Tag Archives: African Baptist Church

Cross on beach

Blacks receive the gospel gladly
1831 – Thomas Paul, one of the first black Baptist pastors is the one that we honor on this day.  Paul was a “free black” born in Sept. 1773, and at 16 was born the second time.  On May 1, 1805 he was ordained to the gospel ministry.  Black Baptists were numerous at that time numbering an estimated 400,000 by the end of the Civil War.  However, they had few Black churches and worshiped with the white folks but segregated in galleries, or in groups within their auditoriums.  Bro. Paul formed the African Baptist Church in Boston, later called Joy Baptist, and served as their pastor for twenty years.  According to one account, He was no ordinary man…”His understanding was vigorous, his imagination was vivid, his personal appearance interesting, and his elocution was graceful…”  In time the Gold Street Baptist Church in New York invited him to help them.  Paul assisted the black’s to separate from the whites and establish the Abyssinian Baptist Church, and even though a small group, Paul remained and led them as pastor.  Because of Carey and Thomas, this was also the time that Baptists were awakening to the burden of missions.  The Mass. Baptist Missionary Society was started in 1815.  The African Baptist Missions Society was formed in Richmond, VA by black Baptists.  Paul applied to the Mass. Society for service in Haiti, was accepted and went at age 55.  However, the French language proved to be difficult and he returned home.  Thomas passed into the presence of the Lord on April 14, 1831.  What a tribute he was to the Lord and his race.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson /, p. 152.
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Blessed is the Peacemaker


died on February 18, 1880.  Jeremiah Bell Jeter had accepted the call to the 1st BC of Richmond, VA in 1836 and realized that the segregated space for the 1,384 black members was not large enough.  After studying the matter for two years he recommended that the congregation give the facility for the First created African Baptist Church, and build a new building for the white folks which they did.  He then prevailed on Robert Ryland, President of Richmond College, to be the pastor of the African church.  Jeter was born on July 18, 1802, and was saved in an old fashioned camp meeting, and baptized while a teenager, in Dec. 1821.  After he was baptized, he gave a public testimony and within a few weeks preached his first sermon, and was ordained May 4, 1824.  They say that he was not a great orator but he baptized over 1,000 people in 9 years.  The records show that in the 14 years as pastor he baptized another 1,000.  In 1842 one protracted meeting lasted for five months which saw 167 members added by baptism.  Pastor Jeter was very mission minded and when Adoniram Judson came to Richmond he gave the welcoming address.  He served as President of the Virginia Baptist Foreign Mission Society and was on the Board of Managers of the Triennial Convention of American Baptists.  After the division took place he served as president of the Southern Foreign Mission Board also.  At the close of the Civil War, Dr. Jeter became the editor of The Religious Herald and sought to be a reconciler between the Baptists of the North and South.  He served in that capacity until his death.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 67.


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