THE ROSE HILL BAPTIST CHURCH
MARCELLUS, ONONDAGA COUNTY, NY
The following information was submitted by John Curtin
Taken from Heffernan, Kathryn C. Nine Mile Country. Published by Visual Artis Publicans, Inc. 1978. pp. 180-182. Copyright by the Board of Trustees, Marcellus Free Library, Marcellus, NY
The earliest records of the Rose Hill Baptist Church are dated April 19, 1806. However, there are indications in some historical accounts, that what was then called The First Baptist Society of Marcellus, was probably organized in the fall of 1805. One source credits the Cody family as prime movers in the organization.
The first pastor was Elder Elias Harmon and the deacons were John Kneeland and Nathan Thomson. Dr. Parsons mentions Amasa Sessions, Amasa Kneeland, John Kneeland, Warren Kneeland, Jesse Manley, Chauncey Demings, Nathan Thomson and Joshua Chandler as active male members.
In 1809 the society voted that the pastor should receive an annual salary of one hundred fifty dollars. In 1818 when Elder Worden was employed, his salary was set at two hundred fifty dollars, one fifth of which was to be in cash and the remainder in produce, principally corn and wheat. During Elder Worden's pastorate, which lasted until 1835, the church reached its peak with a total membership of two hundred seventy-nine.
Until 1816 meetings of the society were held in homes, barns and the "framed school house" at what was then called South Marcellus. In that year the first meeting house was built on a site a few rods to the southwest of the present church. This building served the congregation until 1849 when the main part of today's house of worship was erected at a cost of fifteen hundred dollars. At that time, the church had ninety-four members and a Sunday school enrollment of one hundred twelve.
The bell tower was added in 1886 and a bell, purchased by the young people, began calling the congregation to worship. Six years later, the church was remodeled and refurnished, and on October 31, 1892 it was rededicated. The kitchen and dining room were added in 1923. In September of 1967 the church property was expanded by the purchase of a tract to the south, and in 1968 four Sunday school classrooms were added to the building. In May of 1897 the trustees of the church were authorized to lease the land, which had at an early date been set aside as a cemetery, to the Thorn Hill Cemetery Association, which continues to operate and maintain the cemetery. On July 10, 1966 the sesquicentennial of the First Baptist Society of Marcellus was appropriately celebrated with several former pastors and the congregation's own missionary to India, Anne Droppa, participating. The original Constitution, framed by the early leaders of the church, remains basically unchanged. However, more Biblical emphasis has been inserted in the "Articles of Faith and Covenant." Reverend Wayne A. Hansen, who resigned in late 1976, was the forty-first pastor to serve the church.
Return to Onondaga County Church Records page.
Return to Onondaga County NY Gen-Web page.
9 June 1997