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22 – January 22 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST

Rev. Joseph Pilmoor

Rev. Joseph Pilmoor

Full as it could hold

Mr. Joseph Pilmoor, one of the first two Methodist missionaries sent to America by John Wesley, stopped in Charleston, South Carolina in January, 1773. The kindness and cordiality with which he was treated by both groups of Baptists give a pleasant picture of relations among the evangelical denominations in Charleston, and it is interesting to note the willingness and delight with which Mr. Oliver Hart and the two Baptist congregations listened to this herald of a new denomination. In the evening I went with two gentlemen to Mr. Tou’s, a gentleman that has the care of the General Baptist meeting-house, to make application for the use of the pulpit, which he readily granted, and we gave it out as much as we could that there would be preaching there the following night … At six in the evening [Friday, January 22d] I preached my first sermon in Charleston. As the notice was but short, our congregation was not large but very serious. Two ministers were present all the time, and behaved very well. The Baptist minister, Mr. Hart, returned me thanks for my sermon, and invited me to preach in his pulpit … Saturday … in the evening the congregation was three times as large as that we had last night. … As the General Baptists have no minister, and thinking it more blessed to give than to receive, I gladly consented to preach for them. On Sunday morning we had a very full house at ten o’clock. … At three o’clock I preached for Mr. Hart, to the Particular Baptists, and in the evening, notwithstanding the rain, the house was as full as it could hold, and … all behaved as well as the people in Philadelphia. This was thought very extraordinary, for when I first proposed evening preaching I was told it would be impracticable on account of the mob, … Tuesday I … went to dine with Mr. Patrick, where I met the Rev. Mr. Hart, the Baptist Minister, who is not only sensible, but truly evangelical, and very devout. At night the house was as full as it could well hold … Charleston bids fair for a revival of religion. … Sunday, 31 … At ten o’clock I preached in the Old Meeting, and was favored with the illuminations of grace, and the divine energy of the Holy Spirit. At two, we had a gracious season at the New Meeting, and in the evening we had the largest congregation I have seen since I left Virginia.”

Dr. Dale R. Hart, from: The Baptist Standard Bearer; The Baptist History Collection”

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