Rev. Elias Keach.
By Morgan Edwards, 1770
[John Watts, Evan Morgan, Samuel Jones, Joseph Wood and Abel Morgan follow.]
[Note: f = s]
He was fon of the famous Benj. Keach, of London. Arrived in this country a very wild fpark about the year 1686. On his landing he dreffed in black and wore a band in order to pafs for a minifter. The project fucceeded to his wifhes, and many people reforted to hear the young London divine. He performed well enough till he had advanced pretty far in the fermon. Then, ftopping fhort, looked like a man aftonifhed. The audience concluded he had been feized with a fudden diforder; but, on afking what the matter was, received from him a confeffion of the impofture with tears in hfs eyes and much trembling. Great was his diftrefs though it ended happily; for from thi8s time dated he his coaverfion. He heard there
was a Baptift minifter at Coldfprlng in Bucks county between Briftol and Trentown. To him did he repair to feek coufel [sic] and comfort; and by him was he baptized and ordained. The minifter's name was Thomas Dungan.* From Coldfpring Mr. Keach came to Pennepek and fettled a church there as before related; and thence travelled through Pennfylvania and the Jerfies [Jerseys] preaching the gofpel in the wildernefs with great fuccefs, in fo much that he may be confidered as the chief apoftle of the Baptifts in thefe parts of America. He and his family embarked for old England early in the fpring of the year 1692, after having refigned
* Of this Venerable father I can learn no mere than that he came from Rhodeifland [sic] about the year 1684. That he and his family fettled at Coldfpring where he gathered a church, of which nothing remains but a grave yard and the names of the families which belonged to it Viz. the Dungans Gardners, Woods, Doyls, &ec. That he died in 1688 and was buried in faid grave yard. That his children were five fons and four daughters (1) William, who married into the Whing family of Rhodeifland, and had five children (2) Clement, who died childlefs (3) Thomas, who married into the Drake family and had nine children, (4) Jeremiah, who married into the fame family and had eight children (5) Elizabeth, who married into the Weft family and had four children (6) Mary who married into the Richards family and had three children (7) John, who died childlefs (8) Rebecka, who married into the Doyle family and had three children (9) Sarah, who married into the family of the Kerreis and had fix children; in all 38. To mention the names, alliances and offspring of thefe would tend towards an endlefs genealogy. Sufficeth [sic]it, That the Rev. Thomas Dungan "(the firft baptift minifter in the province) now exifteth in a progeny of between fx and feven hundred.
the care of the church for a confiderable time before to the Rev, John Watts.
Rev. John Watts
He was born Nov. 3, 1661 at Lydd* in the county of Kent. Came to this country about the year 1686. Was baptized at Pennepek Nov. 21, 1687. Called to the miniftry in 1688. Took on him the care of the church in 1690. Continued in the care thereof to Aug. 27, 1702 when he died of the fmall pox and was buried at Pennepek, having had Mr. Samuel Jones to his affiftant. He married Sarah Eaton, by whom he had children, Elizabeth, Sarah, Mary, Deborah, Elias and Stephen. Stephen is yet alive. The fons married into the Roberts and Melchior families, and the daughters into the families of the Yerkes, Davis, Shulls and Ingles and have raifed him twenty nine grand children, and thefe another generation of between fifty and fixty. Mr. Watts was a found divine, and a man of fome learning as appears by a book** he wrote entitled "Davis Difabled".
* The paper from which I took the above account is fo illegible that I cannot be fure whether the place of his nativity fhould be read Lydd or Leed or fomething like either.
** The book whereto Mr. Watts's piece was an anfwer was publifhed in 1700 and entitled Jefus the crucified man, the eternal fon of God. The main doctrine in this book is "That the divine nature and the human were fo blended in the perfon of Chrift that he was not properly God nor properly man but a compound of both." The author, Mr. William Davis, had been a Quaker.
There was an order for printing this book dated Aug. 3, 1705, but it was not executed. The manufcript is in my poffeffion. He alfo compofed a catechifm or little fyftem of divinity which was publifhed in 1700, but of it I have not yet obtained a copy. His fucceffor was the Rev. Evan Morgan.
Rev. Evan Morgan.
He came to this country very early and was a fmart, a knowing, and a pious man. He broke off from the Quakers along with many others of Keith's party in 1691. Was baptized in 1697 by one Thomas Rutter, and the fame year, renouncing the relkiqes of Quakerifm, was received into the church. In 1702 he was called to the miniftry, and ordained Oct. 23, 1706. by Rev. meffieurs Thomas Griffiths and Thomas Killingworth. He died Feb. 16, 1709 and was buried at Pennepek, after having had
preacher. He broke off from them in the grand feparation of 1601 along with George Keith, and was one of the forty eight who figned the reafons and caufes of that feparation. In 1697 he embraced the principles of the Baptifts and was baptized at Philadelphia by Rev. Thomas Killingworth of Cohanfey. The fame year he joined Pennepek church where he began to inculcate the above mentioned doctrine with great affiduity [?]; but they deeming it herefy did, after a firft and fecond admonition to no purpofe, expel him Feb. 17, 1698. After that he joined a fociety of Keithians kept at the houfe of Abraham Pratt in the neighbourhood of Pennepek (fome of which had been baptized the year before), and with many of them became a feventhday Baptift. He continued to preach to them till he went to Wefterly in Rhodeifland government in 1711, where he abode to 1724 and thence returned to the Jerfies where he died. After leaving Wefterly he wrote a letter to the people there and printed it, wherein he complains of very ill ufage from them.
the joint care of the church for upwards of two years. His wife's name was Mary Swift by whom he had a daughter named Frances who married Richard Hall and bore him a fon who is yet alive and married to Sufannah Edge. Her fecond hufband was Jofeph Fifher, by whom fhe had children Ifabella, Mary and Martha who married into the Leech, Green and Hall families. Mr. Morgan's fucceffor, who had alfo been his colleague, was the Rev. Samuel Jones.
Rev. Samuel Jones.
He was born July 9, 1657, in the parifh of Llanddewi and the county of Radnor. Came to this country about 1686. Called to the miniftry in 1697. Ordained Oct. 23, 1706, at which time he took part of the miniftry with Mr. Evan Morgan. He died Feb. 3, 1722 and was buried at Pennepek. His children died before him. He had Mr. John Hart* and others to his affiftants. The ground on which the meeting-houfe ftands was given by him. He alfo gave for the ufe of the meeting Pool's annot. 2 vol. Burkit's annot. 1 vol. Keach on the parables and Bifhop's body of divinity &c.
* Mr. John Hart was born Nov. 16, 1651 at Whitney in Oxfordfhire. Came to this country early, and preached among the Quakers to 1691; at which time he separated with George Keith, and was one of the 48 who figned the reasons of that feparation. From the feparaion in 1691 he preached to a fociety of Keithians, meeting at the houfe of John Swift in Southampton, Bucks county. About 1697 he, and fome of the fociety, embraced the principles of the Baptifts. The ordinance was adminiftred [sic] to them by one Thomas Rutter. In 1702, he and the fociety joined Pennepek, Mr. Hart was not
His fucceffor who alfo had been his colleague, was Rev. Jofeph Wood.
Rev. Jofeph Wood
He was born in the year 1659 near Hull in Yorkfhire. Came to this country about 1684. Baptized by Mr. Keach at Burlington Jul. 24, 1691. Ordained Sept. 25, 1708, at which time he took part of the miniftry with Mr. Evan Morgan and Mr. Samuel Jones. He died Sept. 15. 1747 and was buried at Coldfpring. His children were Jofeph, Jabez, Jofiah, Tabitha, Benjamin, John, Samuel, William and Hannah. Mr. Wood was reckoned a good preacher; but in the latter part of life his ufefulnefs was much leffened by fome family and perfonal unhappinefs, better concealed than named. His fucceffor was Rev. Abel Morgan.
Rev. Abel Morgan.
He was born in the year 1637, at a place called Alltgoch in the parifh of Llanwenog and county of Carmarthen. Entered on the miniftry in the nineteenth year of his age. Was ordained at Blaenegwent in Monmouthfnire. Arrived in this country Feb. 14. 1711.
ordained; but was reckoned a good preacher and a moft pious Chriftian. The laft words he uttered were, Now I know to a demonftration that Chrift died to fave me! His wife's name was Sufannah Ruth, by whom he had children, John, Jofeph, Thomas, Jofiah and Mary. Thefe formed alliances with the Crifpin, Miles, Paulin and Dungan families and have raifed him upwards of 10 grand children.
Refided fome time at Philadelphia, and then removed to Pennepek. Took on him the care of the church as foon as he landed; and continued therein to his death, which come to pafs Dec. 16, 1722. He was buried in the grave yard of Philadelphia, where a ftone is erected to his memory. His firft wife was Pricilia Powell of Abergavenny. His fecond, Martha Burrows. His third, the widow Gooding, daughter of the reverend Thomas Griffiths. She is yet alive under the name of Fulton. By the firft he had, Jane; by the third, Rachel, Abel, Samuel and Enoch. Thefe married into the Holms, Howell, Sprogle and Keen families, and have raifed him 16 grand children. Mr. Abel Morgan was a great and good man, and is held in dear remembrance by all that knew him. He compiled a folio concordance to the Welfh bible, printed at Philadelphia in 1730. Tranflated the Century confeffion to Welfh, and added thereto article the xxiii and xxxi. Several other pieces of his are yet extant in manufcripts. His fucceffor was Rev. Jenkin Jones.
[From Materials Towards a History of the American Baptists, 1770, pp.10-15; via Internet Archives. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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