November 11

On this day (November 11) in 1790, Thomas Baldwin was installed as the pastor of the Second Baptist Church in Boston.

Thomas was raised in Canaan, N.H. by his mother and step-father. He was given a good education which he hoped to use in the legal profession. He married and was elected to serve in the state legislature. But then his first-born child died, his heart began to turn to things more spiritual. When in 1780 two Baptist preachers came to Canaan, the Lord revealed to Baldwin the truths of the gospel. A few months later, he left his Protestant roots and was immersed as a testimony and confession of his faith in Christ.

When the Baptist church in Canaan invited him to become their shepherd, he accepted. For seven years he faithfully served the Lord and His local congregation without any financial remuneration. During that time, he added evangelism and missionary work to his list of responsibilities, often traveling more than a hundred miles in severe winter weather to carry to the truth to willing and unwilling ears. He also honed his skills in debate and writing. He wrote extensively, and his book on baptism was for some time considered to be one of the better apologies for the truth.

When he began his Boston ministry the Lord continued to bless. By the end of 1791, seventy new members had joined, and there were more each year for some time.

Thomas Baldwin earned the praise of Baptist leaders on both side of the Atlantic, from Francis Wayland to Andrew Fuller, and perhaps even more to his character, he was personally respected by those whose opposed his strong Baptist principles. This is the kind of man we need today in the pulpits of God’s churches.