The baby born on this date in 1828 was given the name of his father, Edward, a Baptist preacher who served the Lord in Virginia. When Edward was only eight years old, his missionary-minded father moved the family to Alabama. Eventually, the Lord saved the soul of young Edward, and at the age of twenty-four he was ordained, joining his father in the ministry. In 1856 the young man accepted a call from a church back in Spottsylvania, Virginia. Then, for the rest of his life, he spent his time riding between four churches, preaching the gospel of Christ.
This is how he did it: first, there were men being trained to deliver a Bible or gospel message in each of the churches on the three Sundays when their pastor was not present. Whether or not that was consistently maintained, I’m not sure. Then on the first weekend of the month, Edward would hold preaching services on Saturday night and Sunday at Mount Hermon, Virginia, where there was a membership of 126. I couldn’t verify it, but I believe he preached at least twice on Sunday. So there were three or four messages during each visit. On the second Saturday of the month he would preach to the 129 members of the Mine Road Baptist Church and then again several times the next day. He was in Goshen on the third weekend with their 76 members and whoever visited that day. And on the fourth weekend he preached to the 129 members at Rhoadesville. In 1893, the total membership of those Baptist churches was about 470, but there were usually many more in attendance. The Lord blessed, and records indicate that Edward baptized 58 converts that year with more for several years thereafter. Where the preacher spent the periodic fifth Sunday of the month, I couldn’t determine. Then six years later, completely worn out, Edward died, concluding a short productive life.
You are probably wondering about Edward’s last name. It was unusual. His family name was “Baptist.” Could a man named “Edward Baptist” have ever been a successful Methodist or Presbyterian minister?