August 18, 2014 · 9:44 AM
First Baptist Meeting House
Founded the First Baptist Church of Boston
On August 18, 1666 the Assistants’ Court of Massachusetts decided that Thomas Gould could be freed after him and Osborne, a fellow Anabaptist, paid a fine and costs, but if they refused, they were to be banished. On march 3, 1668 , Gould was brought before the court in Boston, and he was recommitted to prison. These godly men, along with other Anabaptists, Drinker, Turner and George had been “disenfranchised” and threatened with imprisonment for worshiping outside of the Congregational State Church. On April 17, 1666, Gould, Osborne and George were presented before the Grand Jury at Cambridge for absence from the Congregational church “for one whole year.” In spite of giving evi-dence that they attended a gospel church regularly, “they were convicted of ‘high presumption against the Lord and his holy appointments,’ and were fined £4 each, and put under bonds of £20 each; as they would not pay their fines, they were thrown into prison.” The name of Thomas Gould was revered by early Baptists in Mass. because of his adamant but gracious refusal in 1655 to have his infant sprinkled in the church of the standing order. During a period of five years Gould was put in “seven or eight courts.” His answer was, “I did not see any rule of Christ for it, for that ordinance belongs to such as can make profession of their faith, as the scripture doth plainly hold forth.” On March 3, 1668, Gould was brought before the Court of Assistants in Boston, and he was re-committed to prison. From the trials of Gould and these men the First Baptist Church of Boston came into existence. The members suffered fines and jail but they prevailed.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 340-41.
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Tagged as Baptist history, Boston, Congregational State Church, First Baptist Church of Boston, First Baptist Meeting House, Grand Jury at Cambridge, persecution, prison, religious, spiritual, thomas gould
March 12, 2014 · 9:08 AM
He preached politics from the pulpit
1807 – Samuel Stillman, Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Boston during the Revolutionary War died on this day at seventy years of age. He was converted to Christ and baptized under the ministry of Oliver Hart when his parents moved to S.C. He later founded a Baptist Education Society in Charleston. Always weak in health he moved back to N.J. to improve his physical condition. He was called as the assistant pastor of the Second Baptist Church of Boston. After one year, he became the pastor of the historic First Baptist Church of that city on Jan. 9, 1765 where he stayed until his death. The Baptists, with only two or three exceptions stood solidly behind the Revolution. Stillman was one of the strongest proponents. His heart blazed for liberty. He despised the Stamp Act and preached against it from his pulpit. He was outraged over the inflicted Baptists of Ashfield, Mass., and authored a petition to the general court against it. The issue had to do with a general assessment for the support of the state church (Congregational). He was a powerful preacher who drew crowds from great distances including dignitaries such as, Washington, Adams, John Hancock, and Gen. Knox. He lifted high the cross, preached sin black, and hell hot and saw great revivals. His flock was scattered during the war but he returned, gathered them together again, and First Baptist was the only church in Boston that stayed open for the duration. The forty-two years he spent in Boston covered the great debates of the Revolution, the war itself, the birth of the nation, the Federal Constitution, and the presidencies of Washington, Adams, and Jefferson. Samuel Stillman was a remarkable man for remarkable times. But history shows that God always has His man for the times.
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Tagged as Act, Adams, Baptist Education Society, Baptist history, baptized, Boston, Christ, cross, First Baptist Church, First Baptist Church of Boston, Health, HELL, John Hancock, Oliver Hart, pastor, pulpit, Samuel Stillman, sin, Stamp, Stillman, Wahington, war
October 5, 2013 · 8:50 PM
Author of Soul Liberty in CT
1772 – Stephen Smith Nelson was born to Thomas and Ann Nelson of Middleboro, Mass. His conversion to Christ was at age fourteen and he was baptized by William Nelson, a near relative, and became a member of the Baptist church in his home town, whose pastor was the celebrated Isaac Backus, the great advocate of religious liberty. Stephen graduated from Brown U. in 1794, and continued his studies under Dr. Samuel Stillman, the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Boston. At 24 he was licensed to preach, and after filling the pulpit at Hartford Conn., he was ordained in 1798. The church met in several places including the old courthouse, and though it was crude in appearance, and they had rough furniture, they experience the remarkable presence of God, and more than one hundred converts were baptized into the church. Nelson took an active part in preparing “The Baptist Petition,” a remonstrance addressed to the Conn. Legislature, supporting absolute soul liberty, which was accomplished in 1818, with the disestablishing of the state church. He was also one of those appointed by the Danbury Baptist Association to write a congratulatory letter to Thomas Jefferson which was answered with the famous “Wall of Separation” quote which we still here about today. Nelson ended his life in Amherst, Mass., preaching to feeble and destitute churches. He always enjoyed a fruitful ministry wherever he preached. He died at 82 years of age in 1853. [Wm. B. Sprague, Annals of the American Pulpit (New York: Robert Carter and Bros., 1865), 6:366. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. 545-46.] Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon
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Tagged as Ann Nelson, Baptist history, baptist petition, Boston, Brown University, Danbury Baptist Association, First Baptist Church of Boston, God, Isaac Backus, licensed, pulpit, Samuel Stillman, soul liberty, Stephen Smith Nelson, Thomas Jefferson, William Nelson