Baptists and the American Civil War: June 23, 1861

First Baptist Church Forsyth GeorgiaAs a result of the war, Baptist Sunday worship services in the South have taken on a new dimension. The war and the fate of the Confederacy are never far from the minds of congregants throughout the South, while preachers often utter some words that directly or indirectly refer to the crisis. Yet matters of doctrine are not pushed aside.

Today Julia Stanford attends Sabbath School at First Baptist Church in Forsyth, Georgia, and then walks over to the Methodist Church for worship:

Went to Sabbath School. From thence to Methodist Church. Rev. McDonnell preached – urging Christians to be more united – I think if he would lay aside some of his favorite rites & creeds there might possibly be more unanimity ….

Some appearance of rain – Negroes had a cutting frolic – Not fatal as yet.

In consequence of so much company had little time for reading my Bible and reflection – something I always regret – very much – O, that people would keep this holyday more in Accordance with the dictates of the Bible.

Source: “The Diary of Miss Julia A. Stanford” (A copy is available in the Mercer University Georgia Baptist History Depository, Macon, Georgia)