The Pastor Who Couldn’t Ignore Immersion
Milo P. Jewett was born in Johnsbury, Vermont, on April 27, 1808, into the family of Dr. and Mrs. Calvin Jewett. Being the son of a medical doctor, young Jewett was offered the opportunity of a fine education and graduated from Dartmouth College in 1828. Looking forward to a career in the legal profession, Jewett spent a year in a law office in New Hampshire, but in 1830 he abandoned law and entered Andover Seminary. His brilliant mind fully equipped him for the field of education, and “he decided that teaching and not preaching was the work for which God had fitted him…In 1834 (he) accepted a professorship in Marietta College, Marietta, Ohio.”
Professor Jewett was persuaded to accept the pastorate of a Presbyterian church along with his educational duties, and for two years he served as pastor-professor. A disturbing situation developed which changed Jewett’s life, and that we might hear it in his own words, we quote from a letter he wrote from Marietta College, dated June 28, 1838:
Perhaps you know I have preached for about two years past to a Presbyterian church in the country. Some eighteen months ago, an elder of that church became a Baptist. On the occasion of his baptism, a sermon was preached by Rev. Hiram Gear, the Baptist minister in Marietta. This sermon disturbed several members of my church, and the session requested me to preach on baptism. . . . .
Afterwards I took up infant baptism; and here I found myself in clouds and darkness…I would lay down the subject for weeks, then resume it, till, some three or four months ago, I was obliged, in the fear of God, to conclude that none but believers in Jesus have a right to the ordinance of Jesus.
In January 1839 Jewett was baptized and united with the Baptist church in Marietta.
In 1840 he authored Jewett on Baptism, and the volume was blessed by the Lord in helping many to see the spiritual truth of the ordinance. Jewett passed into the Lord’s presence in 1882 after a full life of spiritual obedience and service.
Dr. Dale R. Hart: from This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. (Thompson/Cummins) pp. 261 – 262.
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