastor of the church and then was called as full time pastor in Nov. 1821. It wasn’t long that he proved himself to be the same caliber Shepherd that his father and grandfather had been for the flock. He was persuasive in his preaching, and is messages never lacked doctrinal undergirding. What a great reunion day that must have been when all three Marshall’s met again when home at last.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson /, pp. 127.
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Tag Archives: Georgia
1773 – Today in This Day in Baptist History Past, we again celebrate the life of our entry of March 9, Edmund Botsford, who was ordained into the gospel ministry by Rev. Oliver Hart, Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Charleston, S.C. on this date. The event took place in Savannah, Georgia and the sermon text was from I Tim. 4:16 – Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee. In the area of Georgia where Mr. Botsford ministered the people were a mixed multitude of emigrants from many different places; most of whom were destitute of any type of religion. Those who were religious were zealous Lutherans and other styles of church men who were violently opposed to Baptists. On one occasion he preached at the courthouse and he seemed to have the hearer’s attention when someone yelled “the rum is come.” The crowd diminished and by the time the dust settled, so to speak, the crowd had thinned and many of his hearers were intoxicated and fighting. An old gentlemen came up to him, took his horse by the bridle, bragged on his sermon and invited him to drink with him, which Botsford declined. But in that the old man invited him to come and preach, and it was accepted, Botsford went and had great success when the old man’s sons and wife received Christ. During the last fifteen years of his life Botsford suffered from a nerve disease in one side of his head that would actually cause him to go into a cataclysmic state sometimes upward of a minute and a half, and then when he would come out of it he would assume preaching. The audience was aware of an unusual presence of God in his life.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson /, pp. 104.
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Silas Mercer (L)
Baptists win liberty in Georgia and Virginia
1785 – BAPTISTS SECURED RELIGIOUS LIBERTY IN GEORGIA AND VIRGINIA AFTER THE NATION WAS ESTABLISHED – On February 21, 1785, an act by the Georgia legislature was passed for the support of religion, prorated by the number in each denomination, and providing that any “thirty heads of families” in any community might choose a minister “to explain and inculcate the duties of religion, and “and four pence on every hundred pounds valuation of property” should be taken out of the public tax for any such minister, the Baptists rose up in sending a remonstrance to the legislature by the hands of Silas Mercer and Peter Smith the following May. They insisted that the obnoxious law be repealed on the grounds that the state had nothing to do with the support of religion by public tax, and it was repealed. State governments in America that were accustomed to supporting their established religion by taxing their citizens continued to do so even after the disestablishment of those state churches after the Union was officially established and their state constitutions were in place. The Baptists considered this to be an antichrist system and had stood united against such taxation for the support of religion even if for the benefit of their own. This same issue had to be fought by the Baptists in Virginia during the 1780’s against the Anglican establishment. During this time a general assessment for Religious Teachers was proposed. The Virginia Baptists strongly opposed the bill and obtained 10,000 signatures against its passage. The Baptist General Committee meeting at Powahatan, VA, Aug. 13, 1785, resolved: “…that it is believed repugnant to the spirit of the Gospel for the Legislature thus to proceed in the matters of religion; that no human laws ought to be established for this purpose…the Holy Author of our religion needs no such compulsive measure for the promotion of His cause; that the Gospel wants not the feeble arm of man for its support,…and that, should the Legislature assume the right of taxing the people for the support of the Gospel, it will be destructive to religious liberty.”
Baptists in Georgia and Virginia stood firm on their convictions and that’s why we have religious liberty clauses in all fifty states in the Union today.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 71.
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First Black Baptists in Savannah, GA
1788 – Andrew Bryan was ordained into the gospel ministry. Bryan pastored the first Negro Baptist church in Georgia. The church was founded by Abraham Marshall whose father, Daniel, founded the first Baptist church in Georgia. Abraham baptized forty-five black believers and along with others who had been previously baptized he formed them into a church and called and ordained Andrew Bryan as pastor. Bryan had been a convert of George Leile who had been a slave of Deacon Henry Sharp of the First Baptist Church of Savannah, Georgia. When Deacon Sharp detected that his servant was called of God, he emancipated the stirring preacher so that he could give himself totally to the preaching of the gospel. Ordained in 1775, Leile labored in and around Savannah before leaving in 1775 for Jamaica in 1779. Thus Leile predated the service of William Carey, “the founder of modern Baptist missions.” Upon Bryan’s death a resolution was passed by the Savannah Baptist Association in 1812. It read in part: “the Association is sensibly affected by the death of the Rev. Andrew Bryan, a man of color, and pastor of the First Colored Church in Savannah. This son of Africa, after suffering inexpressible persecutions in the cause of his divine Master, was at length permitted to discharge the duties of the ministry among his colored friends in peace and quiet, hundreds of whom through his instrumentality, were brought to a knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus…”
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from; adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 26-28.
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Posted: 31 Dec 2013 05:50 PM PST
The Southern Baptist Convention begins
1771 – Daniel Marshall moved to Georgia, and by the spring of 1772, he had led a small congregation in the formation of the First Baptist Church of Kiokee and served as pastor until his death in 1784. A Georgia law of 1757 prohibited any worship not “according to the rites and ceremonies of the Church of England,” but Marshall led a “brush arbor” service. As he bowed in prayer, he was interrupted by a heavy hand on his shoulder and the declaration, “You are my prisoner!” The 65 year old preacher stood to his feet only to hear the young constable inform him that he had, “preached in the parish of St. Paul.” Mrs. Marshall quoted scripture which the Lord used to bring about the official’s conviction and conversion. The Court ordered Marshall to leave the Province of Georgia. His son remembered that he quoted scripture, “Whether it be right to obey God or man, judge ye,” and he went on his way preaching with great power. This boldness bore fruit, for the 21 year old constable, Samuel Cartledge was gloriously saved and in 1777 was baptized. After serving as a deacon in 1789, Cartledge was ordained to preach and ministered in Georgia and S.C. until his death at 93. One of his preacher descendants has referred to him as, the “Colonial Saul of Tarsus.” The Separate Baptists were led primarily by three men; Shubal Stearns, in North Carolina, Daniel Marshall, in Georgia, and Samuel Harriss, in Virginia. It was because of their labors that caused the proliferation of the Baptists in the south and the growth of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 01-02.
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His schools received no federal funds
1823 – The Triennial Convention, meeting in Washington, D.C., made mention in their report, that Duncan O’Bryant was the missionary-teacher at the Tensawattee Baptist School, where he had a total enrollment of twenty-eight students, among the Cherokees in Georgia. O’Bryant was born in the late 18th century in S.C. By 1820 he had moved to Habersham County, Georgia with his wife Martha Whitehead. Under the influence of a Franklin County Baptist preacher named Littleton Meeks, he became burdened for the Cherokee Nation. As the Cherokee removal under President Jackson progressed, O’Bryant maintained schools in three different sites with nearly two hundred children in attendance. He said that the “…greater part were able to read the Word of Life, and to write a fair hand…” During 1830-31 O’Bryant had a circuit of four preaching points including the Tinswattee Baptist Church. There were a large number of Cherokees in these congregations, and, on some occasions, U.S. troops who had been called in because of the turmoil and violence of those times. On Jan. 27, 1832, O’Bryant left Georgia to go west, where he settled in the northeast part of Oklahoma territory. He soon gathered the remnants of his congregation into the Liberty Baptist Church and reopened his school without receiving federal funds. He died of malaria at the age of forty-eight on August 25, 1834, and was survived by his wife and ten children. He escaped the trail of tears in 1838-39. [Robert G. Gardner, Viewpoints of Georgia Baptist History (Atlanta: Georgia Baptist Historical Society, 1988), 2:42. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. 573-75.] Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon
The Gospel is “the power of God unto Salvation”
The following account is found in the records of the Kiokee Church (Georgia), about the blessed conversion of “Brother Billy”, ‘about one hundred years old’, formerly a slave but at that time, ‘a free man of color.’ This took place on July 17, 1841, and Billy united with the church. The evidence exists that slave members of some Baptist churches were allowed to vote. As with the white males, black male members were “assessed” for church expenses and required to attend business meetings. The female, black and white, did not vote in the business matters of the churches. The slave membership of many Baptist churches greatly outnumbered the whites, and thus the churches often appointed spiritually faithful slaves to serve as a discipline committee among their own. The churches chastened heir slave membership primarily for problems of morals and honesty, and they chastised their slaveholder members for these infractions as well as for cruelty and barbarity to their slaves. It is apparent that slaves were better off being owned by Christians than by unbelievers! Black slave preachers were licensed and ordained by the Baptist churches, and the impact of those slave preachers was unique! Much of the evangelism among the slaves resulted from the preaching on the plantations by these faithful men who were slaves twofold: first to the Lord Jesus Christ and then to an earthly master. Segregation in the services was always maintained. In some of the old church buildings in the areas where slavery was practiced, we can still observe “slave balconies.” In other church buildings a portion of the facility was designated for the slave members. However, Baptists in the South often assisted the former slaves by helping them establish their own churches.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon: adapted From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 292-93.
“Two Seed” Makes it to Texas
Influenced the establishment of the Texas Rangers
April 6 1781 – The birth of Daniel Parker, anti-missionary Baptist leader in Culpeper County, Virginia, to Rev. John and Sarah (White) Parker took place. The family moved to Georgia when he was a child. His education seems to have been extremely limited. He and Patsy Dickerson were married on March 11, 1802; they eventually had eleven children. They moved to Dickson County, Tennessee, in 1803. In 1806 Parker was ordained to preach by the Turnbull Baptist Church. He was an advocate of “Two Seedism,” the doctrine that since the time of Adam mankind has been born with one of two seeds, divine or diabolical, which determined their eternal state.
In 1832, Daniel made the thousand mile journey from Illinois through Missouri, the Arkansas Territory, and Louisiana into Texas to investigate the land and the laws, with the hope of finding a new home. Texas, at this time, was still a part of Mexico and its laws protected the Roman Catholic Church and forbade the establishment of other religions. Daniel Parker did not establish a church, he immigrated one into the state. He traveled back to Illinois and established “The Pilgrim Church of Predestinarion Regular Baptists” and brought it to Texas with 18 members. They held their first conference in Austin’s colony, Texas on January 20, 1834.
A resolution by Parker, perhaps his most important, led to the establishment of the Texas Rangers, the oldest law enforcement body in North America with statewide jurisdiction. Daniel Parker died peacefully at his home in Anderson County, Texas on December 3, 1844, and was buried in the Pilgrim Predestinarian Baptist Church Cemetery.
Dr. Dale R. Hart from: Exley, Jo Ella Powell, Frontier Blood. The Saga of the Parker Family. (College Station, TX: Texas A&M University Press) 5.
In Feb. of 1812 Jacob found the peace of Salvation
December 17, 1811 – Jacob Bower of Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us, we shall all be sunk and lost, and I am not prepared. O God, have mercy upon us all.” America’s greatest earthquake had just struck. Centered in the Mississippi River, it sent shock waves into Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Georgia, S.C., Virginia, and Indiana. Mild tremors were felt as far as Boston! Bower was born into a Christian family on Sept. 26, 1786. His father led the family in morning and evening devotions and instructed the children to live moral and upright lives, but he failed to lead them into a personal relationship with Christ. Therefore young Bower matured trusting in his own righteousness for salvation. Upon leaving home for employment, he was soon influenced by a Universalist, and for five years, Bower embraced that heresy and began drinking and fell into many vices and sins. When conviction came he would assure himself of salvation, for Universalism taught that men would be saved, regardless of their lifestyle. He married in 1807 at the age of 21, and the Lord again began to stir his heart with conviction. In 1811 during a visit to his home, and a witness of a Baptist preacher, his heart was stirred again to consider death and eternity. Conviction continued to grow and then came the earthquake. A tremendous struggle ensued and then in Feb. of 1812 Jacob found the peace of Salvation. He made a public profession and was baptized into the membership of Hazel Creek Baptist Church. After serving three Kentucky churches for ten years he moved his family to Illinois and within two years he organized two churches. And then in Illinois and Missouri he organized fourteen churches and ordained twelve ministers to the gospel ministry.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 526-28.
Marshall saw (George) Washington several times.
December 08, 1856 – Rev. Andrew Marshall died. It was believed that he was over 100 years old having been born in South Carolina in 1755. However, no one took time to record the date of birth of the little “slave-born.” There was an immense procession about a mile long, with 58 carriages that made its way from the church to the cemetery on Dec. 14, 1856. At the time of his death Marshall was pastor of the First African Baptist Church in Savannah, Georgia. They had divided from the Second Baptist when it reached 3,000 members. Marshall had been the Senior pastor there too. First African Baptist had just purchased the First Baptist and he had gone north to raise funds and had reached Richmond on his return and could go no further when he became ill. They say that he had baptized over 4,000 souls during the course of his ministry. His reputation as a pulpiteer with his deep, sonorous, and tender voice with the pathos was unsurpassed. Throngs greeted him, both black and white wherever he went. What an end for the little slave boy whose first “master” was John Houston, the colonial governor of Georgia. The governor died when Andrew was about 21 years old. Freedom had been bequeathed to him at the death of Houston, for the slave had at one time saved his master’s life. The executors failed, however, to carry out the will, and Andrew was again sold…becoming the property of Judge Clay. During that time he went North with the Judge who had become a Senator. Marshall saw Washington several times. When Pres. Washington came to Savannah he was appointed the President’s “body servant” and acted as his carriage driver. Andrew purchased his freedom about the time that he was converted and in 1785 he was baptized, and was licensed to preach.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 512-13.