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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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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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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“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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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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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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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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He preached with great power
1722 – WARRANTS WERE ISSUED AGAINST A BAPTIST PREACHER IN LOUDON COUNTY, VIRGINIA IN 1766 – Richard Major was born on February 6, 1722 near Pennsbury, Pennsylvania into a Presbyterian home. Early on under conviction of sin he would resort to bad company to ward it off but finally grace prevailed and he became an ardent believer. He became a Baptist in 1764 and moved to Loudon County, VA, in 1766. Though he had not much schooling he was self-taught in the school of Christ, and became ordained, and was called to pastor the Little River Church, of which came six or eight other churches. Major encountered much opposition from the authorities. Warrants were issued for his arrest, but the officers never took him. At Bull Run a mob armed with clubs rose to assist in the execution of a warrant, but the Davis brothers, giants of men, after hearing him preach became enamored with him and threatened to whip anyone who disturbed his preaching. A particular man, whose wife Major had baptized, went to a meeting to kill him but the Lord intervened, and the man became so convicted that he couldn’t stand and was afterwards baptized by Major. On another occasion, a man attacked him with a club, Major said, “Satan I command thee to come out of the man.” The club immediately fell to the ground, and the lion became like a lamb. He had many other similar incidents happen in his ministry. Major was highly esteemed in his latter years which caused him great alarm because of the scripture, “beware when all men speak well of you.” His mind was eased when he overheard someone charging him with an abominable crime. The house where he lived, a stately red brick home still stands near Chantilly, VA, and a few hundred feet behind the house is his grave marked by a weathered landmark of our early Baptist history in America.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 50.
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First Black Baptists in Savannah, GA
1788 – Andrew Bryan was ordained into the gospel ministry. Bryan pastored the first Negro Baptist church in Georgia. The church was founded by Abraham Marshall whose father, Daniel, founded the first Baptist church in Georgia. Abraham baptized forty-five black believers and along with others who had been previously baptized he formed them into a church and called and ordained Andrew Bryan as pastor. Bryan had been a convert of George Leile who had been a slave of Deacon Henry Sharp of the First Baptist Church of Savannah, Georgia. When Deacon Sharp detected that his servant was called of God, he emancipated the stirring preacher so that he could give himself totally to the preaching of the gospel. Ordained in 1775, Leile labored in and around Savannah before leaving in 1775 for Jamaica in 1779. Thus Leile predated the service of William Carey, “the founder of modern Baptist missions.” Upon Bryan’s death a resolution was passed by the Savannah Baptist Association in 1812. It read in part: “the Association is sensibly affected by the death of the Rev. Andrew Bryan, a man of color, and pastor of the First Colored Church in Savannah. This son of Africa, after suffering inexpressible persecutions in the cause of his divine Master, was at length permitted to discharge the duties of the ministry among his colored friends in peace and quiet, hundreds of whom through his instrumentality, were brought to a knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus…”
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from; adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 26-28.
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The gospel chases exposes an atheist
1872 – Elder J.N. Hall was ordained to the gospel ministry on January 13, 1872. He was born in 1849. An indefatigable laborer, Hall preached an average of a sermon a day and edited several Baptist journals of his time. But most of all he excelled in debating. The infidel club of Trigg County, Kentucky had made great strides and the atheist members continually challenged the Christians to debate. The Baptist pastor in the area realized that his disregarding of the demand was being interpreted by the general population as a sign of weakness and therefore something had to be done. The atheists sought the services of the famous atheist Robert Ingersoll and the pastor invited Elder J.N. Hall to meet him in public debate. Ingersoll refused but recommended the President of the Free Thought Association of America, a certain Mr. Putnam. The terms and time of the debate was set and accepted by both men but on the evening of the debate Elder Hall did not show up. Putnam went on with his speech which lasted for two hours. At the end a lad came to the platform and explained that Elder Hall was detained but would be there the next morning to give his rebuttal. The next morning before a full house, he drew Putnam aside and asked him to give him his arguments which he did. For the next two hours Elder Hall spoke and totally decimated his opposition. Putnam never rallied again, and at the end of the second day, the atheist debater announced that he had pressing business in New York, and left. Elder Hall then turned to the multitude and preached the gospel including a sermon from the text: “What think ye of Christ?” Forty-seven came to receive Christ.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon; adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 17-18.
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