26 October 2006

History of the Baptists, Thomas Armitage | The Reformed Reader

Great information on the early settlement of Providence. Lots of details you won't find in the vital records. Unfortunately it's a looooong block of text... with nothing to break it up. It is worth reading, though, if you have ancestors in early Providence, Rhode Island.

History of the Baptists, Thomas Armitage The Reformed Reader:

"Williams with five others had settled Providence in June, 1636, and their numbers soon grew, so that in about three years there appear to have been about thirty families in the colony. In the main, the Christian portion of them had been Congregationalists, but in their trying position they seem to have been left unsettled religiously, especially regarding Church organization. Winthrop says that they met both on week-days and the Sabbath for the worship of God; but the first sign of a Church is found sometime previous to March, 1639, when Williams and eleven others were baptized, and a Baptist Church was formed under his lead. Hubbard tells us that he was baptized 'by one Holliman, then Mr. Williams re-baptized him and some ten more.' Ezekiel Holliman had been a member of Williams's Church at Salem, which Church, March 12th, 1638, charged him with 'neglect of public worship, and for drawing many over to his persuasion.' For this he 'is referred to the elders,
that they may endeavor to convince and bring him from his principle and
practice.' [Felt, Ecc. Hist. i, p. 334] Through its pastor, Hugh Peters, the
Salem Church wrote to the Dorchester Church July 1st, 1639, informing them that
'the great censure' had been passed upon 'Roger Williams and his wife, Thomas
Olney and his wife, Stukley Westcot and his wife, Mary Holliman, with widow
Reeves,' and that 'these wholly refused to hear the Church, denying it and all
the Churches of the Bay to be the true Churches, and (except two) all are
re-baptized.' [Felt, i, 379,380]"

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