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Furman, Richard



“F” is for Furman, Richard [1755-1825]. Minister, educator. In 1770 Furman’s family moved from New York to the High Hills of the Santee. Under the influence of a local minister Furman abandoned his Anglican upbringing and embraced the evangelistic Calvinism of Separate Baptists.  He was ordained in 1774 and served churches in the High Hills and Charleston. Furman had a tremendous impact on the development of the Baptist denomination.  He stressed the importance of an educated ministry and influenced the development of a number of church-related institutions of higher education, including Mercer, Furman, and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He was twice elected president of the Triennial Baptist Convention, a national organization of Baptists based in Philadelphia. Richard Furman was also a founder and president of the South Carolina Baptist Convention, the first statewide Baptist organization in the United States.

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