More about Reverend David [Daniel] DAVIS, fifth pastor to welsh Tract Baptist Church, Pencader Hundred, Iron Hill, New Castle County, Delaware:
"“Delaware, at present, contains seven or eight churches, and one small Association, which bears the name of the State.”
"Welsh TRACT CHURCH. ` To come to the history of this modern church,' says Morgan Edwards, we must cross the Atlantic rind land in Wales, where it led its beginning, in the following manner: In the Spring; of the year 1701, several baptists in the counties of Pembroke and Caermarthen, resolved to go to Ainerica ; and as one of the company, Thomas Griffith, was a minister. they were advised to be constituted a church; they took the advice; the instrument of their confederation was in being, in 1770. but is flow lost or mislaid; the names of the confederates follow:
These sixteen persons, which may be styled a church emigrant met at Milfordhaven, in the month of June, 1701, embarked on board the good ship William and Mary, and on the 8th of September following, landed at Philadelphia. The brethren there treated them courteously, and advised them to settle about Pennepeck; thither they went, and there continued about a year and a half; during which time, their church increased from sixteen to thirty-seven. But finding it inconvenient to tarry about Pennepeck, they, in 1703, took up land m Newcastle county, from Messrs. Evans, Davis, and Willis (who had purchased paid Welsh Tract from William Penn, containing upward, of 30,000 acres), and thither removed the same year, and built a little meetinghouse on the spot where the present stands.”
"This removal left some of their members near Pennepeck and took Borne of the Pennepeck members to Welsh Tract, yet neither would commune with their neighbors, on account of a r difference about laying-on-of- hands; for the church of Pennepeck had grown indifferent about the rite; but that at Welsh Tract deemed it a prerequisite to the communion of saints. To remedy this inconvenience, the churches appointed deputies, to the number of twenty-four from both, to compromise matters as well as they could ; who met for the purpose, June 2z, 1706. The following history, translated from the Welsh Tract church-book, will give the reader a view of this whole transaction, and the happy termination of these disputes.”
" 'We could not be in fellowship, at the Lord's table, with our brethren in Pennepeck and Philadelphia, because they did not hold to the laying-on-of-hands, and some other particulars1 relating to a church: true, some of them believed in the ordinance, but neither preached it up, nor practised it ; and when we moved to Welsh Tract, and left twenty-two of oar members at Pennepeck, and took some of their members down with us, the difficulty increased; we had many meetings in order to compromise matters, but to no purpose till June 22 1706: then the deputies, who had been appointed for the purpose, met at the house of brother Richard Miles, in Radnor, and agreed that a member in either church might transiently commune with the other; that a member who desired to come under file laying-on-of-hands, might have his liberty wihout offence ; drat the votaries of the right might Preach or debate upon tire subject with all freedom, consistent with brotherly lose. But three years after This meeting, we had reason to review this transaction, because of Borne brethren who arrived from Wales, and one, among ourselves, who questions whether the first article was warrantable. But we are satisfied that all was right, by the hood effects which followed ; for, from that time forth, our brethren held sweet communion together at the Lord's table ; and our minister2 was invited to preach and assist at an ordination at Pennepeck, after the death of our brother Watts. He proceeded from thence to the Jersey, where he enlightened many in the Good ways of the Lord, insomuch that in throe years after, all the ministers, and about fifty-five private members hall submitted to the ordinance.' "
“The Welsh Tract Church was the principal, if not the sole means of introducing singing, imposition of hands, church covenants, &c., among the baptists in the Middle States. The Century Confession was in America before the year 1716, but without the articles which relate to these subjects ; that year they were inserted by Rev. Abel Morgan, who translated the confession to Welsh, about which time it was signed by one hundred and twenty-two members of this church. These articles were inserted in the next English edition, and adopted, with the other articles, by the Philadelphia Association, in 1742.”
“The pulpit of this church was filled by great and good men of Welsh extraction, for about 70 years.”
“The first minister was Thomas Griffith, who emigrated with the church. All we can learn of hint is, that he was born in Lauvernach parish, in the county of Pembroke, in 1645, and after faithfully serving this church twenty-four years, died at Pennepeck, July 25, 1725.”
“Mr. Griffith was succeeded by Elisha Thomas, who was born in the county of Caermarthen, in 1674. He emigrated from Wales with the church, whereof he was one of the first members, and died, November 7, 1730, and was buried in this church-yard, where a handsome tomb is erected to his memory ; the top-stone is divided into several compartments, wherein open books are raised, with inscriptions and poetry both in Welsh and English.”
“Mr. Thomas's successor was Enoch Morgan. He was brother to Abel Morgan, author of the Welsh Concordance. Their father was Morgan Ryddarch, a famous baptist minister in Wales; but it was a common thing in that country, for the children to false the personal name of their father instead of the sirname, only joining to it the names of their progenitors, by a string of aps.3 Mr. Morgan was born in 1676, at a place called Alltgach, in the parish of Lanwenrog, in the county of Cardigan. He arrived in America with the Welsh Tract Church, whereof he was one of the constituents; he took on him the care of the church at Mr. Thomas's decease, and died in 1740, and was buried in this grave-yard, where a tomb is erected to his memory.”
“Rev. Owen Thomas was his successor. He was born in 1776, at a place called Gurgodllys, in Cilmarrllwyd, and county of Pembroke. He came to America in 1 707 ; took the pastoral care of the church at Mr. Morgan's death, in which office he continued until 1748, when he resigned it to go to Yellow Springs, where he died, November 12, 1760. Mr. Thomas left behind him the following remarkable note:”
“ ‘I have been called upon three times to anoint the sick with oil for recovery; the effect was surprising in every ease, but in none more so than in the case of our brother Rynallt Howel; he was so sore with the bruises which he received by a cask falling on him from a wagon, that he could not bear to be turned in bed ; the next day he went to meeting.’ "
“Rev. David Davis was the next in office here. He was born in the parish of Whitechurch, and county of Pembroke, in tire year 1708, and caste to America when a child, in 1710 ; was ordained in this church in 1734, at which time he became its pastor ; he continued in this office thirty-five years, viz. until 1769, when he died. He was an excellent man, and was held in high esteem by all who knew him. Two of his sons were preachers. Jonathan was a seventh-day baptist, and John was some time pastor of the Second Baptist church in Boston, Mass.”
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