History of American Baptists — Delaware
by David Benedict — 1848
Early history-most important churches, Welsh Tract-Duck Creek, or Brynsion–Wilmington ton-Second Church, do.,-Delaware Association Sad decline of the baptist interest in this State-Concluding remarks.
ALTHOUGH the number and influence of the denomination in this State, for marry years, has been very small, yet it was, for a long tithe, equal in proportion to the population, to any of the Middle States; and the community at Welsh Tract, in early times, held a respectable stand among the American Baptists ; it was one of the five churches which formed the Philadelphia Association ; its ministers were among the most active in all baptist operations, and the whole concern was not behind any of the members of that quintuple alliance. In all old historical details at the north or south, reference is often had to this ancient church, and the ministers who officiated there, or emigrated to other regions, were highly esteemed.
My business as a general historian of the Baptists is to relate all important facts relating to their rise and progress or decline, in all countries and ages; and although but, a short article can, according to in), rules of proceeding, be constructed on this small territory, where the interest of our denomination, at present, is much more diminutive than its geographical dimensions, yet tire whole story ought, in justice, to be told of the former good condition of the few churches here established which now are in a decayed and feeble slate.
The comparison will naturally lead to tire inquiry as to the cause of this unusual deterioration in our denominational affairs.
My second volume commences with the history of the baptists in this State; a few of the first paragraphs I will transcribe :
“Delaware became an independent State in 1776; it contains three little counties, New Castle, Kent, and Sussex; in the first, there was a baptist society as early as 1703; they settled near Iron hill; from thence, thcir sentiments took a spread northward, as far as Loadon Tract, in Pennsylvania; north-east, to Wilmington; east, to Bethel; west., to Elk river, in Maryland; southward, tar Duck Crock, in this State; and to Pedee river in South Carolina.
“This society was from Wales, and about the year 1733, eight or ten families more, from the same country, made a settlement at Duck Creek in Kent county, from whence their sentiments spread to Cowmarsh and Mispillion, and to Georgetown, in Maryland.
“About the year 1788; Elijah Baker and Philip Hughes who had been laboring on the 7 eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay, in Maryland and and Virginia, carne to the county of Sussex, and made many proselytes, and planted two or three churches.
“Delaware, at present, contains seven or eight churches, and one small Association, which bears the name of the State.