8-21 Wars Waged from Prison to Revolutionary Battlefields

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Justified, Aug 22, 2002.

  1. Justified

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    Jul 14, 2002
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    This Day in Baptist History, E. Wayne Thompson and David L. Cummins

    8-21 Wars Waged from Prison to Revolutionary Battlefields
    Scripture: Exodus 17:8 – 16

    The zeal with which the young preachers of Orange and Culpeper Counties carried out the commission of their Lord in Virginia was strong, and their convictions ran deep. At first they had no meetinghouses. This seeming hardship proved to be an asset rather than a liability because as they preached to large congregations in groves, from house to house, and even in tobacco warehouses, some donated land, and others provided materials and labor to construct a building. Thus did Nathaniel Saunders join others in building a 40 x 24 foot building to house the Mountain Run Church in Orange County, where he became pastor in 1767.

    This did not limit the preaching of Saunders to a local site, for he continued his strong preaching against the inconsistencies of the established church’s clergy and urged the people that they were in need of the new birth. This resulted in controversy in both verbal and written debates. Saunders received some kind letters but also some threatening and vindictive letters. Though he was summoned to court several times, he was convicted on only one occasion and served an unknown period of time in the Culpeper jail. Saunders, with some other Baptists of the period, initially accepted a license to preach in limited areas, such as one particular meetinghouse, but soon discovered that toleration was a means of taking away liberty, not granting it. In our day this injustice is practiced in Communist countries, and thus in Virginia, Baptists have fiercely resisted any type of licensure involving any local church ministry on the principle that licensure brings the church and state into a dangerous, intolerable, unscriptural, unconstitutional relationship.

    A warrant for Nathaniel Saunder’s arrest, dated August 21, 1773, also included William McClannahan, who became his fellow prisoner.(1) McClannahan was one of the boldest and most enterprising of the early Baptist preachers of Virginia. He was the first Baptist to preach the gospel of God’s grace in the lower counties of the Northern Neck. One of the early converts of Westmoreland County wrote:

    Mclannahan I plainly see
    Was instrumental in calling me;
    And Fristoe, that dear man of love,
    Preached I was born of God.

    Captain McClannahan raised one of the companies of the Culpeper minutemen for the Revolutionary Army. He led them not only into battle but also in prayer, preaching to them regularly. His troops were principally Baptists, who were among the most strenuous supporters of liberty. The price of liberty was paid for in the jails as well as on the battlefields by men like Saunders and McClannahan.(2) DLC

    (1) Lewis Peyton Little, Imprisoned Preachers and Religious Liberty in Virginia (Lynchburg, Va.: J.P. Bell Co., 1938), p. 368.
    (2) Ibid., pp. 273-74

    "It is always better to stand up for conservatism, then to fall into liberalism" Justified Version ;)

    [ August 25, 2002, 08:46 AM: Message edited by: Justified ]
  2. tyndale1946

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    Aug 30, 2001
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    Another great article that proves "The Battle belongs to the Lord"... Brother Glen [​IMG]

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