ORIGIN OF THE CHURCH AT LOWER DUBLIN
Organized in 1687 A. D.
IN THE COUNTY OF PHILADELPHIA, PROVINCE OF PENNSYLVANIA
By the providence of God, several persons from Radnorshire, in" Wales, being baptized, upon profession of faith, members of a meeting, in the parish of Llanddowi, Henry Gregory, pastor, came over into this province and settled near Pennepek Creek. In the year of our Lord 1687, came Mr. Elias Keach, son of Mr. Benjamin Keach, of London, and preached unto the people there and at parts adjacent; at or about which time the above said persons, by name John Eaton, George, Eaton, Samuel Jones, and John Watts, with others baptized by the said Elias Keach, agreed, by the advice of the said Mr. Keach, to set a day apart, and by fasting and prayer to settle themselves in a church state; which when they had solemnly accomplished, they made choice of the said Keach to be their pastor. (Taken from P. 11, Minutes of the Philadelphia Baptist Association from 1707 to 1807, published in 1851).
Now note the following facts from this account:
This church, when organized in 1687, was composed of baptized believers who had come to Pennsylvania from Radnorshire, in Wales, and of baptized believers who had been baptized by Elias Keach, son of Benjamin Keach.
Elias Keach came here and preached and baptized and then recommended the group form a church. I should point out that Keach was not even saved when he came to this country. He was a very wicked man and passed himself off as a minister but when preaching his first sermon he was stricken with conviction and confessed his spiritual state and farce to those present. He went to Elder Dungan of Cold Spring, near Bristol, Pennsylvania, who "encouraged him to take his guilty soul to the sin-cleansing Redeemer." Soon he was a happy believer and anxious to be a true preacher of the gospel. He was baptized by Eld. Dungan and was ordained to preach Jesus by the Cold Spring church.
They, the group at Lower Dublin, according to his advice, set aside a day for prayer and fasting and then settled "themselves" into a church state and then called Elias Keach as their pastor. According to Cathcart from which I am taking this information about Keach, the Lower Dublin Church was actually organized in January, 1688, and "from it has sprung the wealthy and influential sisterhood of churches that now (1881) makes Philadelphia the home of the greatest number of Baptists in any large city in America" (Cathcart, p. 638-639).
This church was one of the original churches composing the Philadelphia Association through which many trace their lineage.
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Friday, March 04, 2011