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


Mount Elvin Baptist Church sits quietly on a little 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 set up in 1816 and the significance of that date has to do with the settlement of the “Merikens” in Trinidad in that yr.

In 1816 demobilized Africans who had served in the British Military during the War of 1812 between the British and the Individuals were settled in Trinidad in what came to be recognized as the Firm Villages. In churches in Raleigh to A.B. Huggins in his e-book “the Saga of the Companies” the expression “Merikens” arose simply because these people could not effectively pronounce the letter A in American. John McNish Weiss in his paper “The Corps of Colonial Marines” suggests that these “Merikin” soldiers ended up slaves in the Usa who were promised their independence if they fought for the British. Recruited by the British initial in Maryland and Virginia and afterwards in Ga, they have been a preventing unit significantly praised for valor and willpower.

When the British Army companies left for residence in England in April 1815, the 6 Black businesses turned the third Battalion Colonial Marines, garrisoned in Bermuda on Ireland Island. They did garrison responsibility and labored as artisans and laborers in the developing of the new Royal Naval Dockyard in Bermuda. When transfer to the West India Regiments was proposed the males turned down the notion. Their persistent intransigence ultimately led the British government to offer you to location them in Trinidad as impartial farmers. On accepting the provide they remaining Bermuda on fifteen July 1816.The initial group of 71 settled in Dunmore Hill and Mount Elvin whilst the second group of seventy two settled in Indian Walk.

These had been religious folks who adopted the Baptist faith practiced in the southern United States. Despite the fact that there had been no clergymen between them there have been five gentlemen who ended up described as Anabaptist preachers who held Sunday ceremonies. One particular of these guys was identified as Brother Will Hamilton. In 1808 the London Missionary Society (Baptist) despatched personnel to Guyana and Tobago and in 1809 a single of them, Thomas Adam, relocated to Trinidad. He and later Reverend George Cowen although functioning on the institution of St John’s Baptist Church in Port of Spain Trinidad also gave support to these African-American ex-slaves who had been training a version of the Baptist religion. In time, the similarities of the faith led to the adoption of the missionaries’ edition of the Baptist faith that came to be referred to as in Trinidad, London Baptist.

Above time nevertheless, according to Ashram Stapleton in his e-book “The Beginning and Development of the Baptist Church in Trinidad and Tobago”, there created a schism as some persons in the church needed specific African practices incorporated and the London Missionary Society frowned on these practices. Eventually these folks still left the church and were first called the “Disobedient Baptists” and lastly the Religious or Shouter Baptist. Other variations within the London Baptists then led to additional versions of the Baptist faith with the improvement of the Independent Baptists and the Elementary Baptists.

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