Old Baptist Churches and Discipline
Abraham Marshall (1748-1819) is an example of the type of man who pastored Baptist churches in America in the early 19th century. He was the son of Daniel Marshall, founder of the first Baptist church in Georgia (Kiokee Baptist, founded in 1772). Abraham pastored Kiokee Baptist for 37 years after his father’s death. He also had an itinerant ministry. On one arduous six-month journey in 1786, he traveled 3,000 miles on horseback, visited 11 states, and preached at least 197 times. “The minutes reveal that Marshall and the church were strict in their discipline but they were never hasty or careless. They exhibited patience and only exercised discipline when their pleas and counsel were rejected or ignored. They were slow to discipline but quick to forgive, welcoming back into the church anyone who demonstrated a humble and repentant spirit. Marshall was a loving and compassionate pastor, but at the same time he was a man of strong convictions--especially when it involved loyalty to Christ and His church. Whenever he observed his people being careless or neglecting their Christian duties he was quick to admonish and if necessary rebuke their actions. One such issue which aroused Marshall’s ire was church members who would load up their wagons in the latter part of the week and go to market in Augusta and not return in time for the Sunday services. As pastor he expected all of the heads of families to have a daily time of prayer, Bible reading, and personal instruction. Marshall’s goal was to produce a people that put Christ and His church first in their lives” (Thomas Ray, Daniel and Abraham Marshall: Pioneer Baptist Evangelists to the South, pp. 36, 37).
(Friday Church News Notes, November 9, 2018, www.wayoflife.org, email@example.com, 866-295-4143)
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