Elias Keach

Male 1665 - 1699

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  • Name  Elias Keach 
    Born  08 Jul 1665  Southwark, Surrey, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender  Male 
    Died  27 Oct 1699  England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • All men must die, or, The saint's deliverance by death, from the evil to come : open'd and improv'd at the funeral of Mr. Elias Keach, Minister of the Gospel, who departed this life, Octob. 27, 1699, in the 34th year of his age.
    • In 1688, with twelve of their neighbors, Elias and Mary Keach organized the first permanent Baptist congregation in Pennsylvania. This became the Pennypack Church in Lower Dublin Township and Elias Keach was the first pastor.

      The Reverend Elias Keach, the first pastor at Pennypack, was ordained by Mr. Dungan. The history of this able minister of the gospel is full of interest. He came from London in 1686, representing himself as a minister, and was asked to preach at Pennypack. Many flocked to hear the young London divine. In the midst of his sermon he suddenly stopped as if attacked by sickness, burst into tears and confessed that he was an imposter. He dated his conversion from that moment. He now retired to Cold Spring, to seek counsel and advice of Mr. Dungan, where he remained a considerable time. He probably studied divinity with Mr. Dungan, who baptised him. He became the pastor at Pennypack in 1687, but returned to England in 1692, where he preached with success until his death, in 1699.

      He married a daughter of Judge More, after whom Moreland township was named. His only daughter Hannah married Revitt Harrison, of England, whose son, John Elias Keach Harrison, came to America about 1734, settled at the Crooked Billet, now Hatboro, and was a member of the Southampton Baptist church.

      In 1684, the Baptist church in Newport RI sponsored a mission church in Cold Springs, Pennsylvania. This church only remained in existence for 18 years. Still, it was the beginning of Baptist work in Pennsylvania and in a real way the beginning of Baptist growth in America. Elias Keech came to Philadelphia from London in 1688. His father was a well known Baptist minister in England. In fact, his father is remembered for the radical innovation he introduced to the church in 1640, congregational singing. Elias, a young man of twenty, thought it would be fun to dress as a minister in the new land. Because of his imposture and his father's reputation he received several invitations to preach. At his first service his conscience compelled him to confess that he was no minister but merely wore the garb.

      The pastor of the Cold Springs church led him to Christ. Then he began to preach in earnest. Soon he built up a circuit of five congregations. Out of those congregations, five years after the Cold Springs church had ceased to exist, came the Philadelphia association, formed in 1707. The Cold Springs church was gone but it had provided the base for the growth for the Baptist movement in our land.
      !The Baptist Heritage
      Session Two
      Early Baptists in America
      copyright John Berggren 1997 [2]
    Person ID  I57564  Bryant
    Last Modified  25 Nov 2006 

    Father  Benjamin Keach,   b. 29 Feb 1640, Stoke Hammond, Buckinghamshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Jul 1704, London, Middlesex, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mother  Jane 
    Married  Abt 1660  England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID  F3666  Group Sheet

    Family  Mary More,   b. 1671 
    Married  1687  Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location 
     1. Hannah Keach,   b. 1690, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location
    Family ID  F3665  Group Sheet

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 08 Jul 1665 - Southwark, Surrey, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 1687 - Pennsylvania Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 27 Oct 1699 - England Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Maps 
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    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Sources 
    1. [S141] IGI, LDS.

    2. [S330] History of Bucks County, PA, Davis, William W. H., A.M., (The Lewis Publishing Company, New York-Chicago, 1905).

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