On the whole, the Maritime Baptist Historical Collection is a very large and valuable collection which contains a variety of materials relating to the Baptist denomination in the Maritime Provinces. It contains: Minutes and Yearbooks of the United Baptist convention, correspondence, handbooks, hymnbooks, association records, district records, individual church records and histories, missions, Sunday schools, associated organizations, records relating to educational institutions, etc.
Previous to 1778, Baptist ministers appeared at Nova Scotia and New Brunswick briefly during the 1760's. Previous to 1800, some of the first churches were formed at Nova Scotia in Horton (Rev. Nicholas Pierson), Halifax (Rev. John Burton), and Newport; as well as New Brunswick at Sackville (Rev. Joseph Crandall). The church was established with the assistance of Henry Alline, New Light evangelist, and many of his followers would convert and strengthen the church. The Nova Scotia and New Brunswick Baptist Association formed at Lower Granville in 1800 and comprised 10 churches: Upper Granville, Lower Granville, Digby, Digby Neck, Yarmouth, Cornwallis, Horton, Newport, Chester and Sackville. Organised home missionary efforts were started in 1815, and the Association was divided into two in 1821: Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
The Baptist Collection documents relate to the Baptist church organisation and activities for parts of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick 1778-1852, including records from various churches and from the New Brunswick and Nova Scotia Baptist Association. These records provide information about the beliefs associated with this religion, reflecting the perspective of the religious believers. As organisations that played an important part in the life of communities, the records provide valuable information to help create a history of the areas and the time period.
Subject matter relating to religion includes: baptisms, churches and church records, associations and societies, intra-church relations, missionaries and missions, baptisms, preachers (ministers), women, finances, discipline, and spirituality.
1. Antigonish, Nova Scotia. United Baptist Church. Records, 1823-1830
- Order of Business for Church Meetings (typescript)
- A Baptised church formed by Rev. David Nutter, July 1823 (includes: Members lists and a chronological listing of visiting preachers with accompanying baptisms)
2. Centerville (Shelburne County), Nova Scotia. United Baptist Church. Records, 1821-1830
- Titled Book of Records for the Church of Christ on the Cape Island in the Township of Barrington, organised Mar 22, 1821 by Elder Asa Megray. Very brief notes.
- Membership lists; new members; those baptized; those put under censure; when and where conferences/meetings held; member death notices
- Appointments and ordinations, ex. Edward Reynolds 1825
3. Fredericton, New Brunswick. Brunswick Street United Baptist Church. Miscellaneous Records, 1814-1823
- Book of Records of the Baptist Church established at Fredericton…commencing 1 Jan 1814. Copied from original record book by Herbert C. Creed, Clerk of church 1882.
- A Declaration of the Faith, Practice and Covenant of the Baptist Church in Fredericton
- Records of Conference Meetings - brief, spiritual in nature (Includes some new members; a letter to the Baptist Association)
4. Nictaux, Nova Scotia. United Baptised Church. Documents Concerning the Building of the Church, 1813-1824
- Plan of the house of worship; pews containing names and values included
- 1822-24 total nos. baptised monthly
- Concerning the church: Memo of Agreement; Land transfer for church from Allen Bass of Wilmot; Brief accounts
5. Nova Scotia and New Brunswick Baptist Association. Minutes of Meetings, 1809-1821
- Membership nos. organized by church with elders' names attached; churches included in 1809: Argyle, Digby, Granville, Annapolis, Cornwallis, Horton, Chester, Newport, Prince William, Waterbury, Sackville, Peticodiac, Onslow, Amherst
- Starting 1810, annually includes a Circular and corresponding letter, which are spiritual in nature.
- Appointments/ordinations; requests from other churches – ordinations and unite; monies raised, 1813 onward; missionaries and missions – who, where and pay, 1818 onward; Female Mite Society, 1818 onward
6. Sackville, New Brunswick. Main Street United Baptist Church. Records, 1808-1821
- Title at start: Record of the Church of Christ in Sackville held at Joshua Reed’s by Elder Crandle, Nov 16, 1808
- Baptisms named, new members, appointments, member list 1814
7. Scotch Village, Nova Scotia. Newport United Baptist Church. Miscellaneous Records, 1799-1852 (copy)
- Note at start: Organised Aug. 17, 1799.
- Start - subject of organizing a church order with Horton, Cornwallis and Chester
- Mostly baptism names; also new members, new churches, appointments/ordinations, visiting preachers and those expelled, ex. Mr. Delaney, 1809
8. Wolfville, Nova Scotia. United Baptist Church. Doctrinal Statement (incomplete) and Church Covenant Together with a List of Members
- Members list compiled c. 1807 and containing revisions c. 1812; notations added to some names: excluded, dismissed, suspended, gone and dead
9. Wolfville, Nova Scotia. United Baptist Church. Extracts Copied from Horton and Cornwallis Church Records, 1778-1808, 1811, 1816
- Visiting preachers, eg. Henry Alline; baptisms named; Henry Alline discussed; parsonage
10. Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. Zion United Baptist Church. Articles of Faith and Practice, 1810
11. Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. Zion United Baptist Church. Church Roll, 1814-1835 (copy)
- At start, mentions there are no records previous to 1814, thereafter began a ministry under Father Harding, 1796. Under the leadership of Chipman, reorganized and opened a new church roll, recognizing only those who subscribed thereto.