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Ashford Baptist Association
"Compendium of Association Minutes From 1825 to 1874"
     1825. Association held its first meeting in Stafford, June 29th, James Grow, preacher and moderator; David C, Bolles, clerk. Constitution adopted -- l0th article as follows: "No churches shall be received into this Association but those who believe in the real Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, total depravity, effectual calling by sovereign grace, justification by the righteousness of Christ, final perseverance of the saints, a future state of rewards and punishments, immersion the only baptism, believers the only candidates, baptized believers the only candidates for church fellowship." Circular and corresponding letters printed in the minutes. Churches requested to contribute to fund for relief of widows and orphans of deceased Baptist ministers. Associtaed [Associated] churches 13, viz: 1st and 2d Woodstock, lst, 2d, and 3rd Ashford, Thompson, Killingly, Pomfret, Hampton, Mansfield, Tolland, Andover, and Stafford. Preachers, 10. Baptisms, 73. Total membership, 1,354.

     1826. Met in W. Woodstock. Jonathan Goodwin preacher and moderator; James A. Boswell, clerk. Churches, 13; preachers, 8; baptisms, 27; total, 1,245. Education societies recommended to be formed in the churches. Sabbath schools recommended for children and youth. Religious observance of Fourth of July proposed. Quarterly meeting to be held in the churches to pray for revivals.

     1827. Met in Thompson. James A. Boswell, preacher; J. Goodwin, moderator; G. B. Atwell, clerk. Churches, 13; preachers, 10; baptisms, 18; total, 1,208. Church members not uniting with the church where they reside should be reported to the churches to which they belong. Committee on Ministerial Education appointed the previous year recommend that the matter be referred to the churches. All Christians and others advised to abstain from the use ot ardent spirits -- particularly so at all meetings for religious purposes; especially at the future sessions of this body. The National Philanthropist, a temperance periodical, strongly recommended to patronage. Concert for prayer each Sabbath morning proposed.

     1828. Met in Mansfield. G. R. Atwell, preacher; Ezekiel Skinner, moderator; J. A. Boswell, clerk. Churches, 16, which is the number for 15 years following; preachers, 12; baptisms, 27; total, 1,216. Hubbell Loomis, late pastor Congregational church in Willington, ordained as a Baptist minister during the session. Churches urged to release their pastors one Sabbath during each year, that they may supply destitute churches. Bible classes, Sabbath Schools and circulating libraries recommended. Brooklyn church, with 48 members, and Willimantic, with 27, admitted.

     1829. Met in Pomfret. E. Skinner, preacher; J. Grow, moderator; G. B. Atwell, clerk. Preachers, 12; baptisms, 15; total, 1,268. Strict Sabbath observances urged. Sabbath schools in only 13 churches. Willington church with 47 members admitted.

     1830. Met in Willington. Asa Bronson, preacher; J. Grow, moderator; G. B. Atwel1, clerk. Preachers, 11; baptisms, 232; total, 1,331. A year of extensive revivals. Conference of churches resolved on. Formation of Tract societies In each church recommended. Strongly emphatic utterance on the subject of temperance.

     1831. Met in West Woodstock. S. S. Mallory, preacher and moderator; G. B. Atwell, clerk. Preachers, 14; baptisms, 154; total, 1,410. Missions, Sabbath schools, religious publications, and temperance reported on, and so continued for many years. General view of churches printed.

     1832. Met in South Woodstock. J. Grow, preached; J. M. Hunt, moderator; D. Bennett, clerk. Preachers, 12; baptisms, 259; total, 1,697. Another year of revivals. Collection for Education society of $32.63, and three gold rings. Committee appointed to promote Sabbath school work in the churches.

     1833. Met in Tolland. S. S. Mallory, moderator; N. Branch, preacher and clerk. Preachers, 10; baptisms, 55; total, 1,638. Family devotions enjoined. Corresponding letters dropped. Time of meeting changed to third Wednesday in May.

     1834. Met in Stafford. Levi Walker, preacher; S. S. Mallory, moderator; N. Branch, clerk. Preachers, 10; baptisms, 93; total, 1,754. Slavery pronounced a heinous crime; and similar testimony borne year after year till its abolition. Bro. J. H. Vinton, just on the eve of leaving for Burmah, preached; and Mrs. Calista H. Vinton gave an interesting and affectionate address. Fasting and prayer appointed for January 1st, 1835.

     1835. Met in Ashford. N. D. Benedict, preacher; N. Branch, moderator; H. A. Wilson, clerk. Preachers, 11; baptisms, 199; total, 1,820. Report and resolution on peace adopted. Class meetings qualifiedly approved. Visiting Committee on Sabbath Schools appointed.

     1836. Met in Thompson. Albert Cole, preacher; N. D. Benedict, moderator; T, Huntington, clerk. Preachers, 12; baptisms, 70; total, 1,810. General yearly meeting for religious exercises only, agreed on, and first appointment made at W. Woodstock. A new house of worship erected at Thompson Center. Division in the church. Two ministers and two meetings.

     1837. Met in Willimantic. Jeremiah Chaplin, preacher and moderator; Harvey Fitz, clerk. Preachers, 10; baptisms, 42; total, 1,893. American, and Foreign Bible Society warmly commended to the churches. Temperance prayer meeting proposed for last Friday evening in each month.

     1838. Met in Pomfret. B. Cook Jr., preacher; J. Chaplin, moderator: S. Barrows, clerk. Preachers, 12; baptisms, 42; total, 1,870. Monthly concert of prayer for master and slave recommended. Sabbath School Convention, distinct from Association, agreed on.

     1839. Met in East Killingly. J. Smither, preacher; Alvin Bennett, moderator; S. Barrows, clerk. Preachers, 14; baptisms, 82; total, 1,876. Committee reported in favor of giving the whole world the pure word of God.

     1840. Met in Mansfield. J. Grow, preacher; Silas Bailey, moderator; S. Barrows; clerk. The case of Bro. Gage, laid aside from preaching by loss of voice, was considered, and a collection taken up for him. (Something was done annua1ly for this suffering brother, for quite a number of years.) The Fourth of July recommended to be used for promoting temperance and anti-slavery.

     1841. Met with 1st Church, Ashford. Bela Hicks, preacher and moderator; E. Cushman, clerk. preachers, 15; baptisms, 61; total, 1,745. Death of Jeremiah Chaplin, D. D. suitably noticed. Penny-a-week societies strongly commended.

     1842. Met in Willington. W. Munger, preacher; Silas Bailey, moderator; Tubal Wakefield, clerk. Preachers, 13; baptisms, 529; total, 2,017. Death of wife of Rev. N. Branch reported. Special thanksgiving offered for general revival influences. Rev. S. Bailey appointed to write a history of the Association, and each church requested to furnish its own history for publication.

     1843. Met in W. Woodstock. N. Branch, preacher; E. Cushman, moderator; T. Wakefield, clerk. Preachers, 15; baptisms, 151; total, 2,048. Brooklyn Church dropped. Thompson Church re-united. Bro. Bailey having left, Bro, Barrows appointed to write a history of the Association, and Bro. Cushman to revise histories of the churches.

     1844. Met in Stafford. John Paine, preacher; N. Branch, moderator; E, Cushman; clerk. Churches, 15; preachers, 15; baptisms, 53; total, 2,048. Special conference on missions. Churches requested to consider the expediency of assuming the support of the Vintons in their missionary work in Burmah. History of the Association presented by Bro. Barrows, printed in the minutes. Bro. Gage still needing the sympathies, prayers, and assistance of the churches.

     1845. Met at Thompson. N. Branch, preacher and moderator; S. Barrows, clerk. Churches, 15; preachers, 10; baptisms, 25; total, 1,953. The Foreign Mission Board having decided against sending slave-holding missionaries to the heathen and the southern churches having "separated themselves," increased responsibilities rest upon us.

     1846. Met in Tolland. W. Munger, preacher; A. Parker, moderator; S. Barrows, clerk. Churches, 17; preachers, 14; baptisms, 22; total, 1,980. Thompson church resolved into two, called East Thompson and Centra1 Thompson, and the new churches received into the Association. Brooklyn Church restored. Secret societies disapproved. Letters of dismission should be sent directly to the churches to which the dismissed are recommended.

     1847. Met in N. Ashford. A. Parker, preacher and moderator; S. Barrows; clerk. Churches, 17; preachers, 14; baptisms, 14; total, 1,846. Death of Rev. E. Congdon announced in letter from Pomfret Church. Correspondence opened with the Missionary Union with reference to a Mission, family to be supported by the Associtltion. A series of telling resolutions on the subject of slavery, drawn up by Dr. Skinner, adopted. Non-fellowship of ministers and churches who justify slavery, affirmed.

     1848. Met in Pomfret. C. Willett, preacher; E. Loomis, moderator; W. Munger, clerk. Churches, 18; preachers, 14; baptisms, 68; total, 1,864. Wilkinson (now Putnam) Church, with 41 members, admitted. Bro. Vinton's wife and two Karan converts present from Burmah. Rev. O. Tracy, with the Vintons, represented Foreign Missions, and the beloved John Peck represented Home Missions and also preached a never-to-be-forgotten sermon on "The treasure in earthen vessels." Father Grow delivered what he thought might be his farewell address to the Association. This was one of the best and most useful anniversaries of the body.

     1849. Met in Andover. G W, Pendleton, preacher; A. S. Lovell, moderator; S. Barrows, clerk. Churches, 19; the largest number ever reported. Preachers 18; baptisms, 121; total, 1,957. S. Center Ashford Church received with 31 members. The maintenance of strict gospel discipline warmly urged upon the churches. Secret societies disapproved, and members dissuaded from joining them.

     1850. Met in Killingly. Henry Bromley, preacher; A. S. Lovell, moderator; S. Barrows, clerk. Churches, 19; preachers, 15; baptisms, 137; total, 2,016. Death of the beloved Father John Peck, suitably noticed. The Vintons present. Just ready to return to Burmah, added much to the interest of the meeting.

     1851. Met in Willimantic. A. S. Lovell, preacher; Bela Hicks, moderator; S. Barrows, clerk. Churches, 19; preachers, 14; baptisms, 25; total, 2,004. Death of Father Alfred Bennett suitably noticed. Change in the constitution of Missionary Union recommended.

     1852. Met in S. Woodstock. A. S. Lovell, preacher; Bela Hicks, moderator; S. Barrows; clerk. Churches, 19; preachers, 14; baptisms, 43; total, 2,005. Death of Father Sheffield, one of the founders and most liberal supporters of S. C. Ashford Church, announced and suitably noticed. Prayer and fasting on first Monday in January recommended. Christian Secretary commended to pastors and churches.

     1853. Met in N. Ashford. A. Darrow, preacher and moderator; S. Barrows, clerk, Churches, 18; preachers, 13; baptisms, 32; total 1,956. Circular letter failed, and hence omitted altogether. Bound volume of minutes to 1850 presented and paid for. Dropped 1st Ashford Church. Pomfret Church holds no meetings.

     1854. Met with Wilkinson (now Putnam) Church. W.C, Walker, preacher and moderator; S. Barrows, clerk. Churches, 18; preachers, 15; baptisms, 52; total, 1,917. Voice of Father Gage heard after 15 years of constrained silence. East Thompson Church reported the death of their pastor, J. B. Guild. History of Hampton Church, prepared by S. Barrows, published.

     1855. Met in Willington. S. Barrows, preacher and moderator; Edward Bell, clerk. Churches, 18; preachers, 15; baptisms, 52; total. 1,871. Prohibitory liquor law, recently enacted, endorsed with joy. Sister Miranda Vinton, just home from Burmah, addressed the meeting. History of 1st Ashford Church, written by Rev. E. Loomis, and also of Willimantic Church, written by J. H. Carpenter, Esq., published.

     1856. Met in East Thompson. T. Wakefield, preacher; C. Willett, moderator; E. Bell, clerk, Churches, 17; preachers, 14; baptisms, 15; total, 1,711. Death of Ezekiel Skinner, a laborious preacher, physician, and reformer, announced, and an appropriate resolution passed. History of Brooklyn Church written by S. Barrows, published.

     1857. Met in Mansfield. F. L. Batchelder, preacher; C. Willett, moderator; E. Bell, clerk. Churches, 17; preachers, 15; baptisms, 26; total, 1,812. Death of Miranda Vinton Harris reported by Willington Church.

     1858. Met in Stafford. N. Branch., preacher; L. H. Wakeman, moderator; E. Bell, clerk, Churches, 17; preachers, 13; baptisms, 257; total, 2,052. Death of S. S. Mallory, for some years pastor at Willington, and at the time of his death supplying there, reported by that Church. History of 1st Baptist Church in Woodstock, by L. H.Wakeman, and of Pomfret Church, by S. Barrows, published.

     1859. Met in Tolland. L. H. Wakeman, preacher; T. Wakefield, moderator; E. Bell, clerk. Churches, 17; preachers, 13; baptims, 74; total, 2,122. Deaths of Father Grow and J. H. Vinton mentioned with heartfelt sympathy and fervent prayer. Biographical sketch of Rev. James Grow published.

     1860. Met with Central Thompson Church. S. Barrows, preacher and moderator; W. C. Walker, clerk. Churches, 17; preachers, 12; baptisms, 74; total, 2,113. Death of Rev. J. H. Tillinghast, late pastor at Tolland, reported. Brooklyn Church enlarged their house or worship. History of Old Thompson Cburch, by B. S. Morse, published.

     1861. Met in Willimantic. B.S. Morse. preacher and moderator; W. C. Walker, clerk. Churches, 16, which number continued until 1874; preachers, 12; baptisms, 32; total, 2,096. Pomfret Church dropped. Churches called upon to aid Rev. N. Branch, in feeble health. Historical Compendium, now mostly incorporated in this Index, published for the first time. Christian Secretary declared worthy or more extended patronage.

     1862. Met in W. Woodstock. E. D. Bently, preacher and moderator; W. C. Walker, clerk. Pastors, 10; baptisms, 51; total 2,015. Committee on state of the country appointed, and a new committee each year to the end of our civil war. Rum declared to be, "next to the king of the bottomless pit, man's worst enemy." History of E. Killingly Church, by S. Barrows, published. Time of annual meeting changed to last Wednesday in September.

     1863. Met in E. Killingly. Wm. C. Waller, preacher and moderator; S. Barrows, clerk. Pastors, 15; baptisms, 173; total, 1,973. Death of Rev. Nicholas Branch announced and brethren invited to attend his funeral next day. Obitnary published.

     1864. Met in Warrenville. G. Stone, preacher; C. Willett, moderator; S. Barrows, clerk. Pastors, 12; baptisms, 106; total, 2,116. Death or Rev. John Paine, long a pastor in this Association, announced, and a brief obituary published. Condemnation of the use of tobacco, especially by mnisters. History of Willington Church, by S. Barrows, published.

     1865. Met in Willington. C. Willett, preacher and moderator; S. Barrows, clerk. Pastors, 12; baptisms, 106; total; 2,116. Death of Calista Holman Vinton, and of Manuel Kinney, late pastor in Andover, announced and suitably noticed. Importance of making provision for disabled ministers considered. Names of soldiers from the several congregations published. Obituary notice of members who have died during the year.

     1866. Met in Putnam. J. Torrey Smith, preacher; S. Barrows, moderator; W, A. Worthington, clerk. Pastors, 12; baptisms, 87; total, 2,144. Death of W. A. Pease, pastor of Willington Church, reported. Churches advised to make record of their letters to the Association for future reference.

     1867. Met in Brooklyn. E. Andrews, preacher; C. Willet, moderator; W. A. Worthington, clerk. Pastors, 11; baptisms, 50; total, 2,143. Death of Sister Fanny Mather, a constituent member of the church in Brooklyn, reported. A true Mother in Israel. History of Eastford Church, by Rev. E. Andrews, published.

     1868. Met in Mansfield. C. L. Putnam, preacher; J. T. Smith, moderator; C. Willett, clerk. Pastors, 11; baptisms, 44; total, 2,072. Death of Dea. W. A. Sumner, long a pillar in the church in Tolland, reported. "Resolved, That we declare our united adherence to the old Baptist platform, that in all cases baptism should precede the Lord's Supper, and that an inversion of this order, by inviting to the table unbaptized believers, is contrary to the principles held by us and the great Baptist brotherhead"

     1869. Met in E. Thompson. S. Barrows, preacher; C. Willett, moderator; P. S. Evans, clerk. Pastors, 10; baptisms, 6 (smallest number ever reported); total, 2,006. Voted for the consolidation of the minutes. "Resolved, That we acknowledge the hand of God in freeing us from the degrading sin of slavery, and adore his wisdom in using its advocates to overthrow it." Death of Mrs. Darrow, wife of Rev. G. R. Darrow, reported.

     1870. Met in Willimantic. A. Robbins, preacher; C. Willett. moderator; P. S. Evans, clerk. Pastors, 13; baptims, 50; total, 1,952. Among the large number of deaths reported, were those of Dea. Penuel Corbin, of 1st Woodstock and Dea. John Church, of S. C. Ashford -- ripe fruit gathered. Rev. A. T, Rose, Missionary from Burmah, delivered an interesting address.

     1871. Met in Central Thompson. P. S. Evans, preacher and clerk; C. Willett, moderator. Pastors, 13; baptisms 3; total, 1,954. Death of Rev. George Stone, pastor of Eastford church reported; also Dea. Benj. Gould, of Stafford, and Judge Tallcott Crosby, a liberal supporter of C. Thompson Church. Rev. J. A. Bailey presented the claims of the State Con. and preached an able sermon in the evening. Voted to change time of meeting from last to first Wednesday in September.

     1872. Met in S. Woodstock. N. J. Pinkham, preacher; C. Willett, moderator; P. S. Evaus, clerk. Pastors, 11; baptisms, 33; total, 1,959. Death of Rev. Chester Tilden, of Willimantic, reported. Treasurer of the Widows' Fund reported the reception of the Joanna Barrett legacy, amounting to $1,100, the interest to be paid to Home Miss. Society, if not needed with us.

     1873. Met in W. Woodstock. T. Terry, preacher and clerk; C. Willett, moderator. Pastors, 11; baptisms, 8; total, 1,909. Deaths of three ex-pastors notlced, viz: A. Robbins, E. Andrews and W. Munger; all devoted, beloved and useful ministers of Christ. Dr. Turnbull represented the State Con. and preached in the P. M. on the necessity of Baptists keeping their own vineyard. Text, Sol. Songs, 1:6.

     1874. Met in Warrenville, (Ashford). Fiftieth Anniversary. C. Willett, preacher; S. Barrows, moderator; N. J. Pinkham, clerk. Churches, 17; pastors, 14; baptisms, 96; total, 2,028. Church in Danielsonville received. Death of ex-pastors: Augustus Bolles, aged 97 years and 8 months; Alvin Bennett, aged 90 years; and Moses Curtis, aged 80 years, suitably noticed. Opening sermon requested for publication. Characteristic letter from G. B. Atwell read, he being the only living representative of pastors that first organized this Association. Interesting reminiscences by E. Cushman. Evening sermon by Dr. Turnbull.


[From Rev. Charles Willett, Historical Discourse Delivered at the Fiftieth Annual Meeting of the Ashford Baptist Association, 1874. A 28 page booklet that includes this "Compendium of Association Minutes," pp. 23-28. This is from a photocopy from the Andover Newton Theological Library. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]

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