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Baptists Publish the Word


1824 – THE FIRST BAPTIST PUBLISHING HOUSE IN AMERICA WAS FORMED IN THE EARLY 19TH CENTURY – On February 25, 1824, from a meeting in Washington, D.C., the “Baptist General Tract Society” was begun.  Luther Rice was elected Treasurer.  He was a partner of Adoniram and Ann Judson and had returned from the mission field to raise money to keep them on the mission field.  Early on Christian people had united in the effort to evangelize through Christian literature.  “The Evangelical Tract Society” was formed in Boston in 1811; the Philadelphia Sunday School and Adult School Union were organized in 1817, and the Baptists joined with other denominations in organizing the American Sunday School Union.  However Baptist leaders were not satisfied until they had their own publishing house to formulate Baptist ideas and doctrine which culminated in the organization mentioned above.  On April 30, 1840, in N.Y. City, representatives from 15 states voted to change the complexion and name to “The American Baptist Publication and Sunday School Society.”  From that time Baptists have been able to obtain distinctive Baptist literature to train their members.  The “Baptist Manual” was published consisting of a Doctrinal, Historical and Biographical series.


Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 77.


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277 – Oct. 04 – This Day in Baptist History Past


He published the Word


1829 – Cephas and Stella Bennett arrived in Calcutta, having sailed from Philadelphia the previous May. After spending several months observing the printing ministry of William Carey in India, they continued on to Maulmain, Burma, arriving on January 14, 1830. Cephas was born to the godly Rev. and Mrs. Alfred Bennett, pastor of the Baptist church in Homer, N.Y on March 20, 1804. Alfred was greatly used of the Lord in advancing the cause of foreign missions so it wasn’t unusual that his son would hear the “call of the heathen.”  Cephas became burdened to preach as well as to print the word, so when he returned to America because of poor health in 1839, he was ordained and returned to the field in 1842. He had taken an American press with him, and his work was so efficient that in 1837, a tract was given to practically every Burman in Rangoon, who could read. Hundreds daily sought the missionaries to learn about Jesus, and many were saved through this effort. Large quantities of Bibles, New Testaments, portions of scriptures, innumerable books, besides tracts were made available. In 1834 Bennett founded the Maulmain Free School, which enrolled 122 children. At one time his was the only press in the world that could print in several languages, allowing him to provide the gospel to millions. Bro. Cephas Bennett finally left the field at age 77, having served in Burma for fifty years. [Henry C. Vedder, A Short History of Baptist Missions Philadelphia: Judson Press, 1927), p. 99. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. 543-44.]  Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon


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