This Sunday in Baptist History
John Comer was born on this day (August 1) in 1704. He grew up hearing the religious instruction of the famous Increase Mather, father of Cotton Mather. But that preaching didn’t produce any eternal effect. And then Comer became deathly ill. Through that disease, he became concerned about his spiritual condition. When a beloved aunt came to minister to him, she told him that he would recover and that the reason was so that he would become a servant of God.
After the Lord restored his health, Comer pursued his education at Cambridge. He was so strong in his Congregationalist faith that when a friend, Ephraim Crafts, joined the Baptist church in Boston, he was beside himself. But then after talking with his friend and studying his Bible, his mind began to change, but he was afraid to put that into practice. At that point three things took place in his life – once again he became very sick, a close friend died, and a violent storm at sea put him face to face with the omnipotence and will of God. He confessed to God his reluctance to obey the Lord in baptism, but eventually surrendered, and soon became – not only a Baptist – but a Baptist preacher.
During the rest of his life, Bro. Comer pastored several churches in New England. He not only was an effective evangelist, leading many to the Saviour, he became a champion for the ordinance of baptism by immersion; he introduced public singing into his worship services; and he stirred even his Protestant neighbors out of their spiritual lethargy. Without intending to do so, he helped to prepare New England for the blessings of the Great Awakening.
Brother John Comer died in 1734 during his 30th year on earth.