John Clarke began his earthly life on this day, October 3rd, 1609 in Suffolk County, England. We don’t know when he began his spiritual life, but it appears to have been at an early age. He was well-educated, not only receiving degrees in England but also from University of Leiden on the continent. He was a reputable physician, occasionally a lawyer, a statesman and diplomat, as well as a successful Baptist pastor.

At what point John Clarke became a Baptist is not clear. But when he became persuaded of the Baptist principles, seeing them in the Word of God, they took root in this heart and became an integral part of his life and character. Not only did he pastor a Baptist church in Newport, but he was instrumental in obtaining a permanent charter for the colony of Rhode Island, establishing a place where religious liberty could flourish.

John Clark courageously faced many of the same problems we are confronted with today. He was courageous, faithful and perseverant. May God grant us the same characteristics – and ultimately, the same success.