The Missions enterprise begins
1814 – BECAUSE OF ADONIRAM AND ANN JUDSON, BAPTISTS IN AMERICA FORM THEIR FIRST MISSIONS ORGANIZATION – On February 19, 1814 Baptists in America organized for the first time to support the cause of world-wide missions. It all started in 1808 when Adoniram Judson, though unsaved entered Andover Theological Seminary. He was saved in Sept. and immediately surrendered to the ministry. During his first year he read a sermon entitled “Star in the East,” and Feb. 1809 he determined to be a missionary. In June he met Ann Hasseltine who would become his wife. In Sept. he was commissioned as a missionary; and on Feb. 5, 1812, he and Ann were married. On Feb. 6 he was ordained a Congregational minister; and on the 19th, they sailed on the brig Caravan for Calcutta, India. Their honeymoon was spent on the long voyage that ended on June 17 with their arrival after a very pleasant journey. Great changes took place for the Judson’s aboard ship. Judson, knowing that he would be located in the vicinity of William Carey and other English Baptist missionaries thought that he should be able to defend his position on the subject of baptism and began a complete investigation in the N.T. in the original languages. He was amazed to find, after a long struggle, that pedobaptism could not be found anywhere in the N.T. and came to adopt the Baptist position. It was on Sept. 6, 1812 that Adoniram and Ann Judson were immersed in the Baptist chapel in Calcutta. Later Ann wrote a friend saying, “thus, my dear Nancy, we are confirmed Baptists, not because we wished to be, but because truth compelled us to be…We feel that we are alone in the world, with no real friend but each other, no one on whom we can depend but God.” Judson wrote to the Third Congregational Church in Plymouth: “I knew that I had been sprinkled in infancy, and that this had been deemed baptism. But throughout the whole N.T. I could find nothing that looked like sprinkling, in connection with the ordinance of Baptism…” Out of this came the great missions’ effort of Baptists mentioned above that continues to this day.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 69.
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