CHAPTER IX .Southwestern States.
We will include in this chapter the States West of Georgia, exclusive of Tennessee and Kentucky .
In regard to the position of the Baptists of Alabama upon this question we have been able to gather but little data. The reader, however, is referred to a discussion upon this question between one “Fidus.” Of Muscle-Shoals, Ala. , and J. L. Waller, of Louisville , Ky. The former writing in The Baptist, and the latter writing in the Western Baptist Review. We have examined the records personally, but have them not at hand at this writing. As we remember, “Fidus” claimed the Alabama Baptists were very strongly opposed to the reception of alien immersion, and the same was conceded by Waller. See Western Baptist Review, Vol. 3, p. 353.
With reference to Mississippi Baptists on this question, we give a few quotations from the minutes of the Mississippi Association which was constituted in 1806 A. D. In the records for 1808 we find the following:
“Shall the ordination of a minister of the gospel, who may become a member of the Baptist church, be considered valid who was ordained by men not in our connection?
“Answered in the negative.”
Again in 1830 we find this:
“Resolved, That it be recommended to all the churches composing the Association, not to invite into their pulpits any minister who holds the sentiments, or creeds expressed,” (by the followers of A. Campbell). In the same meeting they print this statement:
“Anything contrary to Baptist doctrine is heresy.”
In 1839 we find this in their minutes:
“Resolved, That in the opinion of this Association there are three things necessary to constitute gospel baptism, viz.: a regular authorized administrator, a believer in Christ and immersion in the name of the Holy Trinity, and as such those ministers who have been excluded from our communion for immorality or heresy, are not proper administrators, and consequently, immersions administered by Campbellite ministers, or reforming teachers, as they call themselves, is not valid baptism.”
The Confession of Faith adopted in Louisiana Associations confines baptism and the Lord’s Supper within the pales of the church. See Paxton’s History of Louisiana Baptists, p. 77.
The Concord Association of Louisiana was constituted in 1832, and in 1855 we find the following question and answer:
“Is it consistent with the principles of the gospel for Baptist churches to receive members from the Campbellite societies, without being rebaptized?
“Answer: It is not.” Hist. Louisiana Baptists, p. 263.
Again: This same Association in 1832 put forth a Confession of Faith, in which they make this statement:
Art. 4. “We believe that believers are the only proper subjects; and immersion the only Scriptural action of baptism; and the only legal administrators of the ordinance are the regularly ordained ministers of the gospel in full fellowship in and with the United Baptists.” Hist. Louisiana Baptists, p. 246.
The Ouachita Association was constituted in 1844, and the Twelfth Article of their Confession of Faith reads thus:
“Baptism is the immersion of a believer in water by a legal administrator.” Ibid. 295.
The Red River Association of Louisiana was constituted in 1848, and passed the following:
“Resolved, That in the opinion of this Association, a properly qualified administrator is essential to Scriptural baptism.
“Resolved, That the authority of an orderly Baptist church is an essential qualification to authorize one to administer baptism.
“Resolved, That immersions performed by administrators not authorized by such a church should not be received by Baptists.’ Hist. Louisiana Baptists, p. 332.
As to Texas , she is too young to have a history, on this question, extending much beyond the middle of last century. This author spent nearly four years in that State, from 1904 to 1908. During my stay there, we lived in different parts of the State and traveled in nearly all parts of it, forming the acquaintance of hundreds of ministers of all grades, and on both sides of the mission controversy. Yet we never heard of a single instance of the reception of alien immersion during the four years, or a single intimation that any one favored such. To our personal knowledge many of the leading preachers and churches would not tolerate it.
“Drs. J. B. Gambrell and George W. Truett, of Texas , state that, the reception of alien immersion is almost wholly unknown in Texas .
“They state that the practice of receiving regular baptism only is so general that the exceptions to such practice are rarely considered by the Texas churches.”
These brethren authorize me to say that they are personally in hearty sympathy with the above.”
Before closing this chapter we will append an extract from Eld. B. M. Bogard: “I am sure no man can write the history of alien immersion in Arkansas , for it has never existed in the State. I am sure there has never been a Baptist church in Arkansas that ever did receive an alien immersion. It therefore has no history in this State, and therefore you can not write it, except to record the fact that it never took root in Arkansas soil.
“Of course there may have been some alien immersions found their way into unsuspecting churches by means of letter, but none has been received straight.” “Ben M. Bogard.”
The above letter explains itself.
We might say before closing this chapter, that Southern Illinois , much of Missouri and the Western States stand firm on this question, while many others have been caught in the meshes of “liberalism.”