Trouble in the Altar

One of the most difficult books to find about Free Will Baptists was co-authored by G.W. Million and G.A. Barrett titled Brief History of the Liberal Baptist People. The 351-page book was published in 1911.

Many of the writers’ editorial comments are very interesting; like this one, which refers to a meeting of the Social Band Association (Arkansas) held in 1892:


The next association was held right in one of the Campbellite strongholds. The members of the Campbellite Church carried their Bible in their pockets and challenged every one of the delegates that they thought bore a resemblance to the tree in summer time to an argument.

The Campbellites even went so far as to go into the altar with their Bible open in their hands to convince the penitents that they were wrong. They also persisted in stating with the penitents to give advice until they were removed by the pure physical strength and informed that when needed they would be called upon. This advice caused the zeal of the followers of Campbell to suddenly abate to a surprising extent.

While the adherents of Alexander Campbell were walking around with their Bibles and the delegates could be heard humming: “My soul, be on thy guard, ten thousand foes arise. The hosts of sin are pressing hard, to draw thee from the skies.”


About the Writer: Robert Picirilli is a member of the Free Will Baptist Historical Commission