A Calvinistic Evangelist
by Rev. David T. Myers
Imagine your mother dying when you were an infant. Then imagine your father dying when you were only eight years of age. How difficult your upbringing would be. In the case of little Daniel Baker, who was born on August 17, 1791, he could only look with sadness at his playmates who had loving parents to watch over them. But Daniel had a heavenly Father who watched over him and was preparing him for great things in the kingdom of God.
Reared by a godly aunt, Daniel came to a knowledge of Jesus as Lord and Savior around 14 years of age. Soon afterwards, he felt the call to be a preacher of the Word. Receiving an offer of a scholarship to Hampden-Sydney College, he made a public profession of faith and joined the Presbyterian Church. His spiritual attainments affected his fellow students there as well as at Princeton University to which he transferred.
Upon graduation, he was interested in enrolling at the Seminary, but instead placed his education under the Rev. William Hill of Winchester, Virginia. While there was much lacking in this overseership, his self-study in the Westminster Shorter Catechism brought him to the place where the local Presbytery ordained him to the gospel ministry.
One of his greatest blessing was a godly wife in Elizabeth McRobert, who bore him several children as well as helping him in his ministry. He started his ministry as a pastor, but usually revival broke out under him. Thousands came to the Lord, not only from the local church, but from those around the church. He decided to become a full time evangelist.
It must be remembered that Daniel Baker was a Calvinist evangelist. He didn’t resort to producing the right emotional effect, but simply preached the whole counsel of God. And the Lord added to the church such as should be saved.
The last part of his ministry took place in Texas from 1850 on. There he preached the same gospel, with the same effects. He died in 1857.
Words to live by: Before Daniel Baker passed away, he called his son to make sure that the epigraph on the tombstone read clearly, “Here lies Daniel Baker, Preacher of the gospel, A sinner saved by grace.” Let us be known in life and death as Sinners saved by grace, God’s grace.