Church and Family History Research Assistance
for Montgomery County, Pennsylvania



The Baptist meeting in Montgomery, the oldest of the denomination in Montgomery county, and the fourth oldest in Pennsylvania, owed its humble beginning to the zeal of a handful of the Welsh settlers. June 20, 1719, ten persons formed the society, - John Evans, and Sarah, his wife; John James, Elizabeth his wife, and their three sons, William, Thomas, and Josiah; James Lewis, David Williams, and James Davis. John Evans, who heads this list of organizers, came into the township, it is said, in 1710, and was from Carmarthenshire, Wales. He and his wife "had been members of a Baptist church there, of which James James was pastor." In 1711 John and Elizabeth James arrived. They had been "members of the Rhydwillym church in Pembrokeshire, of which John Jenkins was pastor."

A log church was built in 1720, on an acre of ground conveyed later (1731) by Jenkin Evans. This lot has since been, at different times much enlarged. In 1731 a stone church was built, 42 by 24 feet, with a gallery. It had in 1770, "a stove and two fire-places"; a school-house also stood on the lot. In 1816 this building was taken down and a new one erected 55 by 50 feet, "with a gallery all around."

Early pastors included Elders Benjamin Griffith, the zealous though uneducated pastor of the first flock, who served from 1720 to 1767, when he died, aged 84; John Thomas, who had been assistant minister for many years, and who had sole charge from 1768 until 1781; David Loofborough, under whose pastorate, in 1783, the church was regularly chartered by the Legislature, and who remained from 1782 to 1787; Joshua Jones, who was pastor from 1795 to 1802, when he died on the day after Christmas, aged 82; Silas Hough, M.D., an earnest and able man, who acted as pastor from 1804 until 1822, and at the same time practiced as a physician through the country 'round. He died May 14, 1823; Samuel Smith, who was pastor four years, from 1822 to 1826; James B. Bowen, who was pastor from 1830 to 1831. - (The above information was extracted from an old county history.)

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