Monthly Archives: June 2013

181 — June 29 – This Day in Baptist History Past


A Man for an Hour of Great Travail  


During the years 1860 to 1865, our nation was convulsed in a horrible civil conflict that ultimately claimed hundreds of thousands of lives, both Northerners and Southerners. The pain and suffering defies imagination.


In the midst of this turmoil, Adoniram Judson Gordon was ordained into the gospel ministry June 29, 1863, and became pastor at Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. His name, Adoniram Judson, was prophetic, because his new birth kindled an evangelical spirit that permeated every area of his life and ministry.   This evangelical spirit permeated Gordon’s writing also.  In his introduction of his book In Christ, Gordon gives us some insight into his heart and ministry.


Life is still of God, but it has this new dependency “in Christ.” “Of Him are ye inChrist Jesus.” The obligation to labor remains unchanged, but a new motive and a new sanctity are given to it by its relationship to Christ. “Forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” The marriage relationship is stamped with this new signet, “Only in theLord.”  Filial obedience is exalted into direct connection with the Son of God. “Children obey your parents in the Lord.” Daily life becomes “a good conversation in Christ.” Joy and sorrow, triumph and suffering, are all in Christ. Even truth, as though needing a fresh baptism is viewed henceforth “as it is in Jesus.” Death remains, but it is robbed of its sting and crowned with a beatitude, because in Christ. “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.”


Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. (Thompson/Cummins) pp. 266-267



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179 — June 28 – This Day in Baptist History Past


Milo P. Jewett


The Pastor Who Couldn’t Ignore Immersion  



Milo P. Jewett was born in Johnsbury, Vermont, on April 27, 1808, into the family of Dr. and Mrs. Calvin Jewett. Being the son of a medical doctor, young Jewett was offered the opportunity of a fine education and graduated from Dartmouth College in 1828. Looking forward to a career in the legal profession, Jewett spent a year in a law office in New Hampshire, but in 1830 he abandoned law and entered Andover Seminary. His brilliant mind fully equipped him for the field of education, and “he decided that teaching and not preaching was the work for which God had fitted him…In 1834 (he) accepted a professorship in Marietta College, Marietta, Ohio.”


Professor Jewett was persuaded to accept the pastorate of a Presbyterian church along with his educational duties, and for two years he served as pastor-professor. A disturbing situation developed which changed Jewett’s life, and that we might hear it in his own words, we quote from a letter he wrote from Marietta College, dated June 28, 1838:


Perhaps you know I have preached for about two years past to a Presbyterian church in the country. Some eighteen months ago, an elder of that church became a Baptist. On the occasion of his baptism, a sermon was preached by Rev. Hiram Gear, the Baptist minister in Marietta. This sermon disturbed several members of my church, and the session requested me to preach on baptism. . . . .


Afterwards I took up infant baptism; and here I found myself in clouds and darkness…I would lay down the subject for weeks, then resume it, till, some three or four months ago, I was obliged, in the fear of God, to conclude that none but believers in Jesus have a right to the ordinance of Jesus.


In January 1839 Jewett was baptized and united with the Baptist church in Marietta.


In 1840 he authored Jewett on Baptism, and the volume was blessed by the Lord in helping many to see the spiritual truth of the ordinance. Jewett passed into the Lord’s presence in 1882 after a full life of spiritual obedience and service.


Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. (Thompson/Cummins) pp. 261 – 262.



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178 — June 27 – This Day in Baptist History Past


Living Sacrifices for God’s Honour

Roger Holland had come from the affluent family of Sir Robert Holland, and in the first year of the reign of Bloody Mary, Roger married Elizabeth, a Christian maid of Master Kempton to which Roger was an apprentice.  Apparently, Roger Holland became a member of the Hill Cliffe Baptist Church about this time. “Two of the signatories to the letter of 1654 from Hill Cliffe are of the same name, Holland. This points to, at any rate, a probability of his having been a Hill Cliffe Baptist, perhaps minister there.”

On one occasion as forty people gathered for a service of prayer and the expounding of the Word, twenty-seven of them were carried before Sir Roger Cholmly. Some of the women made their escape, twenty-two were committed to Newgate, who continued in prison seven weeks. Previous to their examination, they were informed by the keeper, Alexander, that nothing more was requisite to procure their discharge, than to hear Mass. Easy as this condition may seem, these martyrs valued their purity of conscience more than loss of life or property; hence, thirteen were burnt, seven at Smithfield, and six at Brentford; two died in prison, and the other seven were providentially preserved…They were sent to Newgate, June 16, 1558, and were executed on the twenty-seventh.

As was so often the case, Roger Holland’s death at Smithfield instead of destroying the faith of the Baptists only made it stronger. His relatives and friends were afterward more determined than ever to uphold the principles for which he died! May we with these heroes of the faith and with the hymn writer state and mean, “Thou (my Lord) art more than life to me,” for then our lives shall be in a true sense “living sacrifices” for God’s honor.

Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. (Thompson/Cummins) pp. 261 – 262.

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178 — June 26 – This Day in Baptist History Past


A Fearless Ambassador of Christ


I. B. Kimbrough was born in Tennessee in 1826.  While ministering in Tennessee, Kimbrough at one time served as the financial agent of Carson and Newman College and traveled extensively in his state attempting to raise money with which to train young Baptist preachers.


On June 26, 1886, at Waco, Texas.  Dr. Kimbrough recalled an incident from his days in Tennessee and his work with Carson and Newman College. As he was traveling from one appointment to another through a secluded forest, he was confronted by two highwaymen. Holding their guns on the man of God, they insisted that he dismount from his horse and hand over all his money.


Very well, gentlemen, please give me a little time, and I will obey your orders.” Kimbrough responded. After dismounting, he laid his money in two piles, then turning to the highwaymen he said: “Gentlemen, this small pile of money is mine: you are at liberty to rob me of that; the larger pile is God’s money, and I dare you to touch it. I collected it for the young preachers of the state who are struggling for an education at Carson and Newman College.”


The earnestness and courage of the man attracted the attention of the robbers, and they began to inquire into the work in which he was engaged. He told them he was a Baptist preacher and explained to them his mission. After hearing what he had to say, the elder of the two men said:


“We will not take either your money or the money of the young preachers.”
Turning to the young men, and looking them full in the face, Dr. Kimbrough added: “Young men, you are in a mighty bad business. I believe you ought to give it up. In the meantime, I will be grateful if you will help me in the work in which I am engaged.”


Following this appeal, the robbers gave him $5 each for the young preachers, whereupon the faithful minister mounted his horse, and all rode away, going in different directions.


I. B. Kimbrough was a fearless ambassador of Jesus Christ!


Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. (Thompson/Cummins) pp. 261 – 262.



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176 — June 25 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 Martyrs: Triumphant in the Flames


Thomas Hawkes, who, with six others, was condemned to death on February 9, 1555.  Hawkes was a young man of good stature who had been in the service of the Earl of Oxford. He was well versed in the Scriptures, and thus he had refused to have his child baptized in the Roman church. After being arrested, he was held prisoner in the gatehouse for many terrible months as he was being tried by the infamous Bishop Edmund Bonner of London. After Hawkes endured the agony of the long incarceration, Bishop Bonner finally decided upon the death penalty.



A short while before Hawkes’s death, a group of his friends promised to pray for him in the dread hour of trial and asked for a sign if he realized that Christ was with him in the torture. He agreed with their request and decided that he would lift up his hands in token that he was at peace.


The day of his execution—June 25, 1555—arrived, and Hawkes was led away to the stake by Lord Rich where Hawkes would become a fiery sacrifice on the altar of religious prejudice. When he came to the post where he would be burned, a heavy chain was thrown around his waist, and he was secured. After bearing witness to those close at hand, he poured out his heart to God in prayer, and the fire was kindled. The sun shone brightly on those assembled to see him die, but a group of friends stood praying and straining eager eyes for the gesture of victory.


The victim did not move and slowly the flames enveloped his body. When he had continued long in it, and his speech was taken away by violence of the flame, his skin drawn together, and his fingers consumed with the fire, so that it was thought that he was gone, suddenly and contrary to all expectation, this good man being mindful of his promise, reached up his hands burning in flames over his head to the loving God, and with great rejoicing as it seemed, struck or clapped them three times together. A great shout followed this wonderful circumstance, and then this blessed martyr of Christ, sinking down in the fire, gave up his spirit.


Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. (Thompson/Cummins) pp. 260  – 261.



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175 — June 24 – This Day in Baptist History Past


Second-Generation Preacher Makes Good


Horatio Gates Jones


We have already considered the Reverend David Jones, America’s first Baptist chaplain to the military. Jones had served under General Horatio Gates in 1776 and apparently was so impressed with the General that he named his youngest son “Horatio Gates Jones” at the baby’s birth on February 11, 1777, in Chester County, Pennsylvania. The young Horatio Jones grew to maturity in Chester and Bucks Counties and availed himself of the education that the local school provided. At age nineteen, he was sent to an academy at Bordentown, New Jersey, and studied there under the celebrated Dr. William Staughton. On June 24, 1798, the young man professed his faith in Jesus Christ and was baptized and welcomed into the membership of the Valley Church. Horatio returned to farming, but being a gifted speaker, he soon acquired a prominent position politically. Conviction that he had been called to preach, however, overcame all political aspirations. The Valley Church recognized his divine call and licensed him to preach in September of 1801. He ministered throughout the region until he was asked to accept the pastorate in Salem, New Jersey. He was ordained there on February 13, 1802. On that occasion, his aging father gave him the charge, saying “My son, in your preaching, don’t put the rack too high. Some ministers put the rack so high that the little lambs can’t get a bite. Put the rack low, and then the old sheep can get the fodder, and the lambs too.” In 1812 Brown University conferred on him the degree of Master of Arts, and in 1852 the University of Lewisburg made him their first chancellor and bestowed on him their first Doctor of Divinity degree. The Reverend Horatio Jones passed into the presence of the Lord on December 12, 1853.



Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. (Thompson/Cummins) pp. 258 – 259.



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174 — June 23 – This Day in Baptist History Past


When Medley Found Harmony With God


Samuel Medley, who had been born on June 23, 1738, at the age of sixteen when war broke out between England and France in 1755 was glad at the thought that he might be able to finish out his apprenticeship in the cloth trade in the British navy. Thus Samuel found himself in the famed Battle of Cape Lagos.  He was wounded as the battle raged, and the greater part of the calf of one of his legs was shot away. The leg did not heal, and in time, the ship’s surgeon told him that gangrene had set in and amputation was imperative. Young Medley was filled with horror, and the doctor granted one more day before surgery. Medley began to think of his godly father and grandfather and remembered a Bible in his trunk. Sending for it, he spent the night reading the Bible and praying. The next morning when the surgeon returned, he was amazed at the healing that had begun, and no operation was necessary. Rather than being led to repentance, Medley rejoiced in his good fortune and turned again from the Lord.


Having to convalesce before continuing to pursue his aspirations of advancement in the navy, Samuel Medley went to his grandfather’s home in London.  The elderly gentleman witnessed to and warned his grandson, but young Medley was unconcerned. Then one Sunday evening the grandfather chose to read Medley a sermon by Dr. Isaac Watts, and the Holy Spirit brought conviction and worked a wonderful transformation in the young sailor’s life. What a change resulted! Day by day Samuel Medley studied in his grandfather’s library. He was twenty-two years old now, and there was no time to lose. He was baptized in December of 1760 by Dr. Gifford. He learned both Hebrew and Greek and prayerfully studied the Word of God.


Medley’s usual day began in the study soon after his 4:00 A.M. rising. Private devotions and study were observed until ten o’clock, and then the various pastoral responsibilities among his people took place. He loved to witness to the sailors in his seaport city, and he had a keen interest in youth. The pastor loved music and wrote much poetry that found its way into useful hymns.


The man of God approached death in his sixty-first year, and on his deathbed he said, “ ‘I am now a poor shattered bark, just about to enter the blissful harbour: and O, how sweet will be the port after the storm.’…His last words were, ‘Glory! Glory! Glory! Home! Home!’ He died on July 17th, 1799,”and thus ended a glorious journey in the grace of God.


Dr. Dale R. Hart:: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. (Thompson/Cummins) pp. 257 – 258.



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173 — June 22 – This Day in Baptist History Past


She Kindled the Fires to Burn the Anabaptists


Hendrick Terwoort was not an English subject but a Fleming by birth and of a fine mind. Persecuted in his own land for his love for Christ, he fled and asked protection of the Protestant Queen Elizabeth, the head of the English Church. Terwoort ultimately discovered that he had misplaced his confidence, for Elizabeth had him roasted alive at Smithfield, June 22, 1575.  While in prison, Terwoort wrote a confession of faith that rejected infant baptism and held that a Christian should not make an oath or bear arms, that Anabaptists “believe and confess that magistrates are set and ordained of God, to punish the evil and protect the good,” that they pray for them and are subject to them in every good work, and that they revere the “gracious queen” as a sovereign. He sent a copy to Elizabeth, but her heart was set against him. At the age of twenty-five, Terwoort was put to death because he would not make his conscience Elizabeth’s footstool.


Terwoort was not a singular case. Bishop Jewel complained of a “large and unauspicious crop of Anabaptists” in Elizabeth’s reign. She not only ordered them out of her kingdom, but in good earnest, kindled the fires to burn them.   Baptists were hated by the bishops, who falsely accused them of having no reverence for authority, seeking to overthrow government, being full of pride and contempt, being entirely interested in being schismatic, and desiring to be free from all laws. They were considered great hypocrites, feigning holiness of life.


Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. (Thompson/Cummins) pp. 255-256.



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172 — June 21 – This Day in Baptist History Past


An Ambassador for Jesus Christ


George Pleasant Bostick was the fifth son of fifteen children, three of whom became missionaries to China. These three gave a total of 110 years to reaching the Chinese with the gospel of Jesus Christ. For many years their mother prayed that God would call at least one of her sons to be a preacher of the gospel. When G. P., as he was affectionately known by his family and friends, answered God’s call to China, she was apprehensive, but later when her youngest son, W. D., and youngest daughter, Addie, also went to China, she exclaimed with joy, “If I could feel as confident and happy about the other children as I do about these three, I would be willing for them to go to China. What a privilege and honor!”


G. P. Bostick was converted to Christ at an early age and was shortly afterward baptized into Floyd’s Creek Baptist Church in North Carolina. Soon after, he had a clear and definite call to preach. The church recognized his call and licensed him to exercise his gifts. He was later ordained at the New Hope Baptist Church near Raleigh, North Carolina. He was a joyful ambassador for Christ, yielding to God fifty-two of the sixty-eight years of his life.


He experienced deep sorrow in losing the wife of his youth and, later, the fine consecrated missionary whom he met in China and married. In both instances, he was a great distance from home when they died suddenly, and both were buried before he could return home. While on furlough, Bostick met and married Lena Stover. She assumed the responsibility for his family and was his devoted wife for the last fourteen years of his life. He contracted typhus fever and never fully recovered. On the occasion of his death, she testified, “He loved life in all its fullness, for God and family and humanity. He died as he had lived. I have never seen such a passing; a going out, as it seemed to me. He was in a coma…On the borderline he called the names of loved ones who had gone on before.” He joined those loved ones June 21, 1926. George Pleasant Bostick was one of those early pioneer missionaries who opened a great nation to the gospel of Jesus Christ. God grant us leadership in world evangelism with the same devoted, courageous, pioneer spirit.


Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. (Thompson/Cummins) pp. 254-255.



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171 — June 20 – This Day in Baptist History Past


They Gave Themselves to the Lord as a People of God


It is interesting to note how our Lord took humble people across great stretches of ocean, planted them on a vast continent, brought them together, and established local churches. Generally, they were feeble numerically, but the seed sown was nurtured and, during times of spiritual awakening, multiplied amazingly. It is interesting to see how the churches of the Philadelphia Association of Regular Baptists began. The church at Montgomery is an example.


In the year 1710, John Evans, and Sarah, his wife, from a church in Carmarthenshire, in South Wales, (James James, minister) came over and settled in Montgomery aforesaid. In 1711, came John James and Elizabeth, his wife, from Pembrokeshire, members of the church at Rhydwillym, (John Jenkins, minister) and settled in the same neighborhood. After some time Mr. Abel Morgan visited them, and preached to as many as came to hear, at the house of John Evans; and after his visiting for sometime, as often as he could, several persons were proposed for baptism, which was administered by Mr. Morgan. In the year 1719, it was moved to them either to join with some neighboring church, as that of Pennepek, being the nighest, or to be settled in gospel order as a distinct church by themselves. Upon which they consulted, and concluded, by reason of the distance of the place and diversity of the language, they understanding very little English, to be rather a church by themselves. Their conclusion being approved by Mr. Morgan, a day was set apart for the solemnizing of this great work, being the 20th day of June, 1719; and Mr. Abel Morgan, and Mr. Samuel Jones, being spent in fasting and prayer, with a sermon being preached by Mr. Morgan, suitable to the occasion, they proceeded. Being asked whether they were desirous and willing to settle together as a church of Jesus Christ, they all answered in the affirmative; and being asked whether they were acquainted with one another’s principles, and satisfied with one another’s graces and conversation, it was also answered in the affirmative; and then for a demonstration of their giving themselves up, severally and jointly, to the Lord, as a people of God and a church of Jesus Christ, they all lifted up their right hand. Then they were directed to take one another by the hand, in token of their union, declaring, at the same time, that they had given themselves to God, so they did give themselves to one another by the will of God, 2 Cor. 7:5, to be a church according to the gospel; to worship God and maintain the doctrines of the gospel, according to their ability, and to edify one another. Then were they pronounced and declared to be a church of Jesus Christ; a right hand of fellowship was given to them as a sister church, with exhortations and instructions suitable to the station and relation they now stood in; and the whole was finished with solemn prayer to God for a blessing on the work of the day. Their number, nine or ten persons.


It is true that “from small acorns mighty oaks are grown.” Our spiritual fathers were more concerned with purity of doctrine and life than large numbers. God’s heritage is a “little flock.”


Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from:  This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. (Thompson/ Cummins) pp. 253 -254.




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