Baptists and the American Civil War: October 6, 1865

gabaptistassoci_oct1865Today the Georgia Baptist Association convenes in Oglethorpe County at Bairds Church. The association is the oldest of such Baptist bodies in Georgia.

Today the gathering is called to order, followed by a sermon, singing, prayer and the reading of letters (correspondence) from “the Churches” of the association. Committees are also appointed, from which reports will be issued in the next few days.

As in many other Baptist associations of the South meeting this fall, one of the orders of business will be the addressing of post-war realities.

But for this day, worship and business formalities are enough.

Meanwhile in Mississippi, the Freedmen’s Bureau, with the assistance of many Christian groups including American (Northern) Baptists, is busy orchestrating marriages among former slaves. Forbidden from formal marriage prior to and during the war, many are grateful for the opportunity to make their wedding vows official.

Many of those marrying are Baptists.

Sources: “Minutes of the eighty-first anniversary of the Georgia Baptist Association held with Bairds Church, Oglethorpe County, October 6th, 7th and 9th, 1865” (link); “Registers of Marriages of Freedmen Volume 3 1865,” Mississippi (link)