Scarborough Ebenezer Baptist Church History


Scarborough Ebenezer Baptist Church History up to 1912.



The Ebenezer Church, Scarborough, was established in 1771. In this fashionable seaside resort we are represented by three Churches, of which "Ebenezer" is the oldest. Its founder, Wm. Hague, was born at Malton, in 1736, coming to Scarborough when he was twenty years of age. Here he indentured himself as a sailor for three years, during which period his thoughts turned to spiritual concerns. Leaving the sea he made great efforts to improve his mind, learning to read and write. In 1776, he, with five other Methodists who had embraced Calvinistic doctrines, became acquainted with members of the Bridlington Church. Hague, with four of his friends was baptised. They now engaged a large upper room near the Sands, and Hague, being pressed to preach, consented. Converts being gained, the little band applied to Bridlington for permission to found a cause at Scarborough.

This was granted on January 20th, 1771, and Hague was ordained to its ministry. The Ebenezer Chapel was opened in April, 1777. It was thrice enlarged-(1790-1801-1809)-until it was capable of holding 500 people. Wm. Hague continued in his pastorate for forty-eight years, and there is a record of his preaching when eighty-five years old. He died in 1831, at the great age of ninety-four. The next two ministries were brief, John Sykes dying at the early age of thirty-one, and his successor, Joseph Foster, at twenty-four. In 1826, the Rev. Benjamin Evans was ordained pastor, and on the following day, November 5th, the foundation stones of the present chapel were laid. Opened on August 12th, 1827, it seated 900 people and had cost £2600.

Under Dr. Evans the Church reached the zenith of its prosperity. Its pastor was widely known, and his influence in the town was great. He retired in 1862, his closing years having been troubled by a division in the Church on the subject of "open communion," resulting in the movement which established the second Church. After Dr. Evans, the Revs. R. H. Bayley, A. Rollason, R. Mesquitta, J. P. Smith, and G. B. Combs ministered at Ebenezer. Owing to the westward trend of the population, extensive alterations were recently carried out, in an attempt to adapt the premises to the needs of the changing neighbourhood. The present pastor, Rev. G. B. Linton, settled in 1909.

Transcribed by Colin Hinson © 2014
from the "Present Churches" section of
The Baptists of Yorkshire
by Rev. J. Brown Morgan
and Rev. C.E. Shipley