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

July 29, 2023

Mount Elvin Baptist Church sits quietly on a small knoll off Hindustan Street on the outskirts of New Grant in southern Trinidad. It is an unpretentious church and nevertheless it can be considered 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 12 months.

In 1816 demobilized Africans who had served in the British Military throughout the War of 1812 among the British and the Us citizens had been settled in Trinidad in what came to be identified as the Company Villages. According to A.B. Huggins in his e-book “the Saga of the Companies” the time period “Merikens” arose because these folks could not appropriately pronounce the letter A in American. John McNish Weiss in his paper “The Corps of Colonial Marines” suggests that these “Merikin” soldiers have been slaves in the Usa who ended up promised their flexibility if they fought for the British. Recruited by the British very first in Maryland and Virginia and later on in Georgia, they have been a fighting device a lot praised for valor and self-discipline.

When the British Army firms left for home in England in April 1815, the six Black firms became 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 idea. Their persistent intransigence finally led the British federal government to offer you to area them in Trinidad as independent farmers. On accepting the supply they left Bermuda on 15 July 1816.The first team of seventy one settled in Dunmore Hill and Mount Elvin while the second group of 72 settled in Indian Wander.

These were spiritual men and women who followed the Baptist faith practiced in the southern United States. Though there ended up no clergymen amid them there ended up five males who ended up described as Anabaptist preachers who held Sunday ceremonies. churches in Raleigh of these guys was recognized as Brother Will Hamilton. In 1808 the London Missionary Modern society (Baptist) despatched staff to Guyana and Tobago and in 1809 a single of them, Thomas Adam, relocated to Trinidad. He and later on Reverend George Cowen while working on the establishment of St John’s Baptist Church in Port of Spain Trinidad also gave assistance to these African-American ex-slaves who ended up training a model of the Baptist religion. In time, the similarities of the faith led to the adoption of the missionaries’ edition of the Baptist religion that came to be called in Trinidad, London Baptist.

Above time however, in accordance to Ashram Stapleton in his ebook “The Start and Development of the Baptist Church in Trinidad and Tobago”, there developed a schism as some folks in the church wished particular African techniques provided and the London Missionary Society frowned on people techniques. Sooner or later these persons left the church and have been very first named the “Disobedient Baptists” and lastly the Religious or Shouter Baptist. Other variances inside the London Baptists then led to additional versions of the Baptist faith with the advancement of the Independent Baptists and the Elementary Baptists.

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