March 14, 2014 · 6:37 AM
1773 – Today in This Day in Baptist History Past, we again celebrate the life of our entry of March 9, Edmund Botsford, who was ordained into the gospel ministry by Rev. Oliver Hart, Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Charleston, S.C. on this date. The event took place in Savannah, Georgia and the sermon text was from I Tim. 4:16 – Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee. In the area of Georgia where Mr. Botsford ministered the people were a mixed multitude of emigrants from many different places; most of whom were destitute of any type of religion. Those who were religious were zealous Lutherans and other styles of church men who were violently opposed to Baptists. On one occasion he preached at the courthouse and he seemed to have the hearer’s attention when someone yelled “the rum is come.” The crowd diminished and by the time the dust settled, so to speak, the crowd had thinned and many of his hearers were intoxicated and fighting. An old gentlemen came up to him, took his horse by the bridle, bragged on his sermon and invited him to drink with him, which Botsford declined. But in that the old man invited him to come and preach, and it was accepted, Botsford went and had great success when the old man’s sons and wife received Christ. During the last fifteen years of his life Botsford suffered from a nerve disease in one side of his head that would actually cause him to go into a cataclysmic state sometimes upward of a minute and a half, and then when he would come out of it he would assume preaching. The audience was aware of an unusual presence of God in his life.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson /, pp. 104.
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Tagged as afflictions, Baptist history, Baptist History Past, Botsford, Charleston S.C., destitute, Edmund Botsford, First Baptist Church, Georgia, gospel ministry, intoxicated, Lutherans, morals, Oliver Hart, Religion, Savanna, Savannah
May 10, 2013 · 9:23 AM
Why Tarriest Thou?
At the close of the Triennial convention in May of 1814, Richard Furman on his way home to Charleston, S.C., stopped in the Nation’s Capitol. He happened to meet an acquaintance, Mr. James Monroe. Mr. Monroe said, “and you were the young preacher who fled for protection to the American camp, on account of the reward which Lord Cornwallis had offered for your head?” It seems that young Furman was not only a warm-hearted Baptist preacher, but an ardent advocate of the Revolutionary War. Everywhere, on stumps, and in barns, as well as in pulpits, he preached resistance to Britain. Colonel Monroe insisted that reverend Furman preach in the Hall of Congress. All the elite, including the President and Cabinet Ministers, would be present, for Colonel Monroe had circulated the early efforts and eloquence of the young preacher. Furman chose for his text, Acts 22:16, “And now, why tarriest thou? Arise and be baptized.” He enjoyed great freedom as he spoke, and his voice rang out as in days of old. His earnestness caught the imagination of his audience and everything built as with a grand crescendo. Catching the spirit of the hour, he rose to the grand climax of his presentation. His clear stentorian voice rang out, “And now, why tarriest thou? Arise! And be baptized.” At the word “ARISE,” several of his august audience seemed electrified and rose from their seats, as if alarmed at their past sinful hesitation. This Mr. Monroe, Colonel Monroe, soon after became President James Monroe of the United States. Reverend Furman later contributed greatly to the constitutional change, which ended the established church (i.e. state/church) in South Carolina.
Dr. Dale R. Hart, adapted from: This Day in Baptist History III, (David L. Cummins) p.p. 270 – 272
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Tagged as Baptist history, baptist preacher, Charleston S.C., current-events, Hall of Congress, human-rights, James Monroe, Lord Cornwallis, Nation's Capitol, politics, President Monroe, pulpits, Religion, Revolutionary War, richard furman, triennial convention, Why tarriest thou
February 27, 2013 · 1:51 PM
He was known as the “Patriot Pastor”
Samuel Stillman, known as the “Patriot Pastor” was born in Philadelphia on Feb, 27, 1737. At age eleven his family moved to Charleston, S.C. where he came under the ministry of Rev. Oliver Hart. He had been saved as a youth, but it was here that he was immersed, and felt the call to preach and entered into training under his pastor. Soon after his ordination he took charge of a church on James’ Island. He received an A.M. degree from both the College of Philadelphia and Harvard. He pastored the Baptist church at Bordentown, N.J. and then became the Asst. Pastor of the 2nd Baptist Church of Boston. From there the First Baptist Church of Boston called him to be their pastor on Jan. 9, 1765, where he spent the remainder of his life. Boston became the hot-bed of revolutionary activities and Pastor Stillman was right in the middle of it all. The historian, Dr. Magoon, called him “that distinguished patriot…the universally admired pastor of the First Baptist Church. He was small of stature, but great of soul…In the presence of armed foes, he preached with a power that commanded respect.” Men like John Adams, Gov. John Hancock, and Gen. Henry Knox attended his services regularly. The British desecrated his church sanctuary when they occupied Boston and mocked him in charcoal drawings…” His last words were, “God’s government is infinitely perfect.” He then entered into the Lord’s presence on March 12, 1807.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, adapted from: This Day in Baptist History III (David L. Cummins), pp. 116 – 118.
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Tagged as Charleston S.C., college of phiadelphia, Gen. Henry Knox, Gov. John Hancock, harvard, immersed, james island, John Adams, ordination, pastored, Patriot Pastor, Philadelphia, Samuel Stillman
January 1, 2013 · 7:18 AM
“Teach me to study Thy glory in all I do. Amen!”
December 31, 1795 – Was the occasion of Oliver Hart’s death. Dr. Richard Furman said, “From a part of his diary in my possession, it appears that he took more than ordinary pains to walk humbly and faithfully with God; to live under the impressions of the love of Christ…” Hart wrote in his diary on Aug. 5, 1754: “Oh, that, for time to come, I may become more active for God! I would this morning resolve, before thee, O God, and in Thy name and strength, to devote myself more unreservedly to Thy service than I have hitherto done…I would begin and end each day with thee: Teach me to study Thy glory in all I do. Amen!” Oliver Hart was born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, on July 5, 1723. Early in life he was exposed to the preaching of Whitefield, the Episcopalian, the Presbyterian Tennants, and Edward and Abel Morgan, the Baptists. In those early years he made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ. After his ordination he was challenged by a call for ministers to go to Charleston, S.C. He arrived there just as the only ordained Baptist preacher, Jesse Chamber, was buried. His unexpected arrival was considered to be the will of God and the people asked him to assume the pastoral care of the church, which he did on Feb. 16, 1750 and continued for many years. When the British fleet invaded Charleston, wishing to preserve his political liberty, which was being threatened, he removed to Hopewell, N.J., where he assumed the pastorate of the Baptist church there and remained for thirteen years. Hart was another example of one who did not have a formal education but continued to improve his mind in private study. The college of Rhode Island conferred upon him an honorary degree. He helped lay the groundwork for Furman and others.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 549-50.
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Tagged as Baptist history, baptist preacher, British fleet, Bucks County Pennsylvania, Charleston S.C., church, diary, Dr. Richard Furman, Edward and Abel Morgan the Baptists, humbly and faithfully with God, Jesse Chamber, Jesus Christ, love of Christ, Oliver Hart, ordination, Presbyterian Tennants, profession of faith, Religion, richard furman, study Thy glory, teach me, Whitefield the Episcopalian