Tag Archives: Billy Hariss

111 — April 21 – This Day in Baptist History Past


The Separation was amiable

1867 – Brother Billy Hariss, colored, was ordained into the gospel ministry according to the minutes of The Baptist Church of Christ at Kiokee, Georgia.  This is but a small example of the relationship between the races during the early development of our nation, both before and after the Civil War.  Dr. John Clarke organized the Baptist church in Newport, R.I. in 1639, and “Jack”, America’s first black Baptist was baptized in 1652 and added to the membership of the church, being a “free man.”  However, many among the slave population in the South came to know Christ and outnumbered whites in the membership of Baptist churches 6-to-one in ratio.  The First Baptist Church of Richmond, VA elected Black deacons to watch over free and slave Negro members.  They also licensed certain colored men to “exercise their spiritual gifts in public.”  At least fifteen years prior to Carey ‘s sailing for India, George Lisle, the first Black ordained Black Baptist in America, went to Jamaica as a missionary.  Lott Carey, a member of First Baptist of Richmond purchased his freedom for $850 in 1813 and with Colin Teague, sailed in 1821 for Liberia and established the first Baptist church in Monrovia.  Prior to the Civil War, Abraham Marshall, pastor at Kiokee, ordained Andrew Bryan in Savannah.  It was also prior to the Civil War that John Jasper was saved and sent by his “master” to preach the gospel.  After the war the blacks desired their own places of worship and the white churches either gave them the old church and built new ones or helped the blacks build new ones.  The separation was amiable.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson /, p. 161.
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