The first Baptist Church in this town was organized at West Plattsburgh in about the year 1812. Its membership was small, and during the war the organization went down.
The first record of the movement which resulted in the formation of the present church is the following record of a meeting held at the house of James Whitehead:"At an Ecclesiastic Meeting holden at Br. Whitehead's, in Pittsburgh, Saturday, September the 1, 1821: opened by Solemn prayer to God for Wisdom to direct. The business when met is for Religious purposes, — part to bear experience and receive for Baptism and Church Fellowship. Mariett Westgate was received to fellowship of Brothers and Sisters present. Jane Woodard related her experience, and was also received. Voted to open this meeting one fortnight from this day, at the same time and place.The next meeting was held Sept. 14, 1821, and was "Opened by Solemn prayer to God for wisdom to direct. Convened on the subject of forming a Baptist Church of Christ in Plattsburgh."
"Attest: J. P. HYDE, Clerk."
At this meeting the following covenant was entered into:"The persons whose names are hereunto subscribed propose to form themselves into a Church of Christ of the Baptist order, to be called the Baptist Church of Plattsburgh, taking the word of God (as) our rule and depending on Divine Grace for support to walk in all the laws of Christ's House, according to his instructions in the scriptures. Mary Beaumont, Sarah J. Carter, Martha Hyde, Jane Woodworth, Loues Loomis, J. P. Hyde, J. White." *On the 12th of the following November a meeting was held at the house of J. Whitehead, when the articles of faith were received and agreed to, and the meeting adjourned, to be held at the same place, November 22d, for the purpose of organizing the church, and the clerk was directed to invite the churches at Peru, Beckmantown, and "Charse" to be present.
A few days later another meeting was held, and the record shows that "on the 28th of November, 1821, convened at the court-house in Plattsburgh, agreeable to the request of the brethren, the following persons, viz.: From Peru, Elder Parker Reynolds, Deacon William Taylor, Brother Stephen Taylor, Solomon L. Boynton; from Beckmantown, Elder John Spaulding, Deacon Jeremiah Kingsley, Brother Jason Bunce; from Chazy, Brother Stephen Wise, Deacon Edmund Brown, with Elder Elisha Andrews, a missionary now preaching in Plattsburgh. At this council it was "voted to receive the (articles) of faith adopted by the brethren then proposed forming into a church, and cited to approve them, etc." This official act gave a "local habitation and a name" to the West Plattsburgh Baptist Church, which commenced its existence with the following members, being the same who subscribed the articles of faith mentioned above: Asapah Oliver, Marietta Westgate, Almeda Story, Polly Seely, Caty Randall, Samuel Story, M. U. F. Payle (?), Jacob Allen, Olive Doty, Mrs. William Broadwell, Sheldon Lockwood, Noble A. Vaughn, Mercy Call, Lydia Fordham, Parthenia Lockwood, James Whitehead, Mary Beaumont, Sarah Carter, James Woodworth, Loues Loomis, Eunice Norris, Martha Hyde, Mary Beckwith. The conversion of many of these persons was the result of the labor of Rev. Elisha Andrews, a missionary, assisted by Stephen Wise, a United States soldier from Maine, who subsequently became a Baptist clergyman.
Previous to the erection of the first church edifice, meetings were held in school-houses, private dwellings, and barns. December 29, 1829, it was resolved at a church meeting "that a meeting-house ought to be built," and on the 12th of the following January it was resolved that a meetinghouse should be built. The erection of a church edifice was soon after commenced, and in May following — 1830 — services were first held in the new building. It was subsequently completed, and Oct. 24, 1833, was dedicated.
This building, which was without a steeple, was located on the opposite side of the street from the present one. In 1856 it was moved to its present site, and remodeled at an expense of $2500, and within a few years it has again been thoroughly repaired. The church is pleasantly located, and is a neat and substantial structure.
The following have served as pastors of the church from its organization to the present time: E. Andrews, 1821-22; no pastor, 1822-24; J. H. Dwyer, 1824-26; no pastor, 1826-27; H. B. Dodge, 1827-29; W. Turner, 1829-32; no pastor, 1832-33; W. Turner, 1833-34; O. W. Moxley, 1834-39; J. P. Burbank, 1839-43; H. B. Dodge, 1843-47; M. N. Stearns, 1847-52; L. Smith, 1852-63; C. C. Hart, 1863-67; no pastor, 1867-68; C. Bailey, 1868-74; no pastor, 1874-75; M. H. Perry, 1875-76.
The present efficient and popular pastor, Rev. W. C. McAllester, assumed the duties of the pastorate Oct. 29, 1876. Under the able ministry of Mr. McAllester, the church continues in a highly prosperous condition, and annually extends its sphere of usefulness. Present membership, 173.
The deacons of the church have been as follows: Jacob Allen, Deacon Brown, Charles Hunter, Jeremiah Scribner, Abraham Scribner, Silas M. Taylor, Smith N. Mead, John Hunter, Lucius Reed.
The first clerk was J. P. Hyde; and from that time to the present they have been as follows: Sheldon Lockwood, Charles Hunter, James Hart, S. N. Mead, L. Reed, and N. A. Vaughan.
* Probably meaning J. Whitehead.
[From Duane Hamilton Hurd, History of Clinton and Franklin Counties, New York, 1880. Formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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