Tag Archives: Hamilton Theological Seminary

239 – August 27 – This Day in Baptist History Past



He was the first of the modern Baptist evangelists

Jacob Knapp, raised in an Episcopalian home, was ordained to the Baptist ministry onAugust 27, 1824. Prior to that he had been educated at the Hamilton Theological Seminary, after being licensed to preach in 1821 by, the Baptist church in Masonville, New York, and graduated on June 1, 1824. Upon graduation he accepted a church in Springfield, NY where he saw 60 people saved and added to the church in 6 years. In 1830 he began a 3 year pastorate in Watertown, NY where revival fires fell, and Knapp baptized nearly 200 converts in 3 years into the membership of the church. A great phenomenon took place in America about this time, as the successful “protracted meetings” of Charles G. Finney, who labored mainly among the Presbyterians, saw his great revivals. There was a concern for a greater thrust in evangelism, and wherever Jacob Knapp went to preach, great results followed. He resigned from Watertown and went into full time evangelism for the next 42 years of his life. He saw his largest audiences in Rochester, NY (1839), N.Y. City (1840), Boston (1841), and Washington D.C. (1843).” In 1840 Knapp moved to Rockford, IL, and labored in the Midwest. In 1867 he went to California and preached among the churches there. Up until modern times, it is quite certain that none equaled him in the number of meetings and the territory covered. It has been estimated that 100,000 were converted through his labors for Christ, and 250 entered the ministry. Knapp died on March 2, 1874. His funeral began at 1 pm the following Lord’s Day and lasted until sunset. Knapp was the first of the modern day Baptist evangelists.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 353-354.

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The Ship the missionaries

sailed on.

Indigenous Church Method

1854 – On this date Mrs. John Sydney (Martha Foote) Beecher, was buried at sea as they were returning from the field of Burma where they had labored among the Karens.  Though Beecher’s heart was broken, he continued on in his laborers though with another mission’s agency.  With failing health he was forced to journey to England for treatment in September of 1866, however he died on Oct. 21, 1866.  Among other things he had established a Christian school in Burma besides being an able replacement for Elisha Litchfield Abbott who he replaced in 1846.  Abbott, born in New York in 1809, after being trained at the Hamilton Theological Seminary, in Hamilton, N.Y, became one of the highlights of missionary activity because of his work with the Karens of Bassein, Burma from the time he left for that field in 1836 until after the death of Mrs. Abbott in 1845.  At that time, with consumption coming on him, he left for the states with his children.  It was apparent to him that if he was to return to the field he would have to have an assistant.  Abbott did return to Burma in 1852 but died on Dec. 3, 1854.  It was Abbott who established the indigenous method of missions.  He founded fifty self-supporting churches among the Karens.  But it was during his first return to America that he met the young man Beecher and was able to influence him to follow in his footsteps.  Beecher had planned to go west to our own nation but said that he couldn’t make a decision until consulting Martha Foote who was in Chicago, and knew that letters could not transfer between them before Abbott left.  However the next day a letter came from Martha declaring that if he ever decided to go to an Eastern field, “I should lay no obstacle in your way.”  Beecher accepted that as the Lord giving him the clearance to go to Burma.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson /, pp. 88.

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