The Fruit of Compromise
The name of Dr. Peter Bainbridge should have gone down in Kentucky Baptist history as one of the distinguished leaders. Peter was saved in his youth, and baptized by Reverend Joseph Reese on December 11, 1784. His training in theology was excellent, and he was ordained six years later on April 4, 1790, by Reverend Edmund Botsford. He was trained in theology and medicine, serving both as pastor and physician. With all these gifts, he married into wealth. Eleanor McIntosh was the only daughter of General Alexander McIntosh. Her father brought his wealth to America from Scotland and had been commissioned a General in the American Revolution. Eleanor was his heiress and had been reared in polished society. After their marriage Peter practiced medicine and preached in South Carolina, Maryland, New York, and finally in Kentucky. Though Peter doubtless loved the Lord and His Word, he did not hold firmly to standards of separation. For instance, believing that music and dancing, under prudent restraints, were not inconsistent with purity of heart, he allowed his daughter to attend dancing parties, and to dance. Peter was censured by the Elkhorn Association in Kentucky in 1798, but far worse than that, his daughters did not follow the Lord. As old age approached, on April 16, 1819, Peter wrote the following to one of his daughters: “My dear Ruthy, I want you to get religion – an interest in the blessed Jesus. Lord! How can I bear the thought of your being left behind? O, that God would enlighten your mind, and pour His pardoning love into your soul, that we may all, at last . . . meet in a better world, never to part again! May God give us pastors who are willing to be as narrow minded as God’s Word!
Dr. Dale R. Hart, adapted from: “This Day in Baptist History III” David L. Cummins. pp. 220 – 21.