Joy lighted up in the countenance of the saints
October 21, 1795 – David Irish established the first Baptist church in Scipio, New York. He had settled there a year earlier having been sent by the Massachusetts Baptist Missionary Society which made a great spiritual impact as the population moved westward.
Irish was one of those early rugged Baptist pioneers. He was doubtless the first to preach the gospel in Cayuga County. In 1799, with some of the brethren from Scipio he organized a church at Phelpstown. The roads being totally impassable for traveling on horseback by reason of the great depth of snow and mud, they walked the thirty miles; all but one made it.
In 1797 Irish planted the Baptist church in Manchester (then Farmington, N.Y.), a journey of 50 miles through unbroken forest. He also evangelized the “Holland Purchase” and in 1810 organized the Baptist church in Willink (Aurora, Erie County).
David Irish passed away on Sept. 10, 1815 after a fruitful, pioneering missionary life. He baptized 1,280 persons during his ministry.
The following quote is from his diary: “The opportunity appeared exceedingly solemn and important. After sermon, we repaired to the water, singing one of Zion’s songs. Here ten precious souls followed the blessed Redeemer into his watery tomb…Joy lighted up in the countenance of the saints; while sinners trembled, as if the judgement day were approaching.” It was said that, “Elder Irish was indefatigable in labor, patient in fatigue, and easily surmounted many obstacles which would deter one possessed of a mindless resolute. The thinly inhabited counties that he ministered required qualities that he held to be successful.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 436-38.
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