Rather than give you another anecdote about the Culpeper jail, in which Anderson Moffett (born on this day in 1746) was incarcerated, I’ve decided to share another birthday, but it is not of a Baptist preacher.
George Pillsbury was born on this day in 1816 in Sutton, New Hampshire. Mr. Pillsbury was gifted by God with an acute business mind. At the age of twenty-four he began to work as a clerk in a mercantile business and six months later he purchased the company. Before settling in Concord, New Hampshire, he and his family lived in several communities where George became involved in politics as well as business, eventually being elected to the state legislature. For twenty-four years, he worked for the Concord Railway, and spreading his wings, he eventually was elected president of the local bank. I don’t know of the man’s conversion to Christ, but while in Concord, he and his family joined the First Baptist Church, and there he used his money to fund an orphanage and old folks home through the church.
At the age of sixty-two, in 1878, George moved to Minnesota where he managed the Pillsbury Flour Company and joined the First Baptist Church, pastored by W.B. Riley. Mixing his business interests, his politics (he became mayor of Minneapolis), and his service for the Lord, he gave tens of thousands of dollars to various Baptist charitable organizations and to the establishment of a Baptist school. When liberalism overcame that school, Pastor Riley, an ardent fundamentalist, started another which became known as Pillsbury Baptist Bible College, recognizing the funding given by George Pillsbury. That college flourished for a while under Richard Clearwaters, and a man my wife and I knew, Monroe Parker.
Not every man is called to become a pastor or a missionary, but all of God’s saints are called to serve the Saviour with those things which He has put into their hands. In this case George Pillsbury used his hard-earned wealth, his political influence and his connections to honor the Lord.