Tag Archives: converted

113– April 23 – This Day in Baptist History Past

Evangelist of Power
Abraham Marshall was born on April 23, 1748. He was twenty-two when he was converted and twenty-seven when he was ordained. Soon after the death of his father, Daniel Marshall, Abraham assumed the pastorate of the Kiokee Church.   At the age of thirty-eight, he mounted his horse and became an amazing evangelist, preaching almost every day on the journey coming and going. Conversions were numerous and estimated in the hundreds.  Vast crowds came to hear him.  One hot Sunday in August in the state of Connecticut, he preached to 1,300 in the morning and then, after a brief rest, addressed 1,500 at 2 pm.  On another August Sunday he preached in Poquonock in Windsor, Connecticut, to 1,500, and in the same place on September 10, he addressed 3,500, which was the largest religious rally ever held in the vicinity.
These are just a few accounts that were recorded in his journal as he preached some 197 times in seven states.

Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from:  This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, p. 165
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106– April 16 – This Day in Baptist History Past

Burning Pepper to Prevent Preaching
John Young was one of the courageous Baptist preachers in Virginia during the 18th century who suffered for the freedom to preach according to conscience. He died in a good old age on April 16, 1817.
In 1908, one of his granddaughters gave the following interesting information of John Young. “He was converted and began preaching. He, with others, was imprisoned for preaching what he believed to be the truth. His mother, who had care of his motherless children, visited him regularly once a week taking the children with her. Each preacher was in a room to himself. Each room had one small window, placed so high up in the wall that only a patch of sky could be seen, nothing on the earth. The congregations of the different ministers learned, each, which was his pastor’s window. Once a week John Young’s congregation (and I suppose the other’s too), would assemble under his window, and run up a flag, to let him know they were there and he would preach to them. In this way a great many people were converted. The authorities said, ‘ These heretics make more converts in jail than they do out ‘, so when the congregation assembled, that pastor was smoked out by burning pepper to prevent his preaching.”
Young had been arrested on June 13, 1771, ostensibly for preaching without a license.
Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from:  This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, p. 155.
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He preached through the prison grates


 1744 – John Pickett was born. When he was grown he had a strong leaning toward gaming and sports of all kinds. He became a dancing master which took him to Pee Dee, North Carolina, from his home in King George County, Virginia, around 1764. Under the preaching of Josiah Murphy in N.C. in 1766, Pickett was converted to Christ and baptized. He then began to loathe the sports and pleasures that he once loved and wrote his parents of this change. Upon the death of his father, he returned to his home in Fauquier County, and finding his friends in spiritual darkness, he began pleading with them in private, and later began preaching to them in public.   Josiah Murphy came and baptized a few, and later, Samuel Harriss and James Read came and baptized thirty-seven, and organized them into a church. Pickett became ordained May 27, 1772, and took the care of the church known as Carter’s Run. However there was much opposition. Once a mob broke into a meeting house, disrupted the service, and split to pieces the pulpit and communion table, while the magistrates issued their warrant. They seized John and took him to the Fauquier prison. He continued there for about three months, preaching through the grates, and admonishing as many as came to him, to repent and turn to God. Great numbers were awakened to their need of Christ under Pickett’s prison ministry.


Dr. Greg J. Dixon; adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 19-20.



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Blest be the tie that binds…”


1740 – John Fawcett was born, who later became the pastor of the Baptist Church at Wainsgate, England. He had been converted under the preaching of George Whitefield. At age 19 he had been baptized into the fellowship of the Baptist Church at Bradford. His ordination took place in 1765, when he became the pastor at Wainesgate. Six years later Dr. John Gill died, leaving the famed Baptist church at Southwark, London, without a pastor. Fawcett was offered the position, but upon news of their leaving Wainesgate, the congregation was filled with grief. In those days it was rare for a pastor to move, and he would live and die among the people that he served in the gospel. When the fateful day came, a van was sent from London to remove their belongings. Tearful men and women stood around and watched them carry the pastor’s things to the van. Mrs. Fawcett went back into the home weeping, and said to her husband, “I know not how to go.” He replied, “Neither do I.” At that they ordered the things to be taken off the van and placed back in the house. After the moving men and the good people had left them alone, John Fawcett sat down and wrote the beloved hymn: “Blest be the tie that binds, Our hearts in Christian love; The fellowship of kindred minds; Is like to that above.” In later years he became a Dr. of Divinity and was invited to be the Principal of Bristol College, but he died as he had lived, among his own people. King George III having read some of his writings contacted to ask him if he could do anything for him, which he declined. Later his influence with the King was used to save a man from being executed, and several others from heavy legal penalties.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon; adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 08-09.


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255 – Sept. 12 – This Day in Baptist History Past


Shanghai – 1850


Forty-two Fruitful years in China


1847 – Matthew T. Yates and his wife Eliza, his childhood sweetheart who he had married on Sept. 27, 1846, arrived in the Shanghai harbor for a most fruitful forty-two year ministry in China. Matthew’s father and mother were active in a Baptist church in N.C. where his father William was a deacon. The Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church had sponsored a tent meeting where Matthew attended and fell under great conviction for his sin. The young man went into the woods to pray and was soundly converted and then was baptized and became a member of the
Mt. Pisgah Church. Matthew soon discovered a great desire for prayer, and established a place of solitude in the woods where he sought the presence of the Lord regularly for prayer. The love of Matthew and Eliza sustained them as they served their Lord through the Taiping Rebellion, the Civil War in America, typhoons, the cholera epidemics, and their own many illnesses. [Wm. R. Estep, Whole Gospel-Whole World (Nashville: Broadman & Holmn Publishers, 1995), p. 103.This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 499-501.]                             Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon



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200 – July 19 – This Day in Baptist History Past


They named him “Christmas”


Perhaps the greatest Baptist preacher that Great Britain ever produced was the Welsh preacher Christmas Evans. Born on Christmas Day 1766 into an impoverished home, he lost his father when only nine years old, and spent the next few years with a disreputable uncle. When he was 15 he still couldn’t read but when he was 18 he was converted and joined the Presbyterians. He was six feet tall and His very presence spoke of leadership and they urged him to preach. The development of his untrained mind is an amazing story. He learned to read his Welsh Bible in one month. He read every book in the scant local libraries. “He became skilled in Hebrew, Greek and English.” With a desire to expose the Anabaptists, he studied the New Testament carefully and came to the conclusion that there were no verses that taught infant sprinkling and at least forty for baptism on profession of faith. In 1788 Christmas was immersed in the River Duar by the Rev. Timothy Thomas. He began a pastoral ministry until he was called to the Isle of Anglesea in 1791. There were two chapels and 8 preaching stations. Spiritual deadness prevailed when he began his 35 year ministry. In a short time the Isle was revived, and by 1826 the preaching stations multiplied to scores, and 28 preachers flooded the Isle with the message of grace.  He traveled to Velin Voel for an associational meeting in 1794. After two ministers had addressed the assembly in the heat of the open air, Christmas Evans was asked to speak. He spoke for 3 hours on the Demoniac of Gadara. This became his landmark sermon. He lost an eye early in life but the one eye it was said was like a brilliant star, it shined like Venus. On his death bed, he waved his hand as if with Elijah in the chariot of fire, and cried the words of an old Welsh hymn: “Wheel about, coachman, drive on!”


Dr. Greg J. Dixon: adapted From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 295-97.




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160 — June 09 – This Day in Baptist History Past


Imprisoned three times


The story of John Corbley is one of sacrifice and heroism. Born in Ireland in 1738, he came to America at the age of fourteen, settling first in eastern Pennsylvania, but later moving to Virginia, where he was soundly converted under the preaching of James Ireland. Shortly thereafter he became a Baptist preacher, and preached with such power that the Episcopal Establishment in Virginia considered him worthy of imprisonment, rewarding him shortly thereafter with a cell in the Culpeper jail. On the very site of that old jail there stands a thriving Baptist church today. When brought into court, John Corbley conducted his own defense, and was acquitted of all charges in 1768, although he suffered much abuse and physical violence later.


John Corbley was known as the ablest preacher of his day. For thirty years he directed the planting of Baptist churches in western Pennsylvania. Imprisoned three times and married three times, having buried two wives, these experiences of sunshine and shadow served only to deepen his spiritual life and magnify his usefulness. Active to the very end, he entered into rest June 9, 1803, his funeral sermon being preached by Elder David Phillips, pastor of the Peter’s Creek Baptist church. His mortal remains lie buried in the cemetery within the shadow of the old Goshen church, Whitley, Pennsylvania.


Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. (Thompson/Cummins) pp. 237–238.



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144 — May 24 – This Day in Baptist History Past


Elder James Smith


James Lemen, Sr., his wife and several of his neighbors, having been converted to the Baptist faith by an itinerant preacher from Kentucky, organized themselves into a Baptist church at a meeting held in the south room (of Lemen’s home) on May 24, 1796.


Lemen, who had served as an American soldier in the Revolutionary War, arrived in Illinois in 1786, having come from Virginia. Soon he and his family were introduced to the sterner side of frontier life. “The very summer of their arrival Mrs. Lemen’s sister and her husband, James Andrews, were killed by the Indians, and their two little daughters carried captive to Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin.


It was into that environment that in 1787 Elder James Smith, of Kentucky, visited New Design; the first Baptist preacher and the first preacher of any denomination to enter the present state of Illinois. He held a series of house meetings which were abundantly blessed. Among those who believed the word and confessed Christ were James Lemen and Joseph Ogle and their wives, and Shadrach Bond. And a goodly number of others!


Three years afterwards, in 1790, Elder Smith again visited New Design, and through his preaching others were added to the converts.


In the midst of the work Elder Smith was captured by the Indians. In the party was a Mrs. Huff with her little child. She had been under spiritual concern for some time, and while the savages were putting her to death Elder Smith fell on his knees praying for her, and in that attitude he was taken. On this account, and because of his praying and singing while they traveled, the Indians were afraid of him. He was taken to Vincennes, from whence word came through the traders as usual that he would be returned for a suitable ransom. Thereupon $170 was collected out of the poverty of the settlers, and Elder Smith was set free.


Dr. Dale R. Hart, adapted from:  This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. Thompson/ Cummins) pp. 212-213.



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136 — May 16 – This Day in Baptist History Past


The young Orator who made Good


George W. Truett was a Baptist pastor from 1867-1944.  Truett was born on May 6, 1867, at Hayesville, Clay County, North Carolina. He was converted to Christ in the Hayesville Baptist Church at the age of 19. When he surrendered his heart to Christ for salvation, he also surrendered his will to God for service. The Capitol’s east-side steps of Washington were crowded with 15,000 people, for there was not a hall or meeting place large enough to accommodate all who wanted to hear  on May 16, 1920, as George W. Truett addressed them on “Baptists and Religious Liberty.”  For one hour and fifteen minutes he held the audience spellbound. Baptists . . . have never been a party to oppression of conscience.” So he claimed:


as he spoke to members of both houses of the Congress, army and navy officials, Supreme


Court justices, editors, and citizens in every field of endeavor. . . . He chose for his subject


“Religious Freedom.”  Immediately the vast throng perceived that this supreme orator was


not trying to beguile them by some wizardry of language in behalf of his sect, but speaking


as they would have him speak for all Americans—-for what the founders struggled for and


bequeathed to mankind . . . . a free church in a free state.


Would Truett be able to make that claim today? No.    Intentional suppression of liberty of conscience in recent years has violated this historic principle.


Liberty permeates the Baptist story. And what a story it has been. In defense of liberty, Baptists emerged into history, experienced intense persecution, advanced free decision-making and worship choices for all, and made one of their finest gifts to mankind.


Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from:  This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. (Thompson/Cummins) pp. 200-201



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104 – April 14 – This Day in Baptist History Past


An Outstanding Early Black Pastor



Thomas Paul was born on September 3, 1773, in Exeter, New Hampshire. The names of his parents and their role in the community are not known. In 1789, at the age of sixteen, Paul converted and was then baptized by the Reverend Mr. Locke, and he began preaching at the age of twenty-eight. He traveled and preached for three years before settling down. In 1804 he made Boston, Massachusetts his home. A year later on May 1, 1805, Paul was ordained at Nottingham West, New Hampshire, and during the same year he married Catherine Water-house.


On August 8, 1805, twenty-four African American members met in Master Vinal’s schoolhouse and formed the congregation known as the First African Church. The white church members’ response to the separation of African American members was minimal. Boston’s two white Baptist churches assisted the congregation in its early stages and encouraged its growth. Finally, on December 4, 1806, Thomas Paul was installed as pastor of the First African Church, which was later renamed the Joy Baptist Church.


Paul presented a plan in 1823 to the Baptist Missionary Society of Massachusetts, to improve the moral and religious condition of the people of Haiti. His plan was enthusiastically accepted and he was sent as a missionary for six months. During his stay, President Boyer of the Republic of Haiti gave Paul permission to preach at public gatherings. He successfully reached many through his missionary work, but because of his lack of knowledge regarding French languages his overall success was limited.


Thomas Paul passed into the presence of his Lord on April 14, 1831.


The First African Church was an important part of the African American Boston community as it addressed issues and concerns of the day.




Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: Paul Thomas (1773–1831) – Minister, missionary, Organizes Independent Black Churches in Boston and New York, Missionary Work in Haiti – J Rank Articles





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