Christ the greatest Treasure of all
1870 – Henry Novotny entered seminary, and in his continuing studies of scripture, he arrived at Baptist convictions. He was immersed on Feb. 12, 1885, by Pastor Charles Ondra in the largest Baptist church in Europe in Lodz, Russian Poland. However, Baptist work in Yugoslavia has never featured much success in the way of numerical growth. At one point the Baptists of that country wanted to print Pilgrim’s Progress but didn’t have the funds when they received a large gift from the First Gypsy Baptist Church in Bulgaria. This church had been founded by Vinko Vacek, a native of Yugoslavia, who had immigrated to Detroit, Mich. to seek employment around the time of World War I. One evening his attention was aroused by the music and message from a street meeting, being conducted, by a Czech Baptist Church. He followed the crowd to the church building, where another service was held, and soon afterwards received Christ as Savior, and became active in that local assembly. After the War an appeal was made for missionaries to go to the Balkans and Vinko responded and was sent toYugoslavia, with his family by the Southern Baptist Convention Missions Agency. Vinko was called home at the age of fifty-eight, but not before he planted the Word in many hearts, including founding First Gypsy Baptist Church of Bulgaria. A Gypsy band broke into a home of a peasant family in Yugoslavia but ran away when the farmer came back. All they got was a book. They searched in vain for money between the leaves, but found none. They got someone to read it to them, and found Christ instead, Who is the greatest Treasure of all. [Rushbrooke, James H., The Baptist Movement in the Continent of Europe (London: Carey Press, 1923), p. 165. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. 602-04.] Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon
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A Baptist by Conviction
1817 – Rev. Adoniram Judson, Sr. and his wife Abigail were immersed by Dr. Thomas Baldwin into the membership of the Second Baptist Church of Boston, Mass. They were the parents of Adoniram Judson, Jr. who was the renowned missionary to Burma. The elder Judson had graduated from Yale in 1776 and held strong to Puritan theology, especially repudiating Unitarianism and the Arian heresy that was rampant at that time. He became the pastor of a conservative Congregational church in Malden, Mass. During his brief ministry there, liberalism spread to the church family, and he was “dismissed” from the church. In time the Lord opened another place of service, but again he had to endure the trial of his son, and namesake, embracing agnosticism at Brown University. After Adoniram, Jr’s conversion to Christ, and later embracing Baptist convictions on his trip to the mission field, Adoniram, Sr. also came to the same conclusion concerning believer’s baptism, and rejected his pedobaptism, and resigned from the Congregational ministry. He continued to live faithfully as a Baptist until the Lord called him home in his seventy-fourth year. [Courtney Anderson, To The Golden Shore (Boxton: Little, Brown and Company, 1956), pp. 3-11. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp.476-477] Prepared by Dr. Greg Dixon
The Baptists Withstood the Communists
1867 – Nikita I. Voronin, having received the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Savior, was baptized by Brother M. Kalveit in the Kura River in the city of Tiflis, now called Tbilisi. From this humble beginning came the first Baptist church in Russia in 1869 with N.I. Voronin as the first pastor. Voronin, a wealthy merchant had come to Baptist convictions some time earlier but could find no one to baptize him. This was the first known baptism in Tsarist Russia. Brother Kalveit had moved to the Caucasian region from Lithuania where he had been a part of the German Baptists. Baptists grew rapidly in Russia, and by the twentieth century they were ranked as the third largest community of Baptists in the world. They have been persecuted greatly, both under the Tsars (influenced by the Russian Orthodox State Church) and later by the Communists. The “Evangelical Christians” (Baptists), withstood the Communists during the reign of terror. [Alexander de Chalandeau, The Churches in the USSR (Chicago: Harper and Company, w 978), p.2; This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp 455-456]
Prepared by Rev. Dale R. Hart – email@example.com
Earnest Study of Gods’ Word Will Make You Baptist
King charles the Second was proclaimed King of England on May 8, 1660. He was known as the “Merry Monarch,” and some religious toleration dotted the political horizon during his rule in which several interesting Baptists came to the fore. Mr. John Gosnold had been a minister of the established church, and during the civil unrest, he made the Scriptures the center of his thinking. Following earnest study he converted to Baptist convictions, and was chosen pastor of a Baptist congregation at the Barbican in London. His preaching was very popular, and he drew vistors from every denomination. His audience was usually composed of three thousand.
Carolus Maria DuVeil, a man who had been born into a Jewish home in Mentz, France. He was educated in Judaism, but as he began comparing the prophetical books of the Old Testament with the New, he was convinced in his heart that Jesus was indeed the promised Messiah! When he embraced Christianity, his father was incensed, and attempted to kill Carolus with a sword. Carolus became quite well known and the bishop of London sought his friendship which procured the use of the bishop’s library. There he discovered writings of the english Baptists, and being an honest inquirer, he discovered that the Biblical hermeneutics of the Baptists caused him to realize that they were in agreement with the Word of God. At that time Carolus sought an interview with reverend Gosnold. In the course of time Carolus was immersed by the Baptist pastor, and became a member of the Baptist church.
Dr. Dale R. Hart, adapted from: This Day in Baptist History III (David L. Cummins) p.p. 266 – 268
“And then went on and declar’d the Marriage Covenant”
November 24, 1800 – Susanna Backus quietly departed this life, five days before her 51st wedding anniversary. Through a painful, debilitating illness, Susanna said, “I am not so much concerned with living or dying, as to have my will swallowed up in the will of God.” Susanna Mason was born in Rehoboth, Massachusetts, in or around 1724. Her great-grandfather had been a soldier in Oliver Cromwell’s Roundhead Army. The families were Baptists in background, and she was converted in 1745 and joined the Separate church and maintained her Baptist convictions when she married Isaac Backus. Backus, not fully persuaded of Baptist principles relating to pedobaptism at that time, became “fully persuaded” and became one of the leaders among the Baptists and exercised great influence in relation to freedom of conscience in the formation of our nation. At their wedding on Nov. 29, 1749, Isaac refused to permit any of the frivolous merrymaking which normally took place at New England marriages, because he considered it a solemn ordinance of God. The wedding took place in her father’s house and was performed by a justice of the peace as was the custom. But Isaac got permission to transform it into a religious ceremony. “Br. Shepherd read a Psalm and we Sung; then we went to prayer and the Lord did hear and Come near to us. And then I took my dear Sister Susanna by the hand and spoke Something of the Sense I had of our Standing in the presence of God, and also how that He had clearly pointed out to me this Person to be my Companion and an helper meet for me. And then went on and declar’d the Marriage Covenant: and She did the same to me…Then I read, and we sung the 101 Psalm after that I preached a Short Sermon from Acts 13:36.”
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins /Thompson/ , pp. 489-91.