December 6

According to David Benedict’s Baptist history, a church was formed in Salem, Massachusetts, in the year 1780. On this day (December 6), a year later, Samuel Fletcher was ordained as their pastor. He was 33 years old, had been saved about thirteen years, and had been preaching about three years. He not only pastored in Salem, but the Lord blessed his ministry in the surrounding region. This was during the period when there was little social or governmental toleration for religions other than the state-approved Congregational church.
On one occasion several Baptist preachers were visiting Bro. Fletcher. They were enjoying one another’s fellowship and looking forward to a baptismal service the next day, when three officers of the law came into the house where the brethren were gathered, telling them to get out of town for their own safety. When one of the Baptists asked if their lives would be in danger if they did not depart, no answer was given. But the expressions on the faces of the intruders left the impression that there was the potential for serious trouble. The brethren disbursed, agreeing to meet further up river the next day. When they came together at the appointed hour, six converts were immersed, further strengthening the local assembly.
Persecution eventually did fall on Brother Fletcher and the church, but the Lord’s grace was sufficient, and the Baptist’s testimony to the truth continued in the region.