Tag Archives: Mill Creek Baptist Church

115 — April 25 – This Day in Baptist History Past

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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He was… a “strangely gifted orator.”
 Thomas Jefferson Fisher came to his untimely end when an unnamed assailant shot him in the head at Louisville, KY on Jan. 11, 1866, he was just 54 years old.  He lived for three days, his murderer was never identified.  He was one of the most powerful early Baptist evangelists in America.  He was born on April 9, 1812, in Mt. Sterling, KY.  His father was of German extraction and had moved there from Penn.  Young Fisher received Christ when he was 16 and united with the Presbyterians at Paris, KY.  A year later he was immersed by Jeremiah Vardeman and united with the Baptist church in Davids Fork, Fayette County.  Being in a family of 13 children, educational opportunities were limited, so Fisher became a tailor and paid for his own schooling.  Finally he studied with a Baptist pastor in Pittsburgh, PA.  In 1834 at 22 he was ordained by the same church and became pastor of the Mill Creek Baptist Church near Bardstown, KY.  But it became clear that God had called him to evangelism.  He was described as a “strangely gifted orator.”  He held most of his protracted meetings in the South.  Vast crowds attended his meetings and it is estimated that approximately 12,000 were converted to Christ.  For thirty-four years he was mightily used of God.  Who knows how many would have been reached if he had lived out his life.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. IIII: Cummins /, pp. 22-24.

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