West Baptist Church, Oswego, N.Y.
Source: Manuel of the West Baptist Church, Oswego, N.Y. , 1887; R. J. Oliphant, Job Printer, Bookbinder and Stationer, 1887.
On the 3d of May, 1853, the following named persons, dismissed for that purpose by the parent church on the east side of the river, met in the City Hall and organized the West Baptist Church of Oswego:
*Are still members.
*Resigned Oct. 11, 1864; re-elected April
Two things, doubtless, led to the formation of this Church: Residence of its charter members on this side of the river, and the conviction that the city was large enough to sustain, and that there was work enough for, two Baptist Churches.
On the 30th of August, 1853, a council, composed of delegates from the churches of East Oswego, Southwest Oswego, Hannibal, Sterling, South Hannibal, Fulton, Central Square, Palermo, and Pulaski, convened and formally reconized this body as a regular Baptist Church.
The first pastor, Rev. Isaac BUTTERFIELD, a man of unusual pulpit ability, and of commanding influence, served the church two years and three months from the date of its organization, during which time, the little band increased from 48 to 111.
He was succeeded by Rev. S. W. TITUS, whose pastorate began Nov., 1855, and continued till May, 1857. Under his wise pastoral care the membership grew to 130.
Rev. A. G. BOWLES next exercised the pastoral office one year.
Rev. E. W. BLISS became pastor in April, 1858, toiling devotedly, and with marked ability, three years. But his efficiency and usefulness were seriosly impaired, and his efforts neutralized, by that insidious enemy, Spiritualism, which then made its appearance and infected many members.
From April, 1861, to October, 1862, the church was without a pastor. Rev. M. A. FOREY, pastor of the First Church, for a few months preached once each Sabbath to this church. Later, Brother F. L. CHAPELL, a student at Rochester, supplied our pulpit with great acceptance for three or four months.
Rev. H. M. RICHARDSON, a man of acknowledged ability and pleasing address, entered upon his pastorate October, 1862, and, during its course of three years, 10 were received by letter and 11 by baptism. Failing health compelled his resignation.
Brother M. B. COMFORT, supplied our pulpit from November, 1865, to April, 1866.
At this time the newly elected pastor, Rev. D. C. HUGHES, commenced his labors among us. The present house of worship was completed in the spring of 1867; at a cost of over $70,000, and was dedicated April 18. During the pastorate of Brother HUGHES, 106 were received into the church.
He was succeeded by the rev. Isaac BUTTERFIELD, whose second pastorate commenced July, 1869, and extended to April, 1875; during which time 199 were received into the church.
In October, 1875, Brother Charles H. WATSON, then recently graduated from Hamilton, was engaged to supply our pulpit for six months, and, on february 20th, 1876, he was called to the pastorate, his ordination taking place a month later. During his pastorate, which closed July, 1881, 112 were received into the church.
The present pastor, Rev. M. A. WILCOX, entered upon his labors November, 1881. In April of the present year (1887), he tendered his resignation, having been elected to the Presidency of Kalamazoo College, Michigan. During the period of his labors, 103 have been received into the church. In the summer of 1882 our church edifice was renovated, and various improvements were made, costing in the aggregate $5,000. The leadership of Brother WILCOX has been marked by an entire revolution in church methods. The Sabbath School has been transferred to the church, and is no longer a separate organization. Its contributions go wholly to benevolent purposes. Thirteen of the Fifteen permanent committees of the church have come into existence in the last three years. As a result, the number of members engaged in active service has been largely increased. Rules of procedure in cases of discipline, have been brought into close accord with the spirit and teaching of God's word: and our church methods generally, so far as developed, have, we believe, been established on their Scriptural bases. Our membership at this date is 300. June 1887
Copyright © 2000 Laura Perkins,