Francis Makemie

Image of Francis Makemie

Francis Makemie was born in 1658 in Ramelton, part of the Ulster Scots community.  He was ordained as a clergyman in West Ulster in 1682.  He was sent as a missionary to America, arriving in 1683 in Maryland.  Later that year he founded the first Presbyterian Church in the Town of Snow Hill.  He married Naomi Anderson and had two daughters.  In 1706 he founded the first Presbytery in America.  Makemie went on to found a community on the eastern shore of Virginia.  He was arrested in 1707 by the Governor of New York for preaching without a licence.  He was acquitted of these charges and this is considered a landmark case for the cause of religious freedom in America.  He died in 1708 and is buried on his farm on the Eastern shore