History of the
By Hylah Hasbrouck
Originally appeared in the Warwick
Transcribed by Sue Simonich & Adapted for the web by
Republished with permission of the Warwick Advertiser
The Baptist denomination originated in
Encouraged by the Puritan movement, the denomination made
rapid progress and people migrated to
MEN – James Benedict, Elder Ebenezer Green, Timothy Wood, Gload Boatman, David Lobdel, Nathaniel Roe, Daniel Whitney, Philip Ketchum, Jonathan Weeks. WOMEN- Mary Benedict, Abigail Weeks, Hannah Ketchum, Hannah Burt, Elizabeth Gerno, Phoebe Lobdel, Elizabeth Knapp Juni, Thankful Whitney.
A list of members in a record dating 1768 names the following :
MEN – Daniel Case, Charles Gillet, Stephen Amsbury, Ephrem Bennet, WOMEN – Mary Case, Jemina Stanton, Hannah Rockwell, Elizabeth Cano, Nancy Sproul, Sarah Bennet.
It was not until the 1775 records that I find family names
MEN – Jacob Ricky, Ezra Sanford, Isaac Finch, Solomon Howell, WOMEN – Mary Reynolds, Anne Sanford, Esther Sanford, Rebecca Hulse, Susannah Read, Elizabeth Jones.
These recorded names were the members of the church and did not include the large number who attended the services in the Old School Baptists Meeting House. Many worthy souls were faithful attendants but felt they had not been called and were not good enough to take the vows of the church and be baptized.
The Articles of Faith contained in the records of the
“Baptist Church of Christ in
These and all other Duties we humbly submit until those desiring to perform in the strength and by the help of Almighty God, whose we are and whom we desire to serve, and to whom be glory in the Church now and forever. Amen.
That fourth article “To bear one another’s burdens” has always been carried out in spirit and deed. The Old School Baptist congregation has been noted to cleave together and to help in every possible way when one of the number is in trouble. They believe and practice that charity begins at home. Hence the church has never supported outside missionary work. They do not urge or coax any one to join – it must be a free and voluntary offering of one’s self to unite with this Baptist congregation.
Another custom is the singing of hymns with no musical accompaniment. They never had Sunday School, believing that children brought up in the church will learn from parents and the regular service. It was this lack of youthful training and the desire to have some musical instrument used, that made Ezra Sanford, a grandson of the first Ezra, withdraw and start the Calvary Baptist in town. He gave generously to it, calling it his tenth child.
The minister of the Old school Baptist congregation is addressed as Elder, never Reverend. They are licensed by a congregation. If a man feels he has a gift to expound the Bible, he stands before a congregation and is given a text, on which he proceeds to preach a sermon. No sermon is ever written and read, it must be an oral expression of inner guidance. This may make the Elder’s sermon long and somewhat rambling, but it is always sincere.
Elder James Benedict of
Of Elders that
William L. Beebe – 19th century Pastor
“The meeting was opened by singing and prayer, after which the minutes of the previous church meeting were called for but not being accessible for reading for approval of same was deferred to the April meeting.
After some remarks by the Moderator relative to the sad bereavement sustained by us in the decease of our beloved pastor, Elder William L. Beebe, a covenant meeting was engaged in and expressions were given by each member present. Though heaviness and sorrow of heart affected all present, yet each felt it was good to be there, and the meeting adjourned with the understanding that each member, the Lord willing would be a regular attendant at these church meetings in the future. (signed) John McConnell, Moderator and Clerk pro-tem”
“In Sorrow we have to record the decease of our dearly beloved pastor, Elder William L. Beebe, he having been called to everlasting rest march 28, 1901. He was a pastor indeed to us and faithfully labored in our midst for nearly twenty years, and the fruits of that labor have been evident in the comfort, edification and up-building of us fall in our most holy faith.”
“In comforting them that mourn and in helping those who were in tribulation, he was specially gifted of the Lord. His loving ministry will never be forgotten and we mourn his absence with sorrow inexpressible. All those who knew him loved him but, we, his people under his watchful care, realized more than any his loving tender heartedness and likeness to the great Shepherd of the Sheep.”
“We mourn our loss but rejoice
for him for it is better to depart and be with Christ. Our loss is his gain,
and we wish to acknowledge our thankfulness to God for his wonderful goodness
and mercy in blessing us so long with so precious a pastoral gift.”
”We extend to our sister church, Beulah of Brooks, Canada of which Elder Beebe was pastor, our heart felt sympathy in fellowship of sorrow for our mutual loss.”
gospel of love which our pastor so unceasingly preached both in word and deed,
abide and continue with us in the power of God unto salvation.”
”Our future seems dark and discouraging but our trust is in God, the Father of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who liveth to make intercession for us. Our God is immutable and in that he has been good and merciful to us in the past, we are confident of His faithfulness to never forsake us
Approved at last church meeting
M. Benedict, Clerk.”
Elder Lebbeus Lathrop
Another Elder was Elder Lebbeus Lathrop, the pastor when the present meeting house was dedicated. This is what was written of him by a Dutch Reformer: “As there was no stated minister for the Dutch reformed Church, the people began to scatter and attend other churches, many attending the Baptist church which by this time had become quite a strong congregation.
Some of the most prominent
families in this vicinity were either members or supporters in that
congregation. They had a minister
preaching for them at that time by the name of Lathrop, an uneducated man but
thought to be a good man who aimed to preach the gospel according to the
principals of the Baptists doctrines. He
was sometimes quite a rambling preacher without much connection in his
discourses and would often throw out harsh expressions calculated to disturb
the feelings of those of other denominations.
But as he was such a pleasant and friend fellow out of the pulpit,
people were disposed to overlook it. The
Baptist congregation being now the leading denomination in the village, began to consider the expediency of enlarging their
meeting house or of building a new one.
Having made a purchase of land in the village from Richard Wisner which
was the knoll where the Old School Baptist Meeting House now stands, it was
thought advisable to build anew.
Accordingly, in the winter of 1809-10, preparations were made. The new building was started in the spring of
1810 and finished a year later. Benjamin
Sayer, who died in 1874 said
the first work he did for wages was to hue timber for this building, working
from daylight to dark for fifty cents a day. The church was organized
The first meeting house
was built of logs and stood on what is now the corner of
In the gallery of the present meeting house is a pew from the old one. Sit on it and see if you could have stayed there for an hour’s sermon. Also up there are spittoons. Could the early fathers have found comfort and solace in a cud of tobacco tucked away in their cheeks? What did the women folks have to ease them. Perhaps they had the foot warmers, the only source of heat in the building.
John M. Fought had come to
The building was place on a knoll overlooking the village and had no houses between it and main Street. On June 8, 1832 an indenture was drawn between James Burt, Jeffrey Wisner, Joel Wheeler and John Fought of Warwick, Orange County, New York, of the first part and James Burt Jeffrey Wisner and Nathaniel Jones, trustees of the Old School Baptist Church and Congregation of Warwick, and their successors in office, of the second part.
Witnesseth: That the said parties of the first part for and in consideration of the sum of one dollar (and the regards for the welfare of the congregation) lawful money of the United States of America, to them in hand paid by the said party of the second part at our before the ensealing and delivery of these presents the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledge have revised, released and quit-claimed, and by those present do revise, release and quit claim unto the said part of the second part and to their heirs and assigns forever, all that small parcel of land adjoining the meeting house grounds in the village of Warwick and which was formally purchased by them the parties of the first part as Trustees of said congregation of Richard Welling, deceased, which piece or parcel of land may be described as follows: Beginning on the northerly side of the road leading from Doctor heron’s to Abraham Palmen’s, as a stone set in the ground on a corner south 81 degrees east two chains and 93 links from the northeast corner of said Heron’s kitchen and runs thence along the meeting house grounds north five degrees east two chains and two links to a corner of Jeffrey Wisner’s and Daniel Olmstead’s lots; Then along the line of said Olmstead’s and said Heron’s to the northerly side of said road; Thence along the same south 85 degrees east one chain and 25 links to the Beginning. Containing 15 square rods, be the same more or less.
John Morris Foght
Moreau Barney, Notary.
The years passed.
People of other denominations came.
Presbyterian and Dutch Reformed came fro
At the spring annual meeting of the society the proposition to
take over the meeting house was made. A
special meeting was called for three weeks later and the society voted to
assume the ownership
of this land mark of colonial
The building was in need of repairs. Plans were made at once
to raise money to do the most necessary ones before winter storms did any more
damage. A steeple jack from
The Old School Baptists congregation and meeting house have
had their place in the history of
I shall close with a little verse entitled “Steeples’ by Joseph Auslander:
I never pass a steeply by
But I must stop awhile and linger,
And catch my breath to see the sky
Take hold of Prayers tremendous finger
And lift my heart as high.
Heaven is surely not too far
To reach; any quiet town
Is in God’s keeping where you are.
You reach up; God reaches down
As steeples touch a star.
Publication date unknown, probably in 1952
Clipping from the
Minutes of the Historical Society of the Town of
Transcribed by Sue Simonich
Republished with permission of the Warwick Advertiser
The following names appear on the records for the years 1800-1810
MEN – Mathew Bennett, Silas Horton, Thadeus Dickson, Isaac Headges, Joseph Atwood, Jacob Riker, Joseph Haler, Thomas Stevens, James O’Daniel, John Paterson, Enose McDaniel, David Silsbee, Daniel Whitney, Henry Adwood, Samuel Simson, Asheur Thorp, Thomas Jones, Jonathan Knapp (died 1803), John Sutton, James Burt, John Bellyon, William House, John House, Jonathan House, Samuel Drew, John Silsbee, Morris Hudches, Robert Masters (died 1806), John Benedict, John Barns, Michael Sammons, John Folwer, Claudins Reynolds, Silas Reynolds, John Miller, Francis Miller, Oliver Vallon, Daniel Burt (died 1805), William Gold, AbijahWhitney.
WOMEN – Anna Wright, Abigal Bruster, Susanna Armstrong, Susanna Wisner, Mary Sandford, Mary Perry, Mary Patterson, Anna Walling, Juliana Bradley, Easter Veall, Easter Brigs, Mary Smith, Mary Rumsey, Mary Hall, Caty Sutton, Phebe Wisner, Experience Horton, Anna Teed, Anna Scott, Jemima Drake, Sarah Paddick, Dinah Wheeler, Azuba Shaler, Elizabeth O’Daniel (died 1812), Phebe Sayre, Juda Stevens, Phebe Teed (died 1817), Johanna Paterson, Fanny Teed, Phebe Teed Jr., Elizabeth Laten, Elizabeth Laten, Elizabeth Knapp, Lana Morehouse, Hannah Hawkins, Christiana Silsby, Anna Sanford, Johanna Burt (died 1810), Sarah Sanford, Mary Thorp, Sarah Armstrong, Anna Simpson, Sarah Baley.
The following names appear on the records for the years 1810-1820:
MEN – Reuben Kellem (died 1810), Joseph Loyd, Azriah Ketchum, Samuel Laten (died 1815), Nehemiah Finn, John Greathwaite, Abraham Chandler, William Coleman, Thomas Lawrence, James Dolson, Robert Lawrence, Benjamin Finn, Morris F. Whitney, Seth Marvin (died 1823), John Holly (died 1820), Uriah Raymond, John Hall, Jr., John, Nathaniel Clark, Hezekiah Mead, Conrad Sly (died 1813), Benjamin Twist, Daniel Sayres (died 1823), John Morris Fught, Henry Brass, Stephen Fairchild, Henry Wisner (died 1812), William Wright, Robery Hadly (died 1803), Moses Hadly, George Wood, Mathew Bennet, Silas Horton (died 1817), Thadius Dickson, Joseph Atwood, Jacob Riker, Joseph Shalor, Thomas Stevens, James O’Daniel, John Paterson, Enose McDaniel, Caleb Sears (Sayer), Robert Paterson, Willam House, Jeremiah Morehouse,
Richard Burr (died 1804), David Hawkens (died 1805), Peter Ratan, James Padick, John Cole, David Base (colored), Timothy Clark (died 1805), Lebens Lathrop (died 1805), Jeffrey Wisner, John VanderVort (died 1812), Benjamin Barney (died 1823), Anthony Bishop (died 1818).
WOMEN – Mary Bellyon, Mary Dickson, Ann Mead, Mary Drew, Elizabeth Whitney, Sarah McCann, Elizabeth Randolph, Salome Fairchild, Ann Wright, Susanna Armstrong, Mary Sanford, Mary Perry, Ann Walling, Julianer Bradly (died 1815), Esther Veall (died 1811), Esther Brigs, M. Goble (Jacob’s wife), Mary Rumsey, Mary Bowers, Mary Hall, Caty Sutton, Deboins Bennett, Agnes Haycock, Lavina Decker, Rachel Babcock, Abigail Burt, Lanah Benedict, Abigal Benjamin, Mary Mead (died 1805), Martha Thompson, Hanah Benedict, Sarah Benedict, Mary Dunn, Jerusha Bennett, Roda Bennet (died 1807). Mary Miller, Phebe Miller, Elizabeth Rodgers, Sarah Rosh, Johanna Rowley, Sarah Hudches, Mary Benedict, Ann Burroughs, Unice Gee, Sarah Reynolds, Abigal Youmans, Mary Smith, Lydia Miller, Margaret Vallon. Dorothy Lancaster (died 109) Sarah Stephens, Mary Miller, Ann Wood, Julia Benjamin, Catherine Bonntain, Mary Phillips, Leah Martin, Mary Reynolds, Sarah Fought (died 1813), Prudence Caporn, Sarah Whitney.
Note from transcriptionist-
The names extracted from a the above record may contain redundancies, and inaccuracies as would be expected from a compilation of records of this kind and age – the author was not likely acquainted with the names other than what she found in old records. One place where I would like to point out an inaccuracy is in the Newberry name. Jemima Newberry should be in this list as an early member, as her father was Elder James Benedict, along with the names of her children. Also Sarah Brass is probably Sarah Bross whose maiden name was Roach, and who married Peter Bross. When Peter Bross died, and Elder James Benedict was a widower, he married Sarah Bross. This information comes from Florence Tate, Historian – Warwick Town & Village Historian. Miss Tate did a search for me when I was trying to identify the “widow Bross of the Ramapo” who was Elder James Benedict’s third wife.
Other links to this Primitive Baptist Congregation can be found at: