Church with a mission
A book about Central United Baptist Church includes
hundreds of names of church members
By Ruby M. Cusack
|The Marsh Bridge Mission, where beginnings of Leinster Street Baptist Church were made in 1858. It was situated on Church Street, now called Seaton Street in the East End of Saint John near the present day Marco Polo Bridge.|
I really wasn't anxious to go for a car drive this really bitter cold winter's evening as Dad said the heater wasn't working very well but in the days of my youth one did not voice displeasure with the decisions of parents.
Right after supper we piled into the car. The old woolen grey blanket that was spread over our knees provided little warmth. By the time we reached Grampy Provan's house my toes were getting numb.
Cliff and I both rushed to the kitchen stove to warm our hands and to
get the chill out of our bones. A blazing fire of hard wood filled the
room with warmth.
As usual Grampy was lying on the couch smoking his pipe. He took one look at us and commented, "You two children are more chilled than I was on the cold day in January when I was baptized in the Kennebecasis River."
Although we both just smiled, I think we rather thought he was telling us one of his stories but years later, I have documentation to prove he was telling us the truth.
Other Baptists were immersed in the chilly wintery waters in the quiet coves of the Saint John Harbour, one of them being twenty year-old Julia E. Cowperthwaite on February 27, 1870. At age one hundred, she wrote a letter from Wellesly, Massachusetts describing her past activities with the Leinster Street Baptist Church. A facsimile copy of the letter can be found in the book, "The Central United Baptist Church at Saint John, N.B. 1850 -1950."
When baptismal were going to be held for members of the Brussels Street Baptist Church, it was the custom of the Church to assemble in the vestry, sometimes as early as half past six or seven o'clock in the morning, according as the tide would serve - high tide, or nearly so, was required. After a short service, the congregation would adjourn to the place of baptism. The candidates were gowned, and were conveyed in horse drawn coaches. The lower end of Union or Courtenay streets was the usual place selected by the pastor for the baptism. The rocks, and elevated spots around, would be completely filled with spectators of all creeds. On the arrival of the candidates and their attendants, they would form a half circle on the beach, the pastor standing between them and the water, facing the immense congregation.
The Brussels Street Baptist Church was formed in 1850. The names of 44 men, 68 women and 45 colored brothers and sisters are given. The first minister was the Rev. Samuel Robinson. In 1863, Mr. Henry Vaughan presented a bell that had been manufactured in Sheffield, England and brought over in a ship commanded by Captain Robert Moran, who was a member of the church.
As shipbuilding was a large and prosperous industry, especially out on the Marsh Road and as many families resided in that part of the city, the Rev. Robinson in the 1850s secured a school house at the Marsh Bridge to hold weekly prayer services. An attendance of one hundred people gave much encouragement to the venture and a Sabbath School was formed.
"The Central United Baptist Church at Saint John, N.B. 1850-1950" is a brief centennial history of the Brussells Street United Baptist and Leinster Street United Baptist Churches from the date of their formation to the occasion of their union in 1916 and that of their successor, the Central Baptist Church.
Biographical information and photos of the pastors as well as on the every day dealings of the church in establishing its foundation can be found in this publication.
This book is filled with hundreds of names of church members who were of the Baptist Faith.
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Nisbett- Stewart- Darrah- Jones: I am looking for any information on Oliver Nesbitt, who was born about 1824 and died in Millidgeville, Saint John on May 02,1881. He married Mary Stewart on Oct. 18, 1842 in Milkish, Kings County. She died Oct. 13, 1890 Saint John City, and was buried at White Church, (Possibly refers to Whitehead) Kennebecasis. Her residence had been124 Princess Street. They had: Margaret, James, William, Letitia, Robert and John (1859) while in Kings County. Does anyone have information on these children? John Nisbett married on Oct. 11, 1886 to Eleanor J. Darrah, the daughter of John Darrah and Rebecca Jones. At the time of their marriage, John was of Portland and Eleanor was of Saint John City. John Nesbitt died on May 13, 1891 and was buried in public ground in Fernhill Cemetery. I would like to correspond with any other Nisbett or Stewart descendants or researchers to share and compare notes.
-Pam Wood Waugh, 730 Dunhill Dr, Orlando, FL., 32825. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ruby M. Cusack is a genealogy buff living
in Saint John. Send your queries to her at: 47 Jean St., Saint John, N.B.,
E2J 1J8. Or E-mail her at email@example.com.
(Please put Yesteryear Families in the subject line.) Include your name
and mailing address for the benefit of those who do not have access to
E-mail. Many of Ruby's articles are in her publication RAMBLING
RUBY. Contact her for more information.