Mount Elvin Baptist Church sits quietly on a minor knoll off Hindustan Road on the outskirts of New Grant in southern Trinidad. It is an unpretentious church and yet it can be deemed the epicenter of the Baptist faith in Trinidad and Tobago. This church was established in 1816 and the importance 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 Military for the duration of the War of 1812 amongst the British and the Americans have been settled in Trinidad in what arrived to be acknowledged as the Company Villages. According to A.B. Huggins in his book “the Saga of the Companies” the term “Merikens” arose since these people could not effectively pronounce the letter A in American. John McNish Weiss in his paper “The Corps of Colonial Marines” claims that these “Merikin” soldiers ended up slaves in the United states who ended up promised their liberty if they fought for the British. Recruited by baptist church in Raleigh in Maryland and Virginia and later in Georgia, they were a battling unit much praised for valor and willpower.

When the British Army organizations left for house in England in April 1815, the 6 Black companies became the third Battalion Colonial Marines, garrisoned in Bermuda on Eire Island. They did garrison duty and worked 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 gentlemen rejected the idea. Their persistent intransigence last but not least led the British authorities to provide to area them in Trinidad as independent farmers. On accepting the offer they remaining Bermuda on 15 July 1816.The initial team of 71 settled in Dunmore Hill and Mount Elvin while the second team of seventy two settled in Indian Walk.

These ended up spiritual folks who followed the Baptist faith practiced in the southern United States. Despite the fact that there were no clergymen amongst them there had been 5 men who were explained as Anabaptist preachers who held Sunday ceremonies. One particular of these guys was acknowledged as Brother Will Hamilton. In 1808 the London Missionary Society (Baptist) sent staff to Guyana and Tobago and in 1809 1 of them, Thomas Adam, relocated to Trinidad. He and afterwards Reverend George Cowen even though doing work on the establishment of St John’s Baptist Church in Port of Spain Trinidad also gave support to these African-American ex-slaves who had been practising a edition of the Baptist religion. In time, the similarities of the religion led to the adoption of the missionaries’ variation of the Baptist faith that arrived to be called in Trinidad, London Baptist.

In excess of time however, in accordance to Ashram Stapleton in his guide “The Delivery and Progress of the Baptist Church in Trinidad and Tobago”, there created a schism as some individuals in the church needed particular African techniques incorporated and the London Missionary Culture frowned on these practices. Ultimately these people left the church and had been 1st referred to as the “Disobedient Baptists” and ultimately the Spiritual or Shouter Baptist. Other variances in the London Baptists then led to more variants of the Baptist religion with the advancement of the Impartial Baptists and the Basic Baptists.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *