The importance of church succession
On this date we have the record of the church-planting procedures of the “Particular Baptists” during the colonial era. The Baptist church in Boston granted a letter of approval to William Screven on Nov. 11, 1681, “to exercise his gift in ye place where he lives or elsewhere as the providence of God may cast him.” Some months later they sent the following letter of approval for the establishing of a Baptist church in Maine; following is a summary of that correspondence: “Upon serious and solemn consideration of the church about a motion…made by several members that lived at Kittery, [that] they might become a church…provided they were such as should be Approved for such A Foundacon work, the Church…did send severall messengers to make y strict inquiry and Examination as they ought in such A case who at their returne brought Coppys here inserted 26th of 7 mo 1682. The Church of Christ at Boston y(et) is baptized upon profession of faith having taken into serious consideration ye Request of our Brethren at Kittery Relating to their being A Church by themselves y(et) soe they might Injoy the precious ordinances of Christ which by reson of distance…they butt seldome could enjoy have therefore thought meet to make Choice of us whose names are und’written as Messengers to Assist them in ye same faith with us…of doctrine and practice and soe finding them one with us by their Conschiencous Acknowleldgm(ent) of ye Confession of faith putt forth by ye Elders an Brethren of ye churches in London and ye contry in England dated in ye year 1682…And they having given themselves up to ye lord & to one Another in A Solemn Covenant to walk as said Covenant may Express & also having Chosen theire officers whome they with us have Appointed and ordained, we doe therefore in ye name of ye lord Jesus & by the Appointment of his Church deliver them to be a Church of Christ in ye faith and order of ye gospel. Signed by us in ye name of ye Church the 25 of 7 mo 1682. Isaak Hull, Thomas Skinner, Phillipp Squire.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon: adapted From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 306-07.