Baptists and the American Civil War: April 25, 1863

Georgia MapThe annual meeting of the Georgia Baptist Convention continues in Griffin. The (Southern) Baptists gathered in the town’s first Baptist church are a mixture of city and rural ministers. Some own large numbers of slaves, and most are supportive of the peculiar institution whose financial profits under gird Southern Baptist missions. As such, perhaps it is no surprise that while mission work among the soldiers defending African slavery dominate convention proceedings, there are no discussions of missionary efforts among slaves.

A. E. Dickinson, Southern Baptists army missions leader, opens in prayer. F. M. Haygood, agent of the Georgia Baptist Bible and Colporteur Society, is recognized by the assembled delegates.

A committee is formed to “consider the propriety of taking some steps towards the education of the indigent orphans of our soldiers, who have died, or may die during the present war.”

From 3:45-4:00 p.m. the Confederate States Baptist Historical Society holds its meeting. Immediately afterwards, the the Georgia Baptist BibleĀ  and Colporteur Society meets for half an hour.

The evening session features a “missionary meeting” during which army missionary Dickinson, and two other missionaries, deliver “interesting addresses.” Afterwards, $840 is collected for army missions.

Thus from beginning of the day to end, missions among Confederate soldiers is at the forefront of the proceedings.

Source: Minutes, Georgia Baptist State Convention, April 24, 25 and 27, 1863 (link)