Origins

Finally, Dr. John Clarke (1609 - 1676) was a person of many talents, working professionally at various times in medicine, law, and Christian ministry. Born in Suffolk, England, he immigrated to Massachusetts in 1637. As a result of persecution by Puritans, he moved southward and helped to found Newport, where he then established a Baptist congregation around 1648. In conjunction with Roger Williams, Clarke led in the formulation and establishment of royal approval for the Charter of Rhode Island (1663), which contained extensive provisions for freedom of conscience, including religious conscience.


Study Questions:
     1.     Who was John Smyth? What was his role in the founding of the Baptist tradition?
     2.     Who was Thomas Helwys? What was his relationship to Smyth?
     3.     How did John Spilsbury’s work modify the practice of baptism?
     4.     Who was William Kiffin? Francis Bampfield? Why are they notable in the history of Baptists?
     5.     What Baptist founders were influential in the New World? Describe their contributions.

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