Churches With Links to the British Isles
and to the European Continent

(Note: This page is under construction and is very incomplete. We are aware that there are many more direct links from the Old World to America than what we have shown here, in the initial stages of our research.)

The British Isles

Wales, England, Ireland, and Scotland


In 1665 Elder John Miles arrived in Massachusetts with part of his Baptist congregation of Swansea, Wales. He had founded a Baptist church in Swansea, in his native country, in 1649, and was one of about two thousand ministers who were ejected from their places by the cruel Act of Uniformity in 1662. Some of Elder Miles company in Wales came over with him, and at the house of John Butterworth in Rehoboth, they, to the number of seven, united in a solemn covenant together. Their names were Elder John Miles, James Brown, Nicholas Tanner, Joseph Carpenter, John Butterworth, Eldad Kingsley, and Benjamin Alby.


Pennepek, or Lower Dublin Church (in Pennsylvania) was organized in January 1688, with Elder Elias Keach as pastor, with twelve members (including Elder Keach), viz., John Eaton, George Eaton, Jane Eaton, Sarah Eaton, Samuel Jones (these were all members of a Baptist church in Llanddewi and Nautmel, in Radnorshire, of which Henry Gregory was pastor), John Baker (member of a church in Kilkenny, Ireland, of which Christopher Blackwell was pastor), Samuel Vans (from England), Joseph Ashton, Jane Ashton, William Fisher, and John Watts (the last four being baptized by Elder Elias Keach in the year 1687 after he came among them).


The Middletown Church is mentioned in the records of Lower Dublin (Pennypack) Church in the year 1687. Some accounts give 1688 as the date this church was organized. It is believed that James Aston and James Brown were very early ministers here, and in 1690 Elias Keach lived one year amongst them, and Thomas Killingsworth also visited them. In 1713 John Burrows became their minister, followed by George Eaglesfield, John Coward, Abel Morgan, and others. David Benedict's History of the Baptists states: "For the origin of this church we must look back to the year 1667; for that was the year when Middleton, containing a part of Monmouth, and part of Sussex counties, was purchased from the Indians by twelve men and twenty-four associates; their names are in the town book. Of them the following were Baptists, namely Richard Stout, John Stout, James Grover, Jonathan Bown, Obadiah Holmes, John Buckman, John Wilson, Walter Hall, John Cox, Jonathan Holmes, George Mount, William Cheeseman, William Layton, William Compton, James Ashton, John Bown, Thomas Whitlock, and James Grover, Jr. It is probable, that some of the above had wives and children of their own way of thinking; however, the forenamed eighteen men appear to have been the constituents of the church of Middleton, and the winter of 1688, the time."


The constitution of Piscataway Church dates back to the period of our Colonial history when New Jersey was under the proprietary form of government, to the very year that William and Mary of Orange came to the throne of the mother country. The records of the Church, from the time of its constitution till 1781, a period of nearly one hundred years, were either lost or willfully destroyed during the Revolutionary War. The names of Drake, Stelle, Smalley, Runyon, Martin, Dunham, FitzRandolph, Sutton and Smith were prominent on the register of the Piscataway Church. Of these early settlers tradition will allow only six to have been professed Baptists, namely: Hugh Dunn, John Drake, Nicholas Bonham, John Smalley, Edmund Dunham, and John Randolph. These persons were constituted a Gospel Church in the spring of 1689, by Thomas Killingsworth, who came to this country soon after his ordination in England, and became the first pastor of the Cohansey Church, which was constituted the following year (1690).


The Conhansey Church was planted by Thomas Killingsworth about the year 1690 (according to a paragraph in the records of Pennepack Church book, page 7). Early pastors included Timothy Brooks, William Butcher, and Nathaniel Jenkins. These were the first Baptists known to have settled in South Jersey, and they came from Ireland and were members of a Baptist Church at Cleagh Keating in the County of Tipperary in the Province of Munster in the south of Ireland. They arrived here about 1683 and settled Back and Shrewsbury Necks, in Fairfield Township.


Welsh Tract Church, meeting two miles from Newark, Delaware, was organized in the spring of 1701, by sixteen Baptists in the counties of Pembroke and Caermarthen, in South Wales, with Thomas Griffith, one of their number, as the pastor. They embarked at Milford Haven in June 1701, and landed at Philadelphia September 8th, 1701, holding worship services aboard ship on the way. They originally met in the Province of Pennsylvania, but later moved to Delaware.


Great Valley Church was organized April 22, 1711, with sixteen members, viz., Elder Hugh David, Margaret David, Richard Miles, Sarah Miles, Joan Miles, Jane Miles, Margaret Phillip, James David, Alexander Owen, William Rees, Morris Edward, John Evan, Margaret Evan, William David, Arthur Edward, and William Thomas Hugh. These were Welsh Baptist brethren who came to this country to find freedom of religion. They had formerly worshipped at Rhydwilym, Wales. Meetings were held in their homes until 1722, when a 28 foot square log meeting house was erected.


Brandywine Church was organized as a Baptist Church in 1715. Among the earliest members of this church we find the names of Edmund Butcher, John Powell, Richard Buffington, John Beckingham, Joseph Powell, David Roberts, Jeremiah Collett, Elizabeth Powell, Margery Martin, Hannah Beckingham, Hannah Hunter, Mary Robinett, Mary Powell, Joan Powell, and Joseph Powell.


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."

Particular Baptist Churches in Wales (very incomplete list): Olchon, Swansea, Hay, Lanharan, Ilston, Llanwenarth (Abergavenny), Caermarthen, Lantrissent, Aberavon (Glamorganshire) (this is a very incomplete list). Particular Baptist Associations: South Wales, Midland, Abergavenny.

Particular Baptist Churches in England (very incomplete list): Midland Association - Warwick, Morton, Burton-on-the Water, Alchester, Teuxbury, Hook Norton, Derby, Leominster. Abingdon Association and Hertfordshire Association - Abingdon, Reading, Henlie, Kensworth, Eversholt, Pirton, Wantage, Watlington, Kingston, Hadnam, Oxford, Hempsteed, North Wormborowe, Newcastle, Eedes-Bridge, Dotland-parke, Hadnam, Stoke and Andover, Longworth, Wallingford, Stukeligh, Hempstead, Thistleworth, Dunstan's Hill (London), Newberie, Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Faringdon, Petty France (London). General Meeting in West Country - Wells, Taunton, Bridgewater, Chard, Tiverton, Stoke, Wedmore, Hatch, Riden, Dalwood, Bristol, Somerton, Abingdon, Sydbury, Lime, Dartmouth, Totnes, Lupit, Wincanton, Munticue, North Bradley, Pithay, Lyme, Dartmouth, Plymouth, Barnstaple, Bovey Tracy, Amesbury, Clippen Netten, Whitchurch, Minehead, Yeovil. Northern Association - Newcastle, Hexham, Knarsdale, Carlisle, Wigton, Broughton, Egremont, Hawkshead, Torver, Tottlebank, Lancaster, Stokesley, Hamsterley, Rowley, Muggleswick, South Shields, Sunderland, Bridlington, Bainton, York, Aughton, Hull, Pontefract.

Particular Baptist Churches in Ireland (very incomplete list): Waterford, Killkeny, Clommell, Lymrick, Dublin, Corke, Galloway, Wexford, Kerry, Carrick Fergus, Cleagh Keating.

The European Continent

Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Bohemia, Italy, France


Dr. John Clarke, the founder of the Newport Church, in Rhode Island, was a Baptist minister before he came to America (Bicknell, The Story of Dr. John Clarke). He was educated in the University of Leyden, Holland. "It is also reasonable to assume," says Dr. Bicknell, "that he was a member of or in fellowship with the Baptists of Holland, who had, as early as 1611, affirmed the right of all men to religious liberty and the duty of obedience to lawful government. One of Dr. Clarke's biographers states that he attained high repute for ability and scholarship in languages, including Latin, Greek, Hebrew, law, medicine and theology. In theology Dr. Clarke accepted and taught the doctrines of the Particular or Calvinistic Baptists, in opposition to Arminian Baptists" (Bicknell). He had been conducting services in Newport since 1638. - History of the Baptists, by John Christian. The Newport Church was organized (according to David Benedict's History of the Baptists) by Dr. John Clark and wife, Mark Lukar, Nathaniel West and wife, William Vaughan, Thomas Clark, Joseph Clark, John Peckham, John Thorndon, William and Samuel Weeden. Dr. Clark served as their pastor until his death in 1676. He was followed by Elder Obadiah Holmes, John Callender, Edward Upham, and others.


Second Newport Church originated in 1656, when twenty-one persons broke off from the first church, and formed themselves into a separate body. Their names were William Vaughan, Thomas Baker, James Clark, Jeremiah Clark, Daniel Wightman, John Odlin, Jeremiah Weeden, Joseph Card, John Greenman, Henry Clark, Peleg Peckham, James Barker, Stephen Hookey, Timothy Peckham, Joseph Weeden, John Rhodes, James Brown, John Hammet, William Rhodes, Daniel Sabear, and William Greenman.

Copyright c. 2003-2020. All rights reserved. The Primitive Baptist Library.

This page maintained by: Robert Webb - (