In the latter half of the seventeenth century, Baptists from England and Wales settled in the County of Philadelphia. Their gathering as baptized believers led to the formation of the Pennepack Baptist Church.
In 1686, Elias Keach, son of the famed English Pastor, Benjamin Keach, arrived in America. Though unconverted, he presented himself as minister of the gospel. His name secured for him the opportunity to preach and the aforementioned group of believers, in need of a pastor, were among those who gave ear to his message.
Baptist historian Morgan Edwards records the details of this event. He performed well enough till he had advanced pretty far in the sermon. Then stopping short, looked like a man astonished. The audience concluded he had been seized with a sudden disorder, but, on asking what the matter was, received from him the confession of the imposture with tears in his eyes and much trembling."
The deceiver became the first convert of his own preaching for from this time he dated his conversion! Keach repaired to Elder Thomas Dungan who: at Cold Springs in 1684, founded the first Baptist Church in the colony of Pennsylvania. Dungan administered the ordinance of baptism to Keach and the young preacher returned to Pennepack.
The Pennepack Baptist Church was constituted in 1688. It is recorded that "by the advice of Elias Keach and with the consent of the following named persons viz: John Eatton, George Eatton and Jane, his wife, Samuel Jones, Sarah Eatton, John Baker, Samuel Vaus, Joseph Ashton and Jane, his wife, William Fisher, John Watts, and Elias Keach, a day was set apart to seek God by fasting and prayer in order to form ourselves into a church. Whereupon Elias Keach was accepted and received as our pastor and we sat down in communion at the Lord's table.
The same year, 1688, Elder Dungan died, and in 1702, the Church at Cold Springs was absorbed into Pennepack Church. Though not the first established, to "Ye Old Pennepack" belongs the distinction of being the oldest Baptist Church in Pennsylvania. It is also one of the oldest Baptist Churches in America.