John Gano (1727-1804) remains a hero among Baptist Calvinists for his role in evangelizing the heathen in mid-18th century.
For example, Baptist pastor and historian, Tom Ascol, highlights Gano's role as a gospel preacher commissioned by the Charleston Association to show how Regular (Particular) Baptists were "thoroughly evangelistic:"
...the [Charleston] association commissioned John Gano to preach the gospel at the Jersey Settlement on the banks of the Yadkin River—not far from Sandy Creek—in what is now North Carolina. Far from being a dividing point, Sandy Creek actually became something of a meeting point for the evangelistic fervor of both the Charleston and Separate Baptists.1
While one need not doubt Gano preached the gospel during his many travels, what remains mostly unstated is apparently the enormous time Gano spent "reforming" churches in Virginia and the Carolinas from "General" (non-Calvinist) to "Particular" (Regular or Calvinist) Baptist persuasion.
Below is a description of Gano's work which hardly implies gospel preaching. Rather it appears to be Calvinistic proselytizing not gospel proclamation.
Baptists trace their origins in Virginia and North Carolina to various churches whose differing principles approximated later homogenized Baptist doctrine. ...
The several Baptist churches were as diverse doctrinally as they were scattered geographically. Some few were Calvinist, but many were not, in any strict sense. The group at Isle of Wight consisted of General Baptists, a name indicating they held Arminian theological tenets. ...
Many of the earliest Baptists in the south initially did not hold to Calvinist principles. The émigrés to Kehukee began as General Baptists, as did the people at Isle of Wight. The groups at Ketocton and Opekin tended toward Arminianism, according to Baptist chroniclers. ...
John Gano was one such traveling missionary who challenged the believers in the churches he visited and convinced them to reform. Arriving at Kehukee, Gano requested an interview with the local ministers. They declined, but the pastors met to decide what to do with the stranger. Gano crashed the meeting, claimed the pulpit, and preached from the text, "Jesus I know, and Paul I know but who are ye?" By frightening, challenging, and shaming the ministers, Gano coerced them into accepting his teaching. The Philadelphia Baptist association then sent to Kehukee two missionaries, Peter P. Vanhorn and Benjamin Miller, who further reformed the churches and brought them in line with the association's practices and principles. Gano also visited Opekon and there reordered the churches' practices to make them "regular"--that is, Calvinist and closed.2
Is reforming churches from non-Calvinism to Calvinism the same as proclaiming the gospel to unbelievers?
1Thomas K. Ascol, “From the Protestant Reformation to the Southern Baptist Convention: What Hath Geneva to Do with Nashville?,” The Founders Journal: From the Protestant Reformation to the Southern Baptist Convention, Fall, no. 70 (2007): 14.
2Mulder, Philip N. A Controversial Spirit: Evangelical Awakenings in the South. Oxford University Press, 2002: 38-40.