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87 – March – 28 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


Jasper-John-1

John Jasper
A Slave who was free
1901 – On this day, the “Onesimus of Colonial America”, John Jasper, went to be with the Lord Jesus, whom he loved with all of his heart.  John was a black man, born into slavery on July 4, 1812, and though never able to attend school, used his God given gift of oratory to see multitudes, both black and white, brought to eternal salvation.  His father, a slave Baptist preacher, died before John was born, but his Mother, Tina, dedicated him to the Lord with this prayer, “Lord, if dis chile you’s sendin’ me is a boy, doan’ let him do nuthin’ else but sing de praises of Jesus!”  His mother’s prayers brought him to conviction and his testimony was, “I was seekin’ God six weeks – jes’ cause I was sich a fool I couldn’t see de way.”  On July 25, 1839, John was gloriously saved at the tobacco stemmery where he worked for “Mars’ Sam – Mr. Sam Hardgrove, the owner of the stemmery and a deacon at the First Baptist Church of Richmond, Virginia.  He had belonged to the Widow Mary Belle Peachy, but upon her death, her son John sold him to Mr. Hardgrove.  Jasper’s love for Mars’ Sam and Dr. William Hatcher, a local Baptist pastor was beyond question and Mr. Hardgrove allowed John time off to preach whenever he wished.  Almost immediately after his conversion he began to preach the funeral of slaves, and God’s power was evident upon him.  It wasn’t long until both whites and blacks were flocking to his orations.  He became used in pulpits and open air meetings all over.  After Praying to learn to read, another slave, William Johnson, labored for seven months with a tattered copy of the New York Speller and John became an avid Bible reader.  John Jasper founded the 6th Mount Zion Baptist Church which had two-thousand members when he died.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson /, pp. 126.
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348 – Dec. 14 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


 They were beaten and imprisoned
December 14, 1662 – The State of Virginia, passed the following law: “Whereas many schismatical persons out of their averseness to the orthodox established religion, or out of new fangled conceits of their own heretical inventions, refused to have their children baptized. Be it therefore enacted by the authority aforesaid, that all persons that, in contempt of the divine sacrament of baptism, shall refuse when they carry their child to lawful the minister in that country to have them baptized shall be amesed two thousand pounds of tobacco, half to the publique.” Such statutes were directed at the Baptists, whose principles and convictions dictated that they baptize only believers on their confession of faith and who believed pedobaptism to be a Romish invention carried over into Protestantism by the Reformers. The Church of England increased her membership by pedobaptism, but the Baptists by evangelism and proselytizing. This difference of belief caused a head-on collision between the established religion, the Church of England, which tenaciously held to pedobaptism, and the lowly Baptists, who repudiated it and baptized all who believed and gave their testimony to their faith in Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross for their salvation. Hawkes, the historian of the Episcopal Church of Virginia, said, “No dissenters in Virginia experienced for a time, harsher treatment than did the Baptists. They were beaten and imprisoned; and cruelly taxed by the authorities who devised new modes of punishment and annoyance.” The Charter of 1606 provided that the Church of England should be the only legal and official state church of Virginia. The bloody military code of 1611 required all adults of the colony to give account of their faith to the parish minister.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 521-22.

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