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

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 however it can be regarded the epicenter of the Baptist religion in Trinidad and Tobago. This church was set up in 1816 and the significance of that date has to do with the settlement of the “Merikens” in Trinidad in that calendar year.

In 1816 demobilized Africans who had served in the British Army in the course of the War of 1812 amongst the British and the Us citizens have been settled in Trinidad in what came to be recognized as the Company Villages. According to A.B. Huggins in his e-book “the Saga of the Businesses” the phrase “Merikens” arose because these individuals could not effectively pronounce the letter A in American. John McNish Weiss in his paper “The Corps of Colonial Marines” says that these “Merikin” troopers have been slaves in the United states who were promised their freedom if they fought for the British. Recruited by the British 1st in Maryland and Virginia and later on in Ga, they have been a preventing device considerably praised for valor and discipline.

When the British Military organizations remaining for home in England in April 1815, the 6 Black organizations grew to become 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 rejected the idea. Their persistent intransigence lastly led the British authorities to offer to area them in Trinidad as independent farmers. On accepting churches in Raleigh left Bermuda on fifteen July 1816.The 1st team of seventy one settled in Dunmore Hill and Mount Elvin whilst the 2nd team of 72 settled in Indian Wander.

These have been spiritual people who followed the Baptist faith practiced in the southern United States. Despite the fact that there ended up no clergymen between them there had been 5 gentlemen who ended up explained as Anabaptist preachers who held Sunday ceremonies. A single of these gentlemen was recognized as Brother Will Hamilton. In 1808 the London Missionary Modern society (Baptist) despatched personnel to Guyana and Tobago and in 1809 a single of them, Thomas Adam, relocated to Trinidad. He and later on Reverend George Cowen while functioning on the establishment of St John’s Baptist Church in Port of Spain Trinidad also gave support to these African-American ex-slaves who were practising a edition of the Baptist faith. In time, the similarities of the faith led to the adoption of the missionaries’ edition of the Baptist faith that arrived to be called in Trinidad, London Baptist.

More than time nevertheless, in accordance to Ashram Stapleton in his book “The Beginning and Progress of the Baptist Church in Trinidad and Tobago”, there created a schism as some people in the church wanted specific African techniques included and the London Missionary Culture frowned on people practices. Eventually these individuals remaining the church and were very first named the “Disobedient Baptists” and ultimately the Non secular or Shouter Baptist. Other differences within the London Baptists then led to additional variations of the Baptist faith with the advancement of the Independent Baptists and the Fundamental Baptists.

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