The First Baptist Church was formed
on the 20th day of September, 1810, and existed until near the close of
1840. The meeting-house was built in 1817. The acting pastors
of the church and society are as follows: Samuel Kingsbury, from
ordination in 1808, to 1817; Benjamin I. Lane, fall of 1817, to 1819; -----
Lathrop, Jan. 1820, to June 1821; George Robbinson, Dec. 1821 to Dec. 1824;
Joseph M. Graves, Jan. 1825, to Jan.
Simeon Chamberlain, Mar. 1831,
to Mar. 1834;
Hiram A. Graves, spring and summer of 1835; Nathan Ames,
Farrar, spring of 1837, to spring of
At the time of the organization of
this body a Baptist church had enlisted for 17 years at the West Village.
It reported to the Woodstock association 103 members, with Rev. J. W. Graves,
pastor. Samuel Gray worked as clerk for forty years.
On the first Sabbath of January, 1828,
it was voted to employ Rev. J. M. Graves one-third of the time. Voted
to secure the services of Elder Kinsbury. The nex year
Chamberlain supplied one-half the time.
The next three years are memorable
as the transition period of the church. In 1832, Rev. R. M. Ely received
a call to be pastor, and moved his family into the community. He
was the first pastor of the church, and the first minister to transfer
his membership to the church and supply its pulpit. In 1838 Mr. Ely
resigned and removed to Chester. Rev. W. D. Upham supplied the church during
his vacation, and in December following became its pastor. His pastorate
extended through four years and was marked by a continuous revival.
Horace Fletcher was ordained. Mr. Fletcher had graduated
at Dartmouth College at the age of 21, the first scholar in his class,
Five years he then spent in teaching and the study of law; was admitted
to the bar and had spent 15 years in his practice. Rev. Horace Fletcher
grew in intellectual and spiritual strength. Then honorary title
of D. D., conferred upon him from Hamilton Theological Seminar was justly
earned. After an uninterrupted pastorate of nearly 28 years, he died
Rev. R. R. Printice became pastor May
1, 1872. In 1875, Rev. C. P. Frenyear was called to the pastorate.
He died may 10, 1876. Rev.
T. M. butler settled 1870; dismissed October
29, 1882. Rev. R. S. Mitchel settled June 30, 1883; dismissed July
9, 1887. Rev. W. D. Athearn settled Oct. 1, 1888; present pastor,