Henry Jessey, the son of an Anglican minister, was born on this day in 1601. His father wanted Henry to follow him into his Protestant ministry, so he was sent to some fine British schools. It was quite apart from that education, that the Lord brought him to his knees in humble repentance, and Henry Jessey put his faith in Christ as Lord and Saviour. This began a slow and sometimes painful growth in Biblical understanding. After graduation, he was placed over a congregation in the Church of England, but he got kicked out when he failed to follow all the church ceremonies and removed a crucifix that had been set up in the church. Moving to London, he began to minister among a group of Congregationalists, known at “Dissenters” at that time. A year after his arrival a small group of members embraced Baptist doctrine and left. Two years later a larger group followed them. This forced Jessey to examine the doctrine of baptism, and through this he became convinced that immersion was the proper Biblical mode. So for two years, when parents brought their children to be christened, he immersed them. Then again the subject of baptism came up, and together many in the church and their pastor came to understand that only believers should be immersed. That Congregational church was becoming less and less Protestant and more and more Baptist. Finally, in June 1645 Pastor Jessey was immersed by the Baptist Hanserd Knollys – Henry Jessey had become a Baptist. Even though he had known some persecution earlier when he became a Dissenter, the really hard persecution was yet to come. He was arrested and imprisoned in the Tower of London on at least two occasions. But his education, coupled to his humble attitude and love toward his persecutors, helped many to see into God’s truth. Through long and steady growth Henry Jessey became an outstanding example of a godly Baptist pastor.