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109 – April 19 – This Day in Baptist History Past


The “Great Awakening” was an amazing movement of God’s Holy Spirit of which it has been written, “There are few instances in history of transformations of religious life so profound and so widespread during so short a period.”  Though the movement was experienced primarily in New England, in the course of time, through the ministry of the Separate Baptists, the so-called “Bible Belt” in the southern states of America was the primary benefactor. However, there is no doubt that the “Great Awakening” left its impact in Baptist Churches, and all other religious groups, throughout America.  Revivals had significant role in spiritual and physical growth as revealed in the history of the First Baptist Church of Cape May.  It had never been a large church, as Morgan Edwards reported that there were about 90 families in  the congregation on April 19, 1790, “whereof 63 persons are baptized and in the communion which is here administered every other month.”  There were periods of growth in that work that came during “revival meetings.”  The first such services were called “protracted meetings,” and they were usually held during the winter months when farmhands and fishermen experienced an idle season. One of the secrets of success in these meetings was the fact that they usually began with an appointed day for fasting and prayer.  At times cottage prayer meetings were held prior to the meetings as well.  In 1839, sixty-eight were baptized and united with the church.  In 1849 another 29 converts were saved, baptized, and added to the church.  With the infiltration of German rationalism, revivalism as such began to wane, and today it is tragic to report that many churches are pleased to merely maintain their membership.


**(And if one of the maintained would leave due to the preaching of God’s word straight and true, how The membership rants and raves at the pastor, yet there is little or no concern about reaching the lost and bringing them into the flock. ** True revival will cause an “Awakening” of the believers gratitude for his salvation, and an urgency for the salvation of the lost.)


**Editors note


Dr. Dale R. Hart, adapted from:  This Day in Baptist History  III (David L. Cummins) p.p.  227   –   228



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His powerful singing voice came to the attention of D.L. Moody
 December 29, 1876 – Philip P. Bliss (P.P.) perished along with his wife in a train crash near Ashtabula, Ohio. A bridge collapsed and the Pacific Express on which they were riding plunged 60 feet into a ravine and burst into flames. Bliss survived the fall and escaped through a window but returned to rescue his wife but neither of them made it out. He was only 38 years old. He had been born in Rome, PA on July 9, 1838, in the home of praying and singing parents. He spent his youth on a farm and was limited in a formal education. At 12 years old he was saved and joined the Tioga, Pennsylvania Baptist church by baptism. He was most familiar with the camp meetings and revival meetings of his times and taught school while he studied music. In 1859 he married a young woman who was a musician-poet in her own right. He and his wife moved to Chicago where he became involved in the music publishing business. He also composed music for Sunday schools. His powerful singing voice came to the attention of D.L. Moody who related that the ‘power of solo singing of Gospel songs at evangelistic meetings dated from that time.’ Bliss then united with Evangelist D.W. Whittle and served as soloist, song leader, and children’s worker. Bliss wrote the following songs: “Man of Sorrows! What a Savior,” “Almost Persuaded,” “Hold The Fort,” “The Light of the World is Jesus,” “Wonderful Words of Life,” “Jesus Loves Even Me,” and “Cursed by the law and bruised by the fall, Christ hath redeemed us, once for all!”
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 545-47.

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