First, let's look at a common "chart" often used to
support the Trail of Blood (hereafter ToB):
(Click on chart to see a bigger image)
Let us now quote Mr. Carroll:
} The purpose of this book and chart is to show
} according to History that Baptists have an
} unbroken line of churches since Christ and have
} fulfilled His prophecy -- "I WILL BUILD MY
} CHURCH AND THE GATES OF HELL SHALL NOT
} PREVAIL AGAINST IT."
Clearly Mr. Carroll is claiming an "unbroken
line of churches since Christ," and we will
demonstrate this is a lie, at least as it
relates to the Baptist churches. There were
no "Baptist" churches in the Early Church.
} The horizontal lines at the bottom have between
} them the nicknames given to Baptists during the
} passing years and ages -- Novations (sic),
} Montanists, Paulicians and Waldenses.
Why are ANY of these heresies considered "Baptists?"
PURELY for the reason that they didn't baptize
infants!? Well, let's look and see, shall we?
1) Novatians. Novatus, a schismatic Catholic priest,
named himself a pope - becoming an anti-pope. So
do you really claim Novatianism as part of the
Baptist heritage? No, you really wouldn't if you
REALLY looked at history objectively. So, there's
one lie, and we still have a "hole" from the time
of Christ and the Apostles, now up into the 3rd
2) Montanists. "The sect was founded by a prophet,
Montanus, and two prophetesses, Maximilla and
Prisca, sometimes called Priscilla."  Montanists
believed that their prophets superceded and fulfilled
the doctrines of the Apostles, do Baptists believe
their doctrines "supercede" those of the Apostles? 
I don't think so. Montanists believed in ecstatic
prophecying and speaking in tongues, there may be
some Baptists who accept this, but most do not.
They emphasized chastity and even forbade marriage,
now does THAT sound like a Baptist practice? No,
it does not. So, we have yet another lie from Mr.
The Montanists and the Novatians existed about the
same time - so we've not really progressed in time
at all in naming these two cults.
3) Paulicians. A cult which actually came out of
another heresy, that of Manichaeism. Let's look
at what the CE says about them: "They rejected
the Old Testament; there was no Incarnation,
Christ was an angel sent into the world by God,
his real mother was the heavenly Jerusalem. His
work consisted only in his teaching; to believe
in him saves men from judgment. The true baptism
and Eucharist consist in hearing his word, as in
John, iv, 10. But many Paulicians, nevertheless,
let their children be baptized by the Catholic
clergy."  Uh, oh, they let their children be
baptized by the Catholics! Does that sound like
a "Baptist" church to you? It doesn't to me!
They reject the Old Testament and the Incarnation?
Which Baptists do you know who do this? This cult
doesn't even practice adult baptism - so why does
Mr. Carroll even bother to list them? Is it
solely because they were rejected by the Catholic
Church? It certainly seems so - but nonetheless,
we have another lie from Mr. Carroll, for these
people certainly were NOT "Baptists!" We've also
expanded the "hole" for the Paulicians did not
come into existence until the mid 7th century.
We're up to some 600 years after Jesus Christ,
and still no sign of a "Baptist" church.
4) Waldenses. This cult did not begin until the
late 12th century, named after the founder, Peter
Waldo. In the early years of their cult, one
would have had great difficulty differentiating
them from Roman Catholics. They adhered to the
Seven Sacraments, said Mass and offered prayers
and alms for the dead.  Does THAT sound like
a "Baptist" church to you? It sure doesn't to
So, in the four groups Mr. Carroll names by name,
NONE of them can be classified as "Baptists" in
ANY sense of the way Baptists today see themselves.
In fact, I'd venture to guess if ANY of these
cults co-existed with modern Baptists, they'd be
condemned for what they taught and believed.
That being said, though we've gone over 1100 years
in that statement from Mr. Carroll, his "chart"
does go back a bit earlier with another group, a
group called the Anabaptists. Even if we were to
grant him this cult - even HE documents them as
beginning in the late 4th century! (See the
chart). In the early years of the original
Anabaptists, the controversy was NOT over infant
baptism, but over who the valid minister of baptism
could be - e.g., could an heretic validly baptize?
LATER they'd debate over infant baptism.  The
term "anabaptists" literally means they RE-baptized
people because they considered the baptism by an
heretic to be invalid, thus the need for a convert
to be "rebaptized." The topic of baptizing infants
came several hundred years later, just prior to the
Protestant revolt. That being said, there is no
"unbroken line" for us to follow between the original
Anabaptists of the 3rd and 4th centuries, to the
more recent Anabaptists who come into light around
the 11th and 12th centuries. To claim THIS as an
"unbroken line" is just not honest - therefore, we
have just exposed yet ANOTHER "lie" from the ToB.
In summary, Mr. Carroll's "chart" is little more
than fantasy. The "red dots" which are supposed
to represent true "Baptist" churches are not
identified, but just apparently placed randomly
or even as if in a pattern, so as to allegedly
demonstrate an "unbroken line." I can get a
crayon out too and make a few more "red dots" on
that chart, and they would be as meaningful as
the ones Carroll has given us. In short, all we
have from the ToB, and especially this chart, is
fantasy of a church which co-existed along side
the Catholic Church since the time of the Apostles.
Mr. Carroll's statements are not supported, nor
are they supportable. It should be quite clear
to anyone who objectively looks at this "chart"
that there truly is no "Trail of Blood" giving
the Baptists an "unbroken line" back to the
Apostles. This is purely a weak attempt to
answer to the Catholic claim of an unbroken
line of succession all the way back to the
Apostles. Unlike Mr. Carroll's unsupported
claims though, Catholics can not only name the
churches - they can name the bishops who sit
in Apostolic succession from the Apostles.
That being said, whether or not you agree with
the Catholic position on Apostolic succession,
you CERTAINLY cannot honestly look at the ToB
and believe the stories and tall tales Mr.
Carroll would have you believe.