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James Chiles
Pioneer Virginia Baptist

      JAMES CHILES is said to have possessed "a sturdy set of limbs" and "a resolute spirit," which, prior to his conversion, he sometimes employed "in bruising his countrymen's faces." He was an early instrument in planting the Gospel in the region of Blue Run church, in Orange, and he was a pioneer laborer also in Albemarle. He removed to South Carolina at an early day, where he organized a large church. He is said to have had implicit faith in signs and visions -- a weakness which was more than counterbalanced by his ardent zeal and large success. Going to the house of a woman upon a certain occasion, he informed her that God had said he must die there that day. Despite her remonstrance, he reaffirmed the certainty of the decree, and having so said, "he stretched himself upon the bed and yielded up the ghost."


[From From Robert B. Semple, History of the Baptists in Virginia, 1810, revised 1894; reprint 1972. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]

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