Be Part of the Legacy


According to the Aug. 7, 1850, issue of The Alabama Baptist, Daniel Giddens, missionary for Bethlehem Baptist Association, gave his first report after four months on the job. He reported traveling 1,082 miles, preaching 63 sermons, visiting 187 families, baptizing three and receiving two others for baptism. “I have been delighted,” he wrote, “to see the old man of 70 and the youth of 16 bending together at the altar of prayer.”

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According to the Jan. 30, 1850, issue of The Alabama Baptist, trustees of The Judson Female Institute reported sufficient resources to pay for the construction of a new brick kitchen for the school. The number of students completing the last year was given as 145. Already enrolled for the coming year were 116, the same number as the previous year at the time. Trustees added, “Each year the Institute is becoming more extensively known and more highly appreciated.”

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According to the Nov. 14, 1849, issue of The Alabama Baptist:

Shady Grove, Harmony, Bethesda, Kingston and Elim churches in Autauga County explained they withdrew from Mulberry Baptist Association because “the association has steadily resisted all our efforts to promote the missionary cause and we have lost all hope of ever giving that aid and assistance to said cause which we wish to do.” (TAB)

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According to the March 16, 1849, issue of The Alabama Baptist:

The Baptist Almanac and Annual Register reported 62,685 “colored members” of Baptist churches in 16 states. The report added, “This does not excel one half of the whole number” and asked for “rigorous exertions to report the whole number” the following year. (TAB)

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According to the July 7, 1848, issue of The Alabama Baptist:

Brother Smedley, missionary of the Indian Mission Association, reported several additions to the Choctaw Baptist Church he had planted and plans to begin a second church “on my next visit.” He called the work with the eastern section of the Choctaw Nation “encouraging.” (TAB)

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According to the Jan. 8, 1847, issue of The Alabama Baptist:

Pastors in Choctaw Baptist Association objected to the state convention employing traveling agents to “advocate and collect subscriptions for the furtherance of the causes of Christ.” The pastors called the system inefficient, expensive and unequal. They proposed pastors raise one dollar per church member to be used for missions (international and domestic), educational purposes and the distribution of religious books and tracts. (TAB)

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According to the June 22, 1845, issue of The Alabama Baptist:

Readers began arguing over the $250 contribution to convention causes required in the new Southern Baptist Convention constitution. One writer scored the “extravagant estimate put upon the privilege of membership.” Another added, “The price of membership should be only in proportion to the actual expenses of the convention and not an inducement for anyone to give to missions.” (TAB)

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According to the May 31, 1845, issue of The Alabama Baptist:

Of the meeting in Augusta, Georgia, Editor James W. Hoskins wrote, “The result was just what it should have been and warrants us in the belief that our southern organization will add to instead of detracting from the interest, importance and success of the cause of missions.” (TAB)

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According to the May 31, 1845, issue of The Alabama Baptist:

A Table of Statistics at the end of 1844 was published on the front page of The Alabama Baptist. The table showed 653 Baptist churches in Alabama organized into 38 different associations. The number of ordained Baptist ministers was reported at 267 with 2,723 baptisms and 37,100 resident members. The compiler of the report indicated the numbers did not include information from the 20 churches that failed to report. (TAB)

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According to the May 24, 1845, issue of The Alabama Baptist:

Readers of The Alabama Baptist were furnished a detailed account of the meeting in Augusta when the paper reprinted stories from the Augusta Chronicle about the formation of the Southern Baptist Convention and its constitution. Jesse Hartwell, president of the Alabama Baptist State Convention, was elected secretary. The Home Mission Board of the new convention was located in Marion with Basil Manley, president of the University of Alabama, serving as president of the board of directors. (TAB)

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According to the April 5, 1845, issue of The Alabama Baptist:

Editor James W. Hoskins wrote, “We give our hearty consent to the course which our Southern brethren are beginning to adopt (forming a new convention) and sincerely hope they will be united heart and hand.

“Our Northern brethren have long entertained this spirit of disunion and intolerance toward us,” he added. (TAB)

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According to the March 22, 1845, issue of The Alabama Baptist:

A resolution by the Virginia Board of Foreign Missions was printed calling for Baptists of the South to meet in Augusta, Georgia, to confer about the best way of promoting foreign missions causes. The resolution came after the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions of the Triennial Convention told Alabama Baptists they would not appoint a slaveholder as missionary or accept money from a church of slaveholders because to do so would imply acceptance of slavery. (TAB)

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According to the June 15, 1844, issue of The Alabama Baptist:

It was reported that Bishop Andrew of the Baltimore Methodist Conference had been asked to resign by a vote of 110–68. Andrew’s violation was that he acquired slaves after his elevation to the office of bishop. Southern members called the action “the knell of unity of the Methodist church.” (TAB)

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According to the June 1, 1844, issue of The Alabama Baptist:

George W. Gunn announced the ministers and deacons of Liberty Baptist Association would meet at the Church at Farmville on Thursday before the fifth Sunday of June. The association’s executive committee was scheduled to meet on Friday, the second day of the gathering. (TAB)

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According to the Feb. 10, 1844, issue of The Alabama Baptist:

The paper reported the departure of new foreign missionaries Rev. and Mrs. Albert N. Arnold who were aboard a boat “bound for Smyrna.” The missionary couple was to be dropped off in Corfu, Greece, where they had been appointed to serve. Of the sailing, the paper reported, “The parting scene was one of deep and touching interest; the most fervent desires of many hearts united and ascended upward for the safety and success of the missionaries.” (TAB)

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According to the July 15, 1843, issue of The Alabama Baptist: Bro. Oliver Welch challenged an essay by Bro. Jesse Hartwell concerning the ordination of the apostle Paul. Welch argued against ordination of those “too young or too much unqualified for this solemn responsibility.”

“As learned as [Paul] was and as old as he was at the time of his conversation, he waited more than 10 years before the prophets and teachers in Antioch laid hands on him and sent him forth as an ordained preacher.” (TAB)

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In April 1866 following the end of the Civil War, the need for schools for African-American children caused a discussion about the need for change in Alabama. Unfortunately there were little funds for anything other than rebuilding and education was not a top priority for everyone. The majority of African-American children lived in rural areas and most schools could only be found in cities. The editor of The Alabama Baptist was passionate about the need for education and felt it was our “solemn duty” to help. Southern Baptists had been working in Africa for many years as missionaries with the African people and they continued their work in Alabama with the recently freed slaves. (TAB)

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In the spring of 1975, Birmingham Baptist Medical Centers (BMC) appointed Emmett Johnson as its new CEO, according to The Alabama Baptist. He was previously the administrator of High Plains Baptist Hospital in Amarillo, Texas, and began his role as president of BMC in mid-June. While Johnson was with BMC the health care complex consisted of 912 beds. (TAB)

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In March 1995, The Alabama Baptist reported that Jane Ferguson was named Humanitarian of the Year by The Montgomery Advertiser. She was honored for her years of work as director of community ministries at First Baptist Church, Montgomery. Jay Wolf, pastor of First, Montgomery, said, “She is one of God’s choice people and one of Montgomery’s greatest assets.” Ferguson continues to work with the needy and disadvantaged in Montgomery. (TAB)

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In March of 1986, Parham Williams Jr. was named dean of Samford University’s Cumberland Law School, according to The Alabama Baptist. Both of his parents were 1925 graduates from Cumberland Law School.
Also reported in the paper was Tommy Karn being named Man of the Year at the Chilton County Chamber of Commerce annual banquet. He earned this honor by serving 16 years as director of missions in Chilton-Unity Association. (TAB)
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On March 26, 1995, Allan Murphy was installed as pastor of North Shelby Baptist Church, Birmingham, according to The Alabama Baptist. Murphy had recently returned from serving as a church planter in Curacao Netherlands Antilles. He had been serving abroad with the Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board) since the late 1980s. (TAB)
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In March 1975, The Alabama Baptist reported that Dewey and Phyllis Mayfield were appointed by the Home Mission Board (now North American Mission Board). Dewey Mayfield would serve as director of Christian Social Ministries in Huntsville. TAB also reported that Forest Hicks, a former dean of admissions at Hannibal-LaGrange College in Hannibal, Missouri, became the new pastor of Fourmile Baptist Church, Wilsonville. Hicks was previously a pastor in several other churches including Centreville Baptist Church; Goode Street Church, Montgomery; Vinesville Baptist Church, Birmingham; and First Baptist Church, Arab. (TAB)

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In March 1965, The Alabama Baptist reported news of a week of revival that was said to be a mighty outpouring of the Spirit.According to Ian H.C. Walker, pastor of Siloam Baptist Church, Marion, more than 100 students from Judson College and Marion Institute decided to be born again. Also the then-Foreign Mission Board appointed 28 missionaries.Pastor Hal K. Jacks, of Wedowee Baptist Church, and his wife were among the new group of missionaries to serve in Indonesia. (TAB)
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In Feb. 23, 1916, B.D. Gray, corresponding secretary of the Home Mission Board (now North American Mission Board), reported to The Alabama Baptist, “Our work in Cuba grows steadily and encouragingly.”The mission focused on four western provinces of the island and the majority of missionaries were in Santa Clara. The quickly growing Cuban population was a difficult challenge for missionaries. The ratio at the time was 1 missionary to every 50,000 people. (TAB)
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On Feb. 21, 1966, Birmingham Baptist Hospital located on Princeton Avenue opened its doors to patients. The Alabama Baptist helped introduce this new hospital which offered new modern features and was equipped with 500 beds. During the open house, visitors were able to see a post-anesthesia recovery room, operating rooms and the intensive care unit.
 
It was evident Southern Baptists who funded the hospital wanted it to be a place where patients could pray and worship. In the main lobby there was a chapel as well as offices for the chaplain and his secretary. Prayer rooms and visitor lounges were available on every patient floor to provide opportunity for rest, fellowship and prayer. (TAB)

In 1889, The Alabama Baptist reported that messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Selma voted to establish a five-woman group — called the Central Committee — to promote missions causes among women of Alabama Baptist churches.

The action came despite strong opposition from some pastors who argued Southern women did not want to engage in the public forum.

The convention vote complied with a request by the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) asking all states to appoint Central Committees to promote missions.

Mrs. L.A. Hamilton was the first president. The following year the Central Committee became the Alabama Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU) affiliated with the SBC WMU Auxiliary. (TAB)

 


In February 1866 the South was in the early stages of reconstruction and many cities were having a difficult time recovering.

Judson College in Marion, known originally as The Judson Female Institute, was able to recover while barely skipping a beat while Howard College (now Samford University) in Birmingham was having a slower rebuilding process. The Alabama Baptist editor encouraged everyone to take heart and not be discouraged by the slow process.
An editorial in the paper explained the “freedmen” had mostly stayed with their original owners and were now receiving wages. It was only a matter of time before the former slaves made their own churches. (TAB)

On Saturday, Feb. 4, 1843, the first issue of The Alabama Baptist was published in Marion. Milo Jewett, president of Judson Female Institute, was listed as senior editor. The paper was printed by Love and Dykous, publishers of the Marion Herald.

The Committee on Periodicals of the Alabama Baptist State Convention quickly recommended and messengers approved the new paper as the convention’s official organ for communicating with cooperating churches. (TAB)


Information on reserving copies of the history being written for TAB‘s 175th anniversary is available by emailing pr@thealabamabaptist.org or by calling 1-800-803-5201.

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