Mount Elvin Baptist Church – The Birthplace of Trinidad’s Baptist Faith

Mount Elvin Baptist Church sits quietly on a small knoll off Hindustan Street on the outskirts of New Grant in southern Trinidad. It is an unpretentious church and nevertheless it can be deemed the epicenter of the Baptist faith in Trinidad and Tobago. This church was set up in 1816 and the significance of that day has to do with the settlement of the “Merikens” in Trinidad in that year.

In baptist church in Raleigh demobilized Africans who had served in the British Army throughout the War of 1812 among the British and the Americans ended up settled in Trinidad in what came to be recognized as the Company Villages. According to A.B. Huggins in his ebook “the Saga of the Businesses” the phrase “Merikens” arose because these folks could not appropriately pronounce the letter A in American. John McNish Weiss in his paper “The Corps of Colonial Marines” says that these “Merikin” troopers have been slaves in the Usa who had been promised their flexibility if they fought for the British. Recruited by the British initial in Maryland and Virginia and later on in Ga, they were a preventing device significantly praised for valor and self-control.

When the British Army companies still left for house in England in April 1815, the six Black firms turned the 3rd Battalion Colonial Marines, garrisoned in Bermuda on Eire Island. They did garrison duty and worked as artisans and laborers in the creating of the new Royal Naval Dockyard in Bermuda. When transfer to the West India Regiments was proposed the men rejected the notion. Their persistent intransigence ultimately led the British authorities to provide to area them in Trinidad as independent farmers. On accepting the offer you they left Bermuda on fifteen July 1816.The very first team of seventy one settled in Dunmore Hill and Mount Elvin while the 2nd team of seventy two settled in Indian Wander.

These were spiritual folks who adopted the Baptist faith practiced in the southern United States. Though there were no clergymen among them there were five guys who were described as Anabaptist preachers who held Sunday ceremonies. A single of these guys was recognized as Brother Will Hamilton. In 1808 the London Missionary Society (Baptist) despatched personnel to Guyana and Tobago and in 1809 a single of them, Thomas Adam, relocated to Trinidad. He and later Reverend George Cowen whilst doing work on the institution of St John’s Baptist Church in Port of Spain Trinidad also gave support to these African-American ex-slaves who have been practicing a version of the Baptist faith. In time, the similarities of the religion led to the adoption of the missionaries’ model of the Baptist faith that arrived to be known as in Trinidad, London Baptist.

Above time however, according to Ashram Stapleton in his e-book “The Delivery and Development of the Baptist Church in Trinidad and Tobago”, there developed a schism as some persons in the church wanted particular African techniques incorporated and the London Missionary Culture frowned on people techniques. Eventually these people still left the church and had been first called the “Disobedient Baptists” and finally the Spiritual or Shouter Baptist. Other variances inside of the London Baptists then led to more versions of the Baptist faith with the development of the Independent Baptists and the Basic Baptists.