Category Archives for Baptist Identity

Baptist or Badtist?

October 27, 2017

By Walker Moore
Awestar Ministries

With my semi-retirement coming up, I have been reflecting on the journey God has taken me on. In 1973, when I was 22, First Baptist Church of Wyaconda, Missouri, called for my ordination.

In those days, ordination was taken seriously, and a church would only call for your ordination if you had demonstrated real evidence of God’s calling on your life. I don’t mean to downplay modern ordinations, but it seems to me that the church is ordaining people as fast as the copier can print. I am of the old school that says there should be a period of testing and examination of those who feel called.

I also understand the struggle of that calling. It is hard to tell if the feeling you have in your heart is from God or the hot sauce at Senor Fajita’s restaurant. In either case, you need the Lord.

Back in those days, ordinations were far and few in between. I was nervous about the whole process. On the Sunday of my ordination, the church set aside an entire afternoon to examine my doctrine. A chair was placed in the center of the platform, and the auditorium was full of ordained deacons and pastors from all over the county. I took the hot seat, and the examination began.

The first question they asked was about my testimony and how I came to saving faith in Christ. I told the story of how I was lost, without hope and unable to save myself. I told of how I called upon the shed blood of Christ to cleanse me and asked Jesus to become the Lord of my life, promising to follow Him the rest of my days. They asked me to quote Scriptures to back up each of my points.

Another man stood up and asked me to testify about how God called me into the ministry. I told the story of how I was going my own way when God tapped me on the shoulder and whispered in my ear that he wanted me to preach the gospel. (I left out the part about the hot sauce; these were very serious men.)

Still another man asked me to explain what my spiritual gift was and how it had manifested itself in my life. Again, I responded with Scriptures and testimonies of God using me in teaching for the church.

For the next three hours, I sat there, sweating, as they grilled me on every possible doctrine: salvation, justification, sanctification, the Second Coming and the baptism of the Holy Spirit. These men were just warming up. Even though many were laymen, they knew the Scriptures backwards and forwards and could preach the gospel at the drop of a hat.

They were almost through when one of them had another question for me: Would I always preach in a Baptist church?

“No, sir,” I said simply.

There was a collective gasp and a rustling in the pews as they turned and looked at each other. Did they hear correctly? In their mind, I had just gone from being a Baptist to Badtist.

The man who asked the question looked stunned. “Maybe you didn’t understand. Will you always preach in a Baptist church?”

Again, I answered simply, “No, sir.”

“Where do you think you’re going to preach?” he asked.

I explained to him that my calling was not to be a Baptist but a defender of the truth, preaching hope to the lost, those in need of a Savior.  I would preach “in season and out of season” (1 Tim. 4:2). If no one came, then I would do what the Lord said in the book of Luke: “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that My house may be filled” (Luke 14:23, KJV). I told him if God allowed me, I would keep going until I had preached to the uttermost parts of the earth. “Yes, I am a Baptist, and I will probably be asked mostly by Baptists to come and preach,” I explained. “But if God opens other doors, I will step in and proclaim His Word.”

After I finished, the men dismissed themselves to convene a council to discuss my answers. It seemed to take forever, but after an hour, they came out, laid hands on me and presented me to the church. I was glad it was over. And almost 45 years later, I still feel the same. The author of Acts says it best: I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace” (Acts 20:24, NIV).

The List: American Clergymen Who Defended Slavery

September 25, 2017

By Ron F. Hale

The American Civil War has gotten bloodier over the last decade!
J. David Hacker, a demographic historian from Binghamton University in New York,
conducted research on newly digitized census data from the 19 th century recalculating
the death toll of the Civil War. The historic death tally has been approximately 620,000
men for over 100 years. Hacker’s new count reaches 750,000 men, and upwards to the
staggering possibility of 850,000 men. 1

The Trail

Who bears part of the blame for this red river of blood and the lingering costs and
consequences of American slavery?

This article will shed light on those who defended the institution of chattel slavery in

America. Their writings, speeches, and sermons left a traceable trail. If you are a student
of history or theology many of the names on the list will shock you!
How could some of the most sophisticated people in America not see that the sin of
slavery denied the self-evident truth “that all men are created equal, that they are
endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life,
Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness?”

The Historian

Dr. Larry E. Tise is a noted historian, researcher, archivist, author, and professor at East
Carolina University. He has served as State Historic Preservation Officer in both North
Carolina and Pennsylvania. He helped found the National Council on Public History and
the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers. This article leans on his
painstaking research and the writing of his book Proslavery: A History of the Defense of
Slavery, 1701-1840, 1987. He holds two degrees from Duke University and a PhD from
the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Based on extensive studies of proslavery books, pamphlets, speeches, biographical

collections 2 , and a quest to discover and explain the racism found in the many defenses
of slavery, Tise judges that most historians have treated proslavery ideology morally
rather than historically 3 . Like finding the tail of a long serpent protruding from a dark
hole, Tise slowly but surely extracts the American ideology of proslavery from its
shadowy history and into the light by studying those who wrote in the defense of
American slavery.

Proslavery defenders

Surprisingly, Tise erases the old myth that proslavery arguments began in the Old South
in the nineteenth century. He shows that beginning in 1701, proslavery ideology was
prevalent during the colonial and revolutionary years – first in New England.

Chapter Six has Tise pinpointing the America defenders of Slavery from 1790-1865. The

length of this article will be extended by his list of 275 proslavery clergymen from the
North and South who wrote, taught, and preached as ideological defenders and
sociopolitical leaders of American slavery. This group represents the elite of both
ministry and American society, some of the most superbly educated, socially aware, and
powerfully stationed in our nation. Almost half of all defenses of slavery published in
America came from these proslavery ministers. 4

Tise discovered that proslavery clergymen came from every state and many European

countries. Men from the North and New England dominated the first generation (born
before 1800) of proslavery clergymen. 5 According to their birth years, he found three
separate cohorts of men: 82 were born before 1800; 87 were born between 1801-1815;
and 93 born between 1816-1839. The first generation reached maturity prior to the rise
of abolitionism; the second group near the peak of the first abolition crisis of the 1830s;
and the latter during the last decade before the Civil War. 6

Of those born overseas: Germany, England, and Ireland loom largest. 7 Massachusetts

produced as many proslavery clergymen writing in the defense of slavery as Georgia. 8
Charleston gave birth to more proslavery preachers than any city in the nation, with
fourteen. 9

Tise indicates that four Protestant denominations gave our nation the most proslavery

ministers. In fact, 77 percent of them grew up as Presbyterians, Episcopalians,
Congregationals, or Baptists. The author states that, “over one-half (60.2 percent) were
from the three major Calvinist churches.” 10 By far, Presbyterians delivered the most
formal defenses of slavery in America, and published the most writings. 11 Presbyterians
represented one-third of all proslavery clergymen. 12

Sixty percent of all proslavery clergy graduating from an American college or university

received their degrees from schools north of the Mason and Dixon’s Line 13 ; Yale
University educated the most proslavery pastors, with South Carolina College second,
and Princeton University coming in third. 14 Of seminary educated clergy, Princeton
Theological Seminary graduated more men who led in these three areas: formal
defenses of slavery, proslavery writings, and proslavery and war sermons. 15 In an age
when few Americans benefited from extended educational opportunities, proslavery
ministers were among the best educated in American society. 16

The Elite

As social influencers, proslavery clergymen sat in the editor’s chair of at least 121
separate periodicals or newspapers. 17 By 1861, many proslavery clergymen had moved

to the highest ecclesiastical positions in America; 16 percent were serving at the highest
office in their church, while another 10 percent were in positions of denominational
leadership. Almost 15 percent had assumed faculty or administrative positions at
colleges and universities. More than one-half worked their way into influential city
pulpits. 18
Before listing the 275 proslavery clergymen, it should be stated that most ministers did
not write in the defense of slavery. It cannot be determined how many held proslavery
convictions and spoke and preached them. Tise is dealing with men who wrote
defending the institution of slavery and its perpetuation on American soil.

An example of ministers who were not “men of their times” or driven by monied

interests were the Sandy Creek Baptists in South Carolina. Their Baptist Association
voted in 1835 to condemn the practice of slavery as inconsistent with the spirit of the
Gospel of Christ and voted to exclude members who would not abandon the practice of
slavery. 19 Many other clergymen never supported slavery and many joined and led the
abolition movement started by the great Christian leader, William Wilberforce in Great

Days before dying, the great Methodist revivalist John Wesley wrote encouraging

William Wilberforce to depend totally on the Lord as he fought to end the slave trade
and the practice of slavery. Wesley called slavery “that execrable villainy, which is the
scandal of religion” and “unless God has raised you up for this very thing, you will be
worn out by the opposition of men and devils.” 20

The List

Dr. Tise lists those ordained clergymen who had published a book, a pamphlet, or a
periodical article defending slavery as an indefinite perpetuation of servitude. Tise has
no pretension that this list represents all such men. 21

Nehemiah Adams
John Bailey Adger
Samuel James Pierce Anderson
James Osgood Andrew
George Dodd Armstrong
Joseph Mayo Atkinson
Thomas Atkinson
Isaac Stockton Keith Axson
John Bachman
Thomas Bacon
Rufus William Bailey
Robert Baird
Samuel John Baird

Joseph S. Baker
Samuel Davies Baldwin
William Barlow
William Hazzard Barnwell
Otto Sievers Barten
Henry Biddleman Bascom
Archibald John Battle
George Addison Baxter
Samuel Benedict
Phillip Berry
Daniel Perrin Bestor, Sr.
George Washington Blagden
Albert Taylor Bledsoe

Seth Bliss
Joseph Luke Blitch
Jonas Bondi
Jonathan Boucher
Nathaniel Bowen
James Pettigru Boyce
Ebenezer Boyden
William Theophilus Brantly
William Tomlinson Brantly
William Henry Brisbane
Iveson Lewis Brookes
David Brown
William Gannaway Brownlow
Samuel J. Bryan
William Calmes Buck
John Lansing Burrows
William C. Butler
Gabriel Capers
William Capers
Theodore Clapp
Simon Clough
John Calkins Coit
Calvin Colton
Amasa Converse
Moncure Daniel Conway
William Carey Crane
Nathaniel Macon Crawford
Moses Ashley Curtis
Lucious Cuthbert, Jr.
Robert Lewis Dabney
John Leadley Dagg
Frederick Dalcho
William Tucker Dickinson Dalzell
William C. Dana
Amos Cooper Dayton
Thomas Lockwood DeVeaux
Andrew Flinn Dickson
David Seth Doggett
Simeon Doggett
Daniel Isaiah Dreher
John Dubose
Thomas Sanford Dunaway
James Alexander Duncan
Samuel Dunwoody
William Woodward Eells
James Habersham Elliott
Stephen Elliott

John England
Charles Andrews Farley
Benedict Joseph Fenwick
Jesse Babcock Ferguson
Isham Randolph Finley
Theophilus Fisk or Fiske
Robert Fleming
Frederick Freeman
George Washington Freeman
Richard Fuller
John Fulton
James Clement Furman
Richard Furman
Christopher Edwards Gadsden
Christopher P. Gadsden
John Lafayette Girardeau
Richard S. Gladney
Alexander Glennie
William Graham
William Henry Green
Alexander Gregg
James K. Gutheim
William T. Hamilton
Charles Hodge
John F. Hoff
Jonathan M. Hoffmeister
Moses Drury Hoge
William James Hodge
Adam Tunno Holmes
John Henry Hopkins
Samuel Blanchard How
George Howe
William Bell White Howe
Robert Boyte Crawford Howell
John Hughes
Bernard Illowy
Ferdinand Jacobs
George Jacobs
Henry Jacobs
Devereux Jarratt
Jeremiah Bell Jeter
Charles Colcock Jones, Sr.
Hugh Jones
John Jones
George Junkin
Henry Keeling
James Ryland Kendrick

Francis Patrick Kenrick
Lender Ker or Kerr
William Knox
Ulrick Vilhelm Koren
John Michael Krebs
Drury Lacy
James Sanford Lamar
Sylvanus Landrum
Peter Laurentius Larsen
Joseph Spry Law
William T. Leacock
P.R. Leatherman
Hanson Lee
Leroy Madison Lee
Isaac Leeser
Edwin Leigh
Max Lilienthal
Andrew Agate Lipscomb
Augutus Baldwin Longstreet
John Chase Lord
Nathan Lord
William Wilberforce Lord
James Adair Lyon
Alexander McCaine
John B. McFerrin
William Henry McIntosh
James Alphonsus McMaster
Samuel Brown McPheeters
Holland Nimmons McTyeire
David Magie
Charles Dutton Mallory
Adolphus Williamson Mangum
Basil Manly, Jr.
Basil Manly, Sr.
Auguste Marie Martin
William Meade
Thomas Francis Meagher
Patrick Hues Mell
Alexander Gardiner Mercer
Thomas Meredith
Maximillian J. Michelbacher
James Warley Miles
Charles Frederic Ernest Minnigerode
John Mitchel
Arthur Mitchell
Elisha Mitchell

James Cake Mitchell (born James
Mitchell Cake)
Thomas Vernor Moore
Philip P. Neely
Alexander Newton
William Norwood
Jacob Aall Ottesen
Benjamin Morgan Palmer
Benjamin Morgan Palmer (nephew of
John Paris
Joel Parker
George Patterson
Thomas Ephraim Peck
Napoleon Joseph Perche
George Foster Pierce
Henry Niles Pierce
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney
William Swan Plumer
Leonidas Polk
Edward Albert Pollard
Abner A. Porter
Rufus Kilpatrick Porter
Jehu G. Postell
Nathaniel Alpheus Pratt
William Otis Prentiss
Herman Amborg Preus
Josiah Priest
Robert Quartermann
James Beverlin Ramsey
Alfred Magill Randolph
Morris Jacob Raphall
Edward Reed
William Rees
John Jefferson DeYampert Renfroe
Nathan Lewis Rice
Richard Henderson Rivers
John Robinson
Stuart Robinson
Frederick Augustus Ross
William Henry Ruffner
John Andrew Scott, Sr.
William Anderson Scott
Samuel Seabury
William H. Seat
James Shannon
Wilhelm Sihler

Alexander Sinclair
Philip Slaughter
Robert Newton Sledd
James A. Sloan
Jacob Henry Smith
Whitefoord Smith
William Andrew Smith
James Smylie
Thomas Smyth
Ichabod Smith Spencer
Urbane C. Spencer
Gardiner Spring
Edward Josiah Stearns
John Steele
Joseph Clay Stiles
Thornton Stringfellow
Moses Stuart
C. F. Sturgis
Thomas Osmond Summers
Henry H. Talbird
Samuel Kennedy Talmage
J. A. W. Thomas
Thomas Thompson
Thomas C. Thornton
James Henley Thornwell
Isacc Taylor Tichenor
Henry Holcombe Tucker
Joel W. Tucker
Henry Allen Tupper
Simon Tuska
Henry Jackson Van Dyke
Charles Stuart Vedder
William H. Vernor
Augustin Verot
Francis Vinton
Carl Ferdinand Wilhelm Walther
Ebenezer Wills Warren
Jared Bell Waterbury
William Hamilton Watkins
Benjamin Joseph Webb
Judah Wechsler
Nathaniel Sheldon Wheaton
William Wheelwright
William Spotswood White
George Whitefield
John Thomas Wightman
William May Wightman

Calvin Henderson Wiley
Albert Williams
J. D. Williams
Richard Hooker Wilmer
John Leighton Wilson
Joseph Ruggles Wilson
Joshua Lacy Wilson
Samuel Ramsey Wilson
William Winans
Edwin Theodore Winkler
Thomas Sumner Winn
Hubbard Winslow
Isaac Mayer Wise

My driving-factor in writing this article can be blamed on my 4th grade teacher. She was a mass-paddler. Our wholesale dose of deliberate pain usually happened as we (the boys) marched single-file to or from the cafeteria. One wrong step or juvenile giggle and her swift justice ran through us like veal through a meat grinder.

Regretfully, since every boy got paddled, no one clearly knew “who” committed the initial transgression.   

Clearly these 275 men participated and prolonged the sin of slavery in America.
2.Larry E. Tise, Proslavery: A History of the Defense of Slavery in America, 1701-1840 (Athens: The University of Georgia Press, 1987), 367.
Appendix Two shows the Proslavery Ideography Codebook regarding the systematic arrangement of all biographical data and manageable variables. These calculations are used as the biographical data in chapter 6 and the rest of the book.
3.Ibid., xiii.
Ibid., xvii.
5. Ibid.,130. Southerners would be the leaders of the proslavery movement by the third generation or after 1830.
6. Ibid., 128.

7. Ibid., 128.
8. Ibid., 129.
9. Ibid., 129.
10. Ibid., 134.
Ibid., Table 6.3, 135.
Ibid., 155. Episcopalian’s wrote 20 percent, Baptists wrote 18 percent, and 14 percent Methodist. The remaining 17 percent were spread widely over almost every other church in America in the nineteenth century.
Ibid., 143.
14. Ibid., Table 6.8, 143. College of Charleston graduated 8, with Union University in New York, Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, and Harvard University all graduating seven.
Ibid., Table 6.10. 146. Andover Theological Seminary (Congregational) came in second with a total of 46.
Ibid., 137. About 89 percent of these ministers attended class through the high school level, while three of four attended college.
Ibid., 168.
Ibid., 162. While many proslavery clergymen entered church work at the bottom level, Tise found that reviewing the highest ecclesiastical positions achieved by proslavery ministers before 1861, three-fourths (74.6 percent) of the whole had reached or were on the way to them (highest positions)by the Civil War.
Elder Geo. W. Purefoy, A History of the Sandy Creek Baptist Association for its Organization in A.D. 1758, To A.D. 1858, (New York: Sheldon & Co., Publishers, 1859), 163-164.
Eric Metaxas, SEVEN MEN: And the Secret of Their Greatness, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson,2013), 46-47.
Tise, Proslavery, 363-366.

Ron F. Hale
has served as a pastor, denominational leader, and religion writer. He currently serves a SBC congregation in his hometown of Jackson, Tennessee. He may be reached at






The Shot Heard ‘Round the SBC (Part D) The Fault Lines in Southern Baptist Life

September 8, 2017

Steve Lemke, Provost Emeritus

Vice President of Institutional Assessment
New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary

[This article was first published here at SBC Today on April 9, 2011. It highlighted the groundbreaking “shot heard ’round the SBC” when Dr. Brad Whitt wrote an article expressing how marginalized and irrelevant many Traditionalists feel in today’s Calvinist-led Southern Baptist Convention. Six years later, not much has changed.]

In the first three parts of this article, I have been reflecting on Brad Whitt’s article “Young, Southern Baptist, . . . and Irrelevant?,” which was published and discussed widely in state Baptist papers, various blogs, and Facebook discussions. Whitt’s response to these many comments has now been posted on his blog, which he entitled, “The Challenge for Contributing, Committed Southern Baptists.”

Whitt’s article obviously touched a nerve in Southern Baptist life. I described it as one of the deepest fault lines in the SBC – between what Whitt suggested were those who have a “high Baptist identity” and those who have a “low to moderate Baptist identity.” I tried to flesh out this distinction in the first section of my post (Part A). I then described several other interconnected fault lines, particularly the small church/megachurch fault line, in the second section of this post (Part B). I made the case that these partially overlapping fault lines are disintegrating the “center” of Southern Baptist life, and that splinters or a split within the SBC fellowship seem almost inevitable.

In the third post (Part C), I attempted to describe two possible futures I see for the SBC, which I believe to be the only viable options. In Way One, because of our fallenness “in Adam,” the only way to unity and peace is through division. I also likened it to a Baptist Babel, in that we are being divided into camps speaking different languages. Obviously, I do not regard this as God’s ideal. Today I will propose the second alternative, what I am labeling the “in Christ” option: Unity through Cooperation.

Continue reading

1 2 3 76