45 – Feb. 14 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


Publishing Glad Tidings

On this date in 1824, Reverend Noah Davis sent a tremendously important message to a former classmate, the Reverend James D. Knowles of Washington, D.C., urging that consideration be given for the establishing of a publishing house for Bible literature among the rapidly growing ministry of the Baptists in America.

This is what he wrote: “I have been thinking for some time, how a Tract Society can be gotten up; in Washington, which shall hold the same  place among Baptists that the American Tract Society does among the Congregationalists.  I now feel very much, the necessity of having tracts to scatter in the waste places.  It is a plan of doing good scarcely thought of among Baptists.”     In February 25, 1824, a company of twenty-five Baptists met at the house of Mr. George Wood in Washington D.C. to consider the appropriateness of the formation of a Baptist General Tract Society.  What brought them together was the letter sent by the Reverend Noah Davis of Maryland.  Mr. Knowles gave this tribute to Reverend Davis: “His heart was in the work; a qualification, without which, no man ever accomplished much.  He possessed unusual talents for business.  He was active, affable, and prompt.  He spoke with fluency, and when excited, with much power and eloquence.     His full, loud, and sonorous voice, his manly person, his simple, direct, and forcible diction, gave him great advantages in preaching.” In 1826 the Tract Society was moved to Philadelphia which afforded more publishing opportunities. And the with the establishment of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1845 their name was changed to the American Baptist Publication Society.  All of this because of the vision of one man.

Dr. Dale R. Hart, adapted from:  This Day in Baptist History  III (David L. Cummins) pp. 91-92

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