If there ever was ever a “Bible belt” in Canada it was in the Maritimes, but unfortunately it lasted for only a short time. I understand that there are former Baptist churches empty all over the eastern provinces today. One of the men of God working in the area was Baptist missionary Israel Potter. He wrote the following letter to Thomas Baldwin, pastor of the Second Baptist Church of Boston.
“Clements, Annapolis county, Nova Scotia, May 12, 1810.
Dear and Rev. Sir,
In the beginning of March last, a most powerful reformation began in the lower part of this town, which seemed to pervade the minds of old and young, and many, we hope, were brought to the knowledge of the truth. About ten days after, the good work made its appearance in the middle of the town. The people assembled from every quarter, and it seemed that it might be truly said, that God was passing through the place in a very powerful manner. The glorious work has since spread through every part of the town, and some of all ages have been made to bow to the mild sceptre of the Redeemer.
The ordinance of baptism has been administered for five Sabbaths successively. Forty-five have been admitted to the sacred rite, and a church has been constituted upon the Gospel plan, consisting of sixty five members, to which we expect further additions. If I should say that two hundred have been hopefully converted to the Lord in this town since the reformation commenced, I think I should not exceed the truth. The good work is still spreading eastward very rapidly, and looks likely to spread through the province.
The opposition has been great, and many oaths have been sworn even in the time of divine service. But the Lord has triumphed gloriously over the horse and his rider, and blessed be His name.
At Round-hill I understand there is a number to be baptized today. The province of Nova Scotia has been highly favoured with the gospel. We beg an interest in your prayers, that the Lord would give us strength to contend earnestly for the faith that was once delivered to the saints.
Your unworthy friend, Israel Potter.”
Oh that we might hear of such things in North America again in these last days.