They refuse to support a State Church by force
October 01, 1767 – The records from the First Baptist Church in New Hampshire located in Newtown, (now Newton) show that the church was under attack by the standing order (state Congregational Church). The church was founded in 1752 and is still in existence today.
The following was from those records. John Wadleigh, was chosen moderator, Joseph Welch, was chosen clerk, and the church voted to carry on Mr. Stewart’s and Mr. Carter’s lawsuits which are now in the law on account of rates imposed on them by the standing order.
The remainder of the minutes dealt with the salary to be given to the pastor, Mr. Hovey. Three men were appointed to the oversight of securing the pastor’s wages, and it was further decided that any men who refused to participate in providing the annual compensation of £50 would not have the protection of the local assembly against the demands of the standing order. Nearly 3 years later the church met again (June 25, 1770) and spent the entire business meeting in discussion of the lawsuit.
Another historian has written, “It is as refreshing as a breeze from their own mountains to find so much human ‘granite’ in this little band of New Hampshire Baptists. They refuse to support a State Church by force, and they resolve to support their own chosen pastor cheerfully…Such a Church deserved to live…The work of the Baptists in N.H. grew very slowly following the establishment of the church inNewton. In his centennial address, William Lamson concluded his remarks by saying, “…the constant persecutions and litigations had much to do in retarding their growth.”
Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 407-08.