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365 – Dec. 31 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST

“Teach me to study Thy glory in all I do. Amen!”

 December 31, 1795 – Was the occasion of Oliver Hart’s death. Dr. Richard Furman said, “From a part of his diary in my possession, it appears that he took more than ordinary pains to walk humbly and faithfully with God; to live under the impressions of the love of Christ…” Hart wrote in his diary on Aug. 5, 1754: “Oh, that, for time to come, I may become more active for God! I would this morning resolve, before thee, O God, and in Thy name and strength, to devote myself more unreservedly to Thy service than I have hitherto done…I would begin and end each day with thee: Teach me to study Thy glory in all I do. Amen!” Oliver Hart was born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, on July 5, 1723. Early in life he was exposed to the preaching of Whitefield, the Episcopalian, the Presbyterian Tennant’s, and Edward and Abel Morgan, the Baptists. In those early years he made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ. After his ordination he was challenged by a call for ministers to go to Charleston, S.C. He arrived there just as the only ordained Baptist preacher, Jesse Chamber, was buried. His unexpected arrival was considered to be the will of God and the people asked him to assume the pastoral care of the church, which he did on Feb. 16, 1750 and continued for many years. When the British fleet invaded Charleston, wishing to preserve his political liberty, which was being threatened, he removed to Hopewell, N.J., where he assumed the pastorate of the Baptist church there and remained for thirteen years. Hart was another example of one who did not have a formal education but continued to improve his mind in private study. The college of Rhode Island conferred upon him an honorary degree. He helped lay the groundwork for Furman and others.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 549-50.

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