Blessed is the Peacemaker
1880 – BAPTISTS EVANGELIZED THE SLAVE POPULATION IN THE SOUTH AND STARTED THE FIRST AFRICAN BAPTIST CHURCH IN AMERICA – Dr. J. B. Jeter
died on February 18, 1880. Jeremiah Bell Jeter had accepted the call to the 1st BC of Richmond, VA in 1836 and realized that the segregated space for the 1,384 black members was not large enough. After studying the matter for two years he recommended that the congregation give the facility for the First created African Baptist Church, and build a new building for the white folks which they did. He then prevailed on Robert Ryland, President of Richmond College, to be the pastor of the African church. Jeter was born on July 18, 1802, and was saved in an old fashioned camp meeting, and baptized while a teenager, in Dec. 1821. After he was baptized, he gave a public testimony and within a few weeks preached his first sermon, and was ordained May 4, 1824. They say that he was not a great orator but he baptized over 1,000 people in 9 years. The records show that in the 14 years as pastor he baptized another 1,000. In 1842 one protracted meeting lasted for five months which saw 167 members added by baptism. Pastor Jeter was very mission minded and when Adoniram Judson came to Richmond he gave the welcoming address. He served as President of the Virginia Baptist Foreign Mission Society and was on the Board of Managers of the Triennial Convention of American Baptists. After the division took place he served as president of the Southern Foreign Mission Board also. At the close of the Civil War, Dr. Jeter became the editor of The Religious Herald and sought to be a reconciler between the Baptists of the North and South. He served in that capacity until his death.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 67.
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