If Baptists have one peculiarity more pronounced than any other, it is the stress they lay upon the worth of a single soul. Baptists are individualistic. The church exists for the individual, and not the individual for the church. Presbyterians are rather familistic; the family they are disposed to regard as a religious unit. Methodists are tribalistic; the Conference is the religious unit. Episcopalians are nationalistic; they have a State Church in England and once had it here. Baptists are individualistic. They go forth to preach to every individual soul the broadest and deepest conceptions of personal responsibility. Starting with the doctrine of soul liberty, the right of private judgment, they commend personal repentance, personal faith, personal baptism, personal communion with the Saviour at the Lord’s Supper, personal fidelity to all the moral, evangelical, and positive commands of the Lord Jesus Christ.
--from a sermon by W.W. Landrum entitled “All” (based upon Matthew 28:18-20)preached in the First Baptist Church, Washington, D. C. The sermon is recorded in full in J. F. Love’s The Southern Baptist Pulpit, American Baptist Publication Society, 1895
Who was W.W. Landrum? The following is taken from the biographical note included in Love's compilation of Southern Baptist preachers.
William Warren Landrum, the eldest son of Rev. Dr. Sylvanus Landrum, was born at Macon, Ga., January 18, 1853; converted and baptized when thirteen years of age, and called to preach at eighteen years of age, and licensed by the First Church of Savannah, Ga.; educated at Mercer University, Macon, Ga., and Brown University, Providence, R. I., where he graduated as bachelor of arts in 1872, and at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Ordained at Jefferson, Tex., May, 1874, and pastor at Shreveport, La., for nearly two years; at First Church, Augusta, Ga., for nearly six years; and has been pastor of the Second Church, Richmond, Va., for nearly thirteen years; was given the degree of D. D. by Washington and Lee University in 1885. His high character, affable manner, and pulpit gifts, have made him universally popular, both with the laity and clergy.