309 – Nov. 05 – This Day in Baptist History Past


Five of their children went as missionaries


1855 – William Bagby was born and later was saved under the preaching of Rufus C. Burleson, during the time that the pioneer preacher was President of Waco University in Texas. While there, William studied theology under Dr. B. H. Carroll, and graduated in 1875, and four years later was ordained into the gospel ministry. The following year he married Anne Ellen Luther, whose father was the president of Baylor College, and also the same year, applied for missionary service in Brazil. They sailed for the field from Baltimore in 1881 and never returned to their native land. William had served the Lord for fifty-eight years when he was called home from Porto Alegre in 1939, and Mrs. Bagby had served sixty-one years when she died in Recife in 1942. The Bagby’s had nine children. Four died, but the five remaining followed them in missionary service, four in Brazil and one in Argentina. The First Baptist Church for Brazilians was organized in 1882 in Salvador, in the state of Bahia. One of the first members was an ex-priest who had come to faith in Christ while reading his Catholic Bible, but until the Baptists came could find no one to immerse him. He taught them the language and they taught him the Word. He did much of the preaching in the Salvador church. Religious freedom was unknown at that time in Brazil and the early pioneer missionaries suffered all kinds of persecution and opposition. Some were imprisoned, others were subjected to bodily injury. This persisted until Nov. 15, 1889 when the country became a Republic and the Roman Catholic Church was disestablishment and Religious freedom was proclaimed. [Frank K. Means, Advance: A History of Southern Baptist Foreign Missions (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1970), pp.242-43. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. 604-05.]  Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon


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