NASHVILLE (BP) -- In William Cathcart's "Baptist Encyclopedia," a catalog of Baptist doctrines, organizations and individuals, there is a surprising entry under the letter P: "Patrick, Saint, the Apostle of Ireland."
Perhaps more surprising is that Cathcart, a 19th-century Baptist historian, was not alone in claiming Patrick for the Baptist tradition. Pastor W.A. Criswell of First Baptist Church in Dallas and pastor Wayne Dehoney then of First Baptist Church in Jackson, Tenn. -- both of whom went on to become Southern Baptist Convention president -- were among the 19th- and 20th- century Baptists to argue the namesake of St. Patrick's Day espoused Baptist principles some 1,200 years before Englishman John Smyth founded what is commonly regarded as the first Baptist congregation. Read More