First Baptist Church of Swansea

Founded in 1663 by John Myles, the First Baptist Church of Swansea is actually the third oldest Baptist church in the United States. Two older Baptist churches are located in Providence, Rhode Island, and Boston, Massachusetts. Swansea, however, has the distinction of having the first Baptist church to construct a meetinghouse in North America.

Swansea was named after the Welsh town bearing the same name. John Myles, who also founded the first Baptist church in Wales during the first year of the Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell, immigrated to the New World in 1663. The author of the History of the Welsh Baptists says, “He was … the leading minister of the Baptist denomination in Wales.” Myles gathered together one of his fellow migrants and six other sympathizers at the house of John Bulterworth and organized the first Baptist church in Massachusetts.

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