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Historical Sketch of the First Baptist Church
of the Town of Summit

by Thomas Broxholm
originally printed in a publication called Stars and Stripes, 1913

Pages 61-63
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submitted by Franklyn Ingram
electronic text by
Doug Boyer

Page 61

Honor Roll continued
(present every session of the month)

                    Rev. Thomas Broxholm               Floyd Toles
                    Roy Hartwell                       Frank Truax
                    Eugene Lewis                       Mrs. Frank Truax
                    Mrs. Eugene Lewis                  Ethel Wright
                    Miss Clora Moore                   Floyd S. Wright
                    George E. Moore                    Mrs. F. S. Wright
                    Mrs. H. Rifenbark                  Kenneth Wright
                    Deacon H. Rifenbark                F. M. Whiteman
                    Miss Grace Smith                   Mrs. Whiteman
                    Mrs. Emma Smith                    Ruth Whiteman
                    Ethel Smith                        Mamie Wheeler
                    Levi H. Smith
                         Present one or more times . . . . . 79
                         Largest number at one session . . . 62

On June 19, Elder Broxholm organized a Sunday School at Lutheranville with Nelson Bruce as Superintendent, Mrs. Everett Sperbeck as Asst. Supt, Mrs. John baker as Secretary and Treasurer, and Miss Ella Queal as organist.

During the summer weather a very good school was maintained. Here follows the Honor Roll for July:

                                        HONOR ROLL
                            Present every session of the month
                     Miss Alma Bruce                   Miss Sylva Jones
                     Stanley Cohn                      Mrs. Irving Jones
                     Loren Follett                     Miss Ella Queal
                     Simon J. Gage                     Mrs. John Warner
                     Miss Clara Gresshammer            Ruth Whiteman
                     Emmet Jones                       Rev. Thos. Broxholm

                          Present one or more times . . . . . 40
                          Largest number at one session . . . 27

From 1900 to some years afterwards, the Covenant meetings were attended in numbers all the way from seven to several according to the weather or interest at the time. Of course, at certain times the number was very large, as the following instances indicate: In February 1904 at a Roll Call Covenant meeting 36 were present; in November 1905, 34 responded, and in the following month 35. For fifty-three Covenant meetings from January 1901, the average was 18. On Feb. 24, 1900, 44 were present, an unusual number, but that number was surpassed five years previously, march 23, 1895, when a published report in the New York World stated that Elder Lawson, then pastor, who was on business in New York City had been found in the streets there in an intoxicated condition, and the church had met to consider the matter. Fifty were present at that meeting. As large as it was, at the Covenant Meeting, Saturday, June 25, 1910, when the church met to consider - THE MOVING OF THE CHURCH BUILDING, that number was almost equaled, forty-six being present. But according to the number of members then that was a larger proportion of the membership that was at the Lawson meeting, for at that time the church had 133 members, but now in 1910 it only had 96.

The following are the names of those present: Rev. Thos. Broxholm, Rev. L. L. Rury, Deacons Hiram Rifenbark, Jacob Payne and Isaac B. Gage, Supt. W. A. Ryder, Floyd S. Wright, F. M. Whiteman, Austin Payne, Frank

Page 62

Mccann, leslie Payne, Arthur Sullivan, Spurgeon gage, Milton Stilwell, Morris Stilwell, Seabury Toles, Floyd Toles, L. Ray Baldwin, Eugene Lewis, Frank Ridge, Joseph Payne, S. F. Smith Broxholm, and Geor. E. Moore, and Mrs. Thomas Broxholm, Mrs. Hiram Rifenbark, Mrs. Dora Baldwin, Mrs. Frank McCann, Mrs. Emma Smith, Mrs. Jacob Payne, Mrs. F. M. Whiteman, Mrs. Eugene Lewis, Mrs. Seabury Toles, Mrs. Cassandra Stilwell, Mrs. Isaac B. Gage, Mrs. M. Burlingame, Mrs. Nelson Bruce, Mrs. Roxy Payne, Mrs. Chester Payne, Mrs. Lavina Layman, Mrs. Mary Moore, Mrs. Floyd S. Wright and the Misses Julia E. Baker, Grace Smith, Clora Moore, Edith Mccann, and Carrie Gage.

There were those present that had never before attended a Covenant Meeting since Elder Broxholm had settled as pastor. Elder Rury remarked at the time that there were some present that were not in the habit of attending Covenant meetings when he was pastor.

It was a big meeting, but by the church book, no one would ever know it. The record in the Church Book says:

"JUNE - Covenant Meeting held today. About the usual number present. Meeting led by pastor. The matter of moving the church brought up. It was voted on and voted down. The Majority were for leaving it where it was."

There was an object in so many not usually active at Covenant Meetings being present, and that object was to prevent the church building being moved. It was what we should call a packed meeting and the result was going to thwart the church's influence and prosperity.

The time seemed opportune for the removal of the building. The numbers who mainly sustained the church financially were in favor of its removal - the people of the village wanted it down - the pastor say the advantage of having it there - some had said to him that they would become attendants were it moved - Deacon Hiram Rifenbark was ready to deed to the church the most desirable site in the village upon which to place the building. besides offering to give $100. toward the expense of moving the building. It ought to have been moved from its inconvenient location a big mile out of the village, for now the church would be receiving its rightful share of village patronage and also the attendance of its friends and members living in the village who think they cannot walk out and up grade to it.

But it was "daft blindness" on the part of some that hindered its removal.

We shall never forget some of the excuses that were made for not moving the building. One was that it would lessen the value of the farms in the vicinity of the church. Another was that it would cost so much, but the money would have come all right. A sister thought it ought to be left on the ground where she and her husband (long before dead) had enjoyed the meetings so much and said that "he would say the same thing if he were here" but that now he "was in Heaven with his Heavenly Father," etc. But that good brother was through with the Church Militant, and there could be no "ifs" in this case in the matter. He now belonged to the Church Triumphant. A member of that Church is through with endeavoring to make advancement in the local church here on earth.

To sum it all up in a word, it was selfishness that was at the bottom of all the objection. No doubt some had been willing that it should be moved, but they had been "seen" and their minds changed.

Deacon Isaac B. Gage was one that was very much opposed to the moving of the building, and worked hard for voters against the project, although he had not attended the regular church services for some eighteen months, and had withdrawn his financial support for sustaining worship. A year and a half previously he had told the pastor he could not fellowship the church. At this meeting he was on hand with all the influence he could muster against the building being moved, stating that he could

Page 63

not recollect that he had told the pastor he could not fellowship the church. But, however, upwards of two years after the big Covenant meeting, on March 23, 1912, we have been informed that for a similar reason he requested his name dropped from the list of church membership. His request was granted.

I was a packed meeting and it was a stormy one. Some of the proceedings were more germane to a pot-house political gathering than to a Baptist church Covenant meeting. To use Scriptural phraseology "all things" were not "done decently and in order". Deacon Rifenbark, the most stanch supporter of the church, was accused of trying to break up the church. He was roundly abused, and so was the pastor, but before the meeting closed a motion was passed in vindication of them. Two of the Trustees - Superintendent W. A. Ryder, who afterwards withdrew from membership, and Frank McCann - resigned their offices on account of the maneuvering used in opposition to moving the building.

Of course those that understood matters aright and had the real good of the church at heart were outnumbered and outvoted and it was a gloomy time for them. The pastor could not have felt worse had he lost his first-born child, and we know how others felt, but it is not necessary to mention their names.

Deacon Jacob Payne, the pastor's friend, now numbered with the Church Triumphant, was opposed to moving the church, but afterwards when he saw the true situation of affairs, told the pastor that he had been very foolish in opposing the moving of the church, and that if he would make another attempt he would put no objection in the way.

Well, the church's opportunity for advancement at that time had passed. let all who opposed it credit themselves with the inglorious work.

Before the meeting adjourned Mrs. Fred Mitchell of Center Valley related her Christian experience and it was voted to receive her for membership after baptism. There were others that ought to have gone forward, but as yet (over three years afterward) have not been obedient to their Lord in Baptism. Let them read Acts 22:16

On Sunday, July 24, was a beautiful day, and a good number was at the pond on the hill back of the church. After the choir had sung "My Faith Looks Up to Thee" Pastor Broxholm read the following passages of Scripture: Matthew 3:13-17; Matthew 28:19,20; Mark 1:4,5; John 3:22,23; Acts 8:35-39; Acts 22:16; Romans 6:3-6. The Elder Rury offered prayer, after which the choir sang, and then the candidate Mrs. Mitchell was buried with her Lord in Baptism, when the pastor said: "It is done as commanded, and yet there is room." The choir sang again, and the benediction followed. Verily the Lord's presence was felt.

The work of the church now proceeded about as it usually had, but in November the pastor made arrangements for an evangelist to hold meetings for ten nights. Elder Rury was much opposed to his coming, so that the sentiment was that he be asked not to come. Here again it seemed to the pastor that another opportunity for the advancement of the church had been lost.

On November 24, 1910, the union Thanksgiving service was held in the Methodist Episcopal Church, the Rev. Orson Crouse, pastor of the Free Methodist Church, preaching the sermon.

On Wednesday evening, Dec. 14, a donation was tendered to Rev. Broxholm. About 150 were present. Over $50 were received on the night of the donation, and afterwards $3.50 was handed in, making the total $53.50.

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