Isaac Backus, Champion of Separation of Church and Government
In 1746 Isaac made the decision to answer the call to become a pastor, his first sermon preached Sept. 28, 1746. He began preaching throughout Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut. He was called in 1747 to Middleborough, Massachusetts and there was ordained in 1748 as the pastor of the separatist North Congregational Church. This church congregation tried to be peacefully dismissed from the Congregational church by an ecclesiastical council but this was not allowed, and as an ultimate result, withdrew. The members of this separatist church continued to be taxed to support the state sponsored Congregational church. The issue of believer’s baptism within this church caused some members to become Baptists and they received an exemption from the state tax.
In August 1751, Elder Pierce of Warwick, RI, baptized Isaac Backus by immersion. On January 16, 1756, Isaac, along with several others met in his home and decided to organize a church called the Baptist Church of Christ in Middleborough, Bridgewater and Raynham. This split from the Congregational Church was based on his conviction that baptism is for those have a made personal decision to give their lives to Jesus Christ and profess their faith with Baptism by immersion. On June 23, 1756, Isaac was ordained pastor of this new church and within a year, a new meeting house was constructed. Rev. Isaac Backus remained pastor of this church to the end of his life.