Alderson; John, Sr

Alderson; John, Sr., a Baptist minister, was born in Yorkshire, England, early in the 18th century. When quite young, he came to America under somewhat peculiar circumstances. He had become interested in a young lady and wished to marry her; but his father, a worthy minister of the Gospel, was opposed to the match, and, in order to divert his son from carrying out his purpose, he induced him to travel. In a little while his funds were exhausted, and, ashamed to return to his father, he shipped on board a vessel bound to America. On reaching this country, the captain of the ship in which he had crossed the ocean hired him out to a farmer in New Jersey, that he might earn a sufficient sum of money to pay for his passage. While employed in the capacity of a farm-laborer, he was hopefully converted. Having been well educated, and now feeling a desire to preach Christ, he entered upon the work of the ministry. His first efforts were made near Germantown, Pa., where he preached until 1755, when he removed to Rockingham County, Va. Here he soon gathered a Church. known as the Smith and Lynnville Church, of which he was the pastor for about sixteen years. He then removed to Botetourt County, where, after nine years' labor, he died, in 1781. "No man of his day," we are told, "was more distinguished among the Baptists than John Alderson, Sr. He was one of the earliest evangelical preachers of Western Virginia. To him are many of the churches indebted, under God, for their existence and growth." See Lives of Virginia Baptist Ministers, p. 21, 22. (J. C. S.)

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