Most of senior pastor Jonathan Bouchers parishioners favored independence. George and Martha Washington were frequent visitors, as Marthas son John was a student at the church school. Nevertheless, Boucher not only held the Tory position, but openly preached loyalty to King George. This prompted frequent threats, so for six months he preached with a brace of loaded pistols on the seat cushion beside him. One Sunday, matters reached a climax when 200 armed militiamen showed up under the command of Osborne Sprigg, threatening to shoot if he dared mount the pulpit. In the ensuing scuffle, Boucher grabbed Sprigg by the collar andholding a loaded pistol to his headeased his way through the hostile mob. He reached his horse and escaped, sailing to England on the last ship before hostilities broke out.