Rev. Dr. Charles Hartman meets with Dr. Weed

Rev. Dr. Charles Hartman, co-author of Baptists in Early North America-Swansea with William Brackney, met with Sowams Heritage Area Coordinator Dr. David Weed to work on the development of a website on Nockum Hill and the early Baptists in Swansea, MA. Dr. Hartman is an expert on the founding and history of the founding of the first Baptist Church in America that was established at Nockum Hill in Swansea in 1667, now Barrington. Dr.Hartman teaches a course on Roger Williams and the early Baptists at Roger Williams University.

1 Comment


  1. Dave,

    Clarifications: I was the “with” in writing BENA, Vol. 1, Swansea, Ma. Dr. Brackney was the main author. Our congregation (1663), was the first “Baptist” in Plimoth Colony. Then the claim was first in Mass. after 1693 when William gave Plimoth to the Bay. Boston was the really first in Mass. Bay Colony (1665). The Bicknell monument at Nockum Hill claims that we were the first in MA…its a technical historian thing. We are the third oldest surviving Baptist congregation in the Americas with the oldest continuous records (1649 – present).

    The Providence congregation of “Baptists” was founded as first “Baptist” in 1638 by Roger Williams and others as a congregation with an Arminian rather than Calvinistic theology. We come from the Particular (Calvinistic) tradition.

    The course at Roger Williams Univ. is about Roger and not about other Baptists…Roger left the Providence congregation within a few months and never associated with other congregations. While some claim him as a “Baptist”, others don’t (see Edmund Morgan). The term “Baptist” was not used by us in Swansea until the middle of the 18th century. Most of what are now called “Baptist” congregations were founded with the nomenclature: “first church of Christ in ____(town)__________”

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