He served over seventy years in the ministry
Anderson Moffett was born in Fauquier County, Virginia on August 28, 1746. David Thomas who had come to Virginia originally from the old Philadelphia Baptist Association had planted the Broad Run Church in that County when Moffett was but a youth. Many of the Regular Baptists of Northern Virginia had caught their fire from Thomas who they often referred to as Old Father Thomas.” He fired their souls while establishing them in sound doctrine without quenching their evangelistic zeal. Moffett was converted at an early age and began to preach when he was 17. His age is not known when he was imprisoned in Culpeper. There is only verbal evidence that this happened because all of Anderson’s records were destroyed by fire when he was an aged man, and too weak to rewrite them. His nephew Judge W.W. Moffett gave testimony that his father told him personally of the account of his uncle Anderson Moffett’s jailing for not taking a license to preach, and gave the date as the latter half of 1885 or the first part of 1886. He gave this testimony on Dec. 21, 1923. His father showed him where the Culpeper jail stood. The Culpeper Baptist Church moved to a new location and still stood as of 1993. Moffett was imprisoned along with many other young preachers in that jail. He was there when someone attempted to suffocate them by burning an Indian pepper plant under the jail floor. This incident evidently did not affect his health. God gave Moffett over seventy years of ministry, ending in his 89th year after he had served Smith’s Creek Regular Baptist Church for over fifty years.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 355-56.
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A Preacher, a Missionary and a Soldier
Philadelphia saved from the plague
One cannot peruse the minutes of the Philadelphia Baptist Association from 1707 to 1807 without often seeing the name David Jones. He was born May 12, 1736, and he experienced salvation and was baptized May 6, 1758, when he was just turning twenty-two years of age. We gather from the records of an October meeting in 1772 that the early Baptist missionaries were thrust out by the Holy Spirit and provided for by the local churches according to the New Testament pattern at Antioch. David Jones wrote several circular letters to the churches making up the Philadelphia Association. These letters revealed the prevailing spiritual condition and welfare of the churches and country. Days of fasting and prayer were often requested. Jones in writing the letter in 1798 mentioned, ”We have been once more prevented assembling in the City of Philadelphia by a dreadful visitation from God. Whatever may be the natural cause of this complaint, no doubt SIN is the procuring cause; nor can we reasonably expect a removal of the calamity without a suitable reformation among the inhabitants, for which we ought fervently to pray to God; and who knoweth but He may in His great mercy, graciously answer our supplications.” The minutes of 1800 record that the association met in Philadelphia. The eleventh entry states, “Conscious that the intereposing Providence of God hath preserved the City of Philadelphia, during the present season, from the malignant fever, and caused the earth to bring forth her fruits more abundantly than for some years past, the Association set apart, and recommend, Thursday the 13th of November next, to be observed as a day of thanksgiving by all the churches in our connection.”
Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 184-185
The Reformers Un-Spiritual Men
The reformers (I.E. Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, and others) could hardly be considered spiritual men. Even as they are held in high esteem by many groups, please be reminded that these men led in the persecution of the Anabaptists.
In 1807 Dr. Samuel Jones was pastor of the Baptist Church in Lower Dublin, Pennsylvania, where he served for over fifty years until his death in 1814. On Feb. 7 that year, Dr. Jones preached a Century Sermon commemorating the Centennial of the Philadelphia Baptist Association. In his famed message he said: “The reformation, which has been so much gloried in was but a poor piece of business, although it has been attended with valuable consequences. The reformers shook off the Papal yoke, but in the main retained its principles and spirit. They did not establish the right of free inquiry, Liberty of conscience, and the word of God as the only rule of faith and practice…They were influenced by worldly motives, connected religion with worldly establishments, were the abettors of tyranny and oppression, and even of persecution by fire and the sword.”
Freedom of religion in America came not through the theology of the reformation, but rather through the influence of our godly Baptist forebears. The historian, Leonard Woolsey Bacon put it this way: “ other sects, mainly the Presbyterians had been effective in demanding their own liberties, the Friends and the Baptists agreed in demanding liberty of conscience, worship, and equality before the law, for all alike. But the active labor in this cause was mainly done by the Baptists.
Dr. Dale R. Hart, adapted from: This Day in Baptist History III (David L. Cummins), pp. 77-78.