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Students of Presbyterian church history are well acquainted with the Scottish minister George Gillespie (1613-1648) who served at the Westminster Assembly. But students of the American Presbyterian church history should take note of another noteworthy minister of the same name. Also born in Scotland, George Gillespie (1683-1760) emigrated to America in 1713, and was installed as the first pastor of the Head of Christiana Presbyterian Church near Newark, Delaware. It is here that his earthly remains were laid to rest, after a long tenure of service. Dr. Francis Alison referred to him as “that pious saint of God.”
In a 1723 letter to a Scottish minister reporting on the state of affairs among the Presbyterian Church in America, we may get a glimpse of Gillespie’s heartfelt desire for the good of his adopted homeland. May his prayer request for the American Church in the early 18th century be an encouragement to us today in our prayers for the body of Christ in 21st century America, and beyond.
Glorious Christ hath great designs in America…Revd Sr be mindfull in your prayers of the Infant church of Christ in America, and that the Lord would purifie the sons of Levi. May the faithfull God hasten the time when he will fulfill his promise in Isa: 59.19 That they shall fear his name from the West.