When offered a deal that would get him out of jail, Baptist preacher John Waller refused to budge.
Waller, imprisoned in Middlesex County in the early 1770s for his beliefs, would have to agree to stop spreading his Baptist message because the only accepted church at the time was the Church of England.
Waller and three other preachers refused the deal and spent 46 days behind bars. In a letter to the judge, Waller explained that he would be "sinning against God" if he kept his faith to himself.
That letter, along with thousands of other documents, is on display in the Heritage Gallery at the Virginia Baptist Historical Society. The museum, on the campus of the University of Richmond, traces Baptist heritage in Virginia. ...