Benjamin Keach

Benjamin Keach

Keach was known for championing baptism, education for children and hymn singing within churches – as well as being an outstanding writer himself. His 43 published works sold well; these included his most-popular titles “Baptism”, “Education” and “Hymn Singing In Churches”. Additionally he was an award-winning poet.

While in Aylesbury’s pillory, he vigorously defended both himself and truth, including confronting an Episcopal minister who was criticizing him.

Early Life and Education

Benjamin Keach (1640-1704) was a Particular Baptist pastor and author who helped shape their theological development through persecution before reaching legal toleration at the end of the 16th century. He published 43 works, such as Parables and Metaphors of Scripture and Keach’s Catechism.

He had a deep compassion for children and desired to teach them sound biblical doctrine. In 1664 he published “A Child’s Instructor”, which earned him much persecution and fines; on one occasion even being pilloried! Perhaps had more clearly articulated church responsibility toward children during that period would not have allowed the nineteenth-century shift toward moralism in Baptist Sunday school programs to occur?

Professional Career

He has brought classic and contemporary theater’s greatest roles to the stage, most recently an exceptional run as King Lear at Shakespeare Theatre Company of Washington D.C.

He has appeared in a range of movies and television series, such as Oliver Stone’s W; as Titus’ irascible Dad in Fox series Titus; Prison Break’s Warden Henry Pope and more recently Jon Robin Baitz’s Other Desert Cities on Broadway in January 2011 where Jon Robin Baitz will also act as his voice actor; additionally he serves on Genesis at the Crossroads board and national spokesperson roles – one of the world’s premier cleft palate foundations.

Achievement and Honors

Keach was an accomplished author whose works remain widely in print today. He is widely recognized for authoring “Keach’s Catechism”, based on the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith.

He was an enthusiastic supporter of Particular Baptist theology, even taking on some of the world’s premier theologians in debates to defend it. He staunchly opposed Arminian doctrines like limited atonement and free will; these could never be reconciled with Scripture, according to him.

At Aylesbury Assizes for his heresies against the Episcopal Church contained in his little book, he was placed upon the pillory. But unlike usual, people did not pelt him with stones as is customary; rather they reproached him for being ungodly while laughing off most of what he said; this would be his sole trial over its contents.

Personal Life

Keach was a prolific author who became embroiled in numerous controversies. In particular, he created much controversy after publishing an instruction book for children that went against Church of England doctrine on infant baptism – though a great success among kids, its publication caused shockwaves from religious authorities.

On more than one occasion, Keach was in grave danger of being crushed to death by cavalry sent to disrupt religious meetings, but just before they prepared to do so on him a troop officer rode up and prevented this action from being taken against his body.

Keach began his ministry at Horsley-down Church, Southwark London at 28 and served until his death in 1704. During that time he published 43 books including allegories, parables, as well as an influential Baptist catechism.

Net Worth

Keach has amassed an estimated net worth of $4 Million. He appeared in numerous films and TV shows such as Doc, Fat City and American History X; also Titus on Fox where he played Ken – the hard-drinking, chain smoking father of comedian Chris Titus; Prison Break as Sergeant Stedenko; as well as being featured narrating several National Geographic programs and other channels.

Benjamin Keach (1640-1704), considered one of the foremost Particular Baptist theologians in history, was born and baptized at age 15 into the Church of England. Beginning preaching as a teenager despite persecution for his beliefs in his early years, he later became pastor of a Baptist congregation in 1668 and wrote multiple works on theology (including his namesake catechism) as well as pioneered singing within English Baptist congregations, which previously restricted themselves solely to Psalmody singing. His church pioneered singing into English Baptist congregations – previously limited solely to Psalmody singing!

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