The Baptists in Rossendale
In the list of “Licenses to Preach” in Blackburn parish and district, preserved in a State Paper in the Record Office and bearing the date Dom. Chas. II 1672, a memorandum to the following effect occurs:-
“The barn of John Pickop, in Dedwinclough to be an Indep. [Independent] meeting place.” The name of “Independent” was formerly applied to Anabaptists and vice versa, and so it would appear that as early as 1672 the Baptists had a place of meeting in Dedwinclough.
About the end of the century, there appeared in Rossendale, 2 Yorkshire cousins, William Mitchel and David Crossley who were itinerant Baptist Preachers, holding strict Calvinistic views. They began their labours in Bacup and Cloughfold. William Mitchel was the first minister at Cloughfold until his death in 1706 aged 44 years. David Crossley died in late 1744 age 75 and was buried in the graveyard of the Episcopal Chapel at Goodshaw.
They built the Meeting House in Bacup in 1692 on land purchased for £30 from John Whitaker of Broadclough, on what is now the site of Bacup Library. This later became known as Ebenezer Baptist Church.
Henry Lord succeeded David Crossley as minister but proved to be unsuitable to the sacred office. Dissensions arose amongst the congregation, many of them preferring the ministry of Joseph Piccop, a new member of the same body. These dissensions resulted in the formation of a second Baptist Society in the town, and the “New Meeting House” being built in 1746.
Joseph Piccop was born at Loveclough and died there in September 1772: his remains are buried within Ebenezer Chapel Yard Bacup.
John Hirst succeeded Joseph Piccop and ministered at Bacup for 42 years. He was born in Rochdale 1736, the youngest of 7 children. He died 15 Jun 1815 age 79 years and was buried by the side of Joseph Piccop.
The original Chapel in Lane Head Lane became too small and was rebuilt in 1778 at a cost of £400, and in 1783 a gallery was erected. In 1811 the building was again pulled down and a new Chapel seating 900 people was built the following year. In 1864 the roof became insecure and the chapel closed. For the next 20 months services where held at the Co-operative Hall. It was decided to re-model the old chapel as a Sunday school: this was opened in 1866 at a cost of £1,100. For at time it was used as a School and a Chapel until 19 Sep 1868 when the foundation stone was laid for the new chapel. This was opened by the Rev Hugh Stowell Brown 7th September 1870, capable of seating 1,000 people.
In 1861 Ebenezer Church started a Sunday School at Doals and in 1862 a Chapel was built at a cost of £1,000 with seating for 350 people.
Ebenezer Chapel was demolished in 1963, all that remains are about 40 grave stones laid at the side of Earnshaw Street off Lanehead Lane.
Pastors of Ebenezer Baptist
|Joseph Piccop||1745 - 1772|
|John Hirst||1772 - 1815|
|William Dyer||1816 - 1821|
|George Augustus Grant||1822 - 1828|
|John Edwards||1829 - 1841|
|Simpson Todd||1842 - 1847|
|Jonas Smith||1848 - 1874|
|William Gay||1878 - 1882|
|Frederick Overend||1884 -|
Baptist Chapels in Bacup
|Ebenezer||1692 - 1962|
|Irwell Terrace||1821 - 1948|
|Mill Gate||1851 -|
|South Street||1852 - 1921|
|Zion||1854 - 1948|
|Acre Mill||1862 -|
|Mount Olivet||1874 - 1962|
|Union||1948 - 1962|
South Street and Mount Olivet merged to become Mount Olivet
Irwell Terrace and Zion merged to become Union
Mount Olivet, Union and Ebenezer merged to become Trinity
Registers at Manchester Archives
|Bacup - Ebenezer Baptist|
|Births||1759 - 1837||MFPR 285|
|Burials||1776 - 1806||MFPR 285|
|Burials||1812 - 1837||MFPR 286|
|Bacup - Irwell Terrace Baptist|
|Births||1790 - 1837||MFPR 286|