“To follow the dictates of conscience, I must be a Baptist”

November 26, 1800 – John Holcombe, and a group of Baptists that had been attending a Presbyterian church that he was pastoring in Savannah, Georgia, which they found was unworkable, constituted a Baptist church in that city. Holcombe was born in 1762 but as a child his family moved from Virginia to South Carolina. By 11 years of age he completed all the education he was to receive from a living teacher. He had a naturally inquiring mind which desired knowledge of every kind. At the beginning of the Revolutionary War, Holcombe was quite young, however, he was impressed with a sense of wrong done to his country and felt the stirrings of patriotism. Just passed boyhood, he entered the army and quickly demonstrated the courage and discretion that allowed him to rise to an important position. It was during this time, amidst the temptations of camp, that he made his profession of faith in Christ. His father told him that he was baptized as a Presbyterian in his infancy. After searching the scriptures on the matter, he concluded (in his own words) that “to follow the dictates of conscience, I must be a Baptist; and not conferring with flesh and blood, I rode near 20 miles to propose myself as a candidate for admission into a Baptist church. Immediately afterwards he received a license to preach the gospel and his labors were followed with uncommon blessings. He soon baptized 26 persons, including his wife Frances, her brother and mother, and shortly after, 17 more, including his father. He was also elected to the Constitutional Convention in Charleston, S.C. for ratifying the U.S. Constitution. Holcombe was vigorous in his opposition to infidelity, theatrical amusements, and other things which he regarded of evil tendency. Several times his life was in jeopardy.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins /Thompson/, pp. 492 – 94.

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