July 16, 1759  Rev. Isaac Backus posted a notice at First Baptist Church of Middleborough, MA, that a list must be made of all who belong to the church.  This was so that they could be excused from the ‘church tax’ that each resident paid to support the Standing Order churches.  Backus spent a lot of time fighting to eradicate state support of churches.  He maintained that it robbed the local Baptist churches from building their own buildings, supporting their pastors, and establishing colleges to train preachers and expand their ministries.  Eventually the Religious Freedom Act was included in the Bill of Rights. ABHS has a collection of Isaac Backus’s papers including sermons, correspondence, and a journal of family data.  There are many of his writings at ABHS, also.

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