Posted: 26 Feb 2014 07:20 PM PST
He wouldn’t bend or bow 1659 – Henry Dunster died on this date February 27, 1659. He was born in England around 1612 and came to know Christ as his savior. He graduated from Cambridge in 1630 and then received his master’s degree in 1634. He was ordained as a minister in the Church of England but was grieved with its corruption and sailed for America where he was soon installed as the President of Harvard College in 1640. In those days some in the Anglican Church practiced immersion, as did Dunster. In 1641 Dunster married a widow of a minister and took her five children as his own. Two years later she died, he remarried and she had five more. During this time he came to the conclusion that visible baptism of believers alone was correct Biblically. When he refused to have an infant son sprinkled he was indicted and put on trial and convicted for disturbing the ordinance of infant baptism. Because of these firm convictions Dunster left Cambridge. Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 80.
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He knew not retreat
1876 – George Grenfell, Congo’s Pioneer and Explorer, having just married, sailed with his new bride for Africa. Within a year she succumbed to dysentery, and sometime later George remarried his second wife Rose, who was able to travel with him on many of his most thrilling journeys. George had been reared in a very religious Anglican home in England but was influenced by a Baptist Sunday school at the Heneage Street Baptist Church at Birmingham. It was during this time that he read Livingstone’s Travels and dedicated himself for service in Africa. He then entered Bristol Baptist College in 1873, but learning that his missionary hero, Alfred Saker was in England, after connecting through correspondence, accompanied him to the Cameroons, beginning his work in Africa at twenty-five years of age. In August 1877, Henry M. Stanley, having been sent to find Livingstone, appeared at the mouth of the Congo, and the world was electrified in that it had taken him three years to go from the east to the west coast. Even though the Cameroons were six hundred miles north of the Congo River, Grenfel was immediately burdened to plant the message of the cross through this great waterway. In God’s providence, a wealthy man in England provided a ship to penetrate Central Africa with the gospel that was made available for Grenfell’s use. With untold sacrifices and privations he gave himself to the work. He buried his children in Africa and grieved continually over the deaths of his fellow missionaries. But he wrote, “God’s finger points ONWARD! FORWARD! What caused him the most pain was the indifference of the home churches to sending missionaries. When his mission agency considered receding, he wrote, “It is either advance or retreat; but if it is retreat, you must not count on me, I will not be a party to it, and you will have to go on without me.” Grenfell died on July 1, 1906.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 76.
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Memorial – Brooklyn
A Noble lady persecuted
1644 – LADY MOODY FLEES RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION IN ENGLAND TO BE PERSECUTED BY PURITANS IN AMERICA – 1644. On February 22, 1644 John Endicott wrote a letter to John Winthrop, Governor of Plymouth Colony from Salem, Mass. that Lady Deborah Moody had been “excommunicated” from the Congregational Church at Salem and that a Mr. Norrice had informed him that she intended to return to Plymouth which he advises against, “unless shee will acknowledge her ewill (evil) in opposing the Churches & leave her opinions behinde her, for she is a dangerous woeman. My brother Ludlow writt to mee that, by means of a book she sent to Mrs. Eaton, shee questions her owne baptisme, it is verie doubtefull whether shee will be reclaimed, shee is so far ingaged.” Gov. Winthrop stated that she left “against the advice of all her friends. Many others affected with Anabaptism removed thither also. On her way from Mass. Lady Moody stopped for a time in New Haven and made converts to believer’s baptism and encountered once again religious opposition. Mrs. Eaton, wife of the first Governor of New Haven Colony, was one of the converts, and she too suffered persecution from the Congregational Church at New Haven. She firmly denied that baptism was to be administered to infants. Lady Moody was the widow of Sir Henry of Garsden in Wiltshire, England and came to America because of religious persecution and then received persecution from the hand of the Puritans, who themselves had fled persecution, after she got here. She settled in Lynn, Mass., where she purchased the estate of Mr. Humphrey, one of the magistrates. She had intended on being a permanent resident, but soon became a Baptist. In Dec. 1642 Lady Moody, Mrs. King of Swampscott, and the wife of John Tillton were all tried at the Quarterly Court “for houldinge that the baptizing of infants is noe ordinance of God.” Perhaps because of her position in society she was not banished from Mass. However she determined to seek shelter among strangers and in 1643 moved to New Amsterdam (New York), a settlement that was formed on Long Island, and she took a patent, which, among other things guaranteed, ‘the free liberte of conscience according to the costume of Holland, without molestation or disturbance from any madgistrate or madgistrates,
or any other ecclesiastical minister that may pretend jurisdiction over them.” It is believed that Lady Moody died on Long Island about 1659.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 73.
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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: 09 Feb 2014 02:11 PM PST
Hille Cliff today
Oldest Baptist church
on earth (in England)
Baptists in 14th Century England
1830 – HILL CLIFFE CHURCH – COUNTY OF CHESTER -THE OLDEST BAPTIST CHURCH IN GREAT BRITAIN – 1357 – James Bradford died on February 10, 1830, Pastor of the Baptist church at Hill Cliffe in the County of Chester, one of the oldest Baptist churches known in Great Britain dating back to 1357 found on a gravestone located near the ancient chapel. The members suffered greatly during the reign of the bloody Queen Mary, because on June 27, 1558, Roger Holland was martyred for his faith in Christ. Apparently it was at that time that a hole about four yards long and three yards wide was made in the sandstone beneath the chapel as a haven for those fleeing their persecutors. An outdoor baptistery of stone was uncovered when the chapel was rebuilt in 1800 showing that immersion had long been practiced. The earliest minister identified by a deed was a Mr. Weyerburton, who served the church until his death in 1594. The church had prospered under Bradford now that the days of persecution was past and according to the Baptist Magazine of July 1880, more than 1,600 came to the funeral which was preached by Moses Fisher of Liverpool which had to be conducted outside. On the gravestone it said that he was ordained Oct. 12, 1820 and was 44 years of age, Exemplary: His Ministry Useful: His Death Happy.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 56.
Hille Cliffe Baptist Church web site:
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Not many noble are called
Pg. 39 – COL. AND LUCY HUTCHINSON – NOBEL BAPTISTS IN ENGLA ND STAND FOR LIBERTY AND BAPTIST PRINCIPLES – Lucy Hutchinson was born on January 29, 1620 in the Tower of London where her father, Sir Allen Apsley was governor. Before she was grown she received Christ as Savior and gave herself to Him in wholehearted service. She married Col. John Hutchinson and then he was appointed governor of Nottingham and its castle. They exerted great influence for English liberty. John was born in 1616 and had a large estate. When the civil war broke, out five soldiers were carried to the castle, and Lucy cared for them by binding up their bleeding limbs. The Hutchinsons were Presbyterians, and became converted as Baptists upon the birth of their first child, when they began to examine the scriptures concerning infant baptism. While assisting the wounded in the castle Lucy found some notes that Baptist soldiers had left from their Bible study and prayer meeting. They convinced her of believer’s baptism. George Fox, who founded the Society of the Friends, found Col. John his chief protector when Fox was a prisoner at Nottingham. The Scripture doesn’t say, “not any, but, not many noble are called. Dr. Greg J. Dixon; adapted from: Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson/ pg. 39.
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Johann Gerhard Oncken
Baptists go to Germany
1884 – Johann Gerhard Oncken, the “Apostle of the German Baptists,” finished his course, and went home to be with His Lord. As a young Lutheran he had left his native Germany for England to serve an apprenticeship under a devout Presbyterian tradesman. He treasured his Bible, but it was only after a serious accident, and a near death encounter, that brought him to salvation in Christ after hearing a rousing sermon in a Methodist church. Immediately he desired to be a missionary and from that day he became a witness for Christ. He was sent to Germany by the British Continental Society. He united with the English Reformed Church and set out for Hamburg, Germany, but the German State Church for bid him to preach. He became an agent of the Edinburg Bible Society. During his lifetime he distributed over two million copies of the scriptures. Upon the arrival of his first child he began to question infant baptism and after studying His Bible, he longed to be immersed himself, but had to wait five years before he could. In time he found the Rev. Barnas Sears, an American studying in Germany. On April 22, 1834, seven believers were immersed at night in the river Elbe near Hamburg. This became the First Baptist Church in modern Germany, and Oncken became their pastor. Within four years churches were begun in Berlin, Oldenburg, and Stuttgart. In May of 1840, he was arrested and cast into prison, for the first, of what was to become numerous imprisonments. But the opposition merely caused spiritual advancement by the Baptists. Oncken’s work spread into Denmark, the Netherland’s, as well as Lithuania, Switzerland, Poland, and Russia. In 1860, Germany passed a law granting religious freedom. The Hamburg church seated 1400 people.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 02-03
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Conviction waned before returning
1807 – John Chin was ordained to the gospel ministry. John was the youngest son of a farming family and was born near Blanton, England, in May of 1773. He always talked in glowing terms of his parents but especially of his godly mother who instructed him early in the scriptures. John was brought, as early as eight, to his need of Christ but the conviction subsided when he was apprenticed, while a lad to a craftsman in Bristol. However he was attracted to the preaching of an independent minister named Hey and began attending the chapel at Horsely Down. It was there that he came deeply under conviction of sin and received the Savior of Calvary, was baptized, and united with the church. The pastor encouraged John to exercise his gift of preaching and door to door evangelism. From there John moved to London and became involved with the Baptist church that met in Church Street, Blackfriars. He then began to serve with Pastor Joseph Swain and the saints in Walworth. Following the death of Mr. Swain, a second church was formed, property secured, and a chapel was erected. A sizeable congregation gathered, and Mr. Chin was asked to become their pastor. Mr. Chin was preaching regularly in various places, and he did not accept an immediate call, in fact it was nearly three years before he was finally persuaded to accept the challenge and was ordained. For the next thirty-two years he served this congregation faithfully, and it was necessary on several occasions to enlarge the chapel. At the conclusion of his ministry it would seat near a thousand. On August 28, 1839, at age 66, John Chin laid aside his robe of flesh. [This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: 2000 A.D. pp. 712-14. Alfred W. Light, Bunhill Fields (London: C.J. Farncombe and Sons, Ltd., 1915), p. 69.]
Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon
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Saw the sham of French Revolution
1760 – Morgan John Rhees, was born in Glamonshire, Wales. He was provided the best educational opportunities of his time, and then at age twenty-two entered the Bristol Baptist College – England and studied under the famed Caleb Evans. During those days he became an advocate for political freedom and especially became enamored with the French Revolution. After graduation he returned to his homeland and became pastor of the Baptist church in Monmouth. Though he was being used in evangelism his interest in the political scene led him to France in an itinerant ministry. He soon saw through the sham of the political leaders in France and returned to Wales. However, to escape being prosecuted on pretext of being friendly with the French, he sailed for America in Feb. 1794, and was well received by Dr. William Rogers, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Philadelphia, and provost of the U of Philadelphia. He preached extensively through the South and West with great success, and was compared to Whitfield. He then married the daughter of Col. Benjamin Loxley, an officer of the Revolutionary War. In time, Rhees united with Dr. Benjamin Rush, one of the signers of the Dec. of Independence in purchasing a large tract of land in Pennsylvania, which in honor of Rhee’s homeland was named Cambria. A large group from Wales settled there and Rhees served them as Pastor of the Baptist church in Beulah, Penn. At the age of forty-four he took on a sudden attack of pleurisy that led to his demise on Sept. 17, 1804. Those who were there said that his home going was more of a translation than a death. [This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 670-72. William B. Sprague, Annals of the American Pulpit (New York: Robert Carter and Brothers, 1865), p. 345.] Prepared by Dr. Greg Dixon
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He repudiated infant Baptism
1790 – John Macgowan, aged 54, died and was buried in Bunhill Field, London, England. The following words marks his resting place, “Here lies John Macgowan, U.D.M., who at the hand of God merited nothing but final destruction, yet, through grace, was enabled to hope in a finished salvation.” Eph. II, 8. The letters “U.D.M.” stand for Verbum Dei Minister, i.e., “Minister of the Word of God.” During his final sickness he was visited by a pastor friend, Rev. John Reynolds, who said, “I found him in a sweet and heavenly frame; his countenance indicated the serenity of his mind. He said…hear of the loving kindness of my God. Methinks I have as much of heaven as I can hold.” Then tears of joy like a river flowed from his eyes…We are to part here; but we shall meet again. You cannot conceive the pleasure I feel…, that I have not shunned to declare (according to my light and ability) the whole counsel of God. I can die on the doctrines that I have preached – they are true – I have found them so. Go on to preach the Gospel of Christ, and mind not what the world may say to you.” Upon parting, he said, ‘My dear brother, farewell—I shall see you no more.” John Macgowan was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, about 1726, obviously into a household of penury, for at an early age he was apprenticed to a weaver to be trained for that occupation. He was converted through the influence of the Methodists, but after a thorough examination of the scriptures he repudiated infant Baptism and was immersed as a believer. He became pastor of the Devonshire Baptist Church in London at age 41 in 1767, and stayed until his death. [Alfren W. Light, Bunhill Fields (London: C.J. Farncombe and Sons, Ltd., 1915), pp. 226-27. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 645-46.] Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon
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