Tag Archives: First Baptist

120 — April 29 – This Day in Baptist History Past

A Call for the Ongoing of the Gospel
The mission’s magazine that was used to stir Judson

Pastors Samuel Stillman of Boston’s First Baptist Church and Thomas Baldwin of Boston’s Second Baptist Church were the prime movers behind the establishing of the mission, and the two churches issued a call to the other Baptist churches in the state to unite for the purpose of the ongoing of the gospel. The appeal was dated April 29, 1802, and the meeting was held in the First Baptist Church.  “The object of this Society shall be to furnish occasional preaching, and to promote the knowledge of evangelistic truth in the new settlements within these United States; or further if circumstance should render it proper.”  “At once they sent out their first missionaries: John Tripp, Isaac Case and Joseph Cornell. . . . The three were to find their own horses, but they were to have a weekly salary of five dollars plus expenses.  They were to keep clear of politics, to keep an exact journal, and primarily to evangelize and encourage those people so sadly deprived, by distance and isolation, of church ministries.
In 1803 the society established The Massachusetts Missionary Magazine. It was the September of 1809 issue of this magazine that Adoniram Judson was stirred so as to offer himself for missionary service to India.
Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 174
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first Baptist_BostonmeetinghouseFirst Baptist Meeting House Boston


Unregistered churches illegal

1679 – BAPTISTS MOVE INTO THEIR BUILDING IN BOSTON QUIETLY BECAUSE IT WAS ILLEGAL 17TH CENTURY – RELIGIOUS MISSION SOCIETIES   INCORPORATED IN 1646 – LAW TO BANISH BAPTISTS REPRINTED IN 1672 – On February 15, 1679, the Baptists moved into their building in Boston that they began a year earlier. This activity was carried out very quietly and cautiously because they didn’t want to alert the authorities because this activity was deemed illegal by the state church which was Congregational. Great numbers were coming out of it and going over to the Baptists because of the compromise of the Half-way Covenant doctrine and other things. In the mid-17th century the Massachusetts Bay Colony was facing the problem of children born to Congregational parents, who had been baptized (christened) as infants but had not confirmed their faith since becoming adults.  The compromise was that the church accepted their baptism but not the right to the Lord’s Supper or voting privileges. By 1677 many ministers were advocating the extension of full church privileges to the Half-Way members. This filled the church with unconverted people, deadened preaching, and lost church members.  Baptist activity increased. John Eliot, a godly man from Roxbury, had begun evangelizing Indians around 1646 and incorporated a society to promote the work. He formed 12 praying societies among the Indians. These were scattered during the King Philip’s War with the Indians. In spite of this the Baptists fought valiantly against the Indians to protect their settlements. One company, mostly of Baptists was led by William Turner and distinguished itself in combat. But the increase in Baptists alarmed the ministers of the state church. They had their law to banish Baptists reprinted in 1672 and often fined and imprisoned Baptist violators. One of the Baptist ministers, William Hubbard, in a sermon said, “It is made, by learned and judicious writers that one of the undoubted rights of sovereignty is to determine what religion shall be publicly professed and exercised within their dominions.” He also said it was morally impossible to rivet the Christian religion into the body of a nation without infant baptism. By proportion, he proclaimed, it will necessarily follow that the neglect or disuse thereof will directly tend to root it out.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 63.

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Valley ForgeWashington at

Valley Forge

The First Baptist Chaplain

1820 – FIRST BAPTIST CHAPLAIN TO THE AMERICAN MILITARY AND FIRST BAPTIST MISSIONARY TO THE INDIANS – David Jones died at age 84 on February 5, 1820.   He had been an author, pastor, missionary, medical doctor, and the first Baptist pastor ever to become a chaplain in the American Military who in 1776 was appointed to serve Col. St. Clair’s regiment. He also served under General Horatio Gates and General Anthony Wayne. He was highly trusted by Gen. Geo. Washington and preached to the troops at Valley Forge. He was raised in a hearty Welsh Baptist family, saved at an early age and trained at Hopewell Academy (America’s First Baptist academic facility) in N.J. He studied medicine but apparently was influenced by the life of David Brainerd among the Indians because while pastoring the Freehold Baptist Church in Monmouth County, N.J. he became the first Baptist missionary to the Indians in Ohio on two extended tours that consumed over a year. He became unpopular as he supported the cause of American freedom. In April 1775 he became pastor of the Great Valley Baptist Church in Chester County, PA. On July 20, 1775, after a day of fasting and prayer he preached to the Continental Army on the subject, “Defensive War in a Just Cause Sinless.” In 1776 he left his flock to serve the first of three tours with the American forces. He was at Ticonderoga, Morristown, and Brandywine.  He barely missed being killed at the Paoli Massacre, and he spent the winter at Valley Forge.  Gen. Howe offered a reward for his capture.  He was at Yorktown at the surrender of Cornwallis.  He used his medical skills as well as his weapons.  After the war he went with Gen. Wayne as Chaplain to the Indian War from 1794-96 and was there at the Treaty of Greenville.  It was said of him, “In danger – he knew no fear, in fervent patriotism he had no superiors and few equals, in the Revolutionary struggle, a tower of strength…as a Christian, above reproach.”
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 49.

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333 – Nov. 29 – This Day in Baptist History Past


First ordained Asian-American


1874 – A Sunday school convened in Portland, Oregon with twenty-two students, led by a Chinese national by the name of Dong Gong. Before the end of 1874 the school had grown to over one hundred, and the effort had led to the baptisms of Chinese converts, and Gong was enlisted as the preacher. On June 22, 1875, Gong was ordained, and it is believed he became the first ordained Asian-American among the Baptists. This ministry grew out of a burden from the First Baptist Church of Portland, Oregon. Rev. D.J. Pierce came to First Baptist on July 22, 1874, and shortly afterwards wrote to Rev. E.Z. Simmons, A Baptist Missionary on furlough from China who was residing in San Francisco, and presented the need. That effort brought Rev. Simmons, and Dong Gong, a Chinese national convert, to Portland to undertake the task. Gong had emigrated to America with his parents and had become a worker in the Chinese community of San Francisco. The First Baptist Church of San Francisco had established a mission to the Chinese, and young Dong Gong was an early convert. He was then trained by Rev. John Francis in San Francisco. Gong had been licensed by First Baptist to preach in 1869. In Portland it was decided to begin a school which would include English during the weeknights to the Chinese, and then on Thursday evenings Gong would head up a preaching/teaching ministry. Dr. William Dean, famed Baptist missionary on furlough from China, was appointed director of the school. Gong was also active in opposing the opium trade and Chinese gangs, who were in control of the Chinese social structure. [C.H. Mattoon, Mattoon, Baptist Annals of Oregon (McMinnville, Oreg.: Telephone Register Publishing Co., 1905), 1: 202. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 653-54.]
Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon


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197 – July 16 – This Day in Baptist History Past


Baptists chose Liberty over Tolerance


The members of the First Baptist Church of Middleborough, Massachusetts, no doubt were sore grieved when their pastor, the Rev. Isaac Backus posted the following notice on July 16, 1759 which read in part, “Whereas by a late Law of this Province it is enacted that a List of the Names of those who belong to each Baptist Society (Church) must be taken each year and given in to the Assessors before the 20th of July or else they will stand liable to be Rated to the ministers where they live:…” In other words Baptists could get an “exemption” from paying the Congregational ministers salary and the upkeep of their church buildings, if they could prove that they were faithful in their own services.  Backus spent a great deal of time fighting to eradicate state support for the Standing Order churches. He said that it was not only “taxation without representation” but it robbed the Baptists of their property and livestock to pay the tax that Baptists would not pay out of conviction, and also stole money from them that they could use to build their own meeting houses and pay their preachers.  Baptists rejoiced in Jan. 1786 when Virginia passed their act for Religious Freedom.  It said, “…no man shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same in no wise diminish, enlarge or affect their civil capacities.”  There is a vast difference between “Tolerance and Liberty.” Tax exemption is based on the recipient asking for the privilege from a higher authority and meeting certain demands. The other is recognizing that liberty comes from God and demanding from our public servants that they guarantee those inalienable rights as embodied in the First Amendment. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”


Dr. Greg J. Dixon: adapted From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 291-92.




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Marshall saw (George) Washington several times.
December 08, 1856 – Rev. Andrew Marshall died. It was believed that he was over 100 years old having been born in South Carolina in 1755. However, no one took time to record the date of birth of the little “slave-born.” There was an immense procession about a mile long, with 58 carriages that made its way from the church to the cemetery on Dec. 14, 1856. At the time of his death Marshall was pastor of the First African Baptist Church in Savannah, Georgia. They had divided from the Second Baptist when it reached 3,000 members. Marshall had been the Senior pastor there too. First African Baptist had just purchased the First Baptist and he had gone north to raise funds and had reached Richmond on his return and could go no further when he became ill. They say that he had baptized over 4,000 souls during the course of his ministry. His reputation as a pulpiteer with his deep, sonorous, and tender voice with the pathos was unsurpassed. Throngs greeted him, both black and white wherever he went.  What an end for the little slave boy whose first “master” was John Houston, the colonial governor of Georgia. The governor died when Andrew was about 21 years old. Freedom had been bequeathed to him at the death of Houston, for the slave had at one time saved his master’s life. The executors failed, however, to carry out the will, and Andrew was again sold…becoming the property of Judge Clay. During that time he went North with the Judge who had become a Senator. Marshall saw Washington several times. When Pres. Washington came to Savannah he was appointed the President’s “body servant” and acted as his carriage driver. Andrew purchased his freedom about the time that he was converted and in 1785 he was baptized, and was licensed to preach.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 512-13.

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