Since printing our article in last month's Signs on London Tract and its detractors, we received this latest exercise in "fence-stradling", double-talk, and confusion from the same fountain from whence the other flowed.
"A very interesting old church in the Atlantic Coast area is a little church located just about a mile from the corner of Maryland, Delaware, and Pennsylvania line, just over in Pennsylvania. The church is known as Landmark. The meeting place is known as London Tract.
The oldest old church in the United States is the Welsh Tract, which was organized in Wales and moved to Delaware in 1701. A few years later a group of people lettered out from that church, and started a congregation four miles away, over in Pennsylvania called London Tract.
Well, the London Tract church is no more. All the members have died out. But a group of people called Landmark Primitive Baptist Church many years ago rented the building, and now hold regular services at London Tract.
We attended services there Saturday night, Nov. 14th. Elder James Bartlebaugh, who lives at Darlington, Maryland is the present pastor of this church.
London Tract is an old pioneer meeting place, the oldest of any church now active and in fellowship with the general body of Primitive Baptists of the United States, and all of our people who visit in that area, like to go out to Landmark."
We will not labor long in this field sown with divers seeds. "Well, the London Tract church is no more. All the members have died out." Fine, Mr. Editor, if she is dead and gone, we will leave her to rest. We see, however, you have no inclination to do so. "London Tract is an old pioneer meeting place, the oldest of any church now active, etc." Is she dead or not? The editor says she is an old pioneer meeting place. We agree; but the oldest of any church now active? Is he still confused regarding the difference between a meeting place and a church? We think not. This is pure, simple double-talk to "wiggle out" of a tight spot of his own making. He has to admit the church is dead because it is. But to satisfy the semi-arminians who rent the building, he would pump life into the walls of the meeting house and make it "the oldest of any church now active and in fellowship with the general body of Primitive Baptists of the United States", etc. Those meeting there known as Landmarkers are less than fifty years old as a church (so called) and all the verbiage in the world will never change theirs or London Tract's status. So much for the conditionalist brand of history telling.
Elder James F. Poole
Signs of the Times
Volume 150, No. 4 - April 1982