November 09, 1798 – Asahel Morse was baptized, and then licensed to preach in 1799. In 1818 he became a member of the State Convention in Connecticut to frame a new state constitution. He wrote the article on religious liberty that secured the rights of conscience. He was a man of great power and influence among the Baptists, and in 1820 he went to Philadelphia as a delegate from the Conn. Baptist Missionary Board to the Baptist General Convention. All of this came about because of the spiritual awakening called the “New Light Stir”, under the preaching of George Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards, and there was no greater “stir” than in the colony of Connecticut. The controversy continued for many years and centered on the Half-way covenant. pedobaptism, and religious liberty. The legislature passed laws against the separates, Congregationalists who were called, “New Lights” because they renounced infant immersion and embraced Baptist principles of believer’s baptism, etc. They were dismissed from public office and students from Yale College, and also excommunicated them from their churches. Many of the New Lights, having embraced and suffered with the Baptists for decades united with them, including in some instances entire churches. Here again is another example of how the Baptists were at the forefront of the battle for religious liberty in the beginning of our nation.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 466-67.