The Rambler

September 3, 1898


The Planet examines two sides of a controversy in the Baptist church.


He wishes to know.

Reception of Members.

Disunion apparent.

Something about church splitters. —The Baptist and the True Reformers

Some things Rambler wishes to know and will be very thankful for the desired information. Rambler wishes to know the editor of the New Jersey Department of the Philadelphia “Christian Banner” how many colored Baptist ministers in New Jersey have collected money to build, rebuild, remodel, and pay for houses of worship, but have not done either, but have accumulated real estate, living in their own property and have property to rent?

What’s the difference?

Rambler asks the same editor, what is the difference between the act of a church receiving to its membership persons from other churches, without letters of dismission, and such persons being organized into a church without letters of dismission for such?

I cannot see the difference. One is as legal as the other. If one is illegal so also is the other. Either one is thieving. Purloining cannot be made honest in one place, dishonest in another place. It is just as legal for a minister to preach to a company of organized persons without letters of dismission, as it is to preach to a church that has in its membership persons without letters of dismission from the church to which they legally belong.

Some ministers boast.

There are ministers who boast of having received into their churches a large number of persons by what they call “Christian experience,” and watch care membership. Legal Christian experience, in the regular Baptist denomination., is that which is told by a person who is not yet a member of any church, yet has been baptized, but is desirous of becoming a member of a Baptist Church.

Why is it a crime, a sin, a misdemeanor for the brethren of the National Baptist Mission money to Educational purposes, and yet it be no crime, no sin, no misdemeanor for a State Convention to appropriate Foreign Missions money, to its Educational work? It is exceedingly strange how some people strain at gnats and swallow camels, magnify mole hills into mountains, “endeavor to pull mores out of their brethren’s eyes, while there are beams within their own eyes.

The correction made.

Some writers, in the controversy carried on concerning the election of a successor to Rev. W. W. Browne speak of “Rambler” having said thus and it is not the Planet “Rambler” for he has not had any say in the matter, he is merely an observer.

Abe Lincoln was a rail splitter, but according to “Planetarians” some colored Baptists are constitution tinkers, convention, associations, society and church-splitters. They create splits, and then like the woman in Proverbs 30:20 wipe their mouths and say, “we have done no wickedness.”

Rev. Browne was a Methodist of the A. M. E. Church, if I mistake not. He held the order together, but now the Baptist have come to the front lookout for rents, schisms, dissensions, splits, etc.

More about the “splitters.”

Sorry to say, the splitters of to-day seem to be of the rank of the “educated ministry” of the up to date and down to date fraternity. Be it remembered there are many up to date affairs that strongly smell of brimstone.

Why did a colored Baptist Church, in or around about Newport News, take an expelled person into its membership without being restored to her church which is not 50 miles off? Why did said church in said locality take a person into her membership without a letter of dismission? They took her by that “hocus pocus” called “Christian experience.”

Why is that some ministers and churches have run Christian experience into the ground and have made a nuisance of such, —a stench in the nostrils of honest person and lovers of a church with a clean membership.

Other questions.

Why is it the membership of some churches of color is like a witches’ caldron, like a turtle’s meat. The temperature of membership is neither hot nor cold, but there is great danger of being spied out> How many churches of color, have a clean legal membership, composed of members joined by baptism, by letter, by legal Christian experience?

How many colored ministers dare tell the public in this paper of any other paper, the status of his members, how many he holds legally, how many he holds illegally? Echo, answers, how many?
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Contributed By

Cali Hughes


“The Rambler,” Black Virginia: The Richmond Planet, 1894-1909, accessed June 20, 2024,