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109 — April 19 – This Day in Baptist History Past


He opposed all infidelity
1836 – Dr. A. J. Gordon, named for Adoniram Judson,was born in New Hampshire on this day in 1836 to godly parents.  At the age of 15 he came to a vital knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Upon completing his education including his theological training, he was ordained and became the pastor at Jamaica Plain, MA.  From 1867 until 1869, he was sought as the pastor of the Clarendon Street Baptist Church of Boston, but did not accept it until they agreed to eliminate the paid choir and replace it with congregational singing.  He was a composer of hymns and hymn tunes himself.  His most influential work was related to world evangelism and missions in which he served for over twenty years as a member of the board, or as executive chairman of the American Baptist Missionary Union.  He strongly emphasized the faith element in missions.  He believed that the new birth by the Holy Spirit was essential for the believer.  He participated in Dwight L. Moody’s evangelistic meetings and was a consistent soul winner and evangelistic preacher himself.  He knew that all preaching and ministering of the Word was futile apart from the power of the Holy Spirit.  He was an apologist for biblical Christianity against Darwinism, agnosticism, Unitarianism, transcendentalism, Christian Science, baptismal regeneration, and the influence of materialism in the evangelical churches of his day. Dr. Gordon was a fundamentalist before fundamentalism.  He held that the Bible was inerrant and infallible.  He died in 1895 and on his gravestone reflects that Blessed Hope – Pastor A.J. Gordon “Until He Come.”
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson /, p. 159.
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27 January 27 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


 

 

Vins, Georgi

President Carter had him released

1975 -  PETER VINS AND HIS SON GEORGI SUFFER FOR THE UNREGISTERED CHURCH MOVEMENT IN RUSSIA – On January 27, 1975, Georgi Vins was sentenced to five years in concentration camps, followed by five years of exile in Siberia and the confiscation of all his property. His father Peter I. Vins had studied theology in America and returned to the USSR in 1922 where he ministered in Siberia. The ministry was fruitful but he was arrested in 1930 and sentenced to 3 years in concentration camps. In 1936 Peter was held for 9 months without trial before being released. In 1937 he was arrested for the third time while pastoring the 1,000 member Baptist Church of Omsk, Siberia. It was then forcibly closed by the authorities. Peter died in prison in 1943.  Georgi, after completing his education in Kiev married Lidia, who had led the Council of Prisoners Relatives. She was arrested on Feb. 8, 1970 and sentenced to 3 years in prison for her activities. When the Russian government passed a law requiring all churches to register, Georgi Vins refused and this led to his arrest in Nov. 1966 and sentence of 3 years in a concentration camp. After his release he was sentenced again for a year at forced labor in Kiev.  He came to America in an exchange for two convicted Russian spies in a deal worked out by Baptist President Jimmy Carter in 1979.  Pastor Vins died on Jan. 11, 1998 in Elkhart, Indiana.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon; adapted from:  Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson/   pg. 36

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Hebrew Word – Psalm


 

Psalm

 

mizmôr

 

In light of yesterday’s meditation on song (šiyr, H7892), another blessed OT word concerning music is psalm. The Hebrew is mizmôr (H4210), which appears fifty-nine times in the OT, only in the Psalms, and always in the title (e.g., 3–6; 8–9; 11–15; 18–41). It is derived from the verb zamar, “to make music primarily on stringed instruments,” and oh, what music we find in the Psalms! We discover in the Psalms the very depths of theology and spiritual truth. Mizmôr, then, is a praise song accompanied by a stringed musical instrument (as David sang a psalm while playing his lyre). This is all the more significant since in fifty psalms the words “To the chief Musician” also appear.

 

It is instructive to compare mizmôr with šiyr. While mizmôr appears only in the Psalms and only in a title, šiyr “is not confined to the Psalter and within the Psalter itself is used both as a title and in the psalm proper.” Perhaps even more significantly, while šiyr can also refer to a secular song (e.g., Isa_23:16), mizmôr always refers to a religious song, which we could define as “a sacred, inspired poem of praise.” It is also significant that both words occur together in Psa_30:1; Psa_65:1 (literally, “A Psalm-Song”), emphasizing both the voices (šiyr) and the accompanying musical instruments (mizmôr).

 

Music is truly a wonderful gift. For millennia, music has fascinated and captivated mankind, who have invented an enormous number of instruments, from the complex to the simple. Far more important, however, are “songs,” because they are composed of words.

 

We would do well to remind ourselves that the book of Psalms (Sēper Tehillim, “Book of Praises”) was the hymnbook of Israel, a book of sacred, sound, and solemn poems of theological depth. Oh, that we would desire such depth in our churches! Let us abandon the trite and trivial and embrace what is true and tasteful.

 

Scriptures for Study: Read Psalms 30, meditating on both ideas of psalm and song.

 

 

 

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357 – Dec. 23 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

Anabaptist martyrs and leaders

 

 Spread_of_the_Anabaptists_1525-1550

 

1527 – Simon Stumpf, an Anabaptist was banished from Zurich. Other leaders among the Anabaptists were Johannes Denck, Michael Sattler, Andreas Carlstadt, Johannes Hut, and Jacob Hutter. Even though these men were not as well known as Balthasar Hubmaier, Felix Manz, Conrad Grebel and George Blaurock, they were still outstanding Anabaptist leaders in their own right. Denck was known as the “Apostle of Love,” Michael Sattler as “A Superlative Witness,” and Andreas Carlstadt greatly influenced Hubmaier with his brilliant theology. Another that needs to be known by all is Pilgram Marpeck.  John C. Wenger, has called him the greatest of all the South German and Swiss Anabaptist leaders. After his conversion he was forced to become a real “pilgrim”, and he has been called, “a wandering citizen of heaven.” Marpeck was saved just a few months following the martyrdom of Michael Sattler when he was the mining engineer of Rottenburg, Germany. But when he united with the Anabaptists he lost his position on Jan. of 1528, and three months later, he lost his possessions, as they were confiscated. Things continued to degenerate, and on Dec. 18 the man of God was expelled from the city, and fled to Strassburg with his wife where there was a strong contingent of Anabaptists. Marpeck soon became the outstanding leader among them but his writings were banned by the authorities and he was imprisoned. He debated with Martin Bucer, and stood for the separation of Church and State, and believer’s baptism. He was one of the few Anabaptist leaders that died a natural death. It was in Dec.1556. [This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 701-02. William R. Estep, The Anabaptist Story (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1963), p. 10.]

 

Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon

 

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309 – Nov. 05 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

Five of their children went as missionaries

 

1855 – William Bagby was born and later was saved under the preaching of Rufus C. Burleson, during the time that the pioneer preacher was President of Waco University in Texas. While there, William studied theology under Dr. B. H. Carroll, and graduated in 1875, and four years later was ordained into the gospel ministry. The following year he married Anne Ellen Luther, whose father was the president of Baylor College, and also the same year, applied for missionary service in Brazil. They sailed for the field from Baltimore in 1881 and never returned to their native land. William had served the Lord for fifty-eight years when he was called home from Porto Alegre in 1939, and Mrs. Bagby had served sixty-one years when she died in Recife in 1942. The Bagby’s had nine children. Four died, but the five remaining followed them in missionary service, four in Brazil and one in Argentina. The First Baptist Church for Brazilians was organized in 1882 in Salvador, in the state of Bahia. One of the first members was an ex-priest who had come to faith in Christ while reading his Catholic Bible, but until the Baptists came could find no one to immerse him. He taught them the language and they taught him the Word. He did much of the preaching in the Salvador church. Religious freedom was unknown at that time in Brazil and the early pioneer missionaries suffered all kinds of persecution and opposition. Some were imprisoned, others were subjected to bodily injury. This persisted until Nov. 15, 1889 when the country became a Republic and the Roman Catholic Church was disestablishment and Religious freedom was proclaimed. [Frank K. Means, Advance: A History of Southern Baptist Foreign Missions (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1970), pp.242-43. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. 604-05.]  Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon

 

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276 – Oct. 03 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

A Mightily used man of God

 

1791 – Dr. Adiel Sherwood, pastor and educator, was born in Washington County, New York, and after graduating from College was trained in theology at Andover Seminary. Andover was founded by the Conservative Congregationalists after liberalism had penetrated Harvard. There he studied under Dr. Moses Stuart, who had been used of God to eradicate the liberalism that Adoniram Judson had encountered in his college years. After that he pastored a Baptist church and taught in an academy at Waynesboro, Georgia. It was there that he was ordained in March of 1820, when James Mercer served on the Counsel. From there he was called to pastor the Bethlehem Baptist Church near Lexington, Georgia until 1821. In May of 1824 he was married to Miss Heriot of Charleston, S.C. For the next ten years until 1832, he labored in church planting and missions, and with Rev. Jesse Mercer established the Georgia Baptist Convention in 1822. In 1835 he participated in the national Triennial Convention. In 1841 he became the first president of the newly formed Shurtleff College in Illinois. For five years he was pastor in Cape Girardeau, Missouri until he returned to Griffin, GA to pastor a Baptist church and head up Marshall College there. The Sherwood’s home was devastated by the Federal army in their march through Georgia in 1864 and struggled with starvation. It is calculated that 14,000 converts were baptized from the ministry of this God blessed man. [R.S. Duncan, History of the Baptists in Missouri (St. Louis: Scammell and Company, Publishers, 1882), p. 805. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. 541-42] Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon

 

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272 – Sept. 29, 1512 – This Day in Baptist History Past


The Donatists Repudiated this Falsity

Balthasar Hubmaier received the doctorate of theology from the University of Ingolstadt in Germany and entered the Roman Catholic ministry. Through his studies he became disillusioned with what he had been taught and by 1523 was in contact with the Protestant reformer, Zwingli and he was transformed by the grace of God. His outspoken ways brought great persecution down upon him. He like Peter, under pressure, denied the truth, but repented and was able to give a glorious testimony to God’s grace in the flames of martyrdom on March 10, 1528. Three days later his wife Elizabeth, undaunted in her faith, was thrown into the Danube River and drowned. The doctrine that caused our Anabaptist forebears to suffer at the hands of Catholic and Protestant Reformers alike was infant baptism. That wicked heresy was established in the third century as Cyprian consulted with sixty bishops upon the question of whether children were to be baptized on the third or eighth day from their birth? Our forefathers the Donatists, repudiated this falsity. The Reformers, Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin continued in this heresy, and also persecuted the Baptists, and other non-conformists over this issue, which they had received from Augustine. [Wm. R. Estep, The Anabaptist Story Nashville: Broadman Press, 1963), p. 49. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 533-34.]
Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon

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261 – Sept. 18 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

Nearly every house a house of prayer

 

1842 – Elder Jabez Smith Swan preached the last Sunday of a five week evangelistic effort that began on August 14 in Mystic, Conn. Those present said that he was truly ‘in the Spirit on the Lord’s day’, as he preached with great power. After the first baptism, there were daily baptisms in Mystic for twenty-six successive days, and sometimes twice daily. More than four hundred persons were baptized during that period. Almost every house was turned into a house of prayer. Swan was born in Stonington, Conn. on Feb. 23, 1800 and at fourteen had “given a good account of himself” as a powder boy in the defense of his town in the War of 1812. He moved to Lyme with his parents, Joshua and Esther and had a deep conversion experience when he was twenty-one years old and was baptized by Rev. William Palmer. He was called to preach, studied at the Hamilton Literary and Theological Institute, and was ordained to the gospel ministry on June 20, 1827. He pastored several churches but always returned to evangelism. He died in 1884 after seeing more than 10,000 conversions, most of them baptized. [F. Dennison, The Evangelist, or Life and Labors of Rev. Jabez S. Swan (Waterford, Conn.,: Wm. L. Peckham, 1873), pp. 193-95, 203-4. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 511-13]
Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon

 

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251 – Sept. – 08 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

Out of a Lonely Heart

 

1833 – Eliza G. Jones, wife of Rev. John Taylor Jones, missionaries to Burma and Siam, wrote the following from Bangkok, out of a lonely heart. “We feel that we are exiles from our native land, our beloved friends, the religious privileges we once enjoyed, and even from civilized life. Especially on the return of this day, on which we have been accustomed weekly to worship God in the assembly of his saints…When we look around on those among whom we dwell, and feel what it is to live in the midst of a ‘people of unclean lips,’ we are ready to cry with Israel’s psalmist, ‘My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord.’” Writing to her father, Rev. Henry Grew of Providence, R.I. concerning the death of their little daughter, she again shows us her heart: “I was able to throw myself into the arms of Jesus, and to enjoy the happiness of entire submission to the will of God….Life seemed but a moment, eternity a blessed reality. Heaven with all its glories was opened to the view of faith, and I exulted in the glorious anticipation of soon enjoying, with my dear child, its transporting visions; of seeing face to face that dear Savior Who died for us, and of bowing with her…in humble adoration at his feet…” [Mrs. L. H. Sigourney, Memoir of Mrs. Eliza G. Jones (Philadelphia: American Baptist Publication society, 1853), p. 22. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 492-93.]  Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon

 

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247 – Sept. 04 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

He Died as He was Born

 

1688 – “Wednesday…was kept in prayer and humiliation for this Heavy Stroak upon us, ye Death of deare Brother Bunyan. Apoynted also that Wednesday next be kept in praire and humiliation on the same Account.” John Bunyan, their most loved pastor had died on Friday, Aug. 31 while on a preaching trip to London, England. The news had not reached his congregation in Bedford until they had gathered to worship the following Sunday. Bunyan often preached to as many as 3,000 in London after spending nearly 13 years in Bedford jail for refusing a license to preach the gospel. There he had written Pilgrim’s Progress and other great works. In 1672 the Act of Pardon had set him free. He was born to a tinker (a repairer of pots and pans). He married in 1647 and was saved and baptized into the membership of Bedford church in 1655. His wife died the same year and he remarried in 1659. He had a precious blind daughter who visited him while in jail. He died as he was born, in poverty. His death came when he was exposed to a heavy rain which brought on a high fever, and in ten days the great preacher was with the Lord. [John Brown, John Bunyan His Life Times and Work (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Co., 1888), pp. 390-91.  This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 483-485.]  Prepared by Dr. Greg Dixon

 

 

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