Floating members make a sinking church.
Tag Archives: members
God’s Sovereign Call
1991 – Ken and Debbie Haley’s church, which he had been the pastor, held a commissioning service, to pledge to “hold the ropes” as the two departed for West Africa. Ken had surrendered to go during a Missions conference, in which they had prayed for God to call one of their own members abroad to preach the gospel. Strangely, both he and his wife had been directed to Rom. 15:20 before ever discussing the matter with each other. After being accepted by Baptist World Missions, spending eighteen months on deputation, and a year in language school, the Haley’s arrived in Contonou, Nenin, West Africa on Oct. 19, 1991. In Dec. Rev. Haley came down with malaria which was the first of six ordeals with the disease. The pharmacist where Ken went spoke English and a friendship was struck, even to the point of Michael Segniho visiting at the home on many occasions, until through Ken’s faithful witnessing, Michael received Christ. Later his wife was saved, and together they built a bamboo structure on their property, and began a French-speaking Baptist church, with forty-nine present for the first service. [This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 505-07] Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon
The Pastor of Firsts
1764 – Rev. Samuel Stillman became the sixth pastor of the First Baptist Church of Boston, Mass., which was the fourth oldest church in America. The church had endured persecution, decline and revivals. At age 27, Stillman found around sixty discouraged members. Those of prominence often attended services, including President John Adams. Samuel, a small man weighing less than 100 pounds at the time of his death in 1807 did gigantic exploits for God, many of them firsts. He had to flee during the Revolutionary War but returned to re-gather his flock. He helped establish America’s first Baptist College. He was a leader in the organization of the Warren Baptist Association to assist in the fight against the entanglement of the church and state. In 1802, ten years before the Judson’s and Rice went to Burma he led in starting the Mass. Baptist Missions Society. And First church was the first to install a stove for heat against the bitter New England winters. Alas, what worldliness, (Ha). [Nathan E. Wood, The History of the First Baptist Church of Boston (Philadelphia American Baptist Pub. Society, 1899), p. 242. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 494-95.] .] Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon
Some of these pastors were former slaves
The Ogeechee Baptist Church was formed in Savannah, Georgia on Jan. 02, 1803 with 250 members which was the third black Baptist church instituted in America. The first black Baptist church in America was the First African Baptist Church of Savannah, the results of the ministry of Abraham Marshall and Jesse Peter ((black), who instituted the Kiokee Baptist Church in Appling, GA. The pastor at Savannah was George Lisle (black), who eventually went as a missionary to Jamaica. Some of these pastors were former slaves, like Lisle and John Jasper who had been given freedom by their masters. However, when Rev. Henry Cunningham was called to the First African Baptist Church of Philadelphia (the sixth black church in America), his master wouldn’t release him. Henry had been a deacon in the 2nd Baptist church in Savannah (black) and later served as its pastor before being called to the Philadelphia church. Some members asked his master to let him go north to raise money to purchase his freedom but his master refused without surety, but there was no way that Henry could provide such a sum. But thank God, two faithful members of 2nd church, who were free-born, stepped forward and gave themselves into servitude as surety for Henry. The money was raised, the men were released and joined their beloved pastor in Philadelphia and formed the nucleus of the First African Baptist Church in Philadelphia. “Greater love hath no man than this…”
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. IIII: Cummins /, pp. 3-4.