Baptists and the American Civil War: June 17, 1863

African SlaveryHow are Southern Baptist pastors to support the institution of African slavery? A pastor in Washington, Georgia models the manner in which whites are to minister to slaves, according to a correspondent writing for a Virginia-based Baptist newspaper.

A correspondent of the Religious Herald writing from Washington, Ga., gives the following account of the labors of Elder H. A. Tupper, pastor of the church in that place. We could wish that such instances of pastoral efficiency were less rare:

In all my wanderings for years past among the churches, I have never met with such a pastor as the brother who, for some ten years, has been laboring at this point.–Nine years ago he established a Sunday school for colored children, which has been in successful operation ever since. Last Sunday was the anniversary, and it was a pleasant occasion. The pastor gave to each pupil–seventy-five being present–a card or book. The school meets every Sunday afternoon. Here then is an instance in which it has been demonstrated that colored schools can be kept up and effect vast good.

Brother Tupper (the pastor) also preaches frequently to servants on the plantations around. Two or three days of every week are devoted to this service. At the hour of 12 o’clock the servants are assembled immediately before or after dinner, and a sermon is preached to them. The same course is pursued from plantation to plantation, until all the large planters, for some miles around, have had the gospel preached in the weekdays to their servants. Service is held every Tuesday evening in the Baptist church for the colored people of the village. So much for this portion of the flock.

We come now to the little ones. Of course the Sunday school is well attended. We have never seen a nicer school. Last Sabbath the pastor gave a book to each pupil. Two Sundays of every month brother Tupper preaches to the children in the afternoon. Though, for years, he has been doing this the little people flock out in great numbers. The old ones come too, so that the preacher can often give them some timely hints and suggestions through the children. As the result, in part, of this attention to the children, quite a number of them are pious, consistent church members.

Source: “A Model Pastor,” Biblical Recorder, June 17, 1863 (link)