Baptists and the American Civil War: November 14, 1863

South Carolina Civil War MapConvened at the Barnwell Baptist Church in South Carolina’s Barnwell District (County), Baptist delegates of the Savannah River Baptist Association voice both weariness and resolute hope concerning the war.

Another year has passed and we find ourselves still afflicted by the scourge of war. So far as human observation is concerned, the plot of this terrible drama has thickened, and we look in vain for the earnestly desired end …. The musty records of the past tell us that sin attracts the judgment of Jehovah, and blasts not only individuals, but national deliverance …. But, at the same time believing that our present course is sanctioned by God whom we serve, we desire, and will pray only for a peace based upon the honorable terms of the independence of this Southern Confederacy.

Will God disappoint these men who are so certain that God’s interests are a reflection of their own? Perhaps some already quietly realize the inevitability of Southern defeat.

Source: “Minutes of the Savannah River Baptist Association at its Sixty-Second Anniversary convened at the Barnwell Church, Barnwell District, S.C., Saturday Nov. 14, 1863” (available at the Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives, cited in Gary Blessman’s 1978 paper, “Baptist Associations in the Civil War: Their Attitudes, Their Prayers, and Their Mission Action,” unpublished)