Theological musings/personal reflections

Baptist Saints?

Andy Goodliff and Steve Harmon, reflecting on the “Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary”  or, as the Orthodox remember, the Dormition of Mary (15 August), wondered about the world Baptist community developing a list of 365 people we might remember in our daily cycle of prayer, covering a calendar year.

 That is a horrendous task and Baptists have always been very wary of recalling individuals in the household of faith, lest we attribute to them special honour. (On this see a response by Stephen Holmes .)

At IBTS we have had a simple practice that on some occasions at the Eucharist we have gone round the circle, each of us naming someone we wanted to thank God for who helped us on the journey of faith – perhaps “the lesser saints”, certainly, most of them unknown to me !

 How are we to get this right ? I think Steve and Andy will struggle to compile a global, acceptable list (too few theologians ? not enough women ? who on earth where they ?). Yet, perhaps we are not over inclined to remember those who walked before us in discipleship and surely sing praise to God around his throne ?

Their list so far includes the inevitable “big” names – Smythe, Helwys, Spurgeon, Andrew Fuller, George Beasley-Murray, William Carey, Martin Luther King, James McClendon.  Here is a completely different list dreamed up in ten minutes on a hot Prague afternoon :

 Ernest Alexander Payne                        1902 –  14.01.1980. Ecumenist.

 Gotfryd Fryderyk Alf                            pioneer of Baptist work in Poland/Prussia

 Maureen White                         BUGB International Secretary, IBTS administrator

 Johann Gerhard Oncken                       leading figure in Baptist development in Europe

 Jindrich Novotny                                  leader in Baptist work in Bohemia

 N F S Grundtvig                                   developer of baptistic work in Denmark (EU programme named after him on informal adult education)

 Ivan G Kargel                                       pioneer of Baptist work and theology in Russia

 Vasili Pashkov                          pioneer of Baptist work in Russia

 Asbjørn Bakkevoll                                youth leader in Norway, BWA commission leader

 A.T. Øhrn                                            BWA General Secretary

 Josef Nordenhaug                                 BWA General Secretary

 Gerhard Claas                                      BWA General Secretary. Previously German Baptist and EBF General Secretary

Rachel Iversen                                     woman missionary to Congo, President of BWA Women (Norway)

 Jessie Davies                                        tireless worker in the YBA office, serving four General Secretaries

 Lois Chapple                                         BUGB/BWA women’s leader

 Jonas Inkenas                                       1903 -1983. Leader in Lithuania, exiled to Siberia

 Marija Inkeniene                                     died 7/11/2009 aged 103. Linguist (seven languages), Baptist leader. Wife of Jonas. Exiled in Siberia.

 Donald Foster Hudson                           Missionary in India. Theologian. Linguist. Honoured by the Bengali and Urdu communities in West Yorkshire for his help and support when he returned to the Uk in 1960’s

 Robina Wilson                                       Missionary in Congo. Leader amongst Baptist women in the UK.

 Alexander McLaren                              Preacher. First President of the BWA

 Alfred Illingworth                                  Member of Parliament for Bradford

 John Fawcett                                        Pastor, educator, hymn writer (“Blest be the Tie that Binds”)

 A Trevor Hubbard                                 Baptist leader, pastor and statesman in north west England

 D Tait Patterson                                    Baptist pastor, liturgist, developer of the idea of retreats for pastors

 George Farr                                          Old Testament scholar, noted for his exemplary pastoral care of students.

 John Howard Shakespeare                     BUGB General Secretary and ecumenist.  1898 -1924

 Dan Taylor                                           leader of the General Baptists of the New Connexion

 David J Charley                                    President, BUGB, leading chest physician, campaigner on moral, social and health issues.

 Osvald Tärk                                         (born 1 Oct 1904 – died 25 May 1984) – influential pastor, theologian, well known as pastoral counselor and as a person of integrity in Estonia and beyond

 Emilie Bertelson                                    (born 14 October 1884 – died 7 July 1965) – missionary in the East regions of Estonia near Lake Peipsi, worked especially among Russian speaking people, in her youth in the aftermath of Communist revolution worked in St Petersburg, a woman whose commitment and spirituality made an impact on people who met her


  • György Nemeshegyi-Horvát

    I would add Mihály Kornya, who was a Hungarian so called ‘peasant apostle’, a very simpleminded but wise man, who baptized like 11000 people (mainly Hungarians and Romanians) and thus is one of the greatest baptist evangelists in Central Europe.

  • Ryan Kargel

    How very exciting to see Ivan Kargel’s name come up in such a list. Ivan has no living descendants, but his brother Samuel does. We’re quite proud of old Ivan.

  • Guntars vadonis

    Who had this weird nightmare and put Grundtvig on the list of Saints? I mean it!
    Considering the fact that Grundtvig is on the list we have to look at all the others and check them again.

    Very shortly – It would be a strugle to find basic theological statements in the hymns, writings of Grundtvig. It is said, he met Oncken when he visited Denmark. What Grundtvig developed after the visit was and is a watered down teaching. Grundtvig has influenced also baptist churches very much with his *SCHWÄRMERische* way to see the man first and only then the christian.
    I have a strong belief that it is extremely importaant to see what is preached, sung, testified in church meetings. It influences the faith of people comming to church.
    Now, try to understand what comes out of 150 years of baptist churches singing songs about God who is good and the nature, flowers, moutains waters, . . . where th later overweights.

    einer auf der durchreise

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