First Baptist Church


City of Janesville, Rock County, Wisconsin

Courtesy of Carol

The First Baptist Church, of Janesville, was organized October 13, 1844. The old
records have been lost, but according to reliable verbal statements there were thirteen constituent members.
In 1851 the first house of worship was built at a cost of $5,000. Subsequently this
edifice was sold. A temporary church home in the Hyatt block was christened "The Baptist Tabernacle." One wintry night it was burned to the ground. Driven from this home, the church established itself in Lappin's hall until the second edifice was built in 1868. This was a magnificent structure, and for nearly a score of years the church worshipped and prospered within its wall. But in 1884 this building was also burned. During the erection of the present house of worship there was for a year an interchange of courtesy with the Congregationalists. They furnished the church, and this society furnished the minister, Rev. Dr. M. G. HODGE. The church home is a beautiful sanctuary loved sincerely by many hearts.
(A.D. 1908.) The number of members is now 710, the largest Baptist church in
Wisconsin. During this year 100 new members were received.
The pastors have been: Rev. J. MURPHY, Rev. J. R. ELDRIGE, 1844 to 1847;
Rev. Otis HACKETT, 1847 to 1849; Rev. O. J. DEARBORN, 1850 to 1854; Rev. William DOUGLAS, 1854 to 1856; Rev. Galusha ANDERSON, 1856 to 1858; Rev. E. J. GOODSPEED, 1858 to 1864; Rev. M. G. HODGE, 1865 to 1871; Rev. F. W. BAKEMAN, 1872 to 1873; Rev. J. P. BATES, 1873 to 1875; Rev. W. S. ROBERTS, 1875 to 1878; Rev. F. L. CHAPELL, 1878 to 1881; Rev. M. G. HODGE, 1881 to 1897; Rev. A. C. PEMPTON, 1897 to 1900; Rev. R. M. VAUGHAN, 1901 to 1908.
[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; p. 293]

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