A grandmother prays her grandson into the ministry
Dr. Stephen Gano was ordained into the gospel ministry on August 2, 1786, by his father, uncle, and several other pastors in the Gold Street Baptist church of N.Y. City. After two brief but successful pastorates in 1792, he received a unanimous invitation to the pastorate of the First Baptist Church in Providence, R.I., where he served until his death. When he became pastor, the church numbered 165 members; however, during the thirty-six years of his ministry there, five new churches were born, and the membership of the First Baptist Church grew to 647. First Baptist Church of Providence was one of the largest Baptist congregations in America and experienced frequent revival. In 1820 alone they saw 147 baptized. Dr. Gano was a stellar leader who served the Warren Association as its moderator for nineteen years. Stephen was born on Dec. 25, 1762, in New York City, where his father, John Gano, was pastor. His uncle James Manning was the President of Brown University where his parents planned to send Stephen until his father entered the army as a chaplain, and thirteen-year old Stephen had to go live with his uncle, Dr. Stites, to be educated as a doctor. While on the way, he and his father stopped at his grandmother’s house. She placed her hand on Stephen’s head prayed for his salvation, and also that God would call him to preach the everlasting gospel and “be faithful unto death that he may win the crown of life.” Stephen did become a doctor and entered the army as a surgeon before he was saved. He served aboard a ship, was taken prisoner and was in a prisoner exchange. He died on August 18, 1828.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 316–17.
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214 – August, 02 – This Day in Baptist History Past
159 – June 08 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST
A Christian Champion that backslid
Robert Robinson was born in Norfolk, England, on October 8, 1735. Robert was apprenticed to a craftsman when he was 14 after his father died.
One night, when he was 17, Robert went to one of George Whitefield’s meetings. So far, Robert had always lived a decent life, and thought himself a Christian. That night Whitefield spoke about Sadducees and Pharisees; about platters being clean on the outside, but dirty on the inside. This message shook Robert up, and bothered him for weeks. On December 10, 1755, Robert received Salvation.
After he was saved, many friends thought Robert should preach, and told him so. He was drawn to the ministry, but didn’t think he would be very good at it.
While visiting his family in Norwich in 1758, he noticed that there were many Christians in the area that wanted leadership, but could only get a preacher once in a while. After hearing Robert speak at an evening service of singing and praying, the people asked Robert to become pastor of their church.
At this point in time, Robert was connected to the Established Church of England. His future looked very promising if he would stay with it, and become an Established Church minister.
At a christening ceremony, someone expressed doubt of the benefit of infant baptism. This caused Robert to investigate the Biblicism of infant baptism. He found that Scripture only supports the baptism of believers. In 1759, he left the Norwich church, and joined a Baptist Church. Two years later, he was ordained, and became the pastor of the Baptist church in Cambridge. Besides pastoring the Cambridge church, he also preached at churches in the surrounding countryside. Despite his very busy schedule, he still found time to write, and there were very few years he did not publish something.
One publication he is well known for is the hymn “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” A history of Baptists was something he worked on for many years. It was published after his death in two volumes: Ecclesiastical Researches and History of Baptism.
Later in life, he endured several private sorrows, and became friends with skeptical people, which led to his wandering into sin. Feeling troubled in spirit, he decided to travel. On one of his journeys, he met a young woman who began telling him about a hymn she had been reading, and questioning him about it. Realizing it was a hymn he wrote, he tried to evade her, but was unsuccessful. Finally, he broke into tears and told her he had written the song, and he would give anything to feel the joy he had felt when he wrote it. Surprised, the woman reassured him that God’s streams of mercy still flowed. Robert was touched, and turned back to the Lord.
Robert Robinson died on June 8, 1790 at the age of 55
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31– May 10 – This Day in Baptist History Past
“The Apostle of Education”
Richard Furman began to preach at the age of 16 and became popularly known as the “boy-evangelist.” Reese and Evan Pugh ordained him two years later, on May 10, 1774, as pastor of High Hills. After a fruitful ministry there of 13 years, he became pastor of the Charleston Baptist Church, which he served for the rest of his life. “In the community no minister ever enjoyed so large a share of general confidence and reverence.” For 38 years he made “annual excursions” into various parts of the state, preaching the gospel and promoting the interests of the denomination. This itinerant ministry resulted in numerous revivals and the formation of many churches. His eloquence and fame as a preacher once opened for him an opportunity to preach in the United States Congressional Hall.
During the time that education was suspect for ministers in the South, particularly among the Separate Baptists who feared that schools would dilute Baptist spirituality, divert mission money, and lead to a hireling ministry, Richard Furman become known as the “Apostle of Education.” He led the association to form a General Committee in 1790 to administer educational funds. This committee provided funds for scholarships to attend the Baptist College in Providence, Rhode Island, and for young men to study under pastors who would also lead them in the reading of theology.
Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson /, pp. 191 -192
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113– April 23 – This Day in Baptist History Past
Evangelist of Power
Abraham Marshall was born on April 23, 1748. He was twenty-two when he was converted and twenty-seven when he was ordained. Soon after the death of his father, Daniel Marshall, Abraham assumed the pastorate of the Kiokee Church. At the age of thirty-eight, he mounted his horse and became an amazing evangelist, preaching almost every day on the journey coming and going. Conversions were numerous and estimated in the hundreds. Vast crowds came to hear him. One hot Sunday in August in the state of Connecticut, he preached to 1,300 in the morning and then, after a brief rest, addressed 1,500 at 2 pm. On another August Sunday he preached in Poquonock in Windsor, Connecticut, to 1,500, and in the same place on September 10, he addressed 3,500, which was the largest religious rally ever held in the vicinity.
These are just a few accounts that were recorded in his journal as he preached some 197 times in seven states.
Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, p. 165
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111 — April 21 – This Day in Baptist History Past
The Separation was amiable
1867 – Brother Billy Hariss, colored, was ordained into the gospel ministry according to the minutes of The Baptist Church of Christ at Kiokee, Georgia. This is but a small example of the relationship between the races during the early development of our nation, both before and after the Civil War. Dr. John Clarke organized the Baptist church in Newport, R.I. in 1639, and “Jack”, America’s first black Baptist was baptized in 1652 and added to the membership of the church, being a “free man.” However, many among the slave population in the South came to know Christ and outnumbered whites in the membership of Baptist churches 6-to-one in ratio. The First Baptist Church of Richmond, VA elected Black deacons to watch over free and slave Negro members. They also licensed certain colored men to “exercise their spiritual gifts in public.” At least fifteen years prior to Carey ‘s sailing for India, George Lisle, the first Black ordained Black Baptist in America, went to Jamaica as a missionary. Lott Carey, a member of First Baptist of Richmond purchased his freedom for $850 in 1813 and with Colin Teague, sailed in 1821 for Liberia and established the first Baptist church in Monrovia. Prior to the Civil War, Abraham Marshall, pastor at Kiokee, ordained Andrew Bryan in Savannah. It was also prior to the Civil War that John Jasper was saved and sent by his “master” to preach the gospel. After the war the blacks desired their own places of worship and the white churches either gave them the old church and built new ones or helped the blacks build new ones. The separation was amiable.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson /, p. 161.
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109 — April 19 – This Day in Baptist History Past
He opposed all infidelity
1836 – Dr. A. J. Gordon, named for Adoniram Judson,was born in New Hampshire on this day in 1836 to godly parents. At the age of 15 he came to a vital knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Upon completing his education including his theological training, he was ordained and became the pastor at Jamaica Plain, MA. From 1867 until 1869, he was sought as the pastor of the Clarendon Street Baptist Church of Boston, but did not accept it until they agreed to eliminate the paid choir and replace it with congregational singing. He was a composer of hymns and hymn tunes himself. His most influential work was related to world evangelism and missions in which he served for over twenty years as a member of the board, or as executive chairman of the American Baptist Missionary Union. He strongly emphasized the faith element in missions. He believed that the new birth by the Holy Spirit was essential for the believer. He participated in Dwight L. Moody’s evangelistic meetings and was a consistent soul winner and evangelistic preacher himself. He knew that all preaching and ministering of the Word was futile apart from the power of the Holy Spirit. He was an apologist for biblical Christianity against Darwinism, agnosticism, Unitarianism, transcendentalism, Christian Science, baptismal regeneration, and the influence of materialism in the evangelical churches of his day. Dr. Gordon was a fundamentalist before fundamentalism. He held that the Bible was inerrant and infallible. He died in 1895 and on his gravestone reflects that Blessed Hope – Pastor A.J. Gordon “Until He Come.”
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson /, p. 159.
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108– April 18 – This Day in Baptist History Past
“the Great, the Incomparable”
Abel Morgan, was born at Welsh Tract, April 18, 1713, and educated near by, at Pencader Academy, kept by Rev. Thomas Evans. He was ordained at Welsh Tract in 1734, and was called to the Middletown Church, New Jersey, which he served as Pastor till’ his death in the seventy-third year of his age. In 1772 he was Moderator of the Philadelphia Association, the celebrated Dr. James Manning being Clerk at the same time. Previously, Mr. Morgan served as Clerk. It was in 1774, upon his suggestion, that the Circular Letter was adopted by the Philadelphia Association for the first time. He was among the most noted Baptist ministers of his day. Dr. Samuel Jones calls him “the great, the incomparable Abel Morgan” (Benedict, p. 582). The same writer (p. 209) says: He “is the oldest writer I can find among the American Baptists in defense of their sentiments. Between this learned writer and Rev. Samuel Finley, a Presbyterian minister, then of Nottingham, Pennsylvania, a dispute appears to have arisen, which was carried on with much spirit on both sides for a number of years.” The Reverend Samuel Finley, who became president of Princeton College, challenged Pastor Morgan to a discussion relating to baptism. Finley wrote a pro-pedobaptist treatise, A Charitable Plea for the Speechless, and Abel Morgan replied with his Anit-Paedo Rantism; or, Refuted, the Baptism of Believers Maintained and the Mode of It by Immersion Vindicated. This treatise was printed in Philadelphia by Benjamin Franklin in 1747.
Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: William Catchcart, editor, The Baptist Encyclopedia, 1881; rpt. 1988, pp. 814-815.
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79 – March – 20 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST
He majored on the majors
1806 – Samuel L. Straughan was ordained to the gospel ministry. Born on a farm in Virginia in 1783 he became one of the great Baptist leaders of his time. He received Christ as his savior at nineteen; and even as a child he had shown much interest in religion, even to the point that his father had called him, his little preacher. He was baptized in April of 1803, and shortly after that he began to preach. On the day that he was ordained he received a unanimous call from the Wicomico Baptist Church, a flock of around two dozen. They soon increased to over three-hundred members. The next year he was called to the Morattico Baptist Church and they also experienced rapid growth as he assumed the responsibility of both congregations. In 1814 the Missionary Society appointed Straughan to travel into Maryland to preach the gospel, but before he accepted the call, the churches spent a day in fasting and prayer so as to know the mind of God in the matter. He saw great success as he continued in his pastoral and evangelistic ministry at the same time. Without the benefit of a formal education he committed great portions of the scripture to memory. Sometimes he would quote as many as one-hundred passages in a sermon and often the audience would enjoy counting the verses as he preached. He spoke extemporaneously in a rich sonorous voice, and majored on the atonement of Christ. Straughan contracted a pulmonary disease that brought about his untimely death at only thirty-eight on June 9, 1821. But in this short review, not to discount the importance of formal ministerial training, we need to see that there are things that are for more important that great leaders have exhibited, such as magnifying the Word of God and being filled with the Holy Ghost.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson /, pp. 113.
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65 – March – 06 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY
A FAITHFUL SERVANT – PAIN AND SUFFERING ASIDE
1754 – Caleb Blood, born in Charlton, Massachusetts, while attending a dance at 20 years old was struck with his sinfulness and gloriously converted. Because he progressed so rapidly in his knowledge and understanding of the Word of God, within a year and a half he was licensed to preach by the Baptist church in Charlton in 1776 and became an itinerant preacher. In 1777 he was ordained and served a newly formed Baptist church for four years in Marlow, New Hampshire. In 1781 he accepted a call to Pastor in Newton, Mass., where he served for seven years. During this time he was active with the Warren Association combating the doctrines of Universalism. In 1788 he accepted the Pastorate of the Fourth Baptist Church of Shaftsbury, Vermont where he served with great blessings for twenty years. During 1798-99 a great revival broke out where Blood saw great numbers added to his church. He always discouraged an excess of mere feelings and knew well the difference between the genuine operation of the Holy Spirit and mere human excitement. During this time he also traveled in missionary expansion into the northwest sections of New York and Canada. From 1791 to 1807 he also served as a Trustee for the University of Vermont. In 1807 he assumed the pastorate of the Third Baptist Church of Boston, Mass. Tragedy struck when Blood suffered a blow to his face. It looked small at first, but he suffered great physical pain the rest of his life, as well as being depressed in spirit. But he never stopped preaching even accepting his last pastorate at the First Baptist Church in Portland, Maine. He died on March 6, 1814. He had perfect peace and expressed one great desire that ministers might be faithful, souls saved, and his Master glorified. He was one of the leading Baptist ministers in Massachusetts and Vermont. He authored several tracts on the differences between Baptists and pedobaptists, another one for youth and another on marriage. During his ministry Baptists were debating the propriety of their members being allied with secret societies, such as Freemasons. Blood was one of the first early Baptists to speak out against the participation of Baptists with any secret societies.
Barbara Ketay from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 92-93.
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58 – February – 27 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST
Posted: 26 Feb 2014 07:20 PM PST
He wouldn’t bend or bow 1659 – Henry Dunster died on this date February 27, 1659. He was born in England around 1612 and came to know Christ as his savior. He graduated from Cambridge in 1630 and then received his master’s degree in 1634. He was ordained as a minister in the Church of England but was grieved with its corruption and sailed for America where he was soon installed as the President of Harvard College in 1640. In those days some in the Anglican Church practiced immersion, as did Dunster. In 1641 Dunster married a widow of a minister and took her five children as his own. Two years later she died, he remarried and she had five more. During this time he came to the conclusion that visible baptism of believers alone was correct Biblically. When he refused to have an infant son sprinkled he was indicted and put on trial and convicted for disturbing the ordinance of infant baptism. Because of these firm convictions Dunster left Cambridge. Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 80.
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