A HISTORY OF THE ORIGIN Of The FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH IN THE CITY OF NEW-YORK
Printed on the cover of the book are these words: TWO SERMONS BY W.PARKINSON. A JUBILEE SERMON, Containing A HISTORY OF THE ORIGIN Of The FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH IN THE CITY OF NEW-YORK, And Its Progress During The First Fifty Years Since Its Constitution “Delivered in the Meeting-house of said Church, Jan. 1, 1813. By WM. PARKINSON, A.M., Pastor. I have taken the liberty of emphasizing in bold type some phrases of Elder Parkinson’s that relate to the present controversy.
HOW THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF NEW YORK CITY WAS FOUNDED
“The present church in this place, originated in the manner following: About the year 1745, Mr. Jeremiah Dodge, a member of the Baptist church at Fish-Kill, settled in this city, and opened a prayer meeting in his own house: at this meeting some of those who had been members of the former church, attended, and occasionally officiated; but as they were Arminians, and Mr. Dodge a strict adherent to the doctrines of grace, they enjoyed but little satisfaction together. Some time in the same year, 1745, Elder Benjamin Miller of the Scotch Plains, visited the city (probably at the invitation of Mr. Dodge) and baptized Mr. Joseph Meeks. Thenceforward the prayer meeting was held at the house of Mr. Meeks and that of Mr. Dodge alternately; and these two brethren and Mr. Robert North (formerly of the Arminian church) united in giving an invitation to Mr. John Pine (a licentiate in the church at Fishkill) to come and preach to them. His labors were rendered useful; partly in reconciling some of the former church to the doctrines of grace, and partly, in the conversion of others. His place of preaching appears to have been, chiefly, the dwelling house of Mr. Meeks. In 1750 Mr. Pine died: after which they were visited by Elder James Carman (of Cranberry) who baptized at different times, until there number was increased to thirteen: when they were advised to join themselves to the church at the Scotch Plains, so as to be considered a branch of that church, and to have their pastor (Elder Benjamin Miller) to preach and administer the Lord’s supper to them once a quarter. This was effected in 1753. Mr. Miller had visited them but a few times, when the congregation became too large to be accommodated in any private house, that was at their service, and therefore they hired, as the best and most commodious place their circumstances enabled them to procure, a rigging loft in Cart and Horse-street, which they fitted up for public worship. Here they statedly assembled for three or four years; when, this place being otherwise disposed of by the owner, they (such of them as could be accommodated) returned to the dwelling house of Mr. Joseph Meeks; where they continued to hold their meetings for about one year. Then they purchased a part of the ground on which the house we now occupy stands, and erected upon it a small meeting house, which was opened on the 14th of March, 1760.
Having then a place for public worship, and their number being increased to twenty-seven, they solicited and obtained from the church at the Scotch Plains, a letter of dismission, bearing date the 12th of June, 1762; and on the 19th of the same month they were constituted a church, by the assistance of Elders Benjamin Miller and John Gano.”
THE SECOND BAPTIST CHURCH
“Soon after (a disturbance in the church created by certain men), the church (First Baptist Church of New York) was considerably agitated by a difference of opinion about the management of psalmody. It had been the usage of the church to have the lines parceled out; but a large majority becoming in favor of singing from books, as we now do, a resolution was past (sic) to adopt this mode; where upon the minority, consisting of fourteen, took dismissions, and having obtained the approbation of the church they had left, on June 5th, 1790, they were constituted under the name of the Second Baptist Church in New-York, by Elders Miller and Gano.” (parenthetical information supplied by C.A.P.)