Sunday, April 22, 2007

1806 Articles of Faith

Locusts and Wild Honey has posted the 1806 Articles of Faith of the Mississippi Baptist Convention. Remember -- this would have been the Mississippi Territory as it was pre-statehood. The churches in the association would have actually been located in southwestern Mississippi and southeastern Louisiana. The oldest Baptist church in the state is Salem Baptist in present-day Jefferson County which was organized in 1791.

Update: Terry Thornton, of Fulton, Miss. sends the following comment:

According to Z.T. Leavell writing in 1901 in the article “Early Beginnings of Baptists in Mississippi” [Publications of the Mississippi Historical Society, Volume IV. Franklin L. Riley, Editor. Oxford, MS, 1901, pp 245-253. Available online at Google Books], the Baptists started organizing in late 1791 near Natchez, Mississippi Territory.

Seven citizens of that region meeting in October 1791 at a point on South Fork Cole’s Creek, western Jefferson County, about 18 miles northeast of Natchez, organized a church they called “Salem.” More formally the church became known as The Church of Jesus Christ at Coles Creek or as The Baptist Church of Jesus Christ at Coles Creek or as The Baptit Church on Coles Creek.
The group met in private homes until 1805 at which time they started meeting at Coles Creek Meeting House.

The articles of that first Baptist Church in Mississippi are:“1.We agree to submit ourselves to God, and to each other, reprove, and bear reproof, bear each other’s burdens, and to carry on the work of the Lord as well as we can.2. We agree, as touching things temporal, not to go to law one against another, as the Scriptures forbid that Brother should go to law against Brother.3. We believe the Lord’s Day to be set apart for the worship of God, and, whereas, it has been much observed, now to pay particular attention to that day; and make the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament our rule and practice in life” (page 247).

And all the while that Baptists were organizing in Mississippi Territory, so were the Methodists. Lorenzo Dow was in the Natchez Country preaching [see Charles B. Galloway’s article “Lorenzo Dow in Mississippi” pp 233-244 in that same issue of the Mississippi Historical Society of 1901]. It was in one of the earliest Methodist Churches at Washington (MS Territory) that the first Constitutional Convention of 1817 was held. That convention paved the way for the new state of Mississippi’s admission into the union of The United States of American (page 243).



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