Baptists and the American Civil War: June 2, 1862

African SlaverySouthern Baptist pastor and author Amos C. Dayton, a Tennessean and leading advocate of the theory that Baptist lineage can be traced back to John the Baptist, is in Georgia preparing for a speaking tour to Baptists and other Christians on the subject of slavery. He declares he will:

… treat at length of the institution of slavery, and show that this is not our national sin, but that it has the direct sanction of God himself, and so must be not only innocent, but most desirable….

….I feel that I have a great mission from God to the citizens of our Confederacy. I can deliver my message as well in a schoolhouse or a court house, as in a Baptist meeting house, or in one of any other denomination. I care not where brethren or friends arrange for me to preach, so that I can make our people hear, the people of all classes in society, and all denominations of Christians. My mission is not ecclesiastical, but patriotic. It is not denominational, but Christian in the widest sense of that word as commonly employed. Thus far I have found Christian men and women of all denominations ready to listen and to co-operate with me. It will be so wherever I go, for God himself is moving the hearts of all his people, and I am only the unworthy instrument which he employs to stir up their pure minds to the remembrance of his law.

That Dayton feels compelled to reinforce the rightness and just cause of slavery in the Deep South state of Georgia may indicate that he, like some other Baptist elites, is apprehensive that some white common Baptists may not be fully convinced of this biblical truth.

Sources: “Preaching Tour,” Christian Index, June 3, 1862; A. C. Dayton biographical sketches (link) and (link)