Patrick Henry paid his fine
1833 – JOHN WEATHERFORD, THE LAST OF THE OLD VETERAN BAPTIST PREACHERS DIED – John Weatherford, the last of the old veteran Baptist preachers, died on January 23, 1833. A little boy noticed the white, rigid seams in his hands and it left an indelible impression. In his latter years the boy learned that Weatherford had been imprisoned in the Chesterfield County jail of the colony of Virginia for five months in the year 1773. The iron bars did not hinder him from preaching through the grates to the congregation that gathered. Wicked men would stand on either side and slash his hands with knives until blood would stream down and actually sprinkle down on the people. Dr. White, the young lad, called them, ‘the martyr marks of the Lord Jesus.’ Weatherford was not released until the jail fees (room and board) were paid, which was a considerable sum. Finally they were paid by someone and he was released. Over twenty years later Patrick Henry became a neighbor to Weatherford and only then the preacher found that it was Henry who had paid his fine. As an old man he requested Newton’s song ‘Amazing Grace’ to be sung to him.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon; adapted from: Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson/ Pg. 30
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Lewis Craig grave site
The Bold Preacher Who Fled Fast
Toliver Craig and his wife, of Orange County, Virginia, were the parents of three sons who became Baptist preachers. They had very effective ministries in the area surrounding their home. David Thomas, the Regular Baptist, and Samuel Harriss and James Read, the Separate Baptists, had introduced the gospel of the grace of God into their community. It was not long until the Craig family became flaming evangels, preaching the Word of God everywhere and anytime they had opportunity. As a result of this zeal, the sons Elijah and Lewis Craig found themselves in the county jail. Elijah was incarcerated four times, twice each in Culpeper and Orange County jails. Lewis was imprisoned only twice, once in Caroline County and once in Spotsylvania County, although he was arrested four times. These imprisonments were for preaching the gospel of the Son of God without state-church ordination or state licensure, although they were charged with being vagrants, strollers, or disturbers of the peace.
These brothers probably appeared eccentric in their day, but their younger brother, Joseph, was a very unusual man. He was a man of small stature, stooping shoulders, and hardy complexion. He was very active in business and persevered as a traveling preacher. There is a court record in Orange County Court House dated May 26, 1768, charging him and several others with absenting themselves from the parish church. This may have been due to his conversion experience prior to that date and his presence at Baptist meetings. In spite of several charges against him, to our knowledge he never saw the inside of a jail, doubtless due to the fact that he was a fast runner.
Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. Thompson/ Cummins pp. 215 -216.