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Early (pre-1900) NM Spanish Protestants (Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist)

Early (pre-1900) NM Spanish Protestants (Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist)

Posted: 14 Apr 2003 1:56AM GMT
Classification: Query
HERE IS SOME INFO ON PRE-1900 SPANISH/HISPANIC PROTESTANTS IN NM (much in Valencia County):

Per "History of New Baptists"; Lewis A. Myers (1965; Baptist Convention of New Mexico; Libr. Congr. CCN 65-28361):
(Vol. 1, p. 46; re Methodists in NM): "...E.G. Nicholson arrived in 1850. Their first church was formed at Socorro, 1855...Their first Spanish covert, 1853, Ambrosio GONZALEZ of Peralta, was later baptised into the fellowship of the Albuquerque Baptist Church. He could have been the first convert before the Spanish man, Blas CHAVEZ, or the first Red man, Joe SENON." Lewis goes on to cover Blas CHAVEZ extensive career as BAPTIST minister and missionary; there is no mention of Blas CHAVEZ as a Methodist (nor did I find any mention of Blas being Methodist by Harwood, below).
Myers also lists a Renoldo CHAVEZ (I believe this could be Rumaldo CHAVEZ (b.approx. 1806) of San Antonio, Socorro County NM, who also has ties to my family - Myers, like many non-Hispanics, makes many minor errors with Spanish names and surnames) and Jose Maria CHAVEZ (b. 1810, Tome NM area), who is the son of Juan CHAVEZ (b. approx. 1807-1815, some ambiguity on this) and Maria Gertrudis CHAVEZ de CHAVEZ (b.8/31/1813, Tome NM; married Juan CHAVEZ 6/25/1831 in Valencia NM; ) my great-great grandparents. Jose Maria is the brother of Maria Viviana CHAVEZ de GONZALES (b.12/2/1807, Tome NM; first married Ramon MONTOYA in 1826 - Ramon was "killed by Indians"; d. 2/7/1888, Peralta NM) the wife of Ambrosio GONZALES (her second husband) below.
Maria Gertrudis CHAVEZ de CHAVEZ , above, is descended from Nicolas DURAN y CHAVEZ, son of Fernando (II) DURAN y CHAVEZ. Her husband Juan CHAVEZ is the son of a Jose CHAVEZ and Maria Catalina MALDONADO, both of whom I have yet to trace back further - I'D WELCOME ANY ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THESE TWO .

Per "History of New Mexico Spanish and English Missions"; Rev. Thomas Harwood (1908; El Abogodo Press, Albuquerque NM; reprinted and re-edited 1983):
(Vol. 1, p.46) "...Brother Ambrosio (GONZALES, of Peralta NM) always said he was the first Protestant Mexican in New Mexico. I believe that he was. He was not certain about the year, but thought it was 1853. I am inclined to think it was earlier than that, probably some time in 1852.....Bro. Ambrosio was appointed leader of the (Bible) class at Peralta, and kept it up so that when I came down in 1871...I found Bro. Ambrosio faithful to his trust." (Harwood makes no mention of Ambrosio becoming a member of the Baptist Church; and, Ambrosio apparently kept a close relationship with Harwood until Ambrosio's death in 1884; see below).
There was initially a Methodist Bible study group in Peralta NM established by E. G. Nicholson some time between 1850-1853 - and later led by Ambrosio GONZALES (from around 1853-1873?). There was also an early Methodists Church (building) in Peralta NM, apparently established under the auspices of Harwood - not sure when that happened, probably some time between 1873-1880.
(Harwood's books are from his personal diaries, not indexed, and tend to jump back and forth in time, thus making it difficult to extract information. Myers book on Baptists is well indexed and more orderly).

Thus, we have two independent sources recognizing Ambrosio GONZALES of Peralta NM as being the first Spanish/Mexican covert to any Protestant religion in NM - he became a Methodist in 1852 or 1853.

My great-great-grandfather, Juan CHAVEZ (who married Maria Gertrudis CHAVEZ in 1831), is also mentioned by Harwood (op. cit.) as dying in 1874 after having converted to Methodist; thus Juan CHAVEZ also was one of the very early Methodist converts. Juan CHAVEZ' son, Teodosio, was an early Methodist minister in NM (Anton Chico and Chilili), as was Teodosio's son, Juan C. CHAVEZ (my grandfather) who was a Methodist pastor in Socorro NM, Hillsboro NM and Las Cruces NM (among other places). Both Teodosio and Juan C. were early "circuit riders" on horseback to outlying Methodist groups in NM.
The sister of Juan CHAVEZ (d.1874, the first one mentioned in the above paragraph), Maria Viviana CHAVEZ (b.12/2/1807), married Ambrosio GONZALEZ (d.Oct. 7,1884), the first Protestant convert. Both Ambrosio and Maria Viviana were listed as being Methodist at one time after they were married. They apparently had at least three children: Rosalia, Salvador (who had son, Ambrocio C., who graduated from Harwood boys school/seminary in Albuq. in 1898 - along with my grand-father Juan C. CHAVEZ) and Irene (who apparently married a CHAVEZ) - there was possibly a fourth child, Ramon (who may have been Maria Viviana's son by her first husband Ramon MONTOYA. There are will and probate records in Valencia County pertaining to Ambrosio GONZALEZ. Rev. Thomas Harwood (Methodist), then of Taos NM, was one of the witnesses (along with Higimio CHAVEZ and Policarpo SANCHEZ; J. Francisco CHAVEZ was an executor of the estate) for Ambrosio's will and codicil filed in 1884.

I have another CHAVEZ relative, "prima" Rebeca CHAVEZ, who married Samuel VAN WAGNER, an early Presbyterian minister in NM (Socorro and later, around 1914, in Albuquerque). I have a CHAVEZ aunt and also a CHAVEZ uncle who each married one of Samuel & Rebeca's children. Another child of Samuel and Rebeca VAN WAGNER, Priscilla, married Joe RODRIGUEZ who's father was also an early Presbyterian minister in NM. Our CHAVEZ family remains very close to the VAN WAGER - CHAVEZ and RODRIGUEZ families to this day. I was actually baptized by both a NM Presbyterian Rev. ACOSTA MESA, and my grand-father Methodist Rev. Juan C. CHAVEZ.

Anyone having or desiring more info may contact me. I do NOT have any indexes, lists or membersip rolls - so if you need any info you'll have to supply specific names, dates and locations.

Re: Early (pre-1900) NM Spanish Protestants (Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist)

Posted: 19 Apr 2011 9:20PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: duran y chavez
hi on the chavez line i descendent to blas antonio duran y chavez and blatamal would we be related.

Re: Early (pre-1900) NM Spanish Protestants (Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist)

Posted: 25 Jul 2011 5:46PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Van Wagner
Dear Mr. Chavez,
I have a photo of Samuel & Rebecca Van Wagner. I NEVER knew why my grandmother had their photo or WHO they were. You solved the mystery. My grandmother, Felicita Ortiz was an
orphan @ Harwood Girl's school in Albuerque, NM in the early 1900's until she married in 1919. She was friends with a Simona Chavez, don't know if she is related, have
a few photos. Please get back with me.
Continued Blessings, Margaret Garcia Holt

Re: Early (pre-1900) NM Spanish Protestants (Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist)

Posted: 25 Jul 2011 8:23PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Chavez/Van Wagner
Dear Mr. Chavez,
Going through my grandmother's album, have pictures of
Harwood School circa 1912-1915? Found photo of Samuel & Rebecca Van Wagner taken Oct. 28th 1956 on their 50th wedding anniv.Don't know if these people are related to you..just
sharing...David S. chavez (photos) lived in Pajarito, NM,Malid Chavez circa 1913, Amelia Montoya, & teachers @ Harwood

Re: Early (pre-1900) NM Spanish Protestants (Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist)

Posted: 9 Apr 2014 2:23PM GMT
Classification: Query
"He could have been the first convert before the Spanish man, Blas CHAVEZ, or the first Red man, Joe SENON." Lewis goes on to cover Blas CHAVEZ extensive career as BAPTIST minister and missionary; there is no mention of Blas CHAVEZ as a Methodist (nor did I find any mention of Blas being Methodist by Harwood, below). "

HI: Doing some family and ran into Blas Greigo Chavez in two families, the Martinez and Sawyer. The Martinez are of Holbrook with many ties to New Mexico as one might imagine while the Sawyer family, has a less direct route through the Maldonado & Moreno families. Any information on Blas will be appreciated, Happy Hunting - Best to ya...................

Chuck

Re: Early (pre-1900) NM Spanish Protestants (Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist)

Posted: 1 May 2014 5:20PM GMT
Classification: Query
John: " Lewis goes on to cover Blas CHAVEZ extensive career as BAPTIST minister and missionary; there is no mention of Blas CHAVEZ as a Methodist (nor did I find any mention of Blas being Methodist by Harwood, below). Would this Chavez possibly be Blas Griego Chavez,
would it ? If so, he's a distant relative along with his big family. We are related thru the Mazon family, the Martinez family of Holbrook, AZ, the Moreno families of Cebolleta, St. Johns, AZ and Globe, AZ. From Globe, it's like seeds in the wind. I'm tying locate his resting place to pay my respects. Good Hunting !!

Chuck
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