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A Brief History of the Baptist Church at Kettering (England)
By John Ryland, D. D., 1818

      Mr. John Maidwell, A.M. born at Geddington, and educated at Cambridge, preached in the Church at Kettering, from 1650, till he was ejected, in 1662. After his ejectment, he often preached in his own house, and other houses in Kettering, for thirty years; in the latter part of which time, he opened a meeting-house, became pastor of an Independent church, and had a considerable congregation. He died January 9, 1692, aged 83. He was succeeded by Mr. Thomas Milway, October 29, 1696. Mr. William Wallis, one of the elders, and some other members of the church, withdrew, and formed themselves into a Baptist church, of which Mr. Wallis was chosen pastor. We are told in the life of Dr. Gill, that a sermon of this Mr. Wallis, from Gen. iii. 9. 'Adam, where art thou?' proved the means of his conversion, when John Gill was but twelve years of age; and, as he was born in 1697, this proves that
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Mr. William Wallis was living in 1709. Dr. Gill used to speak of him as his spiritual father. After the decease of Mr. William Wallis, he was succeeded by his son, Mr. Thomas Wallis, perhaps about 1715 or 1716. Mr. Thomas Wallis was father to Mr. William Wallis, who died October 12, 1757, and whose funeral sermon, preached by Mr. Brown, from Rom. viii. 39, was printed; at the end of which some account is given of him. He was an eminently wise and godly man, and a great encourager of the cause of Christ. He was father of Mr. Beeby Wallis.

     It was in the time of Mr Thomas Wallis, and probably near the beginning of it, that Mr. (afterwards Dr.) Gill, became a member of the church, and was called to the ministry. The writer of the Doctor's life says, that he was baptized November 1,1716, by Mr. Thomas Wallis. On the Lord's day after his baptism, he expounded the fifty-third of Isaiah, at a private house, (where some of the members of the church met for prayer,) and was soon called to the ministry. Mr. John Brine, who was one of the first fruits of his ministry, joined the church at Kettering, in 1718; and both of them were settled as pastors of churches in London, for many years. Dr. Gill, at Carter Lane, Southwark; and Mr. Brine, at Cripplegate.

      Mr. Milway, pastor of the Independent church at Kettering, appears to have died in 1696, and to have been succeeded by Mr. William Terry. Mr. Terry was succeeded by Mr. John Wills, May 5, 1709. Mr. Wills, and a part of the church withdrew, about 1715, and formed another church. The majority elected Mr. Milway, jun. for their pastor, who was succeeded by Mr. Saunders, in 1731; Mr. Benjamin Boyce, in 1736 ; Mr. John Fuller, in 1772 ; and by their present worthy pastor, Mr. Toller, in 1778.

      Mr. Wills does not appear to have continued long with the secession. After his departure, they appear to have been with, out a pastor till January 23, 1724; when Mr. John Wilson, a member of a church at London, was chosen to that office. The majority of this church were now become Baptists; and Mr. Wilson himself appears to have been of that denomination. Mr. Wilson died in 1729.


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     Mr. Thomas Wallis died in December, 1726. His church continued without a pastor till March 10, 1730; when Mr Wallis's and Mr. Wilsou's congregations having agreed to assemble in one place, (which was exchanged, in 1769, for the place where the Baptist congregation now meet,) the united church chose for their pastor Mr. Robert Hennell. a member of Mr. Noble's church in London, who died in September, 1749.

      The following is the succeeding line of pastors. July 9, 1752, Mr. John Brown, who died at Lymington, April 14, 1800. Mr. Brown had resigned, January 24, 1771, and was succeeded November 20, 1771, by Mr. George Moreton, a member of the church at Arnsby; he was obliged, by ill health, to resign in August, 1779, and was succeeded by Mr. Andrew Fuller, October 7, 1783; who was succeeded, a few months after his decease, by Mr. John Hall, the present pastor.

      A building on the present site, was converted into a place of worship in 1769, it was enlarged in 1786, and re-enlarged in 1805.

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[From John Ryland, D. D., The Work of Faith, the Labour of Love, and the Patience of Hope, illustrated; in the Life and Death of Rev. Andrew Fuller, Late Pastor of the Baptist Church at Kettering, and Secretary to the Baptist Missionary Society, from its Commencement in 1792. Chiefly Extracted from his own Papers. 1818, pp. 349-351. Document from Google books. jrd]



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