LUTHER RICE

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Born in Northborough, MA, in 1783, Luther Rice was a leader of "The Brethren" at Williams College and served alongside Adoniram Judson as a missionary to Burma in 1812.  After studying the Greek New Testament, he was convinced of the biblical precedent of baptism by immersion and became a Baptist. In 1815 Rice dreamed of what Southern Baptists now call The Cooperative Program (pooling resources for the cause of missions) over 100 years before it actually came into existence.  A fervent advocate for missions, Rice traveled across America by horseback to raise awareness and support of missions. He successfully planted the seeds of denominational mission support at a time when Baptists were suspicious of any attempt at larger organization. Rice was also a founder of Columbian College, now George Washington University.

...he began to form plans for the Baptists in America. Not all these schemes originated within himself, for many men shared their ideas and dreams for the denomination with him, and he often appropriated their plans. But one trait which distinguished Rice from many a dreamer was that he not only dreamed, he implemented his dreams.
— Luther Rice: Believer in Tomorrow by Evelyn Thompson
Yet in any area of life, someone first must dare to dream. If that dream is born in purpose of God, it will surely come to pass even though the dreamer dies and the vision seems to fade. History reflects these fulfillments.”
— The Dreamer Cometh: The Luther Rice Story by William A. Carleton