Rev Joseph Crandall Sr.


Rev Joseph Crandall Sr.

Westerly, Washington County, Rhode Island, USA
Death 12 Sep 1737 (aged 75–76)
Newport, Newport County, Rhode Island, USA
Burial Westerly, Washington County, Rhode Island, USA
Memorial ID 32192729 View Source
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Joseph Crandall

He married 1687 at Westerly, Washington County, Rhode Island Deborah BURDICK

Joseph CRANDALL was chosen Westerly Town Councilman on 20APR1704, but refused to serve.

The following material is from The Seventh-day Baptist Memorial Vol.1, No.1, New York, January 1852. It was forwarded by the librarian at the Seventh Day Baptist Center in Janesville, WI(Seventh Day Baptist Historical Society, PO Box 1678, Janesville, WI 53547-1678. TEL: 1-608-752-5055 ~~ FAX: 1-608-752-7711):

Joseph-2 Crandall was the third pastor of the Seventh-day Baptist Church in Newport, R.I. He was a member of that church as early as the year 1692, at which period the earliest existing records of the church commence. He was probably a son of Eld. John Crandall, of Westerly, but at what time he was born, or when he was baptized, we have no present means of ascertaining. He appears to have been an active member, frequently serving the church as messenger to brethren residing in different parts of the Colonies, and generally being appointed to perform the most difficult duties in the disciplinary measures of the church; and in July, 1703, he was selected to accompany the pastor, Elder Hiscox, on a journey to Pennsylvania, as counsel to the brethren there, in a matter requiring the best judgment of the congregation. He also acted as treasurer of the church for a long time, and continued in the performance of this trust after the Westerly church was set off, he being a member of that branch, after the separation in 1708. He resided in Westerly, yet the church of Newport often requiring the services of an elder to assist their pastor, or serve in his absence, made such service a condition of the final arrangement of separation. From the following extract of the minutes of the church in Westerly, we discover that he was already a deacon, empowered to administer the ordinance of baptism, such power being often conferred upon the deacon by that church, at that as well as at subsequent periods.

"Westerly. 9th of the 10th month, 1708
"The church met by appointment at the house of Brother John Maxson, Jr. to hear and consider the letter received from the church at Rhode Island, bearing the date ye 27th of ye 9th month, 1708, in which they say: If Brother Joseph Crandall may at the least for the present perform the administration of baptism to both them and us, they can and do consent, that we may be henceforward two distinct churches in association. The church taking into consideration, and the said Mr. Crandall manifesting himself to be willing to grant their desire, the church do consent that he may administer baptism among them, and that our result in the same be drawn up in a letter to them, and signed in behalf of the church, which was done the same day."

It will be seen, among the resolutions of both churches at the period of their separation, that full consent was not at first given to divide and organize at Westerly. There was a provision requiring those not present at Westerly, from Newport, to give their consent in writing, which it seems they were willing to do, upon the above-named condition; thus securing the services of a most useful man, whom thay had formerly relied upon to serve them, as occasion might require. It was like the parting of old friends, when the brethren at Newport came to strike from their roll the names of so many well-tried soldiers of the cross of Christ, especially considering that they had struggled together nearly forty years to build up the cause of the Sabbath in New England. Therefore they seized upon the present contingency to secure a link of visible connection, that their loneliness might be somewhat abated.

The records of the church do not inform us particularly of the number and standing of Mr. Crandall's children. There were several members of his name, and a daughter is mentioned as having been baptized on the 9th of February, 1709, at Westerly, who was the wife on Nathaniel Wells. [This would be Mary (1686-1763).]

The doctrine of imposition of hands was generally entertained by the Seventh-day Baptist Churches, though it was not universally practiced, and the exceptions sometimes grew out of the fact, that persons were baptized by the deacons in the absence of the pastor, and not being authorized to perform the laying on of hands, the individuals would become members in full communion without receiving the token of that ordinance. Mr. Crandall being anxious to have a greater uniformity in this respect, took occasion, at a church meeting held on the 3d of July, 1709, to submit a proposition on the subject, which was as follows:

"Whereas, I have been formerly chosen and ordained to the place of deacon in this congregation, and appointed to administer baptism, now therefore should the pastor or elder not be present, and the person baptized should request me to administer the ordinance of laying on of hands, ought it not to be performed by the free voice of the congregation?"

After debating the question, the congregation not being unanimous, it was deferred for consideration.

Mr. Crandall was however proposed for an eldership on the 16th of the same month by the church, but after conversation with him upon the subject, and he not being inclined, the subject was deferred.

There is no further expression of the church recorded, in relation to his proposition, yet he was suffered to administer the ordinance of laying on of hands, and did so the next month at New London, Jonathan Rogers and Mrs. Newbury being admitted by him, as were several others afterward.

In 1710, the church at Westerly called upon six of the brethren to "improve their gifts" with the pastor alternately: Joseph Crandall being one of them, began to preach. He however removed to Kings Town (now South Kingstown) in 1712, and not approving of the liberty given by the church to one of the gifted brethren, refused to meet with the church for some time, though urged to do so repeatedly. The next year, however, the breach was healed, and Mr. Crandall entered with his customary zeal upon the duties of his station, and a letter was given to William Davis, the obnoxious brother, to one of the churches in England, whither he desired to go.

On the 8th of May, 1715, Mr. Crandall, in compliance with the call of the church at Newport, was ordained an elder of that church. The charge was given by the venerable Pastor, Eld. William Gibson, according to the 1st Epistle of Peter, 5th chapter -- "The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away."

He continued in the service of the church in Newport, as colleague of Eld. Gibson, until the death of that eminent servant of God, in 1717, when he was invested with the office of pastor.

The society of Newport was generally well informed; but during the period of his administration there was a constellation of intelligent and literary characters there, never before equaled in New England. Among them were John Callender, Dean Berkley, Richard Ward, Henry Collins, and Thomas Ward, some of them members of his congregation. The meeting-house now standing in Newport, on Barney-st., was built in his time, and was then one of the finest public buildings in the place.

Mr. Crandall was an unpretending but industrious man. He had not the learning of his venerable predecessor, but was a sound and faithful preacher of the gospel; strict in his discipline, yet courteous to all. Having a large and expensive family, he was poor, yet the liberality of the members of the congregation was sufficiently manifest for his comfort; all their contributions for his support were, by a vote of the church, to pass through the hands of the deacons, and they were charged to visit him as often as necessary, to see that all his wants were supplied. He died on the 12th of Sept. 1737.
Information on Elder Joseph Crandall from "Representative men and old families of Rhode Island" volume 3:
..Courtesy of NewportNavyWife

Elder Joseph Crandall, son of Elder John, married (first) Deborah Burdick and was of Newport, Westerly, and Kingstown respectively. Mr. Crandall became a very useful man, and
filled the desk in the church at Newport to the great satisfaction of its members for many years. He was called to the office of Elder there, and ordained May 8, 1715. During his administration the church was at the height of its prosperity, many of the most wealthy and influential citizens being among its members.

His children were:
Joseph, who married Ann Langworthy
Mary, who married Nathaniel Wells
Deborah, who married Dr. George Stillman
Lucy, who married John Lewis
Jane, who married Cyrus Richmond

Family Members

Siblings Half Siblings


  • Maintained by: 47117651
  • Originally Created by: H BRAUN
  • Added: 15 Dec 2008
  • Find a Grave Memorial 32192729
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Rev Joseph Crandall Sr. (1661–12 Sep 1737), Find a Grave Memorial ID 32192729, citing Old Crandall Cemetery, Westerly, Washington County, Rhode Island, USA ; Maintained by 47117651 (contributor 47117651) .