227 – Aug. 15 – This Day in Baptist History Past


Jailed for preaching without a license


1747 – William Webber was born. He was considered one of the spiritual fathers and pioneers of the gospel in Virginia. A carpenter by trade until hearing the preaching of John Waller and quickly became an exhorter.  He soon became the pastor of the Dover Church in Goochland County, VA.   Few men in Virginia suffered more persecutions than Webber. In 1771 he spent three months of confinement in the Chesterfield County jail, where he preached through the grates.  Shortly after his release he was taken from  the platform in the midst of his message and was placed in the Middlesex County Jail for forty-five days.  His crime?  Preaching without a license from the State, which was under the Anglican State Church system. These endeavors resulted in the planting of numerous strong and fruitful churches and as many as fourtee preachers were called out to spread the gospel of Christ.  [Robert B. Semple, A History of the Rise and Progress of the Baptists in Virginia (Richmond: Published by the author, 1810), pp. 422-25]  Prepared by Rev. Dale R. Hart – rom623drh2@msn.com



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