220 – August 08 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

1st Amendment – The Baptist influence

 

 1789 – The General Committee of Virginia Baptists wrote a letter to President George Washington commending him on his election and explaining again their position on religious liberty.  In it they stated the reason they were reluctant to support the U.S. Constitution was the absence of the security of religious freedom but that they were sure that the President would personally guarantee those rights.  Washington wrote back that he would.  However a month later, James Madison brought the first amendment, guaranteeing those rights before that first Congress.  It had the “finger-prints” of John Leland, the famed Baptist preacher from Virginia, all over it.  The amendment grew out of a conference between Rev. John Leland and James Madison. The state of Virginia has marked the historical site with a Leland-Madison State Park on Highway 20 in Orange County, Virginia. [Robert A. Baker, A Baptist Source Book (Nashville:Broadman Press, 1966), pp. 43-44. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp 433-35.]   Prepared by Dr. Greg Dixon

 

 

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