colonial_baptistsSome 300 years ago a handful of Baptists in the colony of Virginia set about to form a congregation. Soliciting help from English Baptists, the Baptist Virginians navigated through the obstacles placed before them by the establishment Anglican church. Prospering, by 1750 the colony’s Baptists were a significant presence in the Virginia countryside. Shortly thereafter, the Anglican persecution of Baptists intensified, lasting well into the Revolutionary war years.

Read Fred Anderson’s (executive director of the Virginia Baptist Historical Society) guest column in the Richmond Times-Dispatch for the rest of the story.

Bruce Gourley

About Bruce Gourley

Bruce Gourley is online editor. In addition to managing Baptist Today’s web presence, Bruce is the executive director of the Baptist History and Heritage Society (, general editor of the Baptist History & Heritage Journal, editor of the Baptist Studies Bulletin, creator and author of the "Baptists and the American Civil War Project" (, and author of seven books. Bruce is also an avid hiker, owns the Yellowstone Net website (, and is an award-winning photographer ( A graduate of Mercer University (B.A.), Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div.), and Auburn University (Ph.D.), he and his family live near Bozeman, Montana.