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This Sunday in Baptist History

February 22

Today’s little vignette reminds us that not all of God’s servants are as notable and memorable as others. And yet the Lord knows those who are His, and He has a ministry for everyone who is willing to serve Him.

On this day in 1817, in Nelson County, Virginia, Thomas W. Roberts was born. He was a small and sickly child. Perhaps this was why he spent so many hours in his mothers lap. While there he often heard her pray that the Lord would make him a Christian minister. Years later, as he taught a new generation of young ladies, he told and retold that story, and how he became a servant of God.

At the age of fifteen, Thomas was baptized, joining the Mount Shiloh Baptist Church. Shortly after that he began preaching the gospel, making plans to attend college to better prepare himself for the ministry. His education was interrupted by bad health, at which time he became a teacher, but finally in 1841 he was ordained, becoming a local missionary. He carried the gospel into Waynesboro, Virginia and was the first man to immerse a believer there. He recounted that a large crowd respectfully gathered on both sides of river, “but there was no singing.” We don’t have all his records, but in 1852 he started two new churches, spoke 174 times and baptized 47.

When his physical problems returned, Brother Roberts and his wife, Annie, started a school for girls, which proved to be very successful. He knew full well, that when godly ladies pray and do their best to raise their children in the Lord, great things can happen.

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