John Picket was a Baptist preacher who ministered in Virginia just prior to the Revolutionary War. There were times when he would invite neighbors to meet him in a grove of trees or in an open field, and he would preach the gospel to them. On those occasions if the local Church of England parson would hear about it, he would gather a few of his supporters, plant a chair directly in front of the pulpit and pretend to take notes on the message, while his friends glared at the preacher. When Picket was allowed to finish his message, the parson would loudly attempt to ridicule and discredit the message. More often than not this had an effect quite opposite to what was intended, and over time people became more and more sympathetic to the Baptist.
On this day in 1770, Brother Picket began a three month imprisonment in the Culpeper jail. The building was 18 feet long and 16 feet wide constructed of twelve inch square, dove-tailed logs with mortar between each piece. The building was divided into two rooms by a brick wall. Each room had its own poorly built fireplace. With nearly all the heat rising through the chimney, the prisoners nearly froze every night. Over the years several preachers lost their good health because of those unhealthy conditions. But this treatment did not deter or silence any of them, including John Picket. Upon his release, Picket continued his local ministry, and then he extended his work across the Blue Ridge into the Shenandoah Valley. There, there were as many as fifty believers immersed in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.