Mount Elvin Baptist Church – The Birthplace of Trinidad’s Baptist Faith

July 29, 2023 0 Comments

Mount Elvin Baptist Church sits quietly on a tiny knoll off Hindustan Highway on the outskirts of New Grant in southern Trinidad. It is an unpretentious church and nevertheless it can be deemed the epicenter of the Baptist religion in Trinidad and Tobago. This church was recognized in 1816 and the significance of that day has to do with the settlement of the “Merikens” in Trinidad in that yr.

In 1816 demobilized Africans who had served in the British Army throughout the War of 1812 among the British and the Individuals had been settled in Trinidad in what arrived to be recognized as the Firm Villages. According to A.B. Huggins in his e-book “the Saga of the Businesses” the phrase “Merikens” arose simply because these people could not appropriately pronounce the letter A in American. John McNish Weiss in his paper “The Corps of Colonial Marines” says that these “Merikin” troopers ended up slaves in the United states who were promised their flexibility if they fought for the British. Recruited by the British 1st in Maryland and Virginia and later on in Georgia, they have been a preventing unit a lot praised for valor and self-discipline.

When the British Army organizations remaining for property in England in April 1815, the six Black companies became the third Battalion Colonial Marines, garrisoned in Bermuda on Eire Island. They did garrison obligation and labored as artisans and laborers in the creating of the new Royal Naval Dockyard in Bermuda. When transfer to the West India Regiments was proposed the guys turned down the thought. churches in Raleigh led the British authorities to supply to location them in Trinidad as independent farmers. On accepting the supply they remaining Bermuda on 15 July 1816.The initial group of 71 settled in Dunmore Hill and Mount Elvin although the 2nd group of 72 settled in Indian Wander.

These were religious individuals who followed the Baptist faith practiced in the southern United States. Though there were no clergymen amongst them there were five men who had been described as Anabaptist preachers who held Sunday ceremonies. One particular of these males was identified as Brother Will Hamilton. In 1808 the London Missionary Society (Baptist) sent workers to Guyana and Tobago and in 1809 one particular of them, Thomas Adam, relocated to Trinidad. He and later on Reverend George Cowen even though working on the establishment of St John’s Baptist Church in Port of Spain Trinidad also gave guidance to these African-American ex-slaves who ended up practising a variation of the Baptist faith. In time, the similarities of the religion led to the adoption of the missionaries’ version of the Baptist religion that came to be known as in Trinidad, London Baptist.

Above time however, according to Ashram Stapleton in his e-book “The Beginning and Progress of the Baptist Church in Trinidad and Tobago”, there produced a schism as some people in the church wanted particular African methods integrated and the London Missionary Culture frowned on individuals techniques. Ultimately these persons still left the church and ended up 1st referred to as the “Disobedient Baptists” and ultimately the Spiritual or Shouter Baptist. Other variances in the London Baptists then led to additional variations of the Baptist religion with the advancement of the Impartial Baptists and the Basic Baptists.

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