committed to historic Baptist & Reformed beliefs







Early Baptists of Philadelphia, 1877

by David Spencer




1684-1690.—Philadelphia Founded.—Religious Liberty.—Welsh Parentage.—Origin of Baptists.—John Holme Purchases Land.—Rev. Thomas Dungan.—Cold Spring Church.—Bucks and Philadelphia Counties.—William Penn and Thomas Dungan.—An English Baptist.—A Celebrated Spring.—Persecution in Wales.—Settlement at Pennypack.—An Indian Deed.—Meaning of Pennypack.—Rev. Elias Keach.—The First Baptism.—Lower Dublin Church Constituted.—Change of Calendar.—Quarterly Meetings.—Conference Meetings.—Decease of Rev. Thomas Dungan.—Rev. John Watts.

1691-1700.—Keithians.—Baptists and Liberty of Conscience—Rev. Thomas Killingsworth.—William Davis.—Preaching at Cold Spring.—A Catechism and Confession of Faith.—Quaker Baptists.—Mennonites.—Rev. E. Keach Returns to England.—Rev. Morgan Edwards and Baptist History.—First Baptist Church of Philadelphia Organized.—Prominence of John Holme.—Rev. Hanserd Knollys.—Barbadoes Storehouse.—Baptists and Presbyterians.—Separation.—Meeting in a Brewhouse.—Baptists and Episcopalians.—Christ Church.

1701-1710.—The Seventh—Day Baptists.—An Emigrant Church.—Laying on of Hands and Singing.—Death of Rev. John Watts.—First Baptist Church and the Keithians.—A Constant Supply of Ministers.—The Philadelphia Baptist Association.—More Ministers.

1711-1720.—Dissensions.—Ruling Elders.—The Montgomery Church Organized.—William Thomas.—Tunkers in Germantown.

21-1730.—Death of Samuel Jones and Abel Morgan.—An Educated Ministry.—Thomas Hollis.—Harvard College.—Order in Church services.—Careful Reception of Ministers from Abroad.—The Fourth Commandment.—Marrying an Unbeliever.—Forfeit of Office and Membership in the Church.—Letters of Churches to the Association.—Closed Doors.—Tunker Church Organized.—George Eaglesfield.—Benjamin Griffith Ordained.—Reception of Members from Great Britain.—Rev. Jenkin Jones at Pennypack.—William Kinnersley.—Joseph Eaton Ordained.—Church Letters not Granted.—Laying on of Hands in Ordination.—Fraternal Correspondence with London.—The First Circular Letter.

1731-1740.—The Baptist Meeting—House Built.—Assistance Needed.—Baptists and the Romanists.—Church of England Demands the Baptist Property.—Fail to get it.—William Kinnersley Dies.—Samuel Jones and Samuel Stillman.—Rev. George Whitefield Arrives.—A Spiritual Man.—The Rev. Jenkin Jones.—Various Questions—Association Records.—Catechetical Instruction.—Fifty-six Baptized.—Denominational Growth Slow.

1741-1750.—Philadelphia Confession of Faith.—Subjects of Articles.—Ebenezer Kinnersley Ordained.—Doubts on Whitefield’s Preaching.—Electricity.—Joseph Eaton’s Defection.—First Baptist Church Reconstituted.—Groundless Question.—Constituent Members.—The Southampton Baptist Church.—George Eaton and Peter P. Vanhorn.—Abraham Levering.—First Records of the Association.—Benjamin Griffith. Power and Duty of an Association.—Death of Rev. Joseph Wood.—Trouble with the Pennypack Property.—Death of Rev. Joseph Eaton.—Rev. Isaac Eaton and Hopewell Academy.—Moderator’s Name First Given.—Nathaniel Jenkins.

1751-1760.—Feeble Churches Supplied with Preaching.—Ministers Ordained at the Association.—Other Associations Organized.—George Eaton Called to the Ministry.—Ebenezer Kinnersley, a Professor in the University of Pennsylvania.—New Britain Church Constituted.—John Davis Ordained.—The Pioneer Baptists of Maryland.—Ordination Certificate.—First Latin Grammar School.—Hopewell Academy.—Association’s Jubilee.—Talents Developed.—Ministerial Supply.—Doctrinal Sermon.—Meagre Records.—First Church Pulpit Supplied.—Application to England for a Pastor.—Death of Rev. Jenkin Jones.—His Legacy.—Dissenting Ministers Permitted to Solemnize Marriages.—Mount Moriah Cemetery.—Rev. Morgan Edwards Invited from England.—First Fruit of the Hopewell School.—Rev. John Gano.—Rev. Samuel Stillman.—Various Occurrences.

1761-1763.—A New Era.—Rev. Morgan Edwards Arrives.—Dr. G. Weed’s Self-Esteem.—Excommuuicated for Drunkenness.—Supervision of the Membership.—Morgan Edwards Prominent.—Association’s Letter to England.—Need of Books.—First Table of Statistics.—Brown University Projected.—Morgan Edwards the Projector.—Educational Growth.—New Meeting-House in Philadelphia.—St. Michael’s Lutheran Church.—Sound of the Organ.—Resignation of Rev. P. P. Vanhorn.—The City’s Seal to Ordination Certificates.—George Eaton.—Samuel Jones Baptized.—Licensed to Preach.—Copy of the License.—Ordained.—Place of Worship Occupied.—Mr. Whitefield’s Church.—Samuel Jones Pastor at Pennypack.—A Prerogative of the Ministry.—Wearing a Master’s Gown.—Rev. Stephen Watts.- Ordination of Deacons.

1764-1770—The Sisters Allowed to Vote.—Ruling Elders.—Fraternal Associational Correspondence.—Warren Association Organized.—Letter from Philadelphia.—Rhode Island College and Morgan Edwards.—Death of Rev. Benjamin Griffith.—First Commencement of Brown University.—Minutes First Printed.—Northern Liberties Church.—Persecutions.—Philadelphia Association to the Rescue.—Sufferings at Ashfield.—New Meeting-House at Pennypack.

1771-1775—A Decade of Trial.—Rev. Morgan Edwards Resigns.—Rev. Samuel Stillman Chosen Pastor.—Did not Accept.—Northern Liberty Church in the Association.—The Missionary Spirit.—Morgan Edwards an Evangelist.—Rev. William Rogers Ordained.—Last Sermon of Rev. Issac Eaton.—Divine Blessing.—John Levering.—Laying on of Hands.—Rev. Ebenezer Kinnersley Resigns his Professorship.—Death and Burial of Mr. Kinnersley.—Memorial Window.—Persecutions of Baptists.—Association Meeting twice a Year.—Academy at Pennypack.—Burgiss Allison.—Carpenters’ Hall.—Continental Congress.—Rev. Isaac Backus.—Diary of Backus in Philadelphia.—Committee of Grievances in the Association.—Meeting in Carpenters’ Hall.—Address by Rev. James Manning.—Massachusetts Delegates Unfriendly.—Baptists and Soul Liberty.—— Prejudiced Opinion of John Adams.—Committee Determined.—Printed Doccments.—Fasting and Prayer.—Rev. William Rogers Resigned.

1776-1780.—The Ever Memorable 1776.—Declaration of Independence.—Association at Scotch Plains.—Days of Humiliation.—Independence Hall.—Baptists on the Side of the Colonies.—Rev. William Rogers a Chaplain.—Ingenuity of Burgiss Allison.—Rev. John Pitman.—Patriotism of the Pennypack Church.—No Association in 1777.—Philadelphia Church in Distress.—Rev. James Manning.—Diary of Manning in Philadelphia.—Price of Board.—Letter to Revs. Still and Miller.—Rev. John Gano Called.—Windows Filled with Boards.—Gano’s Reply.—Call Repeated.—Elhanan Winchester Chosen.—An Unfortunate Move.—Rev. David Jones.—First Hundred Years.

Apostacy of Winchester.—Protest.—Council Called.—Advice of Association.—Lawsuit for Property.—Excommunicated.—Address from the Church.—Winchester’s Death.—Baptisterion.—Rev. James Manning.—Issues of the War.—Messenger Association in Session.—Met at Sunrise.—Success of American Arms.—Statistics of Churches.—Out of the Ordeal.—Petititon the General Assembly.—Ask to be Incorporated.—Desire President Manning.—Rev. Thomas Ustick Settled.—Sketch of Ustick.—Circulation of the Bible.—Brown University Commended.—Honeywell School Fund.—John Honeywell’s Will.

1783-1790.—Scruples Concerning Laying on of Hands.—Keep the Ordinances as Delivered.—Montgomery County Formed.—President Manning and Philadelphia Baptists.—The First Doctor of Divinity.—Lord’s Supper, and Scattered Members.—Loyalty to the Colonies.—Pennypack Church Incorporated.—The Temperance Question.—A Baptist Hymn Book.—Rev. Samuel Jones, a Doctor of Divinity.—Singing Avoided.—Authorized Tunes.—Rev. Wm. Rogers Appointed to a Professorship.—Plain Furniture.—Roxborough Church Organized.—Abolition of Slavery.—Old Meeting-House at Roxborough.

1791-1800.—Rev. Curtis Gilbert.—Chestnut Hill.—Rev. Thomas Ainger.—Death of President Manning.—Sunday-school Society.—Regulation of Youth.—Destitute Orphans.—Notification of Members Received.—Soppression of Plays.—Recommendation or Dismission.—Joseph Keen.—Home Missions.—Death of Morgan Edwards.—Rev. Wiliam White Ordained.—Yellow Fever.—Rev. Thomas Ustick.—A Second Church.—Association Chartered.—Churches Dropped.—Chains Across the Street.—Death of George Washington.—Rev. Thomas Fleeson at Roxborough.—A Forward Movement.—A Feeble Folk.—Missionary Efforts.

1801-1806.—A New Era of Growth.—Measures Toward an African Church.—Letters from Carey.—A Missionary Spirit.—Baptisms on a Week-day.—Shade Trees at the Baptisterion.—Joseph S. Walter.—Holy Spirit Poured Out.—Second Baptist Church Constituted.-Moderator Should be a Member.—A Masonic Lodge Room Used for Religious Worship.—The Second Baptist Meeting-House Dedicated.—Death of Thomas Ustick.—Blockley Baptist Church Constituted.—Build a Meeting-House.—Singing Led by Precentors.—Christians in the Choirs.—Rev. William White, Pastor of the Second Church.—Licentiates’ Names.—Rev. William Staughion in Philadelphia.—Crowded Congregation.—New Meeting-House at Lower Dublin.—First Baptist Meeting-House Enlarged.—Four Sermons on Sunday.—Hoartio Gates Jones, D.D.—Churches Lighted by Candles.—Heated by Wood Stoves.—Blank Forms of Letters of Dismission.—First Collection for Foreign Missions- Number of Members Necessary to Form a Church.—Valid Baptism.—Christian Missions.—Rev. John Rutter Excluded.—Invalid Marriages.

1807-1810.—City Pastors Residing in the Country. Frankford Baptist Church Constituted.—Meeting-House Erected.—Centennial Anniversary of Philadelphia Association.—Chronological List of Churches.—Second Baptist Church Incorporated.—John P. Crozer.—Wayside Efforts.—Third Baptist Church Constituted.—Imposition of Hands.—Fifteen Hundred Dollars and Parsonage.—Close Supervision and Strict Discipline.—Prohibition of Society Funerals.—First African Baptist Church Constituted.—House for Baptismal Occasions.—Missionary Society Extending its Labors.

1811-1815.—Growth of the City Westward.—Sansom Street Baptist Church Organized.—Dr. Staughton Settled as Pastor.—Collections at the Lord’s Supper.—Rev. John E. Peckworth.—Rev. David Jones, Jr, at Frankford.—Rev. Henry Holcombe, D. D., Pastor First Baptist Church, Philadelphia.—Missionary Spirit.—A Princeton Student Baptized.—A Scriptural Right to Baptize.—Rev. John King.—Baptist Orphan Society.—Emporium of Baptist Influence.—First American Missionaries.—Philadelphia Baptist Society for Foreign Missions.—A Consecrated Spot.—Triennial Convention.—Names of Delegates.—Death of Dr. Samuel Jones.—Sunday-Schools Organized.—History of the First Church Bible School.—Historical Address by Judge Hanna.

CONCLUSION.—Prominent Incidents and Persons.—Rev. Jacob Grigge.—Rev. William E. Ashton.—Rev. Wm. Wilson.—Rev. J. C. Murphy.—Defection of William White.—Rev. James McLaughlin.—The Fourth Baptist Church Constituted.—Meeting-House Erected.—The Latter-Day Luminary.—First Theological Seminary.—Graduating Class.—Columbian University.—A Few Honored Names.—J. H. Kennard.—Daniel Dodge.—William J. Brantley.—Rufus Babcock.—K. A. Fleischman.—George B. Ide.—James M. Linnard.—Joseph Taylor.—Wilson Jewell.—David Jayne.—Franklin Lee.—W. H. Richards.—Thomas Wattson.—J. P. Sherborne.


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