Site Map

Many of our ancestors have answered a call to spread the word of the Gospel. Many suffered for their decision and were persecuted. All were men of God who, in spite of their church affiliation, answered the call to spread the word of God.

Rev. Haute Wyatt (1594-1638)

Haute was educated at Gray's and Queens College at Oxford. He matriculated in 1611. Haute married Barbara Elizabeth Mitford in 1618/19 at St.Mary's in London. Haute was the son of Sir George Wyatt and Lady Jane Finch.

Haute was an ordained minister of the Church of England. His brother, Sir Francis Wyatt was Governor of Virginia. Haute arrived in Virginia on the Georgia along with his brother, Francis, his wife, Elizabeth or Barbara and his son, George, then one years of age. The Georgia arrived in Virginia in October of 1621. He served as the first minster in Jamestown 1621-24. He also served in Virginia as Chaplain to the Governor.

Having survived the Jamestown Massacre, he returned to England upon the death of his father in 1624. He served at Boxley Parish, where he became vicar in 1632. He remained at Boxley until his death in 1638 at Boxley Manor. Haute's mother, Lady Jane Wyatt, lived with Haute and his wife until her death in February of 1631. Haute and Elizabeth or Barbara had three sons: George, Edward and Thomas. Elizabeth or Barbara , his first wife, died 31 Oct 1626. He married 2)Anne Cox in 1629, with whom he had two children: John and Anne. haute died without a will and in 1638 his mother petitioned the Archdeaconry Court at Canterbury for the administration of his estate. He is buried in the Chancel of Boxley. The monumental inscription states that "the Rev. Haute Wyatt died vicar of Boxley Parish and that he had issue living in Virginia."

Domine Everadus Bogardus (1607-1647)
Dutch Reformed

Everadus was born in Veenendaal, Woerden in Utrecht, Netherlands, the son of Willem Cornelisz and Adriessir Van Ryteveld. Both of his parents died with Everadus was young and he was placed in the Woerden Orphanage. He became a tailor's apprentice until September of 1622 when he entered Leiden University 17 Jul 1627. He recieved the Woerden Scholarship to attend the Theological College at Leiden University and 9 Sep 1630, he was sent by the Amsterdam Consistory on behalf of the West India Company to the Coast of Guinea to serve as a Comforter to the sick.

He returned to Amsterdam in 1632 to seek admission into the ministry. He was sent to New Amsterdam as a minister, arriving on the ship, de Southberg in April of 1633. His fellow passenger on the voyage was Woulter Van Twiller, the new governor of the colony. Everadus was the second Dutch Reformed minister in New Amsterdam.

It was in New Amsterdam that Everadus met and married the widow, Anneke Jans. Anneke's first husband, Roeloff Jansen, had a farm in lower Manhattan of approximately 62 acres. Following Roeloff's death, Anneke inhterited this property, subsequently known as "Dominie's Bouwerie" or the minister farm.

Everadus served 1633-1657 as minister of the Dutch Church of New Amsterdam. In 1648, Governor Willem Kieft determined to build a stone church within the fort and chose the wedding feast of Everadus' daughter for beginning a subscription for the church, after the fourth or fifth round of toasts. The next morning many of the guests regretted having made such large subscriptions but Kieft refused to alter their subscriptions.

Kieft then attempted to collect taxes from the Indians and after many unwise acts on his part, he brought on a bloody Indian war, fining and banishing leading citizens who opposed him. Everadus thundered from the pulpit against Kieft. "What are the great men of the country but vessels of wrath and fountains of woe and trouble. They think nothing but to plunder the property of others, to dismiss, to banish, to transport to Holland." Kieft absented himself from church and encouraged the soldiers in fire cannon, beat drums and indulge in noisy amusements during the sermon hour. Everadus continued his censures and was summoned by Kieft before the Council. Finally, friends of both brought about a reconciliation between the two men.

Some very poor decisions made by Kieft led to an Indian war that lasted for five years. in 1647, the Board of XIX recalled Kieft and granted the reforms demanded by the Council of "Eight Men". Kieft sent Kuyter and Melyn, his two boldest accusers, as criminals to Holland on the same vessel on which he and Bogardus returned. As the ship sank, Kieft begged their forgiveness. He and Everadus, along with eighty others were drowned. Kuyter clung to a portion of the wreck and was thrown on land, to the great astonishment of the inhabitants. Melyn floated safely on his back to shore.

Reverend Nathan Benjamin Forrester (1859- 1939)

Nathan had no formal education in the ministry, however, in 1901, he became a minister in the Buckner Baptist Association. He was a member of the Palestine Baptist church. He was pastor of the Amity Baptist Church near Ft.Smith, AR.

Nathan travelled through the nearby Oklahoma Indian Territory spreading the word of the Gospel

Reverend Robert Braswell (1611-1667)

Robert Braswell entered Oxford in 1628 at the age of 17. 3 Nov 1631 he received his B.A. Degree in Theology at Hart Hall, Oxford University, England. Robert was an Anglican minister. Robert was the son of Richard Bracewell, Gentleman (meaning he was of an armorial family) of London and Lettice Hartley.

It was common practice in England during that period for the second son to attend college and enter the ministry. England in the 1600's was a dangerous place for a person in the ministry in England, as with each newly crowned authority in England the tide would turn from Catholic to Protestant and back again all ending with religious persecution in relation to the current monarch's religious preferences. Many in the ministry at this time chose to go to Virginia rather than risk execution in England.

Robert and his family arrived in Smithfield Virginia in 1651 where Robert took a position at the "Old Brick Church," St.Lukes, about five miles from Smithfield, Wight, VA. The bricks of the church bear the date, 1632, built under the supervision of Robert Bridger. Robert's pastorate was known as Lawne's Creek Parish and was in an area between and including what is now both Surry and Isle of Wight, VA. The area that was Lawne's Creek is now known as Southwark Parish. It is believed that Robert arrived in Virginia before 1649. On 29 April 1650, Robert was a witness to an agreement in Virginia. It is said that Robert owned a plantation on Blackwater River as early as 1635. Robert and his family did live on Blackwater River, a few miles south of the James River.

Robert married about 1642 to Rebecca Izard, daughter of John Isard of the Isle of Wight, VA. His will is dated 15 Feb 1667.

John Coate (1644-1699) Quaker

John was not a minister but was a Quaker and was persecuted for his faith. He was the son of Henry C. Cote of Somerset, England. He married Elizabeth Humphreys 29 Dec 1663 in Kingsbury of Somerset, England. He and his wife lived in Lambrook, England.

He is listed in the Southern Division Monthly Meeting Minutes beginning in 1670 when he was imprisoned at Lichester for refusing to pay tithes. A request was made in the Southern Division MM to assist John Cote, whose "afflicted condition" had resulted from his imprisonment, the burning of his home and property, his indebtedness, his responsibility for his four small children, "one of them having been scalded near to death and his wife also being near her time."

In 1678, he was again in prison and was probably released shortly thereafter. In 1680, he was fined 10£. This same year, when a stranger without warrant came to his barn and tried to take four oxen, John took the four oxen back. John and his wife were charged with felony. When the evidence did not support the chrge, John was imprisoned for a "high misdemeanor" instead of "for not finding sureties for their good behavior."

He was still in prison in March 1682 when he signed a petition to seek some relief from the deplorable conditions in which they lived. He and Marmaduke Cote both signed it along with nine others. They presented an address to the judges at the Court of Assizes in March of that year. The entire petition is known in "Besse's Sufferings". He was released and from 1682 forward, he appears to have been in or conducted transactions in Pennsylvania. In England, in 1698, John and his son, Henry, were brought to court for not paying tithes to the person Joseph Horsey of Kingsbury. The original fine of 26£ was reduced to 14£. John had not paid these when he died a year later and the charges were dropped.

John transferred land in Bucks, PA to his son, Samuel, in August 1699. In his later years, John became quite active in the Quaker church. His life was one of many hardships. He died 29 Dec 1699.

It is possible that this is the John who received a land grant of 1000 acres from William Penn 1682 in Bucks, PA. He is the only Coats listed in William Penn's original 1682 land grants and he is the only John Coats known to have been in PA in the 1680's.

This John was on a list of cattle owners in Bucks, PA in 1684. In 1686, he purchased 250 acres of land in Newton Twp., Bucks, PA, situated on Neshaminy Creek. John is listed in the Neshanning MM in Bucks, PA as early as 1685 and later became a member of the Middletown MM in Langhorne. John was granted a certificate to Friends in England and listed as clear of marriage engagements in 1686. It is possible that John, who had married in 1663, was a widower at this time and that his second wife was Elizabeth Ann Wilkins. Whenever John is listed in PA Quaker or civil records, he is missing from English Quaker records. The years of his absence from English Quaker records are 1673-1677 and Aug 1685-May 1687 and Jul 1688-1691. It appears that one of his trips back to England was in 1690, shortly after his brother, Marmaduke died in April of 1689.

Reverend Alexander Munro of Durness (1576-1653) Church of Scotland (Presbyterian)

Son of Hector Munro of Mintown and Margaret Baillie, Alexander served the parish of Cape Wrath on the northwest tip of Scotland.

Alexander married Janet Cumming of Bunchrew, daughter of James Cumming of Altyre and Margaret or Mary Fraser.

Alexander was converted through the ministry of through the ministry of Bruce at Inverness was Alexander Munro, son of the Laird of Katewell, Kiltearn.

Alexander was ordained into the ministry in the parish of Durness in the northwest county of Sutherland. There, Alexander found the people illiterate and ignorant of the Gospel. The people, according to Dr.Aird, "were almost heathen" but Alexander was successful in "a large harvest of souls."

Alexander, noting how fond the people were of singing Gaelic songs, began to translate portions of the Scripture into the native Gaelic and set them to popular tunes. Thus the people became familiar with the fundamental doctrines of God's Word.

Reverend Samuel Macock 1594-1623/24 Church of England

Samuel Macock/ Maycock was the son of Roger Macock and was born in Yelvetoft, Northamptonshire, England in 1594. Samuel was a young man of 23 when he was brought from England, at the request of Governor Argall, as the minister of the first Church of Jamestown in March of 1617. Samuel's wife's name is unknown.

Samuel was educated at Cambridge College.

He was given land north of Jamestown on the James River known as Maycock Plantation. Samuel was a member of the Assembly and a member of the Governor's Council.

Samuel probably married in Jamestown shortly before 1623/24. He and his wife had a young daughter, Sarah, their only known child born 1621/22, on that Good Friday morning of the Indian massacre. We can only imagine the family's terror as they hid their young daughter that morning from the Indian onslaught. Both Samuel and his wife were murdered by the Indians and young Sarah (age given as various 4 months to 2 years) was found hidden on the plantation after the massacre.

Reverend Samuel Dudley (1608-1682) Puritan

Samuel was the son of Governor Thomas Dudley of Massachusetts and his wife, Dorothy Yorke. Samuel was born in Northamptonshire, England and came with his father to New England when Samuel was about twenty. He married Mary, daughter of Governor Winthrop. Samuel and Mary had three children, while living in Boston. His first two sons died young. His wife died in 1643 and Samuel married Mary Byley or Bayley.

Samuel was Deputy to the General Court in Salisbury 1641-1645 and held several other town offices. In March of 1648, he was appointed associate judge and in 1650, he became minister for Exeter in New Hampshire, having preached in Portsmouth, New Hampshire in 1649.

Samuel's second wife, Mary Byley/ Bayley, died in 1651 and Samuel married for a third time to Elizabeth, whose surname is unknown.

Samuel had ten sons but only his son, Stephen, had sons who carried on the Dudley name.

Samuel died at Exeter in New Hampshire 10 Feb 1682/83 at the age of seventy-three. Samuel never made a will. The land was divided among the children with each probably receiving one twelfth of Samuel's six hundred acres.

Samuel was probably educated in the Puritan denomination.

Reverend Thomas Hampton (1623-1690) Anglican

Thomas was the son of William Hampton and Joane (surname Unknown).

In 1639, Thomas oversaw the construction of the first brick church in America at Jamestown, VA. Thomas was the rector of James City Parish in Virginia.

Thomas was born in Kegoughtan Parish, England and came to Virginia about 1629 and was a minister in Jamestown in 1630.

Thomas died in 1648. His son, also named Thomas, also became a minister.

Reverend James Alexander (1634-1704) Church of Scotland (Presbyterian)

James was the son of Robert Alexander and Mary Hamilton. James was born in Bughall, Stirling, Scotland. James married Mary Maxwell, daughter of John and Elizabeth Maxwell.

The Alexander family came to Raphoe, Ireland as tenants of Sir James Cunningham, a Scottish nobleman. The Alexanders settled in the Laggan Presbytery.

James was a member of the Laggan Presbytery in Raphoe. James was ordained 12 Dec 1677 in Raphoe. James was minister of the Convor Congregation in County Donegal from 1678 until his death in 1704. He was the third minister at Convor on the Montgomery estate. His salary in 1691 consisted of £24 and 24 barrels of corn.

James was imprisoned for eight months in Raphoe in 1680/81 for calling a day of fasting and prayer to protest the policies of the Church of England. This was, perhaps, the motivating factor in the immigration to Maryland of his seven sons, who, perhaps fled to Maryland from Ireland.

James is noted as absent in the meetings of the "General Synod of Ulster" in 1691, 1692 and 1694.

James died 17 Nov 1704 in Raphoe, Donegal, Ireland. Mary Maxwell died in Raphoe at a date unknown. James married 2) Marian Shaw, his widow at the time of his death.

Reverend Stephen White (1760-abt 1825) Baptist

We know very little about Stephen. He married Eleanor Ferguson about 1784. Eleanor was the daughter, perhaps, of William Ferguson and Elenor White.

Stephen White was an early minister of Shoal Creek Baptist Church in Cleveland, Oconee County. Originally, Old Liberty was in that part of Franklin Co., Georgia that later became a part of South Carolina. Old Liberty was established in 1804 and in 1812 was moved to the Cleveland Community in a log building. Old Liberty was a charter member of the Tugaloo Baptist Associtation in 1818. Stephen, along with Humphrey Posey and Adam Corn, were responsible for beginning several Baptist churches, including Shoal Creek Baptist Church in Haywood County, NC. Shoal Creek began is Mt.Zion Missionary Church on 26 Jul 1828, at Yellow Hill in what was Haywood County and what was then, Cherokee County, NC.

Stephen was an early settler at Scott's Creek in Buncombe County, NC. 17 Sep 1813 Stephen White enters 100 acres of land lying on the head of a branch running into the Road Fork of Scots Creek opposite Little B. Battles plantation.

Stephen was called "a hard shell Baptist" and the Adam Corn tells of one day when the school became a prayer meeting, while singing verses led by "Old Brother White", in which several of the students were converted. The meeting lasted until sundown. The next day, half the school came forward.

Adam Corn, Humphrey Posey and Stephen White served as elders on the Presbytery of the Baptist Church at Cowee in the Cherokee purchase, Macon, NC in 1828. It is interesting to note that in 1830 Samuel Decater Bryson was one of the trustees appointed to locate land to build the church. The land was deeded to the church by Samuel D. Bryson and a log structure was built.

Reverend Samuel Hoke McCall (1851-1919) Methodist

Samuel was the son of Josiah Franklin McCall and Cecelia Katherine McCall. He was born in Charlotte, Mecklenburg, NC in 1851. In 1872, Samuel married Martha E. Muse, daughter of John McAuley Muse and Susan Malinda Pinion.

Samuel was the minister at Roberta Methodist Church in Cabarrus, NC.


Rev. Haute Wyatt

Domine Everadus Bogardus

Reverend Nathan Benjamin Forrester

Reverend Robert Braswell

John Coate

Reverend Alexander Munro of Durness

Reverend Samuel Dudley

Reverend Thomas Hampton

Reverend James Alexander

Reverend Stephen White

Reverend Samuel Hoke McCall

Reverend Samuel Macock

Church of England

The Protestant Reformation begain about 1510. In the 1530's King Henry VIII, in order to divorce Queen Catherine, who had not produced a male heir, was refused a divorce by the Pope. Henry used he grounds that because Catherine had been married to his brother, previously, his marriage was incest. Besides, Henry had already fallen in love with Ann Boleyn, lady in waiting to Queen Catherine.

Because Henry had obtained a papal dispensation in order to marry Catherine because she had been his brother's wife, it made it even more difficult to get a second papal dispensation to override the first one. After several failed attempts with the Pope, Henry declared himself head of the Church of England and thus, the Church of England separated from Rome, though there really wasn't much difference between the two churches.

Henry's new church adopted the English Bible but reaffirmed the Catholic principles of faith in a law known as the Six Articles.

Edward VI, Henry's son, made a few more changes to the Church of England. He repealed the Six Articles and allowed priests to marry. He also adopted the Book of Common Prayer and had removed all images and altars in the churches. Had Edward not died six years into his reign, a more Calvinist church would have resulted.

He was succeeded by Henry's daughter, Mary, known as "bloody Mary", daughter of Catherine of Aragon. Mary had been raised in France and declared England to be, once again, a Catholic country. She earned her nickname by executing any who opposed her in returning the country to the Catholic faith.

Mary was succeeded by Elizabeth, daughter of Henry VIII and Ann Boleyn, who had been declared a bastard child. Elizabeth repealed Mary's Catholic legislation but she did not adopt Edward's austere Protestantism. In 1587, Elizabeth had her cousin, Mary Stuart, executed, ending Catholic plots against Elizabeth's life.

Important contributions to the Reformation were made in England: the first translation of the Bible from Latin into English; the Wycliffite Rebellion in the 14th century and the spread of Northern humanism.

The Church of England is also known as the Anglican Church and, in the United States, after the Revolution, the Protestant Episcopal Church.

Because the Church of England's roots are more political than theological, the Episcopalian Church is very much like the Catholic Church, with incense and even the veneration of Mary. Most Anglicans, like Roman Catholics, reject Calvinism and its idea of predestination and conversion. Anglicans stress the capacity of humankind, enlightened by reason, to earn salvation by leading upright, moral lives.

In the colonies, the Church of England, as it was before the Revolution, was a major force in states such as Virginia and the Carolinas, where only marriages performed by Anglican rectors were recognized as legal. The Church of England was the recognized, established, state-supported church.


Puritans desired Biblical reform in the church. Early Puritans were Bishop Hooker and Thomas Cartwright, who called for a "pure" church. The Queen and the Church of England were threatened by the Puritans and enforced uniformity in religion by law.

The essential thing in understanding the Puritans was that they were preachers before they were anything else...Into whatever efforts they were led in their attempts to reform the world through the Church, and however these efforts were frustrated by the leaders of the Church, what bound them together, undergirded their striving, and gave them the dynamic to persist was their consciousness that they were called to preach the Gospel.
J.I. Packer, A Quest for Godliness.

Presbyterian Church
The Church of Scotland

The Great Reformation movement began in 1517 with Martin Luther, in Germany and began to spread as men began to question the Roman Catholic Church. John Calvin, a French-Swiss theologian, refined Luther's thoughts. John Knox, a Scotsman and former Catholic priest, studied with Calvin in Geneva and in 1555, took his thoughts to Scotland where he and five other reformers wrote the Scots Confession and birthed the Presbyterian faith. Patrick Hamilton and George Wishart were both martyred for their attempts to establish the Presbyterian faith in Scotland. The Church of Scotland was officially established in 1560. Andrew Melville continued the work Knox had begun after the death of Knox and established the educational foundation for the training of ministers in the Presbyterian faith.

In 1649, the Scots Confession was replaced by the Westminster Confession of Faith, which was formed by a united England and Scotland under Cromwell's Puritan government. The Westminster Confession was never adopted by the Church of England. The American Presbyterian Church officially adopted the Westminster Confession in 1729.

The first Presbyterian in America was Rev.Francis Mackemie in 1683 and he helped orgainize the first American Presbytery in Philadelphia in 1706. In the Revolution, the Presbyterians were so involved that the King of England called it "a Presbyterian revolution". In 1775, in a pastoral letter, the Presbyterian Church urged the colonists to fight for freedom.

Rev.Jonathan Edwards and Rev.Gilbert Tennent were both instrumental in the Great Awakening in the early 18th century. The Presbyterian Church is strong on education and medical care and have provided the country with many colleges and hospitals.


The Baptist church claims descent from two sources with roots in the Reformation. General Baptists and Landmark Baptists derive descent from the Anabaptists.

In England, following the Puritans and the resulting reaction of the English government's demand for religious uniformity under the Church of England, a new movement began, the Separatists. The Separatists demanded separation of Church and State, allowing pure doctrine and a reform of the Church. They stressed that the Church consisted of those who were redeemed and was not political. Rather than a church that was ruled from the top down, they taught that a church was ruled from the bottom up. They desired a worship that emphasized a Holy God and felt that the Book of Common Prayer led to the people focusing on the form and not on an all Sovereign God.

Out of these separatists, the Baptist church was born. The early baptists beleived in a general atonement and a distinct belief that Christians could fall from grace. Two primary founders of this group were John Smyth and Thomas Helwys in a movement known as the General Baptists founded about 1608/09.

John Smyth was in Holland though he was ordained as an Anglican priest in 1594 but he was shortly imprisoned for his zeal and refusal to follow the established teachings and practices of the Church of England. In 1609, Smyth, along with a group of theologians in Holland, established the basic principles of the Baptist church, including the baptism of believers only, rather than the baptism of infants as practiced by the Church of England.

Thomas Helwys carried his followers to England in 1611. Helwys held to believer's baptism and rejected the idea of falling from grace, a part of Calvin's free will position.

By 1624 there were five General Baptist churches and by 1650 that number had grown to forty seven.

These baptists held different views on atonement and emerged as two groups. The Particular Baptists also came from the Separatist movement in the 1630's and held strongly to particular atonement. By 1644, the Particular Baptists had seven churches, which acted together to create an issue of faith called the First London Confession of Faith, preceding the Westminster Confession of Faith by two years. Most modern day Baptists come out of this Particular Baptist movement.

The movement began with Henry Jacob, though Jacob never actually became a Baptist. Jacob continued to try to effect changes within the Church of England. For this, Jacob was imprisoned under King James I and like most other Separatists, went to Holland. In 1616, Jacob returned to England and formed the JLJ church, a secret church, which would later give rise to the Particular Baptist. The JLJ church had many divisions, due in part of its secrecy. If it grew too large, it was in danger of being "found out". There were also divisions based upon the issue of believer's baptism.

By the mid 1600's both groups were established in England. The General Baptists began to break down from doctrinal problems based upon its Arminian position as the deity of Jesus began to be questioned. By the 1700's this group died out.

Even in the persecution in England, the Particular Baptists fluorished. In 1644, they published The First Baptist Confession, Calvinistic in nature and refuting all claims that they were Anabaptists. In 1677, they adopted a second confession reflecting the Westminster Confession and the Savoy Declaration. In this document, the Baptists confirmed their belief in believer's baptism, rather than infant baptism.

The first Baptist church in America was founded by Roger Williams in 1638 in Providence, Rhode Island. The First Baptist Church in Charleston, SC, founded in 1682, was the first Baptist church south of Boston.

In America, Baptists were persecuted and executed upon the urging of Protestants. Even prior to colonization in America, at least 65 million people were executed for holding central Baptist beliefs by Roman Catholics and Protestants.

In 1707, the Philadelphia Baptist Association was founded and in 1742, this association adopted the London Baptist Confession of 1689, giving it a new name, The Philadelphia Confession of Faith. In 1770, they founded a college and began to send missionaries throughout America.

Quakers, the Friends

Quakers were part of a long history of dissent in England. The first distinctly Protestant movement in England was Lollardy, arising in the 1370's and led by John Wycliffe, who advocated that all people should have access to the Bible. The Lollards criticized the priesthood for financial and sexual corruption. The Lollard position was supported by our ancestor, John of Gaunt, 3d son of Edward III of England.

Quaker belief was begun by George Fox, who in 1647 preached that the established religious practices were unimportant and could be disregarded. The Quakers believe that there is a divinity within each person, an inner light, and that each person must seek God's guidance through prayer and follow the leadings of the divine spirit within.

Quakers do not have a formal creed or statement of beliefs and they have no ritual, rather, their meetings are silent. Quakers also do not have paid ministers.

The early Quakers were known for interrupting the church service of others and arguing with ministers in a very disruptive fashion. Not only the Church of England but other Protestant groups found Quakers threatening.

Quakers minimized the importance of the historic Christ and believed that personal divine inspiration is above Scriptures. They de-emphasized the concept of Heaven and Hell and rejected the concept of the Holy Trinity and they allowed women to preach in public.

Quakers were arrested, fined and jailed for refusing to pay tithes (taxes to go to the State Church); refusing to take oaths (maintaining that there is only one standard of truth and that is maintained at all times; refusing to remove their hats before officials and for expressing the testimony of referring to everyone with the familiar "thee" rather than the formal "you".

Early Friend meetings were often chaotic with people singing, shouting and weeping and sometimes "indecent" behavior such as walking through the streets naked as a sign. These behaviors and beliefs led to both official and nonofficial persecutions: jailing, loss of property and a loss of employment.

In 1650, Margaret Fell organized a relief group for persecuted Friends.

In 1658, Oliver Cromwell died and the coalition between Puritans and Parliament collapsed and the Church of England was restored. Cromwell's body was dug up and decapitated and publicly displayed. It has been estimated that at this time in England half the people were dissenters, neither Anglican nor Puritan.

In January of 1661, the Fifth Monarchy Uprising took place in an unsuccessful attempt to remove Charles II and re-establish government by Parliament. In the aftermath, thousands of Friends were imprisoned as collaborators and by March 1661, some five thousand Friends were imprisoned in England. Richard Hubberthorne and George Fox, along with ten other prominent Friends, issued a Peace Testimony in which they denied the use of weapons "for any pretense". The result was the end to the mass imprisonments.

With the passage of the Religious Toleration Act in 1689, during the Reign of King William and Mary, Quakers were for the firs time, able to worship in public openly and legally.

In America, Friends were known for purchasing land fairly from the Indians. As early as 1688, Friends in Germantown, PA published the First Minute of Advice, a document advocating the abolition of slavery and in 1777, owning slaves became grounds for disownment (expulsion) from the Baltimore Yearly Meeting. By 1784, owning slaves was cause for refusing membership.

Methodist Episcopal Church

John Wesley was born in 1703. His father was an Anglican minister. John was educated at Oxford and at the age of twenty, he began to think of entering the ministry. In 1723, he entered Lincoln College and in 1728 was ordained.

In 1729, he and his brother, Charles and Mr.Morgan, formed a society to aid them in their study. They applied the name of Methodist to their society, in relationship to the method they used in their studies.

In a travel to America, Wesley was aboard ship with several Moravians, from whom he learned "the way of God", particularly about justification through faith in Jesus Christ and the necessity and privilege of the witness and fruits of the Holy Spirit.

When Wesley returned to England, he experienced the knowledge of justification through faith alone, without works. He then made a trip to journey to Hernhuth, the principle settlement of the Moravians and attended their meetings. Fully convicted about the power of justification, Wesley returned to England and began to preach of salvation by faith in the name of Jesus. As the numbers of his followers grew, he formed them into a society and in 1743, he drew up the general rules of the societies.

Joined by men anxious to help spread the word, he submitted to employ them, convinced that they were called of God to this work. Therefore, we see the employment of lay-preachers, for which Wesley was persecuted. After much confusion, it became necessary to call the preachers together for conference, first held in London in 1744. Methodism spread throughout England and Wales and spread to the United States.


Copyright 1997-2004 Genealogical Gleanings
All Rights Reserved