Tag Archives: pedo-baptist

324 – Nov. 20 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


November 20, 1771 – Shubal Stearns died. It had only been 20 years since he had embraced Baptist principles and moved South from Boston where he had been influenced by the preaching of George Whitefield. He had labored among the “Separates” or “New Lights” as they were called then. So many of the Separates became Baptists that on occasion, Whitefield spoke against “rebaptism” of adults and argued for pedobaptism and in order to make it plain that the Baptists did not belong to his flock, he stated that many of his “chickens had become ducks.” Stearns left New England and stopped off at Opeckon, Berckley County, Virginia on his way to Sandy Creek, North Carolina in Guilford County. It was there under the pastoral care of John Garrard and Daniel Marshall, who would become Stearns Brother-in-law that he would become a Baptist. Because of restlessness and Indian raids, Stearns and a party of sixteen settled at Sandy Creek where they built a little meetinghouse shortly after arriving, and organized a Separate Baptist church with Shubal Stearns as pastor and Daniel Marshall and Joseph Breed as his assistants. The church soon expanded to 606 and began to expand into three other states. James Read, Samuel Harriss and Dutton Lane had great success in Virginia. Daniel Marshall traveled further south and planted churches in S.C., and Georgia and the Kiokee Baptist Church across the Savannah River, which was the first Baptist church of that state. Besides the home church, Stearns travelled a considerable distance in the country around, to assist in organizing and regulating the churches which he and his associates were instrumental in raising up. The spread of the gospel went forward in spite of the French and Indian War and the vast wilderness.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins /Thompson /, pp. 483-85.

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317 – Nov. 13 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


Massachusetts, passed a law against the Anabaptists

November 13, 1644 – The General Court in Massachusetts, passed a law against the Anabaptists that backfired against them with the general citizenry. In the body of the law, the Anabaptists were called among other things, “…incendiaries of commonwealths, and the infectors of persons in main matters of religion, and the troublers of churches…and they have held the baptizing of infants unlawful…some have denied the ordinance of magistracy, and the lawfulness of making war, every such person or persons shall be sentenced to banishment.” However, pressures mounted on the General Court so that, though they would not repeal the law, they publicly confessed that the Baptists were ‘peaceable’ citizens amongst them.” There is a difference in the Baptist position of religious liberty based on freedom of conscience and the religious toleration allowed by some “state churches.” Baptists believe that a free church in a free state is a New Testament principle…The right of every soul to direct access to God is an inalienable right, with which the state must not interfere.” State churches have arrived at the position of allowing other churches to exist, but favorable laws and/or fiscal levies are often to be granted the favored church. This is thought by some to be “toleration,” but Baptists believe that the end of governmental administration is equal justice under law. Baptists, therefore repudiate every form of compulsion in religion or restraint of religious freedom. In 1644, a poor man, Thomas Painter, was tied up and whipped because he refused to have his child baptized. This is what led Thomas Painter to become an Anabaptist.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/ Thompson/ , pp. 472-73.

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