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51 – February – 20 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


 

Andrew Gifford

 

He endured to the end

 

1737 – BAPTIST PASTOR TESTIFIES OF THE PEACE OF CHRIST AT THE TIME OF DEATH IN LATE 18TH CENTURY ENGLAND – Pastor Andrew Gifford and his congregation dedicated a new facility in Eagle Street, Red Lion Square London on February 20, 1737.  He had served as an assistant pastor in both Nottingham and Bristol before becoming pastor of the Little Wild Street Church in London on Feb. 5, 1729.  Because of difficulty a majority of the members left in 1736 which led to the new church edifice mentioned above.  Andrew was born into a godly home in Bristol, England, August 17, 1700.  His father, Emmanuel Gifford, had suffered much difficulty because of his dissenting principles, and his grandfather had been imprisoned four times because of his biblical faith.  Andrew received Christ and was immersed at 15.  Pastor Gifford served the flock on Red Lion Square for nearly 50 years and the building had to be enlarged twice to accommodate the crowds.  Gifford was recognized for his knowledge of ancient manuscripts and coins.  His own collection of rare coins was the most valuable in Great Britain and King George II purchased it for his own.  In 1754 he received the Doctor of Divinity Degree from Marischal College, Aberdeen, and in 1757 he was appointed assistant librarian of the British Museum.  He was a warm friend of George Whitefield and preached for him many times.  Three days before he died, he said, “I am in great pain, but, bless God, this is not hell! O, blessed be God for Jesus Christ!”  When the end was near, he whispered, “O, what should I do now, if it were not for Jesus Christ!” What should I do now, if it were not for an interest in Jesus?” He died on a Saturday morning, June 19, 1784, and was buried in Bunhill, July 2, at 6 am. John Ryland brought the message.  There were 200 ministers and a vast crowd present.  He bequeathed his library and manuscripts to the Bristol Baptist College.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 70.

 

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51 – Feb. 20 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY


Pastor Andrew Gifford and the majority of members that had left Little Wild Street Church in London where Gifford had become pastor in 1729 dedicated their new facility in Eagle Street, Red Lion Square. For almost half a century Pastor Gifford served that flock of God seeing the building enlarged twice in order to accommodate the ever increasing congregation. Gifford was born into a godly home in Bristol on August 17, 1700. His father, Emmanuel, had endured much suffering because of his dissenting principles, and his grandfather had been imprisoned four times because of his scriptural beliefs. Early in life Andrew trusted Christ as his savior and was baptized at fifteen. Following his training he served as an assistant pastor at both Nottingham and Bristol before becoming pastor at Little Wild Street. Gifford was early recognized for his knowledge of ancient manuscripts and coins. His own collection of rare coins was the most valuable in Great Britain, and in time, King George II purchased it for his own display. In 1754 he received the Doctor of Divinity degree from the Marischal College, Aberdeen, and in 1757 he was appointed assistant historian of the British Museum. He was also a warm friend of George Whitefield and preached for Whitefield on several occasions. Three days before his death he said, “I am in great pain, but, bless God, this is not hell! O, blessed be God for Jesus Christ!” O, what should I do now, if it were not for Jesus Christ?…” His death took place on Saturday morning June 19, 1784, and he was buried in Bunhill on Friday, July 2, at 6 A.M. because of his faith in the resurrection. The message was delivered by John Ryland in the presence of 200 ministers and a vast crowd who had come to pay tribute.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 70-71.

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