Tag Archives: apprehended

196 – July, 15 – This Day in Baptist History Past


Elder Elijah Craig


Polecat” Baptists – a stench to some, a blessing to others


            Bartholomew Choning, James Goolrich, and Edward Herndon were all Baptist laymen in the state of Virginia in the latter part of the 18th Century, and all had the gift of exhortation. They were fearless men and were accused of “jamming a Scripture verse down the throat of every man they met upon the road.” They were evidently apprehended and imprisoned to await trial July 15, 1771. After the trial, the court record “ordered that they be remanded back to the gaol.” John Burrus, a licensed minister, was hauled into court along with the three laymen. These men were all from Caroline County, Virginia. Then there was Elijah Craig who spent time in jail at Bowling Green, Virginia. Those from Caroline County were members of Polecat Baptist Church because of its proximity to “Polecat” Creek.  All of them had been preaching without state church ordination or proper license. The church was later named Burrus Meeting House after the venerable preacher, and when the church was moved from near Polecat Creek to the White Oak Seats the name became Carmel. Carmel Church is still located on U.S. Highway 1, just north of Richmond, Virginia, one mile West off of Interstate 95. In the churchyard there is a memorial to these men and all who suffered incarceration for the sake of the gospel. Inside the church is a famous painting by Sidney King of Patrick Henry defending the five Baptist preachers in Fredericksburg, Va., at an earlier date. The church experienced a revival under the leadership of Andrew Broadus. The church still stands today as a testimony against those who would bring our churches back under state control.


Dr. Greg J. Dixon: adapted From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 289-91.




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The Aristocrat, by Christ Apprehended, Served Humbly

The preacher who bought back his slaves and resettled them in the North

On April 5 1878 – Was the death of Dr. William H. Brisbane, who truly was the salt of the earth in that he influenced the society in which he lived by humbly and conscientiously dedicating himself to the cause of truth and righteousness.

At age fifteen he was sent to a military school at Middletown, Connecticut, from which he graduated with honors at the age of nineteen. Shortly after graduating, he was converted to Christ, and immediately he felt it his duty to preach the gospel. His fine culture and attainments and his dedication to the work placed him in the front ranks of the Baptist ministry of the South.

Because he was a large slaveholder, the subject of slavery had taken a deep and absorbing hold upon his mind early in his life. He struggled with this question honestly and prayerfully over a period of years, and he finally concluded that slavery was morally and spiritually wrong. Because he was a man of principle, Brisbane wanted to rectify his wrongdoing as a slaveholder justly and with compassion. He expended some of his wealth and purchased some land in Ohio, and after purchasing back some former slaves that he had sold, he went to Ohio and settled them in their new homes, supplying them abundantly with their immediate needs. Dr. Brisbane then became a resident of Cincinnati, where he labored with renewed vigor in the work of the ministry.

Brisbane later moved to Wisconsin where he preached the gospel for twenty-five years. In declining age, he was known widely as a friend and champion of every good cause.

Dr. Dale R. Hart:  Adapted  from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 139-140.


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