Baptists and the American Civil War: October 21, 1861

Georgia Map 1861Baptists of the Friendship Baptist Association of Georgia, meeting this weekend at Antioch Baptist Church in Taylor County, express loyalty to the Confederate States of America fused with a dose of Christian nationalism:

Resolved, That this Body hereby express their devout thanks to God for the glorious victories which He has enabled us to achieve in this most unhappy and unnatural contest in which we are engaged with our Northern foes, and that we consecrate ourselves and all our available means to God and this great cause.

This succinct statement, marrying the southern cause of African slavery with the will of God and sanctifying war in order to uphold the racial order, is echoed throughout the South in many other Baptist associational meetings during the late summer and autumn months.

Yet while white Southern Baptists pray for Confederate victory, enslaved black Baptists, often worshiping under the same roof, quietly pray for Confederate defeat and the recognition that they too, are human beings created by a God who loves them and views them as equal to the race that has enslaved them for generations.

Source: Minutes, Friendship Baptist Association (GA), October 19, 1861