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73 – March – 14 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


Overcoming Afflictions

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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340 – Dec. 06 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


He made it clear that all associations are entirely “voluntary”.
December 06, 1821 – The First State convention was formed in South Carolina, “for the promotion of evangelical and useful knowledge, by means of religious education and the support of missionary service among the destitute…and the promotion of the true interest of the churches of Christ in general, and of their union, love and harmony in particular.” And yet again, “The Convention shall recognize the independence and liberty of the Churches of Christ, and consequently shall not in any case arbitrarily interfere with their spiritual obligations.” Denominational colleges were begun rapidly in the states that followed the pattern of establishing state conventions. The first cohesive effort among Baptists began in 1707. It was for the purpose of educating its ministers and the spread of the gospel in the world. The growth of associations was very slow among the Baptist churches for fear of the assumption of power by the associations. It was 60 years after the Philadelphia Association that the Warren Association, of Rhode Island was formed. It was only after assurances from men like Edward T. Hiscox in his Baptist Directory (1866) did the growth of the associations proliferate. He made it clear that all associations are entirely “voluntary”. No church or individual was obligated to unite with them and they “can leave them when they wish.” The research by Robert G. Gardner reveals that in 1780 there were approximately 1066 Baptist churches in America and only 14 Associations, representing 286 churches which were less than 25%. However that was to change drastically when Luther Rice returned from the field from India. The birth of the Triennial Convention for the cause of missions, the development of associations and state conventions became a reality.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 508-10.

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