Baptists and the American Civil War: September 20, 1861

Texas Map 1861Throughout the Confederacy, dozens if not hundreds of Baptist associations convene this month. At each meeting, the war is a popular topic of conversation, whether informally or formally.

In Texas today, the Waco Baptist Association, meeting in Marlin, hears a report on home missions: “In view of the condition of the country, engaged as we are in a bloody and expensive war for our liberties, and the stringent condition of money matters … we cannot see how we could sustain missions in our midst. We would recommend to the Association not to make any provision for a missionary in the field for the present …”

The report on Colored Missions states: “We recommend that the several churches do what they can towards evangelizing our colored population … Be it said to their praise that our dear old Southern Baptist fathers were always solicitous about the spiritual welfare of their slaves. And when the colored people were converted they were baptized into the fellowship of the churches with the whites.” And a special prayer meeting asks God for “the protection of the Southern armies and for the success of our country’s cause.”

Sources: James L. Walker, History of the Waco Baptist Association of Texas. Waco, Tex: Jirvne Hill, 1897, pp. 29-32