Mount Elvin Baptist Church sits discreetly on a little meadow off Hindustan Road on the edges of New Grant in southern Trinidad. It is an unassuming church but it very well may be viewed as the focal point of the Baptist religion in Trinidad and Tobago. This congregation was built up in 1816 and the hugeness of that date has to do with the settlement of the “Merikens” in Trinidad in that year.
In 1816 grounded Africans who had served in the British Army amid the War of 1812 between the British and the Americans were settled in Trinidad in what came to be known as the Company Villages. As per A.B. Huggins in his book “the Saga of the Companies” the expression “Merikens” emerged in light of the fact that these people couldn’t appropriately articulate the letter An in American. John McNish Weiss in his paper “The Corps of Colonial Marines” says that these “Merikin” fighters were slaves in the USA who were guaranteed their opportunity in the event that they battled for the British. Selected by the British first in Maryland and Virginia and later in Georgia, they were a battling unit much lauded for valor and control.
At the point when the British Army organizations left for home in England in April 1815, the six Black organizations turned into the third Battalion Colonial Marines, garrisoned in Bermuda on Ireland Island. They carried out battalion responsibility and filled in as craftsmans and workers in the structure of the new Royal Naval Dockyard in Bermuda. At the point when exchange toward the West India Regiments was proposed the men dismissed the thought. Their industrious tenacity at last drove the British government to offer to put them in Trinidad as autonomous ranchers. On tolerating the offer they left Bermuda on 15 July 1816.The first gathering of 71 settled in Dunmore Hill and Mount Elvin while the second gathering of 72 settled in Indian Walk.
These were religious individuals who pursued the Baptist religion rehearsed in the southern United States. In spite of the fact that there were no priests among them there were 5 men who were portrayed as Anabaptist ministers who held Sunday services. One of these men was known as Brother Will Hamilton. In 1808 the London Missionary Society (Baptist) sent specialists to Guyana and Tobago and in 1809 one of them, Thomas Adam, moved to Trinidad. He and later Reverend George Cowen while chipping away at the foundation of St John’s Baptist Church in Port of Spain Trinidad likewise offered help to these African-American ex-slaves who were rehearsing a form of the Baptist confidence. In time, the likenesses of the religion prompted the selection of the teachers’ variant of the Baptist confidence that came to be brought in Trinidad, London Baptist.
After some time be that as it may, as indicated by Ashram Stapleton in his book “The Birth and Growth of the Baptist Church in Trinidad and Tobago”, there built up a faction as certain people in the congregation needed certain African practices included and the London Missionary Society disapproved of those practices. In the long run these people left the congregation and were first called the “Rebellious Baptists” lastly the Spiritual or Shouter Baptist. Different contrasts inside the London Baptists at that point prompted further varieties of the Baptist religion with the advancement of the Independent Baptists and the Fundamental Baptists.
So today the Mount Elvin Baptist church sits unobtrusively on its glade, sitting above the fields that these African American ex-slaves works in and made, proceeding in its adherence to the London Baptist form however having produced the whole Baptist religion in Trinidad.