Scourged – Not Ordained by State Church
1771 – James Greenwood preached the gospel in the Middlesex County Jail to a number of friends who had come to encourage the prisoners. In a letter, written by John Waller from the jail he said, “Bro. Thomas Wafford was severely scourged, however because he was not ordained, he was released and did not have to serve time in prison. The early Baptist preachers in the Common Wealth of Virginia were despised by the political and religious leaders that were under the control of the Anglican Church/State system of government. These men, as the early Apostles as recorded in Acts Chapter four and five, had not been trained in the recognized seminaries of the day, and also refused to take a license to preach the gospel, but rather preached under the authority of Christ alone. This principle is made clear at Act 4:13 – Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. Because of this, until American Independence was won, they were fined, whipped, and jailed but they would not bend, bow or burn. [Robert C. Newman, Baptists and the American Tradition (Des Plaines, Ill.: Regular Baptist Press, 1976), p. 32. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 460-462.] Prepared by Dr. Greg Dixon
He started most of the Baptist churches in the Mid-lands
Joseph Reese was born in 1732 to Evan and Sarah Reese from Wales. They moved to Duck Creek, Kent County, in what is now Delaware. In 1745 the family moved into what was known in those days as the Congarees of S.C. The parents only lived for twelve more years. In 1753 Joseph married Ann Reynolds, and the Lord blessed them with nine children. After the death of Ann he married a widow named Sarah. Joseph was reared in the Anglican church but was converted to Christ in 1760 through the ministry of a Baptist preacher named Philip Mulkey who was the Pastor of the Fairforest Baptist Church. Daniel Marshall, another Separatist Baptist, with Reese, saw thirty-two people converted and started the Congaree Baptist Church in 1765 and Reese became pastor. John Newton, who was helping him and Reese were ordained on Feb. 28, 1768. Oliver Hart and Evan Pugh, Regular Baptist preachers performed the ordination. The Sandy Creek Baptist Association censored Reese and Newton for obtaining ordination at the hands of the Regular Baptists. Reese was responsible for starting most all of the Baptist churches in the Midlands. One of the highlights of his ministry was the conversion of Richard Furman who became Mr. Baptist of S.C. and became nationally known. Reese served as a chaplain during the Revolutionary War and later in the Second General Assembly in the House of Representatives from the Richmond District from 1776-1778. The last two years of his life they carried him three miles on his bed so that he could enjoy the preaching in person.
Richard Furman – Joseph Reese won him to Christ
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, adapted from: This Day in Baptist History III (David L. Cummins), pp. 120 – 122.