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Early Baptist History from England to Connecticut

Quoted Excerpts by Muriel Erickson, Church Historian, Central Baptist Church Hartford, 1974-1978

"In the year of 1611, under the reign of James I, in the old town of Litchfield, England, Edward Wigthtman, a Baptist minister, who was accused by the dominant hierarchy of almost every heresy, and worst of all, the denial of the divine authority of infant baptism, was burned at the stake."

"The thread of history winds from the martyrdom of Edward Wightman in 1611 to his descendant, the Rev. Valentine Wightman, who in 1705 "planted" the first Baptist church in the "Province of Connecticut" at Groton. [This church still serves God 300 years later as Old Mystic Baptist Church.] Among the first "fruits" of this church was the first Baptist Church of Suffield, CT. "

In 1805 Second Baptist Church in Suffield grew out of First Baptist on Hill Street. We still worship there five Sundays every summer beginning in August. While this new congregation endured persecution from townspeople who twice vandalized the construction site, they faithfully endured paying their tithe to the puritan church acrosss the street while also supporing Second Baptist. The wooden beams from the original barn-like building survive today in our sanctuary superstructure.

The American Baptist Churches of Connecticut are proud to name their camp and conference center "Camp Wightman."