Ellery Center Baptist Church


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ELLERY CENTER BAPTIST CHURCH
Ellery Center, N. Y.  Town of Ellery
Organized 1814

The Baptist Church at Ellery center, was the second Baptist Society to be organized, but
the first to build a house of Worship in the Town of Ellery.  although the early records are
vague and much confusion exists, it seems likely that between 1814 and 1830 the church
services were held in the homes until a log meeting house, was erected on the church
property.  The Society was organized with nine members, in 1814, by Elder Asa Turner,
the first Pastor, who was an early missionary to this county.

Rev. Asa Turner was born at Watertown, Conn., June 14, 1765, and died Nov. 27, 1847,
at the home of his daughter, Louisa Jones, in Stockton, N.Y., and is buried in the
Stockton Cemetery.  He was married to Isabel Ketcham.  He was a Revolutionary Soldier,
and enlisted in March 1778, at the age of thirteen years, at Harwinton, Conn., and served
six months under Captain Gillett.  His second enlistment was in 1779, under Captain
Howett and Col. Cannfield; third enlistment under Captain Fenn and Col. Hopkins; and
fourth enlistment in 1780, under Captain Seldon and Col. Starr; and fifth enlistment in
1781, under Captain Gideon Granger, and Col. Wells; and sixth enlistment in 1782, under
Captain Jabez Fitch and Col. Wells.

He then became a Baptist Minister, preaching many years at Pleasant Valley, N.Y.  In the
summer of 1813, he came from Cayuga County and began to preach in the Town of
Ellery.

In the early records a Baptist Church was referred to as, The Baptist Church of Christ,”
followed by the name of the town or village of it’s location.  On existing records this
church was first called, The Baptist Church of Christ in Elllery.

The copy of a letter of reference showing the early church name:

The Baptist Church of Christ in Ellery to the branches of Zion scattered abroad sendeth
Christian of Salvation.  This may certify that Brother Sylvester Higby is a member of this
church with license to improve in public and in good standing and as such we feel to
recommend him to any church of our faith and order, where ever his lot may be cast.

Done by order of the Baptist Church of Christ in Ellery the 29th. day of Dec. 1822.

Seth Clark  Clerk.

The first Congregational Church Society was incorporated on November 12, 1821, and
recorded at Mayville, November 13, 1821, at 2:00 P.M. as the First Congregational
Baptist Society in the Town of Ellery.

On December 25, 1828, Wilkem Willink, Wilkem Willink the younger and Cornelis
Vollenhoven of the Holland Land Company, through their Attorney David Evans, deeded
thirty-two acres of Gospel Land to Asa Turner, William Smith, Marcus Winchester, Seth
Clark, Thomas Parker and Clark Parker, Trustees of the First Congregational Baptist
Society in the Town of Ellery and their successors in office, for the consideration of $1.00.
This land was located in the northeast corner of Lot 36, Township 3, Range 12, near the
corner of the Luce Road and the Ellery Center-Jones Corners Road.

The first church edifice was erected in 1830.  Following is a description of this first Baptist
Church as given by Mrs. Josephine Barney Sherman Parker, who was born in Ellery
Center and Miss Emily Hale, who also lived in Ellery and was a member of this church>

It would seat about 200 persons.  The pulpit was a box-like affair with a door which
closed the preacher in; the pews also had doors.  Mrs. Parker thought it quite an honor as
a child to sit by the pew door so that she could reach over and button it on the outside.
The pews were also places along the side of this old church with doors and a step up to
get into them.  There was also high windows.  Elder Varnum preached there for ten years,
before the new church was built in 1862.  Across the back, opposite the pulpit, were what
were then called the Singer’s Seats, reached from the main aisle by three steps up, the men
singers going up the right aisle, the women going up the left.

Soon after the new church was built, this old church was moved onto the Point in Ellery
Center, later the site of the Swedish Lutheran Church, and renamed St. James Hall, and
used by the community for a short time.  The church was eventually bought by Jim
Hamilton and used for a wagon shop,  the upper part being built over for living quarters.
Sometime after 1867, it was bought by Oliver Pickard, who added a few sheds and it
became his steam saw and shingle mill.  In the 1880’s during a severe lightning storm the
mill was destroyed by fire.  This mill was located at the junction of the Greenhurst-Ellery
Center and Belleview-Ellery Center roads.

About 1838, the members felt the need for a larger church.  The majority desired to
rebuild at Ellery Center and not on the Gospel Land, but it appears they had never
received a deed to this land at Ellery Center.  On January 5, 1838, Jonathan Babcock and
his wife Rebecca, Clark Parker and his wife Rebecca, deeded to the Trustees of the
Regular Baptist Church and Society of the Town of Ellery, one half acre of land,
consideration $10.

The Church Trustees sold the Gospel Land in 1852.  A deed dated May 17, 1852, from
Clark Parker, Seely Strong, Isaac N. Baldwin, Thomas Parker, Jacob R. Brownell and
Charles G. Maples, Trustees of the First Congregational Baptist Church in the Town of
Ellery, to James W. Turner, consideration of $300, is recorded at Mayville Court House.

In 1858, the old church was in need of repairs and it was voted to build a new and larger
house of Worship.  An agreement was drawn up and signed by the members with the
amount they would give as follows: April 28, 1858, we whose names are here unto
subscribed, do promise to purchase a slip or slips, of the Trustees of the Baptist Church
and Congregation at Ellery in the meeting house now in course of erection for the
religious worship of said church and congregation and further, we also agree to pay to the
builders of said house for the slip or slips set opposite our respective names, the price or
prices there unto annexed, as follows:

The first quarter to be paid at the completion and erection of the frame.  The second
quarter when said frame is enclosed.  The third quarter when said house is accepted by the
Trustees, and the remaining quarter in two equal parts, one of which is to be paid on or
before the first day of June, in the year 1859, and the other part in a year from the
acceptance of said house by the trustees.  A church dedication service was held on
Thursday evening January 17, 1870.

Many times members were unable to pay their pledge on time.  The records show that
some members exchanged numbers, some paid later and some were paid by another
member, still others paid in work.  This all shows that with the need and the will, through
hardship and with determination they met with success.  The old church was moved away
and the new church opened for Worship in 1862.

The following is from the church records of those who gave and their slip number.  The
amount pledged by each ranged from eight dollars to seventy dollars.  Slip No. 1, Charles
G. Maples; 2.  D. E. Smith; 3. S. R. Newbury; 4. Ira Haskin; 5. William Benedict; 6.
Albert Warner; 7. Sherman B. Parker; 8. Clark Parker; 9. Hiram Haskins; 10. I. N.
Baldwin; 11. A. Harvey; 12. Seely Strong; 13. Henry Coe; 14. H. N. Barrett; 15.
Unknown; 16. Alfred W. Wood; 17. Joseph L. Brownell; 18. H. H. Hale; 19. A. Babcock
and Co.; 20. Aaron Parker; 21. Unknown; 22. Aaron Parker; 23. Moses Wood; 24. John
R. Turner; 25. J. R. Brownell; 26. Jacob R. Brownell; 27. Milo Barney; 28. E. B.
Newbury; 29. Benjamin Traphagen; 30. Warren Carpenter; 31. Ezra Horton; 32. Amos
Wood; 33. Parker D. Smith; 34. David Wilbur; 35. H. Brockway; 36. O. Hale; 37. Frank
R. Young; 38. D. E. Smith; 42. John Haskins; 43. Charles Wood; 44. A. D. Hale; 45. John
Hale; 46. E. Cowden; 47. G. W. Cone; 48. Harvey Rice; 49. Jas. Hale; 50. John Miller.
James Young, Samuel Smith, Sherman B. Parker and Harry Rice are associated with those
building the church.  There probably are others who worked for members who in turn paid
their wages into the church building fund.  In this way although they did not made a direct
contribution they helped build the church.  The total amount pledged was $1704.00.

In the Chautauqua County Directory for the year of 1873-74, it states:  The new church
was built at a cost of $2,000.  It will seat 500 persons and there are one hundred members.
The pastor is Rev. C. C. Mackintosh. The church property is valued at $5,000.

Some members bought their pew in the new church.  On April 20, 1861, John Hale paid to
the Trustees twenty dollars for pew number forty-five.  A contract was drawn up.

On July 10, 1861, Peter R. Brownell and Rhoda, his wife, of the Town of Ellery, deeded
to Jacob R. Brownell, Oscar Hale, Amos N. Wood. Warren Carpenter, Hiram Haskin and
Milo Barney, Trustees of the First Congregational Baptist Church and Society of Ellery,
consideration $25,  18/100 of an acre more or less, located on Lot 25, Township 3, Range
12.

On July 15, 1861, the trustees, Jacob R. Brownell, Oscar Hale, Amos N. Wood, Warren
Carpenter, Hiram Haskin and Milo Barney, of the First Congregational Baptist Church
Society of Ellery deeded to Clark Parker for the sum of $100,  1/20 part of an acre, being
part of Lot 25.  These deeds were made to establish boundary lines of the church.

When the church was first built, in 1862, it had a gallery, open in front with a flight of
stairs on each side, and just one room downstairs, the pews coming close to the front
door.  Heat was provided by two stoves, one  in the south-east corner, and one in the
north-west corner of the church.  Some believe there may also have been a stove in the
balcony.  The choir was led by a small melodeon.

On August 10, 1889, the members became divided over changing the name of the church.
Mrs. Helen M. Hale was the church clerk of the new organization which had possession of
the church, the records and which members renamed the church, The Ellery Baptist
Church.

Several of the older members rented a hall nearby for their meetings and retained the old
name of The First Congregational Baptist Church of Ellery.

Those members in the new organization in favor of changing the name of the church were:
Harvey Hale, Demas Scofield, Isaac Baldwin, Benjamin Traphagen, Joseph S. Brownell,
Joel Hapgood, George W. Miller, S. S. Smith, George Parker, William Miller, William R.
Traphagen, Oscar Hale, Beriah Bowers, Milo Barney, D. E. Smith, Luther S. Furlow,
William Sherman, Charles Parker, Jonathan Parker, Henry Beach, D. E. Burt, Obed
Simmons, Erie Frisbee, Aaron W. Day, Jerusha Hale, Hannah Baldwin, Henrietta
Brownell, Susan Hapgood, Sarah Brockway, Mary Jane Smith, Betsey Hale, Sodiea Van
Wart, Eliza Overrocker, Isabel Torry, Hannah Weaver, Harriet Weaver, Mary Ann
Babcock, Electa Newbury, Diantha Miller, Betsey Manley, Mary Ann Wood, Clarissa
Wood, Catharine Miller, Helen Hale, Lydia M. Hale, Hannah Sherman, Eliza Bowers,
Christianna Hoyt, Ruth Maples, Sophrona Coe, Betsey Parker, Betsey Clark, Sarah J.
Romans, Mary Traphagen, Lorinda Miller, Malina J. Horton, Louisa Smith, Emily Furlow,
Lucy Bellsborough, Josephine Wilbur, Pauline Barney, Adaline Thompson, Olive Dixon,
Emily Hale, Catharine Haskins, Helen A. Beach, Juliatte Warren, Orpha S. Burt, Eliza
Frisbee, Sophrona Parker, Jane Parker, Soretta Barney, Clara Sturges, Matilda Day and
Mrs. Simmons.

The following members, their years of membership and who wished to retain the original
name of the church were: Mary Barney, 58 years; Sally M. Wilbur, 54 years; E. S. Clark,
Annis J. Clark, 30;  Laura D. Barney, 30;  Lydia S. Ames, 46; Naon Horton, 31; Hiram
Haskin, Addie D. Haskin, Albert Werner, 45; Mary Jane Arnold, 30; Mary Jane Rexford,
23; Mary M. Cheney, Adelaide M. Owen, 28; M. Pauline B. Williams, 23; Malvina J.
Austin, 31; Emily A. Horton, 31; Josephine B. Sherman, 28; Sarah A. Parker, 41; Annette
A. Parker, 20;  Sarah S. Traphagen, 28; and Chester Parker.

On August 10, 1889, the name was changed to the Baptist Church of Ellery  and it seems
as time passed, the tension eased and this name became permanent.

There seems to be no record as to when the church shed was built for horses.  This shed
was built in back and to the south of the church.  It contained about twelve stalls, each
large enough for a team of horses.  When automobiles came into use the shed was no
longer needed so was sold to: Willard Miller, George Lazell, Lavern Lazell and William
Mahanna who razed the building and salvaged the lumber.  Some of this lumber was used
to build the barn on the Willard Miller farm on the Ellery-Centralia Road.  This barn in
later years was damaged by wind and eventually razed.

On November 28, 1908, the Church members voted to request the Chautauqua
Association to assume general supervision of the church.  The following officers resigned
so the church could reorganize: Trustees: F. C. Miller, Irene M. Hayner, R. E. Hutchens;
Clerk: Emily J. Hale;  Treasurer, Nancy M. Warner; Pulpit Com.: Nancy H. Warner, Irene
M. Hayner and Jane Winchester.

On December 11, 1908, a meeting was called by Rev. G. Frank Johnson, Association
Pastor, to consider reorganization of the church.  Rev. Johnson was chosen chairman and
Rev. Charles D. Reed of Jamestown, Clerk.

Rev. Reed suggested that the church consider the plan of general supervision by the
Associational Missionary Committee for a time, such as had been successfully tried by two
churches by the Association.

After a discussion the following motion was made by Mrs. Irene M. Hayner and seconded
by Bertie Warner: Moved that the Ellery Center Baptist Church urgently request the
Chautauqua Association to assume general supervision of this church for such a time as
shall be deemed by both parties to be wise.  The motion was adopted. A motion was made
and seconded that the election of officers be postponed until December 26, 1908, and that
the resignation of officers present at this meeting, shall take effect at that time.  Miss
Emily J. Hale was the clerk.  After a prayer by Rev. Reed the meeting adjourned.

December 26, 1908, the meeting was called to order by Rev. G. Frank Johnson,
Associational Pastor.  A motion was made and carried that he act as chairman and Grace
Culver act as clerk.  The motion made and seconded that this meeting be again adjourned
until December 31, 1908 when the time of office of all officers shall then expire and that a
full board of six trustees and two deacons and other officers be elected.

At the December 31, 1908 meeting, Francis Miller and Bertie Warner were appointed
tellers.  Ballots were prepared and they proceeded to elect Deacons.  Bert Cross and
Lavern Lazell were elected.  Mr. Martin, of Busti, was made chairman of the meeting.
The following were elected: John Hayner and A. W. Miller, trustees for three years; J. H.
Benson and Arthur Bunce, trustees for two years; Bert J. Cross and Julius Beck, trustees
for one year; Mrs. A. W. Miller, treasurer; Grace Culver, church clerk; Ushers, John
Hayner and A. W. Miller.

Rev. Martin of Busti and Rev. Gherring of Stockton gave a short talk about the help given
other churches by the Missionary Board.

While attending a funeral, held in the church, Mrs. Minnie Miller observed that the paper
on the walls and ceiling were in poor condition.  Thinking how sad her mother would have
felt if she could see the condition of the church, after the service Mrs. Miller with her
horse and buggy, and her son Willis, who was a baby, drove to the homes of members and
people in the community and created interest to repair the church.

On April 18, 1909, J. H. Benson, one of the trustees, was made chairman of a committee
to repair the church.  He was assisted by Lavern Lazell acting with the other church
trustees.

The balcony was closed off, making two class rooms upstairs, a partition was built in the
front part of the church to create a vestibule and a small room on each side.  A metal
interior finish was installed on the walls and ceiling.  Nearly  $1,000 was spent with about
$350 to be raised by rededication time.  All was paid by September 5, 1910, and the
church was free of debt.

On November 5, 1909, a rededication service was held as follows:  The officers were Rev.
G. Frank Johnson, acting pastor from Mayville, N.Y.;  Mrs. Grace Culver, Church Clerk;
Mrs. Aaron Miller, Treasurer; Mrs. Grace Culver, Superintendent of Bible School;
Mrs. J. J. Hayner, president of Woman’s Union; Bert Cross and Lavern Lazell, Deacons;
Aaron Miller, J. H. Benson, Bert Cross, J. J. Hayner, Arthur Bunce and Julius Beck,
Trustees. J. H. Benson was Chairman of Committee on repairs;  Rev. W. J. Ford, PH.D.,
Chairman of Re-dedication Services; Mrs. G. Frank Johnson, Musical Director.

PROGRAM OF SERVICES
Morning
10:30   Devotion and Praise, Rev. C. J. Scholpp, Jamestown, N.Y.
11:00   Sermon, Rev. Fred J. Peters, Mayville,  N.Y.
Afternoon
 1:30    Praise Service, Rev. George N. Gates, Forestville, N.Y.
 1:45    Scripture, Rev. C. L. Parker, Findley Lake, N.Y.
            Prayer, Rev. J. P. Green, Busti, N.Y.
 2:00    Address, Rev. Charles A. McAlpine, Rochester, NY
            Music
 2:45    Account of the work and financial report, Rev. G. Frank Johnson
 3:00    Presentation of special gifts.
            Thanksgiving Prayer, Rev. C. A. Aldeen, Jamestown, N.Y.
  4:00    Re-dedication Exercises (Congregational Standing)
             Prayer, Rev. B. F. Gehring, Stockton, N.Y.
             Gloria Patria.
             The Lord’s Prayer
             Music
             Rededication, Rev. E. S. Way, Kennedy, N.Y.
Evening
  7:00    Praise Service, Rev. C. D. Reed, Jamestown, N.Y.
  7:15    Address, Rev. W. J. Ford PH.D., Jamestown, N.Y.
             Music
             Business
  8:00    Sermon, Rev. C. A. McAlpine, Rochester, N.Y.
  9:00    Rededication, Rev. D. M. Sutton, Panama, N.Y.

THE  DEDICATION
Pastor--To worship of the triune God--
Congregation--We re-dedicate this house.
P.--To the glory of the Father through whose love a Savior was given unto us--
C.--We re-dedicate this house.
P.--To the praise of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, through whose sacrifice and death
and resurrection from the dead we have been granted the gift of the eternal life--
C.--We re-dedicate this house.
P.--To the Holy Spirit who convicted us to sin and revealed to us our need of a Savior,
and who now leads and guides us in the way of life--
C.--We re-dedicate this house.
P.--For the preaching of the gospel to those who are tempted and lost in sin, wandering
away from a Father’s love--
C.--We re-dedicate this house.
P.--For the edification and building up of the Church, the body of Christ, that it may be
more and more transformed into the likeness of His image--
C.--We re-dedicate this house.
P.--For the care of the feeble, the comfort of those who mourn, for reclamation of the
straying--
C.--We re-dedicate this house.
P.--For the fostering of the spirit of brotherhood, Christian sympathy and fraternal
watchcare--
C.--We re-dedicate this house.
P.--For the sanctification of the home, the instruction of the children in the way of life, and
the cheering of the aged--
C.--We re-dedicate this house.
P.--For inspiring the spirit of patriotism, the resistance of unrighteousness in all its forms,
and the inculcation of morality--
C.--We re-dedicate this house.
P.-- To lead men onward and upward and heavenward, away from sin and selfishness and
wickedness--
C.--We re-dedicate this house.
P.--For the inculcation of all that is good and true and pure and holy, and the suppression
of all that is evil and debasing and unholy--
C.--We re-dedicate this house.
P.--For the establishment, growth and prosperity of the Kingdom of Heaven in this part of
the city and in all the world--
C.--We re-dedicate this house.
All--We re-dedicate this house.  We, the children of God, members of the body of Christ,
and temples of the Holy Spirit, do now reaffirm out consecration and devotion to the
Father, Son and Holy Spirit as we re-dedicate this house and now, unto Him that is able to
do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that
worketh in us, unto Him be glory in the church and in Jesus Christ, unto all generations,
forever and ever.  Amen.

January 30, 1910, the Sunday School classes were reorganized.  A gift of new hymnals
were made to the church by Messrs. Hamilton, Haskin and Manley.

The early lights in the church were oil.  In the center of the church was an oil chandler,
with bracket lamps on the side walls and in the vestibule.  The oil lamps were replaced
with acetylene lights for several years.  In time the pipes deteriorated and became unsafe
to use.  For a few weeks when lights were needed for special occasions kerosene lamps
and lanterns were brought from homes and used for lighting the church.

On some occasions when light was necessary for work or practice an automobile was
parked up close to the front door so the car lights would light the church.

Not having a regular pastor in 1914, the one-hundredth anniversary of the church was not
celebrated until October 13th and 14th, 1917.  At this time the acting pastor Rev. G.
Frank Johnson, the trustees, and members celebrated the anniversary.

The following is an exact copy of the celebration program:

PROGRAM
Saturday, October 13, 1917
10:00 a.m.  Praise Service and Address, Rev. R. w. Neathery.
11:00 a.m.  Address- - - - - -- - -- -Rev. M. M. Rector
12:00          Dinner
1:15 p.m.    Devotional Service, Rev. J. M. Markwick
1:30 p.m.    Address of Welcome, Rev. G. Frank Johnson
                   Response - - - - - - - -Rev. J. M. Markwick
1:45 p.m.    Sermon - - - - - - - - - Rev. C. G. Wright
 2:20 p.m.   History of the Ellery Baptist Church, Mrs. Grace Culver, Church Clerk
 2:40 p.m.   Sermon - - - - - - - -- Rev. M. J. Winchester
                   Reading letters from former Pastors, members and friends
 4:00 p.m.   Benediction
EVENING
7:30 p.m.  Praise Service
7:45 p.m.  Sermon - - - - - - - - - - - Rev. Magnus Larson
8:30 p.m.  Address, Mr. Benjamin Starr, New York
                 Song by the Choir
                 Benediction
PROGRAM
Sunday, October 14, 1917
10:00 a.m.  Consecration Service, Rev. J. C. Hankinson
10:30 a.m.  Address - - - - - - - - - - Mr. Benjamin Starr
                  Duet - - - - - - - - - - - - Mr. and Mrs. Clayburn Culver
12:00          Dinner
1:15 p.m.   Devotional
                 Solo - - - - - - - - - - - - Miss Evangel M. Johnson
1:30 p.m.  History of the Sunday School and Ladies’ Union
                 Reminiscences
                 Musical Selection - - - - The Johnson Trio
2:00 p.m.  Address - - - - - - - - - - Mr. Benjamin Starr
                 Singing
3:00 p.m.   Sermon - - - - - - - - - -  Rev. F. P. Stoddard
                 Benediction
EVENING
7:30 p.m.  Praise and Prayer Service
                 Sermon- - - - - - - - - - -  Rev. J. M. Markwick
9:00 p.m.   Benediction
OFFICERS
Acting Pastor - - - - Rev. G. Frank Johnson
Deacons- - - - - - - Burt Cross, Lavern Lazell
Deaconesses- - - -  Mrs. Nancy Warner, Mrs. John Hayner, Miss Emily Hale, Mrs. Will
                              Mahanna, Mrs. Julius Beck, Miss Edith Lazell
Trustees- - - - - - -  J. H. Benson, Burt Cross, Will Mahanna, Lavern Lazell, George
                              Lazell, Julius Beck
Ladies’ Union - - -  Miss Edith Lazell, President
Sunday School - - - Mrs. Burt Cross, Superintendent
CENTENNIAL COMMITTEES
Program - Acting Pastor, Deacons, Sunday School Superintendent, President Ladies’ Union
Invitation - - - - - - - Mrs. Grace Culver, Church Clerk; Mrs. Nancy Warner, Mrs. John
                               Hayner, Miss Emily Hale, Mrs. Flossie Lazell, Miss Edith Lazell
Transportation - - - -Clayburn Culver, Francis Miller, Willis Miller, Willard Miller, Lewis
                               Osgood
Entertainment - - - - Will Mahanna, Mrs. Will Mahanna, Bertie Warner, Mrs. Ernest
                               Parker, Mrs. D. E. Lord, Mr. and Mrs. Julius Beck, Mr. and Mrs. Joe
                               Anderson
Reception- - - - - -   J. H. Benson, Mrs. J. H. Benson, Mrs. A. W. Miller, Mr. and Mrs.
                               George Lazell, Mr. and Mrs. Burt Cross, Mrs. Jane Winchester,
                               Miss Emily Horton, Mrs. Mary Cheney, Mrs. Anna Frisbee
Music - - - - - - - -   Mrs. G. Frank Johnson, Mrs. Burt Cross, Miss Edith Lazell,
                               Mr. and Mrs. Clayburn Culver, Florence and Mildred Lawson,
                               Mrs. Willis Miller, Mrs. Willard Miller, Carl Brewster
Table Committee - - The Ladies’ Union
Decorating - - - - -  Young Peoples’ Class and Mrs. Burt Cross’s Class.

                             The Transportation Committee will gladly meet at Bemus Point all
                             who inform Clayburn Culver, Bemus Point, of the time they will
                             arrive.

C. A. Reynolds received $60.55 from Mrs. Minnie Miller, Treasurer of the Church for
installing lightning rods on the Church.

At a meeting held  at the home of Willard Miller’s on February 24, 1934, a motion was
made and seconded to wire the church for electricity.  A motion was made and seconded
that Lavern Lazell and Willard Miller go to Jamestown and pick out lighting fixtures.

The church was wired by the Ellery Center Volunteer Fire Company with Clyde Smiley,
Frank Sample and John Miller in charge of the project.  The light in the center of the
church was originally two lights from the Baptist Church t Brocton, N.Y.  They were
assembled and welded together as one light with eight globes by Clyde Smiley.

The first Christmas with electric, the Sunday School classes gave an extra special
program.  The firemen built a temporary stage across the back part of the church and gave
a present to all local children.  The church was filled to capacity.

On September 10, 1934 a motion was made by Marguerite Miller and seconded by Willard
Miller that a new furnace be purchased.  The furnace cost $339 of which $185 was raised
by donations, $20 given by the Sunday School and $134 paid by the church.

On August 30, 1959, the church was rededicated.  The church had been newly painted and
seventy-five new hymnals purchased.   Rev. Martin Hamlin, as a surprise, had the name of
the church printed in gold letters on the front cover.  The paint for the church was donated
by Leonard Magnuson of the First Baptist Church of Jamestown.

Recognition was given John Dulmus, who painted and donated the sign installed on the
front of the church, the first one since its founding in 1814; also the donors of the
American and Christian flags given a short time before by Mrs. John Gleason and Mrs.
Charles Philips in memory of their mother, Mrs. Clayburn Culver, and Mr. Clayburn
Culver for his mother, Mrs. Grace Culver.

The service was similar to the one used November 5. 1909, when the church was free
from debt and G. Frank Johnson was pastor.
At the business meeting held May 10, 1961, a motion was made to obtain the cost of a
forced air oil furnace, oil tank and filter.  The trustees and deacons were to draw up plans
for the basement.  An oil furnace was purchased and installed in the church for use in the
fall and winter of 1962-63.

On May 18, 1963, it was voted to decorate the upstairs rooms.  Willard Miller paid for
and had installed a new ceiling.  The rooms were cleaned, floors painted, a sand box built
and a table built for the use of the kindergarten and pre-school children.

In 1973, the two rooms upstairs and the room downstairs were redecorated.  The rooms
were paneled, new carpet installed and new furniture added.

Land adjoining the church property was purchased in 1973.  The lot was graded and a two
car garage built by Winton Stalvey and William Shafer.  A house trailer, owned by the
Sack family was located close by and connected to the garage, with a heating system
installed.

The first pastor to occupy this new home was Rev. Daniel Giegert and family from 1973
to January 1, 1977.

About October 16, 1976 a full basement was added to the church, consisting of a new
kitchen and a Fellowship Hall.

Since the church was organized in 1814, some of the ministers not already mentioned
were: George Withersell, Albert Warren, J. J. Fuller, G. W. Sisson, W. H. Phelps, C. W.
Varnun - who remained ten years - William L. Sharp, Bostinck, P. A. Mead, D. E. Hart,
James L. Chase, H. A. Conrad, H. H. Thomas, S. W. Lindsley, Howard W. Fish, Cyrus
Christian, E. E. Adams, Harry Smith, A. Knight, J. Alexander, Watt, Dayton, Donald,
J. C. Hankinson, Levi Higgs, Alfred W. Holder, Harry Andorf, W. W. Houser, Willard
May, Earl P. Muller, Marvin Mather, Allen Ames, Kenneth Depledge, Larry Newbury,
J. Maring Swarts,  Marty Butts,  Dennis Walton.



Reference:  History of this church was made possible through the assistance of:
David Sack, Roger Miller, Edith Shaver, Laura Smiley, Edith and Alice Lazell, church
records, private land deeds and records at the Court House in Mayville, N. Y. and church
scrapbook articles.  My appreciation to Doris W. Carlson who gathered the information
and compiled the majority of the article.


SOURCE: Loraine Smith, Town of Ellery Historian. 2002.