Baptist Church

Town of Fabius

Source:  History of Onondaga County, by Prof. W. W. Clayton, D. Mason & Co., Syracuse, NY, 1878, pp. 384-385


BAPTIST CHURCH OF FABIUS. - On the 24th of August, 1803, when there were no roads through this town east and west, and it was all forest where the village now stands, the Baptist Church of Fabius was recognized by a council composed of delegates sent from Hamilton, Cazenovia, Pompey, and DeRuyter.  Elder Ashbel Hosmer wa chosen Moderator, and Dr. James Pettit, Clerk.  This council, composed of six ministers and nine lay-brethren, convened in a barn three miles south of the village, owned by Samuel Webster, and there recognized this little band of disciples, numbering less than twenty, as a "true church of Jesus Christ."  Some of the original members were Thomas Keeney, Samuel Stone, Elijah Keeney, Gurden Woodruff and Samuel Webster.

The house of worship of this church was erected at Fabius Village, in the year 1818, and cost about $5,000.  This year was an eventful one to the church.  They engaged Elder Eliada Blakesly for three years for one thousand dollars, and went with their teams to Connecticut to bring his family and goods; they built their meeting house, and baptized one hundred and twenty-three converts.

The following are the names of pastors:

Rufus Freeman, 1805; Peter P. Roots, 1807; John Upfold, 1811; Salmon Morton, 1815; Rufus Freeman, 1816; Eliada Blakesly, 1818; Ottis and Bell, 1822; Horace Griswold, 1823; Wheeler I. Cram, 1831; ----- Brisbin, 1832; Jirah D. Cole, 1833; Oreb Montague, 1834; A. Wheelock, 1836; H. V. Jones, 1838; Enoch Dye, 1842; Luke Davis, 1843; Peter P. Brown, 1844; Walter G> Dye, 1847; Lark L. Livermore, 1853; ELijah G. Blount, 1858; J. D. Webster, 1864; ----- Olney, 1866; J. M. Tolman, 1867; Ira Clark, 1873; ----- Crain, 1875; Ira A. Taylor, 1877.

The church was incorporate August 24, 1819.  At that time the following Board of Trustees was elected:  Elijah St. John, Stephen Tripp, Jonathan Stanley, Simon Keeney, Aaron Benedict, John Phelps, Benj. Lewis, Geo. Pettit, Nathaniel Bacon.

Present Trustees, 1877 - Lorenzo Heffron, Duportal S. Sprague, Jr., ALbert G. Bacon, Orlando Hulbert, Elmore Wheaton, Dillis R. Webster.


Source:  Dwight H. Bruce, Onondaga's Centennial.  Boston History Co., 1896, Vol. I, pp. 872-873.

Extracted from information submitted by Kathy Crowell

Religion, meanwhile, had taken deep root among the several communities, which seem to have been composed largely of adherents of the Baptist faith.  One authority says that a society of this denomination was organized at "Fabius Center, or Franklinville, as it was then called," in 1803, with Richard Wheat, Simon Keeney, jr., Samuel Moray, Lewis Howell and Jasper Partridge, as trustees.  "This association," he states, "drooped and declined."  Another writer, quoting "from official documents," gives the "First Society in Fabius, May 28, 1805," the "First Baptist Society in the town of Fabius, November 21, 1806," the "First Congregational Society in Fabius, August 9, 1808," the "United Presbyterian Society (Tully and Fabius), December 9, 1814," and the "First Baptist Church and Society of Fabius, January 25, 1817."  The earliest Baptist society, of which we have authentic information, was organized in 1803, and was known as the Baptist church of Fabius.  On the 24th of August of the same year the society was recognized by a council consisting of six ministers and nine lay members from the Baptist churches at Hamilton, Cazenovia, Pompey and De Ruyter, who convened in a barn owned by Samuel Webster, three miles south of the village.  Elder Ashbel Hosmer was chosen moderator, and Dr. James Pettit, clerk; the constituent membership numbered twenty, among whom were Thomas and Elijah Keeney, Gurden Woodruff, Samuel Webster and Samuel Stone.  The first pastor was Rev. Rufus Freeman.  In 1807 Rev. Peter P. Roots, a missionary from Hamilton, located at Keeney's Settlement and ministered to this society for several years.

The First Baptist Church and Society of Fabius, the present organization, was incorporated August 24, 1819.  The first trustees were Elijah St. John, Jonathan Stanley, Aaron Benedict, John Phelps, Stephen Tripp, Simon Keeney, Nathaniel Bacon, Benjamin Lewis, jr., and George Pettit.  Marcus, Chauncy, and Oliver Andrews leased to the society a site, the consideration being an annual rental of twenty-five cents, "for one hundred years, or for so long a term of time as the said piece or parcel of ground, or any part thereof, shall be used or occupied for the purpose of a meeting house."  In 1818 Rev. Mr. Blakesley was engaged as pastor for three years, for $1,000, and members of the society went to Connecticut with their teams to bring his family and goods.  During the same year a house of worship was erected at a cost of $5,000, and 123 converts were baptized. In 1870, during the pastorate of Rev. J. M. Tollman, the original edifice was rebuilt and enlarged at a cost of several thousand dollars.  The following are a few of the pastors who have labored with the society:  Revs. John Upford, Eliada Blakesley, Horace Griswold, H. V. Jones, Peter P. Brown, Walter G. Dye, L. L. Livermore, Elijah G. Blount, J. D. Webster, J. M. Tollman, Ira Clark, M. F. Negus, Matthews, Perkins, and Decker.


Baptist Church photos from Central NY Schools Districts Participating in "History in the Making"


30 August 1998

5 September 1998