Baptists and the American Civil War: August 15, 1862

Today Kentucky’s Campbell County Association of Baptists gather at the Baptist Church at Licking.

The association meeting lasts for three days. Much of the talk is about missionary work, and in particular, home missions. The associational missionary reports one baptism for the past twelve months, compared to eighteen the prior year. In assessing the downtown, the gathered Baptists declare:

The past year has been fraught with apparently almost insurmountable difficulties to the success of the word. The prospects before us are very gloomy, and seem to discourage any effort to continue our efforts in this way. Under these circumstances shall we continue or work or abandon it?

Many other Baptist associations in the Border States and South are asking similar questions in the face of missionary difficulties. Campbell County Baptists opt to hope for the best. Seeds are being sown, they muse.

“We are taught there is a time to sow, and a time to reap. The reaping time may be the coming year.”

In the meantime, God calls for faithfulness. Rather than lamenting national disunion, as they had done the previous year, delegates determine to not allow the war to be a distraction from their mission work:

“…the idea that a financial crisis or national troubles should be an excuse for Christians not endeavoring to have the gospel preached is too glaring an absurdity to be entertained for one moment.”

In the midst of war, hope thus remains for Baptists of the Campbell County Association.

Source: Minutes, Campbell County Association of Baptists, May 15-17, 1862 (link)