The Creeks Reject Christ
1838 – James O. Mason was ordained to the gospel ministry, and after training at the Hamilton Literary and Theological Institution at Hamilton, NY he and his wife left to minister to the Creek Indians. James had been born on Christmas day in 1813 and raised by godly parents in the Baptist church in Granville, NY. He resigned from the mission on May 4, 1840 after it became impossible to gain a foothold in the tribe. He explained it all in a letter dated Jan. 10, 1840 in which he tells of being exposed hourly to the tomahawk and scalping knife. He said as he was walking some two hundred yards from his house he was stalked by three or four Indians and heard one of them yell, “here is the …nig(g)er missionary-shoot him.” Then he saw a flash and felt two balls pass through his coat and vest, hardly two inches from his heart. When I cried out, another one started toward me with a large bowie knife when I ran and lost them by a brook in impenetrable growth. These facts were made known to the chiefs but denied by the Indians. He went on to write that he cannot step outside without danger of being shot and when they lie down at night they fear that their house will be burned down before morning. Rev. Mason returned to New York and pastored the church where he was raised and then accepted a call to the Bottskill Baptist Church in Greenwich, NY and served with great distinction. [William Cathcart, The Baptist Encyclopedia (Philadelphia: Louis H. Everts, 1881), 2:757. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp.474-475.] Prepared by Dr. Greg Dixon
A long and arduous ministry of over forty years
December 05, 1792 – Joseph Smedley was born in Westmoreland County, England. This is where he professed Christ and became a member of a Baptist church. After emigrating to the U.S., he applied to the Fifth Baptist Church of Philadelphia for membership, and a committee was appointed to investigate the matter and report to the church. Upon investigation, they discovered that he had been excluded by a church in England, and they would need time to determine the facts. On Aug. 23, 1834, in the absence of a letter, they decided to receive him into the church based on his confession of his Christian experience and on his approval of the church’s confession of faith and discipline. It shows the importance Baptist churches placed on church membership. The following month Smedley requested a letter of dismission in order to go west, where under the advisory counsel of the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions and the employment of the U.S. Government, he became a teacher and missionary among the Indians. During this time his wife Mary Radcliff died in July of 1836 and left him in the care of seven children. In spite of this loss, he continued his ministry among the Choctaws, Creeks and Cherokees in an area of 80 miles west of Ft. Smith along the Arkansas and Canadian rivers. Smedley organized the first black Baptist church in Ft. Smith in 1856. He continued his missionary work, but the Civil War greatly curtailed his ministry. After the outbreak of hostilities, he was able to make only occasional visits to his churches. After a long and arduous ministry of over forty years, Smedley died on Aug. 27, 1877.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 507-08.