Tag Archives: licensed

189 – July 07 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


 

Four generations pastor the same church

Edward Wightman was the last Englishman to be martyred on April 11, 1612 for heresy. He was

considered a radical Anabaptist. Five Wightman brothers came to America, all Baptists – two

were preachers; two were deacons; one a private member of the church. Valentine Wightman

was the son of one of the five and was born in Kingston, Rhode Island, in 1681. In 1705 his

church licensed him to preach and he moved to Groton, Connecticut, and planted the First

Baptist church in the colony of CT. His fame spread after a seven hour debate with Rev. John

Bulkey in 1727 on the subject of Baptism. In 1714 he planted the First Baptist church in the

state of N.Y. Valentine died on June 9, 1747, after ministering 42 years in Groton. The church

at Groton continued under the ministry of Valentine’s son Timothy Wightman who saw great

revivals from time to time from 1764 to 1787. A second Baptist church was established in

Groton in 1765. Timothy served during the Revolutionary War and stood for the defense of

liberty. He died on Nov. 14, 1796 after having also served for 42 years in the same church that

his father had founded. His son, John Gano Wightman accepted the call to the church on Aug.

13, 1800. His first wife died in 1816 and on July 7, 1817, he married Bridget Allyn who served

faithfully by his side. The church experienced at least ten seasons of refreshing revival during

this time. Another church was established in Groton in 1831. John died on July 13, 1841 and thus

concluded 125 years of ministry by grandfather, father, and son who led the work in Groton, CT.

Interestingly, on June 12, 1864 the Rev. Palmer G. Wightman, grandson of the Rev. John Gano

Wightman, was ordained pastor of the Groton church, and a great revival broke out.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon: from This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp.278-79.

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08 – January 08 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


 

First Baptist church in Illinois

 

1823 – James Lemen passed from this earth. Even though he was fifty years old when he was licensed by his church to preach, he was an active and zealous minister of the gospel. Lemen, along with his wife Catherine, and two others, had been baptized when they had to break the ice in Fountain Creek, to administer the ordinance in Monroe County, Illinois. James had been converted to Christ, when the first evangelical minister came into the state in 1787. However he did not receive baptism until Josiah Dodge from Kentucky came to preach in the area. John Gibbons and Isaac Enochs were the other two that Dodge baptized. On the appointed day a great multitude gathered from all parts to witness the first baptismal service in the State of Illinois. At the waters edge a hymn was sung, scriptural authority for baptism given and prayer offered.   Two years later the Lemens, along with a few others, united in forming the first Baptist church in Illinois. There pastor was Rev. David Badgley.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon; adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 10-12.

 

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278 – Oct. 05 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

Author of Soul Liberty in CT

 

1772 – Stephen Smith Nelson was born to Thomas and Ann Nelson of Middleboro, Mass. His conversion to Christ was at age fourteen and he was baptized by William Nelson, a near relative, and became a member of the Baptist church in his home town, whose pastor was the celebrated Isaac Backus, the great advocate of religious liberty. Stephen graduated from Brown U. in 1794, and continued his studies under Dr. Samuel Stillman, the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Boston. At 24 he was licensed to preach, and after filling the pulpit at Hartford Conn., he was ordained in 1798. The church met in several places including the old courthouse, and though it was crude in appearance, and they had rough furniture, they experience the remarkable presence of God, and more than one hundred converts were baptized into the church. Nelson took an active part in preparing “The Baptist Petition,” a remonstrance addressed to the Conn. Legislature, supporting absolute soul liberty, which was accomplished in 1818, with the disestablishing of the state church. He was also one of those appointed by the Danbury Baptist Association to write a congratulatory letter to Thomas Jefferson which was answered with the famous “Wall of Separation” quote which we still here about today. Nelson ended his life in Amherst, Mass., preaching to feeble and destitute churches. He always enjoyed a fruitful ministry wherever he preached. He died at 82 years of age in 1853. [Wm. B. Sprague, Annals of the American Pulpit (New York: Robert Carter and Bros., 1865), 6:366. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. 545-46.] Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon

 

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188 – July, 07 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

Four generations pastor the same church

 

Edward Wightman was the last Englishman to be martyred on April 11, 1612 for heresy. He was considered a radical Anabaptist. Five Wightman brothers came to America, all Baptists – two were preachers; two were deacons; one a private member of the church. Valentine Wightman was the son of one of the five and was born in Kingston, Rhode Island, in 1681. In 1705 his church licensed him to preach and he moved to Groton, Connecticut, and planted the First Baptist church in the colony of CT. His fame spread after a seven hour debate with Rev. John Bulkey in 1727 on the subject of Baptism. In 1714 he planted the First Baptist church in the state of N.Y. Valentine died on June 9, 1747, after ministering 42 years in Groton. The church at Groton continued under the ministry of Valentine’s son Timothy Wightman who saw great revivals from time to time from 1764 to 1787. A second Baptist church was established in Groton in 1765. Timothy served during the Revolutionary War and stood for the defense of liberty. He died on Nov. 14, 1796 after having also served for 42 years in the same church that his father had founded.  His son, John Gano Wightman accepted the call to the church on Aug. 13, 1800. His first wife died in 1816 and on July 7, 1817, he married Bridget Allyn who served faithfully by his side. The church experienced at least ten seasons of refreshing revival during this time. Another church was established in Groton in 1831. John died on July 13, 1841 and thus concluded 125 years of ministry by grandfather, father, and son who led the work in Groton, CT. Interestingly, on June 12, 1864 the Rev. Palmer G. Wightman, grandson of the Rev. John Gano Wightman, was ordained pastor of the Groton church, and a great revival broke out.

 

Dr. Greg J. Dixon: adapted From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp.278-79.

 

 

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