Posts Tagged Charleston

Waffle House, Trucks – and the Church – Bill Leonard -BaptistNewsGlobal

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Baptists in Early North America: First Baptist Church, Boston, Massachusetts,

Edited by Rev. Dr. Thomas R. McKibbens.  Macon, Mercer University Press. ©2017. $60.

Reviewed by: Mitch Carnell

Reading about the beginning struggles of the First Baptist Church of Boston should cause every Baptist heart to swell with pride. These pioneers in the faith suffered unbelievable persecution. Massachusetts was simply not a good place to be if you believed in freedom of religious conscious. Decenters were publicly whipped and jailed.

The founding members worshiped in people’s homes before erecting a meetinghouse. The doors to their first meetinghouse were nailed shut by the authorities on March 8, 1679. At least for one week the congregation met outside in the cold. Religious freedom did not come to Massachusetts until a new constitution was adopted in 1833.

The Boston Church was not the first Baptist Church in New England but it grew to be one of the most influential spreading its influence from Boston to South Carolina. The connections between the First Baptist Church of Boston and the First Baptist Church of Charleston are strong. The first pastor of the Charleston church was ordained by the Boston church. William Screven established a church in Kittery, Maine before moving his flock to Charleston. When the Boston church was without a pastor in 1707, he was invited to return to Boston as pastor but declined the offer.

The most successful pastor of the Boston Church, Samuel Stillman, was trained by the pastor of First Baptist Church Charleston, Oliver Hart, and ordained by him in 1759.  Stillman served the Boston church for over 40 years. The meetinghouse was expanded twice during his pastorate. He and his Charleston mentor were both originally from Philadelphia where Baptists were more welcome.

The minutes of the First Baptist Church of Boston, 1635 -1830, provide both informative and interesting reading. The handwritten minutes are contained in two leather bound volumes currently located in the Franklin Trask Library at Andover Newton Theological Seminary. McKibbens, has meticulously and painstakingly transformed these priceless records into a form accessible to every interested scholar or layman. These minutes faithfully record insights into church doctrine, politics, finances, church discipline and church personalities. McKibbens speaks of his joy in being able to handle these documents. He served as interim pastor while preparing the manuscript.

Dr. McKibbens has produced a volume of great value to anyone interested in religious freedom and the growth and history of Baptists in America.

The Rev. Dr. Thomas McKibbens is no stranger to South Carolina Baptists. He was a speaker for the Charleston County Baptist Association and at the John Hamrick Lectureship. He delivered the sermon at the 325th Anniversary Celebration of First Baptist Church of Charleston.

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A Day of Repentance – Mayor John Tecklenburg

“Sometimes I think that we should have a day of repentance in Charleston for all the bad in our past, especially racism.” Mayor John Tecklenburg said while speaking at the fourth and final Lenten Series for 2017 held at St. John’s Lutheran Church.

“After repentance, then what? How do we make amends for the past?

”Perhaps better education for everyone or affordable housing or more equity in our law enforcement, these would be good ways to start. I was in the eighth grade in Orangeburg when the Orangeburg Massacre occurred and I was running for the Office of Mayor of Charleston when the massacre happened at Mother Emanuel Church.  The dialogue instantly changed from how will our city survive after Joe Riley leaves office to what is next for our city. The response of the people at Mother Emmanuel set an example for our city and Charleston set an example for the whole world.

The music for the program was outstanding. Following the message there was a time for laying on of hands for blessing and healing conducted by the ministers from the cooperating churches: St. John’s Lutheran, First Baptist, First Scots Presbyterian and St. Michael’s Episcopal.

St. John’s provided a lunch for all attendees after the service. I was torn but opted for lunch at the Variety Store.

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“You Are Already Forgiven.” Rev. Anthony Thompson

“You are already forgiven,” proclaimed the Rev. Anthony Thompson, at the joint Lenten Service held at First Baptist Church of Charleston at noon today March 22, 2017. “God is just wondering when you will forgive yourself.” His powerful message of forgiveness was delivered before an almost full house. “You forgive others so that your own healing can begin,” he continued.

Rev. Thompson’s wife was one of the nine worshipers killed by Dylan Roof at Mother Emanuel AME Church during a Wednesday night Bible study. At the bond hearing that followed the next day, Rev. Thompson was able to forgive the killer and to invite him to a relationship with Jesus. His example set the tone for the response of Charleston to the carnage of mindless racial slaughter. Charleston in turn has set the example for the rest of the nation.

The Lenten Series is a product of cooperation between First Baptist Church, First Scotts Presbyterian Church, St. John’s Lutheran Church and St. Michael’s Episcopal Church. There were many other congregations represented in today’s service. Rev. Thompson is pastor of Holy Trinity Reformed Episcopal Church. Beverly Bradley was the organist.

The program next week is at St. John’s Lutheran Church. Mayor John Tecklenburg of Charleston is the speaker. A lunch follows each program hosted by the church of the week.

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