Baptists and the American Civil War: December 14, 1865

Civil War States MapIn Richmond this day, the white ministers of the city meet at the First Baptist Church to discuss arrangements for opening with prayer the daily sessions of the Virginia legislature:

“The Clergy of Richmond having been, by resolution of the House of Delegates, invited, “by arrangement and concert among themselves, to open the daily sessions of the House with prayer,” there will be a meeting for the purpose of forming a plan this day (Thursday) at twelve o’clock, at the Pastor’s Study in the rear of the First Baptist Church.”

Meanwhile, in New York City at the Madison Avenue Baptist Church, the Board of the American Baptist Missionary Union meets to discuss international strategy. Heavily engaged in mission efforts among freedmen in the South, the ABMU is also weighs expanding missionary work overseas.

As today’s New¬† York Times reports:

“Yesterday morning a special meeting of the above-named Board of Management was held in the Baptist Church in Madison-avenue, at which Rev. G. S. WEBB, of New-Jersey, presided as Chairman of the Board, and Drs. J.G. WARREN and T.N. MURDOCK, of Boston, and GEORGE J. JOHNSON, of Burlington, Iowa. and S.F. SMITH, of Newton, Massachusetts, as Secretaries.

Dr. MURDOCK explained the object in calling the board together at this unusual season, by stating that in October last a communication was received by the Corresponding Secretary from the Board of Managers of the American Baptist Publication Society, setting forth that they had received an application from Rev. A. WIEBERG for the reenforcement of and an increased appropriation to, the Swedish mission. The American Baptist. Publication Society, now deeming the mission in Sweden to have assumed sufficient importance, had called upon the American Baptist Missionary Union to take the work in hand, and desired to transfer it into their keeping for that purpose. The Executive Committee had replied to this application, that without loss of time the matter should go before the Board of Management — hence this present meeting. Other consideration, however, would come before them, and amongst them the reopening of the African missions. The board was understood to receive favorably the report of their Executive Committee, and after the reading of several letters of apology and encouragement in the good work from absent members, the board proceeded to the nomination of committees to carry out the mission, not alone in Sweden and in Africa, but in France. Italy and Syria.

Alter an interesting conversazione, eliciting details of the working of the mission, and the difficulties, to be overcome, the board adjourned till the evening, when a general conference was held, and the interesting facts above named made public, after which an eloquent sermon was delivered by Dr. IDE, of Springfield, Mass.”

Sources: Richmond Daily Dispatch, December 14, 1865 (link); “Meeting of the Board of Management of the American Baptist Missionary Union,” New York Times, December 14, 1865 (link)