This Sunday in Baptist History
In November 1681 the Baptist church in Boston granted authority to William Screven to “exercise his gift in ye place where he lives or else where as the providence of God may cast him.” That place of service was in Kittery, Maine. Apparently the Lord blessed the work of Bro. Screven and after several trips by members of the Boston church to examine the work, on this day (July 26) in 1682, the following letter was sent, approving the establishment of a new Baptist church –
“Upon serious and solemn consideration of the church about a motion or request made by severall members that lived att Kittery, y(et) they might become a Church & that they might p-ceed therein provided they were such as should be Approved for such A Foundacon work, the Church gave there grant and att ye time Appointed did send severall messengers to make y strict Inquiry and Examination as they ought in such A case who at there Returne brought y(et) Coppys here Inserted 26th of 7 mo 1682.
The Church of Christ at Boston y(et) is baptized upon profession of faith haveing taken into serious consideration ye Request of our Brethren at Kittery Relating to there being A Church by themselves y(et) soe they might Injoy the precious ordinances of Christ which by reson of distance of habitason they butt seldome could enjoy have therefore thought meet to make Choice of us whose names are und’written as Messengers to Assist them in ye same faith with us for upon carefull examination of them in matters of Doctrine and practice and soe finding one with us by there (we hope) Conshiencous Acknowledgement of ye Coinfession of faith putt forth by ye Eladers and Brethren of ye Churches in London and ye contry England dated in ye year 1682.
And they haveing given themselves up to ye Lord & too one Another in A Solemn Covenant to walk as said Covenant may Express & alsoe haveing Chosen theire officers whome they with us have Appointed and ordained, we doe therefore in ye name of ye Lord Jesus & by the Appointm(ent) of his Church deliver them to be a Church or Christ in ye faith and order of ye Gospel.
signed by us in ye name of ye Church the 25 of 7 mo 1682.