White Man’s Religion Banned

Creek Chief Roley McIntosh

Creek Chief Roley McIntosh

Roley McIntosh, Chief of the Lower Creek Tribe, was born in Coweta County, Georgia, about 1790.

He was forced to relocate with his family to what is now the Creek Nation of Oklahoma. The Chief was known as a strong and stern man and his word was law among his people and in all tribal affairs. Chief Roley was also a plantation owner. He possessed a large and fertile stretch of land at the forks of the Verdigris and Arkansas rivers that he farmed with slave labor.

In 1836 Chief Roley placed before the Creek Indian Agent an argument calling for the removal of all missionaries from tribal land. The argument presented was that some of the missionaries preached that slavery should be abolished. Chief Roley was not about to let the white man preach to him abolition, much less the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Creek Council passed an act making the preaching of the Gospel a punishable offense.

Any man caught professing Christianity or preaching the Gospel would receive fifty lashes, and many did.

Chief Roley thought this would be a good way to control the nation but still promote prosperity.

Through Chief Roley’s leadership the “white man’s religion” was banned. As a result many Christians were persecuted. The statement was clear: Christianity would not be tolerated. To some he was a terror, but to some he was a hero. In time Chief Roley’s feeling of hostility towards the Gospel subsided. The Lord had begun to work in his heart. He saw more and more the evil repercussions of banning Gospel preaching.

Through Holy Ghost conviction and the new birth, Chief Roley McIntosh trusted Christ for salvation. By Divine grace “he became a Christian, was baptized, and became a faithful Baptist church member.”

Evidence of his salvation was immediate repentance. His change of heart led to a change of direction for himself and the tribe.

In 1844, the Creek Council, on the recommendation of Chief Roley McIntosh, repealed their decision to ban gospel preaching and missionaries from the Creek Nation. The Chief denounced the practice of polygamy and opposed the use of intoxicating liquor among his people. Chief Roley was a new man.

Many of Chief Roley’s family were saved, “joined Baptist Churches, and several became ministers. Chilly McIntosh (Chief Roley’s nephew) became a Baptist minister. Col. D. N. McIntosh was a minister during the last fifteen years of his life, and Captain William F. McIntosh (Chilly McIntosh’s son) as a Baptist minister walked with God 42 years.”

Dear Friend, How is it between you and God? Are you born again or yet a sinner on your way to Hell? God’s Word declares that you were born naturally into sin, and as a sinner you cannot save yourself.

 “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

 “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” Hebrews 9:27

One day you will die, if you die a sinner you will stand before a Holy God who will judge you in your sin and cast you into hell. Perhaps like Chief Roley, you are in need of a Saviour. He found peace with God through Jesus Christ. Have you?

 “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:” Romans 5:1

You are invited to come to Christ and receive salvation provided in the complete work of his death, burial, and resurrection. Salvation is not limited to one special group or region. Jesus Christ loves sinners; he was brutally beaten and crucified for sinners. He suffered death on the cross that we might live eternally. Christ is able to reconcile to God all who believe on him.

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

Just like this great chief, turn from your sin and trust in Christ alone for salvation. Jesus can change your heart and wash away all your sins.

…repent ye and believe the gospel.” Mark 1:15

The mission is calling and I must go.

Missionary Brandon M. White

Bibliography:

  • West, C. W. “Dub”. Missions and Missionaries of Indian Territory. Muscogee, OK: Muscogee Publishing Company, 1990. p. 29,35