Tag Archives: Spotsylvania County Virginia

155 — June 04 This Day in Baptist History Past


Would the Nightingale care if the toad despised her singing?”


It all began in a meetinghouse yard June 4, 1768, when the sheriff of Spotsylvania County, Virginia seized John Waller, Lewis Craig, James Childs, James Reed and William Mash. Three magistrates were standing in that yard and bound them under penalty of one thousand pounds apiece to appear in court two days later. The prosecutor charged them with being disturbers of the peace, alleging, “They cannot meet a man upon the road, but they must ram a text of Scripture down his throat.”


As they passed through the streets of Fredericksburg toward the old stone gaol, locked arm in arm, they sang the old hymn:


Broad is the road that leads to death,


And thousands walk together there;


But wisdom shows a narrow path,


With here and there a traveler.


Deny thyself and take thy cross,


Is the Redeemer’s great command;


Nature must count her gold but dross


If she would gain this heavenly land.


These men could sing, like the apostles in the jail at Philippi, under the most trying circumstances, because there was joy in their souls. If there were those who ridiculed them as they went through the streets singing that resounding song, what did they care?  What would the nightingale care if the toad despised her singing? She would sing on and leave the cold toad to his grouchy thoughts and shadows. And what cared these preachers for the sneers and scoffs of men who grovel upon the earth? They sang on in the ear and the bosom of God.


They were kept in prison in Fredericksburg forty three days for quoting the Word of God.


Other counties continued for some time imprisoning Baptist preachers, Spotsylvania never dared to repeat the experiment.




Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. ( Thompson/Cummins)pp. 230 -231.



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Reminiscences of a Long Life

James M. Pendleton was born is Spotsylvania County, Virginia, on November 20, 1811. The Pendleton family moved to Kentucky when James was a year old. Having trusted Christ as Saviour in the loving environment of his home, J. M. Pendleton was baptized on April 11, 1829.  He began to preach immediately, and was trained at a seminary in Hopkinsville.  He was ordained on November 1, 1833, and served two churches as pastor.  On March 13, 1838, J. M. married Miss Catherine Garnettt, and they made their home in Bowling Green, Kentucky.  For the next twenty years the man of God served the Baptist church there.  J. M. stood strong against Baptists opening their pulpits to non-baptized believers who had not obeyed the Lord’s command.  He wrote his views in a booklet entitled “An Ancient Landmark Reset.”   On January 1, 1857, J. M. left Bowling Green and moved to Murfreesboro, Tennessee, to teach preacher boys at Union University.  In 1862 in sympathy with the Northern cause, moved to Hamilton, Ohio, where he served as pastor for a short period.  His Last pastorate was the Upland Baptist Church in Pennsylvania, and while there, he assisted in founding Crozer Theological Seminary. Pendleton was an excellent writer, and his “Baptist Church Manual” was used for years by many Baptist churches as their guide.  On his seventy-ninth birthday, Pendleton began to write a volume entitled “Reminiscences of a Long Life,” and he completed the task within two months.  The life of the man of God terminated on March 5, 1891, and his funeral was conducted by T. T. Eaton of Louisville, Kentucky.  He was buried in the Fairview Cemetery in Bowling Green.

Dr. Dale R. Hart, adapted from: “This Day in Baptist History III”  David L. Cummins. pp. 133  – 134.

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“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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