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12/06/2010 / Test All Things

The Baptized Churches Of Christ – Appendix C

The First Rising Opposition To The Board of Foreign and Domestic Missions


We will here present a common sample of the letters the Baptist Board of Foreign And Domestic Missions sent out to all the Baptists’ associations in America, beginning in 1814. We must use Minutes of early associations that existed in 1814. For this reason, we have selected the historical note by Henry C. Vedder, the historian for the American Baptist Convention, which proves the Missionary Baptist was a new movement in 1814; Minutes of the Miami Baptist Association in Ohio, and the Flint River Association in Alabama/Tennessee.

For the reader uninformed as to the use of “Minutes,” this bit of information is useful: Each association kept (and keeps) a history of it annual meeting. It then prints this report in Minutes of the Association, which in turn are then sent to the associations with which it corresponds for their information on its state and standing.


“The need was at once felt of some one central organization that would unite the forces in the missionary cause, and after mutual counsel among the officers of several existing bodies, a meeting was called for the organization of a national society. This meeting was held at Philadelphia in May 1814, and resulted in the formation of the “General Convention of the Baptist Denomination in the United States for Foreign Missions. . . . There was, however, considerable OPPOSITION, not by any means confined to any one section, to this NEW missionary movement. Many Baptist churches held to a form of Calvinistic doctrine that was paralyzing to all evangelical effort. Their doctrine of the Divine Decrees was practically fatalism: when God was ready to convert the heathen, He would do so without human intervention . . . . Consequently, from this time onward the Baptists of the United States became divided into two parties, nissionary Baptists and anti-missionary Baptists. {or, itinerate preaching Baptists – Ed]

The latter were at first equal, if not superior in numbers to the former; in some districts the anti-mission Baptists were largely in the majority.” (Henry C. Veddar, A Short History of The Baptists, page 332.) Note: Vedder was the historian for the American Baptist Convention in 1907, a Missionary historican.


“The Association received the constitution of the “Baptist Missionary Society.” Ordered that their articles be printed with their Minutes this year, and do solicit the churches to take the matter into serious consideration and raise money to be sent to the General Assembly at Philadelphia for the purpose of qualifying and sending preachers out to heathen lands to preach the Gospel to them. Said constitution contains a Preamble and fourteen Articles drawn up for the direction of
the said society.

It provides for a “Triennial Convention,” consisting of other religious bodies of the Baptist denomination now existing in the United States, and which shall contribute regularly to the General Missionary fund a sum amounting to at least $100.00 per annum. It provides also, for a Board of twenty-one Commissioners, to be called the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions for The United States.” (Miami Baptist Association Minute, 1814.)

Five years later, the Miami’s action proves conclusively that they were not antimissionary. If there became a problem, it was not that they did not believe in preaching the gospel to sinners, but rather they deplored the sinister and deceitfulness of the Institute pretending to speak for the Baptists. The Minutes of the Miami Association of 1819 has this note:

“In answer to the Sugar Creek Church, The Association advises the churches to become a board AUXILIARY TO the Baptist Board of Foreign and Domestic Missions of Philadelphia. A dun was presented by the Board of Foreign and Domestic Missions for money to aid in educating young men for the ministry REJECTED.” (Dobb’s Condensed History of the Miami Old School Baptist Association of Ohio, Page 10.)

However, by 1835, this and other associations were cognizant that Andrew Fuller’s Arminianism was at the core of the Modern Missionary Movement. We here print the article dealing with missions from the 1835 Minute.

RESOLVED, That we lay it over (admission of Mt. Zion Church) until tomorrow at 10 O’clock, and before deciding with regard to the admission of said church the Association shall proceed to investigate the subject and declare her sentiments with regards to the benevolent institutions of the day, so-called. On Saturday took up the benevolent institutions, which was introduced by the following Preamble and Resolution:

WHEREAS, There is a great excitement and division of sentiment in the Baptist denomination relative to the benevolent institutions of the day, so-called, such as Sunday Schools, Bible, Missionary, Tract, and Temperance Societies, therefore,

RESOLVED, That this association regard those said societies and institutions as having no authority, foundation, or support in Sacred Scriptures, but we regard them as having their origin in and belonging to the world, and as such we have no fellowship for them as being of a religious character, but do not hereby declare non-fellowship with those brethren and churches who now advocate them. Votes for Resolution: yeas 40, nays 21; Carried.” (Dodd, ibid., page 10.)


The Flint River Association is the oldest association in Alabama, and had its origins in 1813 in the Elk River Association, Lincoln County, Tennessee. The resolution proposing its constitution was on the 24th of September, 1814. This was the same years that saw he completion of the take-over of the Philadelphia Baptist Association (1707) by William Staughton and the New Divinity ministers lately arrived from Andrew Fuller in England. The first mention of the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions was read before that body on October 4, 1817, which entry reads:
“Called on our corresponding secretary, who made the following report, that he had received the third annual report from the Board of Foreign Missionaries, being directed to give one to each church which forms this Association, with which order the Secretary complied.”

“On motion for a collection for the use of the Board of Foreign Missions $7 and 25 ct were collected from among the messengers of the Association.”

The following year, the Minutes record two items touching on the Board of Foreign Mission. It is worth the reader’s notice. The first prove the Flint River’s honesty, and the second their wisdom!

Their honesty:

“The corresponding Secretary made the following report: that there remains in his hands seven dollars twenty-five cents for the use of the Board of Foreign Missions. It is therefore resolved that brother Hopewood pay the same in his hands to brother Burns for the use for it was designed.”

Their wisdom:

“On motion it was agreed that this Association drop the correspondence with Foreign Missions.”

We wish to note here, that the Flint River dropped the correspondence with the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions in 1818, which was two years before Daniel Parker’s Address of 1820. This action is seen in Baptists’ associations all over the frontier, as evidence by the Minutes of associations from 1814 to 1820. Hence, by 1822 to 1832, large numbers of Baptist churches and associations escaped the snares of this religious anti-Christian financial enterprise. The next time the reader reads or hears that Daniel Parker founded the Primitive Baptists, he can immediately recognize that Missionary Baptists’ historians are as loose with the truth as are their preachers.

Alexander Campbell on The Sovereignty of God and Total Depravity of Man – 1817

This is not a proper place to insert this Article, but finding one better suited more difficult, we insert this only to preserve it for posterity, and give it a wider circulation than otherwise.

As we have already well proven, records of these colonial and frontier Baptists show a strong predestinarian foundation. Alexander Campbell, a Separate Baptist from the Congregational Church, joined Brush Run Baptist Church, (a church that joined the Red Stone Baptist Association in 1813), and was baptized by Elder Matthias Luce. He is best known in religious history as the founder of the Campbellian Restoration Movement, or “Campbellites,” in the 1820’s and 30’s.

But in 1817, he was a Predestinarian Baptist of the old divinity school. In that year, he was appointed by the Red Stone Association to write their “Circular Letter” to the churches and corresponding associations. Here is what Elder Alexander Campbell wrote”

“There is a combination of errors in the minds of those who present the objections (to God’s sovereignty). They not only disbelieve that God is sovereign, but they discredit the testimony of God concerning the natural state of all men. The objection proceeds upon the supposition that men do something to obtain salvation, which the purpose or ordination of God prevents them from doing. But the word of God teaches us that man can do nothing to save himself; that he has so destroyed himself, or that his ruin is so complete, that every faculty of his soul is so depraved, that until he is born from above, all he can do is abominable in the sight of God. “They that are in the flesh cannot please God.”

“The natural man cannot receive the things of the Spirit of God, neither can he know them.”

“The carnal mind is enmity against God; it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” So that instead of this doctrine being averse to the salvation of any, it is only in consequence of its being true that any could be saved. So that “except the Lord of Host had a remnant, according to the election of grace, we had all been as Sodom and perished as the men of Gomorrah”; so then, if there be no election, there is no salvation. . . . The language of this doctrine is, that there is no difference amongst men but what grace makes.”
[Red Stone Baptist Association, “Circular Letter,” 1817.]

One Comment

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  1. Test All Things / Jun 12 2010 3:37 pm

    We offer these historical documents, with some annotation, for your examination.

    We encourage your examination of them, and hope you find them useful for your greater understanding of the history of the Lord’s Church.

    Stanley C. Phillips

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