I am so happy that my grandparents, Glen and Virgie Shivel, had moved from Kentucky and settled in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan. Here they were very active in pioneering, starting and assisting in several old fashioned, Bible believing churches, often building the meeting houses with their own hands. Grandfather usually served as a deacon and always as the song leader. They made sure their first grandson (me) was in service every Sunday, even if they had to personally carry me there themselves without my parents.
Some time around 1962 when I was about 9 years of age, thanks to Basil Adkins, my Sunday School teacher, I became aware of the Ten Commandments. Soon I became very aware that from my heart I was guilty of transgressing God’s law and worthy of death and Hell. Under tremendous Holy Ghost conviction, guilt and shame, one night, weeping, I sought my mother’s bedside. As she made inquiry of why I was so troubled, she recognized my need to be “saved.” She instantly reminded me of John 3:16 and in full repentance of my sins, I recognized that Jesus, when He died on that cross, was dying for my personal sins, as well as the sins of all the people of the world. Mom encouraged me to pray aloud and call upon the Lord, confessing my sins to Him and trusting Him alone as my only Lord and Savior. Wow! Immediately, there was a great burden seemingly lifted off of my heart that I did not previously know was even there. And, there was a joy placed in my heart of eternal, everlasting life, that I knew was assuring me that I would “never thirst again.”
Soon thereafter, my grandmother, being a public school teacher, approached me with a small red booklet titled “The Trail of Blood, Following the Christians down through the Centuries” by a Dr. J. M. Carroll. She told me I needed to read this booklet and that it would help me understand where we as Christians came from and why our church believed the things that we did, and why other people did not believe what we did. Well, it took me quite a while before this little boy had completely read it all the way through, as it is quite wordy. But I did read it and I cherished that little booklet because I never forgot its emphasis of the Anabaptists! In this booklet he uses this term some 29 times.
Today, many of my Baptist Pastor friends are becoming alarmed at the many “Baptist” churches that merely claim to be Protestant. Most today are boasting of their marriage with the American government with their 501 c 3 Internal Revenue Service status that requires them as a business to be a tax collector for the federal government. What has happened to the separation of church and state? Also, they are alarmed at the great number of “Baptists” that boast of hiring their lesbian pastor, and so many allowing sinful and worldly practices among their memberships and in their church services. So many “Baptist” churches of the Twenty First Century accept “alien immersion” as a legitimate requisite for church membership. Some have asked me to come and speak to their assembly and tell them why they should become an Anabaptist Church. I would now like to share with you the last few paragraphs of Dr. Carroll’s “Trail of Blood.”
During every period of the “Dark Ages” there were in existence many Christians and many separate and independent Churches, some of them dating back to the times of the Apostles, which were never in any way connected with the Catholic Church. They always wholly rejected and repudiated the Catholics and their doctrines. This is a fact clearly demonstrated by credible history.
These Christians were the perpetual objects of bitter and relentless persecution. History shows that during the period of the “Dark Ages,” about twelve centuries, beginning with A.D. 426, there were about fifty millions of these Christians who died martyr deaths. Very many thousands of others, both preceding and succeeding the “Dark Ages,” died under the same hard hand of persecution.
These Christians, during these dark days of many centuries, were called by many different names, all given to them by their enemies. These names were sometimes given because of some specially prominent and heroic leader and sometimes from other causes; and sometimes, yea, many times, the same people, holding the same views, were called by different names in different localities. But amid all the many changes of names, there was one special name or rather designation, which clung to at least some of these Christians, throughout all the “Dark Ages,” that designation being “Ana-Baptist.” This compound word applied as a designation of some certain Christians was first found in history during the third century; and a suggestive fact soon after the origin of Infant Baptism, and a more suggestive fact even prior to the use of the name Catholic. Thus the name “Ana-Baptists” is the oldest denominational name in history.
A striking peculiarity of these Christians was and continued to be in succeeding centuries: They rejected the man-made doctrine of “Infant Baptism” and demanded rebaptism, even though done by immersion for all those who came to them, having been baptized in infancy. For this peculiarity they were called “Ana-Baptists.”
This, special designation was applied to many of these Christians who bore other nicknames; especially is this true of the Donatists, Paulicians, Albigenses and Ancient Waldenses and others. In later centuries this designation came to be a regular name, applied to a distinct group. These were simply called “Ana- Baptists” and gradually all other names were dropped. Very early in the sixteenth century, even prior to the origin of the Lutheran Church, the first of all the Protestant Churches, the word “ana” was beginning to be left off, and they were simply called “Baptists.”
Into the “dark ages” went a group of many churches which were never in any way identified with the Catholics. Out of the “dark ages” came a group of many churches, which had never been in any way identified with the Catholics. The following are some of the fundamental doctrines to which they held when they went in: And the same are, the fundamental doctrines to which they held when they came out: And the same are the fundamental doctrines to which they now  hold.
Dr. Carroll then ends his lecture with a simple 10-point summarization of “Fundamental Doctrines”. But here I would like to return the reader to his original page vii of his introduction where Carroll states “MARKS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH” and lists them as 11 in number. I have here taken the eleven and rearranged them as an acrostic so that they spell the word: ANABAPTISTS.
1. Anti-Papists (Christ the founder and only head of His church; having no pope or council).
Matthew 16:18; Colossians 1:18; 1 John 5:21; Revelation 17 & 18:4; 22:16
2. Nonconformist (Its weapons of warfare are spiritual, not carnal, while resisting the world, the flesh and the devil).
Romans 12:1-2; II Corinthians 10:4; Ephesians 6:10-20; James 3:13-18; 4:7
3. Alms Giving (The Christian duty of free will offerings).
I Corinthians 9:14; I John 3:17; John 13:29; Luke 3:11; 6:30; Matthew 6:1; Acts 9:36; 10:2, 4; Luke 14:13; Acts 20:35; Galatians 2:10; Romans 15:25-27; I Corinthians 16:1-4; Acts 11:29; 24:17; II Corinthians 9:12
4. Biblical Authority (The Holy Bible the sole rule of faith and practice).
Joshua 1:8; II Samuel 23:1-2; Psalm 19:1-14; 33:11; Psalm 119; Isaiah 55:11; Matthew 4:4-11; 5:18; I Corinthians 2:4-5; II Timothy 3:15-17; I Peter 2:21; II Peter 2: 16-21
5. Autonomy of the Local Church (Self governing, independent of any hierarchies).
Matthew 18:15-17; Acts 13:1-3; Acts 17:11; I Corinthians 5:4-5, 11; 16:1-2; Galatians 1:8; Philippians 4:14-18; II Thessalonians 3:14-15; I Timothy 3:15; 5:9; 5:17; Titus 1:5
6. Priesthood of the Believer (All members equal and in need of no man as priest, each being his own priest).
Matthew 20:24-28; 23:5-13; Romans 8:17; Ephesians 2:6, 19, 21; I Timothy 2:5; I Peter 2:4-10; I John 2:1; 4:1-2; Revelation 1:6; 5:10
7. Two Church Offices (Pastor and deacon).
Acts 6:1-7; 20:28; Philippians 1:1; I Timothy3:1-13; Titus 1:6-9; I Peter 5:1-4
8. Individual Soul Liberty (No imposition of doctrine by force upon any man’s conscience).
Matthew 23:37; Romans 14:1-23; I Corinthians 8:1-13; Galatians 5:12-26; Colossians 2:16-22
9. Saved Church Membership (Repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ necessitates a pure church of only born-again believers).
Acts 2:41, 47; 5:14; 11:24; 16:5; Romans 14:1; I Corinthians 5:1-13; Ephesians 2:21; I Peter 2:5
10. Two Church Ordinances (Believer’s baptism followed by the Lord’s table).
Matthew 3:6, 16; 26:26-29; 28:16-20; Mark 1:5, 9-10; 14:22-25; Luke 22:17-20; John 3:23; Acts 2:41; 8:38-39; Romans 6:1-5; I Corinthians 11:23-26
11. Separation of Church and State (They are completely unaffiliated with each other).
Proverbs 24:21; Jeremiah 29:7; Matthew 22:17-22; Acts 5:29; Romans 13:1-7; I Timothy 2:1-3; Titus 3:2; I Peter 2:13-17