Baptists and the American Civil War: June 22, 1862

Not all young Southern Baptist men march off to war. Twenty-six year old John Lemuel Carroll of North Carolina, baptized as a Baptist at the age of nine, is a licensed and ordained minister and a student at the University of North Carolina. Rather than join the army, as have most of his fellow students, Carroll today is called as the new pastor of the First Baptist Church of Hillsborough, North Carolina.

At at time when many Southern churches are closing their doors for lack of a pastor and/or because of war time hardships otherwise, the conditions of Carroll’s employment are designed to maintain stability in the Hillsborough congregation. Carroll agrees to move to Hillsborough, to preach one to two Sundays a month, and to conduct weekly prayer meetings, the latter most likely often focused, at least in part, on war-related concerns. For his spiritual services, Carroll is provided a $200 salary plus a place to live.

Continuing his education as he pastors, Carroll finishes his degree from the University of North Carolina in 1863, graduating with seven other men who have yet to enroll in the Confederate Army.

Remaining in the pulpit for the remainder of the war, afterwards he marries and raises a family, remaining in the ministry for many years, pastoring churches in North Carolina and Virginia, and serving as a trustee at Wake Forest College. He dies in 1895, survived by his wife Sarah and children.

Source: “Dr. John Lemuel Carroll” (link)