Church of the Antichrist, 1751

January 31, 2011


The Seventh Day Babtists may have claimed heroes like Pardon Davis, but apparently not everyone was convinced that this particular faith offered the road to salvation –though they did offer this gem,

“If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into a ditch” 

But I digress…

It appears the church had defectors…

Oct. 22, 1751, we, the subscribers, have been to discourse with Joseph Tanner and his wife, relating to their conduct in not attending the meetings, according to their profession, and also other evil reports which we had heard of their ill conduct. The answer that Joseph Tanner gave us was, that he was joined to the church by the Spirit of God, and after that, the Lord took him away from the church again, and showed him that the church was the church of antichrist; and he declared that he bore a testimony by the Holy Ghost against them, and desired no farther admonition from them ; he also declared that he was re-baptized and joined to another church… [emphasis is all mine]

I wish we knew if Tanner and his wife made it to heaven in spite of their defection…

Criminalizing heroes and sometimes saving them

January 28, 2011


Plantation Slaves: Son of the South website

Continued from previous post

Note: I know this is a lot of information, but I chose not to edit so the readers can get a feel for the language, emotion, etc. that surrounded these events (that and I haven’t a lot of time to edit…).

In a letter to his former congregation, Pardon Davis expressed fear that the church wouldn’t support his decision to help the runaway slaves,

“If [you] could go on the plantation near where I lived, and at night, when the cotton was weighed, out of two hundred, not less than twelve are whipped every night—O! could you hear the shrieks, cries, groans, prayers — yes, if you could see the victim on his knees praying with all the earnestness a man is capable of, to that brutal overseer, and promising to strain every nerve on the morrow to pick more cotton – it is enough to melt the heart of any one. Who can look on such scenes as these, and not be moved? Brethren, i cannot. And now what more can I say? Have I done wrong? Have I done more than any man ought to do? Dear brethren, I leave you to judge. and I am willing to be governed by your decision. I wait with the greatest anxiety to hear from you, to know whether I shall receive your sympathies and prayers, or whether I have done wrong, and am considered a heathen. If the former, I can bear my affliction with fortitude; but if the latter, I feel my life hangs by a slender thread that my days are numbered. In the mean time, brethren pray for me. Sisters, remember me in your prayers.


but he shouldn’t have…

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Courage, fortitude and perseverance are the rule (MLK and Pardon Davis)

January 17, 2011

Branded Slave


I recently discovered that my ancestors were early members of the Seventh-day Baptist Church, which was organized in the New World in 1671.

Perhaps later I’ll post more about the church, but today, in honor of Martin Luther King Day, I’ll share a story about church member Pardon Davis. Pardon’s story can be found in its entirety here.

I was talking with someone recently about adversity and they responded by saying

 “Courage, fortitude and perseverance are the rule…  [Despite criticism] You have the privilege of carrying on.”

Martin Luther King approached adversity this way.   And so did Pardon Davis.


In 1854, Pardon was jailed in Louisiana for helping fugitive slaves.  In September he wrote a letter to his  former church in Berlin, Wisconsin outlining the circumstances of his arrest.

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