01 – The Church’s Beginnings

The following notes are taken from the Church Minute Books for Brimpton Baptist Church and demonstrate the Biblical model for church planting in many ways.

Brimpton, Near Newbury, Berks, (1868)

The following case is submitted to the consideration and liberality of the Christian Public.

A few years ago a gentleman who was a member of the Baptist Church at Reading, then under the pastoral care of Rev. J.H Hinton, took a lease of the Corn Mill situate at Brimpton; and finding that the Gospel was not preached, either in that parish, or in the contiguous parishes of Aldermaston and Wasing, was induced to licence his House for the public worship of almight God. Prior to this several persons had been in the habit of attending family worship at his residence, especially on the Lord’s Day, as from the total absence of evangelical preaching, he had been in the practice of reading a sermon to his own family on that day, accompanied with prayer and the reading of the Holy Scriptures.

In the process of time several poor persons in the neighbourhood requested permission to unite in worship, and this led to the licensing of the place; and as their numbers continued to increase, the children were invited to attend for instruction, and a Sabbath School was formed; at length so many at times assembled that accommodation could not be found for them.

This state of things continued for the space of five years, though not without great opposition being made by certain influential persons who did all in thier power to prevent the parties from attending the means of grace. During that period repeated efforts were made to purchase a piece of ground on which to erect a small Meeting House but without success.

At length a farmer who occasionally attended yielded to the entreaties made, and agreed to sell about a quarter of an acre of freehold land, on which a neat and commodious place of worship has been erected, capable of accommodating from two to three hundred persons; and as no house could be possibly procured for the preacher, a small cottage was added for his residence at the back of the Meeting House. The whole has been vested in the hands of trustees and duly enrolled in chancery.

The zealous efforts of Mr Young, the Minister, have been crowned with success not only at Brimpton, but in the neighbouring stations to which he itinerates; and it is confidently hoped that a church will be planted there which will be the means of great and everlasting good to villages around. The friends in the neighbourhood have strenuously exerted themselves to liquidate the debt due on the Meeting House and premises, which amounted to £470. of which now about £150 remains to be paid. This has been advanced by the gentleman by whose Christian sympathy the cause was established.

A case more deserving of the liberal aid of the religious public has hardly ever been presented before them, and the smallest contributions will be thankfully recieved, either by Rev. J Statham or Mr Jabez Vines of Reading, or the Rev. J.G. Pike of Newbury.

The following Ministers most fully recommend the case-

Rev. Dr. Cox, Hackney
Rev. Dr. Bennet, London
Rev. E. Steane, Camberwell
Rev. J.H. Hinton, London
Rev. John Statham, Reading
Rev. J.G. Pike, Newbury
Rev. J. Yockney, Islington
Rev. J. Lewis, Ditto,
Rev. J. Sherman, Surrey Chapel
Rev. W. Dryland, Newbury and man others.

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