August 16, 1732-1812?
David Thomas was born, August 16, 1732, at London Tract, Pennsylvania. The very same year as George Washington. He was educated under the eminent Baptist leader, ISAAC EATON, at HOPEWELL ACADEMY, NEW JERSEY. James B. Taylor noted that Thomas' educational achievements "were such that RHODE ISLAND COLLEGE (now BROWN UNIVERSITY) gave him the Master of Arts" degree in 1755. Thomas left Pennsylavania in 1760 for Berkeley County in northern Virginia as a "self appointed missionary." He preached there for about eighteen months. In 1762 Thomas moved to Fauquier County, establishing and becoming the minister of BROAD RUN CHURCH, which became the center of his evangelistic activities. For the next several years, Thomas was the pre-eminent Regular Baptist in Virginia. Many of the Regular ministers regarded Thomas as their spiritual father. In addition, Thomas often itinerated with JOHN GARRARD, the minister of MILL CREEK CHURCH(VA)
A HISTORY OF BROAD RUN BAPTIST CHURCH, Fauquier Co VA 1762-1987, John S. Moore, 1987. Chapter Two, p.13-15 reads: "On December 3, 1762, Broad Run Church was orgainized by David Thomas and John Marks with ten members who were: Edmund Hays, Peter Cornwell, Joshua Dodson, Thomas Dodson, William Stamps, Elizabeth Hays, Sarah Cornwell, Ruth Dodson, Elizabeth Dodson and Betty Bennett. All of these ten charter members except Elizabeth Dodson were listed on the Mill Creek Church roll. [Mill Creek was one of only 3 Regular Baptist Churches in VA prior to Broad Run.]"
Thomas returned to Berkeley County in 1788 and became the minister of Mill Creek Church after the death of the church's pastor and Thomas' close friend, JOHN GARRARD. Thomas remained at Mill Creek until 1796 when he moved to Kentucky. The move was occasioned by trouble at the church. According to Semple the church initially rejoiced in Thomas' ministry, but eventually "some of the members becoming wise in their own conceit took it into their fancy that Thomas preached false doctrine" Thomas evidently became discouraged by the controversy and left Virginia for Kentucky
Morgan Edwards, Baptist historian says about Thomas "if we may judge of a man's prevalency against the devil by the rage of the devil's children, Thomas has prevailed as a prince." David was called the people's "Spiritual Father"
Thomas as a Kentucky Baptist. The Great Revival struck the frontier of Kentucky in 1800-1802. Baptists prospered. In 1800, 106 churches with 5,119 members; in 1803 219 churches with 15,495 members. David Thomas was once again in the midst of an awakening. Now an aged minister, he felt the need to reassert his evangelistic heritage by answering the critics of the revival. Consequently, he published THE OBSERVER, trying the Great Reformation in this state (1802)
Still uncertain as to when David Thomas removed to Kentucky from Virginia. But it must have been somewhere between 1796 and 1800. David's health was failing and he was becoming blind so his church work was limited
In the will, David names 4 grandchildren; Sally Thomas, Caty Evans, David Thomas Foster and David Thomas Garrard to be given $5.00 each. He names 4 children; John Thomas, Sally Foster, Betsy Garrard and Polly Evans to be given 5 pounds each
Anna Smalley and Catharine Martin were 3rd cousins. Their sons, David Shreve and William Martin Shreve are 5th cousins on the Martin side and step brothers on the Shreve side
"The Martin Family of America" by Louise Martin Mohler and published by William Hesler, rev. 1987, p. 90 reads the following information about Rev. David Thomas
Rev. David Thomas, Catharine Martin's second husband, was a friend to T. Marshall, cousin to Chief Justice John Marshall and there may be a connection with the Marshall Family as Abraham 1716- no dd married Elizabeth Marshall of the same family
ABRAM MARTIN, Captain, b. 7th February, 1716; killed by Indians, 1780; Captain in the Colonial Forces of Virginia, serving under Colonel George Washington in the Braddock Campaign; m. 4th October, 1744, Elizabeth MARSHALL, dau. of Captain John and Elizabeth (MARKHAM) MARSHALL of “The Forrest,” and aunt of Chief Justice MARSHALL. Colonial families of the United States of America: Volume 1