Dutton Lane was born in Maryland in 1732, but when he was young his father moved the family to Virginia near the North Carolina border.
Shubal Stearns and Daniel Marshall, after establishing the Sandy Creek Baptist Church, began to minister in the vicinity where the Lane family resided, and Dutton was converted and baptized by Elder Marshall. It wasn’t long before Brother Lane began to preach Christ. Then he, Samuel Harriss and others started traveling throughout the region as evangelists, riding as far as Culpepper and Spotsylvania Counties, they stirred up the wrath of the Protestants and secularists against them. Warrants for the men’s arrest were issued, crowds sometimes turned hostile, and officers broke down doors looking for Lane and the other preachers.
No one opposed Dutton’s ministry more strongly than his own father, who actually carried out a threat to horsewhip his own wife, Dutton’s mother, because she slipped out to hear their son preach. He then pursued Dutton with a gun in order to murder him. But Mrs. Lane courageously challenged her husband, pointing out that he, as a sporting man, gave a bird a chance at flight before he shot it. She proposed that he should hear is son preach before shooting him. Mr. Lane accepted the challenge, but in doing so, he fell under the conviction of the Holy Spirit until he, too, became a child of God. He was later baptized by the man he had hoped to murder – his own son.
In 1769 the Lord blessed Brother Lane’s ministry with the establishment of several churches despite an increase of persecution against him. On this day (December 10) of that year, Lane was instrumental in the constitution of the Nottoway Baptist Church in south central Virginia. In time, this congregation founded several others.