300 – Oct. 27 – This Day in Baptist History Past

He…threw himself upon the ministry of God

October 27, 1701 – Elias Keach died when he was only 34. He was born in England in 1667, the only son of the Rev. Benjamin Keach, and like so many sons of noble Christian families, he was not saved in his youth. At age 19, he traveled to America to seek his fortune and arrived in Philadelphia as a wild young man, but “he dressed in black and wore a band in order to pass for a minister.” The name “Keach” was well known among the Baptists in the colonies, and soon the young man was invited to preach. Having been raised under a great man of God, he mentally knew the message of grace. A crowd of people came to hear him, but suddenly he stopped short in his sermon. He said that he felt a strong fluttering in his heart…he became alarmed at his own bold boldness, stopped short, and the flock at Lower Dublin thought him seized with illness. “He burst into tears, confessed his imposture and threw himself upon the mercy of God for the pardons of all his sins.” He returned to Pennepeck and began to preach with great power. He organized a church and preached at Trenton, Philadelphia, Middletown, Cohansey, Salem and many other places, baptizing his converts. Most of the Baptists in New Jersey and Pennsylvania were connected to his church. He well may have been the chief preacher of the Baptists in those parts at that time. He married Mary Moore, the daughter of Chief Justice Moore of Penn., and pastored the Pennepek church until 1689 and traveled in the field of evangelism for two years before he returned to England. There he organized a church on Ayles Street in London and baptized 130 in nine months.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 445-46.

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