Challiss (1799-1869) is the 17th subject in our book - A Noble Company, Volume 9.

6th Oct 2017

During the Antebellum period in the United States, much of the territory within the Mid-Atlantic States was considered the frontier. This was particularly the case with such areas as western New York and central New Jersey. One such locality within central New Jersey was Monmouth County, with its burgeoning villages dotting the flat, low-lying landscape. The ongoing development of various communities in this area provided ample opportunity for Baptist preachers to take their ministries to these places where they would prove instrumental in shaping local ecclesiastical culture in the churches that they either started or revitalized. One such preacher was James M. Challiss, who maintained an influential ministry in Monmouth County, especially in the locality of Upper Freehold. While Challiss did not distinguish himself either by publishing a major work or leading a national movement, he reinvigorated churches throughout central New Jersey, endearing himself to those under his charge not only by his captivating preaching, but also his sincere, sacrificial pastoral care for them. Challiss actively pastored various churches in the region for about four decades until his formal retirement. Yet, his ministerial service would yield some of its most enduring and lasting fruit during this latter period of his life, when Challiss thought initially to have relieved himself of some of his most intense labors. Challiss’s importance lays in the fact that his career, which spanned the Antebellum and Civil War period, serves as something of a case study on regular Baptist pastoral practice during this very crucial period of American history. -- Andre Gazal