March 14

On this day in 1773, Theodore S. Harding was born in Barrington, Nova Scotia. After his father died, he was raised by his godly mother. At the age of thirteen Harding was born a second time, and shortly thereafter he felt the call of God to go into the ministry. His Presbyterian mother however discouraged him, because she had been taught that religious leaders should come only from among the highly educated, and that, as a single mother, she had not been able to give to her son. While Harding was struggling between his mother’s wishes and the call of God, he attended a prayer meeting where the intended preacher didn’t arrive. Young Brother Harding was encouraged to stand and give a devotional. Reluctantly he arose and preached the gospel so fervently that even his mother became convinced of God’s call.
In the mean time, the first Baptist church in the Maritime Provinces, located in Horton Township, Nova Scotia, had been started by a man from England, named Nicholas Pierson. Pierson lead the congregation for thirteen years until age forced him to retire. When the pulpit became empty, an invitation was extended to Harding to preach until a new pastor could be found, but Harding had not yet been scripturally baptized. For some time he agonized over the question of baptism and finally traveled to Halifax to be immersed by John Burton, who by that time had become the only Baptist pastor in Nova Scotia. The following week, Harding began preaching to his friends at Horton.
On July 31, 1797, Brother T.S. Harding was ordained and became the pastor of the Horton Baptist Church where he faithfully served for fifty-nine years until his death in 1855. The church eventually changed its name to Wolfville, the largest city in the area, and it is still in existence today.