Florida Peninsular article

We should call the special attention of our readers to the following communications from the Rev. Mr. J.H. Breaker, former Pastor of the Baptist Church at Brooksville.  We had ourself heard the allegations therein referred to, but having some knowledge of the state of affairs in that church, we believed his motive to be pure and disinterested, and hence the allegations to be but the result of that spirit, which is ever speaking to impair the characters and destroy the usefulness of God’s faithful ministers.  Mr. Breaker’s delicacy and tenderness of feeling towards the church of which he had so long been Pastor, constrained him, no doubt, to withhold facts, which if brought forward, might possibly disarm, prejudice itself of all grounds of censure.  His labors in that church were more originally blessed than usually falls to the lot of Pastors.  Between one hundred and fifty and two hundred members were added to that church, we think in the winter of 1862.

            If the church had appreciated his labors and shown that appreciation by disciplining its disorderly members no grounds would ever have existed, perhaps for a severance of connection of Pastor and church.  But in this remark we would by no means be understood as casting the least reflection upon the whole body of the church, for we are persuaded, that there are found in its communion as good, pious and devoted Christians as can be found anywhere, but their influence for good had become enervated, and it was rendered useless by a counteracting influence, which was used in sustaining disorders which must eventually destroy the vitality of any Christian church and hence, it has resulted, in the loss, to that church, of a faithful Pastor, whose place can scarcely ever by filled with the same efficiency.  We would hold up this case and its results as a beacon of warning to other churches, to be faithful to God, to themselves and the cause, in promptly putting away all disorders from among them.



                        Brooksville FLA, June 26, 1866

            Mr. Editor:– Will you please publish the following explanation, that the minds of those who have been led astray: by the false reports concerning my ministerial position here, my be disabused:

            1st.  It is reported, I have manifested a preference to preach to the colored people, here, by accepting their call to the present year, and after accepting their call, declining to be a candidate for the Pastoral office, of the white members of the church.

            In reply to the above, I will state, I had not accepted the call to preach to the colored people this present year, at the time I declined being a candidate for re-election to the Pastors office at the church.  My reason for declining being a candidate for re-election to the Pastorial charge of the church are the following:

            1st.  I had labored arduously to counteract the depressing influence which the isence of the war had brought upon the minds of the people, and to urge a highe estimate of the rich provisions of the Gospel, which should be manifest to the believer from the vale of adversity.  But intreaty and argument alike failed with many who were too much engaged, I fear, with the ‘cares of life and the deceitfulness of richness,’ to allow the word of divine truth to grow and flourish in their hearts.  The seats of many were vacant in the house of God, at the hour appointed for divine worship, and the Pastor was compelled to preach to a large population of empty seats that those occupied by the congregation.  A few faithful brethren and sisters were always in attendance, when not providentially detained, and of course the above remarks do not apply to them.

2ND.  My convictions of duty, to select another field of labor, where I might be more useful, and the hope that the novelty of a change, might awaken at least a temporary interest in the congregation here— 

            I cherished no personal feeling of opposition to the members of the church, or congregation, that could have prevented the regular discharge of my Pastoral duties. 

I will now state the most important realties why I have consented to preach to the colored members of this church, the present year.

            1st.  Prudential circumstances which I could not control prevented my removal to my field labor, the present year.

            2nd. It has been my custom, with the united action and approbation, of the abroad, where I preach to more whites than blacks with encouraging results.

            In conclusion, I would respectfully suggests would it not be well for Pastors of churches and Ministers in charge of religious congregations to make arrangements for the special preaching of the Gospel to the colored people of their charge.  If Pastors cannot perform this service, supply them with the ablest and most judicious, ministers that can be found, whom they will recognize as their Pastors and who can exert a good influence among them.  Experience has already taught the lesson in some localities, that unless arrangements of this kind are made for them, they will be subject to evil influence that will be felt by the community at large.

Respectfully, &c.

J.H. Breaker


P.S. I think separate organizations of colored churches should not be encouraged.