In my reading of early Baptist history in this country, some names often come up – Shubal Sterns, Daniel Marshal, and John Gano, for example. But Joseph Breed is not usually one of them.
The Great Awakening brought many true converts into the Congregational churches of New England. Joseph and Priscilla Breed were among eighty who joined the congregation in Groton, Connecticut. In about 1753 the Breeds were led of the Lord to help Daniel and Martha Marshal evangelize the Mohawk Indians. That went well until the French and Indian War put the missionaries in danger, so they carried their evangelistic zeal to northern Virginia. There they ran into a Baptist church near Winchester, where they learned the truth more clearly, and the members of both families were baptized by immersion.
Bro. Breed then began to travel with Daniel Marshal to Mill Creek, Virginia, where God blessed with the salvation of souls. It was there that Marshal’s brother-in-law, Shubal Sterns and his family, joined the group from New England.
It was on this day (June 13) in 1755 that a letter arrived describing the spiritual need and opportunities of North Carolina, and the trio of preachers moved their families to that new mission field. At Sandy Creek, N.C., a work was begun, and over time its influence spread hundreds of miles in every direction. While Sterns continued to minister at Sandy Creek, Daniel Marshal traveled as far south as Augusta and Keokee, Georgia. In the mean time, Joseph Breed took a young and gifted convert, Phillip Mulkey, to a tract of land between the Tyger River and Fairforest Creek in South Carolina starting a Separatist Baptist Church there.
Although Joseph Breed never considered himself to be a great preacher, he was certainly a great church member, helping Mulkey to strengthen the Fairforest church and to establish at least four other churches in South Carolina.