Tag Archives: John Williams

226 – August 14 – This Day in Baptist History Past




“…in Some Cases it was Lawful to go to War”

Samuel Harriss, Moderator and John Waller, on August 14, 1775,  signed a petition by the Virginia Baptist Association to the Virginia Convention as follows in part:      “Alarmed at the shocking Oppression which in a British Cloud hangs over our American Continent, we, as a Society and part of the distressed State, have in our Association consider’d what part might be most prudent for the Baptists to act in the present unhappy Contest. After we determined “that in some Cases it was lawful to go to War, and also for us to make a Military resistance against Great Britain, in regard of their unjust Invasion, and tyrannical Oppression of, and repeated Hostilities against America,” our people were all left to act at Discretion with respect to inlisting, without falling under the Censure of our Community. And as some have inlisted, and many more likely so to do, who will have earnest Desires for their Ministers to preach to them during the Campaign, we therefore deligate and appoint our well-beloved Brethren in the Ministry, Elijah Craig, Lewis Craig, Jeremiah Walker and John Williams to present this address and to petition you that they may have free liberty to preach to the Troops at convenient Times without molestation or abuse; and as we are conscious of their strong attachment to American liberty, as well as their soundness of the Christian Religion, and great usefulness in the Work of the Ministry, we are willing they may come under your Examination in any Matters you may think requisite…” Ultimately the Baptists supplied a greater percentage of chaplains to the Continental Army than any other religious society.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 334-35.

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320 – Nov. 16 – This Day in Baptist History Past


Baptists and church discipline


1776 – The Grassy Creek Baptist Church in Granville County, N.C. brought Aaron P before the church to give reason for not communing. He was corrected and later restored.  However, the church was even handed in their discipline. “In 1770 Elder James Reed, the pastor was excluded for unchristian conduct. Elders Jeremiah Walker and John Williams, were called on as helps or as a council, to aid the brethren in this very serious difficulty.”  Pastor Reed had been baptized by Shubael Stearns in 1756 and was the first pastor of Grassy Creek. It was not for morals or doctrine that he was dismissed, and after two years he was restored and enjoyed a long and fruitful ministry of almost forty years as their pastor. In 1798 at 72 he was called to his heavenly home. His last words were: “Do you see the angels waiting to convey my soul to glory?”  On March 5, 1773, at a church conference, the question was asked and answered: Should a private transgression be made public?”  The answer was “No” based on Matt. 18:15 concerning settling differences privately before they are brought before the church. These people were serious about church discipline. On Sept. 24, 1775, the church records show that Henry Howard and Lemuel Wilson were appointed to admonish sister J___C____ for living an immoral life, such as dancing.”  They based it on the word “revellings” in Ga. 5:21 and I Pet. 4:3. Revellings referred to,“dancings in merry making, a jovial festivity with music and dancing.”  They reported back on Nov. 24 that they had admonished her, she was present, but she found no repentance, she was then excommunicated. [Robert I Devin, A History of Grassy Creek Baptist Church (Raleigh, N.C.: Edwards, Broughton and Co., 1880), p. 78. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 626-28.]   Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon


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