An Association Book
Containing A Brief Account of the
Beginning and Progress of the Churches Holding and Practicing Adult Baptism, and Commonly Called Baptists, in Pennsylvania and the Jersies; Now Annually Associating at Philadelphia: with the Time when, and the Persons by whom Each Church was Settled, and who were the Ministers that Labored among them in each Church Together also with an Account of the Several Affairs that Came to be Considered by the Association, since it was Settled, as far as the Minutes of the same could be found. Collected Pursuant to an Order of the Association, Convened September 19, Anno Domini, 1749.
NOTE. - The above notice and the following records are gathered from minutes kept in compliance with an order of the Association, by Benjamin Griffith, down to 1760. After this, Morgan Edwards was probably the scribe, as the records are in his remarkably legible handwriting so late as 1799. - Jim Duvall.
A Brief Narrative of the Churches Holding Believers' Baptism
In Pennsylvania and the Jerseys.
A. D. Gillette, editor
THE CHURCH AT LOWER DUBLIN,
in the County of Philadelphia, Province of Pennsylvania.
By the providence of God, several persons from Radnorshire, in Wales, being baptized, upon profession of faith, members of a meeting, in the parish of Llanddowi, Henry Gregory, pastor, came over into this province and settled near Pennepek Creek. In the year of our Lord 1687, came Mr. Elias Keach, son of Mr. Benjamin Keach, of London, and preached unto the people there and at parts adjacent; at or about which time the above said persons, by name John Eaton, George Eaton, Samuel Jones, and John Watts, with others baptized by the said Elias Keach, agreed, by the advice of the said Mr. Keach, to set a day apart, and by fasting and prayer to settle themselves in a church state; which when they had solemnly accomplished, they made choice of the said Keach to be their pastor.
In the year 1692, Mr. Keach went home to England, and the church called the above named John Watts to be their minister. Samuel Jones and others were called to exercise their gifts, and to preach at home, while their minister went abroad. At this time, the church had several distant places to meet in by appointment, as at Philadelphia, Burlington, &c., where several persons that were members of the church resided, and they held their communion at the Lord's table at these several places; and by means of those gifted brethren their meeting at Pennepek was constantly supplied.
In the year 1702, Mr. Watts died; and the public work lay upon Samuel Jones, John Hart, and Evan Morgan, who, with the assistance of Thomas Griffith and others, carried on the work in town, and in the country, for a while.
In the year 1706, Samuel Jones and Evan Morgan were set apart to the work of the ministry by ordination, Messrs. Thomas Killingsworth, Thomas Griffith, and Elisha Thomas, assisting.
In the year 1708, Joseph Wood was ordained for the work of the ministry, with Samuel Jones and Evan Morgan. In the year 1709, on the 16th of February, Evan Morgan departed this life.
In the year 1710, in December, Mr. Nathaniel Jenkins, from Carmarthenshire, in South Wales, arrived at Philadelphia; he being an ordained minister, was received as such, and laboured in the exercise of his function, at Philadelphia and Pennepek, with the other brethren, till the summer following, when he removed to Cape May.
In the year 1711, in April, came Thomas Selby from Ireland, but was not ordained; and after causing a great deal of trouble by his ill behaviour, he went away to Carolina in 1712.
In 1711, came Mr. John Burrows, from Taunton in the West of England, and being an ordained minister, did exercise at Philadelphia, to the satisfaction of all well disposed Christians, till he removed to Middletown, 1713.
In the year 1712, about the middle of February, came, pursuant to letters of invitation from the Church of Philadelphia and Pennepek, Mr. Abel Morgan, being an ordained minister, and had the care of a church at Blaene Gwent, in South Wales, many years before he came over to this province, and was afterwards chosen pastor of the church; and so continued till he departed this life, which was on the 16th of December, 1722; Mr. Samuel Jones being departed in the year 1721, February 3. After the decease of the said pastor, this church at Philadelphia and Pennepek were destitute of an ordained minister, and had among themselves no ministerial supply but Mr. William Kinnersly, who was a gifted brother, and very useful, regular man; but being both aged and having several bodily infirmities, Mr. Jenkin Jones came from the church at Welsh Tract, in Newcastle county, to be their minister, which was in the year 1726; and after some time of continuance with the said church, Mr. Jones was unanimously chosen to be their pastor, and so continued until the year 1746, when the brethren residing in Philadelphia requested a dismission from the church at Pennepek, in order to incorporate a distinct church; which being granted, Mr. Jones was dismissed with the other city members; at and before which time, Mr. Peter Peterson Vanhorn and some others were upon trial for the ministry.
In the year of our Lord 1747, the church at Pennepek made choice of the above named Peter Peterson Vanhorn to officiate among them in the work of the ministry; and accordingly appointed a day of fasting and prayer, being the 18th of June, in the year aforesaid. After solemn prayers unto God, and a sermon suitable to the occasion, preached by Mr. Jenkin Jones, they proceeded to the ordination of the said person, having called to their assistance their former minister Mr. Jenkin Jones, and Benjamin Griffith, John Davis, and Joshua Potts, who, by solemn prayer to God, laid their hands upon him, and afterwards gave him the right hand of fellowship as a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
THE CHURCH AT PISCATAQUA,
IN NEW JERSEY
About the year 1686, Mr. Thomas Killingsworth first planted or settled this church, and preached the gospel to them a considerable time. After his removal, the church had the ordinances of the gospel administered among them until the year 1715; about which time Mr. Drake was ordained, and he continued to preach and to administer the ordinances until about the year 1729; and then, by reason of his great age, he desisted preaching, but continued to administer the ordinances. About that time, Henry Lovall, from New England, came among them, who preached for the space of two years upon trial, and then was ordained, but never administered the ordinances; for, soon after his ordination, he behaved himself in so disorderly a manner that he was excommunicated from the church.
About which time, Mr. Benjamin Stelle was called to preach among them, and was approved and set apart by solemn ordination.
Their number, when first settled, was no more than six persons, and continued very small for the space of twenty years, and then began to increase, and came to be about twenty in number, and is since increased to upwards of one hundred.
The above account was sent by Mr. Stelle, 1746.
THE CHURCH AT MIDDLETOWN.
Though there is no particular record of the time when, nor the manner how, the baptized believers at Middletown did incorporate, yet it appears there were several Baptists in those parts from the first settling of the land; for in the year 1687, when the church of Lower Dublin did incorporate, it is recorded that the brethren there did advise the brethren at Middletown to incorporate likewise; and it is remembered that James Aston and James Brown were teaching elders among them, at first planting; and about the year 1690, Mr. Elias Keach lived one year amongst them, and preached to them: Mr. Thomas Killingsworth also visited them. In times following, there happened a grievous contention, and thereupon a division, among them of Middletown; and in the year 1712, other churches sent to assist them several ministers and messengers, viz.: Timothy Brooks, Abel Morgan, Joseph Wood, Elisha Thomas, Nicolas Johnson, Griffith Miles, James James, Edward Church, William Bettrig, and John Manners; who, being called by them, and sent by the other churches, being come among them, were desirous to undertake the deciding of matters of difference between them. Accordingly they did; and among other things it was judged, that to the intent to bring things into right order, they should subscribe to Elias Keach's
Confession of Faith, at least to the Covenant annexed to it; and in case that all could not find freedom to subscribe the said Confession and Covenant, that if such a number as might act as a church should do so, such should be deemed, and be really owned, the only regular Baptist Church in those parts; and the said persons advised further, that such as could not subscribe should be dealt tenderly with; and accordingly, Anno 1712, forty-two did subscribe, and twenty-six did not. Upon this Constitution, or Restoration, the Church at Middletown hitherto stands.
In the year 1713, Mr. John Burrows came to be their minister, and continued their minister during his life. Sometime after his death, George Eaglesfield preached among them till he died. In the year 1739, Mr. John Coward was called to exercise his gifts upon trial, who preached chiefly at Crosswicks, and still does among the brethren members of the church at Middletown. In the year 1739, Abel Morgan, from the Welsh Tract, at the request of the Church of Middletown, came to serve them in the gospel ministry, and is now living. As this church meets in two distant places, viz., at Middletown and Crosswicks, the Lord's Supper is observed in each place, once in two months alternately: one month in the one place, and the other month in the other place.
THE CHURCH AT COHANSIE
The church of baptized believers at Cohansie was first planted and settled by Mr. Thomas Killingsworth, about the year 1690, (as may be gathered from a paragraph in Pennepek Church Book, page the 7th,) who laboured in the work of the ministry at Cohansie, Salem, and Penn's Neck, till he departed this life, which was in the year 1709; before which time, Mr. Timothy Brooks, from New England, being in those parts, and had kept a separate meeting, on account of some difference between them in some points. After Mr. Killingsworth's decease, they united, and Mr. Brooks became their minister, and continued several years with them, even till he was removed by death. After his decease, this church requested of the church at Cape May, and obtained assistance once a month for some time. About that time, William Butcher, a very hopeful young man, from Chester county, in Pennsylvania, married a wife, at Cohansie, and settled there, and preached among them, and was there ordained, and did officiate in the ministry, to their great satisfaction, for about two years, and then was removed by death; whereupon the church renewed their request to Cape May, and Mr. Nathaniel Jenkins supplied them again, as formerly, for several years; and Mr. Jenkins, finding great success, by the blessing of God on his monthly visits at Cohansie, and his people at the Cape declining, very many removed by death, in the great sickness that God visited those with, and many others removed to remote parts; and others some, to become careless
and others disorderly; he thought his call to Cohansie to be clear, and therefore removed there; at the same time resolved to visit the people at the Cape as often as he could; and so continues, though now grown aged and his strength declining, yet expresses his thankfulness to God that he sees some growing gifts that are like to be useful when he is called home.
This account was sent by Mr. Nathaniel Jenkins, in 1746, and things remain in the same station in 1749.
THE CHURCH AT THE WELSH TRACT,
IN THE COUNTY OF NEWCASTLE UPON DELAWARE
This church was constituted in Pembrokeshire, in South Wales, in the year 1701, at which time the first members of this church were about to come over into Pennsylvania; they then, by the advice and counsel of the churches they came from, in Pembrokeshire and Carmathenshire, entered into a church covenant, and state their number was sixteen persons; and among them was the Rev, Mr. Thomas Griffith, to be their minister. After their arrival in this country, they lived, near two years, near Pennepek and the parts adjacent; keeping together and meeting, as they were a distinct church, and had considerable addition to their number. In the year 1703, they removed and settled at the Welsh Tract aforesaid, and continued successful: and the said Mr. Griffith continued with them until he died, which was on the 25th of August, Anno Domini 1725: during which time, several able gifted ministers were raised, by the blessing of God, in the said church; they were Elisha Thomas and Enoch Morgan, both members when the said church was first constituted; the said Elisha Thomas was chosen pastor of the church, and after were Jenkin Jones, who removed to Philadelphia, and Owen Thomas. In the year 1730, Elisha Thomas died, and the said church continued under the ministry of the said Mr. Enoch Morgan and Mr. Owen Thomas; during which time, God raised up other two in the said church; viz., Mr. Abel Morgan, who since removed to Middletown, in East Jersey, and Mr. David Davis. On the 25th of March, 1740, died the said Enoch Morgan, and the church continues under the ministry of the said Owen Thomas and David Davis.
This narrative sent by the Rev. Owen Thomas, A. D. 1746, and they continue, as above last related, in the year 1749.
N. B. That this church appears to be very regular in its first settlement, and hath been the best supplied with ministers of any church belonging to this Association.
THE CHURCH AT THE GREAT VALLEY, OR TREDIFFRUN,
IN THE COUNTY OF CHESTER, PA
In or about the years 1701 and 1702, some persons of our denomination came from South Wales, members at Rhydwillym, John Jenkins, pastor; settled in these parts, and being but few and destitute of ministerial helps, they made application to the church at the Welsh Tract; and as a branch of that church were supplied by their ministers, and being increased by some additions, by the blessing of God on means among them; in the year 1710, several persons that were members at Rhydwillym aforesaid, and other places, came into the province and settled in that neighbourhood. In the year 1711, they were advised to put themselves in church order by themselves, for they were far distant from other churches, and especially from the Welsh Tract, where hitherto they belonged as a branch of that church. Accordingly, in the month of April, 1711, a day was set apart, by fasting and prayer, to accomplish this solemn work, having for their assistance Mr. Elisha Thomas, and others from the Welsh Tract church, and after solemn prayers to God for his blessing, they gave themselves to God, and to one another in the Lord, according to 2 Corinthians viii. 5, and had a right hand of fellowship as a sister church; and at the same time did unanimously choose Hugh Davis, an ordained minister, from South Wales, to be their minister, who is yet living, but past acting by reason of age. In the year 17__, John Davis, after due trial of his gifts, was called to the work of the ministry by solemn ordination, and is still their minister.
This church assembled chiefly, for many years, at the dwelling house of Richard Miles, in the township of Radnor, and afterward, for the convenience of the generality of the congregation, they built a meeting-house in the township of Trediffrun, in the said county of Chester.
THE CHURCH AT CAPE MAY
There were some Baptists at that place almost as soon as that county was settled. Most knowing and noted was Mr. George Taylor, who used to exhort and pray with such as came to his house to him. In process of time, Mr. George Eaglesfield came there, and preached to them for some years; but he not endeavouring to gather a church, the few enlightened of their duty disliked him. Some of them went to Philadelphia and were baptized there, and got acquainted with the Rev. Thomas Griffith, an aged and first minister of the Baptist Church at Welsh Tract, and requested him to give them a visit, which he did, and tarried with them about half a year,
and baptized several persons; and because he could not tarry longer, he departed, well respected. He directed them where and to whom to make application for a minister to settle amongst them, there being some from Wales arrived in Pennsylvania; and Nathaniel Jenkins, having left Philadelphia and moved to Pennepek, with an intent to settle, but had not, to him then and to the church they made their request, and he first gave them a visit early in the Spring, Anno Domini 1712; and they requested him to come and settle among them; which call he accepted, and in the month of May moved to the Cape. And towards the end of June, in the same year, 1712, the members, with the said minister, having sent for Mr. Brooks, of Cohansie, and some others, to assist them, they were settled and constituted a particular church of Jesus Christ, and owned as a sister church by those then present. The said Mr. Jenkins continued with them several years; but having little success, after a few years at first, Mr. Jenkins, for reasons mentioned at pages 14-15, removed to Cohansie, but continued visiting the Capes as often as he could; and about 1743, he, seeing some new life again stirring, encouraged some young ministers to visit them, and to see if they could reap any fruit of the seed formerly sown there. The first that he prevailed with to go was Mr. Abel Morgan. Mr. Jenkins acquainted him that there was a relick of a well founded church there; if he found lively stones to build upon it; and afterwards, Mr. Jenkin Jones, Mr. David Davis, Mr. Thomas Davis, besides Mr. Jenkins, visited and baptized many: so they are now a competent number of warm and loving disciples, and have one of themselves to be their minister, viz., Nathaniel Jenkins, eldest son of their former minister, to their good content and great satisfaction.
THE CHURCH AT HOPEWELL
Several persons of the denomination of Baptists settled in and about Hopewell, in Jersey; some of them members of the Baptist church of Middletown, and others members at Philadelphia and Pennepek; and being remote from those churches, it was thought more for their benefit to be settled in a church-state by themselves, and accordingly they obtained dismissions from the said churches, and the assistance of their ministers and elders, by name Mr. Abel Morgan, Mr. John Burrows, Mr. Griffith Miles, Mr. Joseph Todd, and Mr. William Kinnersly; and on the 22d day of April, 1715, being a day appointed by fasting and prayer, they entered into a church covenant, and were owned a sister church, the number of persons being fifteen or sixteen, as appears by Pennepek Church Book, page 55. This church was afterwards visited chiefly by the said Abel Morgan, John Burrows, and Joseph Wood, until 1721, when Thomas Symmons came among them, and preached to them about
two years, then removed to Carolina; and, after this, Mr. Eaglesfield preached there once a month, and others visited them at times. In the year 1727, they requested assistance from the church at Montgomery, and obtained Benjamin Griffith to visit them alternatively one month and Joseph Eaton another, for some time, and Joseph Eaton continued to supply them several years. About the year 1741, Thomas Davis, from the Great Valley, came, and settled with them about three years; and some time afterwards, James Carman and Benjamin Miller visited them. Malachia Bonham also preached among them in the year 1748. Isaac Eaton, from the church of Southampton, removed to the church at Hopewell, and being approved, was there ordained to be their minister; and their number is now esteemed one hundred and twelve.
This narrative dated December 26, 1749.
THE CHURCH NEAR BRANDYWINE
There being divers persons in the townships of Providence, Burningham, and the parts adjacent that were baptized; some of them members of the church at Philadelphia, others elsewhere, and some of them were of the number that in the year 1690 had in some manner joined with those of Salem, &c., under the ministry of the Rev. Mr. Killingsworth; these, on the 14th day of June, Anno Domini 1715, at a meeting for that purpose appointed at the dwelling-house of John Powell, in Providence aforesaid, in the county of Chester, in the province of Pennsylvania, having for their assistance and direction the Rev. Mr. Abel Morgan, of Philadelphia, and some brethren from the church at the Welsh Tract, were constituted and settled in Gospel church, ordered, and owned, and declared as a sister church; and they, having no ministerial helps among themselves, depended altogether upon the assistance they could obtain from sister churches. In 1717, they concluded, for the better convenience of most of the members, to keep their meetings chiefly in the township of Burningham; and so continued till the year 1741; and then agreed to keep monthly meetings alternately; one month at Burningham, and the other month in the township of Newlin, in the same county, for the convenience of many of the members removed thither. About a year after, they thought proper to settle their monthly meetings altogether to the aforesaid township of Newlin. They have been, since their first settling at Burningham, in 1717, assisted with ministerial helps from the sister church at the Welsh Tract, and continue, to be thence assisted hitherto.
THE CHURCH AT MONTGOMERY,
IN THE COUNTY OF PHILADELPHIA
In the year 1710, John Evans, and Sarah, his wife, from a church in Carmarthenshire, in South Wales, (James James, minister,) came over and settled in Montgomery aforesaid. In 1711, came John James, and Elizabeth, his wife, from Pembrokeshire, members of the church at Rhydwillym, (John Jenkins, minister,) and settled in the same neighbourhood. After some time, Mr. Abel Morgan visited them, and preached to as many as came to hear, at the house of John Evans; and after his visiting for some time, as often as he could, several persons were proposed for baptism, which was administered by Mr. Morgan. In the year 1719, it was moved to them either to join with some neighbouring church, as that of Pennepek, being the nighest, or to be settled in gospel order as a distinct church by themselves. Upon which they consulted, and concluded, by reason of the distance of place and diversity of language, they understanding very little English, to be rather a church by themselves. Their conclusion being approved by Mr. Morgan, a day was set apart for the solemnizing of this great work, being the 20th day of June, 1719; and Mr. Abel Morgan, and Mr. Samuel Jones, being present to assist and direct in the work of the day, the first part being spent in fasting and prayer, with a sermon preached by Mr. Morgan, suitable to the occasion, they proceeded. Being asked whether they were desirous and freely willing to settle together as a church of Jesus Christ, they all answered in the affirmative; and being asked whether they were acquainted with one another's principles, and satisfied with one another's graces and conversation, it was also answered in the affirmative; and then for a demonstration of their giving of themselves up, severally and jointly, to the Lord, as a people of God and a church of Jesus Christ, they all lifted up then' right hand. Then were they directed to take one another by the hand, in token of their union, declaring, at the same time, that as they had given themselves to God, so they did give themselves also to one another by the will of God, 2 Cor. viii. 5, to be a church according to the gospel; to worship God and maintain the doctrines of the gospel, according to their ability, and to edify one another. Then were they pronounced and declared to be a church of Jesus Christ; a right hand of fellowship was given to them as a sister church, with exhortations and instructions suitable to the station and relation they now stood in; and the whole was finished with solemn prayer to God for a blessing on the work of the day. Their number, nine or ten persons.
Mr. Morgan continued to visit them, and administer the ordinances among them; they were also supplied by Mr. Elisha Thomas, and other ministering brethren from the Welsh Tract. They soon had William Thomas, and John James, as gifted brethren to preach among them. In the year 1722, the church being considerably increased in number, they called the following persons to exercise
their gifts upon trial: -- John James, David Evans, Benjamin Griffith, and Joseph Eaton; and in the year 1725, the church unanimously agreed to call the said Benjamin Griffith to the work of the ministry by solemn ordination; which was accomplished on the 23d day of October, 1725; Mr. Elisha Thomas, and Mr. Jenkin Jones, acting and assisting by the call of the church.
The church, in the year 1727, called Joseph Eaton to the work of the ministry by ordination, which was accomplished on the 24th day of October; Mr. Elisha Thomas and their other minister, Benjamin Griffith, officiating at his ordination.
In the month of April, 1749, Joseph Eaton died, and Benjamin Griffith continued in the work, assisted by a hopeful young man, named John Thomas, not yet ordained.
February 1st, 1749.
THE CHURCH AT BETHLEHEM
Several members of the Baptist church at Hopewell having removed and settled in and about Bethlehem, they the said members, and others added there, requested a dismission from the church at Hopewell; which, being obtained, they appointed the 31st day of July, Anno Domini 1742, to be constituted a distinct church of Jesus Christ, Mr. Joseph Eaton and others assisting. Thomas Curtis was called by them to preach upon trial. In the year 1745, on the 28th of October, Thomas Curtis was ordained to the work of the ministry, and continued to officiate among them till he departed this life, which was towards the latter end of April, 1749. In the year 174_ , on the day __ of __ , Malachia Bonham was called to be their minister by solemn ordination.
THE CHURCH AT SOUTHAMPTON
Some of the very early members of the church at Lower Dublin, commonly called Pennepek, were settled in and about Southampton; and in process of time the said church appointed a meeting to be kept, one Lord's day in the month, for the ease and benefit of their remote members; which meeting was for some time held at Peter Chamberlain's house, and after at the house of John Morris, who, being desirous to promote the glory of God and the interest of religion, did grant and confirm a small plantation for the use of the church, and another piece of land for a burying place and to build a meeting-house upon. The number of members, by the blessing of God on the means of grace, being increased in those parts, they requested the church of Pennepek to dismiss them, and to assist
them to be a distinct church; which request was granted at a church meeting, held April the 5th, 1746, and on the 8th day of April, the dismissed members unanimously met at the meeting-house, built on the said piece of ground in Southampton. After some time spent in solemn prayers to God, they gave themselves to the Lord and to one another, by the will of God, to walk together. in gospel fellowship, according to the rules of God's word. On the 29th day of May, 1746, Mr. Joshua Potts, a young man who had been a considerable time upon trial, was solemnly called to the work of the ministry by ordination, Mr. Jenkin Jones, their former pastor, and Mr. Abel Morgan, being present to act for and with the church. The number of members then was forty-six.
THE CHURCH AT CRANBRERY
Most of the members of this church were heretofore members of the Baptist church meeting at Middletown and Crosswicks, and being far distant from that church, they requested dismission from that church, in order to settle by themselves. Their request being granted, they were settled and constituted a distinct church on the 1st day of November, Anno Domini 1745, the number of members then being seventeen. On the 3d day of the same month, Mr. James Carman, by unanimous choice and call of the church, was ordained to be their minister: Mr. Nathaniel Jenkins, and Mr. Abel Morgan assisting on both of those solemn occasions. There have been twenty-five persons added to them since.
THE CHURCH AT PHILADELPHIA
Philadelphia and Pennepek, or Lower Dublin, having continued one church from the first settlement thereof, though they had their respective places of meeting, they held their respective times of communion in the town and the country, their minister, Mr. Jenkin Jones, administering the ordinances of baptism and the Lord's supper, in both the city and the country, every month.
In April, Anno Domini 1746, the members residing in the city of Philadelphia did make their request to their brethren at Pennepek, as being of the two the elder branch, for a dismission, in order to be settled a distinct church by themselves; which was accordingly granted; and pursuant thereunto, the dismissed members did appoint the 15th day of May, in the said year of our Lord 1745, to meet and settle themselves in church order; and being accompanied by some brethren from Pennepek, they did in a solemn
manner enter into church covenant, and united, as is usual on the like solemn occasions. Mr. Jenkin Jones being one of the number dismissed from Pennepek, and now a member of the church settled at Philadelphia, was called to exercise the ministerial functions among them.
THE CHURCH AT MORRISTOWN,
IN MORRIS COUNTY, NEW JERSEY
Several of the members of the church of Piscataqua, living in Morris county, remote from that church, requested a dismission, to the end they might be constituted a distinct church by themselves; and accordingly they appointed to meet on the 11th day of August, 1752; and having Mr. Benjamin Miller, Mr. Isaac Stelle and Mr. Isaac Eaton for their assistance, and after having improved the fore part of this day in fasting and prayer, they were regularly incorporated in the usual manner, and the right hand of fellowship given to them as a sister church of Jesus Christ, and as such recommended to God by solemn prayer, and on the 4th day of October following, were admitted into the Association.
THE CHURCH AT SCOTCH PLAINS,
IN EAST JERSEY
Several members of the church at Piscataqau, living at Scotch Plains, in the county of Essex, finding it difficult to travel to keep their places there, requested dismission from that church, in order to be incorporated a distinct church by themselves; and accordingly they of Piscataqua did grant it; and being dismissed thence, they appointed to come together on the 8th day of September, 1747, and having Abel Morgan and James Mott, from Middletown, for their assistance, they spent the fore part of the day in prayer and fasting, and afterwards they gave themselves in a solemn manner to the Lord, and to one another, by the will of God, and after the usual solemnity, were owned as a sister church; and on the 13th day of February following, Benjamin Miller was ordained to be their minister: Mr. Benjamin Stelle, of Piscataqua, and Mr. Abel Morgan, of Middletown, assisting at the ordination. Their number, when constituted, fourteen; their number, on the 10th of July, 1750, when the above narrative was dated, seventy-five.
THE CHURCH AT ROCKSBERRY,
IN MORRIS COUNTY, N. J.
A number of persons, baptized on profession of faith, residing at Rocksberry aforesaid, being desirous to put them in church order, for their better convenience, benefit, and edification; and being dismissed by the church they were related to, they appointcd the 12th day of May, 1753; and having procured the Rev. brethren, Isaac Stelle, and Malachia Bonham, for their assistance, they were constituted after the same manner as other churches, the said ministers giving them a hand of fellowship as a sister church; and, at the Association in October following, were, upon their request, received into the number of our associating churches: their number then being fourteen persons.
THE CHURCH AT OYSTER BAY,
QUEEN'S COUNTY, LONG ISLAND
Several persons baptized upon profession of their faith; some by ordained ministers from Rhode Island; some by Mr. Weeks, residing in the place, and some by Thomas Davis. In the year 1748, a considerable number of those baptized persons agreed and concluded to settle themselves in a regular church order, according to the rules and patterns of the New Testament. Accordingly they appointed the eleventh day of July, A. D. 1748, and then met; and with fasting and prayer, they were solemnly incorporated. A church covenant, in writing, was subscribed by men and women then present, to the number of twenty-eight; John Stephens and Thomas Davis being called to assist therein. In the year 1750, they, by their letter and messenger, Daniel Underhill, proposed to the Association of the baptized churches for admittance and union with the Association; which was, after inquiry, granted, and their said messenger received.
This church takes the above name from a creek, near to which the meeting-house stands. It is situate[d] in the township of Cymru, county of Berks, and province of Pennsylvania. It was constituted Aug. 19, 1738, and joined the Association September 23, of the same year. The original number was twenty-one. The first minister was Rev. Thomas Jones. What further concerns this church may be seen in the following memorial, sent me in the year 1761.
"We, whose names are underwritten, (some members of the Great
Valley church, some of the church of Montgomery,) being removed into another county, and so remote from the said churches, that we could not attend the means of grace, nor perform the duties of our membership as we could wish to do; being met together, according to appointment, on this 19th day of August, 1738; and having, by fasting and prayer, made our supplication to God, and a sermon preached on the occasion; and having unanimously owned the Confession of faith, set forth by the elders of baptized churches in England, and approved by the above named churches; and having showed our approbation of one another's principles and charitable judgment of each others' graces; and having mutually agreed to give ourselves to God, and to one another by the will of God; we covenant, as God shall help us, to maintain the worship of God and the truth of the gospel, to the edification of our own souls and the good of others; and to practice all gospel ordinances, according to the mind of God, revealed in his word; to admonish, exhort, and watch over one another in love, and also to reprove according to gospel rule; to keep our own secret matters to ourselves, according to the practice of the primitive gospel churches and the custom of our neighboring churches of the same order. In testimony whereof, we, in the sanctity of our hearts, and in the fear of God, desiring to wait upon, and trust in his faithful promises in our Lord and Redeemer Jesus Christ, for all blessings and graces, and the gifts of his Holy Spirit) to enable us to do our duties, for the honour of God and the ornament of the gospel of Jesus, have hereunto subscribed our names the day and year above named.David Evan, David Lewis, Martha Jones, James John, George Rees, Mary Loyd, Thomas Jones, John David, Elizabeth Rees, Evan Loyd, Thomas Loyd, Mary David, Thomas Nicholas, Rees Thomas, Elenor Nicholas, James Edwards, Sarah Evans, Margaret Edwards, Henry Harry, Elenor John, Ann Rees.
*As the churches that joined this Association since the year 1750 were erected and constituted after the same form and order of the Gospel with those whose constitutions are more at large herein before related, it is thought needless to give a copious account of every particular, and to relate the time of their admission to the Association only.
[A. D. Gillette, editor, Minutes of the Philadelphia Baptist Association from 1707-1807, 1851; reprint. 2001, pp. 11-24. -- Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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