Historical Example

The Man Luther Rice

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The man Luther Rice (1783-1836) is known in Baptist history for his contributions to missionary endeavor, for his desire to foster cooperation among Baptists, and for his untiring effort to educate ministers. A better name could not have been chosen by the founders. Luther Rice’s beliefs provided the philosophical basis on which Luther Rice College and Seminary is built.


Luther Rice believed in missions. He was a missionary who felt that every Christian had both the responsibility and the privilege of sharing in the work of world-wide evangelism.


Luther Rice believed in cooperation between churches. He devoted his life to traveling from church to church uniting Christians to support missions. His efforts resulted in the formation of the Triennial Baptist Convention (1814).


Luther Rice believed in Christian education. He established Columbian College (now George Washington University) in Washington, DC for the single purpose of training Christians to serve Christ effectively. At the time of his death, he was in South Carolina raising funds for the college.


Luther Rice believed in the authority of the Bible. While en route to Burma as a missionary volunteer with Adoniram Judson, Rice became convinced, through his study of the Bible, of the necessity of changing his doctrinal position on baptism.


Luther Rice believed in the power of the Holy Spirit. He believed that the Holy Spirit is the supreme teacher, the interpreter of Scripture, and the imparter of spiritual gifts to Christians.


Luther Rice believed in Bible preaching. He was an eloquent preacher who traveled the eastern and southern states preaching the Bible.


Luther Rice believed in being a Baptist. He held to the great distinctive Baptist doctrines concerning the church, its ordinances, its autonomy, and its basis for cooperation.