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The Voyage of Human Life
The World View of Baptist History
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The Voyage of Human Life

The Courier, Wednesday, 18, 1928

History of the Baptist Church. - On Wednesday evening a lecture on "The World View of Baptist History" was given by the Rev. S.J.Ford,of Hanham, Bristol, in the Silver???? Baptist School-room. Rev. F.E. Boorman presided, and in the course of his introductory remarks referred to the occasion when through passive resistance to church school education the lecturer became notorious. He was imprisoned for a short time, and subsequent to the matter being raised in the House of Commons Mr Ford was released, his expenses being paid by the magistrates who penalised him. Mr. E.G. Fran?? showed the pictures. Mr. Ford's lecture was illustrated by one large picture and a series of views prepared by himself. In his remarks he traced the history of the Baptist Church from its Baptism to the World's Baptist Alliance of a few years ago. The picture was then sectionalised and shown in various slides. A fine series illustrating the tragic events which had marked the progress of the Baptist Church life were shown. There was good attendance, and at the close the Rev. M.L.Murphy proposed a vote of thanks to the lecturer, the Chairman and the lanternist.

Newspaper Cutting subject to non-commercial purposes, terms and conditions of the British Newspaper Archive (  © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

The Voyage of Human Life

Detail from diagram

The Voyage of Human Life

The Voyage of Human Life

The Voyage of Human Life

The Voyage of Human Life

The Voyage of Human Life

A detailed history of the Baptist church throughout the world. produced in 1928 for the Tercentenary of John Bunyan. A very informative diagram of Baptist history by Rev Samuel J Ford, with a 35 page booklet, explaining the diagram The original Diagram was folded with the booklet and enclosed in a specially designed wallet as seen below. The original diagram measured 39" x 27" 1/2"

The Voyage of Human Life

For those wanting to learn about Church history, and in particular history of the Baptist Church, this well designed diagram and booklet will be indispensable. For those who are members - it will be a fascinating illustrated reminder of Baptist history.  Designed by Rev Samuel James Ford, He had trained at Bristol Baptist College and went on to pastor at Hanham Baptist Chapel, Minchinhampton Baptist Chapel, and Hemyock Baptist Chapel. He was very well thought of by many and a man of principle. Rev Samuel J Ford's diagram has now been republished.

General Overview of the Diagram 


Western Daily Press, Bristol.

Friday, January 27, 1928.

Baptist World history 

Hanham Pastor’s Ingenious Diagram.

An Ingenious diagram drawn with great originality and beautifully arranged has been prepared by the Rev S. J. Ford, Pastor at Hanham Baptist Church. which gives a bird’s eye-view, as it were, of the history through the centuries of the Baptist Faith. He has entitled the diagram “The World View of the Baptist History” and a number of interesting lantern slides have been made illustrating its various sections. These were shown for the first time at the church last evening, when a large number were present to hear Mr Ford give a lecture on the subject. At the bottom of the diagram, which is completed in various colours, is given a picture of Palestine from the Mount of Lebanon to the Dead Sea. The whole Valley of the Jordan is depicted, and many scenes given of incidents in the life of Christ. The central picture shows the Saviour’s Baptism, which the lecturer declared was the genesis of the Baptist Church. From this scene of the Jordan is shown radiating a number of circles which, as shining stars, represent the Baptist churches named in the New Testament. From the one representing Rome, however, because of her love of pre-eminence and perversion of the truth, there emanates the black cloud of Roman Catholicism which, in the course of 400 years, was to obliterate the churches of the New Testament.                                        

Time of Darkness - During this period Baptist-like stars are shown endevouring to break through the darkness and bring the church back to the simple faith and practices of New Testament times. It is not until 1350 that a star of first magnitude appears, which is shown near the centre of the diagram-that of John Wycliffe. His star is shown shining upon the rock, Christ Jesus, on which rests an open Bible displaying the text, “ Believe and be Baptized.” Flowing away from the rock on either side is a stream of water, which forms the Baptismal pool. Here John Smythe. founder of the modern Baptist Church, is seen baptising himself. From the pool flows away the Baptismal river, which, in its course, early surrounds the first Baptist Church founded by John Smythe at Amsterdam in 1609, and  later the earliest church or the denomination in London., dating from 1613. The river then spreads away until it is represented as encircling the whole world. National Baptist “streams”are shown covering almost all the countries in the world, and on their banks circles are drawn. in each of which the date of the first Baptist church and association are given. These “streams,” through their respective union boards and conventions converge in a central pool which represents the Baptist World Alliance formed in 1905. The top of the diagram is devoted to a representation of the missionary “crown” of the denomination.  The diagram is also crowded with picturisations of familiar events in Baptist history, and portraits of great men in the denomination.  Some of the incidents shown along the “Via dolorosa” are the flogging of Obadiah Holmes: John Bunyan’s prison; the first meeting place in Hanham Woods of 1658; Benjamin Bampfield dying in Newgate Gaol: Broadmead meeting house barred and shut against worshippers. Andrew Gifford of Pithay Church, Bristol, demanding his release from Gloucester Gaol; and others of equal interest. Portraits are given of  Bunyan, William Carey and C.H.Spurgeon.  There are also statistics which include  the estimated number of Baptists at present (excluding Russia) viz, 9,750,000. The diagram is entirely self-explanatory, and contains an abundance of information.  Mr C. King-Smith presided over the meeting and mentioned that Mr Ford had spent two years preparing his chart. He has been invited to give the lectures at various Bristol churches.. 

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