UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
AT LOS ANGELES
A M E R I C A,
AND OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD,
BY DAVID BENEDICT, A. IYI.
ASTOR OF THE BAPTIST CHURCH IN PAVTTVCKET, R. I
An<1 he said nnto thpm, Co ye into all the wofld, rind pnvicli the ^o<?pcl to crr:
creature. HE THAT BEI'.IEVETH AND is BAPTISED, fli-ill l>o saved; but
he that hclieveth not, shall he damned Mark xvi. 15, 16.
And the CUM., . tw>rc ia water, wht doth hinder me to he baptized ?
Jfthoo belieyc-.t ith alt um.. . j; e thai Jesus Ch,-,s
!^stft=a; r d B b v e^& ^
COMF. VP OUT OF THE WATER, feCC
BT MANNING & LORING, HO. 2 ? CORNHII.t.,
TOR THE AUTHOR.
GENERAL HISTORY, &d
A HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS IN DELAWARE.
DELAWARE became an independent State in 1 776 ;
it contains three little counties, Newcastle, Kent, and
Sussex ; in the first there was a Baptist society as early
as 1703 ; they settled near Iron Hill ; from them, their
sentiments took a spread northward, as far as Loudon
Tract, in Pennsylvania ; northeast, to Wilmington ; east,
to Bethel ; west, to Elk river, in Maryland ; southward,
to Duck creek in this State ; and to the Pedee river in
This society was from Wales, and about the year
1733, eight or ten families more, from the same country,
made a settlement at Duck creek, in Kent county, from
whence their sentiments spread to Cowmarsh, and Mis-
pillion, and to Georgetown in Maryland.
About the year 1788, Elijah Baker and Philip
Hughes, who had been labouring on the eastern shore of
the Chesapeak Bay, in Maryland and Virginia, came to
the county of Sussex, and made many proselytes, and
planted two or three churches.
Delaware, at present, contains seven or eight church-
es, and one small association, which bears the name o
1 Welsh Tract Church.
The histories of three of the churches, viz. Welsh
Tract, Duck Creek or Brynsion, and Wilmington, \\ili
The Welsh Tract church is thus distinguished fronra
large tract of land of the same name, surrounding the
place of worship in Pencader, county of New-Castle.
The house is a neat brick building, 4O feet by 3O ; it
\vaserected in 174-6', and is situated 42 miles, in a south-
western direction from Philadelphia.
To come to the history of this church, \ve must cross
the Atlantic and land in Wales, where it had its begin-
ning in the following manner. " In the spring of the
year 1701, several Baptists, in the counties of Pembroke
and Caermarthen, resolved to go to America ; and as one
of the company, Thomas Griffith, was a minister, they
were advised to be constituted a church ; they took the
advice ; the instrument of their confederation was in
being in 1770, but is now lost or mislaid ; the names of
the confederates follow : Thomas Griffith, Griffith Nich-
olas, Evan Edmond, John Edward, Elisha Thomas, Enoch
r rgan, Richard David, James David, Elizabeth Grif-
hc^, Lewis Edmond, Mary John, Mary Thomas, Eliza-
beth Griffith, Tennet David, Margaret Mathias, Tennet
Morris ; these sixteen persons, which may be styled a
church emigrant^ met at Milfordhaven in the month of
June, 1701, embarked on board the good ship William
and Mary ; and on the 8th of September following,
landed at Philadelphia. The brethren there treated them
courteously, and advised them to settle about Penne-
pek ; thither they went, and there continued about a year
and a half; during which time their church increased
from 1 6 to 37. But finding it inconvenient to tarry
about Pennepek", they, in 1 703, took up land in New-
Castle county, from Messrs. Evans, Davis, and Willis,
(who had purchased said Welsh Tract from William
Penn, containing upwards of 30,000 acres) and thither
removed the same year, and built a little meeting-house
on the spot where the present stands/'
This removal left some of their members near Penne-
pek, and took some of the Pennepek members to Welsh
Tract, yet neither would commune with their neigh-
bours, on account of a difference about laying-on-of-bands ;
Dispirte respecting Lay ing-on-of -bands. 5
for the church of Pennepek had grown indifferent about
the rite ; but that at Welsh Tract deemed it a pre-req ; '.i-
site to the communion of saints. To remedy this in-
convenience, the churches appointed deputies, to the
number of twenty-four from both, to compromise mat-
ters as \\ ell as they could ; who met for the purpose,
June 22, 17<)6. The following history, translated from
the Welsh Tract church-book, will give the reader a
view of this whole transaction, and the happy termina-
tion of these disputes.
" We could not be in fellowship, at the Lord's Table,
with our brethren in Pennepek and Philadelphia, be-
cause they did not hold to the laying-on-of-hands, and some
other particulars* relating to a church : true, some of
them believed in the ordinance, but neither preached it
up, nor practised it ; and when we moved to Welsh
Tract, and left twenty-two of our members at Penne-
pek, and took some of their members down with us,
the difficulty increased : we had many meetings in or-
der to compromise matters, but to no purpose till June
22, 1706 : then the deputies, who had been appoir t '
for the purpose, met at the house of brother Ricl .^d.
Miles, in Radnor, and agreed, that a member in either
church might transiently commune with the other;
that a member who desired to come under the laylng-on-
of'hands) might have his liberty without offence ; that
the votaries of the right might preach or debate upon,
the subject with all freedom, consistent with brotherly
love. But three years after this meeting, we had rea-
son to review this transaction, because of some breth-
ren, who arrived from Wales, and one, among ourselves,
who questions whether the first article was warrantable.
But we are satisfied that all was right, by the good ef-
fects which followed ; for from that time forth, our
brethren held sweet communion together at the Lord's
Table ; and our minister! was invited to preach and as-
sist at an ordination at Pennepek, after the death of our
brother Watts. He proceeded from thence to the Jer-
sey, where he enlightened many in the good ways of the
* Some of those particulars are said to have been church covenajpV 2 -
ruling elder*, 5;c.
t Thomas Griffith,
Lord, insomuch that in three years after, all the minis-
ters, and about fifty-five private members had submitted
to the ordinance."
The Welsh Tract church was the principal, if not the
sole means of introducing singing, imposition of hands,
church covenants, &c. among the Baptists in the middle
States. The Century Confession was in America, before
the year 1 7 1 6, but without the articles which relate to
these subjects ; that year they were inserted by Rev.
Abel Morgan, who translated the confession to Welsh,
about which time it was signed by one hundred twenty-
t\vo members of this church. These articles were in-
serted in the next English edition, and adopted with the
other articles by the Philadelphia Association in 1742.
The pulpit of this church was filled by great and good
IIKM uf Welsh extraction, for about 7O years.
The first minister was Thomas Griffith, who emigrat-
ed with the church. All we can learn of him, is, that he
was born in Lauvernach parish, in the county of Pem-
broke, in 1 645, and after faithfully serving this church
twenty-four years, died at Pennepek, July 25, 1725.
Mr. Griffith was succeeded by Elisha Thomas, who
was born in the county of Caermarthen, in 1674. He
emigrated from Wales with the church whereof he was
one of the first members, and died, November 7, 173O,
and was buried in this church-yard, where a handsome
tomb is erected to his memory : the top-stone is divided
into several compartments, wherein open books are
raised, with inscriptions and poetry both in Welsh and
Mr. ThomaVs successor was Enoch Morgan. He was
brother to Abel Morgan, author of the Welsh Concor-
dance. Their father was Morgan Ryddarch, a famous
Baptist minister in Wales ; but it was a common thing,
in that country, for the children to take the personal
name of their father instead of the sirname, only joining
to it the names of their progenitors, by a string of aps*
Mr. Morgan was born in 1676, at a place called Allt
gach, in the parish of Lanwenrog, in the county of Car-
Welsh Tract Church. 7
digan. He arrived in America with the Welsh Tract
church, whereof he was one of the constituents ; he took
on him the care of the church at Mr. Thomas's decease,
and died in 174O, and was buried in this grave-yard,
where a tomb is erected to his memory.
The next pastor of this church was Owen Thomas.
He was born in 1676, at a place called Gwrgodllys, in
Cilmanllwyd, and county of Pembroke. He came to
America in 1 707 ; took the pastoral care of the church
at Mr. Morgan's death, in which office he continued un-
til 1748, when he resigned it, to go to Yellow Springs,
where he died, November 12, 176O. Mr. Thomas left
behind him the following remarkable note ; " I have
been called upon three times to anoint the sick with oil
for recovery ; the effect was surprising in every case,
but in none more so, than in the case of our brother
Rynallt Howel : he was so sore with the bruises which
he received by a cask falling on him from a waggon,
that he could not bear to be turned in bed : the next
day he went to meeting. 5 '
The next in office here was David Davis. He was
born in the parish of Whitechurch, and county of Pem-
broke, in the year 1708, and came to America when a
child, in 1710 ; was ordained in this church in 1734, at
which time he became its pastor ; he continued in this
office 35 years, viz. until 1769, when he died. He was
an excellent man, and is held dear in remembrance by
all who knew him. Two of his sons were preachers.
Jonathan was a seventh-day Baptist, and John was some
time pastor of the 2d Baptist church in Boston, Mass.
Thus it appears, that hitherto the pastors of this
church were all Welshmen. Those who have succeed-
ed were native Americans, and the first was John Sut-
ton, whose biography may be found in the history of
the Emancipating Baptists, in Kentucky. He took on
him the oversight of this church in 1770, and resigned
it in 1777, to go to Virginia.
The next to him was John Boggs, who was ordained
to the pastoral office here in 1781. He was born in
East-Nottingham, in 1741 ; was bred a Presbyterian,
but embraced the Baptist sentiments in 1771. He died
at Welsh Tract, of a paralytick stroke, in 1802, and was
8 Duck Creek or Brymlon.
succeeded by Gideon Ferrell, the present pastor. Mr.
Ferrell is a native of Maryland, and was born in Talbot.
county, in 1763. He was bred a Quaker, but was bap-
tized by Philip Hughes, in 1770. As Mr. Boggs, his
predecessor, was much inclined to itinerate in the sur-
rounding country, for which employment he was well
qualified, Mr. Ferrell had preached for the church once.
a month, and sometimes oftener, for the space of about
seven years, before he was invested with the pastoral
care of it.
The Welsh Tract church is very handsomely endow-
ed ; for after all the casualties which have befallen its
temporalities, it has about thirteen hundred and thirty
dollars in funds, at interest, and a lot of six acres, on
which the meeting-house stands, and a plantation, the
bequest of Hugh Morris, on which its pastor resides.
This church is the oldest in the State, and has now ex-
isted upwards of KJO years. It has been the mother of
the Welsh Neck church in South-Carolina, the London
Tract, the Duck Creek or Brynsion, and, in some meas^
lire, of Wilmington, Co\vmarsh, and Mispillion, and
was one of the five churches which formed the Phila-
delphia Association, in 1707.
DUCK-CREEK OR BRYNSION.
THIS church, which was formerly distinguished by the
first name, but now altogether by the latter, is situated
about 7O miles to the south-west of Philadelphia. The
meeting-house was built of brick in 177], on a lot of
one acre, the gift of John and Philemon Dickinson.
The tract of land which was called Duck Creek Hun-
dred, was settled in the year 1733, by a number of
Welsh families, some of the Independent and some of
the Baptist denominations. The Independents built a
meeting-house on the lot where the Baptist house now
stands, and called it Brynsion, viz. Mount-Sion. They
had divine service performed in it by Presbyterian min-
isters, viz. Rev. Messrs. Thomas Evans, Rces Lewis,
David Jenison, &c. But in process of time this Inde-
pendent society dwindled away, partly by deaths, and
partly by emigrations j and the Baptists made use cf
Wilmington Church. 9
their house while it stood. The Independents neglect-
ed to have the lot conveyed over to them ; for which
reason it reverted to the Dickinsons, and continued in
their hands, till conveyed to the Baptists at the time
The Baptists who settled here were about 8 or 1O.
The names of the heads of them follow, viz. James Hy-
att, Nathaniel Wild, David Evan, Evan Rees, David
ReeSj James Howel, Evan David Hugh, Joshua Edwards,
&c. This last was an exhorter among them, until he
went to Pedee, in South-Carolina. These Baptists emi-
grated hither, chiefly from Pencader, in Newcastle coun-
ty, and were members of Welsh Tract church. In May
1 8, i 735, Rev. Hugh Davis, of the Great Valley, preach-
ed to them at Brynsion meeting-house ; otherwise they
held their worship at the house of James Hyatt. In
September 18, 1737, Rev. David Davis, of Welsh Tract,
administered ordinances here ; worship was then held
at the house of Evan David Hugh ; in 1 749, Rev. Grif-
fith Jones settled at Duck Creek, and continued among
these people to his death, in 1757. In the spring of
1766, Rev. William Davis, from New-Britain, settled
here ; but he Jied the 25th of September following.
After him, Rev. Messrs. David Davis, John Sutton, John
Boggs, &c. ministered to them, till their number increas-
ed to thirty. Then they petitioned Welsh Tract for
leave to become a distinct church. These thirty persons
were constituted a church by Messrs. Boggs and Flee -
son, November 24, 1781 ; and in 1786 were received
into the Association of Philadelphia.
The ministers who officiated at Duck Creek, while it
was a branch of Welsh Tract, have already been men-
tioned. The first pastor, which it had after it became
a separate church, was Eliphaz Dazey, who continued
with them a short time, and then resigned, and was
succeeded by James .Jones, their present pastor.
THIS church is of later date than some other churches
in Delaware, which are at present less distinguished,
VOL. 2.' 2
10 Wilmington Church.
There were a number of individuals in this town for
about twenty years before the denomination began
much to flourish and prevail.
About the year 1769, Baptist ministers began to
preach in Wilmington, in a transient way, but without
any apparent success ; and the few members began to
despair of seeing a church arise in the town. And the
iirst time that a prospect opened to the contrary, was in
1782, when Rev. Philip Hughes came to print a volume
of hymns. He preached here, and gained some attention.
In the month of April following, Mr. Thomas Ainger
and family settled in the town ; he was a member of
the Presbyterian church in Philadelphia, but his wife a.
professed Baptist ; he constantly maintained family wor-
ship without any uncommon effect for a time. One
Lord's-day evening, he read the 20th chapter of Reve-
lation, and found a strong impulse to comment upon it,
particularly on the 12th verse. This diffused serious-
ness through the family, and laid a foundation for a re-
ligious society, in which good was done. Two of his
apprentices and some others, attribute their conversion
to this society. It quickened four more, who had been
converted long before ; these were baptized by Rev.
John Boggs, May 25, 1784; their names were Thomas
Ainger, Rachel Ainger, Noah Cross, and Mrs. Fer-
ries. The same year, 1784, Rev. P. Hughes came to
town to print his book on baptism, which detained him
near two months ; he preached all the while, sometimes
at a Presbyterian meeting-house, and sometimes at the
town school-house, which collected many hearers. By
him were baptized four persons who had been awaken-
ed at the said society, viz. Robert Smith, John Red-
man, James M'Laughlin, and Henry Walker. Messrs.
Fleeson and Boggs continued to visit the place alternate-
ly every week. More were baptized by them, inso-
much that a sufficient number of materials for a church
were soon prepared, and in October, 1785, Messrs,
Fleeson and Boggs, with Abel Griffith and Eliphaz Da~
tey, met and gave them fellowship as a Gospel Church.
The names of the constituents were, Thomas Ainger,
James M'Laughlin, Thomas Williams, Henry Walker,
Joseph Tomlinson, John Redman, Robert Smith, John
Wilmington Church. 1 1
M'Kim, Curtis Gilbert, Sarah Stow, Elizabeth Hopkins,
Mary Mattson ; to these twelve, must be added four
more ; who had been baptized elsewhere, viz. John Stow,
Elizabeth Way, Thomas Stow, Abigail Ainger. The
church was received into the Association of Philadelphia,
the year following.
Thomas Ainger, who began the domestic meetings al-
ready mentioned, commenced preaching in this church
the next year after it was constituted, and was ordained
the pastor of it in 1 788, by Dr. Samuel Jones, David
Jones, and Eliphaz Dazey. This office he filled with re-
putation, until his death, which happened in 1797.
For a few years after Mr. Ainger's death, the church
was supplied by the occasional labours of Mr. John
Boggs, sen. Gideon Ferrel, John Ellis, and Joseph Flood.
Mr. Flood did, indeed,, exercise the pastoral care of it,
for a short time, when he was excluded for immoral
conduct, and afterwards went to Norfolk, in Virginia,
and was the cause of much evil and confusion. But dur-
ing the ministry of Mr. Flood, notwithstanding the
blemishes of his character, there was a very considerable
revival, and many were added to the church.
After remaining in a measure destitute for about five
years, this church had the happiness to settle, for its pas-
tor, Rev. Daniel Dodge, under whose ministry they
have been prosperous and happy.
Mr. Dodge, whose father was a native of Ipswich, in
Massachusetts, was born in Annapolis Royal, Nova-Sco-
tia, in 1775 ; but the most of his days have been spent
in the United States. He professed religion at the age
of 18, and united with the church in Woodstock, Ver-
mont, then under the pastoral care of Elder Elisha Ran-
som. In 1797, he went to Baltimore, and preached in
various places in Maryland and Virginia, before he set-
tled in Wilmington.
Mr. Dodge has baptized 1 15 perons, who have united
with this church since he became its pastor. The sisters
of this church collected in about twelve months up-
wards of three hundred dollars towards paying the ex-
pense of finishing the meeting-house.
12 Baptist* in Maryland.
THIS State was at first settled by Roman Catholics,
who are still considerably numerous in it ; but as the
government gave free toleration to all religious sects, in
process of time it was settled by protestants of various
denominations, and among them were some Baptists,
the most noted of whom w r as Henry Sator, who remov-
ed hither from England about the year 1 709, and set'
tied in the northern parts near Chesnut Ridge. Soon
after his settlement, he invited Baptist ministers to
preach in his house, by which means a number were,
from time to time, proselyted to his sentiments, and af-
ter many years, a church was.formed in his neighbour-
The Baptists gained ground but slowly in Maryland,
for more than half a century, after the first emigrants
arrived here ; and, indeed, there is now the smallest
number of the denomination in this State of any in the
Union, except that of Delaware. In 1772,* except the
Tunkers and Mennonists, it contained but two Baptist
churches, and both of these were in the county of Balti-
more, one of which were, in their doctrinal sentiments,
General, and the other Particular Baptists ; the former
had for its minister, though an unprofitable one, Hen-
ry Loveall ; the other was under the pastoral care of the
late much-respected John Davis. There were, howev-
er, at this time, two little societies of Baptists near the
Potomack, which were branches of churches in Virginia.
In i7 ( J4,t Maryland contained 17 churches, in which
were about 950 members. There has been a gradual in-
crease of the denomination since, so that now, as near
as can be ascertained, there are in this State, two Asso-
ciations, viz. the Baltimore and Salisbury, about 23
churches, and about 1 2 or 1 40O communicants.
The Methodists have had great success in this State,
and in it their community is now considerably large.
* M, Echvards's Materials towards a History of the Baptists in Maryland,
f Asplund's Register.
General Baptists. Their Constitution. 13
In 178.5, they constituted Cokesbury College, at Ab-
ington, Harford county, which was so called in hon-
our of Thomas Coke and Francis Asbury, bishops of
the Methodist Episcopal church, which, after existing a
few years, was unfortunately consumed by lire, and has
never been rebuilt.
The commencement of the General Baptist church at
Chesnut Ridge, has already been suggested. It appears
that George Eglesfield, from Pennsylvania, was the first
minister that Mr. Sator obtained to preach in his house,
after his settlement in Maryland. After him, Paul
Palmer came into the neighbourhood, and baptized nine
persons ; he was succeeded by Henry Loveall, who bap-
tized forty-eight more, and in 1742 formed them into
a church, which, at the time of its constitution, contain-
ed 57 members. The instrument of their confederation,
which is somewhat singular, and which was laid before
the Governor and Court in 1742, when the society was
taken under the protection of the toleration laws, is as
" We, the humble professors of the Gospel of Christ,
baptized upon a declaration of faith and repentance, be-
lieving the doctrine of general redemption, (or the free
grace of God, extended to all mankind) do hereby seri-
ously, heartily, and solemnly, in the presence of the
Searcher of all hearts, and before the world, covenant,
agree, bind, and settle ourselves into a church, to hold,
abide by, and contend for the faith once delivered to
the saints, owned by the best reformed churches in En-
gland, Scotland, and elsewhere, especially as published
and maintained in the forms and confessions of the Bap-
tists in England ; differing in nothing from the articles
of the church of England and Scotland, except in infant
baptism, modes of church government, the doctrine of
absolute reprobation, and some ceremonies. We do al-
so bind ourselves hereby, to defend and live up to the
protestant religion, and abhor and oppose the whore
of Rome, pope, and popery, with all her anti-christian
ways. We do also engage with our lives and fortunes,
to defend the crown and dignity of our gracious sove-
reign, King George, to him and his issue for ever, and
*o obey all his laws, humbly submitting ourselves to all
14 Increase of the General Baptists.
in authority under him, and giving custom to whom cus
torn, honour to whom honour, tribute to whom tribute
is due. We do further declare, that we are not against
taking oaths, nor using arms in defence of our king and
country, when legally called thereto ; and that we do
approve and will obey the laws of this province. And
further, we do bind ourselves to follow the patterns of
our brethren in England, to maintain order, government,
and discipline in our church, especially that excellent di-
rectory of Rev. Francis Stanley, entitled " The Gospel's
Honour, and the Church's Ornament," dedicated to the
churches in the counties of Lincoln, Nottingham, and
Cambridge. We also engage, that all persons upon join-
ing our society, shall yield consent to and subscribe this
our solemn league and covenant. Subscribed by us
whose names are underwritten, this 10th day of July,
Mr. Sator bore an excellent character, and may be
considered not only the founder of this society, but of
the Baptist interest in Maryland. His assistance in build-
ing the place of worship, and his gift of land to the min-
ister, are mentioned as peculiar marks of his liberality.