Four generations pastor the same church

Edward Wightman was the last Englishman to be martyred on April 11, 1612 for heresy. He was

considered a radical Anabaptist. Five Wightman brothers came to America, all Baptists – two

were preachers; two were deacons; one a private member of the church. Valentine Wightman

was the son of one of the five and was born in Kingston, Rhode Island, in 1681. In 1705 his

church licensed him to preach and he moved to Groton, Connecticut, and planted the First

Baptist church in the colony of CT. His fame spread after a seven hour debate with Rev. John

Bulkey in 1727 on the subject of Baptism. In 1714 he planted the First Baptist church in the

state of N.Y. Valentine died on June 9, 1747, after ministering 42 years in Groton. The church

at Groton continued under the ministry of Valentine’s son Timothy Wightman who saw great

revivals from time to time from 1764 to 1787. A second Baptist church was established in

Groton in 1765. Timothy served during the Revolutionary War and stood for the defense of

liberty. He died on Nov. 14, 1796 after having also served for 42 years in the same church that

his father had founded. His son, John Gano Wightman accepted the call to the church on Aug.

13, 1800. His first wife died in 1816 and on July 7, 1817, he married Bridget Allyn who served

faithfully by his side. The church experienced at least ten seasons of refreshing revival during

this time. Another church was established in Groton in 1831. John died on July 13, 1841 and thus

concluded 125 years of ministry by grandfather, father, and son who led the work in Groton, CT.

Interestingly, on June 12, 1864 the Rev. Palmer G. Wightman, grandson of the Rev. John Gano

Wightman, was ordained pastor of the Groton church, and a great revival broke out.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon: from This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp.278-79.

The post 189 – July 07 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST appeared first on The Trumpet Online.



Filed under Church History

4 responses to “189 – July 07 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST

  1. I just noticed that Greg Dixon wrote these. He used to come and be a guest speaker when he would visit his son in bible college in Springfield, Mo. when I was there in the 70s


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s