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50 – Feb. 19 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY


February 19, 1814 – Baptists organized for world missions in America. This came about primarily because of the influence of Adoniram and Ann Judson who had gone out to India in 1812. In 1808 while still unsaved Judson had entered Andover Theological Seminary but was happily saved in the month of September and consecrated himself to the work of the Christian ministry. Before the end of his first year he had read a sermon entitled “The Star in the East,” and in Feb. of 1809 he resolved to be a missionary. In June of 1809 he met Ann Hasseltine, who was to become his wife. In Sept. 1811 he was commissioned as a missionary; on Feb. 5, 1812, he and Ann were married; on Feb. 6 he was ordained as a Congregational minister and on the 19th, the couple embarked on the brig Caravan for Calcutta, India. Their honeymoon was spent on the long voyage that ended on June 17 when they arrived after a very pleasant journey. Knowing that he would be working in the vicinity of the Baptist William Carey, Judson began thinking of the answer that he would give if the issue of baptism would be raised. In that he had been sprinkled as a baby he decided to study the issue anew from the scriptures. After a long struggle he became convinced after honest inquiry that the Baptist position of believer’s immersion was correct and that he would have to write to his Congregationalist mission and so inform them, which he did. He and Ann were baptized in the Baptist Chapel in Calcutta on September 6, 1812. Later Ann wrote a friend saying, “Thus, my dear Nancy, we are confirmed Baptists, not because we wished to be, but because truth compelled us to be…We feel that we are alone in the world, with no real friend but each other, no one on whom we can depend but God.”

Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 69-70.

 

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