A Hostile Investigation Produced an Ordination
John Gano professed conversion to Christ at a young age and was strongly inclined to unite with the Presbyterian Church; but doubting the scriptural authority for infant baptism, he entered into an elaborate investigation of the subject. He became convinced of Baptist principles. He soon received permission from his father to be baptized and unite with the Baptist church at Hopewell, New Jersey.
Soon Gano became much exercised in mind about preaching Christ to dying sinners. One morning while plowing, the words, “Warn the people, or their blood will I require at your hands,” came to him with such force that he became insensible to his work. Soon, after applying himself to study for the call, and before he was licensed to preach, he accompanied David Thomas and Benjamin Miller on a missionary tour of Virginia. Their principal mission was to set in order a small church on Opecon Creek which was in a deplorable condition. The church had only three members able to give an account of their conversion. On this occasion Gano exhorted the people. Upon returning home, his church called him to account for preaching without license but before proceeding to condemn him, they requested that he preach to them. His preaching so favorably impressed the congregation that they called for his ordination which took place on May 29, 1754.
Sometime later he was sent south as a missionary and came to Charleston, South Carolina, where he preached for Mr. Oliver Hart. In his journal Gano wrote of the service: “When I arose to speak, the sight of so brilliant an audience, among whom were twelve ministers and one of whom was Mr. George Whitefield, for a moment brought the fear of man upon me; but, blessed be the Lord! I was soon relieved of this embarrassment. The thought passed my mind, I had none to fear and obey but the Lord.”
Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. (Thompson/Cummins) pp. 219 -220.
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