Knapp, Jacob

Knapp, Jacob a distinguished Baptist evangelist, generally known as "Elder Knapp," was born in Otsego County, N.Y., December 7, 1799. Having pursued his studies at Hamilton, he first settled in Springfield, near his native place, and then in Watertown. After having been in the pastoral office for eight years, he felt that he must henceforth devote himself to the work of an evangelist. At this time he had what he always considered a remarkable religious experience. His early labors as an evangelist in some of the great cities and villages of our land were followed by wonderful results. Thousands of conversions took place. In some of these places "his preaching gathered such crowds and produced such excitement that mobs threatened his meetings, and police force had to be employed to suppress popular violence. By the terrors of the law rather than by tender exhibitions of God's love, he sought to drive men to the Cross for salvation." Many of his sermons were models of reasoning and eloquence, the most gifted men feeling the impression as well as the ignorant. He died at his residence, near Rockford, Illinois, March 2, 1874. See Jeffrey, Memoirs of Jacob Knapp; The Baptist Weekly, March 12, 1874. (J.C.S.)

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