Adoniram Judson was this country’s first foreign missionary – serving in Burma. When he and his wife left this country, sailing for the Orient, the couple were going as missionaries of the Congregational denomination. During the long voyage, in preparation for his future ministry among non-English-speaking people, Adoniram spent time reading his Bible in the Greek language. As he did so, he made a startling discovery: the Protestant denominations were wrong in their definition and practice of baptism. Anything other than the immersion in water of a true believer, was not Biblical baptism. During their long journey, both of the Judsons determined that they needed to be immersed.
On this day in 1812, Brother Judson wrote the following letter: “Rev. Messrs. Carey, Marshman and Ward: As you have been ignorant of the late exercises of my mind on the subject of baptism, the communication which I am about to make may occasion you some surprise. It is about four months since I took the subject into serious and prayerful consideration. My inquires commenced during my passage from America, and after much laborious research and painful trial, which I shall not detail, have issued in entire conviction, that the immersion of a professing believer is the only Christian baptism.
“In these exercises I have not been alone. Mrs. Judson has been engaged in a similar examination, and has come to the same conclusion. Feeling, therefore, that we are in an unbaptized state, we wish to profess our faith in Christ by being baptized in obedience to his sacred commands.
Adoniram Judson, Jr.”
The Judsons were immersed by the missionary William Carey or one of his associates, on the 6th of September, 1812.