The Holy Spirit began troubling their spirit for world missions
The Northhamptonshire Baptist Association in England was formally incorporated on October 02, 1792, and the first subscription, made on the spot, amounted to E13. 2s. 6d. This sum, though small, was comparatively large; for it was the contribution of a few poor but enlightened servants of Jesus Christ. Our forefathers were forced for years to worship in clandestine assemblies for fear of persecution. As a result, believers had long forgotten the Great Commission of our Lord. To be sure there was personal witnessing, but it was nearly impossible to carry the gospel into other nations.
As Baptists gained religious freedom the Holy Spirit began troubling their spirit for world missions. One group was the Association mentioned above. “At the meeting in Nottingham in 1784, it was resolved to set apart an hour on the first Monday evening of every month, ‘for extraordinary prayer for the revival of religion, and for the extending of Christ’s kingdom in the world.’ The suggestion proceeded from the venerable (John) Sutcliff”
From 1787 to 1790, William Carey presented the importance of missionary effort. Few were found who sympathized with him. Once in fact John Ryland censured Carey for suggesting a title for a younger minister to bring regarding a missions subject. But Thomas Potts had it published into a tract. At the May meeting Carey preached from Isa. 54:2-3. Expect Great things from God; Attempt great things for God.
The pastors were greatly moved which resulted in the organization of the missions organization and the launching of the modern day missionary movement. Carey himself was the first missionary to leave out for India.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 408-10.
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God’s Sovereign Call
1991 – Ken and Debbie Haley’s church, which he had been the pastor, held a commissioning service, to pledge to “hold the ropes” as the two departed for West Africa. Ken had surrendered to go during a Missions conference, in which they had prayed for God to call one of their own members abroad to preach the gospel. Strangely, both he and his wife had been directed to Rom. 15:20 before ever discussing the matter with each other. After being accepted by Baptist World Missions, spending eighteen months on deputation, and a year in language school, the Haley’s arrived in Contonou, Nenin, West Africa on Oct. 19, 1991. In Dec. Rev. Haley came down with malaria which was the first of six ordeals with the disease. The pharmacist where Ken went spoke English and a friendship was struck, even to the point of Michael Segniho visiting at the home on many occasions, until through Ken’s faithful witnessing, Michael received Christ. Later his wife was saved, and together they built a bamboo structure on their property, and began a French-speaking Baptist church, with forty-nine present for the first service. [This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 505-07] Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon
Small-Town Preacher with a Worldwide Vision
Gloomy and fatalistic high Calvinism held sway in the pulpits of England when Andrew Fuller was born in Wicken, Cambridgeshire, England, Feb. 6, l754. When about fourteen years of age he first became the subject of religious exercises. This question arose in his mind, What is faith? He could not answer it, but he satisfied himself that it did not require an immediate response, and that he would learn in the future what it was. Nevertheless he was not as indifferent about his soul as in former times, and occasionally he was very unhappy. Once, with some boys in a blacksmith’s shop, while they were singing foolish songs, the words addressed to Elijah seemed to pierce his soul, — What doest thou here, Elijah? And he arose and left his companions. It was then in 1769, Andrew Fuller became a genuine believer in Christ. He was baptized and joined the church in Soham where his family attended. Fuller never received formal theological training, but his extraordinary gifting was apparent as he began preaching in the church at age 17. He soon became pastor of a little Baptist church at Soham where he served until 1782. He then became the pastor of a vigorous church in Kettering, Northhamptonshire and remained there until his death.
Andrew Fuller’s deep concern for evangelism and world missions led to the formation of the Baptist Missionary Society on October 2, 1792. Fuller and a small assembly of pastors, including William Carey and John Thomas who later went to India joined together to form the society.
To recognize his contributions in theology, Princeton University awarded him a D.D. in 1798 and Yale did the same in 1805. He declined both. Andrew Fuller contracted tuberculosis and passed away at age 61 on May 7, 1815.
Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 186 – 187
February 19, 1814 – Baptists organized for world missions in America. This came about primarily because of the influence of Adoniram and Ann Judson who had gone out to India in 1812. In 1808 while still unsaved Judson had entered Andover Theological Seminary but was happily saved in the month of September and consecrated himself to the work of the Christian ministry. Before the end of his first year he had read a sermon entitled “The Star in the East,” and in Feb. of 1809 he resolved to be a missionary. In June of 1809 he met Ann Hasseltine, who was to become his wife. In Sept. 1811 he was commissioned as a missionary; on Feb. 5, 1812, he and Ann were married; on Feb. 6 he was ordained as a Congregational minister and on the 19th, the couple embarked on the brig Caravan for Calcutta, India. Their honeymoon was spent on the long voyage that ended on June 17 when they arrived after a very pleasant journey. Knowing that he would be working in the vicinity of the Baptist William Carey, Judson began thinking of the answer that he would give if the issue of baptism would be raised. In that he had been sprinkled as a baby he decided to study the issue anew from the scriptures. After a long struggle he became convinced after honest inquiry that the Baptist position of believer’s immersion was correct and that he would have to write to his Congregationalist mission and so inform them, which he did. He and Ann were baptized in the Baptist Chapel in Calcutta on September 6, 1812. Later Ann wrote a friend saying, “Thus, my dear Nancy, we are confirmed Baptists, not because we wished to be, but because truth compelled us to be…We feel that we are alone in the world, with no real friend but each other, no one on whom we can depend but God.”
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 69-70.