Baptists came into being during the turbulent times of the Reformation, when the Bible, the Word of God, became available to everyone. Around 1600, it was their study of the Bible that led our spiritual ancestors to reject altogether the idea of a state controlled Church. They therefore separated themselves from it, and determined to model their lives and worship of God according to the New Testament pattern. In order to escape persecution they fled to Holland and it was there, in 1609 that the first English-speaking Baptist church was formed. They returned to London in 1612 and even then, the pastor, Thomas Helwys, was arrested for his faith and died in prison.
Gamlingay Baptist Church, or Gamlingay Old Meeting as it used to be known, came into being after the English Civil war, and in 1670, a group of non-conformist believers in the village asked the Bunyan Meeting church in Bedford to take them under their wing . John Bunyan, the author of Pilgrim’s Progress, became our first pastor in 1671. This church became fully independent from Bunyan Meeting in 1710, our current church building was erected shortly afterwards and we have a very long history within the village here. Roy Gibbons gives a fuller history of the church in his ‘Tale of a Village Chapel’, copies of which are available. Please contact us for details.