Pennsylvania’s First Baptist Preacher
Little is known of this man of God, yet his history begs to be written. Doubtless much is known in heaven! How insignificant a life may seem this side of heaven, yet be a moving force by Gods judgment. Can 4 years count for God? Read on!
Thomas was born in Ireland and moved to Rhode Island. By the time he moved to Pennsylvania he was already advanced in years. He settled three miles north of Bristol at Cold Spring and there organized the first Baptist church in Pennsylvania. During his ministry of 4 years he built a meeting house, and began a graveyard. His body was buried in that graveyard 4 years after moving to Pennsylvania. He left behind 5 sons and 4 daughters which by the year of 1770 numbered over 600 descendants.
The church that he established in the last 4 years of his life no longer exists. By the year of 1702 the Church had gone out of existence. Some might think his 4 years in Pennsylvania were wasted. Walking by sight and worldly judgment would certainly judge it of little value. But careful examination proves otherwise!
During those 4 years Thomas was used of God to guide Elias Keach, who was heavily burdened by guilt, to Christ. He then baptized and ordained Elias to the gospel ministry. All of this in 4 years! From that church in Cold Spring, Elias Keach and a few others started the church at lower Dublin, known as Pennepeck.
That church in Cold Spring lives on through the descending ministry of Elias Keach and the church lineage he left behind. Who will you leave behind to carry on the work of Christ when you are gone?
Written by Doug Hammett