Hanover Presbytery Organized in Virginia
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Samuel Davies
Time Period
In 1747, the Presbyterian New York Synod commissioned the newly ordained Samuel Davies to be an evangelist in Virginia. The New York Synod was controlled by "New Side" Presbyterians who favored the aggressive evangelism and itinerant preaching associated with the First Great Awakening. The synod’s commission was provocative since Virginia was dominated by the established Anglican Church and did not welcome unlicensed preachers from upstart evangelical denominations, like Presbyterians.

Davies served as an itinerant preacher who filled the pulpits of seven churches in five counties in Hanover County, Virginia. In 1755, Davies and a half dozen other ministers formed the Hanover Presbytery, which was responsible for all Presbyterian churches in Virginia and North Carolina. Prior to Davies' work, Presbyterianism had been predominately confined to Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, but the new Hanover Presbytery revealed how quickly Presbyterianism had expanded in the South with the help of Scots-Irish immigrants.
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Davies, Samuel

Site of Pole Green Church, where Hanover Presbytery was formed- Wikimedia Commons- photo by Nickmorgan2 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Samuel Davies portrait- Internet Archive- from Memorial book of the sesquicentennial celebration of the founding of the College of New Jersey and of the ceremonies inaugurating Princeton University
Book/Journal Source(s)
Larson, Timothy and David Bebbington and Mark Noll, 2003. Biographical Dictionary of Evangelicals. InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Illinois.
Web Page Contributor
Paul Matzko
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in History

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