1. Welcome to Baptist Board, a friendly forum to discuss the Baptist Faith in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to all the features that our community has to offer.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

Nat Turner: Baptist preacher, Rebel leader

Discussion in 'Baptist History' started by rlvaughn, Feb 21, 2018.

  1. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Mar 20, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Some stories from Baptist history are not as “pretty” as others (though it might be argued that the following as Baptist history is unconfirmed). I find the story of the rebellion incited by slave exhorter, preacher Nat Turner very intriguing.

    According to most accounts, Nat Turner was a Baptist preacher (though there is at least one statement by Turner that calls that into question). Drewry wrote, “He was a careful student of the Bible, a Baptist preacher, read the newspapers and every book within his reach, and listened attentively to the discussions of political and social questions by the best and most enlightened men of the country.” (p. 113; cf. also p. 26) Turner believed in signs and visions – which would not necessarily be unusual for a Baptist preacher in the 1830s – and it was through these that he eventually interpreted his mission of insurrection. In 1825 he had a vision of a conflict between black and white spirits, where “the thunder rolled in the Heavens, and blood flowed in streams.” In his confession, Turner explained another message from God: “the Spirit instantly appeared to me and said the Serpent was loosened, and Christ had laid down the yoke he had borne for the sins of men, and that I should take it on and fight against the Serpent.” Later he would view an eclipse of the Sun in February 1831 as a sign to plan the insurrection. It would ultimately be scheduled for August 21, 1831.

    The bloody revolt planned and guided by Turner began in the early morning hours of August 21, 1831. With his followers Turner led a series of attacks – going from house to house killing men, women, and children – beginning with his own master’s household. Most sources (including Confessions, p. 22) relate that about 55 people were killed in Turner’s rebellion. Within two days the rebellion was broken, but Turner hid successfully for nearly two months before being captured. He was tried and hung at Jerusalem, Virginia on November 11, 1831. It might be (and has been) argued that in the long view the Turner Rebellion helped the anti-slavery cause, but its most immediate effects were executions of blacks (some of whom probably had no connection to the rebellion, and some who were not slaves), harsher laws against slaves, and stiffening of pro-slavery resolve. Turner had not led his followers from bondage, but led them to dispersion, death, destruction, and denigration. Whites lived in fear more slave rebellions. Blacks lived in fear of being lynched.

    Excerpted from: Nat Turner: Baptist preacher, Rebel leader
    • Informative Informative x 1