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BOOTH: Booth-Ebenezer Chapel Congregational Church History up to 1868.

Booth-Ebenezer Chapel Congregational Church History up to 1868.


The congregation at Booth originated in the apostolical labours of the Rev. W. Grimshaw, of Haworth. Under his preaching some of the inhabitants of the Booth Valley felt the power of God's Word, and desired religious ordinances for themselves. They agreed, therefore, to unite to form a church, in a house called" Hutton." One of their own number was invited to become their pastor. The list of the Booth ministers is as follows : -
  • Circ. 1763. Rev. JAMES CROSSLEY, the first pastor. He attributed his conversion to a sermon of Whitefield, preached near Heptonstall, from the words, "0 earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the Lord." His convictions were encouraged and deepened by Mr. Grimshaw, who recommended him to Mr. Wesley. Crossley's views, however, inclined to Independency. He had previously begun to preach to a congregation at Upper Saltonstall. The room soon proved too s mall. The flock accordingly drew up a modest and most Christian appeal to the neighbouring churches for aid in the erection of a chapel, on an estate, called "Booth." The people, though extremely poor (it is said that no one of their contributions exceeded it), gave their labour freely. The chapel was opened in 1761, and the public ordination of Mr. Crossley took place in 1763. Rev. T. Knight (himself ordained on the previous day), Rev. John Edwards, and Rev. James Scott, being engaged in the service.
  • Mr. Crossley continued pastor at Booth for nearly 20 years. He was an excellent preacher, much esteemed in the principal congregations of the county. He published two sermons; one on the execution, for coining (1770), of James Oldfield (formerly precentor of Booth meeting-house), entitled, "God's Indignation against Sin; " and a charge to the Rev. J. Calvert on his ordination at Chesterfield.
  • Mr. Crossley was invited to other spheres (as to Huddersfield), which he declined. He accepted, however, the call to the newly-formed Independent Church at Bradford, and left Booth in May, 178 2. But he only preached during one Lord's day, after which he died, and was buried at Booth, leaving an honoured memory to his survivors.
  • 1783. Rev. JOHN TOOTH ILL (Heckmondwike Acy.). Cousin to Rev. Jonathan Toothill (Hopton). In 1786, he removed to Rainford, Lancashire.
  • 1787. Rev. JOSEPH SOWDEN. He removed to Sowerby, 1794.
  • 1794. Rev. JONAS HINCHCLIFFE (Northowram Acy.). Disputes having arisen, Mr. H. relinquished his charge in 1801, and settled at Haslingden.
  • 1802. Rev. JOSEPH POLLARD, a native of Bradford; once a soldier. He was converted under the ministry of Rev. T. Holdgate, Bradford, and preached in that town and its neighbourhood. Under his ministry at Booth the wounds in the congregation were healed, and the numbers increased greatly. In his last years a great revival took place consequent upon the impulse given by the newly-created zeal for Christian Missions. Among his converts were the Rev. John Calvert, afterwards of Morley, and his brother, Rev. Daniel Calvert, of Sandy-Sike. A house was built, 1823, for the minister. Mr. Pollard died in 1825, æt. 59.
  • 1826. Rev. JOHN NEWELL (Idle Acy.). He was not ordained till 1829. Discords arose, a division took place, an appeal was made to the arbitrament of law, and the decision was against the minister Mr. Newell left Booth 1835.
  • In 1828, a new chapel was built, designated, "Ebenezer."
  • 1836. Rev. JOSEPH MASSEY (Idle Acy., from Hyde, Cheshire). Under his short ministry the old breaches were repaired, and the congregation much improved. A haemorrhage of the gums was the cause of his death, Dec. 8, 1840.
  • 1842. Rev. DAVID JONES (Airedale Coll.). He is the present minister (in 1868).

* Communicated by Rev. D, Jones,

Transcribed by Colin Hinson © 2014
from the Appendix to
Congregationalism in Yorkshire
by James C. Miall, 1868.