Here are the second pair of First Round match ups…
MATCH UP #3
John Bunyan, (born November 1628, Elstow, Bedfordshire, England—died August 31, 1688, London), celebrated English minister and preacher, author of The Pilgrim’s Progress (1678), the book that was the most characteristic expression of the Puritan religious outlook. His other works include doctrinal and controversial writings; a spiritual autobiography, Grace Abounding (1666); and the allegory The Holy War (1682).
Bunyan etches his spiritual progress in a series of imperishable vignettes. His first discovery of what Christian fellowship might mean comes when he overhears “three or four poor women sitting at a door in the room, and talking about the things of God.” Later he said: “I thought they spoke as if joy did make them speak; they spoke with such pleasantness of Scripture language and with such appearance of grace in all they said, that they were to me as if they had found a new world . . . .” Step by step, Bunyan found himself drawn into the fellowship of which these poor women were a part.
A few years prior to 1654, he meets, and is counseled by, John Gifford, minister of the open communion Baptist Church at Bedford. He moves from Elstow to Bedford and begins to preach in villages near Bedford. His ministry coincided with the Stuart Restoration of 1660 which meant that unauthorized preaching would lead to a punishable offense. Arrested in November 1660 for holding a conventicle (an illegal religious meeting), Bunyan was sentenced in January 1661, initially for three months, to imprisonment in Bedford jail. His continued refusal to assure authorities that he would refrain from preaching if released prolongs his imprisonment until 1672. During the imprisonment, authorities granted him occasional time out of prison, and church records show that he attended several meetings at the Bedford Church.
[Opening biographical paragraph from the online Encyclopedia Britannica, http://www.britannica.com/biography/John-Bunyan; Remainder of article from “John Bunyan: The Man, Preacher and Author,” by E. Beatrice Batson, https://www.christianhistoryinstitute.org/magazine/article/john-bunyan-the-man-preacher-and-author/ ]
Born in 1850 in the industrial port city of Baltimore, Md., Armstrong, or “Miss Annie” as she was affectionately known, attended Seventh Church, which at the time met at Paca and Saratoga Streets (the current site of the Shrine of Saint Jude).
At Seventh, Armstrong was baptized at the age of 19, and shortly thereafter, joined over 100 members from Seventh to pioneer a new work at Eutaw Place Church at Eutaw Place and Dolphin Street. There, Armstrong remained an active member for nearly 70 years, until her death in 1938.
Annie believed in and followed Christ with all her heart, but it was her hands that expressed that belief in tangible ways. She spent a great amount of time typing and handwriting letters in support of missions. Many of these letters were quite lengthy and all were filled with conviction that more could and should be done in our missions efforts. Annie also never hesitated to use her hands to reach out to hug a child or distribute food, clothing and the Word of God to those in need. Her hands held her own Bible as she studied to know how best to share Gods love with others. And, most important, Annie was a woman of prayer, folding her hands in prayer to intercede for the missionaries and for those they were helping discover Christ.
Annie rallied churches to give more, pray more and do more for reaching people for Christ.
Armstrong helped to found the Woman’s Missionary Union in 1888 and served as its inaugural corresponding secretary. …From 1900 through her resignation as WMU secretary in 1906, Armstrong refused to accept a salary. Her resignation came after the union mandated that the corresponding secretary be paid. Armstrong often traveled great distances in her work with WMU, once covering 3,300 miles in 21 days, visiting 19 places, stopping at 26 different addresses.
[Opening biographical paragraphs from “Biography of Annie Armstrong,” at the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware website, http://bcmd.org/annie-armstrong; Remainder of article from “Who is Annie?” NAMB website, http://anniearmstrong.com/who-is-annie/, and from “Who was Annie Armstrong?” by Jeff Robertson at SBC Life website, http://www.sbclife.net/Articles/2012/03/sla7 ]
MATCH UP #4
Andrew Fuller, (born Feb. 6, 1754, Wicken, Cambridgeshire, Eng.—died May 7, 1815, Kettering, Northamptonshire), English Baptist minister and theologian. He is remembered as a founder and first secretary of the Baptist Missionary Society.
Self-taught when it came to theology, Fuller immersed himself in the works of Baptist and Puritan authors, including John Bunyan and John Gill, John Owen and Jonathan Edwards. Ultimately, though, it was to the Scriptures that he looked for his theological convictions.
His first major work, The Gospel Worthy of All Acceptation, which appeared in 1785 with a second edition in 1801, proved to be an epoch-making book that decisively refuted Hyper-Calvinism and laid the theological foundations for the modern missionary movement.
In October of 1792 the Baptist Missionary Society was formed in the home of Andrew Fuller. For the next twenty-one years Fuller served as the leader of this organization, raising funds, writing periodicals, recruiting missionaries, and sending personal letters to those on the frontlines.
He fulfilled his promise to the great missionary William Carey, who upon his trip to the unknown world of India, looked at the small band of brothers around him and said, as it were, “Well, I will go down, if you will hold the rope.” Andrew Fuller held the rope. Suffering the loss of his first wife, and eight of their eleven children, Fuller persevered in the midst of severe affliction and overwhelming responsibilities. He longed for unreached peoples to hear the gospel and championed the important (but often overlooked) foundation of doctrinal clarity.
[Opening biographical paragraph from the online Encyclopedia Britannica, http://www.britannica.com/biography/Andrew-Fuller; Remainder of article from “Andrew Fuller (1754-1815): A Brief Overview of His Life and Legacy,” at The Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies website, http://www.andrewfullercenter.org/about/andrew-fuller/, and from, “Andrew Fuller,” by John Piper, http://www.desiringgod.org/books/andrew-fuller ]
John Leland (May 14, 1754 – January 14, 1841) was an American Baptist minister who preached in Massachusetts and Virginia, as well an outspoken abolitionist. He was an important figure in the struggle for religious liberty in the United States.
God led him to Virginia to serve Him in that great time period of Revolution and Revival. John Leland experienced both during his years in Virginia. God sent a great awakening to repentance and righteousness during the 1780′s. John Leland testifies of riding throughout Virginia during that period of time and hearing the praises of God being sung jubilantly by the redeemed throughout the farm fields as he rode on his horse to preaching engagements.
We have the first amendment, in large part, due to the efforts of American Baptists such as Isaac Backus and John Leland. Leland, a prominent Baptist preacher at the turn of the 19th century, had petitioned his Virginia legislator, James Madison, directly regarding his concern that more needed to be done to ensure religious liberty in the new country than the “Religious Test” clause of Article VI, paragraph 3 of the Constitution. Since Baptists represented a significant portion of the vote in Madison’s district, Leland’s threat to run for Madison’s seat in the House of Representatives resulted in a visit by Madison to his home. Coming out of that meeting was a compromise that included Leland agreeing not to run for Madison’s seat and Madison agreeing to champion Leland’s and his fellow Baptists’ concern for religious liberty. Madison kept his word and pushed for the Bill of Rights. Without Baptist involvement in the political process, it is at least possible that the protection of religious liberty from Congress would not exist.
[Opening biographical paragraph from “John Leland (Baptist),” at Wikipedia website, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Leland_%28Baptist%29; Remainder of article from “Meet John Leland,” by Miss L.F. Greene at the Elder John Leland website, and from “John Leland: How a Baptist Preacher Helped Ensure Religious Liberty,” by Steve Weaver at the ERLC website, https://erlc.com/article/john-leland-how-a-baptist-preacher-helped-ensure-religious-liberty, and from “Who was Annie Armstrong?” by Jeff Robertson at SBC Life website, http://www.sbclife.net/Articles/2012/03/sla7 ]
These polls will be up one week from the date of the original post.
Remember to vote for the first set of pairings here. Voting on those match ups closes Feb. 18.
Here’s a printable bracket for your predictions and planning your votes: