The First Baptist Church of Friendship had its inception in the early missionary meetings held in various parts of the town beginning about the year 1813. One of the many devoted workers in the new region was Rev. Jesse Braman, a Baptist, through whose earnest efforts a church organization was perfected on the 10th of July, 1822. The original members were Mr. Bramenand his wife, and the pioneers James Reed, Moses B. Sherwin, Jonathan Savage and Harry Hayden. The first baptisms were those of Mrs. Polly Baxter and Nancy McQueen. This being the first regularly organized church of the town, it received a deed of a hundred acre tract of land from the Holland Land Company. The land was sold for the benefit of the society and the avails used in the purchase of a parsonage lot. The first church edifice was erected in 1825, and although twice substantially remodeled in later years, it was sufficient for the purposes of the society for more than half a century. In 1890 it was replaced with the present church house, one of the largest and most complete church structures in the county. Indeed, this is the strongest and most religious society in the in the county. The present members number 258. In the past four new church organizations have been formed from the society.
We promise to take heed to ourselves, to refrain from unbeliefs, pride, fleshly lust, covetousness, foolish jesting, evil speaking, anger, revenge, fretfulness, intemperance, tavern haunting and slothfulness.
We promise to keep a faithful watch over each other, to provoke one another to love and good works, to be care of each other's persons, characters, and estates; to be just in all our dealings; and to do good to all men.
Work on the new Baptist Church is progressing satisfactorily. The seats are being put into place and the doors hung. There will be four rows of seats on the floor of the church, nineteen seats each 8 feet in length in each row, affording a seating capacity for about 420 persons. The frescoing of the prayer meeting room and parlors is completed. They in the main body of the church will be completed in a few days. The cornice is a handsome design in blue and white, relieved by red. The panels are in French gray shaded and the dado border is a pleasing combination of blue, black, silver and gray. The entire effect will be very harmonious. Mr. Chas. Bowkard of Bradford, an artist of great taste, skill and experience, is doing this part of the work. ["Town Topics", Friendship Chronicle, Vol. 1, No. 23, July 14, 1880]
A curious and painful accident befell Mr. George Wilbur on Monday last whilst working in the new Baptist Church. He stepped upon a hammer left upon some stairs. The tool flew up striking him just above the eye with such force as to tumble him backwards down eight stairs. He fell quite heavily but broke no bones. The brow above the eye was severely continued but happily the member itself escaped injury. [Friendship Chronicle, Vol. 1, No. 15, May 19, 1880]
Fifty-two years ago Rev. A. Miner, now of Madison, Wisconsin, preached the first sermon in the old Baptist meeting house in this place. One week from next Sunday, December, 12th, Mr. Minerwill preach the last sermon in this edifice. This will be an occasion of much interest particularly to those who have long lived in Friendship. This, as we have said, will be the last sermon in the old church; on the following Sunday however, memorial services will be held in this edifice, particulars of which we will give hereafter. [Friendship Chronicle, Vol. 1, No. 43, Dec. 1, 1880.
Editors of the Chronicle. I have just seen in your paper of the 1st inst., an article headed The last sermon in which it states that Elder Absalom Miner preached the first sermon in the old Baptist Meeting House fifty-two years ago. Here is some sort of a misunderstanding, for that edifice was erected fifty-five years ago. The latter part of August 1825, I was on my way to Caneadea where my father had moved the Spring previous. The wagon in which I was going stopped in front of the Friendship Hotel, by T. Hill for some time, and while we were waiting I took the opportunity to examine the frame of the building which was then just raised completely. It was completed that same year. I cannot take it upon myself to state who preached the first sermon there, but Elder James Reed was at Friendship at the time, and probably Elder Chester Coleman. I believe that Elder Absalom Miner then lived in Rushford where he married a daughter of Judge James McCall.
The old meeting house was not painted inside until 1836, as my friend John M. Makee will well recollect, as he assisted in the work.
Warren, Pa., Dec. 11th, 1880.
[Mr. Miner preached the first sermon after the hose was dedicated. Before the church was finished however services were held in the half completed edifice. This is the way it is explained to us. -- Eds.]
Friendship Chronicle, Vol. 1, No. 45, Dec. 15, 1880.
For several years the old church now abandoned was found insufficient in size and accommodations for the growing and prosperous Baptist society of Friendship and following out the general wish of its members a meeting was held September 29th, 1877 to discuss the matter and to decide what steps should be taken in the direction of erecting a new edifice for Divine worship. At the meeting Professor Miller, J. W. Scott and A. J. Wellman were appointed a committee to secure plans and obtain estimates of cost. On the 12th of October following this committee made its report which was adopted and another committee was appointed to obtain subscriptions consisting of A. W. Miner, Prof. Miller, J. W. Scott, James Stout, Downing Gould and A. J. Wellman. This committee received abundant encouragement and at a meeting held August 14th, 1878, a building committee comprising A. W. Miner, B. Robinson, A. J. Wellman and Prof. Miller, added to the committee subsequently, was appointed. Five days later ground was broken for the splendid structure which is now so great an adornment to our village. The work was pushed on as rapidly as possible and the members of the building committee, particularly Col. Wellman, were indefatigable in their efforts to have the church ready for services by August of this year. However, this was found impossible, the idea of dedicating it was postponed until the present time.
We may here recite a few facts in regard to the church and its erection. It is built on the same lot and to the west of the building hitherto used by the Baptist Society. This lot was formerly the property of Othello Church, who was shot in cold blood by David D. Howe in 1823, and was long known as the Public Park and burying ground. Through Orange Church, a son of Othello Church, and other heirs the lot passed into the possession of the Baptist Society. The foundation was laid by James Weatherall of this place in the fall of 1878. The walls were commenced in May following by George Drehmer, of Hornellsville, who used 300,000 bricks, furnished from the yard of Prof. Miller of this place. The wood-work which is of an unusually fine and artistic character, was manufactured by Messrs. Clark and Chrisman of Wellsville and put into place under the personal supervision of Mr. J. Chrisman who made the designs himself. The slate roof was put on by Mr. Mosher of Buffalo. Mr. Cyrus K. Potter of the same city was the architect. The style of architecture is Gothic somewhat modernized in deference to the less severe taste of these more liberal days. The dimensions are as follows: main building or church proper with vestibule 88 feet deep by 46 feet wide. The tower of steeple is 146 feet high. The chapel or prayer meeting room, on the west, is 52 feet deep by 46 feet wide. There are spacious galleries in both church and chapel. The organ is built in the gallery of the back and above the ministers platform at the south end of the church. The choir is accommodated in the same gallery, in the front and on each side of the organ. The wood-work is chiefly walnut and ash and presents a very fine appearance, particularly the under roof; which is a series of carved arches and drapery, a perfect arcade in white pine handsomely dressed and finished. The various windows are filled with exceedingly beautiful specimens of stained glass supplied by Booth and Reister of Buffalo, a full description of which appeared in a recent number of the Chronicle. The church is lighted for evening services by gas, made from gasoline by one of Terrell's New York machines. It is heated by large furnaces furnishes by Graff & Co., of New York. The very attractive gas fittings came from the great Philadelphia warehouse of Thackaray and Buck. The carpets were supplied by J. and J. Dobson of New York, and the cushions by H. D. Ostermore of the same city. The frescoing in all parts of the church and chapel is the artistic work of Mr. C. Bourkardt now a resident of Friendship. The bell was cast at the foundry of C. R. Menealy of Troy and was the gift of Mr. J. C. Corwin. In hanging this bell Mr. J. Chrissman nearly lost his life, falling a distance of about 60 feet but escaping with only slight injuries.
In order to fully test the powers of the new organ built by Steer and Turner, Springfield, Mass., a concert was given on Tuesday evening in the new building under the direction of Mr. William Carmer, organist of the First Presbyterian Church of Elmira, a very fine musician. The programme of the evening was announced as follows:
This was carried out entirely and in addition between the parts and by special request, Mrs. Felt nee Alice Horner, formerly a resident of Friendship sang very sweetly, When the tide comes in, and after his organ solo, Grand Fugue in C Mr. Cramer played The Sweet By and Bye. with variations. Where so much excellence was displayed it would be invidious to select any part of the programme for special mention. It is true that the concerted pieces there was a decided weakness among the male voices, but the ladies amply atoned for the deficiency by their precision and earnestness. The organ is without a doubt a very fine instrument and at master hands of Mr. Cramer produced some grand and inspiring music. The church was well filled, but not absolutely crowded as it should have been.
This morning the church was well filled in the audience being representatives from most of the towns in the county, from Olean and other points. Rev. H. M. Barker, pastor of the church officiated as Moderator. The choir sang The Lord is His Holy Temple after which he appropriate prayer was offered by Rev. W. Spicer of Almond. The report of the building committee was then read by its chairman Col. A. J. Wellman. This report embodied the facts we have already given besides the additional information that half the expense was to be sustained by Mr. A. W. Miner, that the cost of the building was $19, 761.92 and the furniture, gas, organ and fittings an additional $4,840 making a total of $24,601.92. The handsome platform chairs were presented by Mrs. William Sawyer, the deacon's chairs were presented by Mrs. J. C. Corwin, the pulpit by Mr. J. C. Corwin, the Communion table by Mrs. Eliza Babcock and the Bible by Mrs. Benjimen Robinson.
The choir then sang, Rejoice, oh ye righteous.
Addresses of congratulation were then made by Rev's. C. G. Stevens of Friendship, Sands of Richburg, Benedict of Belmont, Spicer of Almond and Coit of Wellsville.
In the course of the remarks it was elicited from Rev. Barker that the Baptist churches of Richburg, Clarksville, Cuba and Belmont were offsprings of the Friendship church.
All the Reverend gentlemen heartily congratulated the Baptist Society and the people of Friendship on the possession of so handsome and edifice and so fine a house of worship. A ripple of good humor and friendly feeling pravaded all that was said.
On the motion of Col. A. J. Wellman a vote of thanks was unanimously accorded to Mr. Cramer and the ladies and gentlemen of the choir who furnished such excellent music for the exercises.
The choir sang Gloria in Exceleis.
Rev. F. M. Alvord made the closing prayer and pronounced the Benediction.
In the afternoon every seat was occupied long before the services commenced and although seats were placed in the aisles and very many ladies as well as gentlemen stood up during the whole of the exercises, many were unable to get in and turned away disappointed.
Mr. Cramer played an organ solo entitled "Dedication Hymn," after which Rev. Wood invoked Divine blessing on the services.
The choir sang With Thankful Heart. Rev. Varnum of Franklinville read the 121st and 122d Psalms.
Rev. L. A. Stevens P. E. of the M. E. church of this district made an impressive prayer.
The choir sang How lovely are the messengers.
Rev. Dr. MacArthur of New York then preached the "Dedication Sermon" and held the large audience fairly enthralled for more than an hour. He selected his text from Nehemiah x chap. part verse xxxix. We will not forsake the House of our God. The sermon was a gospel discourse of the noblest order and filled with grand argument in favor of the truth of God's word. The eloquence of the preacher seemed to reach every heart and he was listened to the most fixed attention to the end.
Rev. Absalom Miner, who preached the last sermon in the old edifice last Sunday and also the first fifty years ago, made the Dedication prayer asking the favor of God on the new temple devoted to His worship. The choir sang, O, Holy Jesus after which the congregation was dismissed.
In the evening Rev. D. D. Brown of Olean preached an able discourse upon the text from Revelations, chapter v, verse ix and they sang a new Song. There was a large attendance.
In concluding this article it would be unfair to a gentleman who has been perhaps above all others, the instrument whereby this splendid church has been so satisfactory completed did we not refer to services rendered by Col. A. J. Wellman, who in addition to donating the fine organ has been indefatigable through fair and four weather in supervising the very many interests which naturally surround on enterprise of this kind. For an immense amount of careful thought and right down hard work the Baptist Society is deeply indebted to Col. Wellman. [Friendship Chronicle, Vol. 1, No. 45, Dec. 22, 1880]
|Abbott, Joseph and wife||1827||Baptised||1829||-|
|Abbott, Anthony M.||1831||Baptised||-||-|
|Almy, Polly||1826||Baptised||1828||dismissed to Bolivar|
|Andrews, Isaac L. and wife||1840||Letter||1841||-|
|Anson, Charlotte, Job||1824||Letter||-||-|
|Anson, Leonard, Asa, Harriet||1831||Baptised||1833 (Leonard)||-|
|Ayres, James and wife||1831||Baptised||-||-|
|Baxter, Mrs. Polly||-||-||-||-|
|Baxter, J. and wife||1838||-||-||-|
|Baxter, Benjamin, Jemima||1830||Baptised||-||-|
|Benton, Harry and wife||1840||Baptised||-||-|
|Bills, Elijah, wife Hannah and daughter, Dorcas||1842||Letter||-||-|
|Braman, David and wife Polly||-||-||1822||-|
|Braman, Elder Jesse||1823||-||-||-|
|Brant, Jeremiah and Nancy||1824||Letter||-||-|
|Briggs, Rufus and wife, Lydia||1837||Letter||-||-|
|Briggs, Perry and Pamelia||1838||Letter||-||-|
|Britton, William and Mary||1842||Baptised||-||-|
|Bronson, Sister S.||1841||Letter||-||-|
|Brown, William F.||1838||Letter||-||-|
|Brown, Maria and Zephania||1843||Letter||-||-|
|Bruce, Roswell and Phebe||1823||Baptised||1828||-|
|Bruce, Roswell and Phebe||1823||Baptised||1828||-|
and son, William, John
|Bunnell, Pomroy and Nacny||1840||-||1840||-|
|Butterfield, Solomon and Clarissa||1842||Letter||-||-|
|Campbell, Micah and Eunice||1831||Letter||-||-|
|Carnihan, Mr. and Mrs. and Asenath||1829||Baptised||1832||-|
|Carpenter, Justin and wife||1825||Letter||-||from Scio|
|Carr, Ann Lull||1828||Letter||1830||-|
|Carter, Samuel L.|
|Carter, John and Rebecca||1837||-||-||-|
|Carter, Caroline, Erastus, Nancy and William||1842||-||-||-|
|Case, Isaac||1826||Letter||1829||to Bolivar|
|Chapman, Peter G. and Sally||-||-||-||-|
|cheesebro, Eliza Ann||1831||Baptised||1831||-|
|Church, Almyra, Clarinda, Laura, Lydia, Mandany||1824||Baptised||-||-|
|Church, Orange and Ruth M.||1837||-||1837||returend 1841|
|Coats, Almyra, Benjamin, Henrietta, Rhoda||1823||Baptised||-||-|
|Coborn, Elder Chester||1826||-||-||-|
|Cole, John and Lucy||1833||Letter||-||-|
|Cole, Eli and wife, Malina||1839||Letter||1841||-|
|Cole, Abner S. and David||1840||Letter||1841||-|
|Colton, Chauncey and Anna||-||-||-||-|
|Congdon, Anson and Olive||1838||Baptised||-||-|
|Coon, Albon and Phillip||1840||Baptised||-||-|
|Coon, Abner and Besey Ann||1843||Letter||-||-|
|Corbin, Daniel and wife Betsey||1840||Letter||-||-|
|Corbin, Milo H., and Martin||1842||Letter||-||-|
|Crabtree, Thomas Heath and Polly||-||-||-||-|
|Crabtree, Permely and Polly||1831||Baptised||-||-|
|Crabtree, Elias, Newman, Permela||1833||Baptised||-||-|
|Crandal, Luke and Hannah||1826||Letter||-||from Scio|
|Crandal, Willima and Jane||1832||-||-||from Scio|
|Davis, Mary||1826||Letter||-||from Scio|
|Davis, Wells||1827||Baptised||1828||to Bolivar; returned 1831|
|Dedrick, Julia Ann||1842||Letter||-||-|
|Drake, William and Theda||1840||Letter||-||-|
|Elison, Samuel and wife||1836||Baptised||1826||-|
|Elmer, Mary Ann||1840||Baptised||-||-|
|Enfield, Larissa Marsaker||1833||-||-||-|
|Everts, Galand, Susan||1829||Baptised||-||-|
|Foster, Austin and Sally||1839||Baptised||-||-|
|Frost, Samuel||1825||Letter||1828||to Bolivar|
|Fuller, Elder Timothy||1827||-||-||-|
|Gillett, Anson and wife Olive, Abigail, Eliza, Jack and Sophronia||1838||Letter||-||-|
|Gleason, Alva and wife Laura||1842||Letter||-||-|
|Gorton, Orpha, Phebe Ann||1842||Letter||-||-|
|Gould, Lydia E.||1840||Letter||-||-|
|Green, Rufus and wife Mahala||1828||Letter||-||-|
|Green, Malvira and Lydia||1842||Letter||-||-|
|Grout, William Jr. and wife Minerva||1828||Letter||1829||-|
|Hammond, Asa Alonzo||1843||-||1843||-|
|Hand, Moses B.||1842||Baptised||-||-|
|Hart, Andrew S. and wife Florina||1838||Letter||-||-|
|Heacock, Limon, Lois, Lucretia||1842||Baptised||-||-|
|Hewit, Asa and Laura||1824||Letter||1828||to Bolivar|
|Hill, Arnold||1832||-||-||from Scio|
|Hocan, John and wife||1841||Letter||-||-|
|Hogaboom, Lovina, Mrs., Miss.||1842||Baptised||-||-|
|Holiday, Caroline, Eunice and Norman||1838||-||-||-|
|Holmes, Jedidiah, John, desire, and Mary||1832||Baptised||-||-|
|Holton, Nancy||1827||Baptised||1829||to Bolivar|
|Hood, Margaret||1829||-||-||from Scio|
|Hood, Mary Ann||1829||Baptised||-||-|
|Horner, Timothy and Lydia||1843||Baptised||-||-|
|Howard, Syphron W. and wife Sally||1841||Letter||1841||-|
|Hudson, Peleg and Tersey||1826||Letter||-||-|
|Humes, Susan Ann||1839||Letter||1842||-|
|Jackson, Stephen and Statira||1829||Baptised||-||-|
|Johnson, Sister||1827||Letter||-||from Scio|
|Jordon, John and Cornelia, Polly||1824||Letter||1829||to Bolivar|
|Jordon, Isaiah||1828||-||1829||to Bolivar|
|King, Samuel||1823||Letter||1828||to Bolivar|
|King, Samuel and wife Eliza||1839||-||1839||-|
|Knapp, Benjamin and wife Sally Ann||1832||Letter||1841||-|
|Knapp, Benjamin and wife Sally Ann||1832||Letter||1841||-|
|Lansing, Abram Rude and Anna Rude||1833||-||-||-|
|Laribee, Calvin H.||1828||Baptised||-||-|
|Lawrenace, Austin S. and Elizabeth||1838||Letter||-||-|
|Lawrence, Spencer and wife||1842||-||1842||-|
|Lawton, J. W. and wife Mary||1833||Letter||-||-|
|Lewis, Nehemiah and Betsey||1827||Letter||1830||-|
|Lord, Sister Hepsibah||1826||Baptised||1828||to Bolivar|
|Lord, Betsey and Mary||1829||Baptised||-||-|
|Lord, Robert and wife Eliza||1840||Letter||1841||-|
|McQueen, Alexander adn wife Rebecca||1840||Baptised||-||-|
|Mabie, William and wife and Henry||1841||-||-||-|
|Main, Henry and Miranda||1838||Letter||-||-|
|Main, Erastus and wife Dorcas||1839||Letter||-||-|
|Martin, Diantha L.||1829||Letter||1829||-|
|Millard, H. H. and wife||1831||Baptised||1832||-|
|Mills, Sally||1824||Baptised||1825||returned and dismissed 1837|
|Miner, Absalom, wife Mary, son Absalom Jr.||1829||Letter||-||-|
|Miner, John and wife Mary||1829||Letter||1831||-|
|Miner, Simon G.||-||-||1830||-|
|Miner, Isaac N. and wife Sophia, Asher, John M. Nancy||1838||Letter||-||-|
|Mulkin, Hannah S.||1840||Letter||-||-|
|North, Abiah Jr., Isaac, Peter, Newcom||1829||Baptised||-||-|
|Obert, L. H., Nancy Helen||1842||Baptised||-||-|
|Ogden, Brazella, and Miss M.||1842||Letter||-||-|
|Oviate, Elder Benjamin, Elisha, Mary||1829||Letter||-||-|
|Parcel, Moses and wife, and Lewis||1831||Baptised||-||-|
|Peckham, Cyrus and wife Mary||1838||Letter||-||-|
|Perry, Valentine and wife Electa||1826||Letter||1828||-|
|Philow, Elijah and Mercy,||1827||Baptised||-||Died 1828 [note: ?... may be dismissed]|
|Pierce, Mrs. Levi||1842||Baptised||-||-|
|Postle, Francis and Olive||1831||Letter||-||-|
|Potter, William and Betsey||1828||Baptised||-||-|
|Rast, Silas G. and wife Olive||1842||Baptised||1842||-|
|Redway, Joel and Laura||1827||Letter||-||-|
|Redway, Mr. and Mrs.||1833||-||1833||-|
|Reed, Annanias A.||1830||Letter||-||-|
|Rew, Lydia Emily||1837||Letter||-||-|
|Rew, Enos; Noel and wife||1840||Baptised||1842||-|
|Scott, Phebe Chaple||1838||-||-||-|
|Scott, Martin and Almira||1842||Baptised||-||-|
|Shafer, John and wife Laura||18||Letter||1842||-|
|Sherwin, Moses B.||1823||-||-||-|
|Sherwin, Oris, Moses B., Jr.||1824||Baptised||-||-|
|Sherwin, L. and E.||1842||Baptised||-||-|
|Shipman, Timothy B. and wife Rebecca||1827||Letter||1828||-|
|Smith, Melina and Rosetta||1840||Letter||1840||-|
|Snider, Peter and wife||1828||Baptised||-||-|
|Sparling, Mary E.||1842||-||1842||-|
|Starkey, Daniel and Harriet||1843||Baptised||-||-|
|Strong, Moses D. and wife||1833||Baptised||1842||-|
|Strong, Elisha and Dency||1837||Baptised||-||-|
|Strong, J. and wife||1838||-||-||-|
|Strong, Elisha and Sally||1839||-||-||-|
|Strong, John and Lucina||18||Baptised||-||-|
|Stout, Petre and wife, Luther, Angelon||1839||-||-||-|
|Swarthout, Jesse and wife||1831||Letter||1833||-|
|Swarthout, Mary, Polly Nancy Ann||1833||Baptised||1834||-|
|Swarthout, Henry and wife Sally||1834||Letter||1834||-|
|Swarthout, Alexander, William, Elizabeth, Lydia Ann||1842||Baptised||-||-|
|Swarthout, George and wife Adaline||1843||Letter||-||-|
|Thomas, Samuel and Patty||1824||Baptised||1828||-|
|Thomas, Levi and Dorcas||1833||Baptised||-||-|
|Thomas, Benjamin and wife Catharine||1840||-||-||-|
|Todd, Lucevia and Jane||1839||-||-||-|
|Townsend, C. P.||1837||-||1837||-|
|Tuthill, Elder Anson and wife Lois||1831||Letter||1831||-|
|Van Blake, Lawrence||1842||Baptised||-||-|
|Van Campen, William and Harriet||1829||-||-||from Scio|
|Van Campen, Carolin||1829||Baptised||-||-|
|Van Horn, Charlotte||1843||Baptised||-||-|
|Van Vliet, Electa||1827||Letter||1829||-|
|Wain, Mary Emerson||1833||-||-||-|
|Wakefield, Joel and Ziphia||1824||Letter||-||-|
|Walker, Simon and Laura||1842||Baptised||-||-|
|Washburn, Phebe||1826||Letter||1828||to Bolivar|
|Wellman, Eaziah, Keziah, Jonas||1829||Baptised||-||-|
|Wellman, Mary Ann||1840||Letter||1842||-|
|Wellman, Arba and wife Esther||1841||Letter||-||-|
|Wellman, Minerva, Irwin and wife||1842||Baptised||-||-|
|Wetherly, John M.||1840||Baptised||1842||-|
|Wetherbee, Esther and Olive||1842||Baptised||-||-|
|Wilcox, Joseph D.||1823||Letter||1828||to Bolivar|
|Wilcox, William and wife||1831||Baptised||1831||-|
|Wightman, Simon and Arunah||1824||Letter||1828||to Bolivar|
|Wightman, Edward, Rhoda, Deborah, Catherine and Catherine II.||1825||Letter||1828||to Bolivar|
|Wilson, Jesse and wife Annis||1842||Baptised||-||-|
|Witter, Nancy Ann, Hannah||1837||Baptised||-||-|
Baptist Church, Friendship, New York, Early Settlers of New York State Their Ancestors and Desendants, Vol. VII, No. 4, Oct. 1940, Janet Wethy Foley, ed.
John S. Minard, Allegany County and its People. A Centennial Memorial History of Allegany County, New York, Alfred, N.Y., W. A. Fergusson & Co., 1896, pp 718-719