Paul Palmer (minister)
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Paul Palmer (died 1747) was the founder of a several Baptist churches, which became affiliated with the General Baptists. Palmer started several early Baptist churches in North Carolina, including the first known Baptist church in the state. It is not certain if he was Calvinist or Arminian. His home church was the Welch Tract Church which was Calvinist.
Palmer's wife Joanna was the stepdaughter of Benjamin Laker, who emigrated to the Carolinas in the 1680s from England where he had been an associate of English General Baptist theologian, Thomas Grantham, a signer of the 1663 General Baptists' Standard Confession of Faith. Grantham was the chief apologist and theologian of the General Baptists in the later seventeenth century. He was both anti-predestinarian and orthodox all his days. According to Elder John T. Albritton:
[Palmer] was said to have been a native of Maryland, was baptized in Delaware, and ordained in Connecticut. He was some time in New Jersey, and removed thence to Maryland, and thence to Perquimans County, N. C. He belonged to the General Baptists, and was actively engaged in the work of the ministry for many years in this State, traveling over a large portion of Eastern Carolina, winning converts wherever he went.
While in Maryland, Palmer served the First Baptist Church in Baltimore County. Around 1727 Palmer founded North Carolina's first Baptist church at Shiloh, North Carolina (then called Perquimans) in Camden County. Palmer and his wife Joanna were indicted by the colonial courts in North Carolina for their ministry. It is generally accepted that Palmer died in 1747. However, no one knows what actually happened to Palmer and it is certain that he never started a denomination.
- Henry Sheets, A History of the Liberty Baptist Association: from its organization in 1832 to 1906 (Press of Edwards and Broughton Printing Co., 1907), xv.
- John Thomas Scharf, History of Baltimore City and County, from the earliest period to the present day: including biographical sketches of their representative men (L.H. Everts, 1881).
- Robert Digges Wimberly Connor, History of North Carolina, Volume 1 (Lewis Publishing Co., 1919).
- Henry Sheets, A History of the Liberty Baptist Association: from its organization in 1832 to 1906 (Press of Edwards and Broughton Printing Co., 1907), xiii.
- Free Will Baptist history
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