Reformed Churchmen

We are Confessional Calvinists and a Prayer Book Church-people. In 2012, we remembered the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; also, we remembered the 450th anniversary of John Jewel's sober, scholarly, and Reformed "An Apology of the Church of England." In 2013, we remembered the publication of the "Heidelberg Catechism" and the influence of Reformed theologians in England, including Heinrich Bullinger's Decades. For 2014: Tyndale's NT translation. For 2015, John Roger, Rowland Taylor and Bishop John Hooper's martyrdom, burned at the stakes. Books of the month. December 2014: Alan Jacob's "Book of Common Prayer" at: January 2015: A.F. Pollard's "Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformation: 1489-1556" at: February 2015: Jaspar Ridley's "Thomas Cranmer" at:

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

2 July 1757 A.D. Rev. William Martin—1st Presbyterian Covenanter Ordained in Ulster, Ireland & American Revolutionary Patriot

2 July 1757 A.D. Rev. William Martin—1st Presbyterian Covenanter Ordained in Ulster, Ireland & American Revolutionary Patriot

Myers, David T.  “July 2: Rev. William Martin (1757).”  This Day in Presbyterian History.  2 Jul 2014.   Accessed 2 Jul 2014. 

July 2: Rev. William Martin (1757)

Five Shiploads of Settlers to South Carolina

Not that long ago in Ulster or North Ireland. some 250 Christians gathered at a crossroads in County Antrim, known as the Vow, to remember the ordination of the Rev. William Martin. That ordination took place on this day, July 2, 1757. He was the first Covenanter minister ordained in Ulster. He had a wide place of ministry, essentially covering two counties. In fact, in seven separate towns, he pastored various societies. In addition to his pastoral role, he became the voice of opposition to the Anglican authorities who sought to place huge rent demands on the Presbyterian tenants, often evicting them from the land for failure to pay those demands.

Sometime during the year 1770, Rev. Martin received a call from the Scot-Irish settlers in South Carolina to come and pastor the church at Rocky Creek.  After prayerful consideration, Rev. Martin decided to go.  But being a true shepherd of the flock, he urged a mass movement of his congregations in Ulster to join him in South Carolina. Think of the administration gifts needs to move shiploads of settlers to South Carolina that year of 1772. But that is exactly what occurred. Five ships—the James and Mary, the Free Mason, the Lord Dunluce, the Hopewell, and the Pennsylvania Farmer—carried over 1200 Scot Irish from Ulster to South Carolina. And while some went to other areas of the South, most settled in the region around Rocky Creek.

As astonishing as this move was, consider the fact that this large number of settlers were composed of several factions of Presbyterians from the old country. There were Associate Presbyterians, Covenanters, Burgher Presbyterians, Anti-burgher Presbyterians, and Seceders. All of them came together in the local congregation known as Catholic Presbyterian Church. An interesting fact which shows up in the record is that the families lived in tents on their property until the church building was erected! The Lord came first.

When the Revolutionary War began in 1775, Rev. Martin preached a fiery sermon reminding the congregation that there was a time to pray and a time to fight. Two companies were raised out of the congregation, and over fifty fought and died from the congregation. Rev Martin himself was imprisoned for six months by the British.

All was not right however with Rev. Martin himself. After returning to the parish for three years, he was let go by the congregation for “intemperate” remarks. Finally in 1801, six charges were brought against him. Two of these were habitual drinking and the holding of slaves. He was deposed by the Presbytery in 1801. He died five years later in 1806.

Words to Live By: We cannot take away the amazing work which Rev. Martin did in transporting so many Christian Presbyterians to the new land of opportunity. Certainly, he remains as one of the stalwarts in establishing Presbyterianism in the South. But at the same time, we who are involved in the Lord’s work must pray and work to remain in good standing with the Lord. It is so easy to fail and fall away from the standards of His Word. So people, pray much for your pastors that they will remain solid in the Lord until their labors are finished on the earth.


SeekTruthFromFacts said...

He rebelled against the bishop God had provided to ensure the ministers teach faithfully and things are done decently and in order.

Then he rebelled against the anointed king God had provided to ensure the people lived faithfully, decently, and in order.

Finally he rebelled against the Christ.

As an Anglican I might suggest that this gentleman is not the best poster boy for the Reformed faith! ;-)

As a Christian, of course, I recognise that brothers and sisters faced difficult decisions on those days. I don't want to open old wounds, but to point out that some people see things differently.

Reformation said...

1. You make a modest point that, on the whole, has some merit.
2. Regrettably, your comment assumes too much, to wit, that Bishops are teachers and defenders of the faith. Many have been. Many have not been. E.g. Billygoat Laud, William Arundel, or John Fisher. So, tempering your point would be prudent. One can surely point to others, e.g. Jack Iker who invokes departed saints, surely a false doctrine. More could be stated.
3. As for rebelling against a King, another good point. As a Canadian by birth and citizenship, until naturalization as a US citizen, this has always been my view. That the US was founded by rebels to the crown.
4. In any case, this particular man is far superior to the Arminian and Tractarian wingnuts that have inhabited and have been tolerated in the Anglican world--rebels to the High Majesty of the Triune God. Bishops, to whom you impute some degree of competence, have grossly erred for decades. They can't even generate a competent Confession of Faith.
5. Ergo, your complaint has merit in part and, horribly, small to little to no merit on another point.
6. Thanks for your effort and argument