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