Tag Archives: South Carolina

149 — May 28 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

A Ferocious Don Manuel Gayoso de Lemos, a Fearless Woman, and a Fainting Wife

 

Baptists from the Pee Dee region of northeastern South Carolina arrived at Cole’s Creek near Natchez in the Mississippi territory beginning in 1780, almost forty years before Mississippi became the twentieth state in the United States of America on December 10, 1817.  These Baptists had served the American colonies in their opposition to the British in the Revolutionary War.  Simultaneous with the Baptists’ arrival to Mississippi in 1780, the English were losing their control of the area to the Spanish.

 

Among the Baptists who left South Carolina were Richard Curtis, Sr., his step-son John Jones and his wife Anna, his sons Benjamin Curtis and family, Richard Curtis, Jr. (born in Virginia on May 28, 1756), and family.

 

Enforcing Roman Catholicism on the newly acquired area, the Spanish did not recognize non-Catholic forms of religion.  Problems started for the Baptists when Richard Curtis, Jr., a licensed Baptist minister, began to attract attention with his preaching ability.  By 1790, various people in the area had asked Richard Curtis, Jr., to preach for them.  Later, Curtis officiated at the baptisms of a prominent man William Hamberlin and Stephen De Alvo, a Catholic-born Spaniard, who had married an American woman, and Curtis led worship in private homes.  In 1791, the Baptists established a small church at Cole’s Creek approximately eighteen miles north of Natchez near the corner of contemporary Stampley Road and 4 Forks Road.

 

The Spanish governor, Don Manuel Gayoso de Lemos, wrote a letter to Curtis in 1795 ordering him to stop preaching contrary to the laws of the Spanish province, and went so far as to have Curtis arrested April 6, 1795.  Gayoso threatened Curtis, Hamberlin, and De Alvo with the penalty of working the silver mines of Mexico, especially if Curtis failed to stop preaching contrary to the provincial law.

 

Richard Curtis Jr., Bill Hamberlin, and Steve De Alvo fled the Natchez Country. Cloe Holt, Volunteered to fearlessly take supplies to the men in concealment. When the territory passed under the control of Georgia and was recognized as United States property, Curtis and his companions returned with joyful hearts. Curtis’s wife, not knowing of his return, fainted when she saw him standing in the pulpit to Preach.

 

Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. Thompson/Cummins pp. 218 -219

 

 

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357 – Dec. 23 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


“A great revival resulted under his ministry”
 December 23, 1741 – John Waller was born in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, and was a descendent of the honorable Wallers in England. No man suffered more or experienced greater success in his ministry in Virginia and S.C. than he. His uncle had made arrangements for him to be educated in the law, but upon his death, his father was unable to finance even a classical education. Allowing himself to indulge in every type of wickedness and profanity, he quickly acquired the appellation of “Swearing Jack” Waller. He was sometimes called the “devils adjutant” to muster his troops. He was on the grand jury who was presented the case against the Baptist preacher, Lewis Craig and heard his testimony when he said, “I thank you for the honor…While I was wicked you took no notice of me: but since I have altered my course of life, and endeavored to reform my neighbors, you concern yourselves much about me. I forgive my persecuting enemies, and shall take joyfully the spoiling of my goods.” When Waller heard him speak in such a humble manner, he was persuaded that Craig was possessed of something he had not seen in him before and desired to have the same experience. Waller began to attend the Baptist meetings, and he experienced very intense conviction for seven or eight months. He said, “I had long felt the greatest abhorrence of myself.” In hearing another man cry out for mercy he felt his own heart melt, “…and a sweet application of the Redeemer’s love to my poor soul.” He said that there were periods of struggle…but he took refuge in the Word of God, especially in Isa. 50:10. He was ordained to the ministry in June of 1770 and it was attended with great success. A great revival resulted under his ministry and he had a membership of 1500.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 536-37

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351 – Dec. 17 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


In Feb. of 1812 Jacob found the peace of Salvation
December 17, 1811 – Jacob Bower of Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us, we shall all be sunk and lost, and I am not prepared. O God, have mercy upon us all.” America’s greatest earthquake had just struck. Centered in the Mississippi River, it sent shock waves into Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Georgia, S.C., Virginia, and Indiana. Mild tremors were felt as far as Boston! Bower was born into a Christian family on Sept. 26, 1786. His father led the family in morning and evening devotions and instructed the children to live moral and upright lives, but he failed to lead them into a personal relationship with Christ. Therefore young Bower matured trusting in his own righteousness for salvation. Upon leaving home for employment, he was soon influenced by a Universalist, and for five years, Bower embraced that heresy and began drinking and fell into many vices and sins. When conviction came he would assure himself of salvation, for Universalism taught that men would be saved, regardless of their lifestyle. He married in 1807 at the age of 21, and the Lord again began to stir his heart with conviction. In 1811 during a visit to his home, and a witness of a Baptist preacher, his heart was stirred again to consider death and eternity. Conviction continued to grow and then came the earthquake. A tremendous struggle ensued and then in Feb. of 1812 Jacob found the peace of Salvation. He made a public profession and was baptized into the membership of Hazel Creek Baptist Church. After serving three Kentucky churches for ten years he moved his family to Illinois and within two years he organized two churches. And then in Illinois and Missouri he organized fourteen churches and ordained twelve ministers to the gospel ministry.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 526-28.

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342 – Dec. 08 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


Marshall saw (George) Washington several times.
December 08, 1856 – Rev. Andrew Marshall died. It was believed that he was over 100 years old having been born in South Carolina in 1755. However, no one took time to record the date of birth of the little “slave-born.” There was an immense procession about a mile long, with 58 carriages that made its way from the church to the cemetery on Dec. 14, 1856. At the time of his death Marshall was pastor of the First African Baptist Church in Savannah, Georgia. They had divided from the Second Baptist when it reached 3,000 members. Marshall had been the Senior pastor there too. First African Baptist had just purchased the First Baptist and he had gone north to raise funds and had reached Richmond on his return and could go no further when he became ill. They say that he had baptized over 4,000 souls during the course of his ministry. His reputation as a pulpiteer with his deep, sonorous, and tender voice with the pathos was unsurpassed. Throngs greeted him, both black and white wherever he went.  What an end for the little slave boy whose first “master” was John Houston, the colonial governor of Georgia. The governor died when Andrew was about 21 years old. Freedom had been bequeathed to him at the death of Houston, for the slave had at one time saved his master’s life. The executors failed, however, to carry out the will, and Andrew was again sold…becoming the property of Judge Clay. During that time he went North with the Judge who had become a Senator. Marshall saw Washington several times. When Pres. Washington came to Savannah he was appointed the President’s “body servant” and acted as his carriage driver. Andrew purchased his freedom about the time that he was converted and in 1785 he was baptized, and was licensed to preach.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 512-13.
 

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340 – Dec. 06 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


He made it clear that all associations are entirely “voluntary”.
December 06, 1821 – The First State convention was formed in South Carolina, “for the promotion of evangelical and useful knowledge, by means of religious education and the support of missionary service among the destitute…and the promotion of the true interest of the churches of Christ in general, and of their union, love and harmony in particular.” And yet again, “The Convention shall recognize the independence and liberty of the Churches of Christ, and consequently shall not in any case arbitrarily interfere with their spiritual obligations.” Denominational colleges were begun rapidly in the states that followed the pattern of establishing state conventions. The first cohesive effort among Baptists began in 1707. It was for the purpose of educating its ministers and the spread of the gospel in the world. The growth of associations was very slow among the Baptist churches for fear of the assumption of power by the associations. It was 60 years after the Philadelphia Association that the Warren Association, of Rhode Island was formed. It was only after assurances from men like Edward T. Hiscox in his Baptist Directory (1866) did the growth of the associations proliferate. He made it clear that all associations are entirely “voluntary”. No church or individual was obligated to unite with them and they “can leave them when they wish.” The research by Robert G. Gardner reveals that in 1780 there were approximately 1066 Baptist churches in America and only 14 Associations, representing 286 churches which were less than 25%. However that was to change drastically when Luther Rice returned from the field from India. The birth of the Triennial Convention for the cause of missions, the development of associations and state conventions became a reality.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 508-10.

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330 – Nov. 26 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


“To follow the dictates of conscience, I must be a Baptist”

November 26, 1800 – John Holcombe, and a group of Baptists that had been attending a Presbyterian church that he was pastoring in Savannah, Georgia, which they found was unworkable, constituted a Baptist church in that city. Holcombe was born in 1762 but as a child his family moved from Virginia to South Carolina. By 11 years of age he completed all the education he was to receive from a living teacher. He had a naturally inquiring mind which desired knowledge of every kind. At the beginning of the Revolutionary War, Holcombe was quite young, however, he was impressed with a sense of wrong done to his country and felt the stirrings of patriotism. Just passed boyhood, he entered the army and quickly demonstrated the courage and discretion that allowed him to rise to an important position. It was during this time, amidst the temptations of camp, that he made his profession of faith in Christ. His father told him that he was baptized as a Presbyterian in his infancy. After searching the scriptures on the matter, he concluded (in his own words) that “to follow the dictates of conscience, I must be a Baptist; and not conferring with flesh and blood, I rode near 20 miles to propose myself as a candidate for admission into a Baptist church. Immediately afterwards he received a license to preach the gospel and his labors were followed with uncommon blessings. He soon baptized 26 persons, including his wife Frances, her brother and mother, and shortly after, 17 more, including his father. He was also elected to the Constitutional Convention in Charleston, S.C. for ratifying the U.S. Constitution. Holcombe was vigorous in his opposition to infidelity, theatrical amusements, and other things which he regarded of evil tendency. Several times his life was in jeopardy.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins /Thompson/, pp. 492 – 94.

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Momentus Occasion


“Next Monday the Convention in Virginia will assemble; we have still good hopes of its adoption here: though by no great plurality of votes. South Carolina has probably decided favourably before this time. The plot thickens fast. A few short weeks will determine the political fate of America for the present generation, and probably produce no small influence on the happiness of society through a long succession of ages to come.” –George Washington, letter to Marquis de Lafayette, 1788Technorati Tags: , , , ,

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