Philanthropists endeavored to destroy slavery, but when was it utterly abolished? It was when Wilberforce roused the Church of God, and when the Church of God addressed herself to the conflict—then she tore the evil thing to pieces! Elsewhere in the Americas, in the Caribbean in particular, Baptist missionaries and members took an active role in the anti-slavery movement.
In Jamaica, for example, William Knibb , a prominent British Baptist missionary, worked toward the emancipation of slaves in the British West Indies which took place in full in Knibb also supported the creation of " Free Villages " and sought funding from English Baptists to buy land for freedmen to cultivate; the Free Villages were envisioned as rural communities to be centred around a Baptist church where emancipated slaves could farm their own land.
Thomas Burchell , missionary minister in Montego Bay , also was active in this movement, gaining funds from Baptists in England to buy land for what became known as Burchell Free Village. Prior to emancipation, Baptist deacon Samuel Sharpe , who served with Burchell, organized a general strike of slaves seeking better conditions. It developed into a major rebellion of as many as 60, slaves, which became known as the Christmas Rebellion when it took place or the Baptist War. It was put down by government troops within two weeks. During and after the rebellion, an estimated slaves were killed outright, with more than judicially executed later by prosecution in the courts, sometimes for minor offenses.
Baptists were active after emancipation in promoting the education of former slaves; for example, Jamaica's Calabar High School , named after the port of Calabar in Nigeria, was founded by Baptist missionaries. At the same time, during and after slavery, slaves and free blacks formed their own Spiritual Baptist movements - breakaway spiritual movements which theology often expressed resistance to oppression. In the American South the interpretation of the American Civil War, abolition of slavery and postwar period has differed sharply by race since those years.
Americans have often interpreted great events in religious terms. Historian Wilson Fallin contrasts the interpretation of Civil War and Reconstruction in white versus black memory by analyzing Baptist sermons documented in Alabama. Soon after the Civil War, most black Baptists in the South left the Southern Baptist Convention, reducing its numbers by hundreds of thousands or more. God had chastised them and given them a special mission — to maintain orthodoxy, strict biblicism, personal piety, and "traditional" race relations. Slavery, they insisted, had not been sinful.
Rather, emancipation was a historical tragedy and the end of Reconstruction was a clear sign of God's favor. Black preachers interpreted the Civil War, Emancipation and Reconstruction as: They took opportunities to exercise their independence, to worship in their own way, to affirm their worth and dignity, and to proclaim the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. Most of all, they quickly formed their own churches, associations, and conventions to operate freely without white supervision.
These institutions offered self-help and racial uplift, a place to develop and use leadership, and places for proclamation of the gospel of liberation.
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As a result, black preachers said that God would protect and help him and God's people; God would be their rock in a stormy land. The Southern Baptist Convention supported white supremacy and its results: On 20 June , the Southern Baptist Convention voted to adopt a resolution renouncing its racist roots and apologizing for its past defense of slavery. More than 20, Southern Baptists registered for the meeting in Atlanta.
The resolution declared that messengers, as SBC delegates are called, "unwaveringly denounce racism, in all its forms, as deplorable sin" and "lament and repudiate historic acts of evil such as slavery from which we continue to reap a bitter harvest. The statement sought forgiveness "from our African-American brothers and sisters" and pledged to "eradicate racism in all its forms from Southern Baptist life and ministry.
The resolution marked the denomination's first formal acknowledgment that racism played a role in its founding. Southern Baptist Landmarkism sought to reset the ecclesiastical separation which had characterized the old Baptist churches, in an era when inter-denominational union meetings were the order of the day. The rise of theological modernism in the latter 19th and early 20th centuries also greatly affected Baptists. The Northern Baptist Convention in the United States had internal conflict over modernism in the early 20th century, ultimately embracing it.
Following similar conflicts over modernism, the Southern Baptist Convention adhered to conservative theology as its official position. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the Christian sacrament, see Baptism. For the town, see Baptist, Kentucky. For the band, see Baptists band. Christianity Protestantism Puritanism Anabaptism. Priesthood of all believers Individual soul liberty Separation of church and state Sola scriptura Congregationalism Ordinances Offices Confessions.
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Catholic Church in the United States. List of Christian denominations by number of members and List of Baptist denominations. Christian views on slavery. Baptist portal Evangelical Christianity portal Christianity portal Religion portal. Mead and Samuel Hill. Handbook of Denominations 9th Edition. Retrieved 23 September Retrieved 16 January It is, however, well known by the community at home and abroad, that from a very early period they have been divided into two parties, which have been denominated General and Particular , which differ from each other mainly in their doctrinal sentiments; the Generals being Arminians, and the other, Calvinists.
Baptists in North America: Papers at ETS examine Baptist origins". Archived from the original on 19 June Baptist History and Heritage Society. Archived from the original on 5 January Retrieved 10 January Archived from the original on 3 February Retrieved 23 December Permit us now to entreat you by all the arguments which arise from the love of Christ, and that dear uniting affection, by which his saints are bound together; by the support, honor, and advantage which the church enjoys from a due regard to the interests of her union, and the tendency it has to promote the divine honor; that it may be attended to, not as a matter depending on convenience, but as of sacred and religious regard.
Let each church extend its views beyond its own particular interests, to the happiness of churches abroad, and the general spread of the gospel; and it will be impossible to indulge a backwardness therein. In the same letter they express their joy at the introduction of several promising young men into the ministry, and at the success of the gospel in Great-Britain, and in different parts of America. The expediency of applying for incorporation was considered and agreed on. In , a covenant with this view was drawn up and signed, and a committee appointed to petition the Legislature.
A meeting sufficiently numerous was, however, not obtained during the recess; and at the next annual meeting, some members doubting the propriety of the measure, it was relinquished. A few years after, the object was obtained in a different form, and to general satisfaction. In , the Bethel Association, newly formed in the northwestern parts of the State, and consisting of 16 churches, was represented by the Reverend James Fowler.
A correspondence was commenced, and in consequence of a motion to that effect, made by Mr. Fowler, a proposal was made from the Charleston Association to unite the two bodies; but on account of some inconveniences, apprehended by the Bethel, it failed of accomplishment. Letters and breviates of English Associations were received, and distributed to the churches, and recommended to their perusal.
The object of having a respectable and permanent fund established for the education of pious young men, candidates for the ministry, having been seriously contemplated and earnestly wished by several members of the Association, it was this year taken up, and particularly recommended to the churches.
At the following meeting a draft of a plan for the purpose was brought forward by a committee, consisting of Messrs. Mercer, Mosely, and Holcombe, and adopted by the Association. By this it was proposed, That a sermon should be preached annually in each church, followed by a collection.
That delegates, one from each church, should meet at the same time and place with the Association, whose business it should be to examine candidates for the assistance of the churches, and to make application of the fund. The Circular Letter, drawn up by Mr. Holcombe, urges the hearty adoption of this plan. After recounting the disadvantages the Baptist denomination had sustained in various parts of the world, but especially in the interior parts of America, from the neglect of learning, it proceeds The laws of reason and religion require it at your hands. In this year died Reverend Joseph Cook; and the Association paid a tribute of affection and regard to his memory, as "a faithful servant of Jesus Christ, and an able minister of the New Testament.
Furman having, at the request of the Association, published his sermon preached before them in , presented them with fifty copies of the same, and received the thanks of the body. The committee for the Education Fund reported, "That they had a system of rules under consideration, though not fully matured; that they had agreed, when the rules were completed, to apply to the Legislature for incorporation; and that they conceived it might be proper to invest the committee with power to recover and take into their possession any glebes or other property belonging to churches in this connection, which either are or may become extinct, when liable to revert to the public, or become private property, and apply the same to the interests of the union.
They further agreed that due care ought to be taken, that the business and powers of the committee be fully defined, and that they might not interfere with the rights and privileges of the churches as independent bodies, in things either spiritual or temporal. In , the attention of the churches was called to "the threatening and warning dispensations of Providence, and the declension of religion," and the third Wednesday of December was appointed as a day of solemn fasting and prayer, to implore the mercy of God on the churches and the country at large; to pray for the peace and prosperity of the United States; for a general reformation among the people, and for the direction and preservation of the government; also, for a sanctified use of the afflicting dispensations of Providence , particularly that by which Philadelphia had been recently visited.
Contributions had been made for reprinting the Confession of Faith, Church Discipline, and Catechism; but not being fully adequate to the object, Mr. Furman was requested to have the Discipline put to the press immediately, and to import the rest. Accordingly copies of the Catechism, and of the Confession of Faith were imported, and of the Discipline printed. In , to accommodate some of the southern churches, it was proposed to have two meetings in a year; and one by way of experiment was appointed to be holden the ensuing May at Ewhaw.
They concluded that the plan of holding two meetings in the year was impracticable, and recommended instead of it, that the annual meeting should be held in the northern and southern parts alternately. This recommendation was afterwards complied with. They also took into consideration the General Concert of Prayer , proposed to be holden on the first Tuesday of January, April, July, and October; the object of it being to unite with a number of good men of different denominations, at home and abroad, for "the revival of religion among Christians; the propagation and success of the gospel among the heathen, and the conversion of the Jews to Christianity.
The Circular Letter of contains the following admonitions: In vain do we acknowledge our imperfections, or professedly lament our leanness, if our hearts are not affected. And what blessings can we reasonably expect, while the rational and most proper means, which God has put within our power, and to which his word directs, are neglected? Permit us, dear brethren, to suggest our fears, that the duties of the closet and the discipline of the heart, are awfully neglected in the present day.
We fear the views of even those who have made the most serious profession, are too much limited to the present life. Have we not almost forgot to consider ourselves as strangers and pilgrims on the earth? Is not the spirit of ambition, pride, and covetousness prevalent to a high degree? Who burn with zeal for the honor of Jehovah; mourn for the abominations of the land; and feel bowels of compassion for perishing and immortal souls? Has not the gracious and holy Spirit of God, the Comforter, been grieved by our untender walk, by our unbelief, ingratitude, formality, and neglect or abuse of our privileges?
Have not the solemn meetings for prayer, repeatedly recommended, been either shamefully neglected, or attended with a coldness and indifference unbecoming those who profess to know Jesus Christ, or to believe the awful realities of eternity? Rouse, brethren, from your lethargy; reason, interest, obligation call; judgments threaten; mercies invite; all that is sacred to the heart of a rational immortal creature, requires your activity, seriousness, and diligence, in the cause of your God and Redeemer.
Render to Jehovah his unquestionable and too long detained due, and prove him herewith, if he will not pour you out a blessing, that there even shall not be room sufficient to receive it. In , a letter was received from Mr. Roberts, expressing gratitude for the assistance afforded him in obtaining education for the ministry; and his "firm determination to use his best exertions to obtain every suitable qualification, and to devote himself to the great work;" which gave much satisfaction. Reverend Gabriel Gerald , a member of the church at the High-Hills of Santee, having advanced sentiments subversive of the Christian Sabbath , and a difficulty existing between him and the church in consequence of the same, the Association was applied to.
Gerald then published a pamphlet in defense of his opinions and practice. At the request of the Association, a letter was written in answer to his publication, with a view to convince him of the obligation to observe the Sabbath, and to reclaim him from what appeared a dangerous error; but it proved ineffectual. The church put Mr. Gerald under censure, and he appealed to the Association, complaining of unfair treatment.
A letter was also received from the church, requesting assistance. Furman, Botsford, and Fowler, were appointed a committee on behalf of the Association, to meet both parties. Gerald, both on account of his principle and conduct; that a liberal plan of reconciliation, proposed by the committee, had been rejected by him, and that he persisted in the sentiment and conduct he had defended from the pulpit and the press, he died soon after, without having recanted his sentiments. In , the proposition of the Philadelphia Association, to establish a general conference of the Baptist Associations throughout the United States , was taken into consideration, and it was voted, that "if a well-digested plan should be devised for such a coalition, in which the proper objects were clearly pointed out, with suitable measures to attain them, and the danger of perversion and abuse well guarded against, and if a general concurrence in the undertaking should be obtained of the churches in the United States, this Association are disposed to give it their support.
In the same year, the Association recommended to churches destitute of pastors, to endeavor to support public worship by engaging some of their members to read sermons, and take a lead in prayer. In , they petitioned the Legislature for an amendment of the law, passed the preceding year, imposing restrictions on religious meetings, so far as respects persons of color.
The petition was renewed the next year, and attended with a degree of success. In , provision was made for the employment of a missionary to travel and preach in destitute places. The object failed of accomplishment for the want of a suitable person to undertake it. A mission, however, to the Catawba Indians , which had for some time been contemplated, was now commenced. Reverend John Rooker was engaged for a year to preach to them, at least once a month, and to consult the chiefs and other persons of influence, on their disposition to have a school founded among them.
Rooker at the next meeting reported, that "the Indians had given him a very favorable reception; were much pleased with the attention the Association had shown by appointing a missionary to them; had attended very seriously to his preaching, and from the first expressed an earnest desire that a school might be established among them for the instruction of their youth: Rooker was authorized to employ a teacher to instruct the youth in the common branches of education, and the principles of Christianity.
A school was accordingly established, and has been continued. Samples of writing done by the Indian youth, have been exhibited from year to year, evincing considerable proficiency.
Letters also have been repeatedly received from the chiefs of the nation, requesting a continuance of the mission and school. At the meeting of , Robert Marsh, an Indian of the Pomunky tribe, living with the Catawbas, and a licensed preacher, was present, and preached with acceptance to a large and affected audience. Ramsay, in his history of South-Carolina, lately published, hath in a note inserted the following observations on this subject: The Catawba Indians have, for a long time, been friendly, and have lived among, or rather been surrounded by white people, and yet no one effort has been made by the State for the civilization and instruction of this tribe, nor of any of the Indians.
A century and half has not passed away, since this people were the sole possessors of the whole of this extensive and beautiful country; but these former lords of the soil have been driven from river to river, from forest to forest -- rolled back nation upon nation, till they are fugitives, vagrants, and strangers in their own land. They are the only tribe which resides in the State.
It is said that their territory at present is about 16 miles square; but they have been degenerating for many years, and their number and strength have probably decreased since the above account was taken. Roberts, were appointed a committee of correspondence, and in particular to correspond with the committee of the Philadelphia Association, to aid their design of publishing general religious information.
This year died the Reverend Evan Pugh; on which occasion the Association thought it incumbent on them to express their high sense of his "eminent abilities and worth, as a man, a scholar, a Christian, and a divine. In , the Association petitioned the Legislature for a law to abolish the practice of duelling. Samuel Jones, of Pennsylvania, presented the Association with copies of his Century Sermon, preached before the Philadelphia Association, to be applied to the uses of the Education Fund; and a vote was passed expressing gratitude for this instance of his liberality.
A motion was made this year to have the Association Sermon in future preached on the Saturday of the annual meeting, and the business then entered on, with a view to expedite it, but was negatived. It was resolved to continue the usual mode of conducting the business, and the following reasons were assigned by the Association: Thirdly, the plan of hurrying through the business of the Association, we think is wrong; the subjects which come under consideration, being generally very serious and important, and requiring time for deliberation.
In general, they have been too much hurried. It is, therefore, recommended to the ministers and delegates, in future, to come with an expectation that the business will not conclude before Wednesday. And as it too often happens that the ministers meet on Saturday, without any expectation to preach on that day, and if called to preach, deliver hasty, indigested discourses; which circumstance has a bad effect on the general state of the meeting; it is requested that they in general endeavor to come prepared to preach, and that on subjects the most useful and important, suited to excite a fervid, yet rational piety.
The death of Reverend Samuel Eccles, and Mr. The first had been for several years a student under the care of the general committee; and the other had lately arrived from Scotland. In Reverend Messrs. Johnson and Collins were appointed a committee to act with the Missionary to the Indians, in superintending the school, and occasionally visiting the nation.
It was recommended to the churches and the public to encourage, by subscription, the undertaking of Mr. Woodward, of Philadelphia, to republish Dr. It was determined also, to encourage the author of this History in his undertaking, the design of which he had then announced. In , this Association determined to patronize the publication of the Confession of Faith, System of Discipline, and Catechism, in one volume; and to address the other Baptist Associations in the State with a view of obtaining their concurrence. From , when the first account of additions, etc.
The whole number of churches being twenty-two. In this period there were baptized ; received by letter ; dismissed by letter ; excommunicated ; dead From till , twenty new churches were added; seven were dismissed to the Savannah-river Association, two were excluded for not maintaining their representations and two became extinct. The whole number of churches remaining, thirty-three. In this period there were baptized -- received by letter -- dismissed -- excommunicated -- restored 56 -- dead Whole number of members This account closes with Since that time, although but one new church has been added to the Association, yet it has greatly increased, so that in it contained members.
The foregoing history of this Association contains most of the information which we shall be able to give of the churches, which it comprises. Of the few following, however, it may be proper to give a few historical sketches. About the year , Philip Mulky began to preach in this neighborhood, and so successful were his labors, that in the course of a year or two the following persons were baptized, viz. Concerning the progress of this church, from a short time after its formation to the present time, we have but little information.
It soon became very extensive, and branched out on almost every side; of these branches, those at the High-Hills of Santee, Wateree, Twenty-five-mile Creek, and Amelia township, have since become distinct churches, and now have a seat in the Charleston Association. The first pastor of the Congaree church was the famous Joseph Reese, of whom we have given a biographical account.
Reverend John Newton was for a time associated with him in the care of this extensive community. I can learn but little more respecting him than that he was a native of Pennsylvania, and was an excellent man. He preached many years in North-Carolina, in connection with the Separates, where his labors were much blest; he came to Congaree in , and three years after received ordination at the hands of Messrs.
Oliver Hart and Evan Pugh, for which, as they were Regular Baptists, he was censured and silenced, by the Sandy Creek Association, which assuming body at that time claimed the jurisdiction of the Congaree church. After remaining in this situation for some time, he was restored to his ministry, but never fully engaged in it, after this arbitrary occurrence.
About the year , Mr. Jeremiah Dargan preached in this place, which was then wild and irreligious. Joseph Reese visited them, and by his preaching alarmed the whole neighborhood; and so successful were the labors of these faithful and zealous men, and particularly the latter, who is considered as the founder of the church, that in a short time a great number were baptized, and among them was Dr. Furman and his first wife.
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These new converts joined the Congaree church, as has already been suggested, and stood as a branch of that body, until the Santee church was constituted in The number of constituents was about A few months after the church was organized, Mr. Furman was by them called to the ministry; he was ordained here in , by Messrs. Soon after his ordination he became the pastor of the church, and continued in that office until , when he removed to Charleston. After his removal, the church was without a pastor about ten years, when they had the happiness to settle among them Reverend John M.
Roberts, who remains their worthy and useful pastor. The seat of the original church is about three miles north of Statebury, and about a hundred north-west of Charleston.
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It has two or three other places of worship, not many miles distant. Cuttiro was a native of the town, but was a resident in Charleston, where he was baptized by Reverend Oliver Hart, in Two years after, he returned and settled in Georgetown. From this time, by his solicitation Baptist ministers began to visit the place. Furman was the most frequent visitor, as his labors were the most acceptable. He, for many years, annually spent several weeks in visiting and administering to the brethren here; for Mr.
Cuttiro had now a number of his family and some others united in profession with him, and by Drs. Furman and Staughton, they were formed into a church in For one year immediately subsequent to its constitution, this church was supplied by Dr. Staughton, now of Philadelphia, who had then just come to America. In , Reverend Edmund Botsford removed from the Welsh-Neck church, and settled in the pastoral office at Georgetown.
Botsford was born at Woburn, in Bedfordshire, England, November, ; he came to America when he was about 20 years of age, and soon after was baptized by Mr. Hart, of Charleston; and after studying with him between two and three years, he began to preach at Tuckaseeking in Georgia, in In that State he tarried about seven years, when he traveled and preached abundantly with much success; but in the American war he was obliged to fly from the country, with the loss of most of his estate.
He then settled at the Welsh-Neck, where he continued until he removed to his present situation. Botsford was a very successful laborer in the vineyard in his more active days; and although his ministry in Georgetown has been highly reputable in the view of all, and much esteemed by the pious, yet it has not been so successful as he and his friends could have wished.
Most of the old members have died, and few others have succeeded them, so that the church is now in a feeble state. This church has a handsome and commodious wooden meeting-house, which was well finished in It stands on a lot of one acre, which was given in reserve by the Reverend William Screven, when the town was first laid out; but was not occupied until almost a hundred years after his death.
This house, which is about 60 feet long, is situated on a delightful eminence, directly opposite the market-house, and commands a view of the whole town from the front of it, and of very extensive rice fields from its rear. The Baptist church here originated from the division of the ancient one at Ewhaw, and was formed in The foundation for this church was laid by the labors of Dr. Holcombe, now of Philadelphia, who resided here a number of years, while he was pastor of the Ewhaw church, and by whom many of the constituents of the church were baptized.
While Reverend Joseph B. Cook was pastor at Ewhaw, he also devoted a part of his labors to this branch of that body; and soon after the church was formed, he became its pastor. In this office he continued until , when he resigned his charge, and is now settled at Camden, where a church has lately been formed.
About the time of Mr. Brantly , their present pastor, succeeded Mr. Brantly is a native of North-Carolina, where he was born in He received considerable assistance towards his education, from the Charleston Education Fund, and graduated at Columbia College in The Beaufort church has a valuable and commodious house of worship, built of a composition of oyster, shells, and mortar made of the same marine materials. Oysters of an inferior quality grow here in an abundance, of which there are no examples in the northern States.
They appear to be short-lived, and the shells are wafted in vast bodies along the shore, so that whatever quantities are desired may be procured with ease. A sufficient portion of them are reduced to lime, and much mortar is necessary in this work, with which the shells are intermixed, and with this composition the wall is made, which, when it is thoroughly dry, is as impregnable as rock, and I know not but of equal durability.
The nicest structures of this kind are plastered without and within, and make an elegant appearance, while stables and coarser buildings, are left in a rough, unplastered state and present to the view of a stranger, a ragged and curious sight. In , Jonathan Maxcy , D. The doctor commenced a course of preaching in connection with his presidential duties, which, however, on account of debility, he was obliged to relinquish in about six months. It does not appear that there was much preaching here by the Baptists from this period until , when Mr. Brantly, now of Beaufort in this State, then a student under President Maxcy, by the request of the inhabitants of Columbia, preached to them about a year, during the latter part of his residence in College.
Johnson, now of Savannah, who began preaching here in the beginning of the year Johnson removed hither from the church at Ewhaw, of which he was pastor. He found in the place upwards of twenty Baptist professors, belonging to different churches. He began preaching in the College Chapel, and his ministry was crowned with success. Under him the church at Columbia arose; it was founded in the latter part of the year , of about 36 members, and has now increased to upwards of , and has erected a commodious brick meeting-house 40 feet square.
The Baptists, whose history we have thus far related, were denominated Particular or Regular, when these terms were in use among our southern brethren. They are the most ancient, and have always been the most active and influential in all matters of public concern although they have for a number of years, been inferior in number to those who originated from the Separates. The beginning of this people in South-Carolina has been briefly related in the history of the Separate Baptists of North-Carolina, Virginia, etc.
What remains is to give as good an account as we can collect of the Associations and numerous churches, which have originated from that zealous people, improperly called SEPARATES , who were devout and successful almost to a proverb, wherever they began their early and evangelical exertions. Edwards has left some sketches of their history; and the author of this work traveled much among them, and took much pains in his historical inquiries respecting them; yet he will be able to say but little of them, compared with what has been said of their brethren in the lower parts of the State; partly for the want of historical facts of any kind, and partly for the want of such, as would make a diffusive narrative sufficiently interesting to the reader.
About the year , a number of the Separate ministers of the Sandy Creek connection in North-Carolina, began to travel and settle in this State, some a little before and others a little after the above-mentioned period. Among the ministers, Daniel Marshall and Philip Mulky appear to have been the most distinguished.
These evangelical adventurers were accompanied by many of their brethren in their removals. Marshall settled at Beaver Creek, where he soon gathered a church. Mulky exercised his ministry in different places, in the upper regions of this State, where he was for many years a very reputable and successful minister; but the latter part of his life was most sadly beclouded. The Fairforest church, now belonging to the Bethel Association, was founded by him, and as it is the oldest of the Separate Baptists in the State, and became the mother of many others, we shall relate its early history at large.
Mulky for their pastor. After tarrying here about two years, and increasing to , the above-named thirteen persons, leaving the rest behind removed to Fairforest, where they were again formed into a church in , which, in about ten years, increased to members. Some of their habitations were a hundred miles from each other; and besides the main establishment, there were four branches, which, in process of time, were organized into distinct churches. Edwards, was truly remarkable. His success in the ministry, says this historian, was so great, that he became exalted above measure in his own esteem, and in that of his converts; but at length, to the grief of the friends of Zion, he began to stumble, and soon fell into many heinous sins, and remained, when an old man, an outcast from the church, and a disgrace to that precious cause, of which he had been such an eminent champion.
In , the following churches, viz. This body, by the means of Morgan Edwards, soon opened a correspondence with the Philadelphia Association; other churches united with it soon after it was formed, and it traveled well for a time. The Association began to tamper with the discipline of the churches, and infringed on their independency; it of course became embarrassed in its proceedings, as all Associations will, when they attempt to see and act for the churches, and in a few years was entirely broken up.
But the churches do not appear to have been impeded in their progress by the dissolution of the Association; they continued to increase and send forth their branches in different directions; and in , many of those which had belonged to the Congaree Association, and others which had been raised up since it was dissolved, united in forming an establishment to which they gave the name of the.
This body, at its constitution, consisted of sixteen churches. They immediately delegated James Fowler, one of their principal ministers, to the Charleston Association, who was cordially received; and who, pursuant to his instructions, so far adjusted the little matters of difference, which had heretofore prevented their union with the Separates, that a correspondence was opened, which has been maintained to the present time.
From this period the name of Separate began to be disused, and was soon entirely laid aside; so that the Baptists in South-Carolina, from whatever source they originated, have for many years past been united in their external order and doctrinal sentiments. The Bethel Association has been a very flourishing body, and has had within its bounds a number of very extensive revivals. It also shared largely in that extraordinary work which prevailed in the southern and western, and some other States, from and onward.
In , there were received by baptism in all the churches of which it was composed, persons, which made its total number, at that time, notwithstanding the Broad River and Saluda River Associations had been set off from it before, The Edgefield Association has been formed from it since, and many of its members have removed to the western country, so that it is not so large as it was at the close of the great revival, but still it is a large and respectable body.
From the foregoing sketches it appears, that the Bethel Association has been an increasing and nurturing community, beyond any of the kind in the State. It does not appear that any of its ministers have been distinguished for literary acquirements; but it has generally contained a number of men of very respectable talents, who have been remarkably zealous and successful in the most noble and benevolent employment on earth, even winning souls to Christ. David Lilly was an eminent minister in this Association nearly if not quite from its establishment, until the Edgefield Association was taken from it, when he united with that body, and died within its bounds, about There were sufficient materials for an interesting memoir of his life, which his friends proposed to publish, and from which I intended to select a biographical sketch of his character; but this tribute of respect, which was due to the memory of an eminent and worthy minister of the gospel, has never been paid.
James Fowler was long a very useful and distinguished minister among the churches in this region. What little I have learnt of his history is as follows: Some time before the Bethel Association was formed, he, with two other men who were brothers, by the name of Rogers, were together pursuing the same occupation, in a situation remote from any of the Baptist denomination.
They were brought up Presbyterians, and emigrated hither from some one of the northern States. Their minds were awakened to religious concerns; and, regardless of the traditions of their fathers, they took the Bible for their creed, and from it they, according to the best of their understanding, formed a religious system of their own.
They at length heard of a Baptist preacher, who lived about 20 or 30 miles from them, and to him they delegated one of their number, to see how far his religious tenets and theirs would agree. Having thus found a people with whom they were agreed, and with whom they could associate for the communion of saints, they immediately repaired to them, were baptized, and admitted into their community. Returning home, they soon set up little meetings where they lived, in which Fowler was generally put forward. In this way he began his labors, and soon became an eminent minister of the gospel of Christ, and finished his course with joy in February, , being about 60 years of age.
He was generally the Moderator of the Bethel Association, and was, for many years, one of the principal ministers in that body. In the year , the bounds of the Bethel Association having become very extensive, the fourteen following churches, situated in the north-west corner of this State, and in the adjoining parts of North-Carolina, viz.
They were organized shortly after, when the above-mentioned name was given to it, with reference to the river on both sides of which the churches are situated. The Broad River rises in the mountains, and unites with the Saluda in forming the Congaree, which is the main branch of the Great Santee. This Association experienced very great enlargements soon after it was formed. In the spring of , the powerful work which prevailed at that time throughout this country, began to be experienced by the churches in this body, and continued more or less for three successive years, in which the Broad River Association received an addition by baptism of members, which increased the whole number to upwards of But by different means it has been greatly diminished since that period, notwithstanding large additions have at different times been made to the churches.
Great numbers have removed beyond the mountains, to the western States and territories; and in the course of five years, viz. Most of the churches in this Association are in the neighborhood of the Blue Ridge, and none of them are far distant from the mountainous parts of the back country. This also originated from the Bethel Association. In , the nine following churches, viz. This body is in the south-west corner of the State, and like the Broad River extends to the mountains. Reverend Elnathan Davis, a native of Maryland, of whom we have given some account in the biography of Shubael Stearns, was one of the principal ministers in this Association, and continues, in his old age, to be esteemed a father in the churches, having been a successful preacher of the gospel about fifty years.
Reverend Moses Holland is also an old and respectable preacher, and was one of the constituents of the community. The churches which compose this Association are mostly in the districts of Greenville, Abbyville, and Pendleton, on both sides of the Saluda River, from which it received its name. This is another flourishing establishment, from that fruitful mother of churches, the Bethel Association. It was formed in , when it was called Beulah; but the next year its name was exchanged for that of the district in which most of the churches are situated, which joins the Savannah River, and is opposite Augusta in Georgia.
Of this body we are able to give only a short but pleasing account; for soon after it was formed, a happy revival commenced, which became very powerful and extensive ; and in the course of about eighteen months, about fourteen hundred persons were baptized. In the course of this revival, Samuel Marsh , one of their principal ministers, baptized in two churches about five hundred of this number.
A pleasant anecdote is related of one of the converts in this revival, which it may not be improper here to insert. F -- , who had been famous for hilarity and worldly amusement, was taken under concern of mind.
A General History Of The Baptist Denomination In America, And Other Parts Of The World
His associates were very unwilling to give him up, and tried various methods to divert his attention from what they esteemed a needless anxiety, and draw him again into his former vain and sinful pursuits; but all their efforts proved ineffectual. At length they contrived a shooting-match; and as Mr. Not the work of a trained historian, Benedict's book is rather a brief overview, characterized by much speculation and personal opinions of the author, including the fiery anti-popish sentiment common to Baptist writings of the time.
This does not mean, however, that it suffers from inaccuracy. Nor is it dull reading. Benedict's engaging style can at turns amuse as well as inform. Doctrinally, Benedict's book is a strong defense of credo-baptism and baptism by immersion. Jan 09, Jason rated it liked it Shelves: Either the title is wrong or the content is wrong, because they do not match, which might be a function of whoever scanned it in for Kindle publishing.
Rather than this being a history of Baptists in America it is a misnomer to say that Baptists generally are a "denomination" , it is a defense of credobaptism by immersion, as opposed to pedobaptism by sprinkling. The content is good enough, but it is mostly copied from "Robinson's History of Baptism," with attribution. James Mcentire rated it really liked it Dec 22, Brenton rated it it was ok May 17, Jason Wright rated it really liked it Feb 19, Heather Hamilton marked it as to-read Feb 03, Kirk marked it as to-read May 08, Becky Marie added it Dec 22, Jeff Short marked it as to-read Mar 31, Lyle Shaner marked it as to-read Jul 06, Ken added it Mar 30, Brett L marked it as to-read Nov 24, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.
Books by David Benedict. Trivia About A General History