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361 – Dec. 27 – This Day in Baptist History Past


Results of Baptist missions in Italy



1832 – Dr. George Boardman Taylor was born, and when the call came for service in Italy he was already forty-one years of age. By then he had been educated at the University of Virginia and had served as pastor of churches in Baltimore, MD, and Staunton, VA. He was a chaplain during the Civil war having served in the Twenty-fifth Virginia Regiment under General Stonewall Jackson and had been wounded in battle. In 1880 Rev. and Mrs. J.H. Eager joined them in the ministry. However the mission suffered a setback in March of 1884 because of the death of Mrs. Taylor, which was deeply felt by all. By 1899 some fourteen churches had been founded on the Island of Sardinia and the cities of Rome, Milan, Venice, Bologna, and Naples. Also the missionaries reported that new stations were constantly being opened, and baptisms were more frequent than ever before, and the people were more eager to listen to the Word. Dr. Taylor’s labors continued thirty-four years until he was called home on Sept. 28, 1907, and then his son-in-law, Dexter G. Whittinghill, who had arrived in 1901 to assist him, was able to continue on with the mission. In 1923 the work had prospered to the point that there were fifty-seven churches with just over 2,300 total members. In 1863, James Wall and Edward Clark, two Baptists from England went to Italy. In 1845 Dr. William N. Cote was the first to go from America. Dr. Cote, with the help of an Italian convert, started the first Baptist church with eighteen members on Jan. 28, 1871. Problems then arose that caused Dr. Cote to resign, and Dr. Taylor was asked to take his place, and stabilize the work. [This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: 2000 A.D. pp. 709-10. George Braxton Taylor, Southern Baptists in Sunny Italy (New York: Walter Neal, Publisher, 1929), p. 30.]   Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon



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