Baptists and the American Civil War: June 6, 1865

Washington DC 1862

Washington DC 1862

While all the armies of the Confederacy have surrendered by now, another small force of soldiers surrenders this day in Shreveport, Caddo Parish, Louisiana. Shreveport served as the Confederate capital of Louisiana following the Union capture of Baton Rouge on May 29, 1862.

Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C. the Calvary Baptist Church is in the news.

Amos Kendall, a local businessman, joined the church in May, after having been baptized in the city’s E Street Baptist Church by pastor Kennard, the two of whom were apparently friends.

Kendall joined Calvary Baptist at a time when the congregation was seeking to acquire land and build a meeting house. Wasting no time in becoming involved, Kendall, to the joy of the congregation, offers to purchase land for the church and pay for the construction of a meeting house. Today, the church in business session agrees to conditions put forth by Kendall, and construction soon begins.

On December 3, 1865 the church begins “public worship” in the lecture room of the new meeting house, and on June 3, 1866 a dedication service is held for the completed meeting house. Preaching at the latter event are two of the nation’s most prominent pastors: Rev. George Dana Boardman of the First Baptist Church of Philadelphia, and Rev. Thomas D. Anderson of the First Baptist Church of New York.

Amos Kendall, by this time, is serving as the church’s senior deacon. The church expresses great appreciation for Kendall’s generosity, which amounts to about $115,000, a tremendous sum for the day.

Sources: “Parish History,” Parish of Caddo Louisiana” (link); William Wilbur, Chronicles of Calvary Baptist Church in the City of Washington, Washington: Judd and Detweiler, 1914, pp. 24-30 (link)