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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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.
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)
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