“He lost his position… when he… was immersed”
November 04, 1870 – Henry Novotny entered seminary in Switzerland, and in 1875 he married Anna Kastomlatska. In 1881 he went with his wife and two children to Edinburgh, Scotland, to study in the Free College. For some time he served in evangelism, but he lost his position as an evangelist when he embraced the Baptist position and was immersed on Feb. 12, 1885, in the largest Baptist church on the continent by Pastor Charles Ondra in Lodz, Russian-Poland. Returning to Prague, Bohemia, Novotny organized a Baptist church with 16 members near Prague. Mrs. Novotny was a hearty soul as well. She was immersed in the icy Vltava River when the ice had to be broken. Henry was called before the court numerous times. During one period he had to report to the local authorities every Monday morning to narrate his activities. He was happy to relate to them the sermon that he preached the Lord’s Day before. When the officials refused to allow them to meet in their building they moved to the pastor’s home. As the church grew they rented a building, then the officials said that they had to meet in a “dwelling place,” so he had one of his son’s sleep in the rented hall. Henry conducted seven services each Sunday. He also played the organ and conducted Sunday school. The work of the Baptists grew under such direction, and Novotny’s pen proved as strong as his pulpit ministry. His “literary work” was done under the pre-war [First World War] Austrian government, which strictly censored printed material…religious or otherwise. Hence Henry’s writings were often confiscated, and several times he had to pay heavy fines. By the time of his death his son Joseph followed him in the pastorate, and the work had so grown that there were Baptist churches in thirty Bohemian towns.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 458-59.
PERSONAL NOTE: My father was a missionary pastor in St. Louis, MO. His experience was this! – How important is “SCRIPTURAL” baptism? Important enough for Jesus to walk 60 miles to be baptized by the only one that had authority to baptize because John the Baptist had authority from heaven. Jesus would not settle for a substitute. As missionary pastor, my father experienced the reality of some that felt their baptism was not any good and asked for scripural baptism NOW. The mission did not have a baptistry so my father said Alton Lake was available. These people said yes and January we cut ice that was 9 inches thick to baptise. What a witness!