Circuit Riders

Discussion in 'Baptist History' started by tyndale1946, Jan 12, 2003.

  1. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
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    Does anyone one know if those called Baptist were ever circuit riders or saddlebag preachers?... There is much information on the Methodist circuit riders but not the Baptist why?... Maybe you brethren know something I don't... btw I'm sure you do!... Is this also not part of our history the circuit rider or saddlebag preacher and were they not responsible for speading the gospel in the frontier days?... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  2. Jeff Weaver

    Jeff Weaver
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    Bro. Glen

    I could name several. Why the phrase never caught on with Baptists as it did with Methodist, I can't answer. I suspect that it had something to do with the Methodist Circuits.

    At any rate, I am sure you know that in parts of these hills round about where I live, some churches only meet once a month, even yet. This is a hold over from the days of the circuit riding minister, who arranged his schedule so that he would be in a certian area at a certain prearranged time, usually twice on Saturday and again on Sunday morning, and perhaps Sunday afternoon. This is the origins of having a series of meetings on Saturdays in Appalachia, which still continues, not only among Primitive Baptists, but Old Regulars, Separates, and at least some of the Free Will Baptists. When I was a kid, a bit past 40 years ago, there were some Southern Baptists who did this, but don't know of any that still hold to the practice.

    This practice was especially prevalent when there weren't enough ministers to go around. (We discussed this before to some small degree on a thread about plurality of elders in this folder). Twenty-five years ago there was an old Elder in our area that pastored 12 very small churches, and he had a rotation to get to all of them three times a month. Before you think oddly about this, there were Methodists and Presbyterians doing the same thing in this area. The Methodists and PResbyterians have closed most of their small chapels, and several smaller Baptist churches of various flavors have also closed, so this isn't as prevalent as it once was. That said, there are still Methodist, Presbyterian, Catholics, Episcopal, Baptists (of different stripes) who have very small congregations, who share a minister with nearby congregations of the same faith, and this circuit riding stuff is still practiced to some degree.

    This practice is no doubt largely rural, but not exclusively so.

    I would like to know, as well, how this practice is still carried out, beyond the bounds of Appalachia.

    Jeff.
     
  3. Jim1999

    Jim1999
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    We have a lot of 2 and 3 point charges in Ontario and other parts of rural Canada. Usually small churches who share a pastor, but services are generally on each Sunday, splitting morning, afternoon and evening services.

    The time I served in Quebec, it was a two-point charge about 40 miles apart. I held a regular service in Dalesville at 11:AM and the evening service in Lachute at 7:pM. The congregations were quite separate apart from sharing the minister.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  4. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    I wrote a book entitled "Forward: A History of Fundamental Baptists in Wisconsin" and in it shared how "circuit-riding" preachers came up the Fox Valley from Illinois Territory into "the wilderness" and founded churches in the sparse settlements and clearings of Wisconsin.

    What a great heritage. And men like John Mason Peck and Charles Griffing drift into anonymity when they should be lauded and remembered in our churches today.
     

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