“Knowing We Are Pilgrims, as Our Fathers Were”: A New Look at the Hubbards

“Knowing We Are Pilgrims, as Our Fathers Were”: A New Look at the Hubbards

Jan 23, 2018

First in a series of spinoff articles from recent research on the Newport, Rhode Island, Seventh Day Baptists     by Janet Thorngate Most people who have even a smattering of American Seventh Day Baptist history know that the first Seventh Day Baptist church in America was founded in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1671 and that Samuel and Tacy Hubbard and their daughter Rachael Langworthy were three of the seven charter members. And anyone who has visited the Seventh Day Baptist museum in the last 100 years has seen the oldest book in our archives, the “Hubbard Bible,” of which Hubbard said, “Now 1675 I have a testament of my grandfather Cooke’s printed 1549, which he hid in his bed-straw lest it should be found and burnt in queen Mary’s days.” Those who have studied the history to any extent know that we would know little about the origins of the church and its first twenty-one years were it not for the extensive writings of Samuel Hubbard. So, what is new? What emerges from recent research into the wider context of the seven places Hubbard lived before arriving in Newport at age thirty-eight? We find that he viewed his life as a pilgrimage, each new beginning growing from earlier roots. What emerges from closer examination of his writing is the strong force of family nurture as it influences a growing church. The courage to follow one’s conscience wherever it leads gathers strength from both of these themes. Samuel Hubbard grew up in Mendelsham, Suffolk, England, an area known for religious dissent. He was aware that grandparents on both sides had suffered persecution for their faith, and he described his own Christian conversion at age sixteen as influenced particularly by his mother’s seeing to it that he heard “choice ministers.” It was apparently with older siblings that he joined the migration to Massachusetts Bay Colony at age twenty-three. Here he became acquainted with Roger Williams, whose radical opposition to the conscience-stifling practices of the Standing Order Congregational Church had not yet caused his banishment to what became Rhode Island. Hubbard’s own journey took him further and further away from the long arm of strict Puritan...

Five Years of Grace

Five Years of Grace

Dec 21, 2017

By Louie Brown Worship Leader Grace Seventh Day Baptist Church Grace Seventh Day Baptist Church, in Bloomington, MN, has been our spiritual home for over five years. Our first Sabbath service we gathered in Greg and Carol Olson’s living room. We had no way to envision what God would do from this humble beginning. Pastor Dale Rood (Dodge Center SDB) greeted us, introduced us to the Olsons and three other people. He picked up his guitar and away we went! Worship in this small setting was a different experience for us. Immediately we sensed a good Spirit about the group. We had searched a long time for serious Bible-based believers who lived what the Bible teaches, including keeping the God-appointed Sabbath Day worship. Our second Sabbath, Pastor Rood could not attend so we brought our keyboard and a couple hymnals. The worship, prayer, praise and fellowship lunch were better than the first! We talked for hours about our experiences and how God brought us to this point in time. It was decided right then we felt led to start a church. It was agreed we all were serious to commit our time and resources to the opportunity God had provided. Again, God was way ahead of us. The gifting of the people in that room was perfect. Even though we had only six people, we had all the elements necessary for a church. Pastor Advisor Dale Rood and the Dodge Center SDB Church were willing to nurture us as a “branch” church. Greg Olson’s deep desire to learn and teach God’s Word along with Marlene and Louie Brown’s music background plus Carol Olson’s business experience filled all the needs. It was good to have our people involved in the services but that left us with a congregation of two or three people! We agreed, we would always have a Sabbath service even if only one could come. Our recent fifth anniversary was a milestone. Space does not permit me to tell you all the amazing ways we have been blessed. Our congregation averages 18 each week with a range of 14 to 25. Pastor Greg along with Elder Jeff and occasionally Pastor Dale provide...

Miracle of the Bell that Rings Again!

Miracle of the Bell that Rings Again!

Nov 22, 2017

by Ida Gay McRoberts Council on History “What’s the story about that rusty old bell in the middle of the front lawn at the church? It sure is ugly. I notice it driving by all the time.” We may become accustomed to seeing things to the point of no longer seeing what things look like to other people. In a way, they become invisible. That comment helped me see how that bell at the Seventh Day Baptist Church of Albion looked. Although we moved it from the middle of the lawn to a concrete block by the ramp, we were at a standstill since we couldn’t agree on the next step. It is an old bell, aged more than rusted. And it had not always sat in the lawn. As the church prepared to celebrate 175 years (officially this coming year but with a party this past July), one member delved into the history of the bell. The SDB Church of Albion was formally organized in 1843 after the arrival the prior year of pioneer families who celebrated the Sabbath. But the meeting house wasn’t built or dedicated until 1861. We learned that the bell tower was not part of that structure until after 1881. The church body decided to purchase a bell and voted that Samuel Burdick be a committee to prepare a place for the bell. Note that often one person served as a committee in the early records — perhaps implying chairing the committee with others not named, or perhaps simply because one person could get the job done. Samuel Burdick was a carpenter. The bell the church purchased had been forged in 1881 at Blymyer Manufacturing Company out of the Cincinnati Bell Foundry. It was a specific church bell size and weighed 336 pounds. It probably arrived by train and was brought from Edgerton to Albion with a farm wagon and team of horses or oxen. It was placed in the bell tower where it could be rung by a rope going around a large wooden wheel and dropping from the belfry to an upper room along a column. It was rung to call people to Sabbath School, worship, and...

Remembrances of the Albion Seventh Day Baptist Church in Honor of its 175th Anniversary

Remembrances of the Albion Seventh Day Baptist Church in Honor of its 175th Anniversary

Sep 26, 2017

by Carole Loveless Jaworski My remembrances of the Albion Seventh Day Baptist Church go back to World War II. I was four years old in 1943 when I came to live with my grandma and grandpa, Ruby and Robert Gaines, in Albion, WI. By that time, my father, Robert Loveless, was serving in the U.S. Army, stationed at Fort Bliss Army Base in El Paso, TX. My mother, Leora (Gaines) Loveless, had taken a war-time job at Borg Industries in Delevan, WI, to make home front ends meet. As part of the job, she and other war-time workers lived in a dormitory on site. At the time I came to live with my grandparents, my grandmother was the Albion SDB Church pianist — later to be the church organist when an organ was purchased for the church after the war. Ken Van Horn, the first pastor I remember, became the Albion SDB Church pastor in 1944, living in the parsonage with his wife, Doris, and son, Rodney Wayne, daughter, Arlouene, and son, Floyd, through the war until 1952. Sometime in 1944, my mother returned to Albion and she and I, and later my brother Allan, lived above Marsden’s General Store across the street from the parsonage. That same winter, Ken Van Horn began a yearly tradition of flooding the parsonage’s front lawn for an ice skating rink. I got my first pair of ice skates that year — strap-on-your-shoes, very flat, double-runner ice skates — about the same thickness as a pair of metal pie plates (with approximately the same performance) strapped to your feet. I remember each evening strapping on the skates, clunking down the second-story steps of our apartment, crossing the street to the parsonage, stepping over the low snow banks to the ice, and learning how to skate. Through the years it was awesome fun for all of us and so much better than ice skating on Saunders Creek — which was narrow and subject to patches of thin ice, often resulting in spills and wet feet. While I lived in Albion, from 1943 until I was a senior in high school in 1957 when we moved to Edgerton, the Albion...

Seventh Day Baptists in New Publications

Seventh Day Baptists in New Publications

Jun 23, 2017

by Nicholas J. Kersten Director of Education and History   For many years, the Historical Society, and now the Council on History, has used the Historical Library and Archives to provide reference assistance to researchers. This research is provided to a few classes of people. The first group is to Seventh Day Baptists who are looking to better understand their own life and faith. Another group is academic researchers. A final group is those who are looking for genealogical information. For the past several years, the priority in the historical work among Seventh Day Baptists has been for research by academics and Seventh Day Baptists. We have had the opportunity and privilege to provide this service to hundreds of people. Sometimes, this work of reference assistance leads to written works which contribute to the broader understanding of Seventh Day Baptists and our history, not only among SDBs, but also in the broader world. This year, three new books have been or will be released which contribute to the understanding of Seventh Day Baptists in the broader world. The first of these books is The Essential Handbook of Denominations and Ministries by George T. Kurian and Sarah C. Day. This book is, as the title suggests, a series of brief entries on the 200 largest Christian denominations in the country, along with many parachurch ministries. The entry on Seventh Day Baptists in this volume outlines our key organizational and doctrinal distinctives. The book is published by Baker Books, and was released earlier this year. The second book that relates an incident from SDB history is the forthcoming commentary on Micah from the The Two Horizons Old Testament Commentary Series, by Stephen G. Dempster. Dr. Dempster is the Stuart E. Murray Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Crandall University in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada. Dr. Dempster contacted us asking to confirm and document a story about SDB pastor Rev. Leon Maltby which has previously appeared in the pages of the Sabbath Recorder. Pastor Maltby, during his service in WWII as a chaplain in the Philippines, made a communion set out of unspent firearm cartridges. The reason he selected unspent cartridges was because he did not want...

A Short History of the Washington, DC, SDB Church

The substance of this article was taken from a pamphlet circulated by the church on the occasion of the dedication of their new building on October 15, 2016. It has been lightly edited for clarity and to fit into the space permitted. The founding pastor of the Washington Seventh Day Baptist Church was Harold E. Snide, who served from October 13, 1945, to September 13, 1947. Pastor Snide was leading an independent group of Sabbath-keepers before being encouraged by Pastor Leon Maltby to look into the Seventh Day Baptist denomination. The church became the Evangelical Seventh Day Baptist Church of Washington. Services were held at the Mount Vernon Place Methodist Church located at 900 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC. On November 9, 1948, the Evangelical Seventh Day Baptist Church of Washington was incorporated and eight years later, on January 8, 1956, a resolution was adopted by the Directors to rename the church the Washington SDB Church. It should be mentioned that in the early 1900s, there was another Sabbath-keeping church located at 10th and V Streets NW, Washington DC. This church would later become affiliated with the SDB denomination and have ties to the Washington SDB church. In a local newspaper, when the congregation moved to join SDBs, Elder Sheafe of the People’s Church explained why he joined the SDB denomination. He said the (Colored) People’s Church “wanted to affiliate with another body of Sabbath keepers.” He further explained that they were “established longer than any other, with origins stretching back to the 17th century.” Their doctrines, he said, “…are simple; the Bible and the Bible only is the rule of faith and practice.”1 An interesting period in Washington SDB history is the ordination of its first female minister, Rev. Elizabeth Fitz Randolph. It was said that she was “of superior intellect and highly educated.” She was equally passionate about attending “to the lonely, homeless, and disadvantaged people of all ages, classes, and races.”2 “She was a ‘Promoter of Evangelism’ who helped to organize and develop two churches: one of which was the Washington Seventh Day Baptist Church (1954-1962); and the other, the Colored People’s Seventh Day Independent Church at 10th and V Streets.”3...