Reverend William Troy

Reverend William Troy was a Canadian-American Baptist minister, writer, and abolitionist.

Reverend Troy was the founder of the First Baptist Church in Windsor, Ontario.

Troy was born on March 10, 1827 in Essex County, Virginia. He married Sidney Blackburn on October 18, 1847 and together they had six children. They relocated from Virginia to Reverend William TroyCincinnati, Ohio in March of 1848 after discovering that the pastor of their Baptist church sold black members of the congregation into slavery. In Cincinnati Troy joined a new Baptist church and was ordained as a minister. Troy moved to Amherstburg, Ontario, where he became pastor of the community’s Baptist Church for three years. Afterwards the Troy family relocated to Windsor, where Reverend Troy began holding prayer meetings in 1853. This led to the foundation of the First Baptist Church (located at the corner McDougall St. and University St.), for which the first stone of the building’s foundation was laid in 1858. In 1861 he published Hair-breadth Escapes from Slavery to Freedom, a book of narratives taken from the lives of slaves who had escaped from the U.S. to Canada. He would later travel across the world to give lectures to anti-slavery societies in Europe, Haiti, and Jamaica. In 1866 Troy relocated to Richmond, Virginia and in 1867 accepted a call to become the pastor of Richmond’s Second Baptist Church. He resigned as pastor in 1874 in order to found the Moore Street Industrial and Mission School and the Moore Street Baptist Church. Troy was called to be pastor once more at the Second Baptist Church in 1880, and also helped organize the founding of the Sharon Baptist Church. William Troy passed away on November 17, 1905 in Camden, New Jersey, from paralysis and Bright’s disease.


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Burey Owen. 150th anniversary Sandwich First Baptist Church, November24, 1991. Sandwich First Baptist Church. Windsor, ON. 1991.

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Troy, Rev. William. Hair-breadth escapes from slavery to freedom. 1861. Web. Accessed June 16, 2018.