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Missionary Baptists in Hampshire County, WV
By Hu Maxwell & H. L Swisher, 1897
     Through the preaching of Whitfield in New England what was known as the Newlight-stir, was originated. Members of all churches, who felt the need of vital and experimental religion, separated from the established churches and formed themselves into a society which about the year 1744 was given the name of Separates. It is from this movement that the Mission Baptists have sprung. One of the early preachers of this
[p. 387]
church organization was Rev. Shubal Stearns, who began preaching in 1745. He felt himself called to preach to the people in the "far west." Accordingly he set out from New England in 1754 together with a few of his members. They first halted at Opequon in Berkeley county. Here they found a Baptist church already established and under the care of S. Henton. Here, also, he fell in with Rev. Daniel Marshall, a Baptist minister who had just returned from a missionary visit to the Indians. These two then joined their companies and moved to Cacapon in Hampshire county about 1755. This was the first church organization in this county. Rev. Stearns and his companions did not stay long on Cacapon but moved to North Carolina.

     There are at present four congregations of the Mission Baptist church in this county. They are named and located as follows: Bethel, on Grassy Lick; Zoar, near Mt. Zion; Salem, at Mechanicsburg; and Little Capon church, at Barnes' mills. Rev. Samuel Umstot is at present the pastor in charge.


[From Hu Maxwell & H. L Swisher, History of Hampshire County, West Virginia: From its Earliest Settlement to the Present, 1897, pp. 386-387. Document from Google Books. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]

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