The ground is level at the cross
Sept 28, 1930 – Charles Evans Hughes, chief justice of the United States Supreme Court presented himself for membership in a Baptist church in Washington, D.C. It was the custom of the church to invite the new members to come forward and introduce them to the congregation. On this same morning a Chinese laundryman had come for membership, having moved to the Capitol from San Francisco. A dozen others came forward and stood on the opposite side of the pulpit from the Chinese man named Ah Sing who stood alone. Chief Justice Hughes was called who took his place beside Ah Sing. After welcoming the new members into the church the pastor said, “I do not want this congregation to miss the remarkable illustration of the fact that at the cross of Jesus Christ the ground is level!” Charles Evans Hughes had been born into the family of a Baptist pastor. Early in life he responded to the gospel and was saved. During his entire political career he was a faithful witness to the gospel of Christ. He served two terms as Gov. of New York. He was defeated for President in 1921 by Woodrow Wilson. He served twice on the Supreme Court, the last time he was appointed by Pres. Herbert Hoover. He had a reputation of “fearless integrity”. [“Hughes, Charles Evans,” Microsoft Encarta 97 Encyclopedia. 1993-96 Microsoft Corp. Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, pp. 531 – 32.
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He endured to the end
1737 – BAPTIST PASTOR TESTIFIES OF THE PEACE OF CHRIST AT THE TIME OF DEATH IN LATE 18TH CENTURY ENGLAND – Pastor Andrew Gifford and his congregation dedicated a new facility in Eagle Street, Red Lion Square London on February 20, 1737. He had served as an assistant pastor in both Nottingham and Bristol before becoming pastor of the Little Wild Street Church in London on Feb. 5, 1729. Because of difficulty a majority of the members left in 1736 which led to the new church edifice mentioned above. Andrew was born into a godly home in Bristol, England, August 17, 1700. His father, Emmanuel Gifford, had suffered much difficulty because of his dissenting principles, and his grandfather had been imprisoned four times because of his biblical faith. Andrew received Christ and was immersed at 15. Pastor Gifford served the flock on Red Lion Square for nearly 50 years and the building had to be enlarged twice to accommodate the crowds. Gifford was recognized for his knowledge of ancient manuscripts and coins. His own collection of rare coins was the most valuable in Great Britain and King George II purchased it for his own. In 1754 he received the Doctor of Divinity Degree from Marischal College, Aberdeen, and in 1757 he was appointed assistant librarian of the British Museum. He was a warm friend of George Whitefield and preached for him many times. Three days before he died, he said, “I am in great pain, but, bless God, this is not hell! O, blessed be God for Jesus Christ!” When the end was near, he whispered, “O, what should I do now, if it were not for Jesus Christ!” What should I do now, if it were not for an interest in Jesus?” He died on a Saturday morning, June 19, 1784, and was buried in Bunhill, July 2, at 6 am. John Ryland brought the message. There were 200 ministers and a vast crowd present. He bequeathed his library and manuscripts to the Bristol Baptist College.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 70.
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Revival in France
1853 – The publication Progres de L’Oie of France gave an account of an exhumation that took place when Napoleon III was emperor, and the Roman Catholic cMlergy had full control over the government. The event took place in the little village of Chelles near the city of Campiegne where the well-to-do Andru family lived. J.B. Cretin, a Baptist pastor, witnessed to them and seeing the errors of Romanism they received Christ, which produced a small gathering every Lord’s Day for worship and study. The group increased and people began to come from neighboring villages to hear the gospel. This brought about the anger of the local priest who did all in his power to stop the meetings. The only child of the Andru family was driven from the school; and Mr. Andru couldn’t get reapers at harvest time, for the priest threatened excommunication to anyone who helped. When grandfather Andru died, who had also been saved, Pastor Cretin was asked to bury him. Permission was granted by the mayor, in that this was the first non-catholic to be buried there, and more than 400 came to the funeral where they heard the gospel preached. The priest was livid, so he hired town drunks to dig up the body and rebury it in an area with suicides. The Bishop came and cleansed the ground. The mayor found a loophole to allow it and was found some months later hanged at his home and was buried with the suicides, private scandals led another official who had helped in the cover-up to shoot himself, and the priest was convicted of immorality and had to leave the parish. Henri Andru was called to preach and a great Revival broke out in that area.
[.Dean R. Kirkwood, European Baptists: A Magnificent Minority (Valley Forge, Pa.: American Baptist Churches USA, 1981), p. 14. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 641-42.]
Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon
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Missionary to the Outcasts
We are familiar with many of our great forefathers. Frequently, however, we are unaware of some of those who assisted and worked alongside those better-known men. George Bana Boardman is such a person. He was born in Livermore, Maine, on February 8, 1801, the son of a Baptist pastor. He was ordained at North Yarmouth, Maine, on February 16, 1825. With his wife, he sailed on July 16 of that same year for Calcutta, India. There they remained until March 20, 1827, when they embarked for Amherst, Burma, to assist the well – known Adoniram Judson. They arrived in Burma only days after the burial of Mrs. Ann Judson.
It was decided that the Boardmans should move to the province of Tavoy and establish a mission at its principal town, which was also called Tavoy. In April 1828, they began their missionary work in that place. The Karens, who had long been oppressed by the Burmese, held a tradition that at some time messengers from the West would bring to them a revelation from God. They were prepared to receive our missionaries and their message. Two converts were soon won, one of whom was Ko Thah-byu, who served as an evangelist to his own people.
Just days before George Boardmans death, he was carried by a cot on the shoulders of the Karens for a three day journey to a zayat built by faithful disciples. More than a hundred were already assembled, nearly half of whom were candidates for baptism. At the close of the day, his cot was placed at the riverside as they gathered to witness the first baptism ever held in that region. The Boardmans left the next day to return to Tavoy, while on the second day of the journey, February 11, 1831, George Boardman went to his eternal rest.
Dr. Dale R. Hart, adapted from: This Day in Baptist History III (David L. Cummins), pp. 79-80.
December 20, 1822 – Samuel Green was born in Falmouth, England. We know little about his conversion to Jesus Christ and call to preach, but we do know that he was a Baptist pastor from 1844-1851. After that time he gave himself to the field of education and literary work. Being aware of the need of an educated clergy, Green gave himself to teaching at Rowdon College from 1851 to 1863 and served as President from 1863 to 1876. In 1876 he became editor of the Religious Tract Society in London and served in this capacity until his retirement in 1899. In this ministry he reached untold millions of the saved and unsaved alike with the gospel of salvation and the ministry of sanctification and edification. The name of Samuel Green is one of the most important names for the furtherance of the gospel in the nineteenth century.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 531-32.
John Gifford, a Baptist Pastor…led him to Christ
November 30, 1628 – John Bunyan was born in the midst of the struggle between Christianity and infidelity. The year he was born was a great victory for freedom in the passing of the English Bill of Rights. The sum of the act was that “no man shall be taxed without the consent of Parliament, nor be arrested, imprisoned, or executed but by due course of law.” However, every attempt was made by the court (throne) to recover arbitrary power. To attain this power, horrible atrocities were perpetrated on people beyond description. Bunyan was born in the village of Elstow, one mile from Bedford. He was born into a family of Tinkers. Bunyan described them as being, “of that rank of the meanest and most despised of all the families in the land.” At a time when very few were taught to read and write his father sent him to school where John learned both but soon forgot both utterly. He gave himself over to sin, principally lying, swearing, and profaning the Sabbath. He experienced agonies of conviction. He had several brushes with death such as drowning’s and snake bite. He also served in the army and fought in the battle of Leicester. He was spared any serious injuries although he took on the wicked habits of his peers. Bunyan married a very poor, but pious, woman. She encouraged him with two books. The Plain Man’s Pathway to Heaven, and the Practice of Piety, and through this he regained his ability to read. Her affectionate compassion became a blessing and his rugged heart was softened and he felt alarm for the Salvation of his soul. Another woman who was loose and ungodly rebuked him for his cursing and said that his oaths made her tremble. Some women talking about the New Birth took him to John Gifford, a Baptist Pastor who led him to Christ, and the rest is history.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins /Thompson/, pp. 499-500.