Elijah Baker was born in Lunenburg County, Virginia, in 1742. He indulged in many vices early in his life. He was a lover of pleasure more than a lover of God. However, He who is rich in mercy checked him in his course of sensuality, and gave a new direction to his desires. He soon became a regular attendant to Baptist meetings and was saved under the preaching of Jeremiah Walker.
Immediately after his baptism Baker began to preach. Not long thereafter, the church at Meherrin set Baker apart for the work of the ministry. He was soon invited to take charge of Malones Church, Mecklenburg County, Virginia, which invitation he accepted. He remained there for about 12 months.
He gave himself wholly to the work of publishing salvation for several years, during which time he traveled extensively throughout Eastern Virginia. Through his instrumentality all the churches between Hampton and Richmond City were originated, and several on the Eastern Shore. He was able to establish the first ten Baptist churches in those parts.
It might be expected that such a course of successful labor would be met with opposition. Elder Baker was counted worthy to share in this hostility. For several days he was confined in the Accomac jail. He not only maintained his steadfastness, but increased in activity and boldness, in preaching Christ and him crucified.
During his confinement, the jailor devised a plot against Baker. He resolved to leave the prison door unlocked so that the prisoner would escape, showing that the Baptist preacher did not possess the courage of his convictions. However, Elijah Baker remained in the jail cell.
While elder Baker was confined in the Accomac jail, he would preach from the window of his cell. This enraged his enemies and they pelted the Baptist preacher with apples and stones during his stay in the Accomac jail.
James B. Taylor, Virginia Baptist Ministers