Richard B. (Richard Briscoe) Cook.

The early and later Delaware Baptists online

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1856, by Mr. Fleischmann. Two weeks later,
five others professed Christ precious to their
souls, and were also baptized by Mr. Fleisch-
mann. The baptisms took place in the Second
Baptist Church, corner Fourth and French
Streets. In consequence of this most glorious
beginning the Lord touched the heart of a
member then of the Second Baptist Church —
Miss Anne Semple — to assist this young band
of German Baptists to obtain a house of wor-
ship for them, equal to their pressing demand.
Miss Semple effected the purchase of the old
church, corner Fifth and Walnut Streets, for
three thousand dollars, of which sum she do-
nated a large share. Prior to the purchase they
M-orshipped in her parlor.

" After the purchase of the building it was
deemed necessary to organize a church. The
organization was effected on the 17th of April,
1856. The following were the original con-
stituents of the First German Baptist Church :
Jeremiah Grimmell and wife Margaret, Ed-


ward Austermiihl, John Miihlhauseu and wife
Sophia, John Sch wager and wife Elizabeth,
Peter Braunsteiii and wife Susan, Frederick
Neutze, Mrs. Elizabeth Kaiser, Mrs. Theresa
Hirzel, Catherine Braunstein. Of the above
there are still eight in number spared to the
church to the present day. The church had
rather a slow growth, but at the same time a
healthful one. The total number of those that
united with the church diu'ing the entire history
is one hundred and sixty-four. The present
membership is seventy -seven. The church-
property is free from debt.

" Since the organization there have been six
Pastors laboring with the church, the present
one included. In the month of December,
1856, the church called the first Pastor, Rev.
F. A. Bauer, who remained with the church
about one year and a half Their second Pas-
tor was Rev. J. C. Haselhuhn, now editor of
the religious periodical of the German Baptists
of North America, called Der Sendhote, who
remained with the church a little over three
years. Rev. H. Trumpp became their third
Pastor, who remained with them a little over
four years. Rev. R. Piepgrass was their fourth


Pastor, and remained with them but one year.
Rev. J. Fellman became their fifth Pastor, and
remained with them about five years. The
sixth one is their present Pastor, Rev. J. M.
Hoefflin, who settled with them, November 1,

4. Delaware Avenue Church, Wil-
mington, 1865.

" A sister of the Second Baptist Church, from
no other motive than to advance the cause of
Christ and the interest of the denomination,
and knowing the need of another church in a
growing part of the city, induced fifteen mem-
bers to unite and form a new interest remote
from the Second Church, under the name of
the Delaware Avenue Baptist Church."

They were dismissed for the purpose from
the Second Church, and constituted a church
in May, 1865. Their names were as follows:
Anne Semple, Alexander Bratton, Mary Slack,
Mary A. Bratton, Kate Bratton, Amanda Brat-
ton, Marion Moore, Mary Smith, Thomas C.
Kees, W. H. Gregg, Lucy V. Gregg, John
Bradford, Rebecca Bradford, Eliza Jane Clo-
ward, Charles Townsend. The organization



was eifected in the house of Miss Anne Semple,
June 22, when and where Anne Semple, Mary
Slack, and W. H. Gregg were appointed a
Committee to prepare Articles of Faith and
a Church Covenant. The Committee recom-
mended the Baptist Church Manual, which was
adopted. These three members became the
largest contributors to the current expenses
and building fund of the church, the contribu-
tions of Miss Slack amounting in the aggregate
to ten thousand dollars. The church was rec-
ognized as a regular Baptist Church by a
Council convened in the Second Church, July
6, 1865, and received into the Philadelphia
Association the same year.

After their organization the new church wor-
shipped for some time in the Wilmington In-
stitute (Scientific Lecture-room), and held its
week-night meetings in the Phoenix Engine-
house, the latter free of charge. In October,
1865, however, they leased the meeting-house
of the old First Church. The sister before
named as originator of this movement pre-
sented the church with a lot, which was ex-
changed for the one on the corner of Dela-
ware Avenue and VYest Street, upon which

10* H


their large brownstone house of worship stands
in one of the best locations.

Rev. George W. Folwell became their Pas-
tor April 1, 1866. Their number then was
fifty. The lecture- room of the new house was
dedicated January 2, 1868, and the audience-
room, October 13, 1870. The total value of
their church-property is estimated at sixty-five
thousand dollars. They are still, however,
greatly in debt, despite their heroic struggles
and self-sacrifices ; but the day is not far dis-
tant, they hope, when all encumbrances will be
removed. A corner lot, eighty by one hundred
feet, was given them by Mr. Philip McDowel
at McDowelville, on the outskirts of the city,
upon which they have recently built and dedi-
cated a chapel, and in which they maintain a

Mr. Folwell resigned October 1, 1874, the
church numbering when he left them two hun-
dred and forty-six. He was succeeded by the
present Pastor, Rev. Isaac M. Haldeman, April
11, 1875. In the interval the pulpit was sup-
plied by Rev. T. A. Gill, U. S. N. Under Mr.
Haldeman's ministrations the membership has
been increased to about one thousand. Three



hundred and seventy-six baptisms were reported
in 1876, aQd one hundred and three in 1878.
Mr. S. R. Ball informs the writer that the
seating capacity of the meeting-house has been
increased to twelve hundred, and that it is
almost always full.

5. Plymouth Church, 1867-73.
In December, 1866, Rev. D. B. Purinton
came to Dover under the auspices of the Amer-
ican Baptist Home Mission Society. He found
several Baptist families residing in Plymouth,
ten miles south of Dover. In February, 1867,
he began preaching on Tuesday evenings once
in two weeks, until the following April, when
he commenced services on Lord's Day afternoon
of every other week — in the Congregational
house of worship generally, but sometimes in
private houses. Several more Baptist families
having moved into the vicinity during the
spring, a church was formed May 29, 1867,
recognized September 24, 1867, and admitted
into the Philadelphia Association, October 2 of
the same year. Thirty members constituted
the church, all of them from the Northern or
Eastern States. Among them were Rev. E. P.


Salisbury and family, and Deacon F. C. Mack
and his family.

Mr. Piirinton preached for them till March,
1868, when he removed to New York State,
but, returning in May, became Pastor of the
church in June, preaching for them on Lord's
Day, and during the week laboring in Lower
Delaw^are and Maryland. He resigned, how-
ever, in February, 1871, to take pastoral charge
of a church in New York. He finally returned
to Delaware, where he died in 1876. Deacon
Mack writes of him : " To the blessing of God
upon his labors is due the re-establishment of
Baptist churches in this part of Delaware. He
labored, and other men entered upon his la-
bors." He was a brother-in-law of Rev. A.
B. Earle, D. D., the evangelist.

Rev. J. M. Haswell, the missionary, -while
residing in the State preached for them occa-
sionally, as did also Kev. Dr. Isaac Cole, but
sometimes, when they had no preaching, one
of the members read a sermon, generally from
the Examine?', to those assembled. The church
being weakened by a number of the members
returning to their former homes, and being
unable, with no house, to have regular times


of worship, disbanded March 22, 1873, to
unite with others in forming the church at

For most of the above facts I am indebted to
Mr. E. H. Salisbury, son of Rev. E. P. Salis-
bury, who, with his widowed mother, resides
in the State.

6. Lincoln Church, 1869-73.
A meeting was held in May, 1867, at Lin-
coln, near Milford, in the house of Mr. A M.
Webb, to organize a Baptist Church. Sixteen
persons out of twenty-three Baptists residing
within eight miles of the place were present.
Rev. W. H. Spencer and Rev. W. H. H. Dwy-
er, as well as Mr. Webb, greatly favored the
enterprise, but the project failed. Shortly af-
terward Miss E. C. Parham came into the
neighborhood from Milestown, Pennsylvania,
and, being a strong Baptist, gave new hope to
the cause. With the assistance of Rev. D. B.
Purinton a church was finally organized, April

* The reference to the union of the Plymouth and Lin-
coln churches with those of Milford and Magnolia respec-
tively, found in a note on p. 13 of Philadelphia Associa-
tion Minutes, 1873, is just the reverse of what was the


28, 1869, with twenty-one members. W. C.
Coles was elected Deacon, and A. M. Webb,
Clerk. Rev. Messrs. Flippo and Purinton
preached for them at times. A Council, com-
posed of Rev. Messrs. Marsh, Folwell, Flippo,
Purinton, and Hope, and other messengers of
the churches, was organized, with Rev. D. B.
Purinton as Moderator and Alfred Gawthrop
as Clerk, and recognized them as a church.
Rev. W. H. Spencer became Pastor, and upon
his death A. M. Webb was licensed to preach,
and continued to fill the pulpit until the church
disbanded to unite with others in the formation
of the Milford Church in 1873.

7. ZioN Church, 1871.
While engaged in his work of General Mis-
sionary, Mr. Flippo was invited to preach at
Vernon, Kent County, where was a congrega-
tion of Independent Methodists (Methodist
Protestants). He first complied with their
request December, 1870. They soon sent for
him again, and invited him to hold a protract-
ed meeting, which he did, preaching to sinners
every night. This was in the spring of 1871.
In the midst of the meeting they apjiroached


him with the request to preach a series of ser-
mons on the Principles and Practices of Bap-
tists. They were inquiring, and wanted to
know who we were and where we came from.
He agreed to do so, on condition that they
would follow him through "with the New
Testament in hand, and not get mad.'' This
they consented to do. He commenced a series
of lectures upon the doctrines we hold. Be-
fore he was through with the lectures every
member, Pastor and all, was ready to be bap-
tized, and applied for baptism ; and the whole
church was baptized. Rev. Richard H. Mer-
riken, since called to his reward, was then Pas-
tor. The baptism occurred on a stormy day,
March 12, 1871.

On the last Lord's Day in April, 1871, the
church was organized and recognized. Rev. J.
M. Hope, Rev. W. H. Spencer, and Rev. O.
F. Flippo officiating. On the same day Rev.
R. H. Merriken was ordained to the work of
the Baptist ministry. The little band started
a subscription for a new house of worship,
and in November of the same year dedi-
cated, nearly free of debt, a beautiful Gothic
chapel. Mr. Flippo preached the dedicatory


sermon. This church is called the Zion Bap-
tist Church. They have received large acces-
sions since, and have always been faithful to
the truth. The members of this church, for
the most part, devote one-tenth of all their
products annually to the Lord. They have a
flourishing Sunday-school, under the superin-
tendence of W. W. Seeders.

Rev. M. Heath and Rev. J. M. Hope were
co-Pastors of this church for some time. The
present Pastor is Rev. George Bradford, who
is a native of Virginia, and came into the State
in 1869 to supply the Dover Church. Since
that time he has devoted himself mainly to
self-denying labor in needy Delaware. Mr.
Bradford mentions Deacon Andrew Burnham,
formerly of Vermont, as one to whose efforts
in a great measure, and in connection with Mr.
Flippo, the church owes its existence.

8. Wyoming Church, 1872.
The Wyoming Church was organized in
1872. While Pastor at Dover, Mr. Flippo
was invited to preach in the chapel of the In-
stitute at Wyoming. A revival broke out in
the school, and a number were converted. Sev-



eral persons living in Wyoming were baptized,
and united with the Dover Baptist Church, and
others were hesitating at the water, and efforts
were about to be made to build a meeting-
house. It was then that the Trustees ap-
proached with "the offer to sell the Institute.
It was purchased, and in April, 1872, the
church was formed, letters being granted by
the Dover Church for that purpose. Eev.
James Waters, Rev. G. W. Folwell, Rev. A.
F. Shanafelt, Rev. E. E. Maryatt, Rev. J. M.
Hope, and Rev. O. F. Flippo were present.
The chapel in the Institute building was dedi-
cated as a house of worship. Rev. J. S. Backus,
D. D., of New York, preaching the sermon.
Rev. M. Heath and Rev. J. M. Hope were co-
Pastors of this, in connection with the Zion
Church. Rev. George Bradford now serves as
Pastor for both of these churches. He is as-
sisted by Messrs. Miles S. Read, William S.
Read, and other students from Crozer Theolog-
ical Seminary, Chester, Pennsylvania.

9. Magnolia Church, 1873.
In March, 1872, Mr. Flippo was invited to
preach in the village of Magnolia. He intro-


duced Baptist principles in the first sermon in
love and kindness. They heard the word glad-
ly, and from time to time believers were bap-
tized. The Plymouth Church had been formed
in 1867, but, having no house of worship, dis-
banded, and united with the baptized believers
at Magnolia in the organization of the Mag-
nolia Church. On the 3d of April the church
was recognized, and the corner-stone of a new
chapel was laid by Mr. Flippo. Rev. M.
Heath was the first Pastor of this churcli, in
which relation he continued for two years. Rev.
J. M. Hope preached alternately with him, and
is now sole Pastor of the church.

10. MiLFORD Church, 1873.
A church wa.s organized at Milford, with
nineteen members, June 14, 1873. Some of
these were from the disbanded Lincoln Church.
The church was organized in the old Methodist
meeting-house, and was formed mainly through
the efforts of Rev. Messrs. J. M. Hope, Shaffer,
and A. M. Webb. The house of worship at
Milford was dedicated on Thanksgiving Day,
1875. Rev. Thomas Swaim, D. D., preached
in the morning, and Rev. J. M. Hope at night.


Money enough was then raised to leave but a
small indebtedness on the house, which is a
substantial one and in a good location.

11. Elm Street, 1873-76.

July 30, 1873, was organized the Elm Street
Church, Wilmington. E-ev. N. C. Naylor, who
had labored with them when a mission, became
their Pastor. This interest grew out of the
Baptist City Mission. The only other Pastor
this church had was Rev. R. E. Bartlett, who
was called to the ministry and ordained there.
This church disbanded December, 1876.

12. Shiloh Church, 1876.

The first African Baptist Church in Dela-
ware was formed in Wilmington in the Cen-
tennial year (1876), under the name of Shiloh,
with twenty-one members. This church origi-
nated from a Sunday-school started in the in-
terest of the colored people by members of the
First Church, after its return to the Philadel-
phia Association, and during the pastorate of
Rev. Thomas M. Eastwood. Most of the con-
stituent members were either baptized by him,
or received by letter or experience into the First


Church, with the understanding that as soon
as a sufficient number could be brought to-
gether a colored Baptist Church should be
formed. They worship in a rented hall, but
have a lot in a good location, on which they
hope soon to build. They have a membership
of eighty, and a congregation filling the room
in which they meet, and greatly need a house
of their own. Rev. B. T. Moore, a graduate
of the AYayland Seminary, Washington, D. C,
is Pastor ; they have had no other.

13. New Castle Church, 1876.
In the same year (1876) the New Castle
Church, composed of fourteen members, was
received into the fellowship of Baptist churches.
It was constituted September 30, recognized
February 13, 1877, and received into the Phila-
delphia Association in October, 1877. It origi-
nated through the labors of Rev. B. MacMackin
and Rev. William H. Young, then students at
Crozer Theological Seminary. It was during
the Senior year that the needs of Delaware
pressed upon the former. Failing to start others
in the work, he and Mr. Young agreed to do
what they could themselves. In 1875, they

^"'"lEfi ,0



decided to begin work at New Castle, as the
place most accessible and needy. They knew
nobody there, nor did they think there were
any Baptists in the town. They resolved to
establish a Bible school, but the court-house
was the only place suitable. The chief-justice
positively refused its use for religious services,
but finally it was secured without his know-
ledge. Then friends were raised up for them,
and Sunday afternoon, January 17, 1876, the
Bible school was started, and soon there were
two hundred adults collected regularly for the
study of God's word. The school-service was
followed by a sermon; some Baptists, pre-
viously unknown to each other as such, were
collected; several others were converted and
baptized ; and a Baptist Church was constitu-
ted September 30, 1876, composed of fourteen

The work was supported entirely by the
private means of these two brethren, excepting
twenty-five dollars given toward an organ by
three friends, what was taken up in collections,
and a present of twenty-five Bibles from Mrs.
John P. Crozer. "They found, however, a lady
— Mrs. Jonathan George, living just outside
11 *


the town — who was noted for her loyalty to our
denomination and her tireless energy in all she
did. For years she had been trying to urge
some one to begin work in New Castle, and
thus she gladly joined with these brethren in a
way that was as effectual as it was gratifying.
In fact, the interest at ISTew Castle owes its ex-
istence greatly to the timely assistance of this
earnest lady."

"In 1877, Mr. MacMackin became Pastor
of the church. In April, 1878, the corner-
stone of their church-building was laid. Since
then," continues Mr. Young, "Brother Mac-
Mackin has been doing yeoman service in
building the church-edifice," and "has been
Pastor and preacher of the church, as well as
architect, contractor, builder, and financial
agent of the edifice." The house, a beautiful
Gothic of extra fine brick, capable of seating
three hundred persons, with slate roof, five
stained windows, and neat belfry, costing, with
the lot, over six thousand dollars, was dedi-
cated, free of debt, December 19, 1879. The
membership is now sixty -four. Among the
noble contributors to the building fund, living
out of the State and mentioned by Mr. Mac-


Mackin, are Messrs. W. E. Garrett, BeDJamin
Gartside, Sr., Samuel A. Crozer, Callaghan
Bros., J. J. Stadiger, and Mrs. J. P. Crozer.

14. Bethany Church, 1878.
July 2, 1868, a motion was passed at a reg-
ular meeting of " The Baptist Church " of
Wilmington (the old First) to receive members
by letter from other Baptist churches. A sim-
ilar motion had been passed some years before,
and rescinded by them. At this meeting — in
1868 — and immediately after the passage of
the resolution, there were received, from Dela-
ware Avenue Church, William H. Gregg, Lucy
Y. Gregg, and John Galbraith. Messrs. Gregg
and Galbraith were appointed a Committee to
secure from the Presbyterians, who had leased
the house on King Street, the use of it for Sun-
day-school and prayer-meeting purposes. Be-
ing refused, a Sunday-school was started in the
second story of the Friendship Engine-house,
which at the end of the year — the lease of the
Presbyterians having expired — was removed to
the church, and met with large success. A
prayer -meeting was also held, and as there
were now constant accessions by letter, new


life and activity were infused. In October,
1871, the church made application to the Phil-
adelphia Association to be reinstated in that
body, and was received and restored to its for-
mer place on the roll, with the date 1785 as
that of its organization.

On April 13, 1871, Rev. E. E. Maryatt, a
graduate of Crozer Theological Seminary, was
chosen Pastor. He entered upon his work
September 1st, and was ordained on the 28tli
of the same month. He served the church
until August 22, 1873, when he resigned, and
left with the high regard of all. Regular ser-
vices were then conducted by students from
Crozer Seminary and others. On April 21,
1874, Rev. Thomas M. Eastwood was elected
Pastor, and ordained June 11th of the same
year. He was a native of Pennsylvania, who
graduated at the University at Lewisburg, and
afterward studied at the Crozer Theological
Seminary. He began to minister statedly to
the church. May 1, 1874.

In December, 1876, the First Church emi-
grated from its old field to that which had been
occupied by the Elm Street Baptist Church, in
the south-western part of the city. The Elm



Street Church disbanded because unable to
maintain itself, and united with the First
Church, which came to cultivate this import-
ant field and occupy the house. The chapel
and lot, however, belonged to the Baptist City
Mission, composed of all the Baptist churches
of the city. At a regular meeting of the " Mis-
sion," held October 14, 1878, it was voted to
present " to the brethren now worshipping in
Elm Street Chapel, under whatever name they
may hereafter assume," the entire property
owned by it at the corner of Elm and Jackson
Streets. After being in Elm Street Chapel
for about two years, it was decided to disband
the organization known as the First Baptist
Church, and to reorganize under another name.
The church disbanded, and the Bethany Baptist
Church was formed, November 7, 1878, with
Rev. Thomas M. Eastwood as Pastor, and was
recognized by a Council, January 2, 1879. At
present the church is in a growing condition,
with a membership of one hundred and ten
and a Sunday-school of two hundred and sev-
enty scholars.



15. The Wilmington Baptist City Mis-
sion, 1870.
The " City Mission " referred to was organ-
ized, upon the Newark (N. J.) plan, in 1870,
February 21st, in the Delaware Avenue Church.
Washington Jones was chosen President; Frank
Braunstein, Vice-President ; Maury James, Sec-
retary ; and William H. Gregg, Treasurer. The
" Mission " is composed of the Pastors and dele-
gates of the Wilmington Baptist churches. It
succeeded in buying a large and eligible lot on
the corner of Elm and Jackson Streets for eigli-
teen hundred dollars, of which eight hundred
were paid, and the remainder left upon mortgage.
A chapel costing three thousand two hundred and
fifty dollars was soon after erected, and finally
paid for. This property was used by the Elm
Street Church until the organization of the
Bethany Church, when it was deeded to the

16. The Wyoming Institute, 1869.
In 1869, the Baptists purchased, through the
agency of Rev. O. F. Flippo, the Wyoming
Institute, at Wyoming, three miles south of


Dover. The building was furnished for a
school of over one hundred, accommodated
with a chapel, and surrounded by four acres
of ground. A new and liberal charter was ob-
tained in 1875, since which time the Institute
has had its annual graduating classes. It is
for both sexes. There are two departments —
the Preparatory, for common branches, and the
Seminary course of three years, for graduation.
For several years past it has enjoyed a high
degree of prosperity, at times reaching the ut-
most limits of its accommodations.

The Principal, Rev. M. Heath, A. M., who
has held the position the past seven years, is a
native of New Jersey and a graduate of Madi-
son University, New York. For the past
fifteen years he has been successfully connected
with educational interests. It is with gratifica-
tion we hear of the success of this institution,
and trust that the Baptists of Delaware will
show their appreciation of the privilege it
affords, and support it by their prayers, their

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Online LibraryRichard B. (Richard Briscoe) CookThe early and later Delaware Baptists → online text (page 6 of 8)