Hitherto… Henceforth

Hitherto… Henceforth

History and Background of Circular Road Baptist Church

Circular Road Baptist Chapel (earlier known as Lower Circular Road Baptist Church) was formed on Tuesday the 10th of October 1818 in the Baptist Mission House South Entally where the first service was held by a group of nine persons. The name of four out of the nine Europeans who met two centuries ago were Eustace Carey (nephew of Rev. William Carey) William Yates, William Hopkins Pearce and James Penney. Yates an accomplished linguistic who came out to engage in Biblical translation and was the true successor of Dr. Carey in that field. Pearce, a printer from the Clarendon press, Oxford founded the Baptist Mission Press next door. Penney was sent out at the request of Dr. Marshman a famous educational expert in England to take charge of the Benevolent Institution in Bowbazar, where innumerable poor children of the city, mostly Roman Catholics, received daily instruction and a sound education in moral character. A few months later these four were joined by John Lawson a man of very versatile gifts who arrived in the Church on October 25th 1819 and died six years later and was succeeded by Yates who held the Pastorate for eleven years. Circular Road Baptist Church was the only Church in the vicinity. There was no other place within the radius of a mile. It fulfilled a need.

Today the Church has been through two world wars but has stood the test of time. It continues to hold a chair from which William Carey had preached years ago from the pulpit. There have been many Pastors who have taken up the mantle of the Church and passed on. The Church has been without Pastors quite a few times. But the Deacons and Leaders have played a tremendous roll during these times in keeping the Church moving forward and it stands strong today because Christ loved the Church and gave His life for her. It is a challenge for us today as we enter our 200th Anniversary in 2018 to keep the flame of His love burning strongly in our lives and practice His message of love and to pass the baton on to those who follow us. The church has elected Rev. Anand Peacock to take on the mantle of shepherding the church. After having served two congregations in a medical community and even teaching in a bible college in Africa he brings in rich experience accompanied by his wife a medical Doctor (Gyne oncologist who works with a missionary zeal) and their daughter age 11. Together we will move forward as we respond to Gods call in this city.

Theme of the 200-year celebration

Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, ‘Thus far the LORD has helped us.’
1 Samuel 7:12

He has been faithful hitherto –up to this point–and will not fail me henceforth–in the future. We are told that Samuel set up a stone and called the name of it Ebenezer the stone of help saying “Hitherto hath the Lord helped us” There was a long future before Israel, and even to Samuel that future was in large measure unknown and wholly untried. But to him the help of the hitherto was a guarantee for the henceforth whatever it might bring. Because he brought his Israel safe up to date they would trust him to carry them into the dateless future without them. So now let us remember that every “Hitherto” of the past years is a prelude to a “Henceforth” in the unfailing plan of the love of God.

By Anand Peacock. © 2017 Circular Road Baptist Chapel. Website: crbc.in

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