Tag Archives: John Waller

226 – August 14 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

 

 

“…in Some Cases it was Lawful to go to War”

Samuel Harriss, Moderator and John Waller, on August 14, 1775,  signed a petition by the Virginia Baptist Association to the Virginia Convention as follows in part:      “Alarmed at the shocking Oppression which in a British Cloud hangs over our American Continent, we, as a Society and part of the distressed State, have in our Association consider’d what part might be most prudent for the Baptists to act in the present unhappy Contest. After we determined “that in some Cases it was lawful to go to War, and also for us to make a Military resistance against Great Britain, in regard of their unjust Invasion, and tyrannical Oppression of, and repeated Hostilities against America,” our people were all left to act at Discretion with respect to inlisting, without falling under the Censure of our Community. And as some have inlisted, and many more likely so to do, who will have earnest Desires for their Ministers to preach to them during the Campaign, we therefore deligate and appoint our well-beloved Brethren in the Ministry, Elijah Craig, Lewis Craig, Jeremiah Walker and John Williams to present this address and to petition you that they may have free liberty to preach to the Troops at convenient Times without molestation or abuse; and as we are conscious of their strong attachment to American liberty, as well as their soundness of the Christian Religion, and great usefulness in the Work of the Ministry, we are willing they may come under your Examination in any Matters you may think requisite…” Ultimately the Baptists supplied a greater percentage of chaplains to the Continental Army than any other religious society.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 334-35.

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186 – July 04 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


 

Flag American Waving

 

“Swearin’” Jack got saved”

 

John Waller represents, on this birthday of our great nation, the men and women who paid a dear price for religious liberty. He carried the scars of his scourging to his grave, which is located in the Waller-Hackett family burial ground in Abbeville County, near Greenwood, S.C. Waller was one of the more able preachers of his time. Before his conversion, his ability in profanity earned him the title of “Swearin’ Jack.” However after his conversion, his ability in the pulpit in preaching the gospel of Christ, and pointing out the errors of the dominant religious and civil authorities of his day attracted the attention of the authorities and he spent a total of 113 days in four different county jails for preaching without a license. He was also subject to severe physical abuse. In Caroline County, Virginia he gave the following account during a worship service in a home: “While preaching, a huge fellow pulled him down and dragged him about by his hair. One who came to his rescue grabbed one arm while the ruffian grabbed the other. Both pulled on him like until they nearly pulled him apart. He suffered for a long time from the ordeal. During the preaching they jerked him violently off of the stage.” He preached for 35 years, baptized more than two thousand persons, assisted in ordaining 27 ministers and in organizing 18 churches. He died July 4, 1802, in his sixty-second year.

 

Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 273-75.

 

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157 – June 06 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


 

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Their Preaching was a Matter of Right

A full day had passed since the apprehension of the four preachers and the exhorter in the meetinghouse yard. According to their bond they were now appearing in court June 6, 1768, and were being accused, as many other Baptists were subsequently accused, of being vagrants, strollers, and disturbers of the peace. The only real disturbers of the peace were the ruffians who would pelt them with apples and stones, drag them from their pulpits, beat them with fists, pound their heads on the ground, and on occasions duck them in water until they nearly drowned. Their only supposed crimes were quoting Scripture, preaching the gospel of the grace of God, and condemning the vices of the state-supported clergy.

 

John Waller, one of the accused, made his own and his brethren’s defense so ingeniously that the court was somewhat puzzled to know how to dispose of them. Waller was capable of this feat, being a brilliant, talented scholar and having received his education from private tutors.

 

Though bred a churchman, he was distinguished from other John Wallers by the title “Swearing Jack” because of his profane speech. He was converted and embraced the principles of the Baptists as a result of sitting on the grand jury before whom Lewis Craig gave testimony. The court offered to release Waller and the others if they would promise to preach no more in the county for a year and a day. They dared not obey this mandate because it was in conflict with the supreme command of their God, their sovereign, but they could cheerfully submit to the penalty which unjust human law inflicted, thus demonstrating its oppressive injustice and paving the way for its repeal.

 

Having a petition for their release refused on July 4, 1768, Lewis Craig and Benjamin Waller, upon presenting a petition to the General Court in Williamsburg, received a letter from the attorney general to the deputy governor, advising that “their petition was a matter of right” and also suggesting to the “king’s attorney” that he was not to “molest these conscientious people, so long as they behaved themselves in a manner becoming pious Christians, and in obedience to the laws.”

 

 

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90 – March – 31 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


 

Marshall-Abraham11

Abraham Marshall
Rode 2,200 miles to wed
1792 – Three days after Abraham Marshall arrived back from New England where he had gone seeking a wife, he spoke again of his intent on marriage.  The forty-four year old preacher and thirty-one year old maiden had a whirl-wind six day romance then the bold preacher proposed marriage and at 7 pm that evening, the couple were married before a group of friends.  Abraham had stopped at the John Waller home in Spottsylvania, Virginia on his way to the North where he met his daughter, the lovely Miss Ann Waller.  John Waller was the famed Separate Baptist preacher of that day.  Miss Ann proved to be of the same hardy stock, and the couple set off on their “horseback honeymoon,” which covered approximately five hundred and fifty miles.  Abraham told of his trip in his diary, how they swam rivers and creeks, chased loose horses, slept out under the stars, and shivered through cold and rainy days and dark nights, and ever meeting good friends…until three months absence to a day, found “us at home amid the tears, joys and congratulations of friends, on Big Kiokee.”   Ann proved to be a great blessing to her husbands  ministry.  The couple had four sons, and their oldest son Jabez, succeeded his father as pastor at Kiokee.  He wrote tenderly of his mother, “Through the whole of her life she was exemplarily pious…Often, when her husband was traveling and preaching the glad tidings of great joy to perishing sinners, would she collect her little family at home, her children and servants, and teach them and instruct them in the ways of truth…Often would sing with them, and collect them around her upon her knees, and supplicate the God in whom she had trusted, to bless her rising family.”  Ann died in 1815 at age 54, Abraham died in 1819 at age 72.  What an example for us.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson /, pp. 130.
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90 – March 31 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


A pastor who rode 4,400 miles to find a wife

 

 

March 31, 1792 – Abraham Marshall, three days back from his trip to New England, spoke again of his intention of marriage to Miss Ann Waller. The forty-four-year old Separate Baptist preacher and thirty-one year old maiden had a breathtaking, six day romance. On Tuesday April 3, 1792, the emboldened, romantic preacher proposed, and at 7 o’clock that evening, the couple were married before a group of friends. After serving the Kiokee Baptist Church (Georgia) for eight years as a bachelor-pastor, Abraham determined that he needed a wife and decided to travel the 2,200 miles to New England – the place of his birth – and trust the Lord somewhere along the way to provide him a help meet who would enhance his ministry. A gentleman, knowing of his plans, exchanged horses with him. With confidence that God was with him, Pastor Marshall continued on his journey believing that the second answer to his petition would be met. His diary tells that he stopped at the home of John Waller, the famed Separate Baptist preacher in Spottsylvania, Virginia, and it was there that the second half of his prayer was to be answered. Abraham’s diary told of their “horseback honeymoon,” which covered approximately 550 miles. Marshall told of “having a river or creek to swim, horses loose, lying out of doors, rainy days and dark nights, and ever and anon meeting with excellent friends…until three months absence to a day, found us at home amid the tears, joys and congratulations of friend, on Big Kiokee.” Mrs. Marshall was a great blessing to her husband’s ministry. They had four sons, and their son Jabez, who succeeded his father as pastor at Kiokee, wrote tenderly of his mother, “Through the whole of her life she was exemplarily pious…” She died at 54 in 1815, Abraham at 72 in 1819.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 130-131.

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357 – Dec. 23 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


“A great revival resulted under his ministry”
 December 23, 1741 – John Waller was born in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, and was a descendent of the honorable Wallers in England. No man suffered more or experienced greater success in his ministry in Virginia and S.C. than he. His uncle had made arrangements for him to be educated in the law, but upon his death, his father was unable to finance even a classical education. Allowing himself to indulge in every type of wickedness and profanity, he quickly acquired the appellation of “Swearing Jack” Waller. He was sometimes called the “devils adjutant” to muster his troops. He was on the grand jury who was presented the case against the Baptist preacher, Lewis Craig and heard his testimony when he said, “I thank you for the honor…While I was wicked you took no notice of me: but since I have altered my course of life, and endeavored to reform my neighbors, you concern yourselves much about me. I forgive my persecuting enemies, and shall take joyfully the spoiling of my goods.” When Waller heard him speak in such a humble manner, he was persuaded that Craig was possessed of something he had not seen in him before and desired to have the same experience. Waller began to attend the Baptist meetings, and he experienced very intense conviction for seven or eight months. He said, “I had long felt the greatest abhorrence of myself.” In hearing another man cry out for mercy he felt his own heart melt, “…and a sweet application of the Redeemer’s love to my poor soul.” He said that there were periods of struggle…but he took refuge in the Word of God, especially in Isa. 50:10. He was ordained to the ministry in June of 1770 and it was attended with great success. A great revival resulted under his ministry and he had a membership of 1500.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 536-37

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