Burlington Baptist Church

April 5, 1939 – Page 2

The Early History Of Burlington
Baptist Church

From Its Organization In 1860 To 1904 As Published
In Pamphlet form by Rev. P. C. Reed who Was
Pastor at the Latter Date.

The following is a historical sketch of the Burlington Baptist Church (formerly known as the Fourth Cornwallis Baptist Church), as prepared by Rev. P. C. Reed for the roll call of the church, held on July 8th, 1904. Many of the persons mentioned in the sketch will be recalled by older residents of the district. The present membership numbers forty-six resident and seventy-two non-resident members. The church is served by a student pastor during the summer months and occasional preaching services by the Berwick pastor during the winter months.

The section contributing members to this church takes in the stretch of country on the North Mountain, north of Berwick and Aylesford and from the top of the mountain to the shore of the Bay of Fundy. It includes the sections known as Garland, Burlington, Victoria, Pleasant Street, Fairview and Harborville, the first four named now being occupied as regular preaching stations of the church.

It is our purpose as best we may, to trace the history of the church from its foundation up to the present time. To do this intelligently we shall begin our discussion with speaking briefly of the first settlers, then of the Baptist preaching before the organization of the church which will thus lead us to our history proper which will be discussed under two divisions, viz., before and after the building of the Long Point meeting house.

The facts and figures given below are as near as your historian could gather them, correct. Though possibly since some of the materials used are simply tradition there may be some slight errors; if such, will the indulgent reader kindly pardon.

The first settler in the vicinity of Long Point was Thomas Turner, who with his son Girden, then a young man, settled at what has since been known as Turner Brook, in the year 1811. Next after him came the Dykens family at what was later called Given Wharf – named thus after John Given a later settler – and which is now known as Harborville. These were followed a little later by John Ogilvie, Wm. Ogilvie, Chas. Card, John Given, John Hamilton, etc. And about 1840 there were residing at Long Point and vicinity, others, as Girden, Turner, Robert Dunham, Joseph Ogilvie, James Ogilvie, Wm. Cook, Henry Hall, Wm. Creelman, Samuel Beardsley and others.

The designation Long Point was given because of the long point of land and rock extending out into the Bay of Fundy just east of Turner Brook and west of Harborville. Also in thinking of this early time we must remember that the summer traveller would not see by the roadside the wide extended fields of choice wheat, oats, buckwheat, etc., and the acres and acres of the now famous North Mountain potatoes, nor the well-kept apple orchards, as we now see, for there were no roads then and almost the whole face of the country was covered with a heavy growth of mostly hard wood timber, with paths and sled roads here and there. And the people to do their shopping had to go to Kentville at first, and later to the nearer Valley stores.

First Baptist Preaching at Long Point

As to the exact date of the first Baptist preaching at Long Point we cannot say of a certainty, neither can we tell exactly the name of the first preacher. But we know this that in 1836 Elder Wm. Chipman preached at Long Point for one of our oldest, if not the oldest inhabitant of Garland and vicinity, our beloved sister, Mrs. George (Grandma) Bezanson, who is now eighty-six years old and in full use of all her faculties, distinctly remembers coming down from Black Rock in boats at different times to hear him preach while she was yet a young girl, which we see would thus take us back to 1836 at least.

We are also told that other ministers used to preach here as, Revs. Ezekiel-Marsters, Rideout, Tupper, Carleton, Eagles, Chase and Bro. Chas. Norwood. Possibly some of these had preached before Elder Chipman’s arrival, the others afterward, since he only came once in four weeks at this time. The preaching at these early times was at the homes of the people, as, Girden Turner, William Cook, Henry Hall, Mr. McConnell, etc. Yes and even once in a barn for some of our older male members can remember when they as boys set on the scaffold to listen. To these services also boatloads of people would come down from Black Rock and up from Margaretville.

And these meetings were not simply formal and no power of God there but people were converted, were baptized and brought into church membership, for another of our honored sisters, Mrs. Henry Best, remembers very clearly being at a preaching service and sacrament conducted by Elder Chipman and held in the little old schoolhouse just west of Turner Brook in the year 1842.

Elder Chipman at this time was Pastor of the Second Cornwallis Church and preached at Black Rock, also held Conference meetings there. Mrs. Wm. Cook, Wm. Ogilvie and others from Long Point would set out for these services walking through the woods, finding their way along foot paths and directed by blazed trees, for there were no wide roads then, as now. We have been told of some of the people going barefoot through the woods and carrying their cowhide boots and best homespun dresses under their arms until in sight of the meeting house at Black Rock or Pleasant Valley and then putting them on. Or of others who wore their homespun and cowhide through the woods and nearing the places of worship would don their bombazine dresses with silk stockings and slippers for the services.

Shortly after 1842 the little schoolhouse at Turner brook was discarded and another built at the corner of Long Point and Baseline roads. (This brings to our notice the fact that roads were being opened up as Long Point, Baseline, Given, Hamilton and Barley Street). This new schoolhouse was burned not long after, but about 1847 was rebuilt and about 1848 the schoolhouse at the Burying ground or Barley Street corner, afterwards called by many the Baptist Bethel, was built. These then became the usual places of worship and to

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The Early History Of Burlington
Baptist Church

April 5, 1939

(Continued from page 2.)

....these meetings crowds would come, in boats, on horse or ox sleds, on horseback and on foot to hear the Word of the Lord.

Many of those hearing the Word heard to the salvation of their souls and were baptized into the membership of the second Cornwallis, the old Pleasant Valley Baptist Church, as, Mrs. Wm, Cook, Bedford Ogilvie, Wm. Ogilvie, Henry Hall, Henry Ogilvie and many others. When the Conference meetings were at Pleasant Valley these brethren, and sisters too, would think nothing of walking over to the meeting from Long Point, and very few would they miss which ought to put to shame many of our people now in these days of good roads, horses and carriages.

Building of Meeting House

With the dawning of the year 1850 we find that the inhabitants of the neighborhood had increased considerably from the few in 1844. Of these quite a large number were Baptist Church members and belonging to Valley churches. Many of them felt that they would like to be organized into a separate church, so they met together and drew up the following resolution:

"In accordance with the views and feelings of the members of the Second Baptist Church resident at Long Point and Given Road, with members of other churches resident there, after, prayerful consideration of the subject a Council was called from several sister churches for the purpose of advising in reference to the organization of a separate church in that locality."

So by request on June 12th, 1850, the following persons met in Council at Long Point for the organization of the Church: - Elder Abraham Stronach and Deacon Theo. Kinsman, from Third Cornwallis Church, Elder Obed Parker from Aylesford and Upper Wilmot Church, Deacon Wm. Craig from Upper Aylesford Church, Elder Wm. Chipman, Deacon Abel Parker and Brother Jonathan Sanford from the Second Baptist Church.

Meeting opened with prayer by elder Stronach after which the Council was received by the members who called them; Elder Stronach was chosen Moderator and Elder Chipman Clerk. After strict enquiry into the motives had been made and satisfactory answers had been given on the articles of the Church and expressions of their firm belief in the sentiments contained therein, the Council retired, and after prayerful consideration, agreed unanimously to proceed to organization. The order of organization was as follows: Prayer by the Moderator, charge by the same and portions of the scriptures read in reference to the nature and materials of the Church of Christ. Right hand of fellowship by Elder Chipman. Concluding address and prayer by Elder Parker. Benediction by the moderator.

Organization Work

Thus on the 12th of June, 1850, was organized the Fourth Cornwallis Baptist Church with a charter membership of thirty, who came into the new organization by letter mostly from Pleasant Valley and Aylesford churches. The following were the charter members: Oliver H. Cogswell and Rebecca his wife, Henry Hall and Seraphina his wife, James Ogilvie and Charlotte his wife, Sm. Ogilvie, Joseph Ogilvie and Asubah his wife, Margaret Cook, George Gould and Ann his wife, Charles Hall and Sara his wife, Lavinia Beardsley, Robert Bishop, Manning Hall, Charles Haverstock, Mrs. Mary Bridge, Louisa Bridge, Harriet Bridge, Mary E. Hall, Lavinia Ray, Julia Sanford, Mary J. McConnell, Mary A. Cogswell, Elizabeth Baker, Rachel McMahon, John Clem and Rebecca Goucher.

The first pastor of the new church was Rev. Wm. Chipman, who at the same time was Pastor of the Pleasant Valley Church. The first deacons were Henry Hall and Gideon Beardsley and Charles Hall the first church clerk.

In 1855 Elder Chipman ceased his labors as pastor of this church and during the year following Bro. Robt. Walker a licentiate from the Aylesford church preached to these congregations.

Then in 1865 Rev. David Pineo coming from River John, took up the pastorate, preaching his first sermon at Fairview. Under his ministrations there took place a most wonderful work of grace, since called the Great Reformation – one that fairly shook the mountain. This Reformation began in February 1858, Pastor Pineo being assisted by Revds. Ebenezer Stronach and James Parker and later by Revds. Morton, Chipman, Walker and Evangelist McPhee. At this time about 50 were baptized and united with the church. Some of these we call to mind as, the late Rev. W. E. Hall, John Lutz, Henry best, Andrew McBride and wife, Mrs. Henry Best, Thomas Beardsley, Isaac Cook, and David Ogilvie.

On Bro. Pineo laying down the work, from June, 1858, to December 19th, 1858, Rev. Robert Morton was pastor of the church. He began special meetings on November 18th, 1858 assisted by Revds. E. O. Read, James Parker, J. A. Moore, Wm. Chipman, W. G. Parker, Nathaniel Videto and David Pineo. Great blessing came to the church and about twenty were added to its membership.

In the year 1859 the church was supplied by Bro. De Wolfe, a licentiate from Aylesford and in 1860 by Rev. Warren Parker and others.

Dedication of Church

In the spring of 1860 an important move was made by the church when they decided upon the building of a meeting house. The frame was put up in the spring and in October, 1860, the outside was finished. On October 3rd, 1860, a public tea-meeting was held in the new meeting house. About 38 was realized. Immediately after this event the inside was completed by Mr. Thompson, the contractor, and on February 10th, 1861 – the Sunday after the memorable cold Friday, when the thermometer was said to register 33 degrees below zero – the church was dedicated. Dedication sermon in the morning by Elder DeBlois of Wolfville, text Ex. 20:24. Sermon in evening by Rev. J. L. Read, Heb. 12:2. On February 11th the pews were offered for sale by Elder Chipman and disposed of.

Then in March, 1861, Rev. J. L. Read, who had for a little over two years been pastor of the Aylesford church, assumed pastoral care of this church also. Special meetings were conducted by him at Long Point in 1869, also we understand in 1871 and 1875. Much good was done and at the latter time about thirty-eight were added to the church.

Pastor Read pressed the work onward year after year and in 1882 with the assistance of Rev. John W. Young, what proved to be another Great Reformation took place. Bro. Young began his work on November 26th, 1882, preaching his first sermon from the text, "What shall I say unto this people?" and continuing until Feb., 1883. The Lord richly blessed the labors of these devoted men and seventy-seven were baptized and taken into the fellowship of the Fourth Cornwallis Baptist Church.

Meeting House Built at Victoria Harbor

Following this great work there was another progressive step made in the building of the Victoria Harbor meeting house. On the second Tuesday in May, 1883, the first tree was cut for the frame and the house was completed for dedication in March, 1884, the dedication sermon being preached by Rev. M. Armstrong. The house was not built for another church organization, but simply that the people in that prosperous section of the church could the more readily attend divine worship.

The next important events to notice are the special meetings of 1890 carried on by our venerable brother Rev. Isa Wallace, then working under the Home Mission Board. Much good was done and forty-two were baptized, some in the Bay of Fundy and others in some of the many natural baptistries we have here on this mountain.

Following this work Pastor Read conducted a revival in Garland and Victoria beginning in January, 1892. At this time about forty were added to the church by letter and baptism.

Again in April and June, 1895, Pastor Read conducted further special meetings which resulted in the addition of seventeen to the membership of the church.

But now we come to a new order of things. In the latter part of 1895, after 34 years of active ministry here, rev. J. L. Read laid down the work. And in the spring of 1896 Bro. Geo. L. Bishop was called to the pastorate. In January, 1897, Pastor Bishop began a very successful series of meetings. During February and March he was assisted by Rev. D. H. Simpson of Berwick, who on March 28th baptized seventeen happy converts in the Bay of Fundy at Harborville. Then during April Bro. Bishop was assisted by Evangelist J. A. Marple. In all about forty were added to the church by letter and baptism at this time.

Council Called

On May 12th, 1897, a Council was called to consider the advisability of setting apart Bro. G. L. Bishop to the gospel ministry. Delegates came together from Fourth Cornwallis, Aylesford, Billtown, Cambridge, First Cornwallis and Wolfville churches. Rev. M. P. Freeman was chosen Moderator and Rev. J. B. Morgan, Clerk. Rev. T. A. Higgins preached the ordination sermon from 2 Cor. 11:2.

Another point we might note just here. About 1895 the Central Association seeing there was a little confusion as to the names of the Second, Third and Fourth Cornwallis Churches asked that these might be changed. So the Fourth Cornwallis became known as the Burlington Baptist Church.

In 1900 Bro. Bishop on account of ill health was forced to resign his charge here and in March, 1901, Rev. J. L. Read once more took up the work here. On March 7th, 1901, assisted by Rev. A. Chipman he conducted the funeral services of Rev. David Pineo, one of the early pastors. When the fall of 1902 came around Bro. Read’s health was so poor he was obliged to give up his beloved work on the North Mountain.

During the summer of 1903 the church was supplied by Rev. P. R. Foster of Berwick. Following him in December, 1903, the present Pastor P. Clinton Reed, assumed the cares of the church.

On May 2nd and 3rd, 1904, the Kings County Conference met with this church and very successful meetings were held, much to the edification of the exceptionally large audiences.

During May and June, 1904, special meetings were held at Victoria and Burlington, the Pastor assisted at times by Rev. A. S. Lewis, Rev. C. K. Morse and Rev. Isa Wallace. Twelve have been added to the church by baptism, by letter or on experience.

Long line of Deacons and Clerks

Before closing this sketch we might mention the long line of Deacons who fulfilled the functions of their offices, as, Henry Hall, Gideon Beardsley, Oliver Cogswell, Edward C. Charlton, David Ogilvie, George Gould, Edward S. Eaton, Wm. McConnell, Frances Cary, Thos. Graves, Andrew McBride, Edwin Palmeter, Johnson McNeil, Reuben Hyland and Isaac Bezanson; and also the Clerks, as, Chas. Hall, Edward C. Charlton, Joshua Beardsley, Thos. Graves, Abram Ogilvie, Wallace Ogilvie and R. S. Armstrong. Mention also should be made of the work of Rev. L. D. Morse and Bro. Austin Kempton, who while yet students at Acadia College, preached here during their summer vacation.