E.C. Routh on Baptists Through the Ages

“Soon, there emerged the heresies of baptismal regeneration, infant baptism, the dominance of certain bishops over other  bishops, the control of religion by the State, and the persecution of dissenters.  But all the way along, even through the Dark Ages, there were groups of believers who, like their Lord, endured the cross, despising the shame.  They were called various names, but they were true to the only  Name, the Name above every name, by which sinners may be saved and saints sustained and strengthened.  Whatever their name, they believed in soul-liberty, salvation by grace, a regenerated church  membership, the priesthood of believers, believer’s baptism, and separation of Church and State.  They blazed a trail ofttimes marked by the blood of their devotion to the Word of God.”  E.C. Routh 

Eugene Coke Routh (1874-1966) served as editor of Southern Baptist publications for 41 years.  This included the “Baptist Standard” (1912-1927), the “Oklahoma Baptist Messenger” (1928-1943) and the “Commission” (1944-1948).   This quote shows that even as late at the mid-twentieth century, many leading Southern Baptists still held to some form of Baptist perpetuity and the Trail of Blood.  The above quote is from his 1951 book “Who Are They,” page 67.  It is from the chapter “Who Are The Baptists?”




Baptist Succession in 1674

“By all which ye see by plentiful Evidence, that Christ hath not been without His Witnesses in every age, not only to defend and assert the true, but to impugn, and to reject (yet, even to death itself) the false Baptism.  In so much that we are not left without good testimony of a series of succession, that by God’s providence hath even kept afoot, of this great ordinance of believer’s baptism ever since the first times.”   Henry D’Anvers, 1674

(Henry D’Anvers {?-1686} was an English Baptist preacher and author.  The above quote is from pages 321-322 in his work “A Treatise of Baptism” first published in London in 1674.  Notice that D’Anvers believed that from the days of the New Testament until the present, Christ hath had a “succession” of His people who rejected false infant baptism by sprinkling and held to believer’s baptism by immersion.  Like other Baptists of the 1600’s, 1700’s, and 1800’s, D’Anvers held to the Trail of Blood view of Baptist history and origins.)

B.H. Carroll on a Closed Lord’s Table

“There is no more convincing argument against open communion of any kind. No open communion argument can stand before the declaration, “It is the Lord’s table . . . No matter what anybody says, we should stick to the doctrine that Christ placed that table in his church, not for them to say who shall come, but for God to say who shall come. One has to be inside the church before he is entitled to sit at the Lord’s Table.”  B.H. Carroll

B.H. Carroll, An Interpretation of the English Bible, vol. VIII, 180.

Is Your Spouse Not a Baptist?

“Is your wife or husband, a member of some other than a Baptist church?  Would you like to have your companion in a Baptist church with you?  Well, you can secure your cherished object by kind treatment, good Baptist literature, a sweet spirited discussion of your points of issue, and a mutual reading of the Bible together.  Don’t make your companion miserable by nagging and quarreling, but win him, or her, by persuasion, kindness and truth.” J.N. Hall

(J.N. Hall {1849-1905} was a noted Southern Baptist pastor and editor at the turn of the twentieth century.   He was the first elected moderator of the West Kentucky Baptist Association and pastored such churches as First Baptist Fulton, Arlington, and Wickliffe, Kentucky. He also edited Baptist papers as The Baptist Gleaner, The Western Recorder, and The Baptist Flag.  The above quote is from the book “Elder J.N. Hall, The Peerless Defender of the Baptist Faith”, page 170.)

Elder S.G. Shepard, Dr. W.O. Carver’s father-in-law

“Bro. J.H. Grime was followed by Elder S.G. Shepard, the old man fiery and eloquent.  Colonel Shepard, as he is called, is said to have professed religion behind the famous rock fence in the battle of Gettysburg at the junction of the battle when the tide turned in favor of the Union army.  Bro. Shepard’s address was full of interest. One statement that he gave with emphasis was that, in spite of all that had been said and written to the contrary, he believed there was an unbroken continuity of regular Baptist Churches through the ages back to the apostles. Bro. Shepard was twice the pastor of Mt. Olivet Church. He is the father-in-law of Prof. W.O. Carver of Louisville, Ky.”    – John T. Oakley

(Dr. William Owen Carver {1868-1954} was a long time professor of missions at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.  He was also one of the first professors to support liberalism in the seminary.  It is interesting to note that his father-in-law was such a staunch Baptist pastor in Tennessee.  The quote is from the Baptist and Reflector newspaper, May 9, 1901.   Oakley was describing the 100 year anniversary service of the Mt. Olivet Baptist Church of Leeville, Tennessee.  Both Oakley and Grime were leading pastors, debtors, and authors among the Baptists of Middle and West Tennessee.)

Put Baptist In Name

I have been a Southern Baptist pastor for over 54 years, and presently I am the pastor of Oak Level Missionary Baptist Church in Marshall County.

Recently in the Western Recorder, I, along with other members of our church, have noticed there are several “churches” who are not Baptist in name, or practice, yet our convention has accepted them into our fellowship. We are disturbed that the name “Baptist” is disappearing from many churches and institutions that we have used Baptist money to build and support.

Our church is a supporter of the Cooperative Program (5 percent), but we have cut it to 3 percent to make a statement, that we are not in favor of supporting non-Baptist churches. They all say they are Baptist, but are ashamed to put the name Baptist on their sign. They like Baptist support, but they do not support the Baptist name.

There was a school in western Kentucky that took the name “Baptist” out of their name.  Many of our Baptist churches stopped supporting the school, and some leaders said they didn’t care. Today the institution is closed.

Baptists have a tremendous history, and many of the greatest institutions in the world, both at home and abroad, but we had better be careful how we treat the Baptist name.

Oak Level Missionary Baptist Church is a new work, and it started with no members, and no money. The KBC supported us in the beginning, for which we are grateful.  Now 12 percent of our budget goes to missions, but we are not in favor of any of our mission money going to churches who are ashamed of the name “Baptist.”

—C.C. Brasher, pastor Oak Level Missionary Baptist Church Benton, Kentucky

From the Western Recorder newspaper, February 9, 2016. Letter to the Editor.

Book Review: “Real Churches or a Fog” by S.E. Anderson

Book Review

Real Churches or a Fog By Stanley Edwin Anderson


As a student in Chicago, it was my privilege to live in the same building with Dr. S. E. Anderson, who was also one of my instructors.  Imagine being able to walk up two flights of stairs and ask the teacher questions at almost any hour!  A few years later, when Dr. Anderson published his excellent work titled Real Churches or a Fog?, designed to rebut the “universal impossible church” notion, he was so gracious as to ask a young man to proof the body of the original manuscript and write an introduction!  My, what a joy! 

Dr. S.E. Anderson (1900-1977) was born in Minnesota and as a young man pastored a Congregationalist Church there.  Deciding he needed more education, he moved to Jackson, Tennessee to attend Union University.  There he studied under such staunch Baptists as George Savage and I.N. Penick and was a student with Kentucky Baptists like J.D. Grey, Joe T.Odle, and Frank Carlton. At first the Landmark Baptist views of these men amused him, but he soon found himself agreeing with them.  He submitted to scriptural baptism and ordination. After graduation he pastored Baptist churches in Tennessee, Washington, Oregon and Illinois and served as a chaplain with the U.S. Army in Europe during World War II.  After the war he earned his doctorate at the Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Chicago and thereafter was invited to join the faculty.

His work on John, “The First Baptist,” was one of the first of his writings this reviewer saw. Reading it and J. R. Graves’ “John’s Baptism” strengthened convictions already held and led to a message, now preached many times, from Mt. 3:13-17 titled “Exactly Like Jesus.”  Before that, Bro. O. C. Markham had introduced “Your Baptism is Important” (also available in Spanish) to the student body at Mayfield.

In the 1960’s and 1970’s Dr. Anderson was invited to be a guest speaker at Mid-Continent Baptist Bible College in Mayfield on three separate occasions, speaking at an Alumni Bible Conference held at Northside Baptist Church in Mayfield on one of those times.  His message from I Chronicles 12, on “Qualities we Need in God’s Service,” made a lasting impact on this reviewer.  Dr. Anderson was not a “forceful” speaker, but his convictions were deeply held.

This is a very positive work about local, visible congregations as the “true church,” rather than some nebulous “fog” unseen, wafted through the air of compromise.  For Dr. Anderson saw the essence of the “universal” idea; it compromises true churches!  Baptists would do well to invest in this work, at once scholarly and sound (a rare combination!), and to absorb and transmit its information to our Protestant as well as Catholic friends and any others seeking God’s truth on New Testament views of  “the church.”   

Dr. S.E. Anderson authored 13 books, most of which deal with ecclesiology.  All of them are worth reading.  “Real Churches or a Fog can be ordered from Bogard Press (www.bogardpress.org or 1-800-264-2482) for the low price of $4.95.  

Reviewed by Charles Blair, pastor of the Poplar Grove Baptist Church, Hickman, Kentucky