Tag Archives: martyrdom

101– April 11, 1612 – This Day in Baptist History Past


Wightman Burning
Edward Wightman, the last Baptist to be executed by the fires of the stake at Lichfield outside the St. Mary’s Catholic Church on April 11, 1612.  Bishop Neile of Lichfield and his coadjutors, who acted as Royal Commissioners on the occasion, were manifestly “forgers of Lies. “ Thomas Crosby mentions that “many of the heresies they charge upon him are as foolish and inconsistent, that it very much discredits what they say.”  What was the real cause of his martyrdom? “Among other charges brought against him were these: ‘That the baptizing of infants is an abominable custom; that the Lord’s supper and baptism are not to be celebrated as they are now practiced in the church of England; and that Christianity is not wholly professed and preached in the church of England, but only in part’ “  Though they found him guilty of many heresies, some of which were probably unknown to him, even by name, the account that he claimed “the use of baptism to be administered in water only to converts of sufficient age and understanding.” Was true.
What kind of man really was Edward Wightman?  His son, grandson, great grandson, for two more generations all pastored Baptist churches in America! That is a great tribute to his faith.

Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted  from: A History of the Baptists, by John T. Christian /A History of the English Baptists, by Joseph  Ivimey.

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Blaurock, GeoGeorge Blaurock

A man that they could not silence

1525 – ANABAPTISTS IN SWITZERLAND ARRESTED AND BURNED AT THE STAKE FOR REFUSING TO BAPTIZE THEIR CHILDREN IN THE EARLY 16TH CENTURY – George Blaurock was arrested on February 7, 1525, along with Felix Manz and 24 other Swiss Anabaptists for refusing to have their children  baptized. He was held for a week in the Augustinian cloister and then released. On Nov. 6 he was rearrested and placed in chains. On the 18th he was sentenced to imprisonment in the New Tower, to be kept on a diet of bread and water. On Jan. 5, 1527, the day of Felix Manz’s glorious martyrdom, the following report is given of Blaurock: His hands were bound, his body stripped to the waiste, and he was made to walk along the street, while being beaten with rods until the blood flowed from his wounds. When he was finally released, as he left Zurich, he shook the dust from his blue coat and shoes as a testimony against his persecutors. Blaurock a man of conviction who could not be silenced continued for two years to carry on the work of the Anabaptists in Switzerland. On September 6, 1529, when he was the pastor of a small flock of believers in Tyrol, Blaurock was burned at the stake. The little church’s former pastor had also been burned three months prior. Blaurock had been born in Bonaduz, a village in Grisons, Switzerland in 1491.  He was therefore only 38 years of age when he was called home to meet the Lord Jesus.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 51.

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357 – Dec. 23 – This Day in Baptist History Past


Anabaptist martyrs and leaders




1527 – Simon Stumpf, an Anabaptist was banished from Zurich. Other leaders among the Anabaptists were Johannes Denck, Michael Sattler, Andreas Carlstadt, Johannes Hut, and Jacob Hutter. Even though these men were not as well known as Balthasar Hubmaier, Felix Manz, Conrad Grebel and George Blaurock, they were still outstanding Anabaptist leaders in their own right. Denck was known as the “Apostle of Love,” Michael Sattler as “A Superlative Witness,” and Andreas Carlstadt greatly influenced Hubmaier with his brilliant theology. Another that needs to be known by all is Pilgram Marpeck.  John C. Wenger, has called him the greatest of all the South German and Swiss Anabaptist leaders. After his conversion he was forced to become a real “pilgrim”, and he has been called, “a wandering citizen of heaven.” Marpeck was saved just a few months following the martyrdom of Michael Sattler when he was the mining engineer of Rottenburg, Germany. But when he united with the Anabaptists he lost his position on Jan. of 1528, and three months later, he lost his possessions, as they were confiscated. Things continued to degenerate, and on Dec. 18 the man of God was expelled from the city, and fled to Strassburg with his wife where there was a strong contingent of Anabaptists. Marpeck soon became the outstanding leader among them but his writings were banned by the authorities and he was imprisoned. He debated with Martin Bucer, and stood for the separation of Church and State, and believer’s baptism. He was one of the few Anabaptist leaders that died a natural death. It was in Dec.1556. [This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 701-02. William R. Estep, The Anabaptist Story (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1963), p. 10.]


Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon


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292 – Oct. 19 – This Day in Baptist History Past


The martyrs of Italy

1562 – Giulio Guirlanda was the first person who was put to death for Christ in the City of Venice, Italy, though several had suffered martyrdom in the territories of that Republic. He sank into the deep waters, calling upon the Lord Jesus in the fortieth year of his age. The next to follow him in the steps of His Savior was Antonio Ricetto, who was a most honorable man of God. Great efforts were made by the senate to induce him to recant, they even used his little son to beg him to, but it was all in vain. He prayed for those who put him to death, and commended his soul to his Savior as he was drowned on Feb. 15, 1566. The next martyr was Francesco Spinula; he was drowned ten days after Ricetto. But the most distinguished of all the martyrs of Venice was Fra Baldo Lupetino. He was of a noble and ancient family, became a monk, and rose to a high rank in his Order. After proclaiming the gospel in and out of Italy, he was thrown into prison by the inquisitor of the pope’s legate where he wallowed for nearly twenty years. The Protestant German princes interceded with the senate for his life; but the pope and his inquisitor demanded death-which he met with firmness, and great peace. In their report in 1928, the Baptists of Italy spoke of their “glorious roll of martyrs.” We rejoice that Baptist missionaries are once again carrying the good news to Italy. Please pray for them. [J.M. Cramp, Baptist History (London: Elliot Stock, 1870), p. 121. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. 572-73].   Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon


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311 – Nov. 07 – This Day in Baptist History Past

Baptists prevailed over Communism

 1917 – Was the culmination of the Communist revolution that took place in   Russia that overthrew the tsarist empire and brought that land under the clutches of atheism. ”. Baptist history in that country has ever been filled with persecution and martyrdoms. Baptists first entered that nation in modern times in 1867, and by 1879 had gained legal standing as a “sect”. However, from the very beginning their main enemy was the Russian Orthodox Church, whose goal was always to destroy the Baptist witness. Church buildings were confiscated, pastors jailed, and even the children of parents were taken from them. In the face of all of this the Baptists have continued unabated. When Lenin first came into power the Baptists received a reprieve, but under Stalin’s reign of terror all of that changed quickly. In the decade of the thirties alone 22,000 out of 25,000 pastors and preachers were either shot or died in prison camps. However, the Russian Orthodox Church could easily co-exist with the communist regime because that form of religion presented only a dead and empty ritual with no reality. Communism could not allow Bible-believers to continue to evangelize, because their faith called for a personal knowledge of and relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. We need to remember though, that the Bible-based distinctives that have marked Baptists throughout the world have remained evident in the Soviet Union. Like the Inspiration of the scriptures, a regenerated church membership, the ordinances of baptism by immersion, the Lord supper, the autonomy of the local church, and the separation of church and state. [Georgi Vins, Loving the God of Truth (Toronto, Canada: Britannia Printers, 1996), p. 241. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D.607-09.]  Prepared by Dr. Greg Dixon

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272 – Sept. 29, 1512 – This Day in Baptist History Past

The Donatists Repudiated this Falsity

Balthasar Hubmaier received the doctorate of theology from the University of Ingolstadt in Germany and entered the Roman Catholic ministry. Through his studies he became disillusioned with what he had been taught and by 1523 was in contact with the Protestant reformer, Zwingli and he was transformed by the grace of God. His outspoken ways brought great persecution down upon him. He like Peter, under pressure, denied the truth, but repented and was able to give a glorious testimony to God’s grace in the flames of martyrdom on March 10, 1528. Three days later his wife Elizabeth, undaunted in her faith, was thrown into the Danube River and drowned. The doctrine that caused our Anabaptist forebears to suffer at the hands of Catholic and Protestant Reformers alike was infant baptism. That wicked heresy was established in the third century as Cyprian consulted with sixty bishops upon the question of whether children were to be baptized on the third or eighth day from their birth? Our forefathers the Donatists, repudiated this falsity. The Reformers, Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin continued in this heresy, and also persecuted the Baptists, and other non-conformists over this issue, which they had received from Augustine. [Wm. R. Estep, The Anabaptist Story Nashville: Broadman Press, 1963), p. 49. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 533-34.]
Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon

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