Welsh Tract Baptist Church.
“In June 1701, Thomas GRIFFITH, Griffith NICHOLAS, Evan EDMOND, John EDWARD, Elisha THOMAS, Enoch MORGAN, Richard DAVID, James DAVIS, Elizabeth GRIFFITH, Lewis EDMOND, Mary JOHN, Mary THOMAS, Elizabeth GRIFFITH, Jr., Jennet DAVID, Margaret MATHIAS and Jennet MORRIS, having previously been constituted a church, sailed from Milford, and landed at Philadelphia, September 8th .
They were advised by their friends to settle at Pennepek, which advice they followed, and there remained a year and a half, when they procured land in New Castle County, from Messrs. EVANS, DAVIS, and WILLIS, the grantees of the Welsh Tract. While at Pennepek the following accessions were made:
Mary CHAMBERLAIN, Jr.,
Judith GRIFFITH and
In 1703 they removed to the land purchased by them in Pencader Hundred, and build a meeting house on the site of the present church.
In the same year the membership was increased by the addition of:
Thomas John, and Rebecca, from Wales; and
Mary BENTLY and
Jane EDWARDS, by profession of faith and baptism.
During the next few years numerous accessions were made, both by members from the churches in Wales and by conversions.
In 1736 a portion of this church went to South Carolina, and founded a church there, on the banks of the Pedee River, in a portion of the country now bearing the name Welsh Neck.
In 1746 the present church was built on a lot containing six acres, four of which were given by James JAMES, and the other two purchased from Abraham EMMET. The edifice is a neat brick building, thirty feet square.
At various times portions of the congregation separated themselves from the main church for the purpose of organizing other bands of worshippers. It is the mother church whence sprung the Pedee above mentioned, London Tract, Duck Creek, Wilmington, Cowmarsh and Mispillion Churches, concerning which information will be found elsewhere. ‘Welsh Tract Church was the principal, if not the sole means of introducing singing, imposition of hands, ruling elders and church covenants in the Middle States.’
An act of Assembly was passed February 3, 1783, enabling religious denominations to be incorporated. On the 9th day of February, of the following year, this church was incorporation with Abel DAVIS, Robert SHIELDS, Ebe-…” [End of P:954] [Start of P:955] “…nezer MORTON, Andrew MORTON and Francis GATIER as trustees of the Welsh Tract Baptist Church and Congregation, at the foot of Iron Hill….the church has steadily increased its organization, and regular services [transcriber’s notes: this was in 1888, when this book was published] have been held nearly the entire time. The church is at present in a prosperous condition. The following pastors have labored here since its organization.
“Rev. Thomas GRIFFITH, the first pastor, was born in 1645 in parish of Lanvernach and county of Pembroke. He was one of the constituents of the church at its organization, and arrived at Philadelphia with his church September 8, 1701. He died at Pennepek and was there interred July 25, 1725.”
“Rev. Elisha THOMAS was the successor of Rev. GRIFFITH. He was born in Carmarthen County in 1674, and came to Philadelphia with the church in 1701. He died November 7, 1730, and was buried in this grave-yard.”
“Rev. Enoch MORGAN succeeded Rev. THOMAS. He was born at Allt-goch, in the county of Caerdigan, in 1676, and was also one of the constituents of this church. He died March 25, 1740.”
After the decease of Rev. MORGAN, the Rev. Owen THOMAS took charge of the church. He was born in 1676 at Gwrgod[i]llys, in the county of Pembroke and came to America in 1707. He filled the pulpit here till May 27, 1748, when he resigned, and moved to Yellow Springs, where he died November 12, 1760.”
“Rev. David DAVIS was the next [transcriber’s note: fifth] pastor. He was born in the parish of Whitechurch and county of Pembroke in 1708. In 1710 came with his parents to America; was baptized in 1725, and ordained in 1734, when he became pastor of the church. He continuted his pastorate until his death, August 19, 1769.”
“Rev. Mr. DAVIS’ successor was Rev. John SUTTON, who labored from November 3, 1770, until 1777, when he resigned, for the purpose of going to Virginia.”
Rev. John BOGGS was born in East Nottingham, April 9, 1714, and was brought up as a Presbyterian. In 1771, he became a Baptist, and at his ordination, December 5, 1781, he took charge of this church, and died there in 1802.”
The Rev. Gideon FARRELL was born in Talbot County, Maryland, in 1763, of Quaker parents, but was baptized in 1770 by Rev. Philip HUGHES. He was ordained to the ministry at Churchill in 1779. He assisted the Rev. John BOGGS as pastor of the church for several years before his death, and became his successor, and continued until his death, in 1820 or 1821.
His successors were as follows:
Rev. Stephen W. WOOLFORD, from 1822 to 1830;
Rev. Samuel TROTT, 1831 to 1832;
Rev. William K. ROBINSON, from 1833 to 1836, and possibly later;
Rev. Thomas BARTON, 1839 until his death in 1869 or 1870 ( he had spent forty-five years of his ministerial life as pastor of three of the churches in the bounds of the Delaware Association);
Rev. G. W. STATON, 1871-1872;
Rev. William GRAFTON was pastor in 1879. He was succeeded by Rev. Joseph L. STATON, the present minister. [transcriber’s note: this book was written and published in 1888].” P:954-955.
Source Citation and Source Information:
History of Delaware: 1609-1888. Local History. John Thomas Scharf. Published by L. J. Richards, 1888. Item Note: V. 2. Original from Harvard University. Digitized January 29, 2008. PP:954-955.
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