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Table of Contents
Early Church History & Introduction
History of the Port Crane Baptist Church by H. V. Waite
Pastors Who Served the First Baptist Church & Society of Port Crane
Church Window History and Early Members
Including Glimpses of the Church
Centennial Copy from Book of Remembrance
A Brief History
Here We Grow Again
Our Witness to the World
Statement of Faith & Church Covenant
— 1829 First Baptist Church & Society of Chenango Point, Binghamton, NY:
Including historical information, photos, and copy of 100th Anniversary Commemorative Book
The Baptist church at Port Crane was founded during a time of great turbulence in the history of the United States.During the 1830's and 40's disputes erupted over the establishment of the tax payer public school system. 1 By 1860 the bitter quarrels had ended and one room schoolhouses sprung up across the Northeast. It was in one of these early schoolhouses a small group of Christian men and women separated themselves from West Colesville Baptist Church to begin a worship center in the village of Port Crane.
James Buchanan was sitting as the 15th President of the United States (March 4, 1857—March 4, 1861).2 He supported the Dred Scott Decision of 1857 and states' choice on the slavery issue, but failed to act decisively against the secessionist movement.3
As soon as Abraham Lincoln was elected as an antislavery Republican, Southern states began to secede. The issue of slavery divided the nation: north against south, brother against brother, Christian against Christian. The American Civil War broke out at Fort Sumpter, South Carolina on April 12, 1861. 4 President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 which freed slaves in Southern states and prepared the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery. 5 Lincoln was re-elected in 1864 but was assassinated only 43 days after taking office and five days after the Confederate surrender ended the war.6
The rail system was overtaking the canals and the Pony Express was being replaced by the telegraph. This influenced the war since it was the first time the rails were used to move military supplies and troops. Messages could be received from officers in record time. 7 After the war ended, there was "Reconstruction". With Abraham Lincoln's assassination in 1865, Andrew Johnson became president and was impeached in 1869. 8 President Andrew Johnson declared the Civil War over on May 10, 1865. Ulysses S. S. Grant was elected President and held the office from 1869—1877.9
Broome Republican Nov 13, 1890
Rev. J. D. Barnes performs funeral for 5 children in family.
Whooping cough, diphtheria, scarlet fever, and smallpox, (the most dangerous epidemic of death) ran wild wiping out entire families. Alongside all of these troubles there were four major depressions during the 1800's, the Panic of 1837, the Panic of 1857, the Panic of 1873 and the Panic of 1893. "Crop failures, drops in cotton prices, reckless railroad speculation, and sudden plunges in the stock market all came together at various times to send the growing American economy into chaos. The effects were often brutal, with millions of Americans losing jobs, farmers being forced off their land, and railroads, banks and other businesses going under for good."10
Through all of this, three great spiritual awakenings occurred in the 1800's. The Third Great Awakening began on September 23, 1857 in New York City and continued through 1858. 11 Perhaps Brother Maplesden of New York, mentioned in the text below, was touched by the power of God and felt led to help this fledgling church become established in Port Crane. This was the era of Dwight L. Moody (1837-1899), Cyrus Scofield (1843-1921), Hudson Taylor (1832-1905), Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892), Gipsy Smith (1860-1947), and 12 songwriters Ira D. Sankey (1840-1908), Philip Bliss (1838-1876), and Fanny Crosby (1820-1915) to name just a few. 13 God has always had a people and oftentimes uses adversity to bring souls to Himself. It is in times of great need that people turn to the Almighty God of All Creation and His Son, Jesus Christ.
Photo courtesy of Town of Fenton Historian
On March 24, 1860, a faithful group of 19 Christian believers came forth with great confidence in Christ their Savior to organize a church to serve the Lord in this small rural community of Port Crane. Meeting for worship in the schoolhouse under the leadership of W. Albium they were recognized as a church on June 6, 1860. The Reverend A. P. Merrill became its first Pastor.
On Saturday, June 23, 1860 the male members of the church met to elect three trustees of the Church and Society. At this meeting, presided over by N. B. Bunnell and George W. Randall, the following persons were elected as trustees: Ezeck Shear, Herman V. Waite and Ezra T. Hickox. On July 7, 1860, Messrs. Bunnell and Randall personally appeared before Justice of the Peace Ezra Hickox to present the legal paper containing the names of the elected trustees, to officially incorporate the First Baptist Church and Society of Port Crane.
Photo Meeting House: Copied 100th Anniversary Brochure
First Baptist Church, Binghamton, NY (1929)
Before Moving to Port Crane
Early in 1870, the First Baptist Church of Binghamton had need of a larger house of worship. Its church building, erected in 1831 on Chenango and Warren Streets, then the outskirts of the Village of Chenango Point, had a seating capacity of three hundred and fifty. Meanwhile, from their humble beginnings in a one room schoolhouse in the village of Port Crane those faithful few gathered in "Covenant Meetings" to renew their commitment to Christ and to each other; to worship, pray, and give of their earthly substance to build a house of worship in the village.
<--------Photo FBPC Archives
One of their prayers was answered in 1870 when the First Baptist Church and Society at Chenango Point sold their original building to the Port Crane congregation for $5,000.00. The church was disassembled, placed on a canal boat on the Chenango Canal and towed from Chenango Point in Binghamton to Port Crane where it was re-assembled on the corner of Canal and Park Street on a piece of property that was purchased for $6,000. The church at Port Crane was dedicated to the Lord's Service November 22, 1870.
Photo courtesy of Paul Youngs----->
Port Crane then had two churches -- our Baptist, and the Methodist Episcopal -- as well as two stores, the schoolhouse and a hotel. Being a canal village, boat building and repairing were important industries in this era. It also was a canal depot for considerable quantities of lumber. 14
<-------Photo courtesy of Town of Fenton Historian
From Town of Fenton Broome County, New York 1976 by Dorothy L. Benjamin
From these and related industries, and from farms in the outlying districts, the people laid aside their chores and commerce on Sunday and assembled to worship the one true God and gain strength by the preaching and teaching of the gospel and the prayer and fellowship of other believers.
Photo courtesy of Town of Fenton Historian
From Town of Fenton Broome County, New York
1976 by Dorothy L. Benjamin ------>
Cora and Henry Snow circa 1890
Photo Courtesy Audrey Youngs
Henry V. Waite was a charter member and in 1871 he recorded the fundamentals of the founding of the First Baptist Church and Society of Port Crane. It reads:
Click to view original-Use back button to return-Click image to enlarge
Top of Introduction
Port Crane Baptist Church.
BY H. V. WAITE.
"On the 24th of March, 1860 the Baptist Church, of Port
Crane, was organized. The meeting was held in the school
house, and the organization was composed of nineteen mem-
bers from the West Colesville Church. Their names were as
follows: E. T. Hickox, Harriet Hickox, H. V. Waite, Emily
Waite, N. B. Bunnell, Luna Bunnell, E. C. Bunnell, Harriet
Bunnell, D. W. Barner, Clarinda Barner, G. W. Randall, La-
vinia Randall, James Rider, Treat Palmatier, Eunice Randall,
Elizabeth Youngs, Lucy Holmes, Maria Carman and Philinda
At the first covenant meeting, H. V. Waite, was elected
clerk; E. T. Hickox and N. B. Bunnell, deacons. We were
recognized as a church on the 6th of June in the same year,
by a council composed of delegates from the Baptist churches
at Colesville, West Colesville, Windsor, Conklin, Bingham-
ton, Castle Creek and Whitney's Point. During the years
1860 and 1861, the Rev. A. P. Merrill preached to us a part
of the time. In 1863 Rev. L. Ransted preached for us one
half of the time. The Rev. H. A. Sherwood preached for us
a short time during the same year. Through the year 1864
we again had the services of Bro. Ransted, a part of the time.
From the close of the year 1864, until the first of May, 1869,
we had no regular supply, but had preaching occasionally, by
different ministers. Up to this time--May, 1869-- we never
had a pastor who lived with us. In May, 1869, Rev. H. Cor-
nell became our pastor, and has been with us since. Since
the organization of the church our changes have been as fol-
lows: Received by letter, 19; by baptism, 8; on experience,
2; dismissed by letter, 7; died, 5; present number, 33.
In May, 1870, after having made the necessary preparation
for building, we commenced the erection of our house of wor-
ship, which we were permitted to dedicate to the service of
Almighty God, on the 22d of November last. Our num-
ber being few, and the most of us possessing but little of
"this world's goods," it cost a severe struggle, having much
to contend with. Still we felt it was for the Lord and his
cause, and we were willing to do this for the upbuilding of
the Redeemer's Kingdom here in Port Crane. Our efforts in
this cause have given us strength, and we feel that God has
blessed us in this undertaking. We rejoice to say that by
the earnest efforts of our members and friends in the vicinity,
and a few from abroad. Our church property, which cost
about $5,000, is free from debt. And we would specially re-
member the kindness of Brother Maplesden, of New York,
who in so many other places, also, has aided in such worthy
Our meetings have generally been well attended, and the
covenant meeting has not been forgotten. At times clouds
have darkened our sky, and caused fears and doubts in the
minds of some. But we have found that the darker the cloud
the brighter has been the light that followed. Yes, "weeping
may endure for a time, but joy cometh in the morning."
Death has been among us and done his work. Five of our
number have answered His summons, and gone up higher.
And now, as we take a retrospective view of our church,
and see how kindly God has dealt with us, and what he has
brought us through, we can but thank him for his great good-
ness and his tender mercy, and feel that we have every reason
to take courage and press forward, for we shall find the prize
at the end of the race."
Pastors Who Served the First Baptist Church and Society of Port Crane
Top of Introduction
Years Served Pastor's Name & Family (If Known) 1 1860 - 1861 ( Part Time) Almeron P. Merrill 2 1863 (Part Time) L. Ransted 3 1864 (Short Term) H. A. Sherwood 4 1864 (Part Time) L. Ransted End 1864-May 1869 No pastor-Supply pastors and deacons did the work of the pastor. 5 May 1869 - April 1, 1872 H. Cornell 6 May 27, 1872 - April 30, 1873 G. W. Remington 7 May 1874- March 24, 1882 V. M. Seager 8 April 21, 1883- March 26, 1886 G. E. Flint 9 April 1887- April 21, 1888 C. J. Tucker 10 May 26, 1888 - March 1891 J. D. Barnes 11 June 1891- August 20, 1891 (Supply pastor) W. Villers 12 April 23, 1892 J. W. Cole 13 October 22, 1893 - November 23, 1895 Thomas Owen (Wife - Lizzie) 14 November 23, 1895 - March 27, 1897 George A. Plain 15 June 1897 (Temporary) Thomas Carter 16 October 1897-February 23, 1901 George Pope 17 March 1901 - March 1905 T. Pert Gates 18 April 1, 1905 O. D. Moore ( End Book of Records #1 - Book #2 lost) 19 January 1923 - February 1935 Russell A. Gates (Wife - Hazel) Begin Record Book #3 20 1936 R. W. Smith 21 January 1937 - June 15, 1939 J. Ray Baker 22 June 1939 - June 29, 1941 (Temporary) Robert Snyder 23 July 1941 - December 21, 1942 Halsey Morgan 24 January 1943 - Beyond April 1, 1944 Leroy Westbrook 25 June 1, 1946- 1951 Justin Dix (Wife: Ruth (Monell) Dix) - 1 son 26 March 1951 - June 30, 1971 David Braid (Wife: Dorothy - Children: Doreen & Dan) 27 September 7, 1971 - April 1975 Gary Linebaugh (Wife: Connie - Children: Jody, Phillip, Rebecca and Julia) 28 June 5, 1975 - July 1977 Herman Stahl (Wife: Barbara - Child: Steve) 29 December 1977 - July 29, 1985 Mark Smith (Wife: Nancy - Children: Mark, Kevin & Sarah) 30 August 1985 - January 23, 1989 Daniel Symonds (Wife: Iris - Children: Becky, Joy and Phillip) March 14, 1989 - July 29, 1989 (Interim) Gilbert Parker 31 July 30, 1989 - Present (2010) Daniel Baker (Wife: Nancy - Children: Rebecca, Joanna, Todd & Derek)
The congregation at First Baptist Church of Port Crane has always had a heartfelt affection for the house of worship they prayerfully cared for these past 150 years. The task set before them in 1860 was one to continue to this day and beyond. By God's grace, the work will continue until the return of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever." (Hebrews 13:8, KJV)
It is with this verse in mind, we celebrate our 150th Anniversary and with this document we hope to give you a glimpse of our past, our present, and our future hope. Our times are difficult, illness still exists, economies diminish and surge, wars are still going on, and sin continues to do its destruction, just as Jesus said it would. But, our hope and faith still holds. The victory is in Jesus Christ who never fails and causes us to be overcomers until He returns or calls us home.
Photo on left from 100th Anniversary Booklet of Binghamton church.
Left to right: Church as it stood in Binghamton, as it stood in Port Crane 1870, and as it looks today in 2010. Photos FBPC Archives
Back to Table of Contents
Church Window History and Early Members
A great deal was accomplished for the glory of God in the first 40 years and it took men and women of strong character and integrity to take on such a project of faith. The following information was obtained by Miss Marilyn Davis, a member of First Baptist Church of Port Crane for many years. Miss Marilyn, as she is fondly known by her students, has served as Junior Church leader, Choir member, Treasurer, and Church Clerk just to name some of her talents and service. Only eternity will reveal how many souls her dedication has influenced. We thank her for her thorough research regarding the early membership and the commemorative stained glass windows. Note: The word sexton is used often in early writings and is used to describe a person who is appointed to care for the church building and grounds. A duty in the 1800's would be to keep the fires, fill the oil lamps and do general maintenance. It was usually a paid position and sometimes included the responsibility of burying the deceased.
CHURCH WINDOWS REMINDERS
Compiled from Book of Records Nos. I and III of the First Baptist Church of Port Crane, Broome County, NY. This includes a short history of the people who are named on the windows of the First Baptist Church of Port Crane.
In Memory of (Windows)
Left to Right
Isaac & Elizabeth Winn & James Rider & Dau Vernie
David W. & Clarinda Barner Ethel B. Youngs
Herman V. & Emily Waite & Florence Bishop
Augustus Carman & Charles Carman
William H. Sherwood
Window Photos Taken 2009
In Memory of the Charter Members Port Crane Baptist Church
Ezra Hickox Harriet Hickox Henry V. Waite Emily Waite
N. B. Bunnell Launa Bunnell Harriet Bunnell
D. W. Barner Clarinda Barner
George W. Randall Lavinia Randall Eunice Randall James Rider
Treat Palmetier Elizabeth Youngs Philinda Hathaway
Maria Carman Lucy Holmes
(The name E. C. Bunnell, mentioned in the H. V. Waite History, is missing from the scroll-Reason unknown)
The first meeting was held March 24, 1860 in the school house and the organization was composed of twenty-one members from West Colesville Baptist Church. Eighteen of their names appear on the scroll in the vestibule. Most of these people are listed as attending the early meetings. They were recognized as a church June 6, 1860.
Among those who contributed on November 22, 1870 and paid to help build the Baptist House in Port Crane were H. V. Waite (probably Henry V. on the scroll), H. B. Bunnell, D. W. Barner, Mrs. Hathaway (probably Philinda), James Rider, Mrs. L. Randall (probably Lavinia), Isaac Winn, Elizabeth Winn, Ann Youngs, and George Randall.
H. V. Waite is probably the Henry V. on the scroll. Herman V. Waite was not a charter member; Henry V. Waite was shown as the first church clerk. His term of office ran through April of 1874. E. T. Hickox and N. B. Bunnell were the first deacons. Waite tried to resign as trustee in 1875. They voted against his resignation. H. V. Waite became trustee four times; 1860, 1862, 1871, and 1874. In July of 1875 H. V. Waite and James Rider built the Port Crane sheds. These were most likely horse sheds. On October 16, 1876, "Our loved and respected brother H. V. Waite passed away to a better land we trust. He was a faithful laborer in the cause and one of the constituent-Members (sic). May we profit by his example while we mourn our loss."
Dell Harper (probably Delphine) was one of the eleven on February 22, 1880 who related her Christian experience. She became a candidate for baptism.
William Sherwood was church clerk from January 22, 1887 to November 24, 1892 and again in 1896. He was elected deacon in 1900 and again in 1903. In 1905 he was treasurer. On January 24, 1896 he was on a committee of two from the church and one from West Colesville to raise money to pay for the baptistery.
Isaac Winn died October 13, 1904. On December 16, 1855 he requested a letter from the church for self, wife, son and daughter to unite with the Baptist Church in Greene. Then on March 16, 1892 he presented a letter for himself, wife and son from the Greene Baptist Church to again unite with the Port Crane church. He was a deacon in 1892. On January 21, 1893 James Rider and Isaac Winn were appointed to a committee to see about shingling the church. The minutes of October 22, 1904 include "Our hearts were sad for just a week before we had all been present as the body of our beloved brother Deacon Isaac Winn was laid in its last resting place. His spirit had gone home to his God in the house of many mansions. This was a great loss to us and yet we feel to rejoice for our brother who is now reaping the reward of a life well spent. Almost fifty years of service for God and yet his testimony has ever been "The Lord is good." And so even while our hearts are saddened we look up and rejoice for we feel there is just one more tie to bind us to heaven and our prayers go to God that he will raise up another man to fill this break in our ranks and that his work shall prosper here and that we who are left may be just such loyal soldiers as was our brother. Back to Meetings 1904
Elizabeth Winn died April 14, 1905. She was the Elizabeth Youngs on the scroll.
James Rider and Isaac Winn on January 22, 1861 were appointed to raise money to buy fuel. James Rider was trustee ten times between April 1868 and February 1897. He was treasurer in 1887 and 1900. He was sexton in 1879 and a deacon in 1881. On January 1, 1870 James Rider and H. V. Waite were part of a building committee to build a meeting house. In February of 1876 James Rider was appointed as part of a committee to get terms and cost of a house and lot for a parsonage. On June 24, 1881 Isaac Winn and James Rider were appointed to a committee to see that repairs were made and the church painted. On June 24, 1876 he was to attend to the repair of the belfry. On November 1, 1870 it was voted that James Rider should see the sexton and see if he could arrange to have fires built and the bell rung Wednesday evenings for the coming winter. On August 22, 1891 the subject of building a new parsonage was brought before the meeting. A vote was taken as to whether it should be placed on the church grounds. Rider was appointed to the committee to solicit funds. The question of buying a new carpet and chairs in place of the seats, twenty-two of which had been sold for $11.00, was discussed and after voting it was decided to do so. James Rider and Vernie Rider were appointed a committee to purchase the same. James Rider died June 25, 1900.
Photo (Vernie Rider) courtesy of Bruce Apgar Collection
James Rider's daughter Vernie Rider told her Christian experience. It was voted in May of 1876 to receive her as member after baptism.
David W. Barner: Between April 24, 1875 and April 27, 1895 he was sexton seven times. From January 26, 1889 to February 27, 1904 he was trustee seven times. A committee including James Rider and Barner was appointed to call on different merchants of the place and request them to close their stores during the meeting at 7:00. There was a series of meetings. This is from the December 26, 1891 minutes.Ezra T. Hickox was one of the first deacons. He was trustee in 1860, 1861, 1864, and 1868. On September 23, 1875 E. T. Hickox and Harriet were received by letter from the First Baptist Church of Binghamton. She died February 25, 1891 leaving $100.00 to the church. On October 18, 1876 instead of the usual covenant meeting, they met "in sorrow and sadness to pay our last respects to our beloved brother Hickox who united again after some years of absence."
Photos of Harriet Hickox's copy of Pilgrim's Progress - Copyright 1845. Photos Courtesy Bruce Apgar Collection
Clarinda Barner died February 3, 1896. She is shown listed under D. W. Barner as "DO" (Assume this means dependent of).
Ethel B. Youngs became church clerk January 27, 1900 and was still church clerk at the end of Book I on June 23, 1906. She died November 27, 1923.
Augustus Carman died January 2, 1902. On January 20, 1896 he related his experience and was received as a candidate for baptism as was Charles Carman who related his Christian experience. They joined the church February 2, 1896. Charles Carman's membership was dropped in June of 1906. In 1901 D. W. Barner and Charles Carman were appointed on a committee to take care of plastering the church.
On November 22, 1884 the Baptist Church of Union wished to know if there was any objection to N. B. Bunnell uniting with them. He was one of the first deacons on March 23, 1860. Harriet Bunnell is listed as "DO" under N. B. Bunnell. Luna Bunnell was one of the original ones to come from West Colesville. The March 21, 1885 minutes include "Since we last met Sister Bunnell has been called away by death. She was one of the constituent members of the church." She died February 24, 1885. There's a notation reading "Luna DO N. B. Bunnell."
Eunice Randall: the minutes of September 1878 show that since their last meeting two more of their number had gone to their rewards, one being Eunice Randall. She died in September 1878.
On February 23, 1888 they mourned the loss of Maria Carman who was a "sister who was wont to greet others in covenant meetings." She "quietly and hapily passed away last evening." She is most likely the Maria on the scroll.
Lucy Holmes requested and was granted a letter on February 21, 1863.
Sylvester Youngs was elected trustee in 1886, 1887, and 1898. There's nothing about Ann E. Youngs except on May 22, 1869 she is listed under Sylvester's name in the list of original members.
Lavinia Randall is listed as "DO" under G. W. Randall (most likely George W. Randall). George Randall did something for which a complaint was discharged and he remained a member as action was dropped October 4, 1862. It may have been lack of attendance.
A Mrs. Hathaway was dismissed by letter December 23, 1871. On July 25, 1874 a Mrs. Hathaway was received by letter from the Tioga Baptist Church in Pennsylvania. She died August 14, 1874. She is probably Philinda.
Treat Palmetier was given a letter of complaint February 23, 1861 for not keeping the church covenant. He was discharged on April 20, 1861. A traveling letter was granted to him. Ezra Hickox and N. B. Bunnell visited him as a committee. He died April 15, 1861. Note the discrepancy of dates.
There's not much about Herman and Emily Waite. He died October 26, 1876. She died April 27, 1905.
There's no mention of Florence Bishop other than her name appears on the church window.
These records are compiled from Book I and Book III. Book II is missing. Ethel B. Youngs was church clerk at the end of Book I and was likely church clerk in the beginning of the missing Book II.
Many of these people were elected as delegates to covenant meetings in other churches. A number of the above were also on what we now call pulpit committees.
—Marilyn S. Davis 1997 (Home to glory 3/3/2011).
Miss Marilyn Davis (Author/Researcher of Windows)
Photo Courtesy Barbara Eldred
Book II has never been found, however, contact with a descendant of the Rider family has proven very rewarding in making the associations between some of the early members. It has also been learned that on occasion an individual was known by two different first names.
For instance, Hiram A. Carman was also known as "Augustus Carman" according to an Abstract of Title in the Broome County Clerk's office, recorded April 23rd, 1904. Hiram A. (Augustus) Carman and Charles Carman were brothers. Hiram and Ella Carman had ten children and when Hiram passed, according to record in the Abstract of Title, seven of the younger Carman children were placed under the guardianship of Arthur Carman and Frank Hays. All but two of the seven children were teenagers. The remaining two were aged 7 and 9.
Many years later, Ella married William Bunzey and reared his youngest child living at home, Cecil. It is recorded in a Journal written by Christine S. Kark titled, I Remember Aunt Cecil Bunzey Peters, "Some years later Will Bunzey married a widow, Ella Carman, with ten children all grown up but two. Cecil was then in the care of her step-mother until she grew up and left the home next. Her step-mother was a fine, loving woman and did much to help Cecil grow up to be a good Christian." Christine S. Kark is a descendant-in-law of Charter Member Elizabeth (Youngs) Winn and granddaughter of William Bunzey.
Ezra (Thompson) Hickox and his wife Harriet (Pierce) Hickox had a daughter Harriet Louisa who married Hiram Goodrich McDaniel, Jr. They had a daughter Florence Hickox McDaniel who married William Rider, son of Founder James Rider. Both James and William held many positions in FBPC.
James married Phoebe Andrews and they had William, Vernie, Bessie, Cora and Rosabel who became a missionary. Rosabel attended Baptist Missionary Training School in 1906 and served the Lord faithfully for 14 years in Virginia. She is buried in the Port Crane cemetery with other family members. William held many positions in FBPC as did his father, James. Phoebe Andrews' father, Samuel Andrews, was one of the original settlers of this area and set up a mill in 1832 called the Shear Mill. 15
Photos courtesy of Bruce Apgar Collection & http://chicagopc.info/religious__schools.htm Rosabel Rider—Baptist Missionary Training School—Rosabel's Headstone in Port Crane Cemetery
Click to view Rose Rider's Obituary Notice
More Information on Rosabel - Our Witness to the World
The following are all in PDF format. Use back button to return to this document.
James Rider's sister, Ann, married Simon Winn and they had a son Isaac. Isaac Winn married Elizabeth Youngs and their daughter Harriet, married Clifford Kark. Clifford and Harriet are the parents of Raymond Kark, who will be mentioned later in the 1940-1951 era and afterward along with his wife Christine.
Pictured below is Clifford Kark as a young man, Clifford Kark and Harriet Winn on their wedding day and on their 50th wedding anniversary.
Photos courtesy of Bruce Apgar Collection & Kark Family Album
It may be possible that Herman V. Waite and Henry V. Waite is the same person. Herman V. Waite was elected Town of Fenton Clerk in the spring of 1856. 16 Many descendants of these first 19 members still live in the area.
List of Members in the Baptist Church of Port Crane
Organized March 24th 1860
(Ed. note: DO stands for "Dependent Of".)
1860 March 24 E. T. Hickox United by letter Died Oct. 1876 Letters granted April 23, 1870 " Harriet Hickox " " H. V. Waite Died Oct. 26, 1876 " Emily Waite " N. B. Bunnell " Luna, DO Died Feb 24, 1885 " E. C. , DO " Harriet Bunnell " D. W. Barner " Clarinda Barner Died Feby 3rd 1896 H. H. S.C. " G. W. Randall " Lavina, DO " James Rider " Treat Palmitier Died April 15, 1861 " Eunice Randall " Elizabeth Young " Lucy Holmes A letter granted Feb. 21, 1863 " Maria Carman " Philinda Hathaway Dismissed by letter Dec. 23, 1871 Dec 1 Sarah Shear By Letter Caroline Young " Died July 16,1898 1862 July 27 Oliver Guernsey Morse By Baptism Deceased Apr 19,1886 Mahala Morse By " Died Jan 29, 1870 Alma Stone " " Dismissed by letter May 27, 1871 1865 May 27 A. Cleveland Letter granted March 23, 1867 " Adaline Cleveland " " Ann Barnett March 21, 1868 Susan Roberts By letter from Baptist Church of Colesville April 25, 1868 Mrs. Cornelia Henrie Recd by letter from the Second Baptist
Church of Syracuse
Deceased Jany 1869 July 5, 1868 Elizabeth Bunnel -- Dart By Baptism DO Ann Eliza Young By Baptism May 22, 1869 By Experience W. D. Roberts Dismist by Letter Mch 23, 1872 July 24 Mrs. Young Sept. 25, 1869 H. Cornell, Sr. Received by Letter
Church of Summit (Schoharie Co.), NY
Dismist by letter 1872 Mch 23 " His Wife Received by Letter
Church of Summit (Schoharie Co.), NY
Died 1871 May 26 Encludea, 1874 Apr 25 Emma Cornell Oct. 24 1869 by letter Phebe Shear From Colesville Baptist Ch Rec'd. 1869 Dec 5. Malissa Roberts by Baptism Dismist by letter 1872 Mch 23 Rec'd 1870 March 26 Isaac Winn by letter from West Colesville Ch Rec'd 1870 July 23 Sarah Wheeler by letter from 1st Colesvill Ch Recd. August 27 John C. Cornell from first Baptist Church of Summit Ny Recd. Oct. 27/70 Don Jeffers & Georgiana His Wife From the Baptist Church Whitney Point Dropped July 26, 1873 Recd Jany 1 1871 Silas June By Baptism Jany 1 S. S. Cornell " DO 1872 John Martin By letter Letters of dismissal Jan 24, 1874 March 23 Katie Martin " " July 27 Rev. G. W. Remington From Delaware P Baptist Church Dismissed by letter March 21, 1874 " His Wife Caroline " " By Baptism
Silva Bunnell " Ellen Winn " Elizabeth Wayman By Baptism
Julia Rider " Sarah Porter Nov. 23, 1872 by letter Daniel Martin From Colesville Church " Polly Martin " Jany 25, 1873 R. B. Godfrey and his wife Mary Godfrey Received from Cedar Creek Tenn Hamblin Co. Dismissed by letter June 21, 1873
In those early days, travel was difficult and many people married within the community or nearby communities. As you read through this document, you will notice many times sisters, brothers, children, and cousins will become leaders within the local community church. Cemeteries reflect how the mutually dependent families stayed together. In the 21st century it has become customary for people to drive further to attend church, therefore, families are often split and do not depend upon one another for basic necessities.Daniel Hickox - Pictured Left — Harriet L. (Hickox) McDaniel & neighbor Esther Peterson - Right
Photo below (Mahala Goodnow Morse 1866) courtesy of Joel Scott, Genealogist Hillcrest, NY (added 1/2013) Mahala Goodnow Morse born May 23, 1799 in Bolton Mass. Died Jan. 29, 1879 Buried in Port Crane Cemetery, Port Crane, NY. Married Oliver Morse, Jr. on July 28, 1829 in New Salem Mass. Child: Oliver G. Morse, M. Alma Stone, Asaph Morse, Justin Morse, Marshall Morse, Linus Morse, Justis Elmer Morse
For the sake of those who may be tracing their ancestry, we have listed all the names of the people who contributed to the building/erecting of the House of Worship in Port Crane.
Names of those that contributed and paid
to help Build the Baptis (sic) house in Port Crane
and the amount Each paid Set oposite (sic)their Names
Erected and Dedicated Nov. 22, 1870.
cts Isaac Allerton
Mrs. L. Hunt
N. B. Bunnell
J. M. Johnson
E. C. Bunnell
Jon Jeffers & Wife
D. W. Barner
Calvin Langden & Wife
Rev. A. Merrill
Chapman & Martin
F. W. Martin
C. T. Porter
75 H. C. Matthews
I. F. McDaniel
J. A. Congdon
J. C. Cornell
S. S. Cornell
Rev. H. Cornell
M. B. Osborn
L. A. Davis & Booth
A. L. Davis
Wes (illegible) Randal
W. D. Roberts
N. F. Everette
E. D. Robinson
A. A. Farnam
E & E Rider
W. J. Houghston
P. W. Hopkins
Mrs. J. Rider
Mrs. Doct (illegible)Roberts
J. D. Hunt
J. E. Young
L. B. Smith
John L. Young
Mrs. E. Shear
L. C. Terry
Mary J. Young
W. E. Taylor
Sam Morris Bell
H. V. Waite
J. E. Waite
Rev. L. Wright
Geo W. Randall
No mention was made of anything other than the election of officers and the routine handling of business for the first decade. The following four entries were made noting the appointing of a Building Committee and the first mention of the use of the new church building on Dec 23, 1871. Although H. V. Waite was Church Clerk, none of the following entries were signed except for the Annual Meeting note. There was no record of the actual arrival of the church from Binghamton nor any mention made of the construction of the church. Other than an occasional mention of new members and dismissals or transfers by letter, the meeting minutes were kept very brief and to the point. The Baptist Church at Port Crane was a member of the Broome and Tioga Baptist Association and sent delegates to attend meetings.
Click to view 1873 Broome & Tioga Baptist Association 50th Anniversary Program
Pictured below is A. E. Weed and his wife Jane A. Both pictures were in the same family album. Dea (sic) Weed is mentioned in the above table of people who contributed to and helped build the original church. No mention is made of an A. D. Weed. It is quite possible that he is the one referred to as Dea Weed or Bro. Weed in church records. Dea Weed was the church clerk and held other positions in the original church. Jane. A. Weed's name appears in the 1900 roll with the note "Died".
Photos courtesy of Bruce Apgar Collection
Entries taken from original Board Meeting Minutes:
"Jany 1, 1870 H V Waite James Rider and Eseck Shear appointed Building Committee to Build a Meeting House."
"Feby 26, 1870 N.B. Bunnell Isaac Winn and W. D. Roberts appointed Ministerial Committee for Ensuing year."
"At The Annual Meeting of the Baptist Church & Society of Port Crane held April 23, 1870 James Rider was Elected Trustee for three years. adjourned til the Saturday befour the fourth Sabbath in April 1871.
H. Cornell, Chman
H. V. Waite Clerk"
"Dec 23, 1871, Met in Covenant Meeting at the Session Room of the Baptist Church of Port Crane. Rev H. Cornell Resigned his Pastorial Care of the Said Church and Excepted to take effect the first of April 1872."
Photo FBPC Archives -Note sheds in back on right.
Builders of Church Sheds (for horses) -- July 1875
H. V. Waite
Geo W. Randall
Some of the more noteworthy remarks found in the remainder of Record Book 1 follow:
Passing of Brother Hickox:
"October 18, 1876
Instead of our usual Covenant Meeting, we met in sorrow and sadness to pay our last respects to our loved Brother Hickox who united with us again after some years absence last covenant meeting -- An excellent sermon was preached by his former Pastor Eld. L. Wright D. D. of Binghamton from these words “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.”
Photo of Rev. Seagers Courtesy Bruce Apgar Collection
Rev. Elder Seagers Remains:
Met in covenant meeting, had a very interesting meeting. The business transacted was to see whether the church wished Eld. Seagers to remain with us. Bros. Osborn & Smith were present. This church voted unanimously to have him remaine if the amount of subscription could be raised. Dec. no meeting. Eld. V. M. Seagers is very sick. S. June"
Passing of Brother H. V. Waite:
"October 23, 1876
Our loved and respected brother H. V. Waite passed away to a better land we trust. He was a faithful laborer in the cause. One of the constituent Members, may we profit by his example while we mourn his loss." (Silas June, Church Clerk)
Pictured below is Henry V. Waite as a young man and Emily Waite. Both pictures were in the same family album. It is supposed that Allie is actually Emily Waite, Henry's wife. Reverend Elder Seager's wife is pictured to the right.
Photos courtesy of Bruce Apgar Collection
Ordination of Rev. C. J. Tucker - August 23, 1884
"Pursuant to a special invitation made by this church to the several Baptist Churches Viz-Binghamton, Castle Creek, Port Dickinson, Norwich, Greene, Union and Maine to send their Pastors and Delegates to meet in council for the purpose of examining and determining the propriety of setting apart to the work of the Gospel Ministry our Pastor Elect Bro. C. J. Tucker.
Such council convened this 23rd day of August 1884 at 10:30 O'clock A.M. Delegates from the following churches were present --Binghamton, Greene, Union, Castle Creek, Port Dickinson, West Colesville, and Maine.
Rev. H. W. Barnes of Binghamton was chosen Chairman and Rev. J. D. Barnes of Port Dickinson Clerk of the Council. Prayer was offered by W. L. Benedict of Greene--after which the Delegates were invited to take the front seats.
Upon motion, Dea W. H. Maynard of Hamilton was invited to take a seat with the delegates. After singing by the Choir, the Clerk of the church introduced Bro. C. J. Tucker to the council--who was carefully examined--First as to his Christian experience--Secondly as to his call to the Gospel Ministry and Last as to his knowledge and belief in Bible doctrine.
After such examination, the audience was discussed and the council voted their approval of his statements. And their willingness to proceed with his ordination. Dr. W. H. Maynard of Madison University was invited to preach the ordination sermon. Brother James Nobbs of Union to make the ordination prayer. For the laying on of hands Bro. H. W. Barnes and Dr. Maynard--Bro. V. N. Seager to give the hand of fellowship--Bro. W. L. Benedict to give the charge to the candidate--Bro. J. D. Barnes to give the address to the church. After which the council adjourned to meet again at 1:30 O'clock.
At 1:30 O'clock. The council again convened after singing by the choir. Bro. A. W. Cole of Castle Creek read a portion of the 20th chapter of Numbers. Prayer was offered by Bro. Lomer Pastor of the Methodist Church and then the Ordination Sermon by Dr. Maynard, his subject being The Courage of Patience.
The Ordination prayer was made by Bro. James Nobbs. Charge to the Pastor elect by Bro. Benedict and to the church by Bro. J. D. Barnes. After which a collection was taken for the benefit of the church and the council adjourned Sine Die.
Wm. H. Sherwood, Church Clerk"
May 23d, 1885
Covenant Meeting. All seemed to enjoy it. Twenty one present. Motion made and Seconded to see how many favored the removal of the Singers from the Gallery to an Orchestra below. Carried in favor of the removal. Committee appointed to decide upon the location of the Orchestra. Decided that it be located at the left of desk. Deferred business relating to the Association until some future time. (W. M. Weed, Church Clerk)
Plans for a Parsonage
"August 22, 1891
Bro. Villers present and took charge of the meeting. 23 Present-after the usual covenant meeting services a business meeting was held. Bro James Rider as Chairman. Bro Villers and wife presented their letter to the church which was read, voted on and accepted. Bro. Villers then requested the church to grant him a license to preach the Gospel, which was voted on and granted. The subject of building a new Parsonage was next brought before the meeting. Bro. Villers presented a plan and after some discussion a vote was taken whether it should be placed on the church ground or not. Which resulted in a vote for the affirmative. It was then voted to build Parsonage providing a sufficient amount of funds can be raised. That it is thought advisable by the church to take such a step, Bro. Villers and Bro. James Rider was appointed a committee to solicit such funds.
W. H. Sherwood, Church Clerk"
Bro. W. Villers tendered his resignation August 30th, 1891. Voted on and accepted the following sabbath Septe. 26th, 1891"
Editor's Note: It is unclear whether plans for a parsonage proceeded from this meeting. Book 2 is missing and the next mention we could find regarding a parsonage was the purchase of a home on Park Street in 1943. If anyone has further information, please let us know.
Evidence of their great spirituality
"May 25, 1895
Nine were present Enough to claim the promise of the presence of the Master. The meeting was spiritual and the scripture reading was the 13 chap of 1 Corinthians. By the pastor who then offered prayer. One mind one spirit one purpose. As we could say One Lord one faith one baptism so with this Lord we covenanted anew. The Lord’s supper by previous appointment was celebrated in the quiet and stillness of that upper room where our Lord and his own disciples ate and drank in His divine presence.
We believe our Lord was with us in the spirit and power of His love. Minutes of the last meeting read and approved we had a nice conference informal in talking over the affairs of our church.
Pastors salary was fixed at $250.00
$220 was reported as on the subscriptions list
Delegates were appointed to attend the associational meeting to be held at Owego the middle of June. Miss Rosabel Rider and Mr. James Rider with Pastor and wife were appointed. W. S. Winn, Ch Clerk"
Pictures below were developed from glass slides by Paul Youngs. These are part of a collection of church photos taken by a Youngs family member in the late 1800's and early 1900's. The middle photo must have been taken before the 1901 remodel while the church was still white and the door was centered. We are grateful for Paul's contribution and his work on the slides.
A baptism in the Chenango River - A church group - A man with his Bible circa late 1800's
Planning of the Baptistery -- Reminder, until this time baptism was performed in the Chenango River.
"December 21, 1895Candidates for Baptism
Twenty five present at covenant meeting. Rev. G. A. Plain took charge of the meeting in which a good spiritual time was enjoyed by all.
It was voted to hold union meetings Bro. Willis and Miller taking charge of the same, also that the Lords supper be administered on the Sabbath day instead of at Covenant meeting.
Rev. G. A. Plain suggested that the church put in a baptistery.
Bro. Miller then gave us the plan and estimate of the expense for putting it in which was thought not to exceed $25.00. A vote was then taken and unanimously carried to put in the baptistery.
W. S. Winn
"Jan 20, 1896
A meeting was held in the church led by Bro. Plain. Meeting was opened by singing and prayer. Also the covenant was read and a short talk by Bro. Plain after which the following related their experience and were received as candidates for baptism.
Agustus Carman Clara Moak Geo. Harper Charles Carman Mertie Dart Edward Shaw Howard Youngs Suzie Plain Charles Dawson Joe Lake Berton Carman Alfred Lott Bert Angle Frank Williams Mernel Youngs Elmer Morse
Also Tracy Youngs and Mrs. Joe Lake were received on their experience to become full members after having received the right hand of fellowship having been baptized before.
W. S. Winn
Paying for the Baptistery
"Port Crane, NY January 24th 1896 The annual meeting of the First Baptist Church was held in the main part of the church. Rev. G. A. Plain was chosen chairman after which the following officers were elected H. H. Sherwood, Clerk for one year. W. F. Everett Society Trustee & Edward Everett Treasurer for one year.
Photo courtesy of Bruce Apgar Collection
Ed Everett, James Rider's Son-In-Law (Bessie's husband)
A committee of two from this church and one from the West Colesville Church was chosen to raise money to pay for the Baptistery. (as follows Walter Winn & Wm Sherwood for this church & Bro. Kark for West Colesville.)
The business meeting was then adjourned by motion for one year. The regular Covenant meeting was called at two o’clock. Member present was twenty five Rev. G. A. Plain took charge after a season of Prayer & reading of the covenant the following gave their experience and was received as candidates for Baptism: Harry Youngs, Elva Youngs, Mable Williams, Florence Miller, Libbie Youngs
A collection was taken for the purpose of getting a supply of church manuals to be given to the members of the church. Amount 74 cents.
H. H. Sherwood
Editor's Note: This is the first recording of anyone baptized in the new baptistery.
up1Answers.com. Common School Movement." Resistance to Common Schools Education Encyclopedia. 5 Apr. 2010 <http://www.answers.com/topic/common-school-movement>
up2WWW.WHITEHOUSE.GOV " James Buchanan 1857-1861." 2 Apr. 2010
up3Wikipedia.com " James Buchanan Presidency 1857-1861." 2 April 2010
up4Bragdon, Henry &McCutchen, Samuel P. History of a Free People (The Macmillan Company, 1960), 321.
up5Bragdon, Henry &McCutchen, Samuel P. History of a Free People (The Macmillan Company, 1960), 7.
up6Bragdon, Henry &McCutchen, Samuel P. History of a Free People (The Macmillan Company, 1960), 340.
up7Bragdon, Henry &McCutchen, Samuel P. History of a Free People (The Macmillan Company, 1960), 347.
up8Bragdon, Henry &McCutchen, Samuel P. History of a Free People (The Macmillan Company, 1960), 351.
up9WWW.WHITEHOUSE.GOV "Ulysses S. Grant (1869-1877)." 2 Apr. 2010 <http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/ulyssessgrant>
up10About.com 19th Century History The Gilded Age." Financial Panics of the 19th Century <http://history1800s.about.com/od/thegildedage/The_Gilded_Age.htm>
up11Smithworks.org The Great Awakening of 1857-1858. Fulton Street and The Revival 19 June 2010- Sorry this site has been disabled.
up12Wholesome Words Christian Biography Resources." 7 April 2010 <http://www.wholesomewords.org/biography/bio.html>
up13The Cyber Hymnal The Cyber Hymnal 7 April 2010 <http://www.hymntime.com/tch/index.htm>
up14History of Fenton, New York History of Fenton, New York 7 April 2009 <http://history.rays-place.com/ny/fenton-ny.htm>
up15History of Fenton, New York History of Fenton, New York 7 April 2009 <http://history.rays-place.com/ny/fenton-ny.htm>
up16History of Fenton, New York History of Fenton, New York 7 April 2009 <http://history.rays-place.com/ny/fenton-ny.htm>
No generation goes unscathed by the evil in the world. Except for the Christian, none could live free from daily fear of the major circumstances engulfing this world from 1900 through 1949. But our little church grew and endured both war and conflict.
The early part of this century was marked by what seemed a lengthy and prosperous period of economic growth. The panic of 1893 was over and technological innovations multiplied through the 1920's. With growth of industry came laws that sought to improve living and working conditions, including child labor laws. Company profits soared and with low interest rates, investors poured money into the stock market. "On October 24, 1929 the stock market crashed, banks closed and the country stayed in a depression that lasted through most of the thirties."17
"Nearly nineteen million immigrants came to our shores between 1890 and 1921," looking for opportunity and freedom leading to a population explosion and the first restrictions on immigration. Many came as Europe erupted in World War I in 1914. Four years later, on November 11, 1918, an armistice was declared ending the war. Having suffering many casualties in this war to end all wars, "the United States withdrew from European affairs."18Realignment of political powers in the world, famine and disease also affected millions. "The Spanish Flu killed an estimated 50 to 100 million people" in 1918 and sickened millions more worldwide.19
To help pay for the war effort new government ministries and powers were created, new taxes were levied, new laws enacted which greatly expanded the role of government. Other consequences of the war affected families as women were constrained to enter the workplace to replace laborers who were away at war or who had died or were disabled. This eventually became part of the struggle for voting rights for women. 20
In 1928 Herbert Hoover was elected President of the United States, followed by Franklin D. Roosevelt who was elected in 1932 and re-elected in 1936.21 To add to the suffering of the Great Depression, the nation endured the Dust Bowl of the thirties. "Black Blizzards" carried mid-western topsoil as far as New York City and Boston.22 Then floods raged through much of the country, including central New York in 1935. That Labor Day a hurricane struck the East Coast—still one of the strongest on record.23
The church suffered conflict and division in the 1920's and 1930's. Many church denominations and seminaries embraced theological liberalism and began preaching the "social gospel" instead of the biblical doctrines of man's sin and the necessity of the virgin birth of Jesus Christ, His death on the cross, His burial and resurrection from the dead.24
The 1925 Scopes "Monkey" Trial was a nationwide controversy that widened the chasm between fundamentalists and modernists, creationists and evolutionists, which led to change not only in churches but in public education. 25
BUT God was also shaping people's lives in the following ways:
The Lord saved, sobered and filled with His Spirit, William Ashley "Billy" Sunday, a drunken baseball player.
"In 1891, he left baseball to enter full-time Christian work, first at Chicago's YMCA, and then working for itinerant evangelists. He held his first independent crusade in Garner, Iowa in 1896, beginning a career which spanned five decades." He preached in World War I army camps as well as cities all across America. Over 2,300,000 people attended one meeting in Philadelphia over a period of eight weeks.26
Photo R. A. Torrey from Wholesome Words.org
God also used Martin R. DeHaan (Radio Bible Class and Our Daily Bread), Henry A. Ironside (author, commentator, teacher), Rodney Gypsy Smith (evangelist), and until 1910 R. A. Torrey, a prolific Christian author and evangelist. Rev. Cyrus Scofield published the famous Scofield Reference Bible in 1909 after seven years of labor.27
From 1901 until 1939 the church remained stable and a tower of strength in the community. January 7, 1927 was the first mention of indebtedness with a balance due on a mortgage of $3,500.00. Prior to this, all improvements were done by subscription and monies were collected prior to making improvements. Most of the people listed on the church roll of 1924 served in some capacity as Deacon, Clerk, Treasurer, Trustee, Deaconess, Organist or head of the Sunday School Department.
In 1937 revival meetings were held with James O. Smith from November 28th until December 12. This was called the Union Revival Campaign and the meetings were blessed with 10 converts. In 1938 a coal furnace was still in use and 5 tons of insulation was placed in the ceiling. That year plans were made to replace the furnace with a New Holland oil furnace for $400 which was borrowed from Marine Midland bank. The men and boys did the work of excavating the basement in preparation for the new furnace. In 1940, the church was still a member of and attended the Broome/Tioga Baptist Association.
Photo FBPC - Taken 2009
(Portion of fresco seen in attic)
1901 - Frescoe Painted Around Ceiling of the House of Worship. - This began near the balcony, extended around the church and ended on the other end of the balcony on the other side.
Seventh meeting--Aug. 24th…Eleven members present--Meeting conducted by Deacon Sherwood.
Business--Dr. Tiffany brought in the report of the roof committee which showed
Total amount subscribed $118.75
Total Expense $109.19
Surplus money above all expenses $9.56
His report was accepted, but it was decided to hold the committee until all the collecting should be done.
A note of thanks was then tendered to Dr. Tiffany and Rev. Mr. Oates.
After some discussion it was moved and carried that the money now in Dr. Tiffany's hands be paid over to L. A. S. for repairs with the understanding that they will pay from their treasury, an equal amount to the sexton.
Photos FBPC Archives
Repairs to roof and edifice -- 1901
"The usual monthly Covenant Meeting of the Port Crane Baptist Church was held Nov. 23d…1901.
There were 13 members present. After a scripture lesson from John 17, read by Mrs. M. Youngs, Deacon Isaac Winn took charge of the meeting which was one of interest and help to all.
In the business meeting which was held immediately after the Covenant Meeting, Mr. Everett reminded us that we were in arrears on the insurance and the sexton's salary, also that we needed some coal. It was decided to raise the money by subscription, but 'twas thought best not to do anything about it in the meeting.
Dr. Tiffany brought in a report of the work and expenses on the interior of the church edifice, showing an expenditure of $21.17 and the amount raised for this purpose as being $21.20, therefore, we are out of debt and ought to be thankful.
A note of thanks was given to Isaac Winn for his work and also one for Dr. and Mrs. Tiffany for their kindness and faithfulness in working for the church.
The meeting was then adjourned.Mrs. M. A. Youngs, Clerk
Editor's note: Regarding changes to the roof: The original steeple was struck by lightning. Photographs show the changes made to the building.)Covenant Meetings of 1904
Ladies Hats & Umbrellas -- "February 27, 1904...[a suggestion was made to trim the shade trees in front of the church so they would not interfere with the hats and umbrellas of persons passing under the trees. Mirnell Youngs was authorized to do this work....Ethel B. Youngs, Church Clerk"]
October 22nd Meeting "The usual Covenant Meeting was held October 22nd...There were nine present at this meeting which was lead by Deacon Sherwood. The Scripture lesson was from the 3...& 4...chapters of Malachi.
In the business meeting Brother Sherwood said he had a chance to let the $100.00 (The interest of which was left to the church by Mrs. Hickox) to Wm...Bunzey; and asked if the church desired him to do so; after talking the matter over it was decided to let Mr. Bunzey have it at 6% provided he gives us good security.
In the covenant Meeting we had a letter from Sister Rose Rider and weekly calendar from the Cedar Avenue Baptist Church saying that she was welcomed there upon our recommendation, and we all unite in sending a greeting to our dear sister there.
We discussed the question of a pastor, and decided that if the Colesville church were willing we would call Mr. Earnest Hughes of Port Dickinson (who has been recommended to us by his pastor Rev. T. Pert Gates) to come to us for a trial.
Several other matters were discussed among them the question of what ought to be done with the members who seem to have forgotten their duties, but no action was taken.Diphtheria outbreak - Church Closed "No meeting in December; on account of Diphtheria our church was closed by the Health Officer."
Ethel B. Youngs -- Clerk
The insurance was paid Oct. 5th...1904."
Final Entry in Book 1
"June 23d…1906 The Port Crane Baptist Church voted to withdraw the right hand of fellowship from those members who refuse to aid in the support of the church and its work and ordinances, and who refused to respond to their names at the Roll Call of May 26th…1906
For account of proceedings see Minutes for April 21st…; 29th…,May 26th…& June 23d…1906 in Book II of Church Records."
Regrettably Book II has been lost.
Baptist Church Roll June 1900
Baptist Church Roll June 1900 (1) 1. David Barner 2. Emily Waite Died Apr. 27th...1905 3. Elizabeth Dart Dismissed by letter Feb. 25th...1905 4. Jane A. Weed Died 5. Phoebe Shear Died Dec. 12th...1901 6. Alma Stone James Rider Died June 25th...1900 7. Rosabel Rider Dismissed by letter April 23rd...1910 8. Emma Rider Dropped June 23d...1906 9. Emily Rider " 10. Ellen Rider 11. Rosa Etta Rider Dropped June 23d...1906 12. George Randall Died 13. Lavina Randall Died 14. Loretta Warner 15. Sarah Shaw Dropped June 23d...1906 16. Ann E. Youngs 17. Ella Carman Bunzey 18. Ernest Porter Died 19. William Sherwood 20. Julia Sherwood 21. Harvey Sherwood Granted letter Jan. 24th...1903 22. Mattie Sherwood " 23. Edward Everett Died December 14th...1904 24. Bessie Everett Mc...Fetrich 25. Esther Farrington 26. Cora T. Andrews Dismissed by letter July 21st...1900 27. George Youngs Dropped June 23d...1906 28. Julia Youngs 29. Delphine Harper 30. Mirnell Youngs 31. Ethel Youngs 32. Elva Harris 33. Howard Youngs Dropped June 23d...1906 34. Frank Porter 35. Candace Porter 36. Sylvester Snow Dropped June 23d...1900 37. Elizabeth Snow 38. Brewster Weed 39. Avery Moak 40. Clara Moak
Baptist Church Roll June 1900 (2) 41. Isaac Winn Died Oct. 13th...1904 42. Elizabeth Winn Died Apr. 14th...1905 43. Marquis L. Hickox Dropped June 23d...1906 44. Charity Mowry 45. Elizabeth Budfinch Died April 18th...1903 46. Almira Miller Dropped June 23d...1906 47. Harry Youngs Dismissed by letter Feb. 25th...1905 48. Mertie Youngs " 49. Lester Miller Dropped June 23d...1906 50. Ida Miller " 51. Florence Mowry " 52. Anna Carman 53. Charles Carman Dropped June 23d...1906 54. Eva Shaw Dismissed by letter Aug. 20th...1900 55. Edwin Shaw Dropped June 23d...1906 56. Joseph Lake " 57. Mary Lake " 58. Augustine Carman Died Jan. 2nd...1902 59. Arthur Carman 60. Bert Carman Dropped June 23r...1906 61. Bert Engle Died June 23d...1900 62. Bertha Harper Dropped June 26th...1907 63. Libbie Youngs Buchannan Dismissed by letter Feb.3d...1906 64. Alfred Lott Dropped June 23d...1906 65. Mrs. Alfred Lott " 66. Bessie Porter 67. George Marvin Dropped June 23d...1906 68. Mrs. George Marvin " 69. Arthur Smith " 70. Lizzie Smith Granted letter Nov. 20th...1927 71. Earl Barner Dismissed by letter Dec. 20th...1905 72. Elyna Hinckley Dismissed by letter June 27th...1903 73. (illegible) 74. Florence Webb Jones By Baptism - Sept. 1901 75. Rev. O. D. Moore By letter Apr. 22nd...1905 76. Ida M. West By baptism May 28th...1905 77. Ossie E. West By baptism May 28th...1905 78. William Hunniston By baptism Aug. 6th...1905 79. Estella Hunniston " 80. Julia Crissell By baptism Sept. 13th...1905
Left to Right: Sylvester & Anne Youngs Family (Date unknown: late 1800's, all names on roll above except Sylvester who must have passed before 1900 as "Sylvester Youngs was elected trustee in 1886, 1887, and 1898.")—Anne Youngs in Later Life— Youngs Family Reunion in 1912. (Photos Courtesy of the Youngs Family)
Pictured below are photos of the interior of the church sometime between 1900 and 1927. The hanging oil lamps suggest these were taken before the electricity was added to the church. It is curious there are so many palms and this may suggest these photos were taken on Palm Sunday or perhaps when the church remodeling was dedicated in 1901. Another observation is the absence of the stained glass window to the right which was added in the 1924 remodeling. In the center photograph, it appears the pulpit was directly in front of the crossed palms hanging on the wall.
Photos courtesy of Youngs Family Collection
Record Book No.3
Our journey continues on May 25th, 1924 with the next entry in Record Book III. It is an important chapter in the life the little country church because electricity was brought to various outlying towns in Broome County between 1925 and 1927. According to records in the North Fenton Methodist Church, North Fenton obtained electric wiring in 1927. It is not documented when electricity was actually installed in the First Baptist Church of Port Crane, but a huge remodeling effort was completed in 1923-1924. No record has been found of this project. Unfortunately, this may have been recorded in the lost Record Book II.
Pastors of the church in this record book are as follows:
- Russell A. Gates (1/1923 - 2/1935)
- R. W. Smith (1936)
- J. Ray Baker (1/1937-6/1939)
- Robert Snyder (6/1939-6/1941) & (7/1941-12/1942)
- Leroy Westbrook (1/1943-beyond 4/1944)
- Justin Dix (6/1946 - 1951)
A new cast of servants are recorded throughout these years as the older folks passed on to their eternal reward and the tasks were taken on by the younger people in the congregation.
Record Book III begins with a Church Membership Roll dated 1918.
It is as follows and is added for those who are seeking information in their family genealogy.
Church Roll - 1918
Resident Members Non-Resident Members List of Absent Members who are non-supporters of the church. 1. Wm. H. Sherwood - Died, Dec. 1923 1. Mrs. Ann E. Youngs - Died 1. Mrs. Sylvester Snow - Died 2. Mrs. Wm Sherwood 2. Arthur L. Carman 25 W. Main St. Gowanda,NY 2. Bessie Porter Lamphere 3. Miss Ellen Rider - Died 3. Ida M. West - Died 3. Mrs. Arthur Smith - Dismissed letter 4. Mrs. Loretta Warner-Died 4. Theodore Sherwood - Died 4. Mrs. Freeman Lott 5. Mrs. Wm. Bunzey - Died 5. Oscar Lewis - Granted letter to First Baptist Church Oneonta Feb. 1st...1920
6. Mrs. Oscar Lewis - Draper St. Oneonta
5. Mrs. Frank Bogart. Died 6. Mirnell A. Youngs 7. Chas. Pitken
8. Mrs. Chas. Pitken
- Granted letter to Harpursville B. Church May 25, 1919
6. Sadie Woolsey Andrews. 7. Ethel B. Youngs- Died Nov. 27, 1923 9. Mrs. Louis Carman
Granted letter to Whitney Point Bapt.Church Nov. 16, 1919
7. Amos E. Youngs 8. Mrs. Candace Porter - Died Apr. 12, 1919 10. Mrs. Hazel Yates - granted letter 9. Brewster Weed. Died 11. Mary Bunnell Rappman - granted letter 10. Robert Heaton 12. Chas. Reynolds -------Home again
13. Mrs. Chas. Reynolds---Home again
11. Mrs. Robert Heaton - Died 14. Rena Nichols Harper 12. Wm. Hunniston 15. Mrs. Julius Youmans 13. Mrs. Wm. Hunniston 16. Mrs. Loretta Warner - Died 14. Julia Crissell Palmer 15. John Dumas
Reported 43 members in 1918
16. Mrs. Phoebe J. Young - Died 1924 17. Olive E. Carman Hotchkiss 18. George Suttle - Died 19. Mrs. Geo Suttle - Died 20. Fowler Chase
21. Mrs. Fowler Chase- granted letter Feb. 1924
22. E. S. Hancock 23. Mrs. E. S. Hancock 24. Mrs. Herbert Carman 25. Miss Georgia Bunnell - Died 1936 26. Leonard Bunnell 27. Marshall Chase- granted letter 2/6/26 28. Cecil Bunzey - Granted letter 4-9-22 29. Mr. E. E. Robler
30. Mrs. E. E. Robler - Granted letters to the Harpursville Baptist Church Jan. 5, 1920
Taken from a scrap of paper: John Dumas, Fowler Chase, Mrs. Herbert Carman, Miss Georgia Bunnell, Leonard Bunnell, Marshall Chase, Cecil Bunzey
Class of 1918 Baptised as accordingly to Leonard Bunnell
Notation was also made that Cecil Bunzey and Georgia Bunnell - Died. The end of Book No. 3 was March 1946.
31. Milton Thomas 32. & 33. Mr. & Mrs. Charles Reynolds
Many of the active members were also pillars of the community. Mirnell Youngs built the "Stone Barn" located at 543 NYS Route 369 in 1839 and the structure remains a landmark today. The steel silo was added years later. 28
Photos FBPC Archives & Youngs Family Collection
Photo on left is of Ethel B. Youngs, Church Clerk for many years and wife of Mirnell Youngs.
Mabel, a photographer, and Maude were twin sisters of Jesse May (Snow) Youngs who operated one of the three general stores in the village of Port Crane. Jesse D. Youngs married Jesse Snow and had a son Ernest (a cousin of Mirnell & Ethel) who was baptized May 2nd, 1926. Ernest took over the running of the general store and also became the Town Fire Chief, Town Constable, ran the Volunteer Ambulance Service, became Broome County Fire Coordinator, and ran the local print shop to name a few of his responsibilities. Mr. Youngs was a contributor to the church and often printed material for it. His wife, Dorothy was also an active member. He was a cousin to Mirnell Youngs. Mirnell Youngs served as Deacon, Trustee, and filled many positions in the church.
Another active member of the church was Edward Hancock. Mr. Hancock ran a local dairy and milk route. His activity in the fellowship is well documented and he served as Trustee, Deacon, Board Member and filled in for many other areas of service to the Master. He had two sons and one daughter who remained in the area. Clayton, Edward, Jr. and their sister Jane took up the calling and served the Lord as did their Father. Edward moved from the community, but Clayton and Jane (Mandigo) remained and attend to this day when they are able. Clayton's son, Barry, was commissioned from Port Crane to become a faithful missionary in Lima, Peru. Barry's service was to establish and operate a Christian Radio Station in Peru for many years. His passing in 2007 was a heartfelt loss.
Emeril T. & Elizabeth Baker and their sons Rex (Wife: Leona) and Wright (Wife: Barbara) and their families were committed supporters of the church and the Baker family served in so very many Christian roles. Elizabeth Baker served as church organist and Gertrude Baker, a daughter, was elected pianist for a number of years. Again, the children and grandchildren of Emeril and Elizabeth Baker served the lord willingly and diligently during the 1940's through the 1960's and beyond.
Dedication of the Remodeled Church Edifice - Pastor Gates
Left to right: 1901 Remodel, Sometime in the 1920's, and after the 1923 Remodeling. Photos 1901 & 1923 Courtesy Youngs Family Collection"At a special meeting of the Church, which occurred immediately after the regular preaching service May 25th, 1924, - and which was announced from the pulpit by Mr. Gates May 18th - it was regularly voted to adopt the resolution read by Mr. Gates, substituting the words Port Crane in place of Port Dickinson, and that henceforth the Port Crane Baptist Church should be known as the Port Crane Baptist Community Church, taking into membership by letter people from other denominations who desire to be connected with this church, holding said letters which the church records and giving same back to them togethere (sic) with a letter of explanation if at any time they move from among us and desire to unite with some other church. Motion made by Mirnell Youngs, and seconded simultaneously by Chas. Reynolds and Geo. Suttle.
(Mrs) Grace B. Reynolds
"Sunday, June 1st, 1924, occurred the the (sic) Dedication of the remodeled church edifice."
Sanctuary was completely remodeled with pews turned toward the side, sloped floor installed, ceiling lowered, choir loft addition added, steeple straightened, front door moved to corner of building. Also note: electric pole in front and stained glass windows.
Editor's note: Although the name of the church was changed for all practical purposes, the name change was never officially recorded with the Broome County Clerk's office. Several name changes took place throughout the years but the name recorded at the Broome County Clerk's Office remains to this day as it was recorded in 1860, First Baptist Church and Society of Port Crane. The church has been doing business legally as First Baptist Church of Port Crane since February of 1974.
Church Roll 1925
The following was re-typed from the original hand written document.
Church Roll 1925 1 George Suttle Died Aug 1932 2 Mrs. George Suttle Died January 1932 3 Lydia Sherwood 4 Mrs. Robert Heaton Died 5 Robert Heaton Mrs. Humiston William Humiston Died 6 Mirnell Youngs 7 Mrs. Charles Reynolds Died 8 Charles Reynolds Mrs. Archie Benedict Dismissed by letter. Archie W. Benedict Dismissed by letter 9 Mrs. Elizabeth Owen Died 10 Mrs. Edward S. Hancock 11 Edward S. Hancock 12 Mrs. Brewster Weed Died 13 Georgie Bunnell Died 14 Leonard Bunnell Died 15 William Weed 16 Milton Thomas 17 Miss Emma Graves 18 Miss Molly Graves 19 Miss Maggie Graves 20 Mrs. Hubert Carman 21 Mrs. Blondheim Died Mr. Corliss Blondheim Dismissed by letter 22 Mrs. Paul Regal Dismissed by letter '42 23 Mr. Paul Regal
24) Baptized Nov. 9, 1924 Mr. Ray Cherry 25) Baptized Nov. 9, 1924 Devile Merritt 26) Baptized Nov. 9, 1924 Iris Merritt given letter 27)Baptized Nov. 9, 1924 Viola Carman Died Baptized Nov. 9, 1924 Rexford Baker 28 Baptized Nov. 9, 1924 Wright Baker 29 Baptized Nov. 9, 1924 Gertrude Baker 30 By letter Jany 4, 1925 Mrs. Nan White 31 By letter Jany 4, 1925 Miss Thelma White 32 - dismissed by letter By letter Jany 4, 1925 Miss Helen White 33 - dismissed by letter By letter March 22, 1925 Mrs. Harold DeAnjou 34 By letter March 22, 1925 Mr. Harold DeAnjou 35 - Died By Baptism April 26, 1925 Mr. E. T. Baker 36 By Baptism April 26, 1925 Mrs. E. T. Baker 37 By Baptism April 26, 1925 Harold Hannay 38 - dismissed by letter By Baptism April 26, 1925 Miss Delma Van Berger 39 By Experience Mrs. L. W. Pitken 40 - Dismissed by letter By Baptism 1925 Mrs. Bird Niles 41 died Gladys Turpenning 42 - by letter Claude Turpenning 43 - letter Mr. Gates 44 died Mrs. Gates 45 Ernest Youngs 46 Edward Hancock Helen White also baptized By Letter Mrs. Minnie Griggs 47 died Mrs. Elva Harris 48 Miss Pearl Harris 49 June 27 (Experience) Mrs. Rightmire 50
Below are some interesting photos. Click on Photos to enlarge. From the appearance of the cars, it may be these photos were taken during the early 1930's. Wedding Party Unknown.
Photos courtesy of Youngs Family Collection
up17U.S. Diplomatic Mission to Germany History of the United States War and Prosperity Para 3 (accessed 23-Jun-2010)
up18U.S. Diplomatic Mission to Germany History of the United States War and Prosperity Para 4 (accessed 23-Jun-2010)
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up22Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia Dust Bowl Dust Bowl Para 2 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dust_Bowl>
up23Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia Black Sunday Black Sunday (storm)
up24Nichols, Steven J., 2010. "Orthodox Outcast". Glimpses of Christian History Issue 244.
up25Nichols, Steven J., 2010. "Orthodox Outcast". Glimpses of Christian History Issue 244.
up26Billy Graham Center-Archives Billy Sunday Hitting The Sawdust Trail With Billy Sunday <http://www.wheaton.edu/bgc/archives/sunday/sunday01.html>
up27Wholesome Words.org Wholesome Words See: Biography <http://www.wholesomewords.org>
up28gobroomecounty.gov Town of Fenton Comprehensive Plan 2007 Chapt. 3-2
"Radar and nylon stockings" were introduced to the public. In 1940 President Franklin Roosevelt was elected to a third term in office. Meanwhile Adolf Hitler was building his Third Reich in Europe and intensifying his efforts to eradicate the Jewish people by constructing concentration camps such as in Auschwitz.29
"The U. S. entered World War II after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941" and fought on both the European and Pacific fronts. " The Battle of Midway turned the tide for the U. S. in the Pacific in 1942." "Citizens of Japanese descent were sent to internment camps in the U. S. and Canada.30 Nearly 300,000 Jews were removed from the Warsaw ghetto in Poland and murdered in Treblinka under Hitler's orders in 1942."
In 1943 Eisenhower was named Supreme Allied Commander; the Italians toppled Mussolini and in 1944"Roosevelt was elected for a fourth time. The Allies invaded Normandy," establishing a new front towards the defeat of Germany."31
Discoveries and theories were being made in the field of science during this time also, including insulin (1921), penicillin (1928), nuclear fission (1939), and DNA (1944).32
In 1945 "Roosevelt died and was replaced by Harry Truman." " The U. S. dropped atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ending World War II." Churchill warned the world of the Communist "Iron Curtain" in 1946 "while Nuremberg Trials begin." In 1947 The Marshall Plan was announced, a radar beam was sent to the moon, and the first TV broadcast was demonstrated. "Roosevelt was elected for a fourth time. The Allies invaded Normandy," establishing a new front towards the defeat of Germany.33
1948 saw "Harry Truman re-elected as our 33rd President, the Berlin airlift began and Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated." Israel became a nation in May of 1948. "NATO was established in 1949, the Soviets detonated an atom bomb, the Chinese People's Republic was created, and the CIA began experimenting with LSD (a mind altering hallucinogenic drug)." 34
What was God doing to encourage his people and influence mankind?
Dr. John R. Rice (evangelist) began the Sword of the Lord publication in 1934 and in 1945 Rice began to organize evangelism conferences, which in 1947 became Sword of the Lord Conferences. These meetings drew influential evangelists such as Hyman Appleman, Joe Henry Hankins, John F. MacArthur, Sr., and especially Bob Jones, Sr., whom Rice called "the dean of all the evangelists". Dr. Rice authored more than 200 books and booklets, circulating more than sixty million copies before his death. 35
In 1941 Jack Wyrtzen began his Word of Life ministry over the radio. "Wyrtzen crisscrossed America holding evangelistic crusades in major cities as well as in country churches. He is credited with developing Bible clubs in over 1,000 churches and starting youth ministries in 37 countries." He established Word of Life Bible Institute, held rallies under the name of Word of Life Fellowship Bible Conference and became director (until 1999) of Word of Life Ministries.36
"In 1945 Charles Templeton of Toronto, Canada, and Torrey Johnson met with a number of youth leaders from around the United States at Winona Lake, Indiana. Their agenda was to form a working group that would become an organization known as "Youth for Christ International" which was born in 1946. Torrey Johnson was elected as its first president."37
Oliver B. Greene conducted revivals across the United States for 35 years, wrote many books and preached a radio broadcast.38
God always has a people and will never abandon his followers. He is there in good times and bad, in times of war, depression and political upheaval to expose the dangers of sin and convert the hearts of the lost. As Jesus said when He read from the Book of Isaiah, as recorded in Luke 4:18-19, 21(KJV):“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor, he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord"...And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears."
The Lord continued blessing First Baptist Church of Port Crane,
Using the faithful to keep the "lighthouse" lit with the
Gospel of Jesus Christ in this community.
In 1942 under the direction of Pastor Halsey Morgan, "A campaign of revival meetings was held as tent meetings on the side lawn of Port Crane Community Church from July 5 to 19th by Gipsy Simon Smith.
Photo FBPC Archives-Songbook found in FBPC memorabilia.
Over and above expenses, he was given $113.00. There were 14 converts, 12 of which were baptized on Sunday evening, August 16 by Rev. Halsey Morgan. Revival of the Saints of God and Conversion of the Unbelievers was certainly heavily upon the hearts of the church membership.
Photo FBPC Archives -Purchased in 1943, this parsonage stood at 8 Park Street. The date of this photo is unknown. This may have been the first parsonage. Prior to this, some believe the preachers were housed in the H. M. Snow Grocery & Post Office which was expanded to a 2 family dwelling as well. It was located on Canal Street midway between the J. D. Youngs Store and the end of Canal Street across from the church. An early photo of that store appears in the Introduction section. NYS purchased the property on Park Street in 1966 to make way for Interstate 88. A new parsonage was built on Pleasant Hill Road in 1967.
In 1943, Pastor Westbrook assumed the pulpit and during his tenure the church purchased a parsonage for $3,000.00 with payments to be made the same as rent. As recorded in the minutes of January 1943, "The Randall property was purchased for a parsonage for our church. We were to pay $2,500 at 5% interest and $75.00 semi-annually or more if possible. (Owner Mrs. Loretta Tuck)."
The Westbrooks (Left) and The Braids (Right) - Photo FBPC Archives
1944 saw the re-wiring of the church by Mr. William Donhken to a 3-way wiring system. The average attendance, including prayer meeting under Pastor Westbrook was 117. It was a very active church. The Westbrooks were called to a different ministry in 1946.
The Photos Below Are Courtesy of The Ottaway Family.
Tragedy struck several families in Port Crane as a result of World War II. One of the young men who perished was from our little church, Jack Ottaway, Jr. He was just 22 years old when he was called home to heaven.
In memory of Jack Ottaway, we leave this recollection for those generations to follow. Jack enlisted in the Air Force to serve during World War II. He left Port Crane and was sent to Hickam Field in Hawaii. Jack was trained as a Radio Operator on a B25 Mitchell in the Pacific He was there one day and the pilot came into the room to ask for volunteers to fly with him because the regular Engineer on that flight was out. Jack volunteered to take his place. On takeoff, a B52 came in and they collided head on. Jack’s body was brought home after the war and he is buried in the Port Crane Cemetery.
Jack grew up in Port Crane, graduated from Binghamton North High School, married his sweetheart Charlotte. Jack knew when he left for basic training that his wife was pregnant. Jack died in that tragic air collision in June of 1944 and his son was born the following January. Charlotte and the baby, Jack II, stayed with John and Elizabeth Ottaway, Jack’s parents. The senior Ottaways always felt they were blessed to have their daughter-in-law and grandson living in the apartment above them.
This Bible was given by the Ottaway family in memorial to their son and brother. It is still located at the front of the church in front of the pulpit. It is opened to Isaiah Chapter 9 and verse 6 is marked in yellow, referring to Jesus Christ:
"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."
This addition of three photos and narrative was made in November of 2013 when Mr. Jack Ottaway, Jr. visited Port crane and presented the Town of Fenton with a map drawn by his father. Jack Ottaway, Jr. is a photographer in San Francisco at the time of this writing.
Pastor Justin Dix's Son Neil Preaches at Hancock's Grove (ca. 1949)- PhotoCourtesy of Casterlin Family Album
From 1946 until 1951 Reverend Justin Dix pastored the church. His wife was Ruth Monell and they had one son, Neil. On October 15th, 1949, Pastor Dix married Gerald and Inez Ralston of Port Crane. To this day both Jerry and Inez serve the Lord
in this church. Jerry is still serving as a Board Member and is a Deacon. He has served the Lord in a leadership capacity for over 61 years. Inez can still often be found in
the kitchen, faithfully doing the work of the Lord. (Inez went home to glory 11/10/2010).
Photo Janicki Family Album - Date unknownLeft to Right--Harold DeAnjou, Paul DeAnjou, & Agnes DeAnjou
Two other faithful members from the 1930's were Harold and Agnes DeAnjou. Harold was a Trustee and Deacon and Agnes served as Church Clerk for many years. Their sons Leon and Paul were steadfast servants of Christ at the Baptist Church in Port Crane. Leon's granddaughter, Erika DeAnjou, serves the Lord this day as a missionary in Saipan. Great is the Lord's faithfulness from generation to generation.
From this point forward we can only endorse the words found in the Centennial Booklet published in 1960: "It would be wonderful to be able to list all the names of choir members, directors, and pianists who have served in past choirs, but now, such a record exists only with God."
To attempt to list all of the Deacons, Sunday School Teachers, Superintendents, Treasurers, Shepherdesses, Deaconesses, custodians, volunteers, prayer warriors, Song Leaders, Pianists, and Organists would be reckless and to place any one gift or servant in favor of another contrary to God's Word. For we know that all talents and gifts are divinely inspired and all are needed to carry on the work of the Lord.
We will attempt to highlight certain events and persons who took part in the preservation of the work which was begun at First Baptist Church of Port Crane. Some of these people have gone home to glory, some have moved away, some are still active and many new saints of God have heard the voice of the Lord and filled the vacancies.Charles Kark takes a bus from FBPC to Youth for Christ in Binghamton.
Ladies look at the Missions Board.
up29Seattlepi.com. Seattle Post-Intelligencer. In history: 1940-1950 (accessed 10-Feb-2010) This site no longer exists 9/2013
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Twenty-One Discoveries that Changed Science and the World (accessed 23-Jun-2010) <http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/284158.html>
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up34Seattlepi.com. Seattle Post-Intelligencer. In history: 1940-1950 (accessed 10-Feb-2010) This site no longer exists 9/2013
up35The Christian Home Website John R. Rice Biography. <http://www.earnestlycontending.com/KT/bios/johnrrice.html>
up36 Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia Jack Wyrtzen Jack Wyrtzen <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Jack_Wyrtzen&oldid=347202794>
up37 Wikipedia, The Free EncyclopediaCharles Templeton <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Charles_Templeton&oldid=362966648>
up38swordofthelord.com Sword of The Lord - RESOURCES - Preacher Biographies (accessed 23-Feb-2010) <&http://www.swordofthelord.com/biographies.htm>
In 1951 a peace treaty was signed with Japan which ended World War II, and as the prosperity of the country increased, people generally felt it was a happier time. The television was a new invention in 1951 and a vaccine for polio was discovered in 1952. It was a time of hula hoops, Disneyland, car seat belts, McDonalds and NASA. 39It was in June of 1954 that President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the amendment to add "one nation under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance. On July 20, 1956, Congress proclaimed "In God We Trust" to be the national motto. 40
The 1950's were known as the Golden Years. The European countries were rebuilding from the war which left the United States enjoying a time of prosperity with little to no competition in trade from the International community. Christianity was still widely embraced by most of society and even if people did not attend themselves, they raised little objection to the church being the "guardian" of our morals.
Pastor Dix followed the Lord's leading to another pulpit and Reverend David Braid was called to the "lighthouse" in Port Crane. Little did anyone know his tenure would last 20 years.
Pastor David Braid heeded the Call of God to shepherd the flock from 1951 to 1971. This was a very stable and enjoyable time for the folks at the church.
Christine Kark was a long time member of the Port Crane Baptist church and served in many capacities. She was a prolific writer and often wrote short stories for occasions at the church. "A New Years Eve", In A Resurrecting Garden, and Star Witnesses are preserved in the archives of the church. I have copied one of the shorter ones that she wrote in 1952, and below is a selection she wrote and read to welcome the Braids to their new ministry at Port Crane.
WE WELCOME THE BRAIDS
by Christine Snow Kark
Tis with pleasure this evening we meet,
Our new Pastor and family to greet.
All ready you've won a warm place in our hearts
And anxious we are, that we all do our part,
To aid you in carrying on God's Work in Port Crane;
And praying that many will Salvation obtain.
Among our congregation, you will find --
Edward Hancock, both faithful and kind.
Mernell Youngs, whose counsel is wise,
And Lydia Simonson, who always stands by.
Mrs. Lillibridge, our organist, we couldn't do without,
And the Ottaway's are splendid, beyond a doubt.
Sisters Brock and Steele are with us,
heart and soul, in all we do
The Breese's are fine and their singing is too.
Florence Baxter is ready to help, whatever the need,
Dorothy Youngs, the Brinks, the Goulds are friends indeed.
Many other fine folks we hold as sisters and brothers,
Ever ready, they stand, to help one another.
Reverend Braid, we think your sermons fine,
A blessing to our hearts and food for our minds.
May the challenge they give us each week,
Make us earnestly desire, more souls to seek.
For the more we serve the Christ we love ----
More treasures we accumulate ----------above.
To Sister Braid, a tribute we bring
For she's the one who helps us sing.
So friendly and jolly, we all love you too,
And wish you success, in whatever you do.
Little Miss Braid, you're five years old today,
God's Blessing on your life we pray.
So with hearts attune, to seek God's will,
We're sure Hell all our prayers fulfill.
May your sojourn with us, indeed be sweet,
For happy Christian Fellowship, cannot be beat.
Again we say ---- We're for you ---- one and all
And very glad you came in answer to our call.
This is a skit Christine Kark wrote for Watchnight Services in 1952:
A NEW YEARS EVE
BY CHRISTINE SNOW KARK, GH.
The room was moderately furnished, the family comfortably arrayed. The father, not old, but more than middle aged, sat before the fire; God's Holy Word open upon his knee. Mother, a serene look upon her face was busily knitting a sweater. The children, four in all, were variously occupied. Bruce, the eldest, was whittling an airplane; Melanie, next oldest, sat at the piano softly playing an old hymn; Prudence and little Roger were on the floor, their heads bent over a jig saw puzzle.
Suddenly, the father looked up addressing them all. "The new year is nearly here. Have you all picked your new scripture verses for the year? If so, let us hear them. Suppose we start with Mother."
The mother looked up from her knitting, saying, "I decided this year to take I Timothy 6:11 as my verse. 'But thou O man of God, follow after righteousness, Godliness, faith, love, patience, and meekness.' I pray the Lord that I may be of greater service to Him by striving for all these things. I especially need patience with those friends of ours who are so worldly and so ready to criticize our attempts to show by our lives that all that really matters in this world is faith in Jesus Christ."
"Bruce, what verse have you chosen this year?" asked the father. Pausing in his whittling and with no hesitation the young lad replied: "I am taking last years verse over again. It was such a strength to me all through the year. You all remember Ephesians 6:1l 'Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil'. Going to high school, I find so many ways of temptation striking out at me. I trust that God will protect me from the devils ways and I'm sure that I will not be deceived by the devil and into his ways before I know it."
Knowing her turn would be next, Melanie stood up by the piano and without being asked began; "Proverbs 3:5, 6. 'Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.' I chose these verses because so many times I find myself getting so eager in my testimonies that I go faster than apparently the Lord wants me to -- so I am going to try harder this year to wait upon His will and let Him do the leading."
During this time the jig puzzle had been forgotten but the two small children and they seemed eager to add their verses to those all ready given.
"Prudy, dear, what verse have you chosen?" asked father. The little girl, only six, looked earnestly into the fact of her kindly parent. "Mother helped me find a verse." Proudly she said, "Suffer the little children to come unto me." Jesus said that when he was holding a little child on his lap and I'm glad that he does love me. Mother says I can serve him by being a good girl and obeying older people."
"Bless your heart, my child, of course you can" replied the father as he patted the blond little head.
"How about our little fellow, Roger, can a five year old remember a verse Mother?"
The little fellow in question smuggled up to his mother and found encouragement in her loving embrace. Shyly he said: The Lord is my shepherd, that's all I want."
Tears came to the good fathers eyes as he said, "Though that was somewhat misquoted, how true it is. 'And a little child shall lead them' The Lord is my shepherd that's all I want. Surely if we have the Lord Jesus. He supplies all the rest and we'll want nothing more."
"Now Dad, it's time for your verse," broke in Bruce.
"So it is. "The verse I shall carry especially in my mind this year is: Psalms 139:23, 24. 'Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead in the way everlasting."
As father finished he said, "now shall we all bow in prayer, that the Lord will sustain us through this new year; that we might hunger to see souls won to Him; that we share our neighbors' burdens and that all we do, we do to the Glory of the Lord.
Six heads were bowed, as softly each of the four older ones led in a short prayer; at the close of which Melanie struck the chord of Living for Jesus and all joined in singing this beautiful hymn. In the distance the bells, proclaiming the birth of a New Year, were heard.
The church prospered during these years as well and many ministries proved to be not only spiritually profitable, but fun for the congregation. The Port Crane Baptist church enjoyed a fine choir, and many joint meetings with the Methodist Church on Pine Street. During this time the Ladies Home Bureau was active in the community and many of the same church-going ladies attended the Home Bureau meetings. Another active community organization was the Grange and many of our members served as members of the local Grange in Sanitaria Springs, NY.
Charles Kark, Raymond and Christine's son, was very active with the Sunday School and also Youth For Christ. Each week, young Charles drove a bus full of local children from the Port Crane area to the Youth For Christ meetings in Binghamton. Miss Marilyn Davis worked faithfully with the children in Church and Vacation Bible School. The Baker Families (Rex and Wright), DeAnjou's, Hancock's, Kark's, Baxters, just to name a few were active in everything from teaching to singing in the church choir.
The Truth Seekers were a group of ladies who met to further the gospel and on December 27, 1953 a Tither's Association was organized beginning with a membership of 16 people. By 1960 there were 24 members who faithfully tithed on their incomes.
The 1960's were a time of social turbulence. The drug culture emerged and "counter culture" was a popular term to describe the youth. Many non-traditional religions were emerging in the United States ranging from Secular Humanists to Children of God and Hare Krishna. Drugs were used in connection with transcendental meditation. From this time on, the Christian church in the United States found it necessary to defend itself and Christian apologetics grew proportionately to its opposition.
A young Catholic man, John F. Kennedy, was elected 35th President of the United States. 41This was the first time a Catholic had won the presidency. He served from January 20, 1961 to November 22, 1963 when he was cruelly assassinated. 42
During his short time in office, he had to deal with the Cuban Missile crisis, watch the Soviet Union put the first man in space, and witness the building of the Berlin Wall. In 1963 Martin Luther King, Jr. made his "I Have A Dream" speech. The Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964 and the Beatles, an English Rock & Roll group, gained enormous popularity with the youth. 1965 saw the emergence of the "Gay Rights Movement" and the first group of American soldiers were sent to Viet Nam. There were race riots in Los Angeles, and in 1966 massive protests against the military draft occurred. 43
In April of 1966 Time magazine printed their cover story, "Is God Dead" which sparked debate, but also ushered in a time of soul searching. 44 In 1967 we had our first Super Bowl football game, the first heart transplant in South Africa by Dr. Christian Barnard, and the Six Day War in the Middle East whereby the Jews regained control of East Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, the Sinai Peninsula, and the West Bank. That war sparked much interest in the possibility of Christ's imminent return. In 1968 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Senator Robert Kennedy were assassinated followed by Woodstock, an open-air rock & roll concert that was riddled with drug use in 1969. LSD a hallucinogenic drug had made its appearance in the 1960's. Also in 1969, Neil Armstrong, a U. S. astronaut, was the first man to walk on the moon. This decade was one of triumph and tragedy. 45
God has always had a people! Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever, and in the middle of the 1960's a young singer was becoming prepared to bring solace to a broken world through music.
Bill Gaither recorded "He Touched Me" in 1964 and went on to write and record over 500 songs throughout his long career. 46 People knew God was not dead and the drive to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ grew in the Christian community. God was at work and by the power of His Holy Spirit, revival fires were beginning to spring up. Word began to spread about the conversion of a gang member in New York City named Nicki Cruz and a book was published about his conversion in 1963 called The Cross and the Switchblade. 47
During this time, the First Baptist Church of Port Crane remained a strong lighthouse in the community with vision, love for the community, a love of missions, and an abiding faith in Jesus Christ. The Junior Church had a regular attendance of 20 children or more each week and the Young People met every Sunday night. The teens met for a song service, time for testimony and Bible quizzing. They heard short devotional talks and spent time memorizing Bible passages. While sin was raging in the world, the Lord Jesus Christ was blessing the fellowship of believer's at First Baptist Church. In the Book of James (KJV 1:27) we are admonished to keep ourselves "unspotted from the world". Church membership stood at 128 faithful attendees in 1968. During the decade of the 1960's there were 78 baptisms performed by Pastor Braid.
In 1960 the church held Centennial Celebration Services on October 9th with Youth Sunday, October 10 - 16th with Conference Week, October 23rd - With Missionary Sunday, and on October 30th - Centennial Sunday. There were over 100 sponsors for this celebration.
Commemorative Plate Issued for 100th Anniversary.
On the 100th Anniversary of the church the following were Board Members:
Pastor: Rev. David Braid
Deacons: Rex Baker, Raymond Kark, Charles Kark
Jr. Deacon: Leon Baxter
Church Clerk: Marilyn Davis
Trustees: Clayton Hancock, Edward Hancock, Wilbur Brink
Financial Secretary: Lydia Simonson
Treasurer: Jack Ottaway
Missionary Secretary & Treasurer: Leona Baker
Deaconesses: Bessie Steele, Christine Kark, Leona Baker
In 1968 a new piano was purchased in memory of Lydia Simonson for $600, new hymn books were purchased and a bus was donated to bring in youth from the area and the parking lot was graveled.
A new pulpit was installed in memory of Walter Pope in 1969.
up40 The History Channel History This Day In History (accessed 1-Jul-2010) <http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/7/30?catId=9>
up41WWW.WHITEHOUSE.GOV "35. John F. Kennedy, 1961-1963" <35. John F. Kennedy, 1961-1963>
up42WWW.WHITEHOUSE.GOV "35. John F. Kennedy, 1961-1963" <35. John F. Kennedy, 1961-1963>
up43About com Timeline of the 20th Century 1960s Timeline (accessed 24-Apr-2010) <http://history1900s.about.com/od/timelines/tp/1960timeline.htm>
up44TIME.com Is God Dead? Apr. 8, 1966. TIME Archive 1923 to Present (accessed 30-Jun-2010) <http://www.time.com/time/covers/0,16641,19660408,00.html>
up45eb.com Six-Day-War Encyclopedia Britannica Online (accessed 30 Jun 2010) <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/850855/Six-Day-War>
up46www.encyclopedia.com Bill Gaither Gaither, Bill - Contemporary Musicians-2005-Parkin, Sarah (accessed 9-Feb-2010) <www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3430600037.html>
up47Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia David Wilkerson David Wilkerson (accessed 10-Feb-2010) <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=David_Wilkerson&oldid=369409743>
Social turbulence continued worldwide during the 1970's. The Video Cassette Recorder (VCR) came on the market in 1971 and allowed movies to be rented and played in the home for the first time. Prior to this, the traditional Baptist position had been not to patronize movie houses and not to add to the wealth of the "Hollywood" crowd. In 1973 Abortion was legalized in the United States with the Supreme Court decision on Roe vs. Wade, another matter of deep Christian concern. 48
The 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany, were tragically interrupted by an attack on Israeli athletes by members of a militant group called Black September with ties to Yasser Arafat's Fattah organization. The terrorists killed eleven hostages, nine of them during a failed rescue attempt. 49
The Watergate scandal in the Whitehouse eventually led to the resignation of Vice President Spiro Agnew in 1973 and President Richard Nixon in 1974. Gerald Ford succeeded Richard Nixon as President in the summer of 1974.50
In 1976 a 7.6 magnitude earthquake hit in Tangshan, China killing more than 240,000 people. This was called the deadliest earthquake of the 20th Century. 51 James Earl Carter served as President of the United States from 1977 to 1981. In 1978 the first "test tube baby" was born in Great Britain.52
On March 26, 1979, a peace agreement between Israel and Egypt was signed that President Carter facilitated. 53The Islamic Revolution of 1979 involved the overturning of Iran's monarchy under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi with an Islamic republic under Ayatollah Ruhollah Kohomeini who Led the revolution. It was fueled by an Islamic revival that opposed Westernization of their culture and led to the re-emergence of sharia law and the taking of American hostages later that year.54
The Christian events that followed were astounding. Amidst the controversy of abortion, women's rights, the sexual revolution and tumultuous events in the Middle East, grew a spiritual renewal that affected all Christian denominations. People were seeking answers to moral questions which led to an amazing number of bible studies, musical concerts and Christian political organizations such as the Moral Majority founded by Jerry Falwell. At the same time television ministries grew in numbers, and through many of these television evangelists, people were looking for local fellowships to join. This was the beginning of "The Jesus Movement."55
Revival Comes To First Baptist Church of Port Crane, then called Community Baptist Church.
In June of 1971, Pastor Braid heard the call of God to another ministry and the congregation lost their beloved shepherd of more than 20 years.
God always has a plan!
In September of 1971, Pastor Gary Linebaugh answered the call to pastor the church. He was a young pastor with 4 young children and his wife, who served as pianist. The family was musically talented and all sang. Pastor Gary and Connie would often sing duets and the four children would sing as a group. Occasionally, the two youngest girls would sing together.At a time when gospel singing was really taking hold, the Lord used the family to sing many of the Bill Gaither Trio Songs along with songs from other song writers of the era like Andraé Crouch, The Imperials, Dallas Holm, and Ralph Carmichael, Doug Oldham, George Beverly Shea and Alfred Smith.56 Songs like "He Touched Me", "Because He Lives", "Through It All", and "Rise Again", answered the question so many were searching for from the 1960's, "Is God Dead?" The "Jesus Movement" shook the nation, but it did not come without controversy and did not come without work.
The church began to grow and many young couples with children began attending. Brother Dale Linebaugh was a strong advocate for Christian summer camps and ranches and many young people began inviting friends and neighbors to church to introduce them to this "new life" in Christ. This new life is a life of church-going and Bible study and Christian summer camping. A young married couples group began called "The 72 Group". The combined age of husband and wife was not to exceed 72. The group grew from several couples to over 50 people who met monthly for prayer, Bible study, music and refreshments.
From The Pastor's Report of 1971-1972 Annual Report distributed in April 9, 1972:
"Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable: (Psalm 145:3). Truly, the Lord has been great in our midst, and His greatness has been unsearchable. Therefore, it is with great praise and thanksgiving that we share this report with you, of God's goodness to me as your pastor, and to the ministry God had given to us, here at Community Baptist Church.
Little did we think that beginning on September 12, 1971, through this present date, that God's blessings would be so bountiful upon this ministry. We have had the joy of seeing 75 souls come to know Jesus Christ as Personal Savior, and as a direct result of the ministry of God's Word.
Our Sunday School has increased from approximately 80 the first Sunday we were here, to a record high of 149. Our Morning Worship services have been averaging 160, and we have seen many heart-searching decisions among our believers. We truly believe that this is the result of Zechariah 4:6: that "...it is not by might, and not by power, but (truly) by My Spirit..." that these things have been accomplished.
During the past several months, we have had many speakers that have blessed and challenged our hearts. I believe that we all truly rejoice in the true revival that God gave to us during our week of meetings with Brother Dale Linebaugh. Our constant prayer is that this spirit of revival may continue to flood and thrill our hearts in the days before our Lord's Coming"....
He continued...."It is with much gratitude and thanksgiving that I praise God for the people that He has given to the parsonage family. Connie and the children join me in a great big thank you for your love, prayers and many thoughtfulnesses shown to us in these seven months. And it is our prayer that our wonderful Lord will richly bless and multiply each of you and our ministry together, until our Lord returns. In Calvary's Bonds, Gary Linebaugh, Pastor"
Church officers for 1971-1972 were as follows:
Deacons: Ray Lott, Leon DeAnjou, Charles Kark, Rex Baker
Jr. Deacon: Gene Hamilton
Deaconesses: Leona Baker, Laurene Lott, Ruth Dunham
Trustees: Clayton Hancock, Paul DeAnjou, Don Perry, Jack Ottaway, Raymond Kark
Treasurer: Jerry Ralston
Assist. Treasurer: Harold Decker
Church Clerk: Lois Lee
Financial Secretary: Marilyn Davis
Revival and Growth Continues
The church grew in numbers and it shortly became evident that First Baptist Church of Port Crane needed to expand. A Building Committee was formed and a new Christian Education Building was erected with more Sunday School rooms and nursery facilities. An overflow area was added to the sanctuary that seated an extra 60 to 80 people.
Photos FBPC Archive
Rex Baker, Pastor Linebaugh & Clayton Hancock with shovel
Building in Progress & Today 2010
During the year 1973-1974 fiscal year it was reported that an On The Grounds Picnic was held, new hymnals were purchased, the steeple was straightened, the front steps were refurbished and a railing installed, the Faith Promise had been taken, a Missionary Conference had been held, a public address system had been installed and a telephone installed. 27 people were baptized that year and 26 new members were given the Right Hand of Fellowship.A young man, Dayle Perry made a scale model of the proposed building, faith promises were made to fund the building project and a mortgage was obtained in 1973 for $51,000 to complete the partially finished building. Approximately $38,000 was spent before the mortgage was obtained.
In 1974-75: 39 new members were taken into the fellowship and 31 people baptized. The Constitution was updated, the church joined the Independent Baptist League for baseball, and a new communion set of silver-toned aluminum was purchased. On September 8, 1974 Dedication of the Christian Education Building was held. Song Writer/Singer, Al Smith attended and blessed the congregation with special music, and Dr. Paul Griffiths was the special speaker. Dinner was served in the new fellowship hall.
A license to preach was issued to Mark Gibbons.
Regretfully, after only 3-1/2 years at First Baptist Church of Port Crane, Pastor Linebaugh was called from the church to Pastor a church in Georgia. Revivals do not come without a cost. The Scriptures warn us that the enemy of our souls goes about "seeking whom he may devour" (I Peter 5:8 King James Bible) and new babes in Christ are a prime target.
BUT God had a plan,
Photo FBPC Archives
Steve, Barbara, Herman Stahl
Pastor Herman Stahl accepted God's call and he and his lovely wife, Barbara, and son Steve moved into the parsonage on Pleasant Hill that summer. That year Pastor Stahl performed eight baptisms and received twenty new members. Barbara Stahl became the church pianist, Tom Hall the assistant pianist, and Mrs. Alice DeAnjou became the Choir Director. The interior of the parsonage received a new coat of paint, and half the roof of the original building was replaced. The belfry was replaced and sided with aluminum.
Pastor Stahl, a genuine man of God, filled with anticipation and an exceptional command of the Word of God, worked diligently to feed the flock and nurture the babes in Christ.
Rev. John Klinepeter held evangelistic meetings that Fall and 12 public decisions were made for Christ. Special meetings were held in the spring of 1976 with former concert violinist Rev. Rudolph Schmitt. New indoor-outdoor carpeting was installed in the foyers and the choir loft was repainted. Many former members of the church continued to serve faithfully and new babes in Christ along with a few seasoned Saints who came into the fellowship from other churches took up the work of the Lord.
In 1976 a license to preach was issued to James McBroom.
The Friday night youth group had grown and a committee of eleven couples and two ladies was appointed. There was an active Sunshine Committee, Hospitality Committee and "A Christian Charm Class" for young ladies.
Church officers for 1975-1976 were as follows:
Pastor: Herman Stahl
Deacons: Leon DeAnjou, Paul DeAnjou, Charles Kark, Louis Jones, and Don Perry
Jr. Deacon: Mark DeAnjou
Deaconesses: Katherine Hancock, Marjorie Kark, and Alice DeAnjou
Trustees: Raymond Kark, Bill Blose, Rex Baker, Clayton Hancock, and Tom Mott
Treasurer: Jerry Ralston
Assist. Treasurer: Charles Kark
Church Clerk: Christine Kark
Financial Secretary: Marilyn Davis
Missionary Secretary: Florence Baxter
In 1976-1977, a very successful venture commenced with the start of the Eager Beaver program for 1st through 3rd graders, and the Junior Astronaut Youth Program for 4th through 6th graders.
During the 1970's, television evangelists flourished. From 1974 to 1987 a couple, Jim and Tammy Faye Baker built an empire through their PTL Club. 57 Rex Humbard and the Cathedral of Tomorrow was broadcast weekly 58 as well as Pat Robertson's 700 Club. 59 Jerry Falwell built the Thomas Road Baptist Church and founded Liberty University. 60God used all of this to accomplish His purposes, but some of these ministries ended in disaster and scandal. Others grew and stood firm.
This was a very trying time for all churches and many young Christians found themselves searching for sound doctrine. Some Christians grew in the Lord, some were challenged, and some fell by the wayside. Very few churches and very few pastors went untouched during these years. The moral decline continued and the fires of revival were beginning to wane.
During Pastor Stahl's tenure, the controversies surrounding discipleship and church doctrines during these difficult days took its toll. After two years of laboring, Pastor Stahl took leave of the flock at Port Crane and followed the will of the Lord to a different place. Pastor Stahl wrote in his final Pastor's Report April 13, 1977:(KJV) - Heb. 13:8 "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever." How I praise and thank God for His unchangeableness! Truly, He has been very faithful, in many ways, throughout the past year. Just as He was with the Old and New Testament Saints, so He has cared for the twentieth century Christians. Praise His wonderful Name! "
He relayed information on his special blessings visiting the sick, the shut-ins, counseling those in need and the fellowship he enjoyed at Port Crane. He followed with: [... "I can find no expression more proper than Scripture, itself, that relates my joy over Christians' growth. "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." (III John vs. 4)"] He ended his Pastor's Report with:[... "It has been my joy to serve with you and it is my desire to labor, faithfully, til He comes again. Let us occupy --- it is work, but nothing is too small, if for Him, we labor. Jesus said, "He that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal; that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together." (John 4:36) So be it.]
By His grace, Pastor Herman L. Stahl
But, God Had A Plan
The search began for another to take his place. Finally in November of 1977 the Lord called a very young man, only 24 years old, to become shepherd of this group of believers.
Photo FBPC Archives
Photo: Mark, Nancy, Mark & Kevin. Sarah arrived later.
Reverend Mark Smith had grown up in a parsonage and knew full-well the testing a man of God must triumph over. Even though he was young, he had interned in a church of over 1200 people in Indiana and came with high recommendations and confirmation of his genuine love for the work of the church. As the Apostle Paul admonished in Philippians 3:14, Pastor Smith pressed "toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."
Many programs were established or strengthened and by the end of 1978 the Youth Program was comprised of Jr. Astronauts, Eager Beavers and Tiny Tots. The Jr. Youth Program was held Friday nights from 7 to 9 and ministered to children up through the 6th grade.
Many of the former members and a number of new members took up the work of the Lord before them and served diligently. Some of these dear folks have now gone home to their eternal rest. People like Victor Sandel, Jack Whitman, Dorothy Gibbons, Violet Randall, Ray Lockwood, Walter Miller, Ken Osterhout, and David Brown made many contributions to the work of the Lord at Port Crane. Many dear folks are serving still from this time. We see the names of Tom and Debbie Fletcher, Walt and Lynette Warner, Leon and Martha Baxter, David and Terry Samson, Charles and Marjorie Kark, Marilyn Davis...just to name a few. Below is a list of officers from 1978-79:
Pastor: Rev. Mark Smith
Deacons: Leon DeAnjou, Paul DeAnjou, Charles Kark, Jerry Ralston, Wright Baker
Jr. Deacon: Vic Sandell
Deaconesses: Violet Randall, Marian Whitman, Bernice Bates, Madeline Osterhout
Trustees: Ray Lockwood, Walt Warner, Tom Fletcher, Jack Whitman, Vic Sandell, Albert DeAnjou
Treasurer: Jerry Ralston
Assistant Treasurer: Charles Kark
Church Clerk: Marjorie Kark
Missionary Sec./Treasurer: Betty Sandell
Financial Secretary: Marilyn Davis
Sunday School Officers: David Samson, Tom Fletcher and Florence Baxter
During 1979, three baptisms were performed and three new members added to the church roll.
The decade of the 1980's had it's trials as did the ones before. Ronald Regan was elected 40th President of the United States following the defeat of his predecessor, Jimmy Carter. 61His presidency continued from 1981 through 1989. American hostages were taken in Iran during the Carter administration and several days into the Regan presidency they were released. A sense of hope permeated society. The Women's Movement was still gaining in momentum and because of the desire of many women to enter the workplace; the economy was driven to the point where it became almost a necessity for dual incomes. 1981 and 1982 were years of recession as well as inflation. The first space shuttle, Columbia was launched in 1981 and proved to be a successful program, boosting spirits.62
Personal computers made their debut in 1981 and soon personal computer (PC) became a household word. A new plague called HIV-AIDS was discovered in 1981. Assassination attempts were made on both President Regan and the Pope in the same year. People felt positive with no wars in progress and an improving economy during the Regan Presidency.63
But these years were not without tragedy. In 1986 the space shuttle Challenger exploded in space shortly after take off and all were lost. A nuclear power plant in Russia, Chernobyl had a meltdown that killed thousands and made the surrounding landscape uninhabitable for generations to come. Ironically, the word Chernobyl translated into English means "Wormwood". Some questioned that this may have been a precursor to the "Wormwood" spoken of in Revelation.64
The gay rights movement grew and civil law protected people with different sexual orientation from discrimination. Ronald Regan was the first and only U. S. President who had been divorced and the sacredness of marriage was being challenged. 65The practice of men and women living together without the benefit of marriage became acceptable.66
Women in the workplace took a toll on the home, but also took a toll on the church life. Now, with less time on their hands, fewer women were available to take on projects normally done in churches. The working ladies did not have the time they once had to prepare lessons, attend Bible studies and do crafts or hold fund-raisers for missionaries.
Changes, Challenges & Growth
Photo FBPC Archives
A mural was painted on the fellowship hall wall by Dottie Slauson in 1980 and in 1981 she painted a mural on the baptismal wall, paneling was put in the fellowship hall, a window was put in the door of the Pastor's office, the walls of the church were insulated, and a missionary board was put up in the church so everyone could keep informed of how much was necessary to meet each one's need. The furnace was cleaned and put in good shape, the fence surrounding the church lot was straightened and repaired, and a big maple tree was trimmed. Sadly, Brother Lockwood went home to his eternal reward and a faithful member was gone from this fellowship.
Ten people were baptized and ten added to the membership in 1980-1981. The fellowship remained strong and much work was accomplished. Necessary repairs and upkeep was done in the church Sanctuary and Christian Education building.
Photo FBPC Archives
1981 was a happy and productive year at First Baptist Church of Port Crane.
From the Pastor's Desk the following was penned for the Annual Report:
"We live in a changing society and in a world where nothing seems to remain constant. The changes we have seen in the last year in our church have reminded us of how things seem to run a course and then give way to a new channel
Not all the changes which have occurred have been easy. There have been changes in leadership in many areas. Some seasoned veterans of God's service have removed themselves and God has given great help in replacing them with capable folk. Others, too, have gone home to glory. Both reasons for a changing church leadership have driven us to the only resource of enablement, the throne of grace.
Some changes have been more than welcome. New leaders, teachers, and helpers have sprung up from newer Christian. These have proven that they are folk with spiritual depth. The need for changing leadership also drew the church closer together with a renewed sense of dependency on God and inter-dependency on thee people of God. The love of the saints has blossomed into a flower with the sweet fragrance of the heavenlies. The aroma of which has permeated the nostrils of lost souls, drawing them to the freshness of knowing Christ.
With the loss of some members came a time to tighten our belts and trust God. We saw our dependency on a reserve bank account dwindle down to nothing. The need to replace and repair items seemed to come at difficult hours. Yet, at each moment, our Lord's faithfulness was evident. Again God raised up some new avenues of income. Some folk who have never given to the ministry began to do so and others who joined our ser vices just in the last year have also filled in some gaps.
As your Pastor, I have experienced a renewed love and freedom to preach the Word. Christians growing and making decisions, folk responding to invitations, and others deciding to join the church are all; points for which I rejoice greatly. Add to this the fact that I, as the under-shepherd, have seen the sheep reproducing sheep by personal evangelism.
If I had to point out one thing which I thought characterized that past year, it would be the demonstration of love that you folk have shown to me. It has made itself known by your progress, notes of encouragement, and desire to stand behind the ministry. The Lord's blessing has and will be upon you for your help in the ministry.
Pastor Mark Smith"
For seven and one half years, Pastor Smith labored for the Lord at First Baptist Church of Port Crane. Many new people came into the church and many improvements were made to the premises. 17 new members were taken in and 12 baptisms. New carpet was installed in the Sanctuary and choir areas. A film projector was purchased to show gospel movies. A "Chat 'N Chew" time was initiated following one evening service a month to further fellowship. One of our Board Members, Tom Fletcher, accepted appointment to the Board of Directors at Camp Bayouca in Smithville Flats, NY and the church at Port Crane enjoyed contributing to and working with the staff at the Camp.
In January of 1985, Pastor Smith confided in the Deacon Board regarding his leaning toward an involvement with missions. He asked them to pray with him and his family regarding this matter. In June of 1985 it became official, Pastor and Mrs. Smith received direction from the Lord to go into full-time missionary work and to this day their work continues with Bible Tracts, Inc.
Photo FBPC Archives.
On October 1, 1985 Pastor Daniel Symonds accepted the call to pastor the church. A number of new families joined the church in 1986 totaling 9 new members. (Right: Pastor Symonds)Taken from the 1988-1989 Annual Report:
A note of interest from Pioneer Club Coordinator, Martha Baxter:
"The breakdown of traditional family values has created children with great discipline problems; our greatest challenge this year has been to present a practical Christianity to the children and establish communication with their parents. (We have seen increased parental participation and interest this year.) It was a difficult year with the loss of a pastor, but people volunteered and God's work was accomplished."
In January of 1989 Pastor Symonds was called from the First Baptist Church of Port Crane to do the Lord's will in a different church in the Pennsylvania area.
Again, it was time for the faithful few to roll up their sleeves and continue the Work of the Lord in this Lighthouse for Christ in the community of Port Crane. And roll up their sleeves they did. A whole new group of dedicated folks pitched in and accepted responsibilities with gusto.
Reverend Gil Parker was selected to be interim Pastor. The pastor's study was moved, the church library was moved and the Sunday School Office was moved. The floor in the fellowship hall was stripped and re-waxed, a thorough cleaning and maintenance of the house of God took place.
Although no list of specific members could be found, the names found throughout the meeting minutes were some from the past and some new: David Samson, David Willson, Leon Baxter, Jerry Ralston, Charles Kark, Tom Fletcher, Ken Gates, Walt Warner, Leon DeAnjou, Paul DeAnjou, Vic Sandell, Ken Osterhout, David Potts, David Warren, and their wives and children. Miss Marilyn Davis never gave up laboring for Christ at First Baptist Church of Port Crane her whole life and serves today with the Junior Church.
up48 About.com nbsp; 1970s Timeline Timeline of the 20th Century <http://history1900s.about.com/od/timelines/tp/1970timeline.htm>
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Only God knew who would shepherd the flock at Port Crane through the coming trials, tribulations, advancement and victories. Through all of the following, the church would need a strong leader.
In November of 1989, freedom raised her voice through President Ronald Reagan when he said: "Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" The Berlin Wall was demolished between East and West Germany.67On March 23, 1989, "The Exxon Valdez oil spill was one of the most publicized and studied environmental tragedies in history." 68
George Herbert Walker Bush became the 41st President of the United States (1989- 1993).69In 1990 the Hubble telescope was launched into space increasing our knowledge of the universe.70Also in 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait and the United States became involved in Operation Desert Storm on January 17, 1991. The same day Iraq fired 7 scud missiles into Israel. A cease-fire was negotiated in March of 1991 and Iraq finally accepts the ceasefire on April 6th.71 In 1992 the Cold War officially ended.72
1993 William Jefferson Clinton became the 42nd President of the United States.73The World Trade Center was bombed in NYC by terrorists in February of 1993, becoming the first terrorist attack from the Middle East on U.S. soil.74
1995 saw the discovery of the flesh eating Ebola Virus and in 1996 the Mad Cow Disease was identified and determined to be capable of being spread to humans by eating the infected meat. 1997 scientists "clone" a sheep raising much controversy on ethical and religious aspects of this new technology. In 1998 both India and Pakistan test nuclear weapons causing great concerns about the stability of that region.
In 1999, the Euro became the new European Currency, NATO attacked Serbia and the world became concerned over the "Y2K Computer Bug". 75This was a fear that computer systems and almost every appliance could fail because of the inability of a computer to read the new millennium numeric character of 2000. A tremendous amount of money was pumped into the economy as a result of people purchasing new automobiles, clocks, personal computers, and anything they were told ran on a computer chip. People hoarded money fearing the banks would not be able to function and they stocked shelves with food and supplies. Many people believed that the return of Christ for His church was imminent.
When the year 2000 came and went uneventfully, people were relieved, but it was short lived.
A new President, George W. Bush was elected. "He was sworn into office on January 20, 2001 after one of the most tightly contested presidential campaigns in U.S. history. " 76 While the Christian community was rejoicing that a very socially conservative man had become our President, Osama bin Laden and the Al Qaeda organization based in the Middle East were plotting against the United States of America.
On September 11, 2001 an attack on the World Trade Center in New York City and on the Pentagon in Washington, D. C. was successfully executed by this group. What followed were years of uncertainty and economic instability. From that day forward until now our country has been "at war" in two countries, Iraq and Afghanistan. The entire eight years of this Presidency was filled with frustration and unrest. A new Homeland Security Department and the Patriot Act changed and restricted the freedoms Americans have enjoyed since the founding of the nation.
In 2002 the largest security and accounting scandal in U. S. history was uncovered with the energy company called ENRON.77 The list of major corporations engaging in fraudulent practices grew. Tyco International, Halliburton, WorldCom, Global Crossing, to name a few.78
Hurricanes of great magnitude slammed into the southern coast of Florida, Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. The largest and most destructive hurricane was Katrina. Katrina was the 11th named storm, fifth hurricane, third major hurricane and second category 5 hurricane of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season. It was also the sixth strongest hurricane ever recorded, and the third strongest hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. ever recorded. This single hurricane killed over 1800 people.79
Then in 2008 the mortgage lending companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were found to be insolvent. These two government sponsored enterprises fell into crisis as the result of sub-prime lending practices that helped bring our country into financial crisis much like the crisis of 1929. A war weary people who were beginning to feel the effects of recession and an ever growing government debt elected a President who was not very well known and one who stirred controversy.80
Barack Obama was elected the 44th President of the United States and he took office on January 20, 2009.81 The possibility of a world-wide "depression" such as the one in 1929's greeted this president along with 2 wars still in progress, the questions regarding terrorism and a myriad of social issues such as abortion, gay rights, and government entitlements.82
Haiti was devastated by an earthquake in 2010. A volcano erupted in Iceland disrupting air travel over much of Europe for weeks. North Korea and Iran are actively seeking to produce nuclear weapons and new political alliances are developing in the Mid-East against Israel. World leaders are looking for global solutions to consolidate power by regulating "climate change", world currencies, and international law. The environment of the Gulf of Mexico was heavily damaged by an oil blowout from Horizon Deep Water oil well rig. The national debt has risen to over $13 trillion and unemployment is over 9%. (Jly 2010) Illegal immigration is a serious issue on our southern border. Media and entertainment venues continue to portray a society in moral decline.
The headlines of 1860 and the headlines of today reflect a time of trouble. (Matt 24:6-8) What is a Christian to do amid all these "Worldly Conflicts"? From Colossians 3:1-2 "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth."
In 1887 John H. Sammis penned these verses and Daniel B. Towner wrote the music to this familiar hymn.
When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
Refrain: Trust and obey, for theres no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.
Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross,
But is blessed if we trust and obey.
But we never can prove the delights of His love
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows, for the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.
Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet.
Or well walk by His side in the way.
What He says we will do, where He sends we will go;
Never fear, only trust and obey.
up67 About.com Fall of the Berlin Wall By Birge Amondson The Fall of the Berlin Wall Para 3 (accessed 23-Apr-2010)
up68 About.com 1980s Timeline Timeline of the 20th Century 1989 (accessed 7-Jun-2010)
up69 WWW.WHITEHOUSE.GOV "George W. Bush" 43. George W. Bush 2001-2009 (accessed 10-jun-2010) <http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/georgehwbush>
up70 About.com 1990 1990s Timeline Timeline of the 20th Century
up71 Defense.gov American Forces Press Service The Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm Timeline 9 (accessed 2-Jul-2010)
up72 About.com 1990 1990s Timeline Timeline of the 20th Century (accessed 7-Jun-2010) <http://history1900s.about.com/od/timelines/tp/1990timeline.htm>
up73 WWW.WHITEHOUSE.GOV "William J. Clinton" 42. William Jefferson Clinton 1993-2001 (accessed 10-Jun-2010)
up74 FBI.gov Federal Bureau of Investigation - Headline Archives First Strike: Global Terror in America (accessed 30-Jun-2010)Title & Date <http://www.fbi.gov/page2/feb08/tradebom_022608.html>
up75 About.com 1990 1990s Timeline Timeline of the 20th Century 1990 (accessed 7-Jun-2010)
up76 WWW.WHITEHOUSE.GOV "George W. Bush" 43. George W. Bush 2001-2009 (accessed 30-Jun-2010) <http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/georgewbush>
up77 Forbes.com Forbes-Accounting The Corporate Scandal Sheet - Penelope Patsuris (accessed 5-Jun-2010)
up78 Wikipedia Wikipedia-The Free Encyclopedia Accounting scandals (accessed 1-July-2010)
up79 Discovery.com Katrina Facts Surviving Katrina - Facts About Katrina
up80 Bloomberg.com Bloomberg News Fannie, Freddie `Insolvent' After Losses, Poole Says (accessed 30-Jun-2010)
up81 WWW.WHITEHOUSE.GOV "Barack Obama" 44. Barack Obama 2009 -
up82 Britannica.com Britannica Online <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1556409/entitlement>
PASTOR DANIEL BAKER
Once again, the Lord blessed First Baptist Church of Port Crane with, not only a shepherd of the flock, but a whole family dedicated to Christ. His wife, Nancy, immediately began working in the Ladies Missionary Society, the nursery, and being a good friend to all, as well as doing 101 tasks that Pastor's wives do that oftentimes go unmentioned. Their two sons were eager to join in all of the youth programs and do whatever they could to further the gospel. Little did anyone know how much the Daniel Baker Family would mean to the church and to the community. Nor did we realize Pastor Baker would remain faithful to the flock for more than 20 years. At this writing, he holds the record for the longest tenure at FBPC.
Photo FBPC Archives
Pastor Baker, the oldest of five children was born in Hornell, NY to a couple dedicated to Christian service. He has one brother who also entered the Pastorate and has three sisters. Pastor Dan accepted Christ as his Savior at the age of five in his home church, attended K-12 in Hornell, NY. He was called to the ministry and met his wife, Nancy, while attending Practical Bible Training School (now known as Davis College) in Johnson City, NY. Pastor was called to West Newark Valley Congregational Church and then became interim pastor of three churches before Shepherding Canaan Bible Chapel in Pennsylvania for 17 years. The Lord brought the Baker’s to Port Crane in 1989.
Pastor Baker joined the Port Crane Fire Company in April of 2000 and was appointed Chaplain. Presently (2010) he is President of the Broome County Fire Chaplains Association.
Pastor Baker enjoys hunting, fishing and woodworking. He volunteers his time teaching archery to young campers and can do great chalk drawings. He would like to be remembered as enjoying his twelve grandchildren, enjoying interacting with people, loving God, Family and church -- and, of course, loving to teach and preach the Word of God.
Nancy Baker was born in Coudersport, PA. She had one older sister. Nancy attended Wallenpaupack High School in Hawley, PA and accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior at 1fourteen. She later attended Practical Bible Training School where she met Pastor Dan. They were married and have four children. Their two sons are both in full-time Christian service: Todd as a Pastor; and Derek as a missionary. Their two daughters serve the Lord in musical ministries in their home churches singing and playing the piano.
Nancy’s hobbies are walking, refinishing antiques, and caring for animals (especially her Rottweilers). Nancy is a wonderful listener and counselor to many and she faithfully assumes many roles of service in the church from working in the nursery to teaching, cleaning, and being private secretary and helpmeet to her husband. She would like to be remembered as loving this simple truth: “Only one life will soon be past…only what’s done for Christ will last.”
Taken from the Annual Report 1989-1990, Church Historian's Report:
"June 4, Rev. Daniel Baker was our guest speaker. He used I John 4:16 as the text, and stressed three words "God is Love." He spoke of God's great investment in us, and His patience with us. Rev. Baker went on to say that God gave us the great sacrifice, the ultimate sacrifice, His dear Son. He said that God has sent us love letters using over forty secretaries to express His love, and to lead us to our salvation."
Saturday evening, June 24, Reverend Daniel Baker and his wife, Nancy, gave their personal testimonies followed by questions and answers.
Sunday, June 25, during the Sunday School hour, Rev. Baker spoke to the adult and senior high classes. During the worship service, he used II Cor. chapter 5 as the text, and titled the message "Products of a Godly Knowledge". He went on to say that because man is lost, we need to have the Godly knowledge of reconciliation. He closed by stating we are to be ambassadors for Him, "Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." II Cor. 5:21b
In the afternoon, Rev. Baker met with the Church Board, and the flock joined at the close for general questions. This was a productive time, and answers were given on both sides.
Then during the evening service, June 25, Rev. Baker titled the message "What to do when problems come; we want to know what God wants us to know". Habakkuk 3:18, 19 was the foundational text. The prophet was looking back over Israel's history, and God's miraculous dealings with his people. The wicked army was to march into Judah to take the people back to Babylon. There are four responses.
One is to rejoice in Jehovah, referring to Psalm 86:1-8 and Psalm 95:1, Secondly, "I will joy in the God of my salvation, referring to Hab. 3:18 and Psalm 91:3. The third statement is found in verse 19 of Hab. 3 and that is we are to draw upon the strength of the Lord. Psalm 59:7, 16 added more meaning to this. The last one is found where Habakkuk says "He will make my feet like hinds feet, and He will make me to walk upon mine high places."
The June Chat 'n Chew followed downstairs with many of our couples celebrating anniversaries, and many others having birthdays. The refreshments and the fellowship were good, and we were glad to say we were in the House of the Lord.
Wednesday evening, June 29, during a special business meeting, the Chairman of the Pulpit Committee, Leon Baxter recommended that we extend the call to Rev. Daniel Baker to be our Pastor. Thursday, Rev. Baker phoned, advising that he would accept the position of Pastor.
....A chapter of history was written Tuesday, July 25 when Pastor Dan and Nancy Baker, and their two sons, Todd and Derek, moved into the parsonage. They also have two daughters residing in Lake Aerial, Penna.
Sunday, July 30 was a special day in the life of our church. After the morning worship hour, there was a dinner honoring Rev. and Mrs. Gil Parker, and our new Pastor Dan and Nancy Baker and their family. We said good-bye to the Parkers, and a warm welcome to the Bakers."
Margaret Dibble, Church Historian
Seven new members were taken into the membership that fall.
At the end of the fiscal year, in March of 1990 Pastor Dan wrote the following:
"For the Lord will not forsake his people for his great name's sake: because it hath pleased the Lord to make you his people. Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way: Only fear the Lord, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you." I Samuel 12:22-24
I wish to thank God for putting me into the ministry and giving me the privilege of serving here as your Pastor. Our family has been made to feel right at home here these past eight months. We wish to thank all those who worked so hard to prepare the parsonage for our arrival. We have made it our home and enjoy its comfort and beauty. Please feel free to drop in. the coffee is always on!
I wish to thank the men in leadership here for the support, instruction, help and encouragement in "getting settled in" to the labor for the Lord. I am impressed and excited by all the volunteer labor here in the church. The various committees function so well and the Sunday School and various Youth programs could not exist apart from the dedicated teachers and workers. I appreciate the way the various folk keep the House of God clean. This I am sure is very honoring to the Lord.
Your sense of co-operation and spirit of unity are very heartening and are the reason the church is showing signs of growth and stability. Keep working and praying together. Another growth factor is our often gathering in fellowship. The dinners, Chat-N-Chews and fellowship class meetings are great!
I am very pleased to see the attention to the Word of God. I would encourage you to keep up with your Bible reading programs. I trust we will be able to give a certificate to each one who reads their Bible through in 1990. We do need to re-emphasis the importance of Scripture memory in this year ahead.
During these past eight months, I have had the privilege of sharing with bereaved families, the sick and suffering and shut-ins. I have been able to visit in some of your homes and will do more as the opportunities and time permit. I have had opportunity to counsel, comfort and care for many of you already.
I have some goals for the next year I wish to share in closing. In preaching I hope to preach through the Revelation, Philippians, the Life of Elijah, and the strategies of Satan. As to goals for 1990-1991, I will list them here.
- See increased, consistent attendance by those who call this their church.
- Increased prayer life for all of us.
- Emphasize and strengthen our Sunday School.
- Increased awareness and prayer for our missionaries.
- An active soul-winning program for our church.
Thank you for the opportunity to be your Pastor and please keep praying for us, "that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the Gospel." Ephesians 6:19
In closing, I remind you of I Samuel 12:22-24
Love, Pastor Dan Baker"
A great deal was accomplished in the first decade alone.
Much was done to update the By-laws and Constitution. Parking lot paving was finished. Pastors study was heated. In 1990 the Parsonage attic was insulated and the church bus was sold to Path of Life Camp. 13 people were baptized and 7 new members were taken into the membership. On April 1, 1990 a Mortgage Burning Ceremony was held. This was the end of the mortgage taken in 1973 to build the Christian Education Building
1990 - 1991
Many odd jobs were completed to bring the parsonage and church properties into good condition. In 1991 - four people were baptized and five people were extended the right hand of fellowship. On November 4, 1990, Charles Kark was given a license to preach. This was a renewal license after 35 years of service. Charles, great-grandson of Charter member Elizabeth (Youngs) Winn, and Charles' wife, Marjorie, have served the Lord at the Baptist Church for many years in many positions.
The budget is in the black - Storm windows were put over the stained glass windows. 1992 saw eight baptisms. Ronald A. Perry was presented with a license to preach on March 8, 1991. One new member was taken into the membership and many babies were dedicated to the Lord. In March, twenty-nine attended Legislative Day in Albany, we hosted the Area Singspiration, and in April held a symbolic Passover Seder Service.
1992 - 1993
A weekend Missionary Conference was held in April, 1992. Six new members were given the Right-Hand-Of-Fellowship in 1993. New furnace was installed. The Parsonage driveway was blacktopped.
In 1994, seventeen were baptized and sixteen new members were given the right hand of fellowship.
July 17th was a day of celebrating Old Home Day, our 134th Anniversary, and a Dedication Service for the newly renovated sanctuary. Changes were made to the platform and baptismal areas of the church. Remodeling included a new raised ceiling, expanded room, new wiring and lights, and updated sound system, and painting throughout.
The parsonage kitchen and bath was painted and new flooring installed. New countertop was installed in the parsonage kitchen. During 1995, three were baptized and nine taken in as new members. The church parking lot and parsonage driveway were blacktopped.
New windows were installed in the parsonage and the work completed in June 1996. One license to preach was issued to Todd Baker on August 6, 1995. In the calendar year of 1996, five people were extended the Right Hand of Fellowship. In December, the first bus tour to Lancaster, PA to see Joy of Christmas at Sight & Sound Theatre increased our fellowship and opened God's Word in a fresh way through drama.
Parsonage was painted and new carpet installed. In 1997, three were baptized and one was extended the Right Hand of Fellowship. Fred Benedict received commissioning for short term missions work in Russia with SEND, International
Hot water heater and water softener was installed in the church. During 1998, twelve people were extended the Right Hand of Fellowship, and two followed the Lord in Baptism. In 1998, the sanctuary arches were replaced with red oak in memory of Vic T. Sandell and dedicated. A new pulpit built and donated by Pastor Baker was dedicated in memory of his father. The refurbished nursery remodeled foyer and new handicapped restroom were also dedicated to the Lord's service.
During 1999, seven new members were taken into the fellowship. 130 is the average attendance during morning worship. Pulpit chairs were recovered and privacy rail finished for choir area. Steeple straightening begun. An aisle was created in the overflow area, new hymnals were purchased, and new tract racks were installed. On April 16, 2000—The AWANA program was approved. Three people followed the Lord in the waters of Baptism during 2000 and nine people were extended the Right Hand of Fellowship.
A tremendous work had been done in the last decade. The people had been blessed, the community had been blessed and the church stood strong as a "Lighthouse" for the Lord in Port Crane. Through many dangers, toils and snares we have already come...Amazing Grace. The year 2000 did not bring disaster, nor did the Lord forsake us.
We will open the next decade with the Pastor's Report from the 2000-2001 Annual Report written in April 1, 2001.
A new millennium and a new decade.
To God Be The Glory....Great Things He Has Done.
"Recently I asked our choir to sing a song we had sung last summer. It is Look What God is Doing. I did this because it expresses what I see and feel. God has been doing some very special things here this past year.
As I have been typing and editing the many reports enclosed in this booklet it becomes obvious that God is working here. Oh, we should all pray He will do more in 2001 than He has in the past, but Look what God is doing.
He has brought in new folk and saved some. He sustained many in our Church Family through illness, surgery, death and financial and family difficulties. The Psalmist in Psalm 75:1 expresses it well. "Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks; for that Thy Name is near, Thy wondrous works declare." Yes, Look what God is doing.
Now what are we to do next? Read Psalm 78:1-7. I quote here these verses from the New American Standard Bible.
"Listen, O people, to my instruction;
incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark (wise) sayings of old,
Which we have heard and know,
And our fathers have told us.
We will not conceal them from their (our) children,
But tell to the generations to come the Praises of the LORD,
And His strength and His wondrous works that He has done.
For He hath established a testimony in Jacob,
And appointed a law in Israel,
Which He commanded our fathers,
That they should teach them to their children;
That the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born,
That they may arise and tell them to their children,
That they should put their confidence in God,
And not forget the works of God,
But, keep His Commandments,..."
We must look back only to move forward with teaching and living the Praises of God to this and future generations, 'til Jesus Christ comes in the clouds of the Rapture. Let us help others to Look what God is Doing. There have been some special highlights for our family this year, such as the ordination of our son Todd, and his move to a full time pastorate in central PA, the starting of the AWANA Club ministry and marriage of our other son Derek to Jennifer. Please read the following reports and rejoice with me.
'Til He comes, Pastor Dan"
A Roland Church keyboard (electronic piano organ) was purchased in 2001. An offer was made on property next to the church for a Parking Lot. New church roof was completed and new gutters installed. During the calendar year of 2001, nine new members were extended the Right Hand of Fellowship and three people were baptized.
The years past were exceptional. There were "Mystery Trips", Progressive Suppers, Trips to Lancaster, Pennsylvania to the Sight and Sound Theater to see Biblical productions, and more. Each year a presentation is made regarding the Path of Life Camp and Director Charles Kark gives the church an up-date on the exciting things the Lord is doing for the young people. First Baptist Church of Port Crane is very active in participating in contributing to both local area camps, BAYOUCA and Path of Life. Both of these ministries are making an impact on young folks for Christ.
Each year the church participates in Legislative Day in Albany. Rev. Duane Motley and his wife Nancy founded New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms and New Yorker's Family Research Foundation. He is our missionary to the New York Legislature in Albany.
On June 18th, a commissioning prayer service for Seth Finch was given as he prepared to embark on a missions trip to Australia.
AWANA. The AWANA program began October 4, 2000 with 31 staff and 14 clubbers. By April 2001 the clubbers had grown to 42. At that time the club Directors were: Cubbies: Margaret Dibble; Sparks: Maggie Plevyak; Chums: Nancy Baker; Pals: Leon Hurlburt; Guards: Jennifer Baker; Pioneers: Leon Hurlburt; and Lynette Warner cared for the nursery age children. Elaine Edmondson was the Commander.
Many dear folks had gone home to be with their Lord and many new ones came into the fold. Here it is the beginning of a new decade and how do you say "Thank You" to all those who serve so faithfully.
Perhaps this is the place to recognize those faithful to the call in 2000-2001:
Sunday School teachers: Sally Benedict (Cradle Roll), Cathy Brown (2's & 3's), Margaret Dibble (4's & 5's), Marilyn Davis (Primary), Terri Samson (Junior Girls), Jerry Ralston (Junior Boys), Becky Fletcher-filling in for Maggie Plevyak, (Teen Girls), Charles Kark (Teen Boys), Leon Hurlburt (College & Career), Judy Carroll (Ladies Adult), Pastor Baker (Mixed Adult), David Samson (Sunday School Superintendent)
Our AWANA staff under Commander, Elain Edmondson: Joanne Ehrets (Tadpoles), Margaret Dibble (Cubbies), Maggie Plevyak (Sparks), Jennifer Baker (Guards), Derek Baker (Pals), Scott Willson (Pioneers), and Leon Hurlburt (Teens).
In addition to teaching, so many of our folks serve on committees:
Deacons: Dave Willson, Dave Samson, Tom Fletcher, Leon Hurlburt, Charles Kark, Jerry Ralston
Trustees: Walt Warner, Mark Tiffany, Derek Baker, Dean Coy, Fred Benedict, Art Eshleman
Treasurer: Dave Samson
Assistant Treasurer: Dave Willson
Financial Secretary: Marilyn Davis
Missions Committee Secretary: Margaret Dibble
Sunday School Superintendent: Scott Willson
Assistant Sunday School Superintendent: Derek Baker
Sunday School Secretary: Becky Willson
Shepardesses: Elaine Edmonson, Marjorie Kark, Joyce Price, Jennifer Baker, Maggie Plevyak, Becky Willson
Church Clerk: Marjorie Kark
Church Historian: Margaret Dibble
Christian Education Committee Representative: Margaret Dibble
Hospitality Committee: Elaine Edmonson, Michele Canfield, Lynette Warner, Patty Kark, Cathy Brown, Debbie Hurlburt, Vicki Tiffany, Debbie Fletcher, and Joanne Brown
Song Leaders: Charles Kark and Terri Samson Organist: Marjorie Kark Pianist: Martha Baxter & Adam Silvernail
A lighted Jesus Saves sign was installed on the front of the church with money donated by Roma Wayne, a long-time member of the church. She belonged to the Truthseekers in the 1950's.
Photos Courtesy Eldred Family Album
A new church sign was given in memory of Ken Osterhout. Ken was a dedicated servant of the Lord's and was fondly called Mr. Tract Man. Ken and his wife, Madeline joined the church in 1972.
New members were taken into the fellowship, there were several baptisms and the AWANA program was very active. Our short-term missionary, Fred Benedict, was in Togo, West Africa in November.
Parsonage downstairs bath was upgraded. 9/7/2003 - $50,000 was paid for purchase of two properties on the north side of the church on the corner of Canal and Park Street. The property was cleared houses demolished and land readied for parking lot and expansion. New carpet was installed from the double doors to the front entry of the Sanctuary. New video projector was purchased and a large screen. The property was purchased on the corner of Canal and Park Street. 120 feet of frontage on the front and 150 feet deep to the back. In 2003, six people were baptized and four were extended the Right Hand of Fellowship.
March 2004: A Building Fund was established for a Family Life Center. At the End of May 2004, the house on the property next door to the church was demolished and the lot leveled and filled on the newly purchased property. Twelve people followed the Lord in the waters of Baptism, and six were extended the Right Hand of Fellowship.
Several of our young people entered full-time vocational ministry: Scott and Michelle Willson (Path of Life Camp), Wayne and Karen Morgan (Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Youth for Christ), and Derek and Jennifer Baker (Yukon Canada). Shawn Willson is preparing to be a pastor and Erika DeAnjou is preparing for missions.
October 2005 a Building Committee began meetings. A Family Life Center was proposed and plans were under way. On May 1, 2005 six people were baptized and thirteen were extended the Right Hand of Fellowship that year.
Three people were baptized during 2006. Plans were well underway to begin construction of the Family Life Center and Fingerlakes Construction Company was selected to do the building. The Town of Fenton Planning Board informed Pastor Baker that our church building is considered a historical building and our addition needs to have a white exterior with brick red wainscoting to match the old church foundation. The next two years were filled with a great deal of prayer, planning, and work.
Roma Wayne, a dedicated prayer warrior, passed to her reward in February of 2006. Roma donated hundreds of books, videos and made many contributions to FBPC. Sally Benedict has faithfully cataloged and maintained our Church Library for a number of years.
On October 10th, Wayne Morgan, Jr. was approved for Ordination. On October 22, there was an Ordination Service at Kingsley Community Church in PA.
A website was designed and implemented in November of 2006
On January 21 there was the Presentation of Preaching Licenses. At the Quarterly Business Meeting of Jan 14th, this was voted on and Pastor Dan gave a first time Preaching License to Derek Baker and renewal Preaching Licenses to Charles C. Kark and Scott Willson.
During the calendar year of 2007, sixteen people were baptized and four were extended the right hand of fellowship.
A Commissioning Service for Derek and Jen Baker as missionaries for SEND going forth into the Yukon was held May 27, 2007. A meal was held following the commissioning in celebration.
Our church participated in the Franklin Graham Festival held June 8-10, 2007 at Binghamton University Events Center.
April 2007. Tioga State Bank approved a loan of $360,000 at 7.8% interest for our loan for the addition to the church building. The work was begun to construct the new Family Life Center (foyer complex and multipurpose gym).
Groundbreaking ceremony for new Family Life Center was held September 3, 2007. Verses from Nehemiah chapter 2 were used during the groundbreaking service.
Rev. Gil Parker spoke briefly and Rev. David Braid reflected on his tenure at Port Crane using 1st Samuel 7:12 as his text. Pastor Braid charged the congregation to never forget it is the Lord God, and the Holy Spirit who is in charge. Pastor Baker read a letter from Rev. Mark Smith and explained the building plan progress to date. He then reminded us that That which is not of faith is sin. The same shovel was used for the turning of dirt that was used in the 1974 ground breaking. Scott Willson closed with the benediction.
Volunteers did everything from paint and varnish to help install plumbing and sporting equipment in the new Family Life Center/Gym. It was a wonderfully rewarding time for those who labored with love and gave of their substance for the Lord Jesus Christ.
In March 2008 the bank allowed us to reduce our mortgage with them to $300,000 and accept a previously offered low interest loan from a couple in our flock for $100,000.
The "BIG" day arrived on April 26th and 27th of 2008. The Dedication of our new Family Life Center was held, and what a blessed celebration we had. Dr. Michael Peck was the guest speaker for the weekend and the Dedication and Dinner was held on Sunday April 27th. We were blessed as Pastor Daniel Baker introduced former Pastors Mark Smith and Gary Linebaugh to the new members. A great time was had by all as Christian fellowship resulted in our coming together.
Through the efforts and vision of Pastor Baker and David Samson, we began our very first series of Southern Gospel Quartet concerts. In April we hosted The Gospel Bond Concert, in July the Lanning Family Singers, in August Triumphant Quartet and in November, the Good News Quartet. A platform was made for future concerts.
Three people were extended the Right Hand of Fellowship in 2008. In March, the Seasoned Saints Community Fellowship and Bible Study began. The AWANA clubs began their 8th year. Many anniversary, birthday, Mother's and Father's day celebrations were held in the Family Life Center as well as baby and wedding showers. Funeral dinners also ministered to families. One hundred ten Christmas shoeboxes were filled and sent to the Franklin Graham Ministries.
Paving of the FLC parking lot was completed and sports equipment was purchased or constructed. In addition the floor was painted and striped for the AWANA program.
In 2009, First Baptist Church of Port Crane hosted four Southern Gospel singing groups: The Ball Brothers, Tribute Quartet, Down East Boys Quartet, and Triumphant Quartet. This year in 2010, we will be hosting The Ball Brothers, Soul'd Out Quartet, Greater Vision (August 12th), and Triumphant Quartet (November 12).
The AWANA program continues to see the blessings of the Lord as young people Grow in the Grace and Knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18). The love for missions continues and a Missions Conference was held February 6 through 8th of 2009. Many more dinners, Bible studies, and fellowship gatherings occurred last year. Yes, God is Good.
Those currently serving the Lord in a leadership position:
Deacons: Wayne Morgan, Dave Samson, Tom Fletcher, David Willson, Jerry Ralston, Scott Willson
Trustees: Walt Warner, Rob Gould, Fred Benedict, Roger Stilson, Art Eshleman, Jason Fletcher
Treasurer: Dave Samson
Assistant Treasurer: Dave Willson
Financial Secretary: Debbie Fletcher
Missions Committee Representative: Walt Warner
Missions Committee Secretary: Lynette Warner
Sunday School Superintendent: Wayne Morgan
Assistant Sunday School Superintendent: Brad Hurlburt
Sunday School Secretary: Heather Barrows
Shepherdesses: Brenda Button, Billie Jo Youmans, Michelle Willson, Becky Willson, Juanita Morgan, Jody Gould
Church Clerk: Barbara Guernsey
Church Historian: Margaret Dibble
Christian Education Committee Representative: Jason Fletcher
Hospitality Committee: Lynette Warner, Debbie Hurlburt, Debbie Fletcher, Joanne Brown, Brenda Button, and Sharon Fletcher
Song Leaders: Charles Kark and Terri Samson
Organists: Eva Gollogly & Marjorie Kark
Pianists: Charity Brown & Martha Baxter
AND, GOD CONTINUES TO HAVE A PLAN
"The LORD is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9 KJV).
This brings us to the end of our journey through 150 Years, but certainly not through the end of the journey for the First Baptist Church of Port Crane, serving as God's Lighthouse to our community. Yes, the times are turbulent and it seems as if the Lord’s return for his Church is imminent. As long as we hold high the cross of Jesus Christ, "holding forth the word of life" (Phil. 2:16 KJV) God will redeem the lost, encourage the downhearted, strengthen the faithful, and set the path straight for those who are wandering. Yes, "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever..."(Hebrews 12:8 KJV) and as the sign on the front of our building declares — "JESUS SAVES".
It is with great expectation the people of the First Baptist Church of Port Crane look forward to the Lord's return. Until then we will continue to work and serve with joy and confidence as we pay off the debt on our Family Life Center. It is with the same joy and anticipation that we look forward to expanding our Worship Services to accommodate more people to be brought into the saving knowledge of Christ, washed in the Blood of our Savior, edified by the Word of God, growing in the grace and knowledge of Christ and being conformed to His image.
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TIDBITSThe first pastor of this fledgling church, Rev. Almeron P. Merrill, was born in Deposit, NY, March 13, 1916, and died in the same town, June 3, 1900. His mother's continual prayers were instrumental in his conversion at age twenty-one. He struggled against the call of God into the ministry for nearly twenty years because he did not feel qualified to preach the Gospel. Finally, at age forty, with fear and trembling, he surrendered. He was ordained in Harpursville and served churches in Windsor, Lanesboro, Port Crane, Conklin, Great Bend, Coventry, West Colesville, Castle Creek, Motts Corners, Killawog, Preston, Upper Lisle, Lamb's Corners, North Sanford, Johnson City, Nineveh, and Susquehanna. He had the gift of evangelism, holding revivals in many areas, and was used of God to lead many souls to Christ. He stood strong in his convictions and cast the first Prohibition vote in Broome County and was well respected by all who knew him. (taken from biography on page 66 of "Celebrating 150 years of God's Faithfulness" published by the "Little White Church" of Conklin, NY)
On May 25th, 1950, lifelong residents of Port Crane, Harold Casterlin and Velma Fry were married in holy matrimony by Pastor Dix. Merle Fuller baptized Harold and his brother George on April 4, 1940. Harold remembers attending the Gipsy Smith meeting at Port Crane and also the Billy Sunday meetings held in Binghamton. Each Sunday, Harold would ring the church bell 26 times. He said he wanted to wake the people up in Port Crane because they knew who rang the bell. Harold was not a tall man, (his nickname was "Shorty") and the bell was so heavy he couldn't get it to stop. It would pick him right up off the ground. The bell weighs a hefty 510 pounds and is still being rung in 2010.
Harold and Velma have been members of Central Baptist Church on Front Street for many years. Harold passed into eternal glory on June 12, 2010.
Photos FBPC Archives and Webpages as indicated on photos. Click pic to enlarge photo.
From the 1954-1956 era, Tom Mott recalls that he accepted Christ in Miss Marilyn's Junior Church and each week on a Sunday morning when a child walked past Paul DeAnjou, he would pull a piece of penny candy from his pocket and say: "If you can quote me a verse of scripture, I'll give you this candy. Pastor Braid married Thomas and Barbara Mott and during the 1970's they became "on-fire" for the Lord singing in many churches and working for the Lord at Port Crane. Tom recalled working on the New Christian Education Building at the time. He was standing on a 25' aluminum ladder reaching up under the dropped ceiling. Unbeknownst to anyone, the electrical system had never been properly grounded and it was not until Tom's hair stood on end the discovery was made. He called down to "Bob Lindsey who was doing the electrical wiring, "I think we have a problem up here, Bob." Thomas is now an ordained Minister of the Gospel.
Recollections from the 1970's -- A Pastor sometimes thinks the worst of "gatherings" where no senior/seasoned member is present. To Pastor Linebaugh's great astonishment, when he dropped in on a 72 Group meeting, he found all present on their knees in prayer asking for the Lord's blessing upon Him, His Ministry and the good people of the First Baptist Church of Port Crane. After prayer and during the refreshment time, everyone had a great laugh regarding his lack of faith.
Many mentions were made in church records of enjoying Jerry Ralston's barbequed chicken. And now, we have the good pleasure of enjoying Perry's Pond, barbeques at Path-of-Life Camp and monthly Chat-n-Chews in the Fellowship Center.
Photos Perry Family Album
Perry's Pond - Great Fun! Great Food! Great Hymn-sing!
Many fond memories are recalled of the corn roasts at the Parsonage hosted by Pastor and Nancy Baker. In addition, recollections are fondly made of the Bible Studies that Nancy hosted and guided at the Parsonage for several years. The Baker's are a warm and cordial couple who are always ready and willing to give a hand to someone in need.
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The Truth Seekers Class
The Truth Seekers Class held bake sales, sold Christmas Cards and held other fund-raising endeavors and began Secret Sister’s. They sponsored Mother—Daughter Banquets, Ladies Teas, Halloween Parties, Christmas Parties and Parties for Shut-Ins. They kept a Birthday Calendar, sponsored Missionaries, and planned the church dinners. Each year the group sponsored a Ladies Night At The Church.
They held their meetings at different homes each month hosted by one or two people. A business meeting would be held, devotions based on a Theme for the month would be given and refreshments would be served. All of their activities were done very decently and in order with guidelines that were followed by all. It was a “gathering of fine Christian ladies.”
The television had not yet become part of the average family life, most women were homemakers, and ladies gatherings were well attended. In 1952 the name was changed to the Philathea Class. Photos were taken at each meeting and special events.
In the back of their record book are 3 stories written for special occasions by Christine S. Kark. At the end of 1951 the following was written:
“Through the Year with the Truth Seeker’s
We started the year with a bake sale at the Victory Store,
Pies, cakes, rolls, cookies – good things galore.
The mothers and daughters of our church were honored in May,
And gave the children potted plants on their day.
In June, we had a Strawberry Festival, shortcakes and splits.
The best to be had this side of the Ritz.
July, we treated the Dads and Sons to chicken and biscuits.
In August for the Philathea Ladies we gave a picnic.
We sponsored two turkey suppers which netted us well.
Gave gifts to two couples who had run the Wedding Bell,
Our missionary work included Christmasing the Indians and Child Evangelism,
To the new Indian church, a donation was given.
Ten dollars we gave to the Camp Fund for our young folks.
We later gave them a Halloween Party, including ghosts.
We showered Alice, the bride and Jane and Dora’s babies’ dear,
All of us filled coin cards throughout the year.
Inaugurated this year: at the close of our meetings was heard,
A message by our Pastor, taken from God’s Holy Word.
The year of fifty one, girls, indeed has had to pass,
But much was accomplished by Our Truth Seekers Class.”
The Truth Seekers Class"We’re a class of happy women Who are joined in Christian Faith Our purpose is to seek His way And live it, day by day.
Among the things we aim to do Is first of all, His will That we a Christian Life pursue, And thus His will fulfill.
To aid our church, its work to do Ask Others, Bring Others, Pray too! That all those in and about Port Crane, Might hear, believe and Salvation obtain."Members - 1951
Ruth Dix, Jane Mandigo, Florence Hotaling, Kitty Hancock, Dorothy Youngs, Eleanor Seery, Florence Baxter, Lula Minser, Laurene Lott, Doris Hitt (became Mrs. Paul DeAnjou), Roma Wayne, Betty Breese, Alene Snedaker, Dora Burroughs, Guest: Miss Alice Taft (became Mrs. Leon DeAnjou)Members - 1952
Leona Baker, Florence Baxter, Betty Breese, Betty Brink, Dorothy Braid, Alice Brock, June Bronson, Mary Bryde, Beverly Gould, Kathryn Hancock, Tressa Haskell, Esther Helmer, Christine Kark, Lois Lee, Laurene Lott, Jane Mandigo, Wanda Rappman, Eleanor Seery, Coleena Simonson, Hazel Winston, Dorothy Youngs
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Centennial copy from Book of Remembrance—1960
...committees in conjunction with our membership body did an excellent job in making the celebration one of honor to Jesus Christ, whom we love and serve.For months we of the Port Crane Community Baptist Church prayed, planned and worked towards our Centennial Celebration...
October 9 was chosen as Youth Sunday. Our Young Peoples Group had a part in the morning service. It was indeed thrilling to see our fine group of future church leaders actively having a part in our celebration. The sermon of the morning was given by Charles C. Kark, a great grandson of one of our Charter members, Elizabeth Youngs Winn. He is a graduate of Practical Bible Training School and at present Director of Triple Cities Youth for Christ.
The evening service was also in charge of the Young People who gave testimonies in word, song, and instrumental numbers. The evening sermon was delivered by Leon Baxter, one of our young men who is at present a Junior at Practical Bible Training School
The week of October 10th, Dr. M. L. Lowe of Practical Bible Training School was present each night for special services. We had a fine attendance each evening and I am sure each one of us were drawn closer to our Precious Savior, as this man of God led us in studies on: The Church, the Bride of Christ; God the Creator; The Bible, the Authority of God; God's Whole Prophetic Program in the Jewish Feasts; and The Difference between Salvation and Rewards. Dr. Lowe ended his series by speaking at both services October 16th.
Missionary Sunday was observed October 23rd with Rev. and Mrs. Gorden Wimer, missionaries on furlough from Africa, as our guest speakers. Again it was brought to our attention the great need of missionaries: prayer and financial support for those in the Regions Beyond. During the evening service slides were shown of the work in their particular part of Africa.
October 30th climaxed the month of Celebration and was called "Centennial Day". Our Pastor, Rev. David Braid gave a wonderful message based on I Kings 8:28-30.'Yet have thou respect unto the prayer of thy servant and to his supplication, O Lord, my God, to hearken unto the cry and to the prayer, which thy servant prayeth before thee today: That thine eyes may be open toward this house night and day, even toward this place of which thou hast said, My name shall be there: that thou mayest hearken unto the prayer which thy servant shall make toward this place. And hearken thou to the supplication of thy servant, and thy people Israel, when they shall pray toward this place: and hear thou in heaven, thy dwelling place: and when thou hearest, forgive.' II Chronicles 6:41
'Now therefore arise, O Lord God, into thy resting place, Thou and the ark of thy strength: let thy priests, O Lord God, be clothed with salvation, and let thy saints rejoice in gladness.' II Chronicles 7:1, 12 & 16
'Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt-offering and the sacrifices; and the Glory of the Lord filled the house. And the Lord appeared to Solomon by night and said unto him: I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice. For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there forever: and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually!
In part, Rev. Braid mentioned (and I quote) 'the sacrifices of those in the past which had made it possible for our church to still be a real testimony for Christ throughout these hundred years. Our church is more than a building. It is where God lives, dwells and rules. What do we get from God, through our church? Many thngs - it is where most people receive salvation, we are comforted, blest, have prayers answered and enjoy Christian Fellowship. As those in the past have sacrificed for us, that we are able to celebrate this day, so must we be faithful in our time, that those of the future may also have a Christ-Centered House of Worship.'
Dinner was served to nearly two hundred persons, after which persons, after which a time of visiting and reminiscence was enjoyed between our visitors and our people.
At three o'clock everyone gathered for the Centennial Program. Visitors were recognized. Descendants of the Charter members present were: Bert Carman, Lewis Carman, Mrs. Olive Hotchkiss and Mrs. Agnes Thompson whose grandmother was Maria Carman. Also, Raymond Kark and children: Charles, Dianne, David and Leslie together with Ivan Kark whose grandmother was Elizabeth Youngs Winn. Lydia Simonson was honored as the oldest living member. Officers of the church were introduced. Singing and special numbers were presented.
A buffet supper was served later in the day.
Our celebration came to a climax with the evening service which consisted of a musical program on the Life of Christ presented by the choir.
Fellowship was enjoyed following this service and light refreshments were served. Many of our Methodist friends were present.
The Pleasant Hill Missionary and Alliance Church sent greetings to us on this day in form of a lovely floral arrangement.
Members of the Fellowship Class worked diligently to clean and decorate our church for our 100th Anniversary. They also took care of the Sponsorships which are listed in the booklet. They also ordered and distributed Commerative (sic) Plates.
A gift of one hundred dollars was presented to our Pastor and his family.
In closing this account of our Centennial Observance it is our prayer that we in this generation and the generations to come will be faithful in continuing the testimony of our Precious Savior, the Lord Jesus; that our church founded a century ago may continue to be a Lighthouse in this area: that the years before us, only the true Word of the Lord shall be preached.
Christine S. Kark
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A Brief History
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Here We Grow Again
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|“Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15)|
|“Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you; as my Father hath sent me even so send I you.” (John 20:21)|
|“But ye shall receive power after the Holy Spirit is come upon you; And ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, And in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8)|
Our Lord’s command in Matthew 28:19-20 was “Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age. Amen.”
The nineteen members of West Colesville Church that organized this daughter church at Port Crane were in obedience to that command. Growing in grace and knowledge of the Lord, strengthened by biblical preaching and teaching, and ministering to the needs of each other, the witness of Christ began to spread outward from the community of Port Crane to “the uttermost part of the earth”.
The first pastor, Rev. Almeron P. Merrill, had the gift of evangelism and no doubt influenced many for Christ in this community in his short stay here (1860-1861).
It is recorded in the church record of September 25, 1875: “…Eld. Seagers asked an expression of the church in favor of holding extra services for the upbuilding of the cause of Christ in the church and community. The vote in favor was almost unanimous.”
Support of missionary endeavors was an important part of the early vision of this church. In 1892 a special speaker for a series of meetings was conducted by Rev. H.A. Payne who was sent out by the Missionary Convention. Stores were asked to close during meeting time.
Then, at age 42, Rosabel Rider, (daughter of James and Phoebe Rider) was called by the Lord to go forth as a missionary. In 1904 she left her home and family to go to Cleveland, Ohio and then to Chicago to the Baptist Missionary Training School. All of the students were Christian women who were trained with a combination of classroom work and field education. In a 1906 journal entry she wrote:“On Field Day Thurs. Oct 18, at 2 o’clock PM. Miss H and I went out to make some visits on Clark St. We find that even rainy afternoons have some advantage. We are reminded of the continual drops of mercy & blessing that fall upon us from Heaven. We are more apt to find the people at home and while we enjoy the kindly shelter of their roofs can talk with them about God, who has promised a pavilion to shadow from the heat of the sun and to be a refuge and covert from the rain, Isa 4:6 and perhaps sing about Jesus, ‘A Shelter in the Time of Storm’. Her tombstone reads “A Faithful Missionary”.Back to More Information on Rosabel
God continued to bless this congregation as they continued to obey the Lord’s command to preach and teach the gospel. There were those who surrendered to the Lord’s call to “Go” and there were those who willingly offered their support to “Send”. Presently, this congregation supports ministries on five continents, with several of those being called from our own number. From a $5.00 contribution sent in the 1800’s, our missions budget has grown to $48,930 in 2010.
As our records are incomplete it is with humble trepidation that we compile a list. However, the Lord keeps perfect records: “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which you have shown toward his name…” (Hebrews 6:10)
In addition to Rosabel Rider mentioned above, Barry Hancock felt the call of God in his life. He served as a faithful missionary for many years in Peru, establishing and operating a Christian Radio Station.
Carla Aiken Rose grew up in this church, attending with her parents. In the 1970’s she served with Teen Haven in Philadelphia. Carla has a beautiful singing voice which she uses to minister, along with her husband, Robert, at Songs of Joy Ministries and Home for Children in Guatemala, which they established in 1989.
Thomas Mott was another youth who grew in the knowledge of Christ at First Baptist Port Crane and went on to serve the Lord. He is presently a Pastor in full-time Christian service.
Leon and Martha Baxter was used by the Lord in the Teen Haven ministry in Lancaster, Pennsylvania working with inner-city kids and the summer camp in York County from 1971-1981.
While serving as our Pastor in 1985, Rev. Mark Smith felt the call to missions. He and his wife, Nancy, followed the call and continue to this day with Bible Tracts, Inc.
Others from our church currently in full-time service include:
Photo Courtesy David Martin
Charles and Marjorie Kark -
As a young man Charles was active in the Youth for Christ ministry and Child Evangelism Fellowship. The Karks presently serve as Directors of Path of Life Camp, which they have operated for forty years.
Charles also serves as Pulpit Supply, Gideon speaker, Jailhouse minister as well as being Song leader for church services. Marjorie has served as church organist for over forty years as well as at camp. Campers have also been the beneficiaries of her excellent cooking.
(Pictured: The Karks celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary in 2009.)
Scott and Michelle Willson - (Awaiting Photo) Both grew up in our church and presently serve as Program Directors for Path of Life Camp. He received a license to preach in 2007 and was ordained to the gospel ministry in 2009.
Daniel (Todd) and Christy Baker -Pastor Baker had the pleasure of presenting his son a preaching license in 1995. In 2000, Todd was examined and ordained to the ministry and currently serves a Pennsylvania church as Pastor. Pastor Todd's wife, Christy, also grew up in our church fellowship and is the daughter of Walt and Lynette Warner.
Wayne and Karen Morgan -Wayne was approved for Ordination in 2006 and they currently serve with Scranton Wilkes-Barre Youth for Christ sharing their love for young people with an effective testimony.
Derek and Jen Baker -A preaching license was presented to Derek in January 2007, followed by a Commissioning Service in May to send them forth as missionaries to the Yukon.
Shawn Willson - (No Photo Available)
This young man of God also answered the call to full-time service and is Pastor of West Groton Bible Church.
Erika DeAnjou -Also growing up in the church with a godly heritage, Erika has answered the call to teach in a Christian school in Saipan.
We were blessed with several who have served as short-term missionaries including: Fred Benedict, Art & Marie Eshelman, Lynette Warner, and James Williams as well as a number of young people at various times.
Through the years there have been others who have been ordained or received preaching licenses. Those we have seen recorded are Rev. C. J. Tucker (ordained 1884) and licenses to Mark Gibbons (1974), Jim McBroom (1976) and Ronald Perry (1991).
|Only the Lord knows those who have contributed sacrificially and those who have been faithful prayer warriors to enable these servants of God to labor in His harvest field. They will surely share in their reward.|
|“…Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal, that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.” (John 4:35,36)|
- ABWE Association of Baptists for World Evangelism
Statement of Faith & Church Covenant
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Use this link to view images of the original 100th Anniversary Booklet of First Baptist Church of Binghamton. Click Here This booklet contains information regarding the first Baptist church in Binghamton from 1792 until the 100th Anniversary of First Baptist Church of Binghamton (Chenango Point) in 1929. Please use browser controls to read. Loading of the images may be slow because the resolution has not been reduced to preserve the image of the original document.
The following poem was published in the Binghamton Democrat Leader April 15, 1870 just before the dismantling and removal of the Chenango Point First Baptist Church. It reflects the congregation's great love for their first church on Chenango Point.
Take them out tenderly, Lift them with care, And take out the windows, the light streaming through, There the youth and the maiden together has stood, While out from that pulpit, so old and so worn, Ah! Silent the voices that once filled the choir. Thy days are numbered, old church on the green. Then take down the pillars, moldings the doors. Goodbye, then old church, with thy windows so tall But much as we love thee, old church on the green, Our venerable Brother, that for fifty years stood.
By Mrs. E. Young
The following lines were suggested by read-
ing a notice in your paper that the old Baptist
Church in Binghamton was about to be torn
down and a new one built in its place:
For every old timber is seasoned with prayer;
And gently remove them, the old plastered walls,
Where sadly and faintly the last echo falls.
Though not dim and religious, lit every pew;
Where brothers and sisters united in prayer,
And we felt that the spirit of worship was there.
And plighted their troth in the presence of God:
Their parents have promised to tenderly rear
Their children in holiness, justice and fear.
Dark warnings and threatening often have come;
And gently God’s warnings have fell on the ear,
To whisper of mercy, dispelling each fear.
They sang with the spirit and their’s the true fire,
But some have gone, they are still praising God,
While others yet meekly pass under the rod.
The last of thy stately pews soon will be seen;
And old things must go to make room for the new,
For the hearts that once loved these are scattered and few.
Remove the old pulpit, and take out the floors;
For one of the lessons we hear are taught
Is the best mark of man must come to naught.
With thy very plain aisles and old plastered walls;
I would love thee old galley, empty….and cold,
It covered all over with cobwebs and mold.
Thou art growing too old, it is plain to be seen;
And the record is kept, for God’s angel of love
Has written it down in the temple above.
In the church as a deacon in fear of his God;
May his life be prolonged for years to come
His reward will be great when he’s called to his home.
Take them out tenderly, Lift them with care,
And take out the windows, the light streaming through,
There the youth and the maiden together has stood,
While out from that pulpit, so old and so worn,
Ah! Silent the voices that once filled the choir.
Thy days are numbered, old church on the green.
Then take down the pillars, moldings the doors.
Goodbye, then old church, with thy windows so tall
But much as we love thee, old church on the green,
Our venerable Brother, that for fifty years stood.
The last paragraph 'Our venerable Brother' speaks of John Congdon who died in 1872. He began the Baptist Church of Chenango Point in 1813. Each time a Baptist preacher came through Chenango Point he would gather a group of Baptists to celebrate the Lord’s Supper. In 1827 a church was formed with 5 members. On May 13, 1828 he was chosen as a deacon and remained such until 1872 at the time of his death. Although it speaks of him being deacon for only 44 years, it is assumed that the extra 6 years comes from his dedication to establish a church.
From PAST & PRESENT: "Local Baptists held services in the Binghamton area as early as 1789, but they did not form a permanent organization until 1827. The congregation consisted of five people, four of whom were members of John Congdon's family. A wooden Baptist Meeting House was built on Chenango Street at the corner of Warren Street in 1831. This was on land donated by John Congdon and his wife."
"A larger brick church was begun on the same site in 1870 and completed in 1872. Miles Leonard was the building contractor." ... "The old wooden church was sold to the Baptist congregation of Port Crane."
"The 1872 church burned in January 6, 1893 but was rebuilt the same year. Miles Leonard was again the builder, with T. I. Lacey and Son as the architects. The 160-foot high north spire was not rebuilt after the fire."
"Faced with declining membership the First Baptist congregation merged with Conklin Avenue Baptist Church in 1970. The 1893 building was demolished later that year to make room for 100 Chenango Place, a 15 story senior citizen housing tower operated by the Broome-Tioga Baptist Association. Warren Street was eliminated, and another housing tower, 110 Chenango Place was added later." 83
Pictured below is a Post Card commemorating the 100th Anniversary of Binghamton and the Cover of the 100th Anniversary Booklet of the original First Baptist Church in Binghamton (Chenango Point). Click Here To View Entire Booklet
Post Card Courtesy Arthur Eshleman - Booklet FBPC Archives
up83 Browne, Charles J. - Past & Present, Stereographic Scenes In and Around Broome County - P. 91 - 94
Special thanks to those who shared photographs for this project. Many of the photos came from church archives with no record of the photographer. Others came from the Fenton Historical Society, newspaper archives, and individual family albums and snapshots, including Bruce Apgar, the Youngs Family, the Kark Family, David Martin, the Casterlin Family, Barbara Eldred, Don and Sandy Perry, Barbara Guernsey, and Joanne Brown. Permission has graciously been given for the use of the photographs by those families and photographers.
Our appreciation is extended to Mr. Bruce Apgar and The Youngs Family who kindly supplied early photographs. Mr. Apgar's
information made connections between families through the use of photographs and data in his family Bible. He also scanned portions of Rosabel Rider's
journal and letters and sent information regarding her missionary schooling and work. Without the contributions of
Mr. Apgar and his trips to Port Crane with documents and photographs, we would be sadly lacking in content for those early years.
This document represents over 2 years of researching original documents, obtaining information from the Binghamton Public Library, scanning photographs and gleaning information from local history and church records by Barbara Guernsey as a loving service to the Lord.
Thank you to Mrs. Joanne Brown for her excellent job of editing. Her service to the Lord and to the church in making revisions, corrections, and many additions to this 150th Anniversary booklet has been a significant contribution.
The names, events, and historical data were taken from handwritten Meeting Records dating from 1860 through 1950. The earliest documents with names were transcribed to the best of our ability. There may be instances where the name was changed, nicknames may have been used rather than surnames, or early script may have resembled a different alphabetical character than we are familiar with in 2010.
Please Note: Many last names have changed over time. (For instance,
Bunzey was also known as Buntze, Bunza, Bunzy, Bunzer or Bunsee.
Contributed by Richard Schering.)
Fair Use. This document was carefully prepared. I believe it conforms to all copyright and Fair Use laws including the provisions in "The Digital Millennium Copyright Act." All sources have been cited, all photographs that are not in the public domain (prior to 1927) have been cleared with the photographer. Information regarding the church and church members contained herein was gathered from Original Church Records or archived records that are in the public domain. This document is for historical record ONLY and will not be sold for profit. If anyone learns of an inadvertent infringement upon anyone's intellectual property, please notify the author through the e-mail address: email@example.com
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