New Brunswick History and Other Stuff

Early Glimpses of the Patterson Settlement Baptist Church in New Brunswick

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The church at Patterson Settlement can trace its history further back than any other Baptist Church on the Oromocto. However, details before 1838, when it became ‘Christian’ by name, are few. The best sources are histories written by Stanley Parsons, a long standing church clerk, and the Church Books at the Provincial Archives.

Levi Parsons immigrated from Ireland in 1809. He was a preacher, and led a congregation at Patterson Settlement between 1818 and 1838. Local histories imply that Levi was a Baptist, but it is not necessary to assume so. He could have been a regular Baptist, or a New Light (later known as ‘Christian’), or even a Methodist. Levi Parsons is not known to some Free Christian Baptist scholars, raising the possibility that he was of another denomination.

On the other hand, records of those early days are few and the lack of information does not necessarily mean that he was not a New Light in the same tradition as other congregations. The matter remains open for debate and discovery remembering, however, that the ‘Christian’ churches did not change their name to Free Christian Baptist until 1847.

Members of this early church included:

Peter CannJoseph Eastwood, Senior              John Fitzgerald                                

John Harron                                  

James Jones                                   George Kingston                             

David Kirkpatrick                         

Fitzmaurice Kirkpatrick      

James KirkpatrickWilliam KirkpatrickLorenzo Parsons

Christopher Patterson

Walter Patterson

William Patterson

Samuel Patterson, Senior

William Turner

The present church was organized, or the existing church was reorganized, by Elder James Boone on August 15, 1838. As with Levi Parsons, Elder James Boone is a bit of a mystery. It seems probable that he was the man by that name who joined the Waterborough Baptist Church in 1802 and was a member of a Keswick River Baptist Church by 1812. By 1833 there was a very divisive movement at the Keswick River Church to have an open communion – a particularly Free Christian Baptist custom – and later in 1833 we find James Boone at Patterson Settlement with the Free Christian Baptists.

The first three pastors of the reorganized church were Abner Mersereau, David Oram, and William Pennington, which establishes the church as ‘Christian’ by that time. The church building was co-owned by the Methodists, who were served in the early days by ministers Whitefield, Edwards, and Teed.

The Patterson Settlement Church was badly damaged by the Saxby Gale, in October, 1869, and a new church was built on land donated by William P. Eastwood and his wife Annie.


Written by johnwood1946

July 9, 2011 at 3:02 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. Thanks, John! This includes some of my family’s history that I hadn’t heard before!!! Once again, excellent research!


    August 2, 2016 at 5:36 PM

    • Thank you Erin. I am very glad that you liked it. Your appreciation is all the pay that I get. BTW, Patterson Settlement church history is almost lost in time, and very difficult to assemble.


      August 2, 2016 at 5:43 PM

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