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275 – Oct. 02 – This Day in Baptist History Past


They “Held the Rope”


1792 – Is a day that should live forever in the hearts of Bible believing Baptists, for it was on that day that the first modern-day mission agency was founded. William Carey, Andrew Fuller, and a small group of Baptist pastors from the Northhamptonshire Baptist Association in Great Britain formed the Baptist Missionary Society, or the B.M.S. for short. Dr. John Collett Ryland, Jr. was to become the driving force behind the eventual success of the B.M.S. He was the son of Rev. John C. Ryland, Sr. and was born in 1753 in Warwick and educated in his father’s school. He served for fifteen years as his fathers assistant at the College Lane Church, Northhampton, before succeeding him as pastor of that Baptist congregation in 1786. It was while assistant to his father that he baptized William Carey in the River Nen on Oct. 5, 1783. His diary entry said, “I baptized a poor journeyman cobbler.” In 1792 he became pastor of Broadmead Baptist in Bristol and principal of Bristol Baptist College where many men were trained for the ministry and missions. He followed Fuller as the Secretary of the B.M.S. and traveled extensively and preached nearly 9,000 sermons, much of it for the cause of missions. Twenty-six of his students went on to the mission field. Carey had challenged Ryland, Sutcliff, Fuller, and Pearce to “hold the rope” while he went into the mine of India. They didn’t disappoint him. Dr. Ryland died in 1825 at 72 years of age. [Norman S. Moon, Education for Ministry-Bristol Baptist College 1679-1979 (Rushden, Norrthhamptonshire: Stanley L. Hunt, Ltd. 1979), p. 113. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. 539-40.]
Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon


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