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In Their Own Words

June 18, 1738

Disagreement over Form of Baptism

William Stephens wrote in his journal that some parents in colonial Georgia were unhappy with one form of Baptism, but preferred that of new minister George Whitefield:

“…Mr. Whitfield went on captivating the People is.. with his moving Discourses; which it was to be hoped would have a good Effect in reforming a great many loose Livers, who heard him gladly, and seemed to give due Attention. A Child being brought to Church to be baptized, he performed that Office after the usual Manner, by sprinkling; which gave a great Content to many People, that had taken great Distaste at the Form of Dipping, so strictly required, and so obstinately withstood by some Parents, that they have suffered their Children to go a long while without the benefit of tkat Sacrament, till a convenient Opportunity could be found of another Minister to do that Office; and it is well if some luke warm Parents have not wholly neglected it, and suffered their Children, whether living or dying, to remain in a State of Heathenism. … “

Source: Allen D. Candler, ed. The Colonial Records of the State of Georgia, Vol. IV, Stephens’ Journal 1737-1740, Atlanta, GA, 1906, pp. 157-158.