As some of you know, who have been to Bunhill Fields, London, that great campus sanctorum, it contains the grave of many Baptist, and other Nonconformist, worthies of the past: John Owen, John Bunyan, Isaac Watts, Susannah Wesley (a Nonconformist till her early teens, and the daughter of the great Samuel Annesley), John Rippon, etc.… A number of the graves are suffering the ravages of time typical of stone and mortar in an urban setting like London. Among the graves in the latter category is the table tomb of John Gill (1697-1771), the most prominent English Baptist of his day. Jeff Straub, professor of Church History at Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Plymouth, Minneapolis, e-mailed me recently about the state of Gill’s grave and that the grave can no longer be easily identified. He rightly suggested seeking to do something about it. He has just written to an official in the City of London to see if a bronze marker with details about Gill can be possibly erected to mark the grave.
He and I hope that the cost of this project could be borne by raising funds among interested British and American Baptists who hold John Gill in high esteem. It is hoped to announce specifics at the large Baptist gathering next August in Charleston, South Carolina (see “Baptist History Celebration”, http://www.baptisthistorycelebration.org), where some 450 Baptists—both historians& history buffs—will gather to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the signing of the Philadelphia Confession. Those of you are interested in helping in this worthy commemoration, please make a note to check back here or at the “Baptist History Celebration” site then.