Subject number eight from our forthcoming book, A Noble Company, volume 6, is Stephen Gano 1762-1828.

20th Jul 2015

Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Providence, Rhode Island for thirty-six years, moderator for twenty consecutive years of the prestigious Warren Association of New England, and first president of the Rhode Island Baptist Convention, Stephen Gano was a major evangelical figure of the early nineteenth century in America―even if his influence extended little beyond that of his own denomination. “On the whole,” wrote one of his contemporaries, “it may be safely said that he ranked among the leading Baptist ministers of this country, during the period of his ministry.” The Baptist historian Thomas Armitage concurred by stating that Gano “was another master in Israel, who had much to do with the shaping of his own times….He stood pre-eminent amongst his brethren as a public speaker and a leader in all denominational affairs.” Even so, Gano’s earlier life was one of extreme hardship and suffering. As a surgeon during the Revolutionary War, he endured with his men long winter marches in which their trail, he recalled, could be traced by the blood on the snow. Re-enlisting as a shipboard physician, he and his crew were left to die on a deserted island. Captured a second time, he was then confined aboard a British prison ship. Released in an exchange of prisoners, he arrived back home broken in health and destitute. Readers should find all this and what follows in the story of his life to be of great interest! --TW