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

Mount Elvin Baptist Church sits quietly on a minor knoll off Hindustan Highway on the outskirts of New Grant in southern Trinidad. It is an unpretentious church and however 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 date has to do with the settlement of the “Merikens” in Trinidad in that calendar year.

In baptist church in Raleigh demobilized Africans who had served in the British Military for the duration of the War of 1812 between the British and the People in america had been settled in Trinidad in what arrived to be identified as the Company Villages. According to A.B. Huggins in his book “the Saga of the Firms” the phrase “Merikens” arose simply because these individuals could not effectively pronounce the letter A in American. John McNish Weiss in his paper “The Corps of Colonial Marines” claims that these “Merikin” troopers were slaves in the United states who were promised their independence if they fought for the British. Recruited by the British first in Maryland and Virginia and afterwards in Ga, they had been a battling unit much praised for valor and self-discipline.

When the British Army organizations left for property in England in April 1815, the six Black organizations grew to become the 3rd Battalion Colonial Marines, garrisoned in Bermuda on Eire Island. They did garrison obligation and labored as artisans and laborers in the building of the new Royal Naval Dockyard in Bermuda. When transfer to the West India Regiments was proposed the men rejected the idea. Their persistent intransigence finally led the British federal government to supply to place them in Trinidad as independent farmers. On accepting the offer you they still left Bermuda on 15 July 1816.The initial team of 71 settled in Dunmore Hill and Mount Elvin although the next team of 72 settled in Indian Walk.

These have been religious people who followed the Baptist faith practiced in the southern United States. Despite the fact that there were no clergymen between them there ended up 5 gentlemen who ended up described as Anabaptist preachers who held Sunday ceremonies. One particular of these gentlemen was identified as Brother Will Hamilton. In 1808 the London Missionary Culture (Baptist) despatched personnel to Guyana and Tobago and in 1809 one particular of them, Thomas Adam, relocated to Trinidad. He and afterwards 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 practicing a variation of the Baptist religion. In time, the similarities of the religion led to the adoption of the missionaries’ variation of the Baptist religion that arrived to be named in Trinidad, London Baptist.

Above time nonetheless, according to Ashram Stapleton in his book “The Start and Development of the Baptist Church in Trinidad and Tobago”, there designed a schism as some people in the church desired particular African methods provided and the London Missionary Modern society frowned on people techniques. At some point these people still left the church and have been first referred to as the “Disobedient Baptists” and lastly the Spiritual or Shouter Baptist. Other variations inside the London Baptists then led to further variations of the Baptist religion with the advancement of the Impartial Baptists and the Basic Baptists.

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