The History of Otsego, NY
By Holice and Debbie
The First Baptist Church—the Universalist church—The Free Methodist—The Second Baptist—The Seventh-Day Baptist.
THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH
The First Baptist church of Edmeston, located on what is known as Taylor Hill, was organized March 8, 1794, by Rev. Stephen Taylor, who came from Rhode Island, and settled in the town in 1790. He donated the land on which to erect the church, and assisted in the construction of the edifice. He died in 1841, aged seventy-one years.
Among those who joined at date of organization were Jonathan Pettit, Timothy Taylor, Jacob Talbot, Thomas Terry, Thos. Taylor, Daniel Green, Nehemiah Billings, Robert Fuller, Stephen Colegrove, William Scranton, Hugh Smith, Jos. Case, Lydia Taylor, Dorcas Scranton, Seviah Billings, Agnes Pettit, Hannah Green, Sarah Terry, Freelove Taylor, Rosannah Taylor, and Mercy Phinney. The church building was erected in 1822.
THE UNIVERSALIST CHURCH
The Universalist church of Edmeston was organized At Edmeston Centre, Nov. 25, 1843, with thirty-nine members. Rec. Z. Cook was the first officiating pastor. The church building was erected in the year following the organization, at a cost of about $2500. Only occasional services are now held.
THE FREE METHODIST CHURCH
The Free Methodist church of Edmeston was organized April 17, 1871, by William Southworth. The following were the first trustees: Artemus Welch, Wilbur F. Walling, Ezra Wheeler, Daniel Colegrove, Stephen Winsor, Warren Colegrove, and Darling Stephens. The name of the first minister was William Southworth. The names of the first members were Daniel Colegrove, D. Colegrove, Wilbur Walling, Lorenda Walling, Esther Preston, Mary York, Phoebe Hopkins, Paulina Mitchell, Ezra Wheeler, Darling Stephens, Rhoda Stephens, David Walling, Esther Babcock, Stephen Winsor, Henrietta Winsor, Warren Colegrove, Mary Colegrove, S. S. Webber. The first church building was erected in 1871, at a cost of $1000. The present trustees are Daniel Colegrove, Albert Denison, and Warren Colegrove.
THE SECOND BAPTIST CHURCH
This church was organized in Edmeston Centre, May 30, and recognized by council June 11, 1846. Its first officers were L. B. Gregory, deacon, and Stanton Tefft, clerk. Rev. Justus H. Wells are the first pastor. Its constituent members were Silas Coats, Stanton Tefft, Perry Pope, L. B. Gregory, D. O. Church, nelson Greene, Stephen Card, Harvey Pasco, with sisters Coats, Tefft, Pope, Gregory, Card, Caleb Perkins and Sarah, his wife, Sally Brown, Emeline Potter, Hannah Spafford, Freelove Kennedy and two or three others, making twenty-one or twenty-two in all.
The first and only meeting-house was erected of wood in 1853. It cost about $2500, and is 34 by 48 feet in size, and has a tower and fine-toned bell. Previous to this time, religious services were held in school-houses and at the Universalist house. The house was begun in May, 1853, and was dedicated to the worship of Almighty God in November, 1853. Its present deacons are S. A. Coats, J. T. Richards, and c. W. Hopkins; Eli Chamberlain is church clerk. The Rev. Lawson Muzzy was chosen pastor in April, 1874, and still continues to fill that office. Rev. J. H. Wells served the church as pastor nearly five years; Rev. Hewett Fitch, nine years; Rev. J. C. Foster, two years; Rev. S. N. Westcott, four years; Rev. G. H. Hogeboom, two years; Rev. G. E. Flint, three years; Rev. J. H. Chamberlain, one year. The present membership is one hundred and thirty.
This church has been blessed with an unusual degree of peace and harmony, and has for the most of the time enjoyed a good degree of prosperity. Three of its number has been called of God, as we believe, to preach the gospel to the perishing. The Rev. J. D. Pope is worthily serving the Master in St. John, Nova Scotia; his brother, Rev. D. B. Pope, is a faithful pastor in this State, and the third brother, John Greene, is pursuing his preparatory studies in the theological seminary at Hamilton.
The meeting-house was built during the pastorate of Rev. H. Fitch, who served the church acceptably and faithfully. The most remarkable and extended revival known in the congregation, or in this town, was enjoyed in the winter and spring of 1875, under the labors of their present pastor, Rev. l. Muzzy. Meetings wre continued daily for three months, and were characterized by unusual solemnity, and striking exhibitions of divine power and grace. Over one hundred were hopefully converted. Some fifty were added to the church during that year. Their Sunday-school is a present as well organized and as prosperous as any school in the county.
THE SEVENTH-DAY BAPTIST CHURCH AT WEST EDMESTON, N. Y.
This church is the only one of the kind in Otsego County. There are three in Madison, two in Chenango, and other in Oneida, Cortland, and several more counties of the State. They differ from the regular Baptist only in respect to keeping the seventh day of the week as the Sabbath. They believe there has been no change of the day by divine authority, as the Scriptures contains no proof of any, and accepting the Ten commandants as God’s moral and immutable law, they observe the day which he has blessed. Sanctified, and commanded as the Sabbath to be kept holy by all mankind. In this view they feel confirmed because those passages in the New Testament which refer to the first day of the week do not seem to them to imply either the substitution of that day for the seventh as the Sabbath, or its appointment at all as a day for religious worship. Their practice, however, does not arise from any capricious or bigoted spirit, but from the conviction that it is their duty to strictly regard what God has definitely enjoined, until he definitely abrogates his law, or absolves them plainly from its requirements.
The church at West Edmeston was organized Sept. 28, 1823. It first took the name of the Third Church of Brookfield. The meeting-house, which was built some time before, was located about half a mile north of Babcock’s Mills, in the Beaver Creek Valley. The first members were connected with churches at Leonardsville and Clarkville, in the same town. Believing that their convenience, as well as the interests of the cause of God required the formation of the new church. A council was called consisting of elders William B. Maxson and Henry Clarke, Deacons William, Utter and Ethan Clarke, of the First Church of Brookfield, and Elder Eli S. Bailey, Deacons Saunders Langworthy and Silas Spencer, of the Second Church. Elder Matthew Stillman, from Rhode Island, being present, was invited to a seat in the council. Eli S. Bailey was made moderator, and Silas Spencer, clerk
After hearing the reasons, and the Articles of Faith and the Covenant, the council approved the movement, and proceeded with the organization, elder Henry Clark giving the hand of fellowship for the council, and Elder Daniel coon receiving the same on behalf of the new church. The first officers were as follows:
Daniel Coon, pastor.
After fifteen years it was found that a majority of the members has become located in and near West Edmeston and for their accommodation they built a meeting-house in 1843, which cost $800. Subsequently it was enlarged so as to seat two hundred and fifty persons. Its present value is $1200. For ten years after its erection the meetings were held alternately between the two chapels. They were all removed to West Edmeston in 1854, and soon after the name of the church was changed. Up to this date the terms of ministerial service only in part can be accurately ascertained. Daniel Coon, the first pastor, was employed several years. Samuel B. Crandall, his successor, also served for several years. He was followed by Varnum Hull, who preached for them only one year, during 1841. Eli s. Bailey, a resident minister and physician of Brookfield, [preached during the time to 1844, when Giles M. Langworthy served one year. Samuel B. Crandall was re-employed and continued his labors until 1851, the year of his death, which took place at south Brookfield. Eli S. Bailey was again secured, and labored five years, to 1855. He was succeeded by Libbeus M. Cottrell for three years, to 1858. Eli S. Bailey again served two years, to 1860. John P. Hunting from April 1, 1860 to 1863. Alexander Campbell three years, to 1866, from which time the present pastor has had the care of the church.
The following are the present officers; J. Bennett Clarke, pastor; Ransom T. Stillman, Ethan Stillman, and William H. Burdick, deacons; Amos S. Stillman, Clerk. The present membership is one hundred and eleven.
It will be seen that this sketch covers a little more than half a century. Revival seasons from time to time have been enjoyed, and in the list of members for that period nearly five hundred different names have been enrolled.
Transcribed by Holice B. Young
HTML by Debbie
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