Scotch-Irish-L Archives

Archiver > Scotch-Irish > 1998-02 > 0887551458

From: Edward Andrews <>
Subject: Re: Baptist and Irish
Date: Sun, 15 Feb 1998 14:04:18 +0000

> In a message dated 98-02-14 02:32:18 EST, you write:
> << Harry was born during the Civil War in 1863 and the family may have been
> displaced due to the conflict. I have found a Henry St J. O'Neill in the
> Culpeper/Madison, Virginia area until about 1850. Could there have been a
> Baptist-Irish community in this area? >>
While I usually keep out od discussions about the Churches in
America, I think that I might be able to help.
By and large there were not all that many Baptists in Ireland. The
Protestant Churches have always been broadly evangelical. Baptists
tended not to form a Community like for example the Moravians.
The reason for the relative strength of the Baptists in America lies
in the history of America.
In the first wave of settlement people tended to settle with their
friends and communities. Thus the Congregationalists of New England,
Presbyterians of Pennsylvania, and so on. (This is a generalization,
but you will get the drift.
As the frontier moved west, the conditions for various Churches to
flourish broke down. Episcopal Churches really require a settlement
over which a Bishop can preside, or as with the Spanish, Religious
orders which are self contained. Presbyterians need a Presbytery
within reasonable travelling distance.
Into the vacuum, came the Methodists, and circuit riders. In time
when the distances became too great for them the religious figure was
the Baptist preacher. Basically an independent, these people were able
to found a local Church, which could be self contained.
As the essence of being a Roman Catholic is the availability of the
Eucharist, in the areas were there was a small scattered Roman
Catholic Population the lack of this sacrament meant that those who
wished to worship had to find some other form of Christianity.
You must remember that in some areas the Roams Catholic was
Spanish/French, with a certain amount of tension between the English
speakers and the non English speakers.
This is a much simplified version of the teachings of Andrew Ross,
Senior Lecturer in E.H at Edinburgh in his EH 2 Modern Christianity
Edward Andrews

St Nicholas Buccleuch Parish Church Dalkeith
Visit our Web site
To see my article in the February issue of Life and Work, the Magazine
of the Church of Scotland go to and follow the Links.

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