Colonial Baptist Minister
Rev. Thomas Killingworth, who was ordained as a Baptist minister in England, came to this country about 1686 and after preaching the gospel at Piscataway and Middletown, he came to Cohansey about 1689 and settled in Salem, buying a large tract of land at the head of Broadway where he resided until his death in the Spring of 1709.
Mr. Killingworth's field of labor extended throughout South Jersey and into Chester County, Penna., the only other Baptist Church in West Jersey or Pennsylvania in 1690 being the Pennepeck, now Lower Dublin, church, a few miles out of Philadelphia, and Rev. Timothy Brooks' small church at Bowentown, which afterwards united with this church.
The adding of these names to the early Baptists of Cumberland and Salem counties gives an enlarged view of the part taken by Baptists in the settling of this part of our state. The first pastor, Mr. Killingworth, was not only a preacher, but for a number of years was the presiding judge of the Common Pleas court of Salem County, a position of relatively far greater importance in that day than this.
[From A History of the Cohansey Baptist Church in Old West Jersey, by Charles E. Sheppard, 1846 – 1939; from his original notes. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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