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Appears in Collections:History and Politics Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Nineteenth-century British Baptist attitudes towards the relations of church and state
Author(s): Bebbington, David William
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Issue Date: May-2014
Date Deposited: 5-Oct-2015
Citation: Bebbington DW (2014) Nineteenth-century British Baptist attitudes towards the relations of church and state. Pacific Journal of Baptist Research, 9 (1), pp. 8-21.
Abstract: First paragraph: The problem of church and state for British Baptists is well illustrated by an episode at Acadia College, Nova Scotia. Other denominations in the colony received public money for education and so, following the foundation of the college in 1838, it was natural for the new institution to obtain a state grant. In 1844, however, Joseph Belcher arrived from England as minister of Granville Street Baptist Church in Halifax. Almost immediately he questioned the rightness of accepting the grant. It was, he claimed, public, not denominational, money. Baptists should rely on their own fund-raising abilities and have nothing to do with state help for teaching theology. Belcher actually discouraged his friends in England from giving to Acadia College. Leading members of his congregation at Granville Street, formerly an Anglican place of worship that had gone over to the Baptists only in the late 1820s, were incensed by Belcher's sabotaging of their efforts to provide a good education for the sons of their new denomination. They had recently given their political allegiance to the Conservatives partly in order to ensure public financial support for their college. Now their own minister was undermining the whole scheme. They wanted him out of their pulpit. Belcher resisted, but because the leading members were trustees of the building, the minister was forced to leave. There was schism in the church, but Belcher departed for the fairer pastures of Philadelphia.
Rights: Publisher is open-access. Open access publishing allows free access to and distribution of published articles where the author retains copyright of their work by employing a Creative Commons attribution licence. Proper attribution of authorship and correct citation details should be given.

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