First Baptist Church


City of Beloit, Rock County, Wisconsin

Courtesy of Carol

In the fall of 1837 Rev. S. S. WHITMAN, a Baptist minister of Belvidere, Ill.,
preached in the "Beloit House" the first sermon ever heard in Beloit. In the winter of 1838-39 Elder TOPPING, of Delavan, preached in Beloit. For a few years Baptist headquarters were established at the private school of Miss Jane MOORE. Rev. Albert BURGESS preached in this schoolhouse in 1840, and on April 24, 1841, he organized the Baptist Church with fourteen members. At the close of the first year the church numbered forty-three.
In December, 1845, the "Church and Society" was organized, and steps taken to
build a meeting house. On January 18, 1846, the trustees resolved to purchase the present site, and $100 was paid for the same. The church edifice of stone (40x60 feet) was finished late in 1847 and dedicate early in 1848.
In the year 1874, under the leadership of Rev. E. P. SAVAGE, the church was
rebuilt and the towers added to the front of the structure, making an imposing building. This stood for ten years.
On the night of April 12, 1884, the church was burned down. A loss of $15,000
was sustained, covered by $5,000 insurance. Heroic efforts were made by Pastor F. A. MARSH and his people and the church was rebuilt and dedicated in April, 1885.
During the pastorate of Rev. A. W. RUNYAN the present chapel and parlors were
built and a gallery placed in the audience room. These were dedicated in May, 1896.
From fourteen constituent members in 1841 the church has increased in the sixty-five
years of its history to nearly 450 members.
The church has had nineteen pastors, as follows: Rev. A. B. WINCHELL, May
22, 1841 to October 4, 1842; Rev. Mr. MURPHY, January 1, 1843 to March 1, 1844; Rev. John TROWBRIDGE, June 1, 1844 to January 1, 1845; Rev. Niles KINNE, January 22, 1845 to April 2, 1850; Rev. E. L. HARRIS, December 3, 1850 to February 4, 1854; Rev. Daniel ELDREDGE, January 10, 1855 to October 21, 1855; Rev. Thomas HOLEMAN, December 22, 1855 to September 10, 1859; Rev. R. R. PRENTICE, March 12, 1860 to October 31, 1861; Rev. Levi PARMELY, May 4, 1862 to May 1, 1867; Rev. L. F. RAYMOND, August 1, 1867 to December 1, 1868; Rev. H. W. WOODS, June 1, 1869 to October 2, 1870; Rev. Austin GIBB, January 1, 1871 to May 1, 1872; Rev. E. P. SAVAGE, July 7, 1872 to October 1, 1877; Rev. F. A. MARSH, May 16, 1880 to May 10, 1888; Rev. O. P. BESTOR, January 1, 1889 to May 1, 1893; Rev. A. W. RUNYAN, September 3, 1893 to November 30, 1896; Rev. W. A. SPINNEY, December 27, 1896 to December 4, 1898; Rev. Howland HANSON, February 12, 1899 to June 11, 1905; Rev. F. W. HATCH, October 1, 1905 to the present time.
[Source: Rock County, Wisconsin: A new history of it's cities, villages, etc., Vol. I, by William Fiske Brown (editor-in-chief); ©1908 C. F. Cooper, Chicago, IL; pp. 274-275]

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