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The “Haystack Prayer Meeting”


1783 – Luther Rice was born into a pedobaptist (Congregational) home on this memorable day.  He along with Adoniram and Ann Judson became Baptists when they were baptized in India, after studying the subject of baptism on the voyage, although on different ships.  Because of this they were compelled to sever relationship with their denomination which left them penniless and identify with the Baptists in America.  In our opinion, this was the beginning of the fulfillment of the prophecy found at Mat 24:14 – And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.   Prior to this there had been only scant missionary activity among the churches of North America and that was to the Indians and the settlers who had migrated westward.  But from this effort of Rice and the Judson’s a great flood of missionaries began to go forth to many parts of the world.  It all started with a group called the “Brethren” who had formed a missionary fellowship interested in world evangelism at Williams College (Congregational) in Massachusetts.  One day during a rain storm some of the “Brethren” took refuge under a haystack, and while there prayed for those in the world who lived in spiritual darkness.  It would forever be called the “Haystack Prayer Meeting.”  Even though Rice wasn’t at the haystack, he was a part of the “Brethren” and was the first with the Judsons to go forth.  Rice eventually returned to America to stir up the Baptists for world evangelism.  He became the rope holder while Judson was tied to the rope.  World missions needed them both.  In the North there were mission societies, in the South the Baptist method was conventions.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson /, pp. 121..

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