August 2

The father of William Button was a faithful deacon at the church in Horsleydown which was pastored by John Gill. William was saved by God through that church and was baptized the same day as John Ryland, Jr, who later became a well-known Baptist preacher.
William Button began preaching the gospel at the age of 19 and soon he was pastoring the Baptist church at Hitchin. In October 1771, Gill died and since one of the deacons of the church was a Button, William was asked to candidate, joining several others. Then in the fleshly manner so common among Baptists since the days of the Apostles, the church became divided – many wanted Button to become their pastor, while many others wanted Dr. John Rippon. In 1773 Rippon became the new leader of the Baptist church in Horsleydown. But many were so dissatisfied with the choice of the majority that they left and formed another church, asking William Button to become their pastor. On July 7, 1775 the church was established and William was ordained.
Both churches prospered, leading many souls to Christ. Rippon and Button eventually became friends and worked together on many different projects. But it is a sad commentary on the hearts of Christian people that the two groups at Horseleydown could not have submitted to each other and to the Lord and avoided the split. We praise God for His grace and patience, and we praise Him for bringing good out of a bad situation.
There is a tombstone in the Bunhill Fields cemetery in London which reads: “Mr. W. Button, Pastor of the Baptist Church in Dean Street, Tooley Street, upwards of 40 years, died August 2nd, 1821, aged 67 years.”