Beaten with rods
1832 – On this day the mortal remains of the colonial Baptist preacher, John Koontz, was laid to rest in the little family grave yard, not far from the Shenandoah River, in what later became, Page County, Virginia. He was the first preacher to arouse perishing souls from their slumber in that area of the country. He also aroused the enemy of the gospel too as they used every method to discourage him from proclaiming the gospel. At Smith’s Creek he was threatened with beatings if he returned, but return he did, only to be beaten by a “son of Belial” with the butt end of a large cane, until he almost disabled the preacher. But the preacher refused to promise that he would not return. Later he was in a home with a companion named Martin Kaufman, waiting for the service to start, when Koontz heard a man inquiring about him, he stepped into another room, the man mistaking Kaufman for him, began beating him until they could convince him that he wasn’t the preacher. On another occasion Koontz was imprisoned, a man trying to rescue him was beaten. Koontz warned them to take heed what they did because if he was a man of God, they would be fighting against God. Immediately one of the men was alarmed and relented, soon the others followed and it wasn’t long until that man and two or three of the others became Baptists themselves. According to Dr. E. Wayne Thompson, who has been there, West of Luray, Virginia, on U.S. Route 211 is the “White House Bridge.” It is named for a white house which can be seen a few hundred yards downriver. John Koontz and the early Baptists met in this house and ultimately planted the Mill Creek Baptist Church in 1772. In a nearby gravesite beside the highway lies the body of John Koontz’s companion, Martin Kaufman.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson /, p. 167.
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Beaten with rods
Daniel Marshall Baptized Samuel Harris.
“the arrow of the Almighty stuck fast.”
Samuel Harris led the charge for the Separate Baptists in Virginia. He was born, Jan. 12, 1724 but not born again until 1758. He was a nobleman, in that he held several positions of honor. He served as sheriff, colonel of the militia, and captain of Fort Mayo. But under the preaching of the Murphy boys he said that, “the arrow of the Almighty stuck fast.” Daniel Marshall baptized him, and he was ordained in 1769. He first preached in Culpepper County but was driven out of town by a mob. In Orange County he was pulled from the platform by a roughneck and abused until rescued by friends. On another occasion he was knocked down while preaching. However, even then he didn’t suffer as other Baptist preachers did. Take the case of “Swearing Jack Waller.” He was on the jury at the trial of Lewis Craig. Craig told the jury, “I take joyfully the spoiling of my goods for Christ’s sake. While I lived in sin the jury took no notice of me.” John Waller’s heart was melted and he was saved and in time became an honored Separate Baptist preacher. One time while he was preaching he was assaulted by an Anglican parson and a sheriff. The parson stuffed his whip handle down his throat but he returned and continued to preach. John Taylor, John Koontz, William Webber, David Barrow, Lewis Lunsford, John Pickett, James Ireland, and Elijah Baker all suffered at the hands of mobs as they attempted to preach the gospel. Sometimes snakes were thrown into their midst. Many attacks were made at their baptism’s. At times preachers were plunged into the mud with the threat of drowning. It could surely be said of them that they were sent forth as, “sheep among wolves.”
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. IIII: Cummins /, pp. 24-26.