Jehu L. Shuck entered heaven on August 20, 1863. His 51 years were fruitful as he saw many “firsts” in the ongoing of the gospel among the Chinese. Shuck was born in Alexandria, VA, on Sept. 4, 1812. He was educated at the VA Baptist Seminary. Shuck Married Henrietta Jeter and two days after their wedding in 1835, they were approved as missionaries by the Triennial Baptist Convention and sailed for China on Sept. 22, 1835. Mrs. Shuck has the honor of being the “first American evangelical woman missionary to go to China.” Shuck baptized his first convert in Portuguese Macao in 1837, who had been reading Christian literature. In 1840 their finances failed and they had to go to Hong Kong for safety under British protection. Shuck supported himself by editing a paper. In 1843 he organized a church with 26 members. However in 1844 Mrs. Shuck died and it was necessary for him to return to the US to make provisions for his children. A convert named Yong who had become a preacher came with him and spoke at the first anniversary of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1846 at Richmond, VA and the two of them stirred a great interest in missions. In 1847 Shuck returned to China to labor in Shanghai. Dr. and Mrs. James L. Sexton also responded as medical missionaries but their schooner to Shanghai capsized. Schuck was crushed but was successful in gaining the first permanent foothold into the interior of China. But as trials persisted and his second wife died, he returned to America wishing to be nearer to his children. He resigned from the foreign board and continued to work with the Chinese in California.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 343-44.
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Southern Baptist Convention begins
For many years Baptists throughout America, without sectional distinctions, had cooperated in the work of missions. Gradual differences began to surface which were caused by cultural and geographical locations, but the matter came to a head with the issue of slavery. The period from 1832 to 1845 was a most difficult time of irritation, and finally in 1845, division came as the churches of the South concluded that they could best perform the work of missions by operating separately from the churches of the North.
In response to a call from the Board of the Virginia Foreign Baptist Missionary Society, a convention met in Augusta, Georgia, May 8, 1845.
Dr. William B. Johnson had been a prime mover in the establishment of the Triennial Convention and now championed the Southern Baptist Convention. In the May 8th meeting in Augusta, Johnson’s plan was adopted fully, and he was elected the first president of the Southern Baptist Convention. He served two terms in that capacity, from 1845 to 1851.
Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 188 – 189
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Baptists split over Slavery
Before the break of the southern brethren to begin their own convention, some of the northern brethren met and formed the American Baptist Anti-Slavery Convention. It held its first session in New York City, beginning on April 28, 1840. The northern Baptists addressed their southern equivalents as follows: “It is our firm conviction that the whole system of American slavery, in theory and practice, is a violation of the instincts of nature, — a perversion of the first principle of justice, —and a positive transgression of the revealed will of God. . . . Thus we behold, in all the Scriptures a virtual and total condemnation of American slavery.”
After much maneuvering on the part of brethren from the North and South to affect some compromise, a test case was presented to the Home Society when a slaveholder was presented as a missionary candidate. The candidate was rejected, and this brought about the formation of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1845. The schism would prove permanent, but even then fraternal relations were continued by some, and the phenomenon can only be explained by the commonality of faith.
Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 173
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Posted: 31 Dec 2013 05:50 PM PST
The Southern Baptist Convention begins
1771 – Daniel Marshall moved to Georgia, and by the spring of 1772, he had led a small congregation in the formation of the First Baptist Church of Kiokee and served as pastor until his death in 1784. A Georgia law of 1757 prohibited any worship not “according to the rites and ceremonies of the Church of England,” but Marshall led a “brush arbor” service. As he bowed in prayer, he was interrupted by a heavy hand on his shoulder and the declaration, “You are my prisoner!” The 65 year old preacher stood to his feet only to hear the young constable inform him that he had, “preached in the parish of St. Paul.” Mrs. Marshall quoted scripture which the Lord used to bring about the official’s conviction and conversion. The Court ordered Marshall to leave the Province of Georgia. His son remembered that he quoted scripture, “Whether it be right to obey God or man, judge ye,” and he went on his way preaching with great power. This boldness bore fruit, for the 21 year old constable, Samuel Cartledge was gloriously saved and in 1777 was baptized. After serving as a deacon in 1789, Cartledge was ordained to preach and ministered in Georgia and S.C. until his death at 93. One of his preacher descendants has referred to him as, the “Colonial Saul of Tarsus.” The Separate Baptists were led primarily by three men; Shubal Stearns, in North Carolina, Daniel Marshall, in Georgia, and Samuel Harriss, in Virginia. It was because of their labors that caused the proliferation of the Baptists in the south and the growth of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 01-02.
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First Missionaries from North Carolina
1846 – Matthew and Eliza Yates were appointed as missionaries to China by the Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. They were the first missionaries to go to the foreign field from North Carolina. Yates died on March 17, 1888 and was buried in China after a blessed and fruitful ministry. (Walter Sinclair Stewart, Early Baptist Missionaries and Pioneers – Philadelphia: Judson Press, 1926. 2:176)
Prepared by Dr. Greg Dixon
THE ESTIMATE OF WORTHY
Dr. E.T. Winkler, one of the most distinguished men among Southern Baptists, intellectual, scholarly, and consecrated, whose name still lives in the annals of the denomination and who, on several occasions, had antagonized and defeated extreme propositions introduced by J.R. Graves, wrote in The Alabama Baptist, of which he was then editor, and just after one of those direct conflicts had occurred in the Southern Baptist Convention at St. Louis in 1871:
“Extreme as the views of Dr. Graves have been regarded by some, there is no question but that they have powerfully contributed to the correction of a false liberalism that was current in many quarters many years ago.”
Dr. S. Boykin has these kind words to say of Dr. Graves:
“He is a preacher who insists strongly upon water – that is, baptism and baptism properly administered – yet he places the blood of Christ above water. In play of fancy, in power of illustration, in earnestness of denunciation, in force of logic, in clearness of presentation, in naturalness of delivery, in boldness of thought, and at times tenderness of spirit, he hardly has a peer.”
A certain presiding judge in the city of Memphis, when on “brief” day, in lecturing the bar upon the importance of clear statement of propositions, once remarked:
“The gift is as rare as genius, but is still susceptible of cultivation. Of living ministers I know of no one who possesses it in a higher degree than Dr. Graves of the First Baptist Church in this city. He lays down his propositions so clearly that they come with the force of axioms, that need no demonstrations – you can see all through and all around them.”
The Nashville American:
“Dr. J.R. Graves, one of the most quiet and unassuming men in the Convention, is a great landmark champion and upholder of the most strictly Baptist principles. He formerly lived for many years in this city, but is now living in Memphis, editor and proprietor of The Tennessee Baptist.
A paper published in Macon, Georgia, has this to say of Dr. Graves:
“As an orator he is very powerful, and as a writer he unites strength, pointedness, and clearness. He is fearless where he thinks himself right, as he generally does, and boldly avows his sentiments and opinions though they may differ much from those of others.”
In the Georgia Baptist Convention, Honorable Joseph E. Brown, the Governor of that state, said:
“There is one man who has done more than fifty men now living to enable the Baptists of America to know their own history and their principles and to make the world know them, and that man is the brother to my righ,”
bowing to Dr. Graves, who was seated in the convention.
Dr. John H. Boyet, a prominent minister of the South, wrote upon the occasion of Dr. Graves’ death, saying:
“There was something in Dr. J.R. Graves grander than ever shone out in his writings. He was a hero in the defense of the Baptist faith, but he was a greater hero than that – he could take a young and trembling brother by the hand and help him up.”
At Dr. Graves’ death, Dr. R.C. Burleson sent this wire to Mrs. Graves:
“Ten thousand Texans mourn with you the loss of your now sainted dead.”
As showing the estimate which the denomination put upon Dr. Graves, the following letter is here inserted:
Domestic Mission Room
October 14, 1853.
“Dear Brother Graves:
“Doctor Fuller having declined the appointment of this Board as missionary to New Orleans, we deem it to be our duty, under the instruction of the Convention to make every effort to secure the services of some minister who shall be able to build up the cause of our denomination in that great city. Our minds have been directed to you, and you have received the appointment, with a salary of three thousand dollars. I herewith send you a commission. What say you, my dear brother? Will you go for us? An early answer is desirable.
J.H. DeVOTIE, Cor. Sec., pro tem.”
While living he was followed and feared, hailed and confided in as a great teacher and leader, and denounced, if not shunned, as a disturber of religious peace. Three-fourths of a century have passed since his public career began and thirty-five years have borne their message into the confines of eternity since he fought his last battle, but his name is still fresh among his brethren, his labors still producing fruit, his teachings still discussed, and his influence still widely felt. The echoes of his voice still linger in the valley and responses to his battle cry are heard on many sides, while condemnations of his life work are not infrequent and often severe.
These things could not have occurred with an ordinary man; with any but a heroic, persistent, intensely, and earnestly sincere man of ability, whose life purposes were seen with a clear vision and pursued with unfaltering step; whose inner soul responded to the appeal of old Ignatius which has bee rendered:
“Stand like an anvil while the stroke
Of stalwart men fall fierce and fast;
Storms but more firmly root the oak,
Whose brawny arms embrace the blast.”
That such a man living and dead, should be misunderstood; that in the impetuosity of his life battle, with watchful antagonists on every hand, should have sounded a consistent and valiant note in which no dullness should confound his utterances, and that prejudice should misconstrue his teachings and adverse criticism should adduce odious conclusions from his arguments is no more than might be expected. And throughout the Baptist denomination today the question is still asked with intensity and answered diversely, “Was J.R. Graves’ life a blessing or a blight – for good or for harm?” The answer to this question can be given only by a review of his life and his teachings by one who knew him well and labored beside him for many years, and such is our purpose in undertaking this too long delayed biography.
The true biography of a man is not simply the record of his birthday, his school days or his death day. These but mark the boundaries of the field where he wrought. How he toiled, what were his struggles, his defeats and his victories, his triumphs and his failures, how he was influenced by his surroundings and how far he influenced all those around him, how vital truth, eternal verities impressed him and how he impressed these on those he met with. These, could they be given, are his life picture, his inner soul voiced in actions that never die.
He believed that this is foundational truth
Basil Manly, Jr. was ordained on Jan. 30, 1848, at Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and he undertook the pastoral care of three churches in Al and MS. Shortly his health failed, but after it was restored, he was called to the First Baptist Church of Richmond, VA, the most prestigious church in the Southern Baptist Convention at that time. He served there until Oct. 1, 1854 until he became president of the Richmond Female Institute, but he still ministered to a country church. In 1859 he was chosen to write the Articles of Faith when the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary was founded at Greenville, S.C. He later became president of Georgetown College, at Georgetown, KY. When the SBA Seminary was moved to Louisville he returned to the faculty. He devoted much of the remainder of his life to education and gospel music. However, the most important writing of Basil Manly, Jr. is The Bible Doctrine of Inspiration. He believed that this is foundational truth, whether we are following God or men, and whether our religion is of divine or human origin. Manley argued that without an inspired Bible, we would have no infallible standard of truth, no authoritative rule for obedience, and no ground for confident and everlasting hope. At the opening of the twenty-first century, Baptists have come full circle for this battle for an infallible Bible. It will be the deciding factor as to where Baptists end as a people and their impact on this generation.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. IIII: Cummins, pp. 60-62.