Tag Archives: Elkanah Holmes

364 – Dec. 30 – This Day in Baptist History Past


Posted: 29 Dec 2013 05:30 PM PST




Chief Red Jacket comes to Christ


1813 – In retaliation for the burning of Newark, N.J., the British burned Buffalo, N.Y. Lieutenant Colonel Chapin was taken prisoner, and Rev. Elkanah Holmes was forced to flee. This is just a part of the exciting life of Rev. Holmes, frontier preacher and missionary to the six Indian nations in western N.Y. The event just mentioned happened when the N.Y. Missionary Society split in 1807 over Holmes insistence on believer’s baptism and had moved with his third wife – having lost the other two by death – to the Canadian side of the Niagara River in 1809. He had already established a small Indian church in Queenston in Niagara Township. However the ministry ended abruptly with the outbreak of war in 1812. Being an American, Holmes welcomed the advancing American troops and was not viewed well by his parishioners and was considered a traitor by the British and was captured, although seventy years of age at the time. Lt. Chapin, who had married one of Holme’s sons, affected his escape. Holmes was born on Dec. 22, 1743, joined the army at 16 and saw action in the French and Indian war. He actually served for a time in the British navy and saw the capture of Havana, and was ship wrecked. He was saved and baptized under the ministry of Rev. D. Sutton at Kingwood, N.J and ordained in 1773. During the American Revolution he served as a chaplain in a N.J. regiment, and often participated with the troops in battle. After the war he Pastored several churches in CT and NY. He also won Chief Red Jacket of the Seneca’s to Christ. He believed in the autonomy of the local church and closed communion. [This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: 2000 A.D. pp. 715-16. Stuart Ivison and Fred Rosser, The Baptists in Upper and Lower Canada Before 1820 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1956), p. 141.]
Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon


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