Vol.II No.IX Pg.6
October 1965

History Previews The Present

Robert F. Turner

Our history lesson for this month comes from "History of the Disciples" by A. S. Hayden. This is how a Baptist church treated those who would think for themselves -- but such sectarianism is found in others as well.


"March 2, 1833. It was then motioned and seconded that, as Bro. E. A. Mills will not consent to abandon the reading of Mr. Campbell's 'Millennial Harbinger,' which we think is leading him from the gospel and the faith of the regular Baptists, we withdraw from him the hand of fellowship. The vote was then tried and carried by a considerable majority.

Pending the motion for the exclusion of Mills, he made a most manly appeal, and an able defense of Mr. Campbell and his work. It was printed and circulated, but it could not avert the premeditated blow. This act of exclusion was a heavy stroke to many of the members. A remonstrance was prepared and sent in to the church, signed by eighteen names. It was mild and respectful; yet, strange to say, it was the death-knell of every one of them. They were all, without exception, and without any other offense, excluded from the church.

This declaration of exclusion was signed by nine names, and was silently acquiesced in as the action of the church without approval or demur. Thus nine members excluded eighteen, the number who had signed the remonstrance; the rest of the church, eighty members, taking no active part in the proceedings.

These rejected members, cast down but not forsaken, could not let the light within them become darkness. Hearing of a church in Mentor, meeting just as the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, they sent an invitation for a man to visit them. Bro. M.S. Clapp came, preached, and organized a church of seven members ******" Thus originated the church of Christ in Eagleville, **** " (Pages 352-f.) ---------------------

Now, let's review this situation:

(1) One man had an open mind, and desired to read what Alex. Campbell had to say on various religious subjects.

(2) A hot-headed "pastor" and his followers determined to purge the church of such "unorthodoxy." (pp. 350-f)

(3) Pleas for prayerful consideration and Bible study were ignored.

(4) Following the unjustified disfellowship of Mr. Mills, eighteen members expressed (in a "mild and respectful" way) their disapproval of this action.

(5) NOTE -- Nine members proceeded to disfellowship these people also; while eighty (80) members kept quiet.

(How can 9 members "run a church"? It's easy -- when 80 members have too little interest -- or character -- to do anything about it!)

(6) Of the 19 disfellowshiped only seven

(7) were there to be counted when a loyal church was formed. BUT TO THOSE SEVEN ALL TRUE FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST ARE FOREVER GRATEFUL.