Baptists and the American Civil War: August 20, 1863

North Carolina MapThe Tar River Baptist Association of North Carolina convenes today. A summary of the associational meeting provides glimpses into many aspects of Baptist life in the war-torn Confederate States of America.

From August 20th-23rd, 1863, the Association met with Red Bud Church, Franklin County. The sermon from John 9:4 was preached by Henry Petty. N. A. Purefoy was elected Moderator, and Henry Petty, Clerk and Treasurer.

In response to the request of President Jefferson Davis, the Association appointed Friday of the present session as a day of fasting and prayer.

Elder N. B. Cobb, General Superintendent of Army Colportage, was present in the interest of his great work. He drew such a picture of the needs of the soldiers that the people wept freely, and contributed liberally to the Army Colportage fund.

Owing to the war the opportunity to push Foreign Missions was greatly lessened, and news from the foreign field was exceedingly meagre. A few of the missionaries on account of failing health had come home; but, for the most part, they were at their posts rendering faithful service, sowing the good seed, and winning souls into the kingdom.

On account of insufficient support the Biblical Recorder had been compelled to reduce its size to a half sheet. The Association passed a resolution recommending that the price of the Recorder be increased so as to restore the paper to its former size.

The report of the Executive Committee shows that nothing had been done along the line of missionary colportage work, except in the army.

There were 25 churches in the union, 11 preachers, 63 baptisms, and a total membership of 2,265.

Mount Zion Church was received at this session.

Source:┬áThomas J. Taylor, “A History of the Tar River Baptist Association, 1830-1921” (link)