Tag Archives: congregation



Posted: 15 Feb 2015 04:03 PM PST


Dr. Richard Furman

When church membership meant something

On Feb 16, 1750, Oliver Hart began his ministry in Charleston, S.C. at the Baptist church that was established when William Screven led his congregation to flee when they were persecuted in Kittery, Maine.  Richard Furman who later became pastor, began his term of service in 1787.  Following are some of the terms of church membership for the Charleston church at that time.  Possibly the pendulum had swung too far to the right by then, but who can deny that in these days of “anything goes religion”, the pendulum has swung too far to the left, and in many instances, church membership has almost become meaningless.  They had three main rules for church membership.  First they were to notify the pastor of their desire for membership in time before the next communion seasons so that he could appoint the deacons or any other of the brethren that he may think proper, to visit the candidate to obtain needful information concerning their faith, character and life.  The second phase involved a period where appointed people would spend a time of fellowship with the prospective members to become better acquainted with them.  The third step would be a face to face meeting with the congregation where they would have the opportunity to ask the candidate any questions concerning their faith and repentance, etc.  If all was well, they would then be baptized and admitted to all of the privileges of the church.  Or they would accept them on receiving a letter of recommendation from the church from where they had come – The date was 1828.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon adapted from:  This Day in Baptist History III (David L. Cummins), pp. 95-97.

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116 — April 26 – This Day in Baptist History Past

Broadmead Baptist
Still exists today.
Upstairs above building
Baptists under fire
1670 – This was the day that Thomas Ewins, pastor of the Broadmead Church, the “Baptized Congregation”,  according to Edward Terrill, clerk of the church, “having layen a greate while weake, Departed this life…”  Terrill went on to say that he preached clearly “of Free grace by Faith in Christ Jesus. “  He was full of good works, showing patience and meekness toward all men, carefully searching into the state of their souls.  He was buried in James’s Yard accompanied by many hundreds to his grave.  Even his chief persecutor, Sr. Jo Knight, said, “he did believe he was gone to heaven.”  The Broadmead church was founded in Bristol, England in 1640, and Thomas Ewins, formerly an Episcopalian became pastor in 1651.  In 1661 the pastor was seized on July 27, while he was preaching and jailed for refusing a license by the Anglican State authorities.  After two months in prison he was released only to be arrested again on Oct. 4, 1663 with several others, and this time languished in prison for a year.  While there he would preach to the people from an open window from his fourth-floor cell. The church continued to be faithful and met some times out doors, and from house to house, or wherever they could escape their tormentors.  The ladies would sit on the stairs at one meeting place and sing when the authorities came to warn the men to stop preaching.  Sometimes they would hide in a cellar.  Their firmness was shown by a resolution that those who absented themselves because of fear should be dealt with as disorderly members.  We should be proud of our Baptist forbears who were so strong.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson /, p. 169.
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PASTOR: “Praise the Lord!”

CONGREGATION: “Hallelujah!”

PASTOR: “Will everyone please turn on their tablet, PC, iPad, smart phone, and Kindle Bibles to 1 Cor 13:13.

And please switch on your Bluetooth to download the sermon.”


“Now, Let us pray committing this week into God’s hands.

Open your Apps, BBM, Twitter and Facebook, and chat with God”

“As we take our Sunday tithes and offerings, please have your credit and debit cards ready.”
“You can log on to the church wi-fi using the password ‘Lord909887. ‘ “
The ushers will circulate mobile card swipe machines among the worshipers:
Those who prefer to make electronic fund transfers are directed to computers and laptops at the rear of the church.
Those who prefer to use iPads can open them.
Those who prefer telephone banking, take out your cellphones to transfer your contributions to the church account.
The holy atmosphere of the Church becomes truly electrified as ALL the smart phones, iPads, PCs and laptops beep and flicker!

Final Blessing and Closing Announcements…
This week’s ministry cell meetings will be held on the various Facebook group pages where the usual group chatting takes place. Please log in and don’t miss out.
Thursday’s Bible study will be held live on Skype at 1900hrs GMT. Please don’t miss out.
You can follow your Pastor on Twitter this weekend for counseling and prayers.
God bless you and have nice day!

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Congregational singing began


1640 — In that we have no leap year in 2014 we are going to use the entry of Feb. 29 on this date because of its importance to our Baptist churches.  This was the day that Benjamin Keach was born into the home of John Keach of Buckinghamsire, England.  By the age of 15 Benjamin became convinced of believers baptism and submitted himself to the ordinance upon his profession of faith in Christ.  By the age of 18, the society of believers that he fellowshipped with saw fit to set him apart for the gospel ministry.  At age twenty-eight he became pastor of the Baptist church in Horsleydown, London.  In the beginning they met in homes because of the persecution but finally built a meeting house which was enlarged several times up to nearly a thousand.  He wrote many treatises and apologies on the issues of his day which found him in court on many occasions.  He not only differed with the state church officials but with some of his Baptist brethren relating to doctrine and practice.  Baptists have always differed on non- cardinal issues.  One such controversy involved congregational singing.  Because of persecution, it had been necessary to avoid singing in worship until around 1680.  The whole issue turned on one point, whether there was precept or example of the converted and unconverted, to join in the singing as a part of divine worship.  Also they believed that those whom God gifted could sing as the heart dictated the melody but not by rhyme or written note.  First they only sang at the Lord’s Supper and then later after the sermon and prayer.  Some of the dissenters would leave the building and stand in the yard.  Later they withdrew and started their own non-singing church, but then started singing around 1793.  Thanks to Benjamin Keach and others we have congregational singing in our churches today.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 83.


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Andrew Gifford


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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Posted: 31 Dec 2013 05:50 PM PST


Kiokee BaptistKiokee Baptist Church



The Southern Baptist Convention begins


1771 – Daniel Marshall moved to Georgia, and by the spring of 1772, he had led a small congregation in the formation of the First Baptist Church of Kiokee and served as pastor until his death in 1784. A Georgia law of 1757 prohibited any worship not “according to the rites and ceremonies of the Church of England,” but Marshall led a “brush arbor” service. As he bowed in prayer, he was interrupted by a heavy hand on his shoulder and the declaration, “You are my prisoner!” The 65 year old preacher stood to his feet only to hear the young constable inform him that he had, “preached in the parish of St. Paul.” Mrs. Marshall quoted scripture which the Lord used to bring about the official’s conviction and conversion. The Court ordered Marshall to leave the Province of Georgia. His son remembered that he quoted scripture, “Whether it be right to obey God or man, judge ye,” and he went on his way preaching with great power. This boldness bore fruit, for the 21 year old constable, Samuel Cartledge was gloriously saved and in 1777 was baptized. After serving as a deacon in 1789, Cartledge was ordained to preach and ministered in Georgia and S.C. until his death at 93. One of his preacher descendants has referred to him as, the “Colonial Saul of Tarsus.” The Separate Baptists were led  primarily by three men; Shubal Stearns, in North Carolina, Daniel Marshall, in Georgia, and Samuel Harriss, in Virginia. It was because of their labors that caused the proliferation of the Baptists in the south and the growth of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon,  adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 01-02.


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Unleavened Bread of Truth


Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?”  1 Corinthians 5:6. 


To make good bread, you must add yeast to make it rise. In biblical times it was not possible to go to the grocery store and buy a packet of yeast, so bakers always kept a portion of the uncooked, fermented dough from days before and worked it into the new dough to prepare the entire batch for baking. It was simple. The bacterial activity of the old dough worked itself throughout the new dough until the entire lump of dough rose and was ready to be baked.


Paul used this picture to illustrate the way sin works in a congregation. If the members of the church are not careful, they will allow values and habits from their lives before Christ (old, fermented dough) to infiltrate the family of believers who are now called by God to walk in a new life. God does not want us to carry over the bad habits of our lives of sin into the new community we build with new believers according to the righteousness of God. How do we protect the holiness of our churches? We must consistently ask God to cleanse us from sin and hold each other accountable to walk in the truth of God which produces the fruit of the Spirit. (Read Galatians 5:22-24.) If we do not keep evil in check, it will eventually fill the entire church, and we will not be able to represent God effectively, much less make disciples of all nations.





Will you ask a fellow church member to hold you accountable to godliness today?


Mark Clements



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271 – Sept 28 – This Day in Baptist History Past


The Ground is level at the Cross


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 Midrosoft Corp. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 531-32.]
Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon



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247 – Sept. 04 – This Day in Baptist History Past


He Died as He was Born


1688 – “Wednesday…was kept in prayer and humiliation for this Heavy Stroak upon us, ye Death of deare Brother Bunyan. Apoynted also that Wednesday next be kept in praire and humiliation on the same Account.” John Bunyan, their most loved pastor had died on Friday, Aug. 31 while on a preaching trip to London, England. The news had not reached his congregation in Bedford until they had gathered to worship the following Sunday. Bunyan often preached to as many as 3,000 in London after spending nearly 13 years in Bedford jail for refusing a license to preach the gospel. There he had written Pilgrim’s Progress and other great works. In 1672 the Act of Pardon had set him free. He was born to a tinker (a repairer of pots and pans). He married in 1647 and was saved and baptized into the membership of Bedford church in 1655. His wife died the same year and he remarried in 1659. He had a precious blind daughter who visited him while in jail. He died as he was born, in poverty. His death came when he was exposed to a heavy rain which brought on a high fever, and in ten days the great preacher was with the Lord. [John Brown, John Bunyan His Life Times and Work (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Co., 1888), pp. 390-91.  This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 483-485.]  Prepared by Dr. Greg Dixon



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224 – Aug 12 – This Day in Baptist History Past

Baptists fight for Liberty in Virginia

1771 – The Following letter was written from Urbanna Prison, Middlesex County, Virginia. We find there were twelve Baptists in prison at one time.  Dear Brother in the Lord:   At a meeting which was held at Brother McCain’s, in this county, last Saturday, while William Webber was addressing the congregation from James 2:18, there came running toward him, in a most furious rage, Captain James Montague, a magistrate of the county, followed by the parson of the parish (Anglican) and several others who seemed greatly exasperated. The magistrate and another took hold of Brother Webber, and dragging him from the stage, delivered him with Brethren Wafford, Robert Ware, Richard Falkner, James Greenwood, and myself, into custody, and commanded that we should be brought before him for trial.  Brother Wafford was severely scourged, and Brother Henry Street received one lash from one of the persecutors, who was prevented from proceeding to further violence by his companions; to be short, I may inform you that we were carried before the above-mentioned magistrate, who with the parson and some others, carried us one by one into a room and examined our pockets and wallets for firearms, etc., charging us with carrying on a mutiny against the authority of the land. Finding none, we were asked if we had license to preach in this county; and learning we had not, it was required of us to give bond and security not to preach anymore in the county, which we modestly refused to do , whereupon after dismissing Brother Wafford, with a charge to make his escape out of the county by twelve o’clock the next day on pain of imprisonment, and dismissing Brother Falkner, the rest of us were delivered to the sheriff and sent to close jail, with a charge not to allow us to walk in the air until court day.  Blessed be God, the sheriff and jailer have treated us with as much kindness as could be expected from strangers. May the Lord reward them for it! Yesterday we had a large number of people hear us preach; and , among others, many of the great ones of the land, who behaved well while one of us discoursed on the new birth. We find the Lord gracious and kind to us beyond expression in our afflictions. We cannot tell how long we shall be kept in bonds; we therefore beseech, dear brother, that you and the church supplicate night and day for us, our benefactors, and our persecutors.   I have also to inform you that six of our brethren are confined in Caroline jail, viz Brethren Lewis Craig, John Burrus, John Young, Edward Herndon, James Goodrick, and Bartholomew Cheming. The most dreadful threatenings are raised in the neighboring counties against the Lord’s faithful and humble followers. Excuse haste. Adieu.  John Waller. [Lewis Peyton Little, Imprisoned Preachers and Religious Liberty in Virginia, (Lynchburg, VA.: J. P. Bell Co., 1938), pp. 275-76.]  Prepared by Dr. Greg Dixon

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