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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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