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Almost Famous

Almost Famous published on 2 Comments on Almost FamousPurchase

So I went to this Baptist college for undergrad, worked in a large Baptist church for a year, married a woman who had grown up Baptist, and have several very close friends who are Baptist or ex-Baptist.  I owed it to this heritage to introduce Roger Williams at some point.  He’s an incredibly cool historical character that most Baptists don’t even know anything about because, let’s face it, most Baptists don’t care about creeds or church history in the same way most Methodists don’t care about the Bible.  #zing!

Roger Williams left England for religious freedom, just to be exiled by the Puritans in America.  So he, you know, founded Rhode Island, proposed the separation of church and state, the end of all slavery, advocated for the fair treatment of Native Americans, and then did the coolest thing ever.  He founded the first Baptist church in America, just to leave it months later because he decided that there was no such thing as a true church since Constantine married the church to the state.  He became too cool for church, remaining deeply religious and maintaining the Baptist theological positions, but not doing the whole church-membership thing.  Maybe that’s why nobody knows who he is?


Spot on! I went to two different private schools (one in Virginia and one in North Carolina) that were connected to Baptist churches. But I never learned about Roger Williams in Bible or religion classes. We only heard about him in history class, and even then it was in the context of his founding Rhode Island and his dealing with the Native Americans.

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