Tag Archives: The Baptists

148 – May – 28 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

A Ferocious Don Manuel Gayoso de Lemoso

 

Foe, a Fearless Woman, and a Fainting Wife

 

 

 

Baptists from the Pee Dee region of northeastern South Carolina arrived at Cole’s Creek near Natchez in the Mississippi territory beginning in 1780, almost forty years before Mississippi became the twentieth state in the United States of America on December 10, 1817. These Baptists had served the American colonies in their opposition to the British in the Revolutionary War. Simultaneous with the Baptists’ arrival to Mississippi in 1780, the English were losing their control of the area to the Spanish.

 

Among the Baptists who left South Carolina were Richard Curtis, Sr., his step-son John Jones and his wife Anna, his sons Benjamin Curtis and family, Richard Curtis, Jr. (born in Virginia on May 28, 1756), and family. Enforcing Roman Catholicism on the newly acquired area, the Spanish did not recognize non-Catholic forms of religion. Problems started for the Baptists when Richard Curtis, Jr., a licensed Baptist minister, began to attract attention with his preaching ability. By 1790, various people in the area had asked Richard Curtis, Jr., to preach for them. Later, Curtis officiated at the baptisms of a prominent man William Hamberlin and Stephen De Alvo, a Catholic-born Spaniard, who had married an American woman, and Curtis led worship in private homes. In 1791, the Baptists established a small church at Cole’s Creek approximately eighteen miles north of Natchez near the corner of contemporary Stampley Road and 4 Forks Road.

 

The Spanish governor, Don Manuel Gayoso de Lemos, wrote a letter to Curtis in 1795 ordering him to stop preaching contrary to the laws of the Spanish province, and went so far as to have Curtis arrested April 6, 1795. Gayoso threatened Curtis, Hamberlin, and De Alvo with the penalty of working the silver mines of Mexico, especially if Curtis failed to stop preaching contrary to the provincial law.

 

Richard Curtis Jr., Bill Hamberlin, and Steve De Alvo fled the Natchez Country. Cloe Holt, Volunteered to fearlessly take supplies to the men in concealment. When the territory passed under the control of Georgia and was recognized as United States property, Curtis and his companions returned with joyful hearts. Curtis’s wife, not knowing of his return, fainted when she saw him standing in the pulpit to Preach.

 

Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. Thompson/Cummins pp. 218 -219

 

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91 – April – 01 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


First Baptists in Kentucky
1776 – On this date the Baptists arrived in Harrodsburg, Kentucky and the first recorded Baptist preaching was done by William Hickman and Thomas Tinsley.  Two years later Hickman was ordained in Virginia and spent eight years of service there.
Though not imprisoned at that time he received a great deal of rude persecution.  In the summer of 1784 the Hickman family moved permanently to Kentucky and for the next four years William ministered at every opportunity  which resulted in the establishing of the Forks of Elkhorn Church, where he pastored until his death in 1834.  That was a period of forty-five years except when he was out of fellowship with the church for two years over the issue of slavery, which he opposed.
During the great revival period of 1800-1803, Elder Hickman baptized over five hundred converts.  William was born in Virginia on Feb. 4, 1747.  His parents died while he was but a lad, and he became a ward of his grandmother.  His educational opportunities were limited, but his grandmother gave him a Bible and insisted that he read it.
When he was fourteen he was apprenticed to learn a trade, and in nine years he was secure enough to marry his master’s daughter Sarah Sanderson.  Soon after, he learned that the Baptists (then called New Lights) were in the area, and against his wife’s wishes, he went to hear the preaching.
The next day he went to a public “dipping” of converts and was deeply moved even to tears.  The next fall they moved to Cumberland County, KY, and the Lord brought his wife to faith in Christ.
William was saved under the preaching of David Tinsley on Feb. 21, 1773 and baptized two months later, after rejecting Episcopal christening.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson /, pp. 133.
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The “Haystack Prayer Meeting”


1783 – Luther Rice was born into a pedobaptist (Congregational) home on this memorable day.  He along with Adoniram and Ann Judson became Baptists when they were baptized in India, after studying the subject of baptism on the voyage, although on different ships.  Because of this they were compelled to sever relationship with their denomination which left them penniless and identify with the Baptists in America.  In our opinion, this was the beginning of the fulfillment of the prophecy found at Mat 24:14 – And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.   Prior to this there had been only scant missionary activity among the churches of North America and that was to the Indians and the settlers who had migrated westward.  But from this effort of Rice and the Judson’s a great flood of missionaries began to go forth to many parts of the world.  It all started with a group called the “Brethren” who had formed a missionary fellowship interested in world evangelism at Williams College (Congregational) in Massachusetts.  One day during a rain storm some of the “Brethren” took refuge under a haystack, and while there prayed for those in the world who lived in spiritual darkness.  It would forever be called the “Haystack Prayer Meeting.”  Even though Rice wasn’t at the haystack, he was a part of the “Brethren” and was the first with the Judsons to go forth.  Rice eventually returned to America to stir up the Baptists for world evangelism.  He became the rope holder while Judson was tied to the rope.  World missions needed them both.  In the North there were mission societies, in the South the Baptist method was conventions.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson /, pp. 121..

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67 – March – 08 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY


 

King George II
WHO OPENED THE NAILED DOORS OF THE CHURCH?
1680 –The Baptists in Boston quietly and cautiously built a new meetinghouse and began to assemble there on February 15, 1679. But the authorities soon found out and issued a law in May, 1679 to take the property from them if they continued to meet there. Under the threat of law, the Baptists ceased to occupy their own building.  However, King Charles II issued an edict to all authorities to allow freedom and liberty of conscience to all non-Catholics. He further stated they were not to be subjected to fines or forfeitures, or other hardships for the same. He stated, “…which is it a severity the more to be wondered at, whereas liberty of conscience was made one principle motive for your transportation into those parts.” Some friends of the Baptists in London notified the Baptists in Boston about the King’s decree, and the Baptists happily returned to meeting in their building. Shortly, the spiritual leadership was summoned before the Court of Assistants where is was demanded that they promise not to meet there again. They refused to promise and on March 8, 1680, an officer of the court nailed the doors to their building shut and posted the order thereon. The Baptists held their services in the yard, until one Sunday when they arrived, much to their surprise the doors were open. They did not know whether man or angel opened those doors, but they entered and held services and said, “The Court had done this illegally, we were denied a copy of the constable’s order and Marshall’s warrant, and we concluded to go into our house, it being our own, having a civil right to it.” Dr. Increase Mather published a pamphlet in London speaking against the Baptists’ character. John Russell wrote an answer to what Mather wrote. It was published in London and prefaced by some Baptist Ministers in England. They said, “It seems most strange that our Congregational brethren in New England, who with liberal estates, chose rather to depart from their native soil into a wilderness, than to be under the lash of those who upon religious pretenses took delight to smite their fellow servants, should exercise towards others the like severity that themselves at so great hazard and hardship sought to avoid; especially considering that it is against their brethren, who profess and appeal to the same rule with themselves for guidance in the worship of God, and the ordering of their whole conversation.”
Barbara Ketay from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 95-96.
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56 – February – 25 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


 

Baptists Publish the Word

 

1824 – THE FIRST BAPTIST PUBLISHING HOUSE IN AMERICA WAS FORMED IN THE EARLY 19TH CENTURY – On February 25, 1824, from a meeting in Washington, D.C., the “Baptist General Tract Society” was begun.  Luther Rice was elected Treasurer.  He was a partner of Adoniram and Ann Judson and had returned from the mission field to raise money to keep them on the mission field.  Early on Christian people had united in the effort to evangelize through Christian literature.  “The Evangelical Tract Society” was formed in Boston in 1811; the Philadelphia Sunday School and Adult School Union were organized in 1817, and the Baptists joined with other denominations in organizing the American Sunday School Union.  However Baptist leaders were not satisfied until they had their own publishing house to formulate Baptist ideas and doctrine which culminated in the organization mentioned above.  On April 30, 1840, in N.Y. City, representatives from 15 states voted to change the complexion and name to “The American Baptist Publication and Sunday School Society.”  From that time Baptists have been able to obtain distinctive Baptist literature to train their members.  The “Baptist Manual” was published consisting of a Doctrinal, Historical and Biographical series.

 

Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 77.

 

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46 – February 15 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


 

 

first Baptist_BostonmeetinghouseFirst Baptist Meeting House Boston

46 – February 15 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST

Unregistered churches illegal

1679 – BAPTISTS MOVE INTO THEIR BUILDING IN BOSTON QUIETLY BECAUSE IT WAS ILLEGAL 17TH CENTURY – RELIGIOUS MISSION SOCIETIES   INCORPORATED IN 1646 – LAW TO BANISH BAPTISTS REPRINTED IN 1672 – On February 15, 1679, the Baptists moved into their building in Boston that they began a year earlier. This activity was carried out very quietly and cautiously because they didn’t want to alert the authorities because this activity was deemed illegal by the state church which was Congregational. Great numbers were coming out of it and going over to the Baptists because of the compromise of the Half-way Covenant doctrine and other things. In the mid-17th century the Massachusetts Bay Colony was facing the problem of children born to Congregational parents, who had been baptized (christened) as infants but had not confirmed their faith since becoming adults.  The compromise was that the church accepted their baptism but not the right to the Lord’s Supper or voting privileges. By 1677 many ministers were advocating the extension of full church privileges to the Half-Way members. This filled the church with unconverted people, deadened preaching, and lost church members.  Baptist activity increased. John Eliot, a godly man from Roxbury, had begun evangelizing Indians around 1646 and incorporated a society to promote the work. He formed 12 praying societies among the Indians. These were scattered during the King Philip’s War with the Indians. In spite of this the Baptists fought valiantly against the Indians to protect their settlements. One company, mostly of Baptists was led by William Turner and distinguished itself in combat. But the increase in Baptists alarmed the ministers of the state church. They had their law to banish Baptists reprinted in 1672 and often fined and imprisoned Baptist violators. One of the Baptist ministers, William Hubbard, in a sermon said, “It is made, by learned and judicious writers that one of the undoubted rights of sovereignty is to determine what religion shall be publicly professed and exercised within their dominions.” He also said it was morally impossible to rivet the Christian religion into the body of a nation without infant baptism. By proportion, he proclaimed, it will necessarily follow that the neglect or disuse thereof will directly tend to root it out.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 63.

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19 – January 19 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


 

Baptists the Authors of Liberty

 

1776 – The Virginia Statue of Religious Liberty was passed. The struggle was so intense that it took ten years of lobbying and petitioning the legislature (the Baptists had three representing them at one time). Thomas Jefferson stated that it was the most fiercely contested piece of legislation of his entire political career. There was also great contention relating to taxation for the support of state church clergy. At one point, Baptist preachers, Jeremiah Moore, Jeremiah Walker, and John Young, delivered a petition with 10,000 signatures to the Virginia legislature in Richmond opposing the general assessment plan for the support of religious teachers. It was the defeat of this legislation that finally paved the way for Jefferson’s statute. William Warren Sweet, in his Story of Religion in America, is justified in saying, “Religious freedom had triumphed in Virginia and was soon to spread throughout the nation and a few years later, in the form of the First Amendment to the Federal Constitution, was to become a part of the fundamental law of the land. Thomas Jefferson, Author of the Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom was so proud of those accomplishments that he asked that it be recorded on his gravestone. But justice compels the admission that Jefferson’s part in the First Amendment was not as great as James Madison, because of the fact that he was in France during that period. Neither were the contributions of either or both as important as was that of the humble people called Baptists.  The Baptists preached, petitioned, and suffered persecution. God used these humble people to have religious liberty as a fundamental principle of our society in the two great documents mentioned above.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon; adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 25-26.

 

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290 – Oct. 17 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

Baptists did not seek revenge

 

1770 – In their meeting, the Baptists of the Philadelphia Association read letters from churches in New England, such as those from Ashfield, Mass., who wrote explaining their problems which involved unfair taxation. Even though the Baptists had  established the township and most of the families were Baptist and had founded a Baptist house of worship, the Presbyterians families decided to build a meetinghouse, hire a pastor and tax the Baptist families for the costs. The Baptists petitioned the general court for relief, but in April 1770 the court ruled in favor of the Presbyterians. One Baptist had his house and garden sold, others saw their young orchards, meadows, and cornfields sold, one purchaser being the Presbyterian minister. In all, the Baptists lost 395 acres of land valued at ₤363 8s. The total auction price was ₤35 10s. Inasmuch as the Presbyterians still needed ₤200 more for their building, two additional auctions were held to dispose of Baptist property. The Baptists finally sought redress before the assembly at Cambridge and were told, “The general assembly has a right to do what they did, and if you don’t like it you may quit the place!” The Warren Association called for a period of fasting and prayer. The seizures continued. On May 9, 1773, Gershom Proctor (82) and his son Henry, along with Nathan Crosby, for ministerial rates, were carried to Concord jail. It should be noted that when the Baptists finally got the upper hand, they did not seek revenge against their persecutors. [William G. McLoughlin, ed., The Diary of Isaac Baacus (Providence, R.I.: Brown University Press, 1979), 2:780. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. 568-70.]  Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon

 

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