Mount Elvin Baptist Church sits quietly on a tiny knoll off Hindustan Street on the outskirts of New Grant in southern Trinidad. It is an unpretentious church and but it can be deemed the epicenter of the Baptist faith in Trinidad and Tobago. This church was established in 1816 and the significance of that day has to do with the settlement of the “Merikens” in Trinidad in that year.

In 1816 demobilized Africans who had served in the British Military for the duration of the War of 1812 in between the British and the Individuals had been settled in Trinidad in what arrived to be acknowledged as the Firm Villages. In accordance to A.B. Huggins in his ebook “the Saga of the Companies” the phrase “Merikens” arose because these people could not correctly pronounce the letter A in American. John McNish Weiss in his paper “The Corps of Colonial Marines” claims that these “Merikin” soldiers had been slaves in the United states of america who ended up promised their freedom if they fought for the British. Recruited by the British initial in Maryland and Virginia and afterwards in Ga, they have been a battling unit considerably praised for valor and self-discipline.

When the British Military organizations remaining for home in England in April 1815, the 6 Black firms grew to become the 3rd Battalion Colonial Marines, garrisoned in Bermuda on Eire Island. They did garrison responsibility and labored as artisans and laborers in the developing of the new Royal Naval Dockyard in Bermuda. When churches in Raleigh to the West India Regiments was proposed the males turned down the thought. Their persistent intransigence last but not least led the British govt to offer you to spot them in Trinidad as unbiased farmers. On accepting the provide they left Bermuda on fifteen July 1816.The very first group of seventy one settled in Dunmore Hill and Mount Elvin while the 2nd group of 72 settled in Indian Walk.

These had been religious men and women who adopted the Baptist faith practiced in the southern United States. Even though there had been no clergymen amid them there were 5 men who were explained as Anabaptist preachers who held Sunday ceremonies. One of these males was identified as Brother Will Hamilton. In 1808 the London Missionary Modern society (Baptist) sent personnel to Guyana and Tobago and in 1809 a single 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 assistance to these African-American ex-slaves who were practicing a model of the Baptist religion. In time, the similarities of the religion led to the adoption of the missionaries’ model of the Baptist faith that arrived to be named in Trinidad, London Baptist.

More than time nevertheless, according to Ashram Stapleton in his e-book “The Birth and Progress of the Baptist Church in Trinidad and Tobago”, there developed a schism as some persons in the church needed specific African methods integrated and the London Missionary Society frowned on those techniques. At some point these individuals left the church and were very first called the “Disobedient Baptists” and ultimately the Non secular or Shouter Baptist. Other differences inside the London Baptists then led to additional versions of the Baptist faith with the development of the Independent Baptists and the Basic Baptists.


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