Two-Day Conference in London with Douglas Campbell
Baptist theology conference

Creating a list of Baptist 'saints'

So I was reading a review earlier today of The Origin of Feasts, Fasts and Seasons which will appear in the next issue of Regent's Reviews and then this post by Steve Harmon got me thinking who might appear on a list of Baptist 'saints' - who might we want to recognise for the contribution they have made to life and mission of the church. This would be a supplement to the names of other Christians from other traditions. It might certainly help do some Baptist history in our churches. This is an idea floated by Steve in his book Towards Baptist Catholicity where he says 'Baptist congregations might be able to include in their own weekly worship a few moments for telling stories of men and women who have provided worthy examples of lives lived in the service of God and humanity' (p.170). BMS this year have created some resources to celebrate 250 yrs since the birth of William Carey (Carey Sunday is 21 August), which is a start.

Here's my starter for ten ...

31 January Charles Haddon Spurgeon

23 February   George Beasley-Murray

16 March Marianne Farningham

4 April Martin Luther King

7 May   Andrew Fuller

9 June   William Carey

28 August   John Smyth

30 October   James McClendon

... who else should be added and give us a date?

I'm not sure where to put Thomas Helwys as we don't know when he died.



You need to contact Tim at Dancing Scarecrow for the date of St Ida. She was a Baptist saint from the Church of No Flamin' Option in a HMF dvd.

Not too sure about Baptist hagiography myself... will be interesting to see what others think.

Tim Marsh

Lottie Moon - Dec. 24

Natanael Disla

Here's mine from the South:

13 March Gustavo Parajón (Human rights activist, Nicaragua)

5 April María Cristina Gómez (Baptist school teacher and community leader, El Salvador)

30 July Frank País (Baptist revolutionary and layman, Cuba)

Steve Harmon

Here are two more:
11 February Muriel Lester
19 October Helen Barrett Montgomery

Natanael Disla

*Gustavo Parajón was Baptist, too.

Andy Goodliff

I deliberately put 'saints' in brackets, and see it as a possible means of just remembering those who have gone before us - their life and/or writing - and how that might inspire us in our church life and mission today ... so it has a historical and missionary focus ...

Natanael Disla

Don't forget:

24 June John the Baptist nativity
29 August John the Baptist death

Rowena Wilding

I can't find the date, but Violet Hedger should be on there.

Chris S

Definitely need Clarence Jordan - October 29

Trey Medley

Roger Williams near 1603 – between January and February 1683

Charles Haddon Spurgeon 19 June 1834 – 31 January 1892

John Leland May 14, 1754 – January 14, 1841

Annie Armstrong July 11, 1850 – December 20, 1938

Harry Emerson Fosdick May 24, 1878 – October 5, 1969

B. H. Caroll December 27, 1843 – November 11, 1914

Oswald Chambers July 24, 1874 -- November 15, 1917

John Gill 23 November 1697 – 14 October 1771

John Bunyan 28 November 1628 – 31 August 1688

Benjamin Keach 29 February 1640 – 18 July 1704

Trey Medley

The following were comments on Steve Harmon's link to your blogpost via facebook. It doesn't seem that they made it here, so I'm copying them over (I did not come up with these).

13 March Gustavo Parajón (Human rights activist, Nicaragua)

5 April María Cristina Gómez (Baptist school teacher and community leader, El Salvador)

30 July Frank País (Baptist revolutionary and layman, Cuba)

Walter Rauschenbusch (October 4, 1861 - July 25, 1918

‎(Leonard) Carlyle Marney July 3, 1978

Henlee Barnette Oct 22, 2004

Richard Furman (9 October 1755 - 25 August 1825)

Ann Hasseltine Judson Dec 22 1789-Oct 24 1826

Adoniram Judson Aug 9 1788-April 12 1850

Luther Rice Mar 25 1783-Sept 25 1836

Alma Hunt Oct 9 1909-June 14, 2008

F W Boreham 18 May 1959


Wasn't Furman a passionate defender of the South's Biblical right to own slaves?

Keith G Jones

This is an initial list ! Some of these have dates and some don't, but they all match the criteria announced ! The challenge will be to produce a global list which is not weighted to the isles/USA and male ! May the holy Spirit be with you ! - Keith


Ernest Alexander Payne 1902 - 14.01.1980

Gotfryd Fryderyk Alf: pioneer of Baptist work in Poland/Prussia

Maureen White: BUGB International Secretary, IBTS administrator, friend to countless

Johann Gerhard Oncken:leading figure in Baptist development in Europe

Jindrich Novotny: leader in Baptist work in Bohemia

N F S Grundtvig:developer of baptistic work in Denmark (EU programme named after him on informal adult education)

Ivan G Kargel; pioneer of Baptist work and theology in Russia

Vasili Pashkov: pioneer of Baptist work in Russia

Asbjørn Bakkevoll;youth leader in Norway, BWA commission leader and Vice President

A.T. Øhrn:BWA General Secretary

Josef Nordenhaug: President, BTS, Rueschlikon; BWA General Secretary

Gerhard Claas:BWA General Secretary

Rachel Iversen; woman missionary to Congo, President of BWA Women (Norway)

Jessie Davies: tireless worker in the YBA office, serving four General Secretaries

Lois Chapple:BUGB/BWA women’s leader

Jonas Inkenas;1903 -1983. Leader in Lithuania, exiled to Siberia

Marija Inkenas died 7/11/2009 aged 103. Linguist (seven languages), Baptist leader. Wife of Jonas. Exiled in Siberia.

Donald Foster Hudson; Missionary in India. Theologian. Linguist. Honoured by the Bengali and Urdu communities in West Yorkshire for his help and support

Robina Wilson;Missionary in Congo. Leader amongst Baptist women in the UK.

Alexander McLaren;Preacher. First President of the BWA

Alfred Illingworth:Member of Parliament for Bradford

John Fawcett:Pastor, educator, hymn writer (“Blest be the tie that Binds”)

A Trevor Hubbard:Baptist leader, pastor and statesman in north west England

D Tait Patterson;Baptist pastor, liturgist, developer of the idea of retreats for pastors

George Farr:Old Testament scholar, noted for his exemplary pastoral care of students.

John Howard Shakespeare:BUGB General Secretary and ecumenist. 1898 -1924

Dan Taylor:leader of the General Baptists of the New Connexion

David J Charley:President, BUGB, leading chest physician, campaigner on moral, social and health issues.

Osvald Tärk:(born 1 Oct 1904 - died 25 May 1984) - influential pastor, theologian, well known as pastoral counselor and as a person of integrity in Estonia and beyond

Emilie Bertelson;(born 14 October 1884 - died 7 July 1965) - missionary in the East regions of Estonia near Lake Peipsi, worked especially among Russian speaking people, in her youth in the aftermath of Communist revolution worked in St Petersburg, a woman whose commitment and spirituality made an impact on people who met her


To put a spanner in the works, I worry about creating such lists. While I agree with Haymes, Gouldbourne and Cross (On being the Church, Paternoster, 2008), that “special exemplars ... lives should not be forgotten, especially the martyrs”, one word in the sentence preceding the quote above (“The communion of the saints refers to all who share the holy life in Christ”) might frame the discussion - all.

My worry is threefold: first, a list of notable noteworthy nobles might disfigure our Baptist roots by creating a priesthood of select believers. Second, our history could become the sum of noteworthy individual lives, instead of one continuous, unified story of God’s journey of redemption. Third, the result of the above might endorse our the study of the Bible as a mosaic of theology, history, morality, etc.

SPKC’s “The Drama of Scripture - Finding our place in the Biblical story” (Bartholomew and Goheen), though simplistic and therefore perhaps unappealing to theologians and academics, might provide an appropriate framework for the proposed list of ‘saints’, that the noteworthy lives of those men and women who preceded us would be so compelling as to draw us into the story of God wherein we find our place, make it our own and model it for others to desire to make it their own.

In your quote from “On being Church”, I am most encouraged by the authors’ call “to review our tradition of keeping the local church anniversary as a time for reflection and memory”. On such occasions, while “recall(ing) the saints in the great Christian tradition whose story inspires and helps us to understand what following Christ today might mean”, we might also find and honour past and present local ‘saints’, who were part of the same story of God’s story.

The comments to this entry are closed.