Two-Seed-in-the-Spirit Predestinarian Baptists are a unique expression of Baptist and Predestianarian doctrine, and much the offspring of the fertile mind of Elder Daniel Parker. Daniel Parker was born April 6, 1781, in Culpeper County, Virginia. He grew up in Georgia, and professed an experience of faith to the Nail’s Creek Baptist Church in Franklin County, Georgia. He baptized by Nail’s Creek in January of 1802 later licensed to preach by them. After moving to Tennessee, he was by the Turnbull Baptist Church in 1806. Daniel and his wife Patsy moved to Crawford County, Illinois in 1817, where he would become well-known as a Baptist preacher.
Elder Daniel Parker organized the Pilgrim Predestinarian Regular Baptist Church in 1833 in Illinois; then they moved to Texas. Pilgrim Church still exists today, near Elkhart, Texas. It no longer holds Parker’s “Two-Seed” doctrine. It is an Absolute Predestinarian Primitive Baptist Church. The Two-Seed doctrine seems pretty esoteric to me - almost like you have to be initiated to understand it. In my opinion, much of this developed after the death of Parker.
As best I can determine, there are only about 4 or 5 churches that currently admit to being “Two-Seeders.” There is Little Hope Church in Jacksboro, Texas, which is in the Trinity River Association with the Otter Creek Church in Putnam County, Indiana. In addition, Valdosta State professor and a Primitive Baptist John G. Crowley, says one may still find Two-Seed doctrines preached by Primitive Baptists in southern Georgia “if one knows where to go and what to listen for.”[i]
Several years ago I read an article (I think it was in The Quarterly Review or Baptist History and Heritage) in which the author wrote that he believed that Parker developed the two-seed theology to try to reconcile why God would elect certain people and leave others out – the answer, to him, was obviously that those others belonged to the devil from the start!
Levi Roberts, a missionary Baptist who opposed Parker’s theology, would write that he knew Parker and “always considered him a good man, possessing a warm heart, a clear head and giant intellect...” (From The Banner and Pioneer, June 5, 1847). Though Parker’s name is eternally tied to “anti-missions,” he was an indefatigable worker who became a preacher, pastor, theologian, author and publisher, as well as a legislator (in Illinois and Texas)[ii] - and planted churches personally in at least three states.
J. M. Carroll declared that Daniel Parker’s ministry “left a mighty impress on East Texas” - whether one was Missionary or Anti-Missionary Baptist. Carroll obviously disagreed with Parker, but was clearly impressed by the missionary work of the anti-missionary preacher, noting “And as a result of these various services, over this large territory, organized, through its own efforts, nine new churches. How many churches in Texas, country or city, can show such a record?” (W. T. Parmer gives 11 rather than 9).
Parker’s best-known writing is: “A Public Address to the Baptist Society...on the Principle and Practice of the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions.” A copy of Daniel Parker’s Treatise on the Two Seeds is online.
[i] John G. Crowley, Primitve Baptists of the Wiregrass South: 1815 to Present, Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 1998.
[ii] In the Republic of Texas he was unable to fulfill his duties, because at the time Texas did not allow ministers to serve in the Legislature and he was refused the seat to which he was elected.
[From R. L. Vaughn website, Saturday, August 26, 2017. Used with permission. Formatted by Jim Duvall.]
Related - John M. Peck meets Daniel Parker, 1822
Frontier Missionary vs. Anti-Missionary
Baptist History Homepage