Jesse Vawter was born to Anglican parents in Culpepper County, Virginia in 1755. When he was nineteen he heard Thomas Ammon preach the gospel, and the Lord regenerated his soul. Jesse then joined the hated and persecuted Baptists through whom he met his Saviour. There in church he met his future bride, Elizabeth Watts, and after their marriage, their first son, John, was born. That was on this day in 1782. I will come back to John in just a moment.

After the Lord called Brother Jesse into His ministry, he moved his family to Kentucky with a desire to serve the Lord in that bourgeoning area. Before his death, he assisted in the establishing of twelve Baptist churches in Kentucky and Indiana, defending them against the attacks of Alexander Campbell’s baptismal regeneration and Daniel Parker’s anti-missionary heresies.

Jesse’s son, John, was instrumental in laying out the town of Vernon, Indiana, and he pastored the Vernon Baptist Church from 1821 to 1848. When he passed away, one of his brethren in the ministry wrote of him: “He labored long and faithfully in his Lord’s vineyard… He was taken as a shock of corn fully ripe; his memory will be ever sweet and his influence will never die.”

His influence and that of his father, Jesse, did continue. Besides the churches they established, there were Baptist preachers, religious editors, fathers and mothers of Baptist ministers, all bearing the name Vawter even into the fifth generation. O, if that were the testimony of each of one us.