Baptists in Early North America

Welsh Neck, South Carolina, Volume V

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John Barrington
  • Macon, GA: 
    Mercer University Press
    , January
     356 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Ashley Ekmay forthcoming.


Baptists in Early North America: Welsh Neck, South Carolina, contains a transcription of the Welsh Neck Church Book from 1759 to 1798, along with two short works by Rev. Edmund Botsford, pastor of Welsh Neck from 1782 to 1796: his Spiritual Autobiography and On Slavery. This volume also includes the letters written by Botsford to Rev. Richard Furman during Botsford's years as pastor at Welsh Neck. These documents are accompanied by a history of the church from its founding in 1737 until it moved to Society Hill at the start of the nineteenth century. Welsh Neck was one of the most influential Regular or Particular Baptist congregations in eighteenth-century South Carolina. The Church Book reveals much about the typical preoccupations of a Baptist community, especially its striving for fellowship and for moral and theological purity. Welsh Neck's story is of particular interest because one of its pastors, Rev. Elhanan Winchester, began his theological evolution towards Universalism while serving at Welsh Neck from 1775-1779; he later became an important early leader of Universalism in both the United States and Great Britain. The history of Welsh Neck also reveals the impact of the American Revolution on Baptist attitudes towards enslaved Africans, who were first admitted to the church in 1779. The historical account of the church included in this volume explores the various motivations behind Welsh Neck's outreach to the enslaved, and suggests reasons why so many in the black community were ready to accept Welsh Neck's invitation to join.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

John Barrington is Professor of History at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina.

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