Baptists and the American Civil War: December 09, 1865

Kentucky Tennessee MapThis month the Holston Baptist Association of Tennessee passes a resolution asking that pro-Confederate Baptist churches apologize for their sin of supporting the Confederacy:

“The war was wrong, … and it has caused the troubles which are existing in the Baptist churches. Therefore, we would recommend that all members who voted for separation, or voluntarily aided or abetted in the prosecution of the war against the government of the United States should come before the church where their membership exists and give satisfactory evidence of their Godly sorrow and repentance, and in doing so loyal members should be reconciled toward them. That loyal members who have done anything to the injury of disloyal brethren or the injury of the church should be required to make full satisfaction.”

Many Tennesseans remained Unionist throughout the war. The resulting division among the state’s white citizens generates post-war tensions in Baptist life and beyond.

Source: Joe Early Jr., “Tennessee Baptists and the Civil War,” Tennessee Baptist Historical Society Journal, 2006, p. 17 (link)