Our Church History

In 1797, a small group of post-revolutionary War settlers began to gather as a Baptist Society in the Pompey-Manlius area. By the early 1800's, the congregation had grown, and in 1827 a church was built on Seneca Street in Manlius, New York. The present brick building was constructed in 1928. With the growth of the Sunday School, an educational wing was added in 1968.

American Baptist Churches USA

The Church became affiliated with the Baptist Missionary Convention in 1828 and continues as an active member of the American Baptist Churches, USA.

While our genealogical records are limited, requests for information may be directed to our church historian, Mr. Elwin Richardson. Baptist historical information may also be obtained through the American Baptist Historical Society. The Manlius, New York Historical Society may provide information on the village.

1797-1897 - The First 100 Years

1797-1820 (Elder Baker, Comstock and Nichols)

Elder Nathan Baker – Elder Elhanah Comstock - Elder John Nichols

In 1797 the new Republic was 21 years old. George Washington completed his second term as President and had turned the reins of government over to John Adams. The Governor of New York State (the second) was John Jay. Onondaga County and the Town of Manlius were three years old. It was only five years since the first white settlers had made their homes in the wilderness which became the Village of Manlius. On December 8, 1797, men and women in the Manlius-Pompey area banded together under the leadership of Elder Nathan Baker to establish a church.

Nathan Baker was born April 14, 1760, in Woodbury, Connecticut. He married Lucy Norton (born May, 1762). They had at least three sons and one daughter.

We are indebted to Carole L. Alden of Michigan Center, Michigan, who is doing genealogical research on the Baker family, for much of the information about the Baker children.

  • Joseph Baker – Born 1785 – Pompey, New York. Died December 6, 1836, in Manlius, New York. (The place of birth is in question since there were not many settlers in the Pompey area in 1785.)
  • Simeon Baker – Born July 24, 1790, in Salem, New York. Died June 18, 1838.
  • Nathan Baker (II) – Born October 27, 1793, in Saratoga, New York. Died January 1862 in Burlington, Michigan.
  • Lucy Baker – Born 1797 in Pompey, New York. Died July 3, 1803.

Lucy Baker’s tombstone can still be seen (2000) in Baker Cemetery on the west side of the Pompey Center Road, about three miles north of Pompey Center on Town Lot #30, Town of Pompey. Her epitaph can be plainly read: “In memory of Lucy Baker, only daughter of Elder Nathan Baker, who departed this life July 3, 1803, in the sixth year of her life.”

While three sons are indicated for Elder Baker, only one (Nathan) appears in the minutes of the church, which start on September 4, 1813, at which time Joseph would have been 28, Simeon 23, and Nathan 20 years of age.

The time that Elder Baker came to the Pompey-Manlius area is not certain. In 1796, according to information furnished by the Manlius Historical Society, he was buying property in the Town of Pompey. On May 31, 1796, he purchased 114 acres of land in the Southeast corner of Lot #9 in the Town of Pompey, close to the Town of Manlius. This may be the lot on which he built a home. On May 20, 1800, he purchased 50 acres in the Southwest corner of Lot #10 and 30 acres North of his purchase of May 31, 1797, and on September 11, 1809, 15 acres in the Southwest corner of Lot 49, close to the Village of Pompey. By 1797, Elder Baker appeared to be settled and ready to stay for a while, apparently committed to a relatively long tenure as pastor of the new Baptist Church in the Pompey-Manlius area. We do not know why Elder Baker came but his record of missionary work in the central and western part of the state during his stay in Manlius suggests that he might have been sent for the purpose of starting a church. We know of no other reason for his coming here.

There may have been some question in the beginning about where in this area Elder Baker was to establish a church. In the Onondaga Historical Association Collection of materials on the early Baptist gatherings in the Fayetteville, Manlius and Pompey area, there is a copy of one of the earliest records of the Baptist Church in Fayetteville (to confuse things called for a time the Manlius Baptist Church). Henry Knapp, an early clerk of the Fayetteville Baptist Church, wrote that “on a loose leaf in the Record Book is a letter or record slightly torn and faded ink but good handwriting, evidently the oldest minutes made by the clerk, or possibly a memo, made by a pastor, as follows: (The part concerning Elder Baker and the Fayetteville Church has been excerpted.)

“To accommodate the people we had our meetings in different places in which time Mr. Baker moved in and preached with us where our meeting was held. In the middle of the summer Mr. Baker left our meeting and preached in different places till he moved to Pompey. From the time he moved until he left us, we had a number of conferences to manifest a desire to join with us, but did not join or give any reason. After he moved to Pompey he set up a meeting in the place where he now lives. But we continued our meetings where they were before held, and there was some of our brethren that joined with him and we tried for a fellowship with them, and had a number of conferences, but could not attain to it. We desired to meet together at every fourth Sabbath, but we could not obtain that freedom.

After we had tried every reasonable means, we concluded it our duty to hold our appointed prayer for the blessing of God to attend to us (paper torn)… There being some minutes altho not in so correct a manner as they ought to be, having no former writings and still wishing for fellowship with our former brethren, we have not kept a record of all our proceedings til the year 1798, in which time God was pleased to condescend to visit with us his blessing, & approval for all, & as we hope, call some out of darkness unto light, & numbers manifested a desire to join in covenant with us.”

Since the first Baptist Church and Society in Pompey and Manlius has almost no meeting records until 1813, there is no information available on attempts to join the two groups. It is known that Elder Baker was very helpful when Brother Gershom Breed (one of the early leaders of the Fayetteville Church) was preparing for ordination in 1812, by baptizing new members and serving communion, two ordinances which only ordained ministers were allowed to conduct.

The first records we have of the early church are Incorporation Papers from July 1, 1812, when the church declared itself an official corporation. The papers were recorded in the Onondaga County Courthouse. The County Clerk, Jasper Hopper, on November 21, 1821, certified that

“The First Baptist Church and Society in the towns of Pompey and Manlius, considering themselves under the necessity of being incorporated as the law directs, and after notice being given according to the Law, the said Church and Society met on the first day of July, Eighteen Hundred and Twelve at the School House in Pompey where said Church and Society met for Public Worship and Elder Nathan Baker and James Warren were elected to preside at said meeting; the said Church and Society then elected the following persons to serve them as Trustees, (viz) Elder Nathan Baker, Isaac Ketchum, Joseph Williams, Willoby Millard, Samuel Edwards.”
Signed, Elder Nathan Baker
James Warren Presidents

The document was recorded on November 23, 1812, by Jasper Hopper, Clerk of the Onondaga Courthouse. The incorporation was not mentioned in any church notes or written history. There was no record of the Board of Trustees or any further action taken by that Board after the Incorporation. The Incorporation may have been required by law in preparation for building a church home, but that was put off until 1826. The church as a copy of the Incorporation Papers.

The first records of early church meetings and services are found in a leather bound ledger entitled POMPEY CHURCH RECORDS. The first entries are the Articles of Faith and the Church Covenant. The Articles of Faith told the early church members what they were to believe in if they were to be Christians and Baptists. The Covenant, which was an agreement entered into “in the presence of God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, angels and men”, told them how to behave if they were to please God and live in Christian Fellowship with their Brothers and Sisters in the Church. These guideposts were given to us by the leaders of the new church in Manlius and probably reflect what was being taught in Baptist Seminaries at that time.

Both documents are reproduced at the conclusion of the record of Elder Baker’s ministry. The early writers did not capitalize God, which we do, but capitalized other words, i.e., Special Lusts, Tavern Haunting, and Jesting, which we do not. They used very little punctuation and as a result the documents are difficult to read.

After the Articles of Faith and the Church Covenant there was a list of church members. The men and women are listed separately. There were 55 men and 105 women. The list was accompanied by a disclaimer by Nathan Weston, Clerk, entered on March 2, 1818, that “the above is no longer considered to be the list of the members of the Church.”

The first entry to record a church meeting was dated September 4, 1814. “Church met in love and union. Hannah Dickson Related her Experience and was fellowshipt by the church Polly Mack Related her Experience & fellowshipt”. The first Church Clerk was Thomas H. Gridley.

The early church met in barns, homes, and schoolhouses in the neighborhoods of Watervale, Oran, Eagle Village, and in the stone Academy Building in Manlius. There is some confusion about the location of some of the schools. The first schoolhouse mentioned was “the schoolhouse in Pompey”, the second one “by Brother Edwards in Pompey,” to be used one quarter of the time commencing November 8, 1813. Many school locations were identified by the name of the church member it was nearest to, i.e., the school by Brother Dodge in Pompey, the school near the home of Asa Brace, or the school next to Brother Hubbard. On August 18, 1816, it was voted that Brothers Cheesebrough, Weston and Hitchcock apply to the Trustees of the School in order to procure the Schoolhouse to hold meetings in the ensuing winter.

We believe the church was organized on December 8, 1797, for several reasons. The year 1797 is generally accepted by local historians. The month of December is probably correct since from 1797 to 1955 all annual business meetings were held in December. It was noted that a preponderance of the meetings took place on December 8, regardless of the day of the week. From 1830 until 1890, 41 of 50 annual meetings for which we have records were held on December 8. We feel that our ancestors were commemorating a special event at their annual meetings, the birth of their church on December 8, 1797.

Schools seemed to be the most popular locations for Sunday Services since they had more open space than homes and could be heated (as opposed to barns). Services were much longer than today’s churchgoers are used to. There was a morning service of approximately two hours, followed by a noon meal. After dinner there was socializing, another sermon, another meal, and an evening sermon. Many of the men must have had to go home between services and do chores. Many families walked but some of the people came in a horse and buggy (the schoolhouses, however, would not have had large facilities to shelter horses).

The congregation did use some common sense and tempered their zeal for all day Church Services at times. At the February 1817 Church Meeting the members voted to attend but one exercise each Sabbath Day in the winter. In the early days they met on the Thursday before monthly Communion Services for a Covenant meeting. The members prayed, confessed sins, and prepared themselves to receive Communion.

The Church also met at least monthly for what were called “Stated Church Meetings.” These “Business” meetings were held during the day at a member’s home. The meetings were moderated by the Elder of the Church or one of the trusted male members of the congregation. The members took care of the business of the Church, which in the early years involved searching out and reforming openly sinning members, raising money, spending money, voting for Elders, appointing Deacons, choosing members to attend Association Meetings or Councils or to serve on Church committees, and anything else that might be of concern to the Elder or the Congregation.

The congregation had felt the need for their own church home as early as August 27, 1814, when they voted “to come into some agreement for building a meeting house.” According to Yettie Harris and reported by others as well, Azariah Smith, an influential and wealthy merchant in the village of Manlius, offered to build a house of worship in the village for the Baptists. Elder Baker, fearing that pride might be engendered by a village church, prevailed upon the members to remain in their schoolhouse quarters.

In February 1817, the subject was mentioned for a second time and the church voted to circulate subscription papers for the purpose of raising money to build a meeting house. No mention was made of the amount raised. In December of 1818 the church voted to meet on the Sabbath at the Schoolhouse by the old mill half of the time and then the other half at the west Schoolhouse.

While the first few gatherings of the Church for which the proceedings were recorded, the congregation was said to have met in love and unity. These words, unfortunately, became an inappropriate description for many subsequent meetings. One cannot read the minutes without being shocked and surprised by the seemingly endless number of members in trouble with the Church because of their sins. While most of the people were trying to obey the Church rules for personal behavior, as presented in the Articles of Faith, others must have found the strict rules offensive to their pioneer spirit, which they may have felt allowed them to think and talk and act as they pleased.

In following the Church Covenant the members agreed (among other things) to “deny ourselves of all undue worldly gains, mortify our evil affections and Lusts, Forsake all revellings, Tavern Haunting and vain Company Keeping, Idle vain and foolish Jesting and all other things contrary to the Doctrine of Christ.”

The members not only had to follow these rules themselves, but were obliged to help their brothers and sisters to live up to them also. The members agreed to “carefully watch over their brethren for good and not suffer evil to rest upon them.” This charge was probably why there was so much attention given to the sinners. One person’s sin soon became everybody’s business.

When a member was thought to be breaking the rules of the Covenant or expounding beliefs contrary to the Articles of Faith, the Congregation was obliged to undertake with the alleged sinner the Steps of Gospel Labor:

  1. The first step was to send an emissary from the Church (usually the Elder or a Deacon) to visit the alleged miscreant and learn his or her version of the story.
  2. If the Elder or Deacon found merit in the charges, the member would be asked to attend a Church Meeting and be questioned, and in turn would be allowed to defend his or her behavior.
  3. After hearing both sides the Church could vote guilty or not guilty. If the guilty member showed sorrow and remorse for his sins, asked forgiveness, and promised to reform, the Church would usually accept the member back into the fold. If the member were rebellious and defiant, the matter would be brought up in a Church Service where the right hand of fellowship would be withdrawn and the member expelled from the Church.

Sins included neglecting religion, refusal to attend church services or “travel” with the Church, lascivious conduct and conversation or other covenant breaking. Later as new religious cults sprang up in the region, members were expelled for disagreements with the Articles of Faith and their strict Baptist interpretation of the Bible.

The first “out of fellowship” member mentioned in the Minutes was Sister Oles. Brothers Ford and Gridley were “to inquire the reason for her long absence from church.” Then Sister Mary Dodge was not acting properly. Brothers Cleveland, Ketchum, Jobs and Weston were sent to find out what her difficulty was.

In the early days of the Church many of the Elders were self-educated. The Pompey and Manlius Baptist Church always encouraged would-be Elders and gave them opportunities to practice preaching in regularly scheduled or special services. (With at least three services on Sunday the Church Elder must have welcomed some help in preaching.) If the aspiring Elder did well the Church would give him a letter which explained his standing in the Church and recommended his gift to the public, which could result in his being asked to preach in other Baptist Churches. With further improvement, both in preaching ability and understanding of the Bible and the Baptist interpretations of the Bible, the Church could issue a License in recognition.`

The final step in achieving the status of Elder was ordination. Licentiates were ordained by a Council of Elders from nearby Baptist Churches called for that purpose. They would meet formally, examine the candidate concerning his knowledge, understanding and commitment to the Bible and Baptist doctrines. They would then deliberate and vote. If the candidate were approved, a congregational service would be held. One of the distinguished Elders would preach a sermon and the new Elder would be welcomed into the ranks.

On September 4, 1813, Brothers Warren Scranton and Jonathon Hoit were recognized by the Church as having a talent for preaching and were voted to be allowed to “Improve their gift in the Church.” Brother Hoit left the Church, but Brother Scranton apparently did well and was given a letter recommending his gift of preaching to the public. Soon after, however, a complaint was made against him in a Church Meeting, accusing him a lascivious conversation and conduct. He acknowledged his guilt and was asked to give up his letter of recommendation. He was subsequently found to be a “disorderly walker” and the Right Hand of Fellowship was withdrawn from him. The “doings of the meeting” were read in public assembly on the Sabbath. Unlike many expelled or about to be expelled members, Brother Scranton repented his sins and asked for forgiveness. He later made a comeback. A Council of Baptist Churches helped restore him to the membership of the Pompey and Manlius Church. He was again voted to have gifts that were useful. On May 12, 1821, he was given a letter to join another church and he became a member of the Pompey Center Baptist Church. He appeared at a meeting with the Pompey and Manlius Churches as clerk of the Pompey Center Church.

Although Elder Baker was pastor of the First Baptist Church and Society in the Towns of Pompey and Manlius, he was at heart a missionary and spent a surprising amount of time on missionary trips to the western part of New York State. There was a meeting at Elder Baker’s home in Pompey, Onondaga County, on August 2, 1807, “to consider the propriety of forming a Society for the prosecution of missionary enterprise in the destitute regions around, in view of the increasing population of the county, their indigent circumstances and spiritual work and the multiplied call for ministerial labor.” Twenty people became members by paying a dollar each. They adjourned until October 28, 1897, and met in Hamilton, New York. They formally became the Lake Baptist Missionary Society, then the Hamilton Missionary Society, and finally covered the state as the Baptist Missionary Convention of the State of New York (from the Book: A Century of Baptist Missions in the Empire State by Dr. C.W. Brooks.) Elder Nathan Baker was a member of the Board of Directors of the Hamilton Baptist Missionary Society from 1811 to 1820. Benjamin Pearce, a future part time minister of the church was also an early member of the Society.

It is apparent from records that are available from the Hamilton Baptist Missionary Society that Elder Baker took extended absences from his duties as pastor of the Manlius Church to continue his missionary work in the central and eastern regions of New York State. The records of the Hamilton Missionary Society (1811-1820) indicated that he was away for many weeks for the years recorded:

9/11/1810 Trip taken – the length was not mentioned
2/21/1811 5 weeks (to the Holland Purchase)
9/08/1812 7 weeks
9/07/1814 6 weeks
9/14/1815 4 weeks
9/20/1816 6 weeks
2/20/1817 12 weeks
9/09/1817 16 weeks
2/17/1818 8 weeks
8/20/1818 Trip taken – no time mentioned
2/24/1819 4 weeks
5/20/1819 12 weeks
8/18/1819 Visit to Indians – no time mentioned
2/22/1820 20 days
2/24/1829 4 weeks
5/25/1820 Tonowanta Tribe – School & Mission at Oneida – no time mentioned
8/24/1820 3 weeks

Elder Baker kept a journal of his missionary journeys. Elder Peck, a colleague of Elder Baker, an occasional visitor to Manlius and a prominent Baptist Missionary, prepared abstracts of the Journals of at least three of Elder Baker’s trips for publication in the minutes of the Madison Baptist Association Meetings of September 8-19, 1813. These missionary journeys undertaken by Elder Baker were abstracted by Elder Peck as follows:

“On the 21st of October 1812, he set out on a missionary tour, and rode to Camillus and preached in the evening—and passing from thence through Lysander, he came to Oswego falls, crossed the river into the town of Volney, and preached in the evening. 24th, returned across the river, and rode to Oswego village, spent the afternoon and evening in visiting the soldiers and inhabitants, among the former found a number of brethren. Lord’s day, 25th, preached at the village – after meeting crossed the river, to the town of Scriba. Next day visited the garrison in the forenoon, in the afternoon, preached to the people; here appears to be some inquiring souls. After meeting crossed the river. On the 28th rode home in a severe rain.
April 23rd, 1823, set out again on a missionary tour, and on the 24th came to Lysander and met a number of the disciples of Jesus, who had lately experienced the Grace of Life, and had come together for conference, having previous notice of this coming – had an agreeable time with them – spent the evening and morning in visiting the young professors. 25th, after preaching, they walked one mile and a half to the water, to attend to the ordinance of baptism. Then returned and brake bread to about twenty disciples, the greatest part of them young professors – a delightful season, it being the first time the Lord’s supper was ever administered in that town. On which he observes, “Brethren, you who have witnessed the like scenes, can realize the feelings of my heart when leaving this band of brethren in the wilderness, invaded by the enemy, who is trying to divide them by delusive doctrines.” -- On the 26th he rode home, wearied in body, but blessing God for His goodness to him.
June 22nd, 1813, he again left home and rode to Camillus, and met a number in conference, the season agreeable. 23rd, preached to the people a goodly time. 24th, at Lysander, preached, the blessing of the Lord attended – spent the evening and morning in visiting. The enemy still trying to divide the little band. He then passed on, crossed the Oswego river on the 26th, and preached on the fourteenth town, Scriba’s Patent – the second sermon ever preached in this town. –27th, returned and preached on the fifteenth town – the people collected from a distance, delivered two sermons; the season was solemn, and the power of the Lord seemed to be present. –He then rode to the Falls and met an appointment: --Here is some attention to the word of life. He then on account of a severe cold, which greatly affected his lungs, on the 29th returned home.”

Little mention was made of Elder Nathan Baker’s extended absences from the church, but it was evident that he was not always, if ever, a full time Elder. His salary was only $50.00 per year and seldom paid on time and in totality. Elder Baker was supported in his Church Work by a group of Deacons, some of whom were no doubt a part of the Church since its beginning. Deacons prepared and served Communion, visited the sick and the backsliders. The first mention of a Deacon was on June 4, 1814, when the Church voted an extra meeting to make an appointment of Deacons. Later on June 18, 1814, the Church voted to elect Deacons by ballad (sic), but after that it was mentioned again that the Deacons were to be appointed. Deacons (men only) were appointed or elected for life. While the Deacons were mostly concerned with Heavenly Pursuits and the unheavenly behavior of many of the members, the congregation voted it the Deacon’s responsibility to see that “we are provided with wood” for the winter of 1816-1817.

Some of the earliest Deacons mentioned were Nathan Weston, Elijah Weston, Jacob Jobs, William Hitchcock, J. Gates and Isaac Ketchum. There was no mention of a Board of Deacons, meetings, or a head of the Board of Deacons in the early days of the Church. The church was led by its Elder (minister) who preached on Sundays (usually 2-3 times), led the Covenant meetings, and was often Moderator for business meetings. The Deacons, the Church Clerk and the Treasurer were the only named officers. There were no Trustee, Mission or Christian Education Boards at that time.

Money was raised for church expenses when needed. There were no recorded budgets or Treasurer’s reports. When money was needed to pay the Elder’s salary or to buy wood, or to help the poor or to pay communion expenses, lists of names (called a Subscription List) were circulated and members were to subscribe to a portion of the expenses. On February 14, 1815, two lists were circulated for the purpose of “making some provision for Elder Baker.” The money was to be turned over to the Church Treasurer, who in turn would pay Elder Baker. On June 24, 1815, the church met and voted that Elder Baker continue to preach “as God, in His providence may permit” and to pay him what money we have collected ($15.00) out of the $50.00 we have agreed to give him.

At times the members were not allowed to decide what they would pay. On April 13, 1816, the church voted to pay Brother Jobs $11.50 for arranging care for Sister Margaret White in her last sickness. Three Brothers were assigned to make an average on the members for the money (each member was assessed a certain amount).

On January 1, 1817, the Church voted for a committee to evaluate the church members according to their best judgment (with regard to their family circumstances and debts they are owing). The expenses of the church were to be assessed according to the ability of the family to pay. (Any member who felt over-burdened by the assessment could apply to the church for a reduction.)

Although no mention was made of support for Missions in the early church, they did have concerns for the poor in their neighborhood. On February 1, 1817, the Church voted to call on such as have not paid their portion of the money for supporting the poor. If by refusal or neglect, those members who did not pay their share or assessments were called to account by the church in Church Meetings. Three Brethren were appointed to raise money for Elder Baker by making out a tax (assessment) on the members. Joseph Williams was appointed collector.

On April 6, 1816, Nathan Baker (son of Elder Nathan Baker and Lucy Baker), Joseph Watkins, Sally Mooney and Lydia Meacham related their experiences and gained fellowship (membership) with the church. Nathan Baker was to become very active in the church and was given many important responsibilities. He was referred to first as Brother Nathan Baker, but when a third Nathan Baker appeared, was called Nathan Baker, Jr or Brother Nathan Baker, Jr.

On July 19, 1816, the church voted to sing by rule and Brothers Nathan Baker, Jr. and Josiah Chatfield were appointed to serve as leaders. In the early church there were no hymnbooks. The leaders would read a line, which the congregation would sing, and this would continue until the hymn was completed.

In the following years, Brother Nathan Baker, Jr. was in charge of choosing singers, appointed to a committee to choose a minister, and acted as Moderator. He apparently was a loyal, active, well-behaved member of the church.

On January 1, 1817, the beginning of Elder Nathan Baker’s 19th year as Elder, the Church voted to call him “to preach with us next year, commencing January 1, 1817.” However, Elder Baker was to be spending at least 28 weeks in the Mission Field in 1817. On March 15, 1817, Brothers Isaac Ketchum, Joseph Williams, Elijah Weston, James Jobs, and Nathan Weston were voted a committee to “get a minister,” the first time in the minutes the title “minister” was used instead of Elder. On May 3, 1817, the Church was able to scrape together $4.62-1/2 to pay Elder Baker part of what was owed him. The men also agreed to supply him with some wood for his fire.

On May 31, 1817, at a meeting of the Manlius and Pompey Church and Society in the Schoolhouse near Brother Hubbard’s, it was voted that “sisters have equal rights with the brothers to speak and vote in the church in all church matters in which they wish to act.” This was a remarkable step for the church to take one hundred and three years before the passage on August 18, 1920, of the Constitutional Amendment, which guaranteed women the right to vote in public elections. This was an especially brave move for the brothers, since according to the first list of members, there were nearly twice as many sisters as brothers in the congregation. Any arguments that were made for or against women voting and speaking in the church were not recorded and there was no information given on the vote itself. Later it was found that most of the Elders and leaders of nearby Baptist Churches were obstinately opposed to women voting on church matters and quoted New Testament Scriptures to back up their position. The results of later Councils, in which Elder Baker was a participant, indicate that he, too, was opposed to sister’s voting rights. It is possible that he was away on a missionary journey when the enabling vote was taken. In addition to allowing women to vote in Church affairs, the Church also at that time voted that “it is in the opinion of the Church that confessions of faults committed by members of this Church aught to be made in the church only.” This statement also offended Elder Baker and other leaders of the Councils. They felt that public offenses should be publicly confessed as well as in the Church.

The Committee to find a minister must have had some success as Elder Elhanah Comstock started preaching half-time in November 1817. From Elder Comstock until 1827 when Charles Morton became a full-time ordained Elder, a succession of part-time Elders helped take “watch-care” of the church. On May 16, 1818, the church voted Elder Comstock a letter expressing satisfaction with his preaching. They wrote that they thought him “a man of sound principles, a faithful preacher and from the best information, a man of good moral character.” Elder Comstock apparently left the church at this time.

There was no indication of when a Pompey and Manlius Church Female Society was established, but one was in existance in 1818 and probably much earlier. In 1818 Elder John Peck reported that the Female Society of the Pompey and Manlius Baptist Church “has laboured under many discouragements, but now seems much encouraged.”

In the early Spring of 1818 reports respecting the moral character of Deacon Elijah Weston began circulating through the congregation. On August 1, 1818, Elder Nathan Baker and Brothers Isaac Ketchum and Nathan Weston were named a committee to look into rumors and allegations respecting his moral character and to make a report to the Church at its next meeting on August 19, 1818.

Deacon Weston was profiled in The History of Onondaga County, New York by Professor W.W. Clayton, 1878. Deacon Weston was born on January 23, 1778, in Vermont, moved to Pompey in 1795, married Betsy Cotton on November 1, 1796. The Westons had nine children. Betsy Weston died on September 18, 1816. Deacon Weston later remarried and fathered six more children. He was a farmer in Pompey and died on May 15, 1867, aged 89 years.

Deacon Weston was a faithful, active and respected member (as expected of a Deacon) of the Pompey and Manlius Baptist Church. As a Deacon he was often asked to visit members in disfavor with the church. He circulated subscriptions for provisions for Elder Baker, helped arrange for Schoolhouse housing for the church in the winter of 1816-1817, served on a Council in Manlius, attended an Association Meeting in Woodstock, and on March 15, 1817, was a member of a committee appointed to “get a minister.” In 1818, however, there was a dramatic change in the status of Deacon Weston, who was now asked to explain his own transgressions.

The records show that Elder Baker continued his missionary travels in 1818 and was away at least eight weeks. The status of Elder Baker came up in an August 29, 1818, meeting. No doubt the church was concerned about his long absences from the ministry. The church voted to have free conversations on the subject of a preacher and it was requested that members should express their minds whether they thought it best considering every circumstance that Elder Baker be our minister. (In the early days of the church ministers were engaged for a year at a time.) After discussion the members voted. This is the first vote recorded in the minutes with the names of the voters and how they voted, the questions being put individually, the answers were as follows:

Results of the first Vote
Nays Yays
  • Jacob Cleveland
  • Nathan Weston
  • Isaac Ketchum
  • Jonathon Ball
  • Willoby Millard
  • Job Williams
  • Phila Williams
  • Sylvesta Slocum
  • Polly Baker
  • Electra Williams
  • Sally Mooney
  • Nathan Baker
  • Anna Graves
  • Mary Row
  • James Jobs
None

(Note that Nathan Baker voted against his father.)

Elijah Weston and David Williams were will to have Elder Baker but would agree to what the church thought best. Seven women and eight men voted and their rejection of Elder Baker was unanimous. Adding insult to injury, the church followed up their vote of “no confidence” in Elder Baker with an invitation to Elder John Nichols to preach with us “whenever it is convenient to him.” The unanimity of this vote must have hurt the founder of the church, Elder Nathan Baker, very badly. Ordinarily when an Elder was rejected by vote, he would move on to another Baptist church. Elder Baker owned his own home, however, and was spending much of his time in the Mission Field. He apparently decided to stay in the Manlius Church for the time being.

Elder John Nichols was a significant part of the leadership of the church from 1818 through 1827. He had a distinguished history and had come to this area later in lfe. He made himself available for pastoral work. He was born in 1739 at North Kingston, Rhode Island. As of 1767 he had a wife and children. He served on British ships in the “old French and Spanish Wars” and was captured twice. He later became a captain, mate and master of a vessel. He served as an officer in the Revolutionary War Army for two additional years. He became a member of the Massachusetts Legislature. He was ordained a Baptist Minister in Washington, Massachusetts, and preached there until 1794. From 1794-1817 he was Pastor at Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and came to Pompey and served the Manlius Church between 1818 and 1827. He came to the area at the age of 78 and died on July 6, 1829, in Pompey at the age of 89.

At the same meeting (August 29, 1818) the Church voted to have the statements of evidence prepared by the Committee investigating Deacon Elijah Weston read to the Church in a Church Service and voted its satisfaction for what the Committee had done. The written records do not totally explain the sins of Deacon Weston, but it is apparent that he was calling on Sister Burse, and on occasion staying the whole night with her. At the meeting several witnesses spoke for the Church and some defended Deacon Weston. Deacon Weston read a statement in his own defense. He said that he was aware that it was wrong in the eyes of the world for him to keep company so long with Sister Burse. The Church voted that Deacon (now called Brother) Weston had sinned in the matter of Sister Burse and “that his visiting her so long and going to bed with her” (exact words from the minutes) were part of what he had acknowledged to be wrong. He apparently mentioned his intentions for marrying Sister Burse and his reasons for not doing so.

On October 31, 1818, Elder John Nichols was received as a member of this Church by letter and experience. On December 19, 1818, at a meeting with Elder Baker as Moderator (still active and influential in the Church), the Church reversed its earlier rejection of Elder Baker and voted to invite both Elder Baker and Elder Nichols to preach and administer to the Church as they shall feel it their duty and both accepted the call. The Church also voted that “we the Baptist Church of Pompey and Manlius do freely bare and bury all past difficulties that have been in respect to the travels of the Church and go forward in travel as the Church of Christ.” It was reported that the meeting closed with prayer, thanksgiving and shaking of hands. On January 9, 1819, the church voted to come to Sacrament, and Elders Baker and Nichols were to administer it.

The next recorded vote was from a meeting of the Church on March 20, 1819, concerning the behavior of Elijah Weston. Attempts to discipline Brother Weston and his maneuvers to avoid the same, split the church and caused serious problems for Elder Baker. Brother Weston presented the church a confession. The church voted on accepting the confession on March 20, 1819.

Those satisfied were: (10)

Rebecca Jobs

  • Elder Nathan Baker
  • Joseph Williams
  • Betsy Weston
  • Augustus Foster
  • Thomas H. Gridley
  • David Weston
  • Christopher Foster
  • Sister Gridley
  • James Jobs

Those dissatisfied were: (4)

  • Nathan Weston
  • Elder John Nichols
  • Jacob Cleveland
  • Jonathan Ball

This is the second vote where votes were recorded. Eleven men and three women voted. The two Elders of the church, Nichols and Baker, disagreed. The vote was re-opened at church meetings on April 13, 1819, and May 1, 1819. The final tally was 16 dissatisfied, 11 satisfied. Seventeen men and ten women voted.

Baptist Churches were, and still are, quite independent churches, though they belong to regional, state and national Baptist organizations. The local churches own their lots and buildings. In the early days one way of helping near-by Baptist Churches keep on the straight and narrow path was the use of a Council. When a problem arose concerning the practices of a single Church (which the Elders did not want to spread to their own Churches) or controversies between Churches, a Council was called. Invitations were sent to Elders and leading members, male, of their congregations to join with representatives of the convening congregations to act as a court. The members met, listed to evidence from both sides, deliberated, and then issued a set of resolutions to cover the problems discussed. Second Councils were often called to see if the recommendations of the First Council had been carried out.)

On June 1, 1819, Elijah Weston requested that the Church arrange for a Council to judge him guilty or innocent of the charges against him. His request was postponed, then apparently refused. Only July 3, 1819, the Church voted that Elijah Weston’s proceedings with Sister Burse, according to the evidence before them, was a plan of deception form the first to the last. This vote was reconsidered on July 3, 1819, but no results were given. On September 4, 1819, the Church voted not to send a representative to the Association meeting because “the Church is not in a proper situation,” probably because the Elijah Weston problem was causing a division in the Church.

At this time Elder Baker was voluntarily seeking to join another Church (the Pompey Center Baptist Church), and Elijah Weston was about to be discharged against his will from the Manlius Church. The Church noted that it had come to an end of labor with Elijah Weston. Eleven brothers and seven sisters voted in the affirmative and two in the negative. This should have been the end of the Elijah Weston problem but he was a very proud and stubborn man and determined not to be forced out of the Church.

At the November 6, 1819, Church meeting Elder Baker requested a letter to join another Church. His request was taken into consideration on November 20, 1819, but after much conversation, nothing was done. On December 2, 1819, his request was again taken into consideration. The Church was still reluctant but indecisive, and a vote found six members free to give Elder Baker a letter and six not free.

1820-1826 (Elders Nichols, Comstock, Carpenter, Pearce and King)

Elder John Nichols, Elder Elhanah Comstock (2nd Time)

Elder Samuel Carpenter, Brother Benjamin Pearce, Dr. John King

In early 1820 Brother James, an African, and his wife were voted letters to join another church. Elder Baker and his wife Lucy were also finally given letters to join another church “of our faith and order if he should think proper.” Six other members sought letters. Some of the requests might have been made to show support and loyalty for Elder Baker.

Elder and Mrs. Baker eventually took their memberships to the Pompey Center Baptist Church along with Elijah Weston, Thomas Gridley and Warren Scranton as noted in the 1822 minutes of the Madison Baptist Association Meeting. In the 1824 minutes of the Association Meeting, Elder Baker was listed as the Elder of the Pompey Center Church (but Elder Baker was not mentioned as Elder in a history of the Pompey Center Church.) The Church voted to give Elijah Weston a copy of his exclusion. The Church was reluctant to give letters to the other members, and voted on February 5, 1820, to deny their requests by a 12 to 0 vote.

At a Church Meeting on March 4, 1820, Elijah Weston brought forward another request for a Council signed by a number of members of the congregation. The Church did not think it best to have a Council. We do not have a copy of the request but the Church fathers became incensed by what must have been wording very critical of the Church and its actions. The Church then requested apologies from those who signed Elijah Weston’s paper. The following members acknowledged their errors.

April 1, 1820 Sister Cromwell
April 30, 1820 Sister Filemone
Sister Potter
May 20, 1820 Joseph Williams
Mrs. Williams
July 1820 William Filemone
August 19, 1820 Tho. H. Gridley
Mrs. Gridley
Sister Jobs
Christopher Foster
Stephen Root
October 21, 1820 James Jobs
 September 1, 1821 Bradford Sherwood
Augustus Foster
Mabel Foster

Curiously, after giving Elder and Lucy Baker letters to join another church, almost a year later at a special meeting on December 23, 1820, the subject of hiring a preacher for 1821 came up and a motion was made to know if the church would employ Elder Baker “to preach for us.” Elder Baker was rejected again, and this time, Elder John Nichols turned against him.

Nays Yeas

Samuel Sherman
Thomas Hubbard
Pelig Potter
Elder John Nichols
Nathan Weston
Jonathon Ball

Joseph Williams
James Jobs Sister Johnson

On March 31, 1821, Brothers Hubbard, Cleveland and Baker (Nathan Jr.) were appointed a Committee to provide a minister and the Church voted to receive a written complaint against Brother Baker brought by Brother Nathan Baker Jr., for using bad language, personal abuse, equivocation, and falsehood.

In the early days of Church Meetings meeting times were announced as being one of the clock or two of the clock, etc. The Church never seemed to meet on the half hour. In 1822 the clerk started using the abbreviated form which we use today, i.e., two o’clock, seven o’clock, etc. Time apparently went slowly for the deceased wicked. Early 1800’s Theology said to multiply the number of all the grains of sand on earth by the number of spears of grass, then by all the leaves on the trees and this would not equal the time sinners would spend in Hell. Perhaps part of the punishment was to do the counting.

On May 12, 1821, at “one of the clock” in the afternoon at the East School House the Church and Society met to confer on the subject of hiring Elder Elhanah Comstock to preach again. Apparently the vote was positive since on May 12, 1821, it was voted that Esquire Fleming, Jonathon Ball, William Phillemore, Thomas Hubbard, and Benjamin Gates be a Committee to look for a place for Elder Comstock “to live on” as soon as they can and make a report at the next meeting. Elder Nichols was still active and was preaching and moderating meetings in 1821 but was 80 years old and needed help. There were many dissatisfied members at this time and the Church proceeded to try to settle difficulties with them. They were invited to Church meetings and their complaints were aired to the satisfaction of some and the dissatisfaction of others.

The controversy with Elijah Weston was still not settled. On June 27, 1821, at the home of Christopher Foster with Elder Nichols, Moderator, the Church took up the case of Elijah Weston again. Brother Weston spoke and said it was likely he made the contradictory statements which witnesses said he did, but excused them as the result of misspeaking himself. He did not blame the Church and thought they were correct in excluding him because of the large number of witnesses against him. He was, however, not sensible of doing anything wrong, knowingly, and did not acknowledge the facts for which he was excluded. The Church voted again on restoring Elijah Weston to membership. Five were in favor, three against restoration, three did not decide, and the sisters, forfeiting one of their last chances for a meaningful vote in the nineteenth century, did not choose to declare their minds.

On July 7, 1821, the Church discussed the problems of Joseph Williams. Joseph Williams excused himself for what he had said at a previous meeting and pleaded that he considered himself not in his right mind at that meeting. The Brethren were asked what they thought about Brother Williams state of mind at that time and they pretty generally answered that they had thought him rational and in a better state of mind than usual.

At the same meeting the Church finally voted to have a Council. It was scheduled for ten of the clock in the forenoon at the house of Brother James Jobs on July 18, 1821. This was the beginning of a series of Councils that were set up to settle some of the difficulties that arose because of the treatment of Elder Baker, Elijah Weston, and the actions of the Church that were the cause of so many aggrieved and dissatisfied members.

Brothers Ball, Millard, and Weston (Nathan) were appointed to make statements to the Council and answer questions. There is no record of the statements made by the aggrieved parties to the Council but only of resolutions made by the Council and an explanation of its recommendations.

The Council met as scheduled. Present were Elders Beckworth and Lane who invited Brothers Eliazar Savage and Dulley Lamb “to take a seat and sit with us in Council.” Elder Lane prayed, after which the Council proceeded to an investigation of the difficulties between the Church and the Brethren who were aggrieved, and then retired for deliberation. When the deliberations were completed the Council gave the report which was included in the Church minutes and copied here:

1st. Resolved that this Council be a Confidential one while present for consultation.

2nd. Resolved that the authority of the Church according to the Bible is invested in the hands of the brethren. See I Cor. 14:34, I Tim. 2:11-12, I Pet. 3:1. (I Corinthians 11:34: “Let your women keep silence in the churches for it is not permitted unto them to speak but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law.” 1 Timothy:11-12: “Let the women learn in silence with all subjection, and I suffer not a woman to teach not to usurp authority over the men, but to be in silences.” 1Peter 3:1: “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if they obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by conversation of the wives.”) but we firmly believe the Sisters should be consulted in all matters of discipline and their gifts promoted in covenant meetings and all other religious conferences.

3rd. Resolve that the Council was unanimously satisfied with the confessions of the Church relative to the allegation against them in showing a hard ungospel Spirit and are of the opinion that the grieved brethren ought to pass it satisfied.

4th. Resolved that the Council is of the opinion that the Church did wrong in refusing to grant the first request of the grieved brethren in calling for a Council and that the grieved brethren were also very essentially wrong in laying that writing before the Church called a remonstrance or in other words that paper containing their grief with the Church respecting their labour with Brother Elijah Weston.

5th. Resolved that the Council be of the opinion that the implication of the Church against Br. Elijah Weston of wilful deception of his treatment to Sister Burse was not provable from evidence laid before the Council.

The evidence of Sister Burse was satisfactory to the Council that Brother Elijah Weston was not guilty of that criminality in deceiving her as the Church had attributed to him.

The Council have also a conviction the Church were imprudent and lack wisdom in the management of difficulty whereas Brother Elijah Weston and Sister Burse had parted by a mutual agreement which we think is a Strong indication in fact that Sister Burse held not Brother Elijah Weston as having deceived her by saying we part in peace and even proceeded in giving him advice in the choice of a companion having also confessed previously to Brothers Williams and Gridley and now to the Council that she could travel in Church fellowship with Brother Elijah Weston were it not for certain reports.

We have further concluded that the conduct of Brother Weston was exceeding imprudent and unbecoming a Deacon in the Church of Christ a Christian and a Father in his unguarded observations to Sister Burse and then with whom he conversed on this Subject and this he had ought to confess heartily to his brethren before they can restore him. We now think as a Council that the Church ought to restore Brother Elijah Weston if he is willing to concede to this duty.

6th. Resolved that the Council are of the opinion that the Church had cause to disfellowship those grieved Brethren for extending their fellowship to Brother Elijah Weston while excluded from the body for we consider there were Gospel means by which those grieved Brethren might have obtained satisfaction and Brother Elijah Weston be restored although we thus Judge we Still deem the Church were wrong in not joining with them in mutual Council.

7th. As it respects the grievance of the Church towards the grieved brethren the Council are of the opinion they did wrong in not fulfilling their Covenant obligation and also for calling a Council without consulting their brethren notwithstanding their former opposition in being denied a mutual Council. For our opinion concerning those grieved brethren opposing the acts of the Church in the exclusion of Brother Elijah Weston we refer you to our 6th Article.

Dear Brethren in view of the whole our hearts feel pained for you. We can truly say as Paul said on quite another occasion, Our hearts desire and prayer unto God is that you the true Israel of God may be Saved from all your afflictions and restore to you all the joys of your past peace and consolation in the Holy Ghost.

By Order of the Council — John Peck, Moderator
John R. Dodge, Scribe

It was surprising that the first item for deliberation was on the subject of Sisters voting in meetings. There had been no indication that this was a problem in the local Pompey and Manlius Baptist Church. Apparently, the Elders and leaders of the surrounding Baptist churches, as well as Elder Baker, were dissatisfied and took this opportunity for voicing their objections.

On August 4, 1821, at the West School House with Brother Millard as Moderator, the report of the July 18, 1821, Council was taken up and accepted by the Church with no dissensions. It was again time for the Madison Association Meeting. Elder Nichols and Deacon Jacob Cleveland were sent as Church messengers this year (1821). Brothers Ball, Millard and Jobs were appointed to assist in making out the letter to the Association.

On September 15, 1821, the Church convened for a Covenant Meeting. The undaunted Elijah Weston came forward and owned in a general way that he was a fallible creature and often wrong but did not appear to own or confess one thing for which he had been excluded from membership. The question of satisfaction with Brother Weston’s Statement was put to the Church and four men and five women (9 votes) said satisfied and seven men and eight women (15 votes) declared unsatisfied. Women were still voting despite the advice of Council that they should not.

Then the Church, in two different meetings, voted to acknowledge and confess all the wrongs which the Council considered the Church to be guilty of. The vote was 36 yes, 0 no, just after allowing women to vote on Elijah Weston’s guilt.

Because of the unhappy times suffered by the congregation, on September 15, 1821, the Church inquired as to the state of the members minds as to their union and fellowship, and in general they appeared to be in a comfortable union. (One of the two words used to describe earlier meetings, love and union, was back - “union” – but as yet, not “love.) The Clerk wrote that “after this was got through with” Elder Dodge and Brethren Peck, Chase and Hough from the Pompey Hill Church joined the meeting to discuss further the case of Elijah Weston. After much conversation Elijah Weston again rose and spoke on the subject of his sins. He acknowledged he had been exceeding wrong in his conduct with Sister Burse and in what he said to other members about it, and in making hard speeches to the Church and about the Church and individual members. After further apologies the Church voted to restore Elijah Weston. The Clerk wrote that “the vote on his restoration appeared to be about as follows (viz) fifteen in favor of his restoration, part of them, however, with a burden, three against it.” A number did not decide either way. There was no list of voters and we do not know if women participated in the voting. Now that he was restored to membership, the Church gave Brother Weston a letter to join another Church of “our faith and order.” Other still aggrieved members asked for letters but their request was denied for the present. On November 8, 1821, the Church voted for a day of fasting and prayer for the next Saturday at the East School House.

On November 17, 1821, Elder Nichols examined the state of the minds of members respecting Communion on the first Lord’s Day in December and all present manifested a willingness to partake except Brothers Baker and Elijah Weston. Elder Nichols verbal contract to serve the Church was renewed “until such time as God in his providence shall order otherwise.” A vote was taken. It was unanimous and the offer was accepted by Elder Nichols.

The Church voted to have a Prayer Meeting (in addition to its Covenant Meeting) the Thursday before the stated Church Meeting in each month at one of the clock in the afternoon at places as shall be agreed on from time to time. This was the first mention of a scheduled Prayer Meeting. It started as a monthly exercise but later became weekly and it lasted as an institution of the Church until the late 1900’s.

The use of musical instruments in Churches in those days was sometimes frowned upon. It was proposed that a Bass Viol or Tenor Viol be used in the meetings and every member present agreed but Brother Ball and he said it would be a burden to him. The Clerk did not report whether the Viols were played or not. At a stated Church Meeting on December 1, 1821, at the home of Brother Hubbard, twenty members present were said to have had a “very comfortable” meeting prepatory to communion.

The good feeling did not last and in late 1821 and early 1822 the whole Elijah Weston, Elder Baker controversy reached the boiling point again. At a special Church Meeting on December 15, 1821, Brother Gridley was allowed to bare his grievances toward the Church. He felt that Elijah Weston was excluded wrongly from the Church, and that after his restoration the Church was again wrong in not communing with him. His final recorded words in the church were "Now Brethren, I am exceedingly tired with you and you may withdraw the Hand of Fellowship from me if you will or if you please.” Sister Gridley was equally disgruntled and charged the Church with a hard spirit for not communing with Brother Elijah Weston.

On December 22, 1821, at the West School House, the relationship between the Church and Elder Baker deteriorated further. On August 26, 1820, the Church had voted satisfied with Elder Baker’s letter respecting his signing of Elijah Weston’s paper. However, Elder Baker had since informed the Church he did not make any confession in the letter, and did not intend to be misunderstood, and that he had a right to extend fellowship to Elijah Weston.

The Church acknowledged its error in voting satisfied with Elder Baker and reconsidered its vote. The Church also voted to exclude Brother Stanton for signing Elijah Weston’s paper and for a break of covenant obligations.

At the January 5, 1822, stated Church meeting, the Church agreed to hear Elder Baker’s complaint against the Church for passing a certain vote on December 22, 1821, and for not meeting him according to agreement. The Church voted itself wrong for not meeting with Elder Baker. Elder Baker explained that he fellowshipt with Elijah Weston after he was separated from the Church because to him it meant merely that he still believed him to be a Christian. Elder Baker did not fellowship him in the Church Communion and travel, nor did he ask him to pray while thus excluded. In consequence, the Church voted satisfied with Elder Baker for signing Brother Weston’s paper.

At a Special Church Meeting on January 12, 1822, the next controversy to upset the Church was a report that Elder Dodge, Clerk of the Council, kept some papers which allegedly belonged to the Church and would not return them. He also alledgedly said and did some unpleasant things at a September 15, 1821, Church Meeting that were previously unreported by the Clerk. There was a also a purge of the Church membership with Thomas and Mrs. Gridley, James Jobs and wife, Mabel Foster, Christopher Foster, Augustus Foster and Betsy Williams, dismissed for offenses ranging from failure to keep their travels with the Church according to Covenant and Gospel obligations, for speaking hard against the Church and individual members, and in the case of Betsy Williams for an additional charge that the Church was wickedly joining with the wicked world in hypocrisy against herself and her family. The Clerk was voted to give notice to the above persons of their exclusion by letter, and the reasons for the exclusion.

On February 4, 1822, the Church appointed Elder Nichols and Brothers Millard and Weston (Nathan) to visit Elder John Dodge and tell him of the complaints of the Pompey and Manlius Church and receive his answer. They were to agree with Elder Dodge if he asked for a Council to moderate the dispute. The Committee was also requested to send a letter to the Pompey Center Baptist Church “wherein we express our grief that they should receive members of our Church without letters of recommendation and from those with whom the Church was laboring.” To satisfy the Pompey and Manlius Church they would have to reconsider the vote by which they received said members and place them again out of their Church. Again the Committee was charged to agree with the Pompey Center Baptist Church if they wanted a Council to settle their dispute. They were then to arrange the time and place and the membership of the Council.

The Committee that visited Elder Dodge thought they had an agreement for when asked if he considered it a settlement, Elder Dodge said “I suppose so.” The next day he told a Church Meeting in Pompey Hill that he would not abide by the alleged settlement. In the absence of an agreement with Elder Dodge and at the instance of the Baptist Churches of Pompey and Manlius and Pompey Center, and Elder Nathan Baker, a Council was called for February 27, 28, and 29, 1822, at the West School House in Pompey. The results were recorded by Nathan Weston, the Clerk of the Pompey and Manlius Church:

The Council convened at the instance of the Baptist Churches of Pompey & Manlius & Pompey Center and Elder Nathan Baker February 27, 28, 29, 1822, at the West School House in Pompey. After mature deliberation on all the subjects laid before them and endeavoring to weigh the whole in the balance of the sanctuary & unanimous in the following Result.
1st. The complaint of Pompey & Manlius Church against Pompey Center Church for receiving their members without letters of recommendation and dismission & even while those members were under censure. Unanimously Resolved that the Pompey & Manlius Church have cause of grief with Pompey Center Church for receiving their members as they did & that the present set up is wrong & injurious to the union & fellowship of Sister Churches & that no Church should act under such circumstances without advice of Council.

2nd The complaint of Pompey & Manlius Church against Elder John R. Dodge…1st For retaining papers laid before a Council of which he was Clerk that the Church challenged after the Council was dissolved. Resolved unanimously that there appears no cause of grief with Brother Dodge for not giving up the papers to the order of Church as it appears those papers were furnished by the Church expressly for the Council and that Brother Dodge gave them the privilege of copying those papers & said he would give them up if he could with propriety. 2nd. Resolved unanimously that the Church had no ground to accuse Brother Dodge with misusing the Moderator when he introduced the business on which he was sent by his own Church.

3rd. Resolved unanimously that Brother Dodge after introducing his business into the Church disregarded the order of the Gospel in rising in Opposition to the Moderator & saying to a Brother you have a right to speak you may speak when the Brother had just been told by the Moderator he was not in order but should be heard in his place.

4th. Resolved unanimously that the rebukes Brother Dodge gave the Church & his telling them what they aught to give a Minister in the event of their obtaining one as a compensation was improper and reprehensible.

5th. Resolved unanimously that Brother Dodge’s reply to Elder Nichols – Don’t you know you are wrong – was disrespectful and censurable.

6th. Resolved unanimously that Brother Dodge’s treatment of Brother Elijah Weston & Sister Burse’s Case at the same Church meeting was also wrong and calculated to wound both the feelings of the Church & Sister Burse. Charging the Church with partiality & Sister Burse with being full of prejudice that an acknowledgement is due from Brother Dodge to the Church on the above particulars.

Elder Nathan Baker’s complaint against Pompey & Manlius Church for their ungospel proceedings against him in treating him as out of fellowship without cause or trials…
1st. Resolved unanimously that the Church unjustly accused Elder Baker of signing a paper in common with a number of others said to be circulated by Elijah Weston that he did not sign the article to which a number of names were annexed in favor of Elijah Weston but was a separate article to which he assigned his own name expressing a wish for a Council.

2nd. Resolved unanimously that the act of the Church declaring Elder Baker out of their fellowship for signing the above note referred to was not formed in justice nor proceeded with gospel measures which is a violation of divine rule. That their treatment towards him in excluding him & than restoring him after he had joined another church & also for treating him with indifference and neglect from time to time is inconsistent with the duty of a Church of Jesus Christ towards one of his public servants.

On the conduct & discipline of the Pompey & Manlius Church as brought before this Council by the Pompey Center Church & Elder Baker as a ground of dissatisfaction with the Church..

1st. Resolved unanimously that there is just cause of complaint that the Church in May 13, 1817, past a law giving Sisters the same authority in the government of the Church as Brethren which is in direct opposition to the law of Christ and in continuing to practice accordingly even over the advice of an ecclesiastical Council and their own agreement to correct their error as advised by Council.

2nd. Resolved unanimously that in our opinion public offenses aught to be publicly confessed & that the vote of the Church expressing a different sentiment is inconsistent with the spirit and tenor of the Gospel.

3rd. Resolved unanimously that the neglect of the Church to reprove Brother Ball for saying that Brother Weston had lied was wrong & that his communing with him after Brother Weston had brought a complaint against him more especially when Brother Ball had violated his own agreement to abide the decision of the Council was contrary to gospel order.

4th. Resolved unanimously that the proceedings of the Church with those members noticed to this Council as not walking with the Church but eventually rejected from their fellowship has been unskillful & unscriptural & calculated to weaken & scatter the flock of God and also to extinguish that light which a Church in gospel order reflects on those around it. That members were voted out of fellowship including their former Pastor for manifesting dissatisfaction in a case where they thought a Brother was improperly excluded & held out of the Church. That complaints were abruptly & irregularly admitted into the Church against a member from persons of the world instead of applying the rule of the Gospel in a proper manner to halting Brethren & removing stumbling blocks out of the way. Frequent entreaties were used saying “go with us, we wish you to come to the table we will have no difficulty with you if you will come to communion,” manifesting in this course the want of a conscientious regard to divine directions. In view of the present State of the Church, this Council is unanimous of the opinion that this Church is not a proper situation to receive the ordinances of the Gospel but it is the duty of this Church to correct their irregular proceedings & their unscriptural acts & return to their first love.

Resolved unanimously that it is the duty of Pompey Center Church to acknowledge to the Pompey & Manlius Church that they prematurely & improperly proceeded against her & in receiving her members without letters and in declaring a Sister Church out of fellowship without first taking measures to point out her wrongs and reclaim her.

Resolved unanimously that it is the duty of the Pompey & Manlius Church to confess their ungospel treatment of Elder Baker & to those members they have excluded.

Resolved unanimously that those members who have gone from Pompey & Manlius Church & joined Pompey Center Church as far as they have neglected their duty to the Church they have left & for the manner of their leaving the Church aught to confess their wrongs.

Resolved unanimously that Pompey & Manlius Church is worthy of censure for evidently attempting to injure Elder Dodge by charging him with more than was proved accusing him with saying “I fear by staying longer I shall be as bad as you” & that the Church aught to acknowledge their wrong to him.

The whole is submitted & accompanied with the prayers of the Council that it may be accepted with united desires that it may prove under the blessing of God for the promotion of the peace of Jerusalem & the glory of God.

Signed in behalf of the Council
Obed L. Warren Moderator
Eliada Blakesly Clerk

Although on some points the Council supported the actions of the Pompey and Manlius Church, in general their report was a stinging rebuke to the leaders and membership of the Church. At a special Church Meeting on March 14, 1822, at the East School House with Brother Millard as the Moderator, the Church examined the charges brought against it by the Council and by vote confessed its guilt of all of them. The confessions and votes and plans for correcting certain abuses were heard by Elder Beckworth and Brother Breed and both agreed that, in their opinion, the confessions were equal to what the reports of Council required. The Pompey and Manlius Baptist Church in turn received and accepted the confession of the Pompey Center Church of wrongly accepting its members without proper letters of recommendation. The Church also voted to reconsider its vote of May 31, 1817, which gave Sisters an equal share in the government of the Church, and at the same time stated that member’s confessions need to be made in Church only.

Apologies from the Church were accepted at later meetings by members who had been wronged or excluded from membership according to the Council, i.e. the Gridleys, Fosters, Sister Williams, Brother Stanton, Brother Jobs, and Brother Foster. Brother Jobs and others apologized to Brother Weston.

Elder Dodge, while supported on some issues, was rebuked on others. For those actions and words for which he was found guilty, he informed the Clerk Nathan Weston, that he was sorry for everything he had said that had hurt the Pompey and Manlius Church’s feelings.

In May, 1822, interest appeared to be growing in building a church. Elder Baker’s advice against building a church in the village was no longer viable, since all of the major denominations had already built churches or were in the process of doing so. It is likely that not having a church home may have resulted in stifling the growth of the Baptist Congregation because of possibly crowded conditions and lack of a religious atmosphere in the schoolrooms of the area.

The need for a church home had been mentioned briefly in 1814 and 1817. Five years later on May 18, 1822, the Church met to consider a proposal from a conference of Protestant Churches in Manlius about forming a Church or Society or building a Meeting House or “something of the kind.” Two members were for the proposal, four were against, and two did not declare. The proposal came at a time when the Episcopalians had already built a church (1813), as had the Presbyterians (1819) and the Methodist’s building was in progress (completed in 1822). It seemed to be too late for a proposal of this kind, and the possibility that all or some of the denominations could get along in one group seemed unlikely.

On May 19, 1822, the Lord’s Day, the Church agreed to meet on May 30, 1822, at one of the clock in the afternoon to see about building a Meeting House. The minds of the Church were taken to know who was for building a Meeting House at Hemlock Hollow. Six men voted for it, and four against. Then the vote was put to the Church and Society together (women voting) and nine were for building and nine were against it. The Church then agreed to meet some inhabitants of Hemlock Hollow later, but no mention was made of the meeting.

On August 3, 1822, at a stated Church Meeting in the East School House, Elders Cooley, Carpenter, and Dr. Petit decided to have another Council. Elder Cooley was voted Moderator. Elder Warren was present but declined “taking a seat” with the others. They voted to act as a Council but changed their minds and no business was done.

On the Lord’s Day, August 4, 1822, the Pompey and Manlius Church agreed for themselves, along with Elder Baker for himself, and in behalf of the Pompey Center Baptist Church to invite a few of the brethren that composed the last Council and some others to meet on September 4, 1822, at Elder Baker’s house at 9 o’clock in the forenoon. They were to see how well the advice of the Council had been complied with. Those invited were Elders Warren, Kendrick, Cooley, J. and N. Peck, Carpenter, Beckworth, and Brothers Dr. Petit and Parker. Brothers Weston, Hubbard, Millard and Ball were appointed by the Pompey and Manlius Church to speak and answer questions before the Council. Unfortunately there was no report in the Church Minutes of the September 4, 1822 Council.

At a stated meeting on October 5, 1822, at the East School House, with Jacob Cleveland as Moderator, the Church took up the report of the September 4, 1822, Council. There were nine brothers and fifteen sisters present. The members were apparently feeling rebellious and all nine brothers and fourteen of the fifteen sisters declined the report. Sister Crowell appeared not to have made up her mind. What was decided and what was rejected by the church is not known. Apparently the church was pleased with its action, because the members, after expressing their minds as to Church Fellowship, found an agreeable union among the participants.

Although there were future Councils reported (for the trial of Brother Pearce and the ordinations of Brother Morton and Brother Devoll), this was the last recorded use of a Council to settle the internal difficulties of the Pompey and Manlius Baptist Church and Society. This was also the end of a very difficult time for the Church. The Elijah Weston affair and all of its consequences (i.e., the quarrels between members, between members and Elder Baker and the need for outside intervention) was discussed and fought over in at least fifty Church meetings. This undoubtedly weakened the Church and kept it from its real mission in Manlius.

Names are spelled as in the Church minutes differently in different places. William Phillermore, Phellermore, Philemore and Fillmore are the same person.

The Church had been incorporated in 1810, but apparently had failed to take the necessary steps to keep the incorporation current. On Saturday, December 14, 1822, the Church met in the Old School House and proceeded to re-incorporate. The event is described in a copy of the minutes.

Minutes taken at a meeting held at the Old School House, so called, for the support of a religious incorporation on Saturday, December 14, 1822, (where) by a plurality of voices choose (chose) William Phillemore, Benjamin Potter, Willoby Millard, and Nathan Weston as Trustees for said incorporation. That the naming of said corporation be the Baptist Church and Society in Pompey and Manlius.”
William Philemore, Moderator
Nathan Weston, Clerk

 

William Phillemore and Nathan Weston took the written instrument of incorporation (minutes of the meeting) to the Onondaga County Courthouse on January 24, 1823, and it was allowed to be recorded, but the recording was not done until January 16, 1829. (The Church has a copy of the instrument of incorporation.)

The Church then followed up the election of Trustees with an assignment of term lengths. According to the report Willoby Millard and Nathan Weston were drawn at the first class, Benjamin Potter and William Fillmore at the second, and John Hatch at the third. This meant that Millard and Weston had one year terms, Potter and Fillmore two years each and John Hatch three years. The Incorporation and the establishment of a Board of Trustees, which met regularly from this point on, were important steps which made possible the building of a church in 1828. On January 24, 1823, Nathan Weston and William Fillmore took the written and signed instrument to the County Clerk R.S. Hebs and it was belatedly recorded on January 16, 1829.

With all the business involved with the incorporation of the Church, the election of Trustees, and the impending building of a new church, the congregation found it necessary to keep a second set of records. The first Book of Records continued to record membership information, problems with members, baptisms, reports of Covenant meetings, and transfers of letters, essentially the work of the Deacons. The new record book recorded some of the business side of the church, i.e. the incorporation, the building of the new church, annual reports, election of officers, calling of ministers, treasurer’s reports, and early reports from the Board of Trustees. There were now two different Clerks. Nathan Weston continued recording information in the First Book until 1825. There were several short term Clerks for the second book, including Azariah Smith. The Clerk of the business related Book was also designated Clerk of the annual meeting. In 1832 Hiram Smith took over as Clerk and continued until December 8, 1890. Later he was also Clerk of the First Book.

Much later at a Special Church Meeting on September 1, 1823, at the house of Jonathon Jones, the Church voted to send the letter prepared by the Clerk to the Madison Association and with it a statement drawn up with reasons assigned why the Church could not accept the report of the Council of September 4, 1822.
At the Stated Church Meeting on October 7, 1823, it was reported that several visits to wayward members had been made. Among the backsliders was Deacon Cleveland, who owned that he had drank more than he aught at different times but did not remember having been helped into his wagon by Brother Fillemore. (This was not Deacon Cleveland’s first problem. Earlier he had been chastened for selling eggs on the Sabbath.)

There was no mention in the minutes of Elder Samuel Carpenter being formally hired as Elder of the Manlius and Pompey Baptist Church. The Church was acquainted with him since he served on the Councils of August 3, 1822, and September 4, 1822, as a representative of the Fabius Church. He had been Elder of the First Baptist Church of Fabius for six months starting in November of 1822. (Difficulties in paying its Elders was not limited to the Pompey and Manlius Baptist Church. The Fabius Church paid Elder Carpenter – at least in part – with wheat at $1.00 a bushel, corn and rye at 50 cents a bushel, and other articles of produce in proportion.)

On November 1st, 1823, at the home of Brother Hubbard, the Pompey and Manlius Baptist Church voted to receive Elder Samuel Carpenter and his wife Rhoda into the Church. Brothers Ball and Hubbard were to see to Elder Carpenter’s wants respecting a living and to try to have them supplied.

On Wednesday, November 12, 1823, a Committee of members, Brothers Millard, Ball, Phillemore and Weston (Nathan) was appointed to meet with a Committee from the Pompey Center Church and a Committee from the Madison Association at Brother Scranton’s home. After much conversation a settlement was not effected between the churches. The Committee from the Association found they could not find in particular what the two Churches were at odds about.

On November 29, 1823, another Committee (Elders Carpenter and Nichols, Brothers Millard, Phillemore, Ball, Weston and Jones) was selected to meet at Brother Root’s home on December 10, 1823, with a Committee from the Pompey Center Church to again try to effect a settlement between the two Churches. Elder Baker was appointed the Moderator. Warren Scranton (now a member of the Pompey Center Church) was appointed Clerk for the Pompey Center Church and Nathan Weston Clerk for the Pompey and Manlius Church. The difficulty between the two churches was “considerably conversed.” (Pompey Center accepting members from the Pompey and Manlius Church without letters of recommendation from the latter Church.) The two Churches unanimously came to the following result: (viz.)

We the Committees from both Churches this day agree that all difficulties that have existed between the two Churches this day are settled and never more to be called in question if the said two Churches agree and ratify the said agreement made by their Committees.
Signed Warren Scranton, Clerk
Nathan Weston, Clerk

The Pompey Center Church ratified the agreement on December 13, 1823, and the Pompey and Manlius Church did the same on December 14, 1823, and that was the end of the controversy between the two Churches.

At a special Church Meeting at the East School House on February 28, 1824, the Church voted that for several reasons (not given) to agree that they do not depend on Elder Samuel Carpenter “to supply them with preaching after today.” Brothers Ball and Hubbard were to inform Elder Carpenter of the vote. The Church voted to try to have as much preaching as possible and appointed Brothers Weston, Hubbard and Jones to try to get a supply of the same. At the same meeting, ironically, the Church voted that the Church had come to an end of labors with Brother Nathan Baker.

Elder Carpenter’s time as Elder in the Pompey and Manlius Baptist Church turned out to be a short and unfortunate one for him. No doubt his dismissal was prompted by his experiences with Brother Nathan Baker, the third Nathan Baker to be mentioned in the minutes. (He must have been from another branch of the family since Nathan Baker Jr. was too young in 1821, 28 years of age, to have had a son old enough to be as bad as the third Nathan Baker turned out to be.) Brother Nathan Baker was, however, a member of the Church. Brother Nathan Baker, Jr., brought charges against him on March 13, 1821, for using bad language, personal abuse, equivocation and falsehood. The Church examined the charges on May 5, 1821, and found them unstubstantiated. By 1824, however, Brother Nathan Baker appeared to be in more serious trouble. The Church voted to admonish him by letter because of his long absence from the Church, something he said to Sister Rowe, and for disorderly walking.

On February 28, 1824, the Church voted that it had come to the end of labor with Brother Nathan Baker. On March 6, 1824, the congregation found an agreeable union in the Church and voted a letter of recommendation to Elder Carpenter and his wife. On April 3, 1824, at a Stated Church Meeting Brother Nathan Baker appeared. He stated as a reason for his absence a difficulty with Elder Carpenter. (Apparently Elder Carpenter borrowed some money from Nathan Baker, or owed him some money for another reason.) The Church questioned his sueing Elder Carpenter. Brother Baker said he did it because of his own poverty. Brother Phillemore stated in evidence that Brother Baker had sworn out an execution (a legal writ) against Elder Caprenter and took his horse and wagon and said publicly he should not have done it if he thought Elder Carpenter was an honest man and intended to pay him. (Whether in fact Elder Caprenter was honest or dishonest was not determined.) Brother Baker admitted playing dice in Manlius, quarreling with a man at Watson’s, with a second man in the road, and with a third man at the Cazenovia gate. He denied swearing while quarreling, however. After more conversation he acknowledged he was wrong in what he had done and that he was sorry. The Church seemed reluctant to censure Brother Baker and voted satisfaction with his confessions if he would apologize to Elder Carpenter and on Sunday, April 4, 1824, he made an acknowledgement in public. On June 5, 1824, at a Stated Church Meeting, the case of Nathan Baker was re-opened. The Church voted to withdraw the hand of fellowship from Nathan Baker, because he had absented himself from the Church for almost twelve months. In addition, Gerry Cole and Ezekial Fox testified that Nathan Baker had quarreled with Mr. Buck at Foxes Tavern and damned him and said he would give him a flogging if it were not for the law. Instead of proving the sincerity of his confession by good conduct, he had gone off and left his creditors to suffer the large sums of money he owed them. He left his bondsman, Peter Peed, to suffer the consequences of a lawsuit of defamation, and he had not confessed to Elder Carpenter as promised and more.

At a Stated Church Meeting on October 2, 1824, with Elder Nichols as Moderator, Jacob Cleveland, now called Brother (apparently he was no longer a Deacon), was again found in trouble with the Church. He now admitted he had been wrong in drinking too much and also wrong in his mind, but now had left off drinking any Spirits for two or three months. The Church voted that they were satisfied but required him to make a public confession on the Lord’s Day, October 3, 1824, which he did.

At a Stated Church Meeting on July 31, 1824, with Elder Nicholas as Moderator, Brother Benjamin Pearce was voted a member of the Church by letter and experience. Later, in September, 1824, Brother Pearce and Willoby Millard were appointed as Church Delegates to the Madison Association Meeting in Homer. By April 2, 1825, Brother Pearce began to act frequently as the Moderator of the Church Meetings, a responsibility given mostly to Elders preaching in the Church. At a Special Meeting on April 23, 1825, the Church voted to call Brother Pearce to “preach with us once a month” and became the fourth part-time preacher of the Church. (He was Licensed in 1830.) There was talk of calling Brother Pearce to ordination, but he requested a postponement, and the Church voted to let the matter drop for the present.

At the same April 23, 1825, meeting the Church finally bowed to the will of the Church Council and Elder Baker, and in adopting rules of regulating Church Meetings, withdrew the right of women to have a meaningful vote. There was no record how the Church voted on this change in the voting rules. The rules were as follows:

  1. As soon as there is a sufficient number to do business (number not mentioned), the Clerk calls the attention of the Church to open the meeting by a prayer.
  2. The Clerk calls for the nomination of a moderator.
  3. The Moderator is to keep complete order in the meeting. Every member shall be silent when the Moderator requires it. The Moderator shall endeavor to keep the attention of the Church to the business of the meeting and if any member departs from the subject under consideration or unnecessarily consumes the time, it is the duty of the Moderator to call him to order. (The member can appeal the call of the Moderator.)
  4. As soon as a question is fully and fairly examined, the Moderator (after it is motioned and seconded) shall put the Vote on the subject first to the Brothers (by whose votes the case is to be decided) and then to the Sisters. Yet it is the duty of the Church to take as much pain to satisfy the mind of a Sister as of a Brother and that Sisters have equal rights to ask questions of the Brothers.
  5. All Church Meetings are to be concluded by prayer.
  6. No member has a right to leave the meeting before it is concluded with out first obtaining leave of the Moderator of the Church.

On September 3, 1825, Elder John Nichols, Brothers Pearce and Ball were nominated to represent the Church at the 1825 Madison Association Meeting. Brother Pearce was now about to be called to ordination by the Manlius and Pompey Baptist Church. He requested and was granted a postponement. The Church also voted that it wished to have a meeting house if the place, model and size could be agreed upon.

Apparently the Church and Elder Baker were still friendly. The Church voted to have a religious meeting at his home in October, 1825. At a Stated Church Meeting on February 4, 1826, with Brother Benjamin Pearce as Moderator, the Church again voted to let the case of calling Brother Pearce for ordination drop.

Dr. John King was a physician originally residing in Delphi. He experienced religion in 1816, but because of a disagreement with Elder Warren of the Delphi Baptist Church, united with the Baptist Church in Cazenovia and was baptized by Elder John Peck. He received a license to preach from the Cazenovia church and was asked to supply their pulpit. He consented so far as he could while still practicing medicine. In 1824 Dr. King, out of a sense of duty, discontinued his medical practice and devoted himself completely to the ministry of the Gospel. The Pompey Center Church then called him as a pastor. When he accepted, the Church called an Ecclesiastical Council to examine and ordain him if they found him worthy. Brother King was ordained and became Elder King and served the Pompey Center Church until the next spring when his health failed. He resigned his pastorate and moved away from Pompey.

In 1826 Elder Nichols and Brother Pearce were active and were joined by a fifth part-time preacher, Doctor John King, six years after he was first considered. Elder King moderated Church meetings, administered baptisms, and shared in the preaching duties. He was not mentioned after 1826. It was noted that he served without pay.

Elder Baker was not mentioned again in the Church records. Lucy Baker died on May 9, 1832, at the age of 70. Elder Nathan Baker died on October 20, 1836, at age 76 in Middlebury, Genesee County, New York. (Middlebury is not listed on current (1999) New York State maps.)

1827-1833 (Charles Morton)

We know more about Elder Morton than about most of our early Elders because of his Seminary Record. “Charles Morton, born in Augusta, New York on June 10, 1789. He made the journey from Fredonia to Hamilton, a distance of 260 miles, on foot. He entered the Seminary in March, 1825, graduated in 1827.”

Charles Morton was the sixth of the part-time pastors to lead the Manlius Baptists. On February 21, 1827, the Church voted to engage Brother Charles Morton "to preach with us" for nine months from the first of June next (or until March 1, 1828). Brother Morton was still a seminary student at the Hamilton Literary and Theological Institute (Colgate University), but was to complete his studies in 1827. He was to be a member of the sixth graduation class of the Institute in Hamilton. The Church also asked Brother Morton to "provide preaching for us the whole of the time until June next (1827) and we pay him what he has to pay." This meant that Brother Morton would hire other students to preach in Manlius when he could not. Brother Morton would pay them and be reimbursed by the Church. From March until June, 1827, the pulpit was supplied by Brother Morton and his colleagues from Hamilton and perhaps by Brother Pearce and Elder Nichols. (In August, 1827, Brothers Morton, Jones, Pearce and Elder Nichols were our messengers to the Madison Baptist Association Meeting.)

New York State was settling rapidly. When a nucleus of a village was formed, one of the major decisions, after homes, taverns and schoolhouses were built, was to build a church for each of the major denominations. A large number of trained ministers were needed and to meet that need several institutions for the education and training of ministers sprang up in Central New York:

  • 1812 Hamilton College (Presbyterian)- Clinton, NY
  • 1818 Auburn Theological Seminary (Presbyterian)- Auburn, NY
  • 1819 Hamilton Literary and Theological Institute
  • (Colgate University)- (Baptist)-Hamilton, NY
  • 1822 Geneva College-(Hobart) (Episcopal)- Geneva NY
  • 1850 Rochester Theological Seminary (Baptist)-Rochester, NY
  • 1856 St. Lawrence University-(Universalists)- Canton, NY

Baptist Churches in Central New York in the early years sought supply pastors (unordained students) and pastors (graduates) from the Seminary in Hamilton because of its location. Manlius was approximately 28 miles from Hamilton (as the crow flies). It was close enough so that a horse could be ridden from there to Manlius. Several students filled in when the Manlius Church lacked a pastor, and others were called here as permanent pastors.

When Brother and Mrs. Susan Morton were in Manlius during the months until he became the full time pastor, they stayed with Brother Selden (for 14 shillings a week) and also with Brother Jones. At a Church meeting on August 4, 1827, Brother Morton was called to Ordination, which was to be on October 11, 1827, and was also voted a member of the Church by letter. A Committee was appointed to secure the Presbyterian Meeting House for the Ordination and also stable room for the horses. Churches from Pompey Center, Delphi, Cazenovia (First and Second), Fabius, Hamilton (First), Eaton (Second) and Manlius (Fayetteville) were invited to participate. A Committee was voted to answer the Council on behalf of the Church. On October 11, 1827, the Church Council met according to appointment. The Council was organized with Elder Leonard, moderator, and Elder Smitzer (a future pastor of our Church), Clerk. Questions were proposed to the candidate by the Moderator. The Council adjourned one hour. The Council returned and proceeded to Ordination. Apparently the candidate qualified. The Moderator then preached a sermon from Isaiah 6:1-3, offered a consecration prayer, and Elder Smitzer gave the charge and a concluding prayer. The last hymn was sung, and the candidate, now Elder Morton, was allowed to give the benediction. (On May 2, 1829, almost two years later, the Church received a communication from Deacon Jones, who reported to the Church that Mr. Goodrich was owed $2.62 for conducting the singing for the Ordination. Mr. Goodrich was paid.)

According to information given in the obituary of Martha Ketchum Armstrong (Fayetteville Bulletin, July 4, 1924), the Manlius Baptists were regularly meeting for two years (1827-1828) in her father’s (Ezra Grinnell Ketchum) barn until the new church could be erected. The barn was the first frame barn raised in the Town of Pompey.

Two years had passed since the last mention of building a church was mentioned in the minutes of the Church, when on December 1, 1827, the Church, now being led by a full time ordained pastor Elder Morton, got serious and voted to build a meeting house in or near the village of Manlius within the ensuing year. Samuel Sherman and Abijah Yelveston were appointed a Committee to select a suitable place for said house (of worship), learn the terms of the owner and report at the next meeting of the Society.

The next Church meeting was scheduled for December 8, 1827. Because of bad weather attendance was low and the meeting was adjourned to December 12, 1827, at three o'clock. The Site Committee reported that they had examined several spots in and near the village of Manlius and that "they think there are none more suitable than four village lots lying on the north side of the Seneca Turnpike Road west of Azariah Smith's Brick Store extending 89 1/10 feet on the Turnpike and 60 feet deep, with the privilege of a 14 foot lane in the rear of the same. The said lots are by the owner given to said Society at the rate of $5.00 a foot front in exchange for pews at auction." The lots were owned by Slyvanus S. Tousley and wife and Azariah Smith and wife.

A plan for the meeting house was submitted by Azariah Smith and Sheldon Graves, "a house 40 feet front and rear, 48 feet deep, 24 feet posts, galleries all round with 48 slips (pews) on the lower floor. Two front doors and without a steeple." The report of the Site Committee and the plans of Azariah Smith and Sheldon Graves were accepted by vote.

Elder Charles Morton, William Fillmore, Sheldon Graves, Azariah Smith and John Fleming were chosen a Committee to circulate a subscription for building said house with the understanding that each subscriber may have the privilege of buying pews at auction for the amount of his subscription.

The Building Subscription read as follows: "To enable the Trustees of the Manlius and Pompey Baptist Society to build a meeting house in Manlius Village on the Site between A. Smith's Brick Building and R. Gilmor's Shop about the size 40 by 48 feet without a Steeple, the Subscribers severally promise to pay to the said Trustees or their Successors in office the sums set to their names. Subscriptions payable in materials to be paid by 11 April next (April 11, 1828). Subscriptions payable in Cash one-fourth on the first day of April next (April 1, 1828) and the residue in three equal semi-annual installments from that time, and whenever the said house is completed the subscribers agree to give their notes for the sums unpaid; and it is understood that the Pews or Slips shall be sold at public auction and that for all subscriptions paid or secured to be paid, the Subscribers are to be allowed in their purchase of a Pew or Slip. December 12, 1827.” On December 26, 1827, Azariah Smith, Sheldon Graves and John Hatch were voted a Committee to superintend and contract for the building of the meeting house.

The Church has a record of the names of the individuals and their plans to help pay for the lot and church building whether in cash , materials or services. For example, David Squires donated $1.00 worth of labor, Willoby Millard gave $50.00 worth of hemlock lumber, and Abner Duell gave $10.00 worth of chairs to be made in his woodworking shop. Fifty contributors and their gifts were named.

There were unfortunately no entries in the minutes for 1828 concerning the building of the new church. Any discussions in the Board of Trustees or in the Church Meetings involving building, financial, personal or legal problems were not recorded.

The business of the Church at the Annual Meeting on December 8, 1828, was the first entry in the new Minute Book for 1828, which recorded annual meetings, business meetings and Trustee meetings. Elias Stilwell was the Moderator, Moses Eells and James Sisson were elected as new Trustees, and Azariah Smith was chosen Clerk to replace Thomas I. Pilgrim, "removed from the Society." This explains why no information was recorded from December 26, 1827 to December 8, 1828.

At a Trustees Meeting on January 23, 1829, in the Conference Room of the completed new Meeting House, Azariah Smith, Clerk of the Church, presented a seal which he had procured. It was approved by the Trustees and voted to be the seal of the Society. It was described as having engraved around the edge "Pompey and Manlius 1822" and in the center "Baptist Society." The fate of the seal is unknown.

Drafts for the deeds of the site of the meeting house from Sylvanus S. Tousley and wife and from Azariah Smith and wife were presented and examined. The Church voted to accept the same. The deeds bearing the date January 1, 1829, were then executed by the said Smith and Tousley.

At the same meeting the Trustees also voted that the Clerk execute under the common seal and deliver to said Tousley a writing agreeing that the Trustees will not build any building on the 12 foot front and rear of the meeting house lot, nor keep wood or other lumber permanently stored there. A writing was executed accordingly and delivered to said Tousley.

Blanks for deeds of Pews were also presented and examined. The Trustees voted their approval. When the pews were sold the Clerk was to execute the same and deliver them to the purchasers.

The Trustees further voted to adopt as a regulation of the meeting house, that the pews therein shall not be altered or injured and shall remain open and free for any person to occupy when the same are not occupied by the owner, his family, or others, at the owner's request; but whenever the owner directs that any person shall sit therein, any person occupying without leave should immediately remove (themselves). They also voted that the pews should be numbered as in the annexed diagram and that pew No. 7 be reserved at the sale and be appropriated for the use of the minister of the Society. (The diagram of the pews has been reproduced and included at the end of Chapt 3.) They also voted to call the lower room "The Baptist Conference Room."

The pews were to be sold at auction on January 26, 1829, at 10 o'clock A.M., William Fillmore auctioneer, at the meeting house. The amounts bid for the pews ranged from $30.00 to $119.00. Contrary to present preferences, the most expensive seats were closest to the front of the Church. Several families combined their resources to buy a single pew. The accounts of the Building Committee were settled. The whole cost of the lots and meeting house was $2730.00. The sale of pews brought in $2702.00.

In the First Baptist Church of Manlius collection of historical papers and pictures, there is one of the original Pew Deeds for Pew #22. It was granted to Asa Rowe on January 26, 1829, for the sum of $50.00 (to have and to hold as Asa Rowe and his heirs and assign forever.). The deed was signed by A. Smith, Clerk, and sealed with the official seal of the Church. (On February 14, 1827, Asa Rowe sold his pew to Lauriston Fish for $20.00.)

It is not known when the pews ceased to "belong" to those who purchased them and became "public" Church property. There was no mention of the resale of pews or what was done for new families who needed pews. Brother Smith, obviously, had no need for 16 pews (one-third of the seating capacity.) It seems likely that most of the pews soon became public property. In 1912 the old pews were removed and replaced with new oak ones.

Now the Church had a home and a Board of Trustees in charge of its upkeep, both physically and monetarily. In the years to follow the Board of Trustees were kept busy maintaining the Church and keeping it supplied with candles, candlesticks, and firewood. They hired custodians to open the house, to sweep the floors, to "take charge of the keys," and to kindle the fires for the Sabbath and for the larger congregational meetings. For a time the Trustees were also in charge of calling ministers.

At the Annual Meeting of the Society on December 5, 1829, two Trustees were chosen: James Sisson, to succeed himself, and Roger Stilwell. Azariah Smith and S. Graves presented their last accounts for expenses for the new building, $27.45 and $1.38 respectively. They were examined and found correct and the Trustees were directed to circulate a subscription to raise the money. This was the last entry of Azariah Smith as Clerk. James Sisson became Clerk pro tem.

One man stands apart from the others in the effort to build the Church. He was Azariah Smith. Although the Baptist Church was not built as early as he would have liked, when the Church finally made up its mind to act, he was in the forefront of the effort. The Church was built partly on property he owned. With Sheldon Graves he submitted the plans for the building. He was a member of the Committee appointed to raise money by subscription , and was with Sheldon Graves and John Hatch a Committee to superintend and contract for the building of the meeting house. At the auction he purchased 16 of the 48 pews, and apparently lent the Church money to proceed with the building until the pews were paid for.. In addition, he was Church Clerk during 1829. He did all this even though he was not a member of the Church.

It was not reported in Baptist Minutes but historian E.E. Clemons reports that after the raising of the frame of the new church structure, the workers formed in a row on

the east plate and a suspicious looking bottle was passed from one to the other commencing at the south end of the row, (and) the last one, after making some remarks, threw the bottle against the adjacent brick building (Azariah Smith's Brick Store) breaking it into a thousand pieces.

There are no available pictures of the Church as it was in 1828, but Henry C. VanShaack, in his History of Manlius Village, describes the Church as he saw it as a young man of 26 years in 1828 and later after many improvements in 1868 when he was 66 years old. His early impressions are re-printed here. His later impression will be related later in this history. The major improvements as made to the building will be described.

From History of Manlius Village by Henry C. VanShaack

As first built it was a plain, cheerless, Quaker-looking, two story frame structure, without exterior architectural pretension or interior adornment. The light was admitted through a double row of old fashioned, rectangular windows all around the four sides of the edifice. There was no bell or steeple, and it had scarcely anything about it but its size to indicate that it was a house of worship. Its original internal construction and finish fully corresponded with its cold and forbidding external appearance. There was a plain heavy gallery all around the four interior sides of the building, reaching back and behind the pulpit, so that those sitting in that part of the gallery could overlook the preacher's manuscript, and see whether he was preaching an old sermon. On entering the auditorium you were obliged to face the whole congregation; and on going into the pew you had to turn clear around in order to face the pulpit and minister. This arrangement was calculated to make modest people go to church in season, so as not to disturb the meeting, although I am not aware that it had that effect.

At a February 2, 1828, Church Meeting Elder John Nichols was given a letter of recommendation to the Baptist Church in Mexico, NY, but if he went it was for a short time as he died on July 6, 1828 in Pompey at the age of 89. At the same meeting the Church authorized Brothers Pilgrim, Jones and Fleming to visit Elder Morton to learn the terms on which he would preach another year. Elder Morton agreed to stay a second year for $250.00.

While in the early years of the Church, the Manlius area itself could have been considered part of the Mission Field, a remarkable change had taken place and now the area had become populated and somewhat developed. The Churches were well-established and could now consider mission work elsewhere in the less developed areas of the United States or overseas. It was obvious that Elder Baker was extremely interested in missionary work in the western part of New York State in the early 1800s. Adoniram Judson, formerly a Congregational minister, became a Baptist and in 1813 was working in Burma with support from the Baptists in the United States.


The women of the Church were brought together in a Missionary Society with the help of Elder Peck in the early 1800s, but there was no mention of their activities in the Church Records. However, on November 1, 1828, the Church met for a Covenant Meeting. After the Brothers and the Sisters had expressed their minds in relation to their feelings and the cause they had professed, the Moderator, Elder Morton, made a proposal for the Church to form a Missionary Society for both men and women, an auxiliary to the Baptist Convention. There was a Constitution for the Society to serve as a guide for its activities in the Church. Elder Morton made the following motion: “Being impressed with the importance of disseminating the glorious Gospel among the destitute and scattered inhabitants of our own continent, embracing numerous tribes of Indians, who have been too long neglected and remembering that ‘Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God,’ and also the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, how he said ‘It is more blessed to give than receive,’ and being assembled agreeable to previous appointment, on this first day of November in the year of our Lord 1828, we do cheerfully resolve, that the Baptist Church of Christ in Pompey and Manlius, be a Missionary Society Auxiliary to the Baptist Missionary Convention of the State of New York.” Rules were attached. The first rule was that the object of the Society was to assist the Baptist Missionary Convention in sending the Gospel to the destitute. The second rule stated that it was the duty of all of the members of the Church who feel willing to do anything for the spread of the Gospel, to subscribe to this Constitution and annex to their several names, the sums that they will pay annually into the funds of the Society. The other rules concerned the governing of the Society. The articles were adopted by the six members present and also by the sisters.

There was only one more recorded meeting of the Society and that was held August 1, 1829. Elder Peck was supposed to be present to deliver a discourse on the printing of the Bible in the Burman (Burmese) language but did not appear (previous commitment). After the members had paid the sums set to their names as a Society, the Moderator, Elder Morton, himself, made some remarks about the Burman Bible. A contribution was taken and $7.00 collected. (We have an idea of the number of people in the congregation in 1829. The Baptist Convention recommended to the Church that they should raise 18 cents from each member and the local Baptist Church calculated that the amount would be about $14.00, making a membership of 78 people.)

Elder Morton also was very busy in helping with the planning and building of the new church in 1828. On July 15, 1828 Sister Susan Morton, wife of Elder Morton, presented her letter and was received into the fellowship of the Church. In November 1829 Elder Morton was hired for a third year of preaching. In 1830 he lost his full time status as he requested permission to spend one-quarter of his time in the Jamesville Church if called to do so. The Church agreed on condition that Elder Morton supply the preaching for the time he would be away. The Church was to hire a Colgate student to serve in the pulpit during Elder Morton's absences. (There was no record that Elder Morton was called to Jamesville.)

In 1826, in western New York, William Morgan, who had joined the order of Free Masonry, published a book professing to expose the secrets of Free Masonry, a violation of a solemn oath. Indignation among Masons was intense. Mr. Morgan disappeared never to be seen again. Rumors had it that the Masons put him in a boat and sent him over Niagara Falls. Many people believed the rumors and as a result anti-Masonic sentiment swept the country. At its peak an anti-Masonic national ticket ran in the Andrew Jackson-Henry Clay election of 1832 and actually carried one state and received seven electoral votes.

As a result of this anti-Masonic fever, on Nov. 11, 1829, the Church and Society met "agreeable to an appointment." After other business was transacted the Church adopted the following resolution:
Resolved, that in the opinion of this Church it is the duty of all our brethren who are Free-Masons to dissolve all connection with the Masonic Fraternity and hold themselves no longer bound by any ties of allegiance to the Masonic Institution or by its obligations, laws, usages or customs and that they give to the Church material evidence of the same.
Resolved, that in our opinion, Masonic brethren ought not to be required to disclose any of the secrets of Free-Masonry or to verbally avow any opinion of its character or tendency.
Resolved, that we will endeavor to practice all Christian forbearance towards our Masonic Brethren but that in case they cannot be induced to take the steps above described, it will finally be our duty to withdraw the hand of fellowship from them.

The Masonic problem was not mentioned again nor were there any reports of Masons being ousted from the Church for non-compliance with the Church's resolution. This is probably because the Manlius Military Lodge 93 was closed within the year on Dec. 25, 1830, by the unusual act of bricking up the entrance to the lodge rooms. The Lodge remained inactive and the rooms blocked until March 25, 1851, when the anti-Masonic sentiment had subsided. The rooms were opened and the Masonic Lodge resumed its activities.

On March 31, 1827, the Church voted to give Brother Benjamin Pearce, who joined the Church by letter on July 31, 1825, a traveling letter and on March 1, 1828, a letter of recognition. In a June 5, 1830, meeting of the Church, Brother Stillwell thought it would be expedient to do something about licensing Brother Pearce to preach in this Church. A Committee was established to converse with Brother Pearce on this matter, to get information from other places where he had served and to invite ministers and others from these places to meet with our Church and share what information they might have, so that the Church could act with propriety.

The date set was the 25th day of June, 1830. The Church met as scheduled but necessary information in relation to Brother Pearce was not received, and the meeting

was postponed. Although not reported in the minutes, the meeting must have been held later with satisfactory results because Brother Pearce was acknowledged to have "formally received from us a license to preach the Gospel."

No sooner was Brother Pearce licensed to preach when a calamity at least partly of his own making, overtook him, causing him to lose that coveted license and to leave the Church. On August 27, 1830, at a special Church meeting a complaint was presented against Brother Pearce for trading with Brother Sweet of the Delphi Church a horse which Brother Pearce allegedly knew suffered from ringhorn (a problem with the horse's hoof) and was lame as a result, thereby deceiving him. Proof of the charges was said to be substantiated by a transcript of the sworn testimony from Esquire Litchfield's docket in Pompey Hill. Jeremiah Fox says he was present when the parties exchanged horses. The defendant (Pearce) said he would ride the plaintiff's (Sweet) mare and if he liked to ride it he would exchange. The plaintiff asked the defendant what was the matter with his horse, and the defendant said he had a stone in his shoe, was not so lame as when the stone was taken out. The defendant said he expected that was the cause of the horse's lameness; he knew of no other cause. One witness for the defendant named John Reed did say that the defendant stopped at his father's, discovered a stone in the shoe of his horse and removed it with difficulty. Brother Sweet in addition to his earlier testimony told the Church that Brother Pearce was told by a Mr. Barber that his horse had a ringhorn.

The Church members, after hearing and prayerfully examining the testimony before them, concluded that they were "constrained to believe Brother Pearce guilty of putting off a horse which he had a good reason to think had a ringhorn, thus deceiving and wronging Brother Sweet, and also bringing a wound in the cause of Christ, which cannot easily be healed." As a punishment and to set things right, they required that Brother Pearce:

  1. Go to Delphi where the crime was committed and in a public meeting on the Sabbath confess that he did deceive and wrong Brother Sweet.
  2.  Go to Pompey Hill, where the offense was made public by the examination and decision of an arbitrarian, and there do the same.
  3. Surrender the license he formally received from us to preach the Gospel.
  4. All this so that our minds may be relieved of a great burden, the stain wiped from his own character, and that the deep wound which the cause has received may be bound up and healed. (Whether Brother Pearce did all of the things requested of him at the August 27, 1830, meeting, we do not know.)

On September 7, 1830, the Church showed off its new building when it hosted the Fall Meeting of the Madison Baptist Association. Brothers Stilwell and Filmore were to be the Committee to regulate and seat people in the house and Brothers Ward and Sisson a Committee to provide for the horses. Willoby Millard and John White were the delegates from the Manlius Church. The Church voted to spend $1.25 to help defray the cost of printing the minutes.

Apparently dissatisfied with the findings of the Church, Brother Pearce or a friend requested a Council in hopes of a more favorable conclusion. On October 11, 1830, at ten of the clock, the Church met and a motion was made and passed to have a Council in behalf of Brother Pearce on November 9, 1830, at ten of the clock in the forenoon with the Churches from Pompey, Manlius, Delphi, Cazenovia and Woodstock asked to send their ministers and one or two select members. Fabius was added at Brother Pearce's request. All of the Churches agreed to participate and the names are listed in the minutes. Twenty people came. Brother Lewis Leonard from Cazenovia Village Baptist Church was Moderator and Elder John Smitzer (later to become pastor of the Manlius and Pompey Baptist Church and Society) was Clerk. The Council heard the complaints against Brother Pearce of committing fraud in exchanging a horse with Brother Sweet of the Church in Delphi. The Council heard the records of the Church in the matter, listened to Brother Sweet's statement, and heard the defense of Brother Pearce, and a witness of Brother Pearce who said that the horse had not been lame to their knowledge until the horse got the stone in his shoe. If Brother Pearce hoped for a more lenient judgment from the Council his hopes were dashed. The Council prayerfully examined the subject and was unanimously of the opinion that there is much in the testimony that renders the honesty of Brother Pearce in his dealing with Brother Sweet very doubtful; yet the Council would hope that in the exercise of charity, from the consideration that the horse was not lame till after the stone referred to in the testimony was found in the shoe, that Brother Pearce did not mean willfully to deceive Brother Sweet; therefore, upon a review of the whole, the Council recommends to the Church that they require Brother Pearce to publicly acknowledge before the Church and Congregation that he had given a reason for the public to suspect his honesty, wounded the feelings of his brethren, and the cause of Christ, and that he give up his license to preach, and that his restoration as a brother be suspended until he complies with the above. Voted that the Council be dissolved. Prayer by Brother Breed. John Smitzer, Clerk; Lewis Leonard, Moderator.

On December 21, 1830, the Church met agreeable to an appointment to discuss the recommendation of the Council in respect to Brother Pearce.
Resolved, the result of the Council be accepted in relation to Brother Pearce.
Resolved, his confession be satisfactory which was as follows: "Upon taking a retrospect of the bargain made between me and Brother Sweet of Delphi, together with the manner of my subsequent treatment of the subject, I am persuaded that I have given occasion to those who are acquainted with the circumstances to doubt my good intentions, thereby laying a stumbling block in the way of the world, wounding the cause of Christ, and feelings of my brethren, for which I am heartily sorry and do most sincerely beg the forgiveness of my brethren and friends and crave an interest in these petitions at the throne of Grace that God may blot out my sins and deliver me from temptation in the future." Benjamin Pearce.

February 5, 1831, at a meeting of the Church, a request from the Baptist Church in Woodstock was presented requesting the transfer of Benjamin Pearce to membership from this Church to theirs and the request was granted. We do not know how Brother Pearce fared in the future. He is not mentioned again in the Minutes of the Pompey and Manlius Baptist Church and Society.

In 1831 negotiations with the Church, the possibility of Elder Morton preaching half-time with the Fayetteville Baptists was discussed. The Church agreed to pay Elder Morton $350.00 for preaching in our Church, $300.00 for half-time preaching. However, he would have to supply the Manlius Church with preaching in his absence. Elder Morton did spend half of his time in the Fayetteville Church. There was no record of who preached in the Manlius Church in his absence.

In a history of the Fayetteville Baptist Church it was stated that, "Through the efforts of Mr. Harvey Edwards, (a new convert who began to awaken interest in the Baptist work in Fayetteville), the services of Charles Morton, pastor of the Baptist Church in Manlius N.Y., were now secured half the time and under the blessing of God, much good was accomplished by his labor in this place. A revival was enjoyed and the Church was strengthened and encouraged."

The most extraordinary event of Elder Morton's ministry was not mentioned in any of the Church records. An unknown author wrote the History of the Manlius Church for the Onondaga Association Minutes of the Sept. 3-4, 1861, meeting and included the story of a remarkable revival in Manlius that started in the Manlius Baptist Church in March of 1831 and spread throughout the village. The author's account of the event is as follows:
“After entering this house, a general prosperity attended the labors of Brother Morton, but nothing of special interest occurred until the winter of 1830-1831, when he became greatly distressed; other Churches were revived and multiplied but his was not. He visited places where the Lord was working gloriously, and returned only to weep and lament that all was so dark and dead at home. At length he entreated of his brethren to meet and fast and pray. This they agreed to do on the Friday preceding their Covenant Meeting in March. God, as if to prepare the way, took to Himself a lovely youth, a daughter of one of the members a few days previous; thus humbling the father before Him until He put his spirit upon him and sent him from house to house, confessing and exhorting with great power. This he did all the day previous to the fast day, and came into the prayer meeting in the evening, and confessed his sins, and exhorted his brethren to look to Jesus, who was willing to help them.

On the following day, they were all filled with faith and with the Holy Spirit, and so great was the power of God upon Bro. Morton, in his consciousness of the divine presence, and of his own vileness, that he lay for a long time on his face in front of his pulpit, the Spirit in him making intercessions with groanings that could not be uttered. Wonderful events followed. The entire village was moved. The factories were stopped

during the following week, all kinds of business were suspended, meetings were held in all the churches, messengers were sent after Elder. N. J. Gilbert of Syracuse, Elder Lewis Leonard of Cazenovia, and Elder John Smitzer of Delphi, with instructions to say to each, ‘The Lord is in Manlius, and you must not fail to come.’ They all came and saw the grace of God, and were glad, and exhorted the people with purpose of heart to cleave unto the Lord, and many, very many obtained mercy of the Lord, in that day.”

Since there was no mention of this revival in our Church minutes, or any record of a meeting on the Friday preceding the March Covenant meeting, the first reaction could rightly be one of skepticism. However, something extraordinary did happen on our Church which could only have been the result of some kind of revival in interest and spirit, and it was carefully recorded.
Record of Baptisms-Names and dates are recorded in the Church minutes.

1828   1832  
1829   1833  
1830   18  
1831      

In 1831, from March through December, sixty-eight men and women were baptized. The Church membership nearly doubled. Truly the Lord must have been in Manlius in those days.

The spirit of conversion apparently was not limited to Manlius. It was reported in a history of the Elbridge Baptist Church that the winter and spring of 1831 will long be remembered, not only by the children of God in Elbridge and vicinity, but throughout the whole United States, as a time of the special outpouring of the spirit in the conversion of souls. In Rochester, NY, then a city of 10,000 people with a reputation as one of the Erie Canal‘s most wicked cities, Charles Finney, known as “the Great Evangelist“ and as one of the best known and successful of all warriors for God in this period, was extremely successful at leading the movement. Twelve hundred people were said to have come to Christ. The revival spread to Hamilton College and villages and cities throughout the East. Some 50,000 converts were reported in this five months of the Rochester led revival.

On December 3, 1831, the case of Brother Nelson Camp was laid before the Church in relation to his preaching the Gospel, the fourth of recorded Church members to do so. The Church resolved that "we appoint next Wednesday evening at Elder Morton's for him to improve that the Church may the better be enabled to judge his qualifications for that important business." On March 11, 1833, he preached . Brother Camp later became ordained and had a long career as Elder in the area. Records available listed him as Elder in Baptist Churches in Phoenixville, Mexico, Onondaga, Tully (where he was called “the now venerable” Nelson Camp), Pompey, Canton and Memphis, the latter as late as 1861. There are likely other Churches in which he also served. In the Centennial

History of the Onondaga Baptist Association, he was mentioned in 1843 as being noted for effective preaching and Christian Consecration.

Except for the admonition to forsake Tavern Haunting, the first Covenant did not prohibit the drinking of alcoholic beverages. On December 31, 1831, the Church adopted the following resolution: “The Baptist Church of Christ in Pompey and Manlius, being convinced that the time has come when no professor of religion can make a habitual, common, or fashionable use of ardent spirits without very much abridging his usefulness and injuring the course of Christ and the cause of humanity; therefore, resolved that we must earnestly recommend to every member of this Church to entirely abstain from the use of ardent spirits except as a medicine, in case of body infirmity.”

Nothing was said against the use of tobacco by Church members, although its use was being decried by a writer in the Fayetteville Weekly Recorder as early as July 12, 1866. He viewed the use of tobacco as a vile, pernicious, and expensive habit. It was derogatory to the virtue of personal cleanliness, injurious to health and a perpetual drain upon the purse.” Some of its worst tendencies were “to engender debility, imbecility disease and premature death.” He hoped for the day when constant toppling, tobacco chewing, and even smoking could be eliminated from our land. (At this time tobacco was one of the more important crops grown by the area farmers.)

In 1832 a tragedy struck the First Baptist Church of Syracuse. Their pastor Elder Gilbert contracted cholera and died within two days. At his funeral service "Elder Charles Morton, standing in the pulpit, looked down on the lifeless form of his co-laborer in Christ, who but 42 hours earlier stood where he stood, and exclaimed with deepest emotion, "I hardly know what to say." Then he proceeded to the utterance of such thoughts as his deep sympathies would allow, from the words "to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."

On October 21, 1832, a meeting of the Church was called to appoint delegates to attend a County Convention at the old Courthouse on Onondaga Hill to take into consideration the reorganization of the Onondaga Baptist Association formed in 1825. For the first time, in 1833, all the Baptist Churches in Onondaga County would be united in one association "now so well known and esteemed by the Baptists of the State of New York as evidenced by the establishing of the headquarters of the State organization at Syracuse and the election of one of our faithful workers, T. Otto, as its president." On September 7, 1833, the Manlius Church voted to ask for dismission from the Madison Association to join the Onondaga Association.

Some of the Church Members wished for changes in the Articles of Faith and the Covenant of the Church. They wanted them to be expressed in more proper terms. Elder Morton took pains to revise them and presented them to the Church for acceptance at a Covenant Meeting on November 3, 1832. The revised version was apparently not entirely satisfactory as a Committee was formed to examine the new version and make changes.

On January 1, 1833, the Church met in Covenant Meeting. It was a busy day with Brothers and Sisters telling of their feelings toward Jesus Christ, renewing the Covenant, and hearing new members relate their Christian experiences. In addition, Marcena Stone, the fifth Church member recorded to have done so, related his exercises to the Church with reference to preaching the Gospel. The Church voted for him to improve his gift on January 12, 1833. On March 16, 1833, he improved his gift again. The Congregation was becoming impressed with his ability to preach and resolved "to give Brother Stone the right to improve his gift in trying to preach, wherever God in his Providence may seem to direct." Brother Stone was not mentioned again in the Church minutes.

Although there was no mention of the desire of Elder Morton to leave in 1833, or for the Church to have him leave, at the Annual Meeting of December 8, 1832, the Trustees were charged to obtain a minister of the Gospel after Elder Morton's time expired in March of 1833. Elder Morton remained active as pastor until June, 1833. He was Moderator at the meeting in June, 1833, when the request of Elder and Mrs. Bellamy (our new pastor and wife) to join the Church was granted and they were given the right hand of fellowship. There was a problem concerning the full payment of Elder Morton's salary. This was not a new problem for the Church. How the problem was, if it was, solved was not recorded.

1833-1839 (Elder David Bellamy)

At a special evening meeting on February 16, 1833, of the Pompey and Manlius Church and Society, with Elder Charles Morton as Moderator, the Church resolved to give Elder David Bellamy a call to take pastoral charge of the Church. Five Trustees, i.e., William Fillmore, Sheldon Graves, Moses Eells, Rogers Stilwell and James Sisson, were named a Committee to present the call. They were to state in their communication the probable amount the Church and Society should raise for his support ($350.00 per year.)

David Bellamy was born in 1806, the eldest of four brothers. He decided to go into business as a youth and in 1828 established himself as a merchant in Ellery, a small village in Central New York. He had been raised as a Baptist and although he had no formal Seminary training, he felt the call to join the Baptist Ministry in Ellery. We do not know when or where, but he was ordained. In 1833 he was living in Skaneateles and was a member of the Elbridge Baptist Church.

The Trustees were successful and Elder Bellamy positively answered their call. On June 1, 1833, the Church met with Elder Charles Morton as Moderator. A joint letter of membership was presented by Elder David Bellamy and his wife Eliza from the Elbridge Baptist Church showing their standing as members of that Church. Also stated was Elder Bellamy's character as a member of the clergy with a request to unite with us. The Congregation resolved that the request be granted and the right hand of fellowship was given to Elder and Mrs. Bellamy. Signifying a change in leadership (never was an interim between pastors so short), it was resolved that Elder Bellamy be our standing moderator in place of Elder Morton, resigned.

On June 30, 1833, the Lord's Day, a letter was read to the Congregation asking them to appoint delegates to sit in Council at the Fayetteville Meetinghouse on the third day of July next in the forenoon for the purpose of examining Brother John Taggert and to attend his ordination if the Council should think it expedient. Deacons Elias Stillwell and Hiram Smith and Brethren James Ray, William Fillmore, Moses Eells, James Sisson and Elijah Williams were the appointed Trustee Delegates. (Elder Bellamy was away at this time.) The Pompey and Manlius Church Delegation could not know it, but they were assisting in the examination and ordination of one of the future Elders of their own Church (1869-1873.) Brother J.W. Taggert was a Seminary student at the Hamilton Seminary as Elder Morton had been and supplied the Fayetteville Baptist Church. After completing his studies he was ordained as the third pastor of the Fayetteville Church and remained there until the Spring of 1835.

On August 3, 1833, the Church held a meeting for conference and prayer. The Church voted for a Committee of twelve whose duty would be to visit every member of the Church. They also resolved that the Friday before the next Covenant Meeting be appointed as a day of humiliation, fasting, and prayer, in view of the low estate of Zion, and that we meet on that day at 9 o'clock in the morning.

The Committee appointed on November 3, 1832, to examine the Articles of Faith and Covenant as corrected by Elder Charles Morton and to present them to the Church for their acceptance, was called on to report. Brother James Sisson reported that the Committee had met twice, did not agree, and because they could not, asked for a dismission, which was granted. Another Committee was appointed for the same purpose (Elder David Bellamy, James Sisson, Moses Eells, Elias Stilwell and Hiram Smith.)

On August 31, 1833, the Committee to visit all of the members of the Church reported, as did the Committee appointed to review the Articles of Faith and the Covenant. A decision on the latter was deferred until October 5, 1833. On September 7, 1833, the Church voted to ask a dismission of the Madison Association in order to join the Onondaga Association.

The Church was still hearing at least two sermons in these days. On the Lord's Days of September 15 and 22, 1833, the Church was requested to tarry a few moments after the afternoon preaching or discourses to attend to some business. Between the sessions on September 15, 1833, two new members were baptized and received the right hand of fellowship.

The Church was still busy investigating the sinning of its members. After the afternoon preaching on September 22, 1833, it tarried to hear a report from two Justices of the Peace of Onondaga County concerning the support of an unwed pregnant woman. The father was judged to be a member of the Pompey and Manlius Baptist Church and was ordered by the Judges to pay eighty-eight cents to the overseers of the poor of the Town of Manlius for the support of the child (for as long as the child is supported by the town.) They found the woman to be in indigent circumstances and ordered the father to pay the overseers of the poor $25.00 for the sustenance of the mother, and other expenses at the sum of $5.00, Elija C. Rust and Daniel Gilbert, Justices. When the Church heard the report, the alleged father was excluded from the fellowship of the Church. At the same meeting Elder Bellamy and eight male delegates were chosen to attend the up-coming Onondaga Association Meeting.

On October 5, 1833, the Church met according to appointment and voted on several things of importance. For the first time, attendance at the New York State Baptist Convention was mentioned and Brothers J. Sisson, H. Millard and M. Eells were appointed delegates from Manlius. A letter was received by the Church from the former Pastor Elder Morton, who claimed that the Church owed him money for his last months as Elder. The Church also voted to adopt the new revised version of the Articles of Faith and Covenant and to have them printed.

On November 2, 1833, the Committee appointed to see to the presenting of the Articles and Covenant reported. Their report was filed, and the Committee was told to continue its work and to get the printing done "cheap."

While the Church was still very judgmental when sinning was concerned, it rallied to support families in need. Brother Blow's family had financial problems (unexplained), a Committee reported. (Brother Blow, sometimes written as Bleau, was Church custodian.) The report was accepted and the Church voted to support the family for six months. A subscription paper was circulated, which stated how much money was required, and according to the committee's best judgment what every member ought to pay for the family's support.

On November 30, 1833, at a regular Church Meeting, Elder Morton's claim was presented. A Committee was appointed to investigate and commit all testimony to writing and present it to the next Church Meeting. On December 21, 1833, the report on the claim was accepted. The Clerk tells us that we are to see the next page in the Church minutes for the report, but it is blank and we will not know the amount of or the outcome of his claim.

Elder J. W. Taggert of the Fayetteville Baptist Church also presented a claim against the Church of $8.00 for preaching two Sabbaths ($4.00 per Sabbath.) The Church showed how careful it was in the stewardship of its modest treasure and voted to give him the same that he paid for supplying his own pulpit at the same time which was $6.00 ($3.00 per Sabbath.) At the same meeting the Congregation resolved that every committee appointed by the Church shall make their report to the Church in writing, and every such report shall be recorded in the Church Book to be put on file by the Clerk. This was a good idea but probably not implemented, at least not in the Book of Records available for those years.

The Annual Meeting of the Church and Society was held on December 23, 1833. The members voted to raise by subscription $40.00 to be paid by the first day of February next (1834) to defray the expenses of the Church for wood, candles, and also to cancel a debt for last year's expenses. The Church voted for a meeting on the first Monday in January 1834, at the usual time of 10:30 to have a sermon, and expend, with other Baptist Churches, the rest of the day in fasting and prayer for the ambitious goal of conversion of the WORLD. This became a traditional "New Year" celebration for the Church for several years.

On February 1, 1834, at a regular meeting of the Church in the Conference Room, the Congregation voted to raise $10.00 by subscription for the purpose of defraying the expense of printing 500 copies of the new Articles of Faith and Covenant on writing paper. (Unfortunately, none of the 500 copies have survived.)

In a special meeting on March 18, 1834, the Congregation resolved that the Trustees be authorized to add to the subscription for the support of preaching for the present year, in proportion as already subscribed, enough to make up the deficiency of

said subscription. The Church also voted to have preaching for another year and to raise $350.00 for said purpose by subscription. The Church voted for the Trustees to call Elder Bellamy to preach another year (his second) for $350.00. Elder Bellamy accepted the call.

The Church met again on April 5, 1834, and voted to recommend that the Trustees take suitable measures to buy a house for the Church and Society. On May 3, 1834, in the Baptist Conference Room, the Church resolved that the Trustees be authorized to institute a subscription for the purpose of raising money to purchase a house and lot adjoining Nicholas P. Randall's property (a prominent Manlius lawyer) for the price of $400.00.

On the Lord's Day, June 20, 1834, the Church voted to give a letter of commendation and dismission to Sister Teresa Howard, she being about to leave America for Burmah (Burma) on a mission. Although some of our early pastors served as missionaries in Western New York State, Sister Howard is the first and only foreign missionary from our Church that was mentioned in the minutes.

On Saturday, November 1, 1834, the Church gathered for a Covenant Meeting. After the Brothers and Sisters had spoken it was resolved to appoint a Laboring Committee of six to stand four months for the purpose of looking into the state of the Church. If they should think fit or necessary to commence labours with any Brother or Sister, such matter of discipline should be brought before the Church as they should seem proper. Moses Eells, William Filmore, Elias Stilwell, Jesse Smith, Lauriston Fish and James Sisson were the said Committee.

At a regular Church Meeting on December 6, 1834, Brother Sisson made a statement respecting Brother George Richardson, who had made public statements about Elder Bellamy's preaching, which apparently were not complimentary. His case was referred to the Committee on Discipline. Brother Richardson was eventually forgiven because he later became a Trustee (Dec 8, 1843).

At the Annual Meeting on December 8, 1834, it was "resolved that we pay for the house purchased by Brothers Eells and Smith and direct the Trustees to take a deed in the name of the Church and Society." It was also resolved that the Trustees be authorized to institute a subscription to raise money to repair the house.

A special Church Meeting was called for March 4, 1835, at one o'clock in the afternoon. The Church unanimously voted to have preaching in the coming year commencing in the middle of May, and voted for a Committee (Hiram Smith, Horace Chapman, Lauriston Fish) to circulate a subscription for the purpose of hiring Elder Bellamy for another year. At a subsequent meeting it was resolved to raise $350.00 besides the use of a house for Elder Bellamy for preaching another year. The use of the house made the conditions more favorable and Elder Bellamy assented.

The Church regularly adjusted its rules and regulations, deleting some, changing others, and adding new ones. Except for the five hundred copies of the new Covenant, the additional rules, some of which would later be a part of a constitution, were not published for everyone to read and follow.

The policy for drinking alcohol changed from a resolution adopted on December 31, 1831, that recommended "to every member of the Church to entirely abstain from the use of ardent spirits except as a medicine, in case of body infirmity," to a demand, on April 4, 1835, that stated "we consider the use and traffic in ardent spirits as a drink an immorality; that no one shall be admitted to membership in the Church unless they consent to the above declaration and agree to practice accordingly."

Just as Elder Bellamy was arriving in Manlius, the first steps toward the creation of the Manlius Academy had begun. Azariah Smith and others enthusiastically supported the effort and the State Legislature approved its incorporation on April 13, 1835. Among the members of the first Board of Trustees were "four clergymen of the village, namely Algernon Holister, Castor Smith, David Bellamy and R. Houghton."

On September 5, 1835, Brother Alfred Bellamy, brother of Elder David Bellamy, presented to a Covenant Meeting of the Church a letter of commendation from the Baptist Church in Kingsbury, NY and requested permission to join the Manlius Church. His request was granted.

There were all kinds of stories told in the minutes of Church Meetings about members and their problems, some amusing, some heartbreaking. One unusual humorous story is about a pig that was stolen from a member of the Church by another member on October 5, 1835.

On October 5, 1835, the Church met in the conference room and voted to take up the case of discipline with Brother Schafer charged by Brother Ray with decoying a pig and claiming it as his own. Since all of the participants are called “Brother,” it can be assumed they were all members of the Baptist Church and Society in Manlius and Pompey. Brother Richman owned a pig. Brother Ray wanted to buy a pig. Brother Schafer wanted to sell Brother Ray a pig, but not having one of his own to sell, allegedly stole Brother Richman’s pig and sold it to Brother Ray. Brother Richman became aware of the loss of his pig. Hearing of the Schafer-Ray transaction, he became suspicious and visited Brother Bay’s pig pen, identified his pig and took it home. This particular pig must have had a definite look and/or personality since two other witnesses (Brother Evans and Williams) also identified the pig as Brother Richman’s. Brother Richman stated emphatically to Elder Bellamy, pastor of the Church at the time, that he know the pig as well as he did his own children. Brother Schafer was brought before the Church Meeting and accused of decoying a pig. If Brother Schafer defended himself his defense was not recorded in the minutes. The charge was sustained by the Church and the right hand of fellowship was withdrawn from the now ex-Brother Schafer.

On the first Saturday preceding the first Sabbath in December, 1835, Rufus King Bellamy, a second brother of Elder Bellamy, presented the Church a letter from the Baptist Church in Kingsbury with a request to join us. The request was granted and Rufus King received the right hand of fellowship from his brother Elder David Bellamy. At the same meeting Brother R. K. Bellamy "related the exercises of his mind with regard to preaching the gospel, and requested liberty to improve his gifts before the Church at some future time." The Church voted to hear him preach on Tuesday next at 7 o'clock P.M. Rufus Bellamy was the sixth male member of the Church to be interested in preaching.

On Saturday, February 6, 1836, Brother Colton was noted as having been "exercising" with regard to preaching and the Church appointed Thursday Evening next to hear him. Brother Colton was the seventh of Church Brothers with ambitions to preach the Gospel.

In the Spring of 1836 the minutes of the Church show that the Congregation was involved and interested in Church affairs on a state and national level. The Church was very upset (as were Baptist Churches in general) with a position (not stated) taken by the ruling Board of the American Bible Society. The Church passed a resolution to recommend that Baptist Bible Society and members withhold all donations to the American Bible Society if the Board actions are upheld by the Society as a whole. Elder Bellamy was appointed a delegate to the next ABC Convention in New York City when held.

Also in the Spring of 1836 Elder Bellamy received and accepted the call of the Church to preach the coming year, i.e., 1836-1837, his fourth. Although Treasurers of the Church had existed for some time, on September 3, 1836, the job was expanded with the Treasurer not only keeping records, paying bills, depositing money in a safe place, but acting as a collection agent as well. The new Treasurer's duty was to circulate subscriptions and use his best endeavours to obtain the full amount of every such subscription. For his efforts he was to be paid ten shillings a day, which he had to collect himself by circulating his own petition. Brother Lauriston Fish was the first of the new breed of treasurers. He was released by the Church on October 1, and replaced by Brother Ezra Ketchum.

On December 31, 1836, at a Covenant Meeting Lucy Ann (Clark) Eells, aged 15, (a niece of the Eells who lived with them) related her experience to the Church and was received as a candidate for baptism. Elder Bellamy baptized her at a Covenant Meeting on January 1, 1837. (Lucy Eells would become the second Mrs. Bellamy many years later.)

Reverend Bellamy received a call to preach to the Church May, 1837 to May, 1838 (for his fifth year). This time Elder Bellamy said he was not ready to accept the

call, but if he did he would have to have $550.00 and the use of the house. The Trustees accepted Elder Bellamy's conditions but deducted $50.00 from the $550.00 for the use of the house.

On September 3, 1837, Rufus King Bellamy, brother of Elder Bellamy, was among the group of four appointed to attend the Fall Meeting of the Onondaga Baptist Association. On September 23, 1838, a letter was granted to Brother Rufus King Bellamy. He later became ordained. We know he served as a Baptist minister in Chicopee Falls for 35 years. He had three sons, one of whom was Edward Bellamy, who became well known as the author of American Socialist Utopian Novels in the late 1800s.

In 1837 the Church had its first choir as the members voted on December 3, 1836, to employ Brother Palmer of Fayetteville to teach a singing school one hour a week and for leading the Choir half-time on the Sabbath. The Salary was $12.00 per week. At about the same time the Church recommended that Brother Blow be rehired as Custodian for 1837 "upon the same conditions as they did last year, and pay him in proportion for any additional time he shall spend for the singing school."

On March 24, 1838, at a special meeting the Church voted to sustain preaching for the ensuing year (May 15, 1838 to May 15, 1839). A Committee was appointed to wait on Elder Bellamy and present him with the call. Elder Bellamy this time was not prepared with an answer, but had several conditions that the Church had to meet if he would accept the call:

  1. He must have all arrears paid.
  2. He wanted the same salary as in 1836-1837 but paid quarterly.
  3. Some one must be in charge (a Treasurer) who would be responsible for his salary and pay him when the salary became due.
  4. He wished the privilege of leaving the Church at any time by giving three months notice.

The Church then voted that a Committee of the Trustees and the Clerk be appointed for the purpose of corresponding with our own Pastor or other ministers of the Gospel for the purpose of procuring a Pastor for the ensuing year. (The name Pastor was taking the place of Elder.) The Church also voted to raise $550.00, payable quarterly, if Elder Bellamy accepts the call, including the house.

On April 4, 1838, a special meeting was held. After some ecclesiastical business was completed, Elder Bellamy stated that he was ready to give his answer to the Committee or to the Church. The Church voted that he should talk to the Church. He said he had made up his mind to stay for the 1838-1839 year, if the Church would comply with the previously stated requisitions and conditions. A Committee was appointed on the spot to confer on the subject. The Committee decided to comply with Elder Bellamy's wishes if the Church raise the salary by assessment or an average on the members. The Church voted to accept and adopt the report of the Committee. Elder Bellamy's services were secure for one more year, his sixth and last.

At a Covenant Meeting on September 1, 1838, a motion was made to rescind the assessment vote passed on April 4, 1838. After much discussion the motion was carried. The procedure finally adopted was to circulate a subscription. Any deficiency then would be raised by an average on the Church members according to their ability to pay.

On October, 1838 at a Church Meeting delegates were appointed to the Fall Onondaga Association Meeting and to the Baptist Convention. The Church resolved that as we shall raise money enough for the Convention this year, that the Convention be asked to constitute our Pastor Elder David Bellamy a Director for life.

Andrew Patch was the eighth man to have expressed an interest in preaching. Andrew Patch was received into Church membership on March 5, 1831, on the basis of a letter from the Baptist Church in Middlefield, N.Y. (Otsego County). His wife Hannah Patch was baptized by Elder Morton. Nothing more was written in the minutes about the Patches until January 3, 1835, when Brother Patch asked for a letter of dismission for himself and Mrs. Patch. Mrs. Patch was given one by vote. Brother Patch was refused a letter. He was not in good standing with the Church, because he had not paid his share of a $50.00 subscription for Elder Bellamy. In addition he was accused of being indiscreet in conversation, of manifesting a sort of jealousy toward some members, and a hardness, all inconsistent with the principles of religion. On March 8, 1835, a letter of confession from Brother Patch was read to the Church. The letter also contained another request for a letter of commendation. On March 15, 1835, the Church voted satisfied with Brother Patch and his letter and voted to give him a letter of dismissal. The Patches returned a second time to Manlius from Middlefield, New York, and the Baptist Church there. They presented a joint letter from the Middlefield Baptist Church and were accepted again as members in the Pompey and Manlius Church on April 15, 1837. Brother Patch now harbored ambitions for preaching and applied to the Church for a License to preach the Gospel. The subject was taken up at a regular meeting of the Church on February 2, 1838. After considerable conversation on the subject, the Brethren present voted seven, yes and two, no, to give Brother Patch a License. There was no information given on Brother Patch's future as a Licentiate.

In July, 1840, The Manlius Church received a communication from the Baptist Church in Ithaca. It stated that Elder and Mrs. Bellamy had united with them on receiving a letter from this Church. Elder Bellamy was widely known in Baptist Circles around the state as he served as the Clerk of the Baptist Missionary Convention of the State of New York (while Pastor at Manlius) in 1835 and 1836. He received an Honorary Degree from the Hamilton Seminary (Madison University) in 1849. His name is found in connection with the Hope Chapel Baptist Church in New York City and the Baptist Church in Clyde, New York. In 1852 Eliza Bellamy died. In 1854 Elder Bellamy married Lucy Ann Clark Eells, the same Lucy Eells he baptized on January 1, 1837, seventeen years previously. She was fourteen years younger than Elder Bellamy, who was now 48 years old. Elder Bellamy went to preach for a Baptist Church in Mount Morris, New York, where his only child, a son Francis, was born in 1855. In 1859 Elder Bellamy accepted a call to the First Baptist Church in Rome, New York. He died there in 1864 at the age of 58. According to Dr. John W. Baer in his book The Pledge of Allegiance: a Centennial History 1892-1992, he was for the Union in the Civil War (not surprising for a Northerner) and forecasted its victory on the basis of its superior manpower, manufacturing power, the economic interest of foreign nations and the spirit of the North. His son Francis was also an ordained Baptist Minister. He entered the Rochester Theological Seminary in 1876, graduated in 1880, and began his ministry in he Baptist Church of Little Falls, New York. He later won a lasting claim to fame by authoring the Pledge of Allegiance.

In the Spring of 1839 negotiations for Elder Bellamy's seventh year in the Pompey and Manlius Church should have been underway. However, at a special meeting of the Church and Society on April 9, 1839, Elder Bellamy prayed, after which he stated that on account of his health he thought it best for him not to engage for the ensuing year and that he should not consider himself a candidate for the pastoral care of the Church the ensuing year. The meeting voted to sustain preaching for the and appointed a Committee for the purpose of corresponding with the Ministers of the Gospel in the area for the purpose of procuring some one to preach to us another year. The committee members were: Brothers Moses Eells, Lauriston Fish, and James Sisson.

 

1840-1843 (Elder William C. McCarthy)

When Elder David Bellamy withdrew himself as a candidate for his seventh year of preaching in the Pompey and Manlius Baptist Church because of ill health, the Church voted to sustain preaching for the coming year and appointed a Committee to find a worthy successor. Brothers Moses Eells, Laurenton Fish and James Sisson were asked to correspond with the Elders in the area to find one who would be interested in preaching in Manlius in 1839-1840. The Church voted on June 22, 1839, to raise $175.00 to pay for preaching for six months. The Church was without a full-time Elder until the Spring of 1840. During this time the Church voted on August 3, 1839 to call Elder Zenos Freeman. Elder Freeman rejected the call. The Church turned to Brother Edmund with a call on October 13, 1839, and he also said no. Since Brother Edmund and Elder Bellamy along with Bradford Sherwood, Daniel Weston, William Filmore, John White, and Rufus K. Bellamy were delegates from the Church to the 1839 Fall Onondaga Association Meeting, and the Church paid Brother Edmund's way, it appears that Brother Edmund might have been an interim Elder. As of January, 1840, Elder Bellamy was still in the area and he may have done some preaching in the Church also. He prayed at the January 4, 1840, Covenant Meeting and voiced his concern about money owed Jesse Smith, Moses Eells and Brother Edmund. A subscription was circulated for $130.00, which was to pay for debts due and for preaching until the first of February, 1840, or "thereabouts."

The next meeting in which the subject of calling a Pastor (Elder and Pastor were now both used titles for the spiritual leader of the Church) was on March 8, 1840. There were conversations on the subject of obtaining Elder William McCarthy (Clerk Hiram Smith spelled the name McArthy) as our Pastor. Every Brother present stated that he thought it was the duty of the Church to make an effort to obtain him. They felt that in so far that each had become acquainted with him, and so far as they have had opportunities to hear him preach, they were satisfied.

On March 8, 1840, in the Conference Room, the Church voted to call Elder William McCarthy of the Baptist Church in Paris, New York, to be its pastor. The Church members voted to raise $400.00, exclusive of the use of the parsonage house, for the purpose of sustaining Elder McCarthy for one year should he accept the call. The Church selected the Clerk, Hiram Smith, and William Fillmore, Moses Eells, James Sisson, Jesse Smith as a Committee to make the call to Elder McCarthy. Elder McCarthy accepted but perhaps on the advice of previous Elders asked for some alterations in the proposed terms:

  1. That his salary be paid quarterly.
  2. The Church be at the expense of paying his moving expenses from Paris to Manlius.
  3. The Church would furnish him wood for his fire.

The Church agreed to propositions 1 and 2, but did not vote on number 3. Those present, however, noted they would give towards furnishing wood.

On May 20, 1840, at a Covenant Meeting Elder William McCarthy and his wife Elmina presented letters from the Baptist Church in Paris, New York, (Paris is approximately eleven miles south of Utica) with a request to be received as members of the Pompey and Manlius Baptist Church. The request was granted.

On August 1, 1840, letters of dismission were granted to Alfred Bellamy, Joseph Plank and wife, and Sister Grant and Susan Wright to form a branch of the Fayetteville Baptist Church in Chittenango. Alfred Bellamy was another of Elder Bellamy's brothers.

In the Fall of 1840 the Church was honored to be selected as hosts for the Onondaga Association (of Baptist Churches). A Committee was chosen to make arrangements to provide suitable accommodations for the members of the Association. There were no comments made concerning the Association Meeting in the minutes of the Church.

In the Annual Meeting of Dec. 8, 1840, wood for the fire was on the minds of the Trustees. The Church voted to spend $16.00 for wood for the ensuing year. Since wood was readily available and the Church used a considerable amount, the Church voted that anyone shall have the privilege of paying his proportion (of money) in wood, if paid by the first of January next (January 1, 1841) at the rate of $2.00 a cord. For the amount that had to be purchased for cash, a special committee was appointed to average the wood bill on the Church Members.

On January 2, 1841, the Congregation met for a Covenant Meeting and related their minds on the subject of religion. They agreed to meet again the following Monday for a day of fasting, prayer and again for the conversion of the world. This was the start of another unusual period in the Church's history of worship, somewhat reminiscent of the excitement generated in the special meetings during Elder Morton's Pastorate. The Clerk, Hiram Smith, described what was happening:

Monday, January 5, 1841. The Church met in the Conference Room for prayer and confession. Many of the brethren and sisters were melted into contrition before the Lord, who by His Spirit seemed to be working in the hearts of His children causing them to humble themselves before Him, and to pour out their souls in prayer and supplication and confessing them to the Lord and one another. In view of the feeling which was manifested, it was agreed that the Church would meet again on the morrow, which was done, and meetings were continued every evening from that time until the regular Church Meeting, which was held in the Conference Room on Saturday the 6th day of February, 1841.

On February 6, 1841, the state of religious feelings being such, the secular business was deferred and the time occupied in religious conversation and prayer. It was the opinion of the brethren and sisters that the present series of meetings ought to be continued. If they were, the Clerk did not record them in the Church minutes. However, as verification of what was happening, on March 6, 1841, at a Covenant Meeting 16 people related their experiences to the Church and 15 were accepted. On March 7, 1841, thirteen were baptized.

On March 29, 1841, at a special meeting of the Church, a motion was made and carried to give Elder William McCarthy a call to continue as leader for another year. Reverend McCarthy agreed. The salary was to be the same $400.00, and the Trustees had the problem of making up an extra $43.00 for the arrears on Reverend McCarthy's previous year's salary. The parsonage house (the first time the modern name for an Elder's house, "parsonage",was used) needed $40.00 worth of repairs. The Trustees were charged to get the work done immediately upon the faith of the Church. This meant apparently get the work done now and pay later. The repairs mentioned were to the roof which needed shingling.

On October 2, 1841, the Church was thinking about eliminating the afternoon service, which would still have left the morning and evening services. They voted not to give up the afternoon service except by a vote of the Church unless Providence seems to desire otherwise.

In all of the Church records thus far, the celebration of Christmas and Easter was never mentioned as being part of the religious program of the Church. Now on December 4, 1841, the Church voted that the Church observe Thanksgiving on Thursday next as recommended by Governor Seward of New York State; services to commence at 11:00 o'clock. It was also agreed that the Church have another singing school. A Committee was named to raise the money and hire a teacher.

On January 1, 1843, Elder William McCarthy gave notice to the Church that he had made up his mind to resign his pastoral charge at the expiration of the pastoral year, April 1, 1843. On March 26, 1843, the Lord's Day, letters of commendation for Reverend and Mrs. McCarthy were requested and granted. We do not know where and when Elder McCarthy was born or educated, where he went after he left Manlius, or when he died. The Madison University records show that Elder and Mrs. McCarthy had a son, also William McCarthy, who graduated in 1858 and also became a minister of the Gospel.

On September 3, 1836, the Church voted that the Treasurer would not only do the usual duties of a Treasurer, but would also act as a collecting agent. This apparently did not work out and on June 4, 1842, a separate collector was appointed for the Church and Society. The Church voted to pay the collector $1.75/day for necessary service and to appoint William Fillmore as collector.

On December 31, 1842, at a Covenant Meeting, the congregation voted to observe the first Monday in the new year as a day of fasting and prayer. This was a tradition in the early Church.

1843-1847 (Elder Silas Spaulding)

On February 4, 1843, Brothers Filmore and Eells were appointed a Committee to visit Elder Smitzer of the Fayetteville Baptist Church to see if he would become pastor of the Pompey and Manlius Baptist Church. (In 1843 Elder Smitzer would be in his fourth year of a six year pastorate in the Fayetteville Baptist Church.) On Saturday April 1, 1843, a regular meeting of the Church was held in the Conference Room. The meeting was opened with prayer by Elder Spaulding. Obviously Elder Smitzer was not available. Elder Spaulding presented a letter of recommendation and proposed to unite with the Church. The Church voted to receive Elder Spaulding as a member, but there was no recorded vote to hire Elder Spaulding as Pastor of the Church.

Elder Spaulding was interested (as was Elder Morton) in promoting the Baptist cause in the Jamesville area. The Church voted that he have the privilege of calling a meeting of the brethren to commune at Jamesville, to hear experiences, if any should present themselves, and if the brethren present at such a meeting are satisfied as to their experiences and view of Church order and discipline, the Elder should have the privilege of baptizing them into the fellowship of their Church. On May 6, 1843, one resident of Jamesville, un-named in the records, related his experience to the Church and was baptized by Elder Spaulding.

The status of Elder Spaulding from April 1, 1843, until June 3, 1843, was not explained. It is possible he was here on trial, because it was not until the regular Church meeting held on June 3, 1843, that the Church voted to make an effort to sustain preaching the following year, and that a Committee of three (Jesse Smith, Sheldon Grover, and John White) was appointed to make the call to Elder Spaulding. The Church voted also that a subscription be drawn up and circulated for the purpose of “seeing how much we can raise for the support of Elder Spaulding should he consent to be our Pastor.” Although it was not reported, Elder Spaulding accepted the call. It was noted that Silas Spaulding, Pastor, was a delegate from the Manlius Church to the Onondaga Association Meeting in September, 1843.

The Church continued to have problems with raising money by the subscription system and started to resort to taking collections to supplement its income. On December 2, 1843, the Church voted to raise additional money for contingent expenses with a monthly collection the first Sunday of the month after every Church Meeting. Times may have been difficult financially since Elder Spaulding was only getting $300.00 a year plus use of the parsonage. (Elder Bellamy had been paid $550.00 plus use of the parsonage for his last year.) Besides the Elder's salary the Trustees had to arrange for custodial services, purchase of wood and candles for heat and light, and repairs to the Church and parsonage.

There were no comprehensive yearly Treasurer's reports, but for each Annual Meeting Report some bits of information were given. For 1843 the Trustees asked for $46.00 to cover the contingent expenses for custodial care, candles and wood in addition to the Elder's salary. In 1844 Annual Meeting Minutes the Treasurer reported that the year started with $4.00 in the Treasury for incidental expenses. He collected $7.59, spent for wine and candles the sum of $6.10 and had in his hand at the end of the year $5.49. It was suggested that the Church raise $20.00 for the 1845 expenses. The members present subscribed for the wood supply. At the December 8, 1845 Annual Meeting the Trustees were asked to settle with Elder Spaulding for his first two years of labor. They were to give him a note for the amount due. Nothing was done, however, and a special meeting was called in March, 1846, to arrange for paying the arrears, $231.00, out of his $600.00 salary ($300.00/year).

On January 6, 1844, the Church appointed Brother John White as a solicitor for the purpose of obtaining funds for the Foreign Missionary Society and the American Bible Society. At a meeting on Saturday, April 13, 1844, with Elder Spaulding, Moderator, the Church took up its regular business, the usual problems with sinning members. Then the Moderator retired from the room and Brother Ketchum took the chair. The Brethren expressed their views relative to calling Elder Spaulding for the 1844-1845 year and voted to call Elder Spaulding for a second year. They appointed a Committee of Moses Eells, Jesse Smith and Hiram Smith to wait on Elder Spaulding and present the call of the Church and report on Sunday, April 21, 1844. The Committee reported it had performed the duty assigned by the Church and that Elder Spaulding felt free to accept the call and would remain with the Church for a year (same conditions.) The Church voted that Brother Hiram Smith draw up a subscription for $300.00 to pay for his support.

Upper New York State in the 1800s seemed to be a breeding ground for new varieties of religious sects. During the summer of 1844 in the Town of Manlius there was a large encampment of Millerites, named for their leader William Miller, a former Baptist minister. He made a series of Biblical calculations and announced in 1831 that the end of the world would occur in 1843 or 1844. Many people sold their possessions and waited in anticipation. Their wait was, of course, in vain. Some were disillusioned, but others continued to meet as a denomination that would eventually be called the Seventh Day Adventists. Spiritualism, Mormonism and Perfectionism (the creed of the Oneida Community begun in 1848), all had their beginnings in upstate New York.

The date of the establishment of a Sabbath School in the Church was not recorded. The first mention of a Sabbath School was in the minutes of a meeting on Saturday, January 31, 1845. The Church voted to adjourn its meeting to "one week from tomorrow immediately after Sabbath School Services."

Methodist Hannah Ball started the first Sunday School in England in 1769. Robert Racheks, an Anglican, developed and popularized the concept on the streets of London. The purpose of the first American Sunday School was to reach the unchurched. In the nineteenth century the focus was on Christian Education for those already a part of the Church. The Pompey and Manlius Baptist Church pursued both objectives for a time with its Sunday School to educate its children and adults and satellite Sunday Schools to reach the unchurched or people in areas with as yet not local Churches.

The Onondaga Baptist Association was promoting the Sunday School in 1837 (and perhaps earlier.) It recommended the use of New England Baptist Sunday School Union materials until New York had such an organization. They recommended that each Baptist Church establish a Sunday School in each school district. An Onondaga Sunday School Society was organized for the promotion of the Sunday School enterprise. Later an association of the Town of Manlius Sunday Schools was established.

On Saturday, April 19, 1845, supplying the pulpit for another year (his third) was the main object of discussion. After Elder Spaulding prayed, Moses Eells was appointed Chairman of the meeting. Elder Spaulding stated the reason for the meeting. He said that he wished the Church to understand distinctly that he did not consider them under any obligation to him in consequence of his residing here, but wanted the Church to act as though he was entirely out of the way. Elder Spaulding was hired for his third year.

There was little mention of Elder Spaulding for the year 1845-1846. He was appointed a delegate to the Onondaga Association Meeting in September of 1845. There was no record of his being asked, but Elder Spaulding did serve a fourth year (1846-1847) as Elder. Elder Spaulding was obviously a second choice as Brothers White and Sweet were in contact with Elder John Smitzer now of the Chittenango and Sullivan Baptist Church, to ask whether he expected to leave Chittenango immediately or whether he expected to leave at the end of the year. In his written reply dated June 11, 1846, Elder Smitzer replied that he did not intend to leave immediately and that he could not say at present but that he should be guided by events that run the course of the year.

From March 6, 1846, to December 8, 1847, there were no entries in the record book so we know nothing of events that occurred during Elder Spaulding's final year. The last word from Elder Spaulding was dated August 13, 1847, requesting a settlement of his account with the Church. The Brethren thought they had settled with him before he left and, therefore, no action was taken. (Considering the Church's poor record of paying its Elders, Elder Spaulding was probably still owed money.)

Elder Spaulding is another of several Elders of the Church for which we have very little information. We do not know where he came from, where he went, his age, his marital status, his education.

1847-1849 (Elder Alexander Smith)

There is no record of a Church vote to call Elder Alexander Smith to the pulpit of the Pompey and Manlius Church. He abruptly appeared in the Church minutes, with no introduction, as having baptized 23 men and women on March 7, 14, April 4, 11, and June 15, 1847. On July 3, 1847, at a Covenant Meeting the Reverend Alexander Smith presented a letter of dismission from the Honesdale Baptist Church, dated June 28, 1847, and requested membership in the Pompey and Manlius Baptist Church. By motion Reverend Smith was voted to be received as a member. It was written that, as his ministerial duties have already begun, "we hope the union just formed will become a blessing to both Pastor and Church."

On September 4, 1847, Elder (the names Elder and Reverend and Pastor were now used interchangeably) Smith led a delegation of Brothers John White and Lauriston Fish to the Onondaga Association Meeting, which was held in the Second Baptist Church in Onondaga Hill on September 14 and 15, 1847. On December 8, 1847, the Annual Meeting of the Church was held in the Conference Room. Reverend Alexander Smith was the Moderator. The major piece of business was a motion to empower the Trustees to take proper and legal measures to sell the parsonage house and lot belonging to the Church and Society. No reasons were given. It is possible that the Church could not afford to keep up the property or that it needed the money from the sale to meet current expenses. The Church could no longer offer a rent-free house as part of the salary package for prospective pastors.

The Church has no legal papers for the sale of the parsonage. However, Dr. Thomas A Moore built a new home on the site (now 501 Seneca St.) in about 1854. The old parsonage was incorporated into the house as the east wing and used as his office. The east wing still stands in 2000, no longer used as an office but as part of the living quarters of the house. Dr. Moore became an active member of the Manlius Baptist Church. He was a Trustee, headed up the effort to remodel the Church in 1867-68, and championed the cause of Elder Nathan Wright, voted out as Elder of the Church in 1869. Dr. Moore was angered by the treatment of Elder Wright and left the Church in protest.

On August 5, 1848, at a regular Church meeting with Reverend Alexander as Moderator, a motion was made and carried to appoint a Superintendent of the Sabbath School. Melancthon Stillwell was nominated and elected unanimously. Because Deacons were elected for life, an election for one was a rare occasion. There was a vacancy in the summer of 1848. (Moses Eells resigned because of old age). A motion was made and carried that the Church appoint a Deacon by Ballot. Chancy Parker received six votes, Brother F. Weston one vote, and Brother Moses Eells one vote. Brother Parker was declared duly elected.

On September 19 and 20, 1848, the Pompey and Manlius Baptist Church had the honor of hosting the Onondaga Association's Fall Meeting. It was the 24th anniversary meeting. Delegates appointed were Reverend Alexander Smith, Deacons Jesse Smith, George Richardson, Brethren Melancthon Stillwell, Franklin Weston and Moses Eells. Brethren Sheldon Graves, Hiram Smith, Chancy Parker, and Duwell Merrick were appointed a Committee for arrangements.

The member Churches of the Association usually wrote letters reporting conditions and progress in their Congregations. The letter from the Manlius and Pompey Baptist Church to the Fall meeting (in Manlius) was encouraging. The summary read, "Union prevails here, the faithful administration of the word is enjoyed and a deeper work of grace wrought in the hearts of believers. Some of their number have entered their rest. Their Sabbath School is flourishing."

The last mention of Reverend Alexander Smith in our records as a Pastor was on November 5, 1848, when he preached and baptized a girl named Mary. In 1849 it was mentioned that a note given by Elder Smith to the purchaser of the parsonage was transferred to the Church and Society as part payment for the debt due. The amount of the note was equal to the sum due Elder Smith for his last three months' service as Pastor. The Trustees were authorized to give up Elder Smith's note and obtain his receipt in full.

Reverend Alexander Smith joins Elders McCarthy and Spaulding as spiritual leaders of the Church for which we have little or no biographical information.

1849-1852 (Elder John Smitzer)

While Elder Smitzer was eagerly sought after to become the Elder of the Pompey and Manlius Baptist Church and Society on at least two occasions, when he did agree to come to Manlius, the record keeping procedures for the Church failed (or records were lost) and there is little information about his calling or his service as Elder, or the events that took place in the Church.  Elder Smitzer is only mentioned by name three times in the minutes available.  On June 3, 1849, Elder Smitzer prayed at a Covenant Meeting.  On September 12, 1849, he was appointed a delegate to the 1849 Fall Onondaga Association Meeting.  In the Church letter to that meeting, the Clerk Hiram Smith reported that the Church was called to part with their former Pastor (Brother Alexander Smith), but subsequently secured the pastoral service of Brother John Smitzer in whom they (the Church) are happily united and whose labors have already proved a blessing in the conversion of many precious souls.  In December, 1850, Elder Smitzer  opened the Annual Meeting with prayer, after which he asked to be excused.

In 1850 a great interest of the Onondaga Association was manifested in the work of the Baptist Missionary Union.  Although disclaiming the authority of the Association to dictate to member churches, they respectfully and earnestly requested the churches to raise certain sums of money for the cause.  The amount requested from each church was listed.  It varied from $10.00 from the smaller churches (i.e., Bridgeport), $75.00 from Manlius, and $200.00 from the largest churches, which were Fayetteville and Elbridge.  The author lamented that only $722.00 was raised out of the total $1000.00 requested and said it showed that it was with our fathers even as it is with us: to pass resolutions was present (easy) with them but to perform that which was resolved was not.  Several churches, however, "so abounded in liberality that they did more than was asked of them."  Both the Fayetteville and Manlius Baptist Churches fell in the liberal category.

Several items of business were mentioned in the few notes available.  In a July 5, 1851, meeting it was reported that the village served notice upon the Trustees to have the sidewalk in front of the meeting house and lot repaired.  A committee of Brothers C. Parker and Sheldon Graves was appointed to look into buying insurance for the meeting house in some safe mutual insurance company.  The Church, once again, voted to circulate a subscription for raising funds to employ a teacher of sacred music to teach a singing school in this Church from the present (July 1851) through the fall and winter.

In the minutes to the 1852 Onondaga Association Meeting the Clerk from Manlius wrote in the annual letter that "the last of the members who first composed the Church has died, one of a company of nine baptized in Limestone Creek, AD 1796, which was probably the first time a baptism took place there." The name of the member was not given.

Early Church Size

There is information available concerning the size of the congregation during most of the years of its existence in the reports of the Church to the Madison Baptist Association and later to the Onondaga Baptist Association.

Congregation size from 1796 to 1852
Year Elder Members
1796 Baker 9
1808 Baker 100
1837 Bellamy 50
1846 Spaulding 125
1853 Smitzer 120

Because of Elder Smitzer's other area pastorates, there is more biographical information for him than for other pastors of his era. According to the Centennial History of the Elbridge Baptist Church, Elder John Smitzer was born in New York City in 1799. He was baptized in the old Bethel Church in 1813, graduated from the Baptist Theological Seminary (New York City), held several important pastorates during his lifetime and baptized from 800-1000 people. Local Churches served were Pompey Center (1826-1833), Fayetteville (1839-1845), Chittenango-Sullivan (1845-1847), Manlius (1849-1852), and Pompey Center (1853-1855). His first pastorate in Pompey Center was during a remarkable time of growth for the Church. They reported a 600 member congregation with 160 scholars in the Sunday School and a 150 member Temperance Society. His otherwise successful stay in Fayetteville was marred by a split in the Church as abolitionists desired from the Church a more militant stance towards the abolition of slavery.

Elder John Smitzer was cited in the Centennial History of the Onondaga Baptist Association as being noted for effective preaching and Christian Consecration.

1853-1855 (Elder George W. Devoll)

Elder George Devoll was never mentioned in any currently available records of the Church during his Pastorate. He came to Manlius as a licentiate in 1853. It is possible he was a Seminary student at Hamilton as was Elder Morton. There has been some question of the spelling of George W. Devoll's last name with some Church Historians spelling it Revoll and others Devoll. The Onondaga Association's minutes from September, 1854, however, listed George W. Devoll as the ordained minister from the Pompey and Manlius Baptist Church and Society. The condensed version of the Pompey and Manlius annual letter to the Association noted that Brother Devoll was ordained Pastor on February, 1854. This was confirmed by a newspaper article, which appeared in The Central New Yorker, a Syracuse newspaper. The author had attended the ordination and felt that the relationship between the new Elder Devoll and the congregation was not as it should be, and that the practical relations between the Elder and congregation should not be severed for slight causes." (From the Pompey and Manlius Baptist Church and Society folder at the Onondaga Historical Society archives.)

In the Pompey and Manlius Baptist Church and Society letter to the Association (February, 1854) the Clerk described the Sabbath School and Bible Class small but pleasant, and reported that the Church was grateful for the small mercy drops which have fallen on them. Apparently, the author of the Central New Yorker article was correct in his observations since Elder Devoll's pastorate was of a very short duration. He left in the Spring of 1855. In the letter for the September 1855 meeting the Clerk reported the lack of a pastor (Elder Devoll left in the Spring of 1855) and that the Church kept up its prayer and conference meetings when they had no preaching. Brother Melancthon Stillwell, a licentiate, now preached to them. "The Church mourns over the low state of Zion."

Melancthon Stillwell, first recorded Sunday School Superintendant (August 5, 1848), was born at Eagle Village in 1814. He was a graduate of Hamilton College. He became the Principal of the Fayetteville and Baldwinsville Union Schools, after which he entered the study of the ministry. Owing to impaired health he was unable to continue the work which he believed he was called to do, although he did not relinquish his work for his Master. He was a devoted worker in the Sunday School and was Bible Class Teacher for many years boath at Manlius and Eagle Village and a Deacon of the Church (from the Fayetteille Recorder, February 15, 1894.)

1856-1859 (Elder George Howe Brigham)

Elder George H. Brigham was born in Eaton, New York, on August 13, 1823. At age 27 he entered the "Shorter Course" at Colgate University in Hamilton and graduated from its Theological Department in August, 1853. This was a big year for Brother Brigham with a graduation , a marriage (to Eliza A. Perry on August 25, 1853), an ordination (December 1853), and his first Church in Scipio, New York. He remained in Scipio through 1854, 1855, and part of 1856.

Elder George Brigham was reported as pastor of the Manlius Church in the minutes of the Onondaga Baptist Association's September, 1856, meeting. Our letter to the Association tells of "the Church being much encouraged under the labor of our newly settled pastor."

Although his life work elsewhere has been well documented, our knowledge of his stay with us suffers from gaps in our record keeping as described earlier. The record keeping for the Annual Meetings was resumed on December 8, 1857; therefore, we have records for two Annual Meeting (1857 and 1858) for which Elder G.H. Brigham was Moderator. Onondaga Baptist Association meeting notes show Elder George Brigham still to be our pastor at the time of the September 1859 Association Meeting. Our condensed report to the meeting tells us that:" The past year was not one of marked prosperity but of continued peace. We have enjoyed the privilege of visiting the water several times and are still enjoying the faithful labor of our pastor. We feel that his services have been the means of uniting us more closely int the bonds of Christian love and fellowship."

Elder George Brigham was pastor when the Church bought its second parsonage and lot (February 13, 1858) on the corner of North and Pleasant Streets, home of our present Church, and he was the first pastor to live there. He moved in on April 1, 1858. The only information we have about the parsonage (except for legal papers) is found in a nostalgic and humorous history entitled "The Old Baptist Parsonage" written by Mary Avery Woodworth. In her history Mrs. Avery reported that the parsonage was purchased by the Manlius Baptist Church from Mr. and Mrs Ebenezer Marvin on February 13, 1858 for $700.00. Mrs. Hannah Macumber, widow of Elihu Macumber was instrumental in financing the purchase. Mrs. Macumber gave $400.00 and the Church raised $300.00. While Mrs. Macumber was described by Mrs. Avery as a dear old lady with two colors of hair, Mrs. Macumber has a business sense and was realistic about the future of the Church. From the legal documents it was learned that the $400.00 which she gave had some strings attached. The money was given with the provision that if the Church neglected for three successive years to support the Church and Society and maintain preaching of the Gospel, the $400.00 was to be returned to Mrs. Macumber or her representative.

Mrs Avery apparently wrote to the Reverend who had lived in the old parsonage to learn of their experiences there. Reverend G. H. Brigham, the first pastor to live in the new parsonage, told of a pleasing tradition concerning it (the house) as follows: "A former owner raised in it a large family and upon each occasion of an addition to his family, he made an addition to the house." Apparently no children were born in the Parsonage because Mrs. Avery remarked that this was a plan of procedure upon which we had no occasion to act. It also explains why Yettie Harris later described the house as being "low and rambling." (Footnote:The Church has a photograph of the house in its historical collection. Mrs. Avery's history is reproduced in full in the appendix.)

Reverend George H. Brigham wrote that "our associations with the parsonage home, as by memory recalled, were very pleasant, with its ample room,- around us many friends who often brightened it, and cheered us by their presence and kindly words and deeds of encouragement. We enjoyed it as a home, perhaps as well as anyone in which we lived, and it was not without smothered feelings of regret that we left it for a home in a much wider field of labor."

Elder George Brigham left our Church in late 1859 to become pastor of the Homer Baptist Church, known as a Church that had enjoyed a great history of prominent pastors recognized as denominational leaders. He was said to be reluctant to candidate for such a prestigious Church, so the pastor who was leaving, Dr. Harvey, arranged an exchange without indicating his purpose to Homer Baptists or Mr. Brigham. The earnest sermon of the young stranger so captivated the people that he was unanimously and heartily called to preside over the (Homer) Church. He served there for seven years. 

Elder George Brigham served as the District Secretary of the American Baptist Missionary Union for Ohio after an interim of preaching. In 1873 he became the District Secretary of the Mission Union (later known as the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society) in the Central New York Area and served for 20 years. Reverend John B. Calvert remembered, "He loved the cause of foreign mission, and in the twenty years of service he did the best work of his life." Rev. Calvert also described Elder Brigham as a preacher. "Br. Brigham was eminently a preacher of the Gospel. Like poets, preachers are born, not made. By his very constitution he seemed to have been ordained for this holy and exalted calling. His broad and deep sympathy, coupled with his rare intellectual furnishings, combined to fit him in a peculiar way for the work of the Gospel ministry. I recall, as many of you do, his quiet and gentle manner, his slow and measured speech, his intense earnestness and soul enkindling enthusiasm in the pulpit discourses as he warmed to his subject, and above all, the consecrated bearing and almost holy atmosphere that always attended the man. Br. Brigham was an orator in the true sense of the term."

Reverend John B. Calvert, a young colleague of Reverend Brigham, was impressed as a youth by the way that Reverend Brigham treated his horses. "Mr. Brigham, in the exercise of his pastoral duties was in my boyhood a frequent visitor to our home. Among the many incidents which come to my mind, there is one I recall with great vividness today. My people at the time were living on a farm at the north of Homer village. On the afternoon of a blustering winter day, Mr. and Mrs. Brigham drove up to the door. Mr. Brigham loved good horses, and he was the owner of a beautiful dappled bay, of which he was more careful than of himself. After he had gotten out and helped out Mrs. Brigham and tied his horse to the hitching post, he unfastened his fur muffler and with it wiped the snow from the neck and back of the horse before covering him with a blanket. My mother, who had been watching from the window where she was sewing, called me to her and said,`I want you to see how kind Mr. Brigham is to his horse, and I hope you will always remember, from seeing his act, that a merciful man is merciful to his beast.'"

Elder George Brigham was also a poet and often expressed his love for God in poetry. From 1881 until the end of his life, he lived nearby in Cortland, New York. He and his wife Eliza celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on August 25, 1903. Elder George Brigham died at the age of 87 on September 5, 1910. Information on Elder George Brigham's life is found in the book Rev. George H. Brigham, An Appreciation by Reverend John B. Calvert. There is a copy of this book and one of Rev. George Brigham's poetry, On the Sea of Galilee and Other Poems, in the Historical Room. In one of his poems, "The Time to Die," Elder Brigham wrote:

O let me not die in the winter time
When all is cold and drear
I would go from a bright and sunny clime
To one more bright and clear.

If September 5, 1910, was one of those beautiful days when summer lingers before the first killing frost, then Elder Brigham had his wish.

1859-1861 (Edward Pierson Brigham)

Elder Edward Pierson Brigham was born in Madison, New York, on August 11, 1828, a younger brother of George Howe Brigham. He began the "Scientific Course" in 1852 and graduated in 1855. In 1855 he also married Mary A. Hopkins of Lebanon, New York, and entered the Theological Seminary at Hamilton, New York, from which he graduated in 1857. He pastored Churches in Shusan (Washington County), Manlius, Camillus, Penn Yan, Wappinger Falls, and LeRoy. The seminary record reports that he "has baptized every year." His first wife died and he married Calista L Hayen while serving the PennYan Church.

There is little or no information in our Church record of Elder Edward Brigham's Pastorate in Manlius. The LeRoy Baptist Church and Society happened to have excellent records of his pastorate there and these records give an insight into his character and service later in his career. Elder Brigham came to the LeRoy Baptist Church from the Franklindale Baptist Church in Wappinger's Falls, New York. He was called to begin his pastorate in the Fall of 1870. (Salary of $1200.00 with a parsonage.) His letter of dismission from the Franklindale Church was voluntarily accompanied by a letter which read in part, "It affords us unspeakable pleasure to testify of our high appreciation of the labors of our pastor, in all his varied relations, and of our conviction that his ministry has been greatly blessed to the edification of the Church and congregation."

Elder Brigham's ministry in the LeRoy Baptist Church did not end on such a happy note. Although he was pastor at the time of the LeRoy Church's greatest membership to date (283 in 1871), he was dismissed (improperly) by the Elders and Deacons of the Church in 1876 for reasons not stated. He stayed in LeRoy for a time, where he made disparaging remarks about the newly installed Pastor, Elder Reed, which were at least partially true, but for which he later apologized. A Council was called to settle the issues. Elder D.D.Reed was also asked to resign as Pastor, and both Elder Reed and Elder Brigham were instructed to leave town as quickly as possible. (One of Elder Reed's sins was to have been baptized three times, which the Council termed "a moral delinquency meriting condemnation.") The congregation was reminded about the laws governing the removal of pastors, and was asked to avoid talking about the distressing circumstances and to work together harmoniously again. When Elder Edward Brigham left LeRoy he was 48 years old. Thus far no record of his later years of service have been found.

1861-1866 (Elder Abner Maynard)

Elder Maynard preached as a licentiate in the Plank road Baptist church and was ordained there in 1855. The prayer of the Manlius Church was answered as Elder Maynard came to be Pastor later in 1861. He was the leader during a time of turmoil as the country was being torn apart by the issues of slavery and secession. He brought a wife, H., and daughter, F.H., with him.


(In the Church Clerk's roster of members only initials were given for the Maynard women.)

In the September 1862 minutes of the Onondaga Baptist Association, the Church reports, "We are blessed with the choice of a pastor and last winter enjoyed a precious revival." The Civil War was taking its toll, however. "Some of their number have gone forth to defend our government, one of whom has fallen with his face to the foe."

Mary Avery Woodworth tells us, "Its capacious rooms (the parsonage) were opened in their turn for the ladies of the village to make hospital supplies for our boys in blue in the war of the Great Rebellion." The Syracuse Journal of July 22, 1862, reports: "The Ladies Aid Societies of the area were formed early in the war and contributed material items to the volunteers. The South of Manlius Village made up a box of clothing and necessities, consisting of bed gowns, sheets, coats, towels, napkins, pillowcases, drawers, bandages, lint (a soft material for dressing wounds, procured by scraping or otherwise treating linen cloth.), socks, wrappers, slippers, sheets, dried fruit, etc., for the volunteers of the army of the peninsula. Reverend Maynard (our pastor) took charge of it and delivered it to those for whom it was intended."

In the Onondaga Baptist Association letter for 1864 Manlius Baptist Church Clerk wrote, "Amid the strife and excitement incident to the commotions of the times (Civil War), we live in peace, harmony and unity."

On September 2, 1865, the Church Clerk records (membership and problems) were resumed. The new book was continued until February 29, 1952, covering about 87 years. Hiram Smith was the Church Clerk before and after the gap in records, which leads one to believe that there is a record book missing that covered the period from 1850 to 1865.

There was a significant change in the tenor of the meeting notes when they became available again starting on September 2, 1865. The earlier meetings of the Church, especially Covenant Meetings, seemed to be concerned mainly with the sins and shortcomings of some of the church members, i.e., deviations from respectable personal behavior or from the accented spiritual tenets of the Church as set forth in the Church Covenant and the Articles of Faith. The sinners and their sins were recorded in the Church Minutes along with a record of the efforts made to encourage them to returan to God's Grace. After 1865 the problems were mainly with members not attending services or not supporting the Church. Drunkenness, lasciviousness, adultery, horse theft, blasphemy, heresy, etc., were hardly ever mentioned as sins of the members. Perhaps the area was becoming more civilized, or perhaps some of the more interesting problems were being handled privately by the Pastor and the Deacons.

On April 1, 1866, Elder Maynard notified the Church that he would close services at the end of the year for which he was engaged (the first Sabbath in May) and a committee of seven, E.G.Salisbury, Hiram Smith, Rufus Dunbar, I.N. Loomis,Jr., A. Lamb, and F.H. Dewey, was appointed to supply the pulpit and obtain a pastor. He preached his farewell sermon on May 6, 1866. On May 20, 1866, letters of dismission were given to Elder Maynard, his wife and daughter. There was no biographical information available for Elder Maynard.

The last information concerning Elder Maynard was found in the Personal column of the Manlius Department of the Weekly Recorder for May 11, 1893, which stated that Reverend A. Maynard, the old pastor of the Baptist Church will hereafter be found at the Masonic Home in Utica.

1866-1869 (Elder Nathan Wright)

Elder Nathan Wright and his wife Mary A. Wright prior to 1866 were members of the Butler and Savannah Baptist Church, where Elder Wright was the Pastor. Elder Wright was invited to preach in Manlius on May 13, 1866, by the Search Committee with a view to his becoming pastor of the Manlius Church. The Church apparently was undecided and asked Elder Wright to preach again on the next Sabbath, May 20, 1866. He was engaged to supply the pulpit through the summer. After what appeared to be a two and a half month trial period, the Search Committee was instructed by the Congregation to engage Elder Wright as Pastor for the sum of $600.00 a year with the Church and Society to "stand pledged for the same." The Pompey and Manlius Baptist Church letter to the Onondaga Baptist Association Meeting reported that the Church had "settled Elder Nathan Wright as its Pastor and believed and prayed his coming among us may be for good." On October 6, 1866, Elder Nathan Wright and wife Mary A. presented their letters from the Butler and Savannah Baptist Church and they were accepted as members.

Times were changing and the Trustees were using coal instead of wood to heat the Church. Brothers Lamb and Williams were appointed a Committee to equalize the amount due for coal and a pump upon the Church Members.

Interest in the need for remodeling the Church must have been growing. At some time in the spring or summer of 1867, plans were being made for the changes and for raising money to pay for them. On July 9, 1867, in the evening at Smith Hall the ladies of the Church were to entertain the public with a strawberry and ice cream festival. The object was to raise money for furnishing the Church, when the remodeling was completed. They hoped the citizens of Manlius would turn out "en masse."

In August 1867, the Manlius correspondent for The Weekly Recorder (he signed his articles as Phoenix) wrote about an unusual wedding that happened in Pompey in the summer of 1867, "one which seldom happens even in Pompey." It was a golden wedding celebration for Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Newton Loomis (better known as the I. N. Loomises.) All of their children and grandchildren were there (with one exception.) Among those present were son I. N. Loomis, Jr. and Yettie Loomis, both also to live to ripe old ages and to be very prominent and involved members of the Baptist Church and Society in Manlius.

The Onondaga Baptist Association minutes of the 1867 Fall meeting showed concern with reuniting the nation at the end of the Civil War. Brother John Smitzer (Manlius Elder 1849-1854), now Secretary of the State Convention, resolved we invoke the blessings of God and the wisdom of the state in the great work of reconstruction and that we await the progress of events, meanwhile, performing our civil duties in the fear of God looking for the acknowledgement of universal manhood. The Pompey and Manlius Baptist Church reported that " a spirit of worldliness has greatly retarded our Christian progress....our pastor (Nathan Wright) held a series of meetings in an out-station (Eagle Village) which were signally blessed of God, where some thirty were hopefully converted. Thirteen were baptized into the Church while about a like number joined themselves to the various religious societies in the neighborhood." The Church also reported having a good Sunday School and supporting two prosperous mission schools.

Starting in the fall of 1867, "the old church" according to Mary Avery Woodworth was "thoroughly repaired. Dr. T.A.Moore, a Trustee, assisted greatly in the undertaking, sparing neither time nor money. From start to finish his patience and courage never failed. All gave with a will."

The Manlius and Pompey Fair was one of the biggest events in the village of Manlius. In 1867 the Fair was held on Thursday and Friday, September 26 and 27. The ladies of the Baptist Church and Society planned to erect a large and commodious tent on the Fairgrounds from which they would sell provisions and all the delicacies of the season as a great convenience and comfort to the multitudes (over 10,000 people attended the Fair on Friday, September 27) and to raise money to aid in buying furnishings for the newly remodeled church.

Phoenix, in the November 2, 1867, edition of The Weekly Recorder reported that the work on the outside of the Baptist Church was nearly completed. Among other things the vestibule was remodeled, having rounded sides. On December 2, 1867, he reported that "the bell had been put up in the Baptist church (and a nice sounding one it is, too); and they have put up the bell upon the top of the steeple and removed their scaffolds and the steeple now makes an imposing sight."

On the inside the galleries facing the pulpit were removed, the pulpit was moved to the north side of the sanctuary, the pews were necessarily reversed. A central chandelier took the place of the scattered lamps and a furnace in the cellar replaced the two wood stoves. As to the cost and the ability of the congregation to meet the new obligations, the September 1867 Onondaga Baptist Association Meeting notes report, "We are repairing our house at an expense of $4000.00 (total cost of Church in 1828, $2730.00). We shall complete it about January 1, 1868. We hold our meetings in the Town Hall."

Early in January, 1868, the young ladies of the Baptist Society continued their efforts to adorn and beautify and make comfortable their church. They held a festival of oysters and ice cream and earned over $100.00.

In February of 1868, the hardworking ladies of the Baptist Society presented for the Church and friends in the village an entertainment from which they collected $250.00 for Reverend Wright. (This was becoming a common practice among Churches to help pay for their Pastor's salary.)

The completed Baptist Church edifice was dedicated to the worship of God at the end of March, 1868, and the Society now held regular services in the Church. Phoenix reported that "the Elder, the Ladies more particularly, deserve much praise in the earnestness and zeal in which they have engaged in furnishing the house and it is now as fine a church as there is in town."

 Manlius historian Henry C. Van Shaack, who wrote a rather disparaging account of the Church when it was built, now was pleased with what he saw. "Now you are fully apprised how much this edifice has been lately improved in all the respects I have mentioned. Our Baptist brethren have now the satisfaction of feeling they have risen much higher in the world, and knowing that they have, in the belfry of their nice little steeple (the steeple was Byzantine in style, supposedly an odd choice for 1868 Baptists; Rev. McPherson referred to the building as the "church of the golden acorn,") the clearest sounding bell in our village to proclaim their faith and their progress. Although I do not think their steeple is quite as high from the ground as the Methodist steeple, yet as their building is farther up the hill, I think their steeple reaches a trifle nearer to the sky than does the Methodist steeple; and I confidently expect, that when our Baptist friends repair again, that they will make a sure thing of it by adding another story to their steeple, for I know of no good reason why they have not just as good a right to use a little more wood than our Methodist brethren, as they have to use a little more water. (The Episcopal steeple reaches nearer to heaven than any of our churches which is all right enough, because it is the oldest.)"

Professor W.W. Clayton in his history of Onondaga County reported that "the remodeled church is a neat and commodious edifice, with a fine steeple and bell and everything about it is in good taste and modern style." Because of the unusual round shape of part of the steeple, Reverend Macpherson referred to the building as the Church of the Golden Onion.

On April 2, 1868, a Church Meeting was called to order at 3 o'clock for the purpose of renting seats to raise some money for the remodeling of the church, and also to vote "to see if we give Reverend Nathan Wright a call for another year." This was very late for this decision to be made. Nothing was recorded on renting the pews but a motion by S. Nixon amended by Hiram Smith would change the next ministerial year from May 1 to April 1 less one month pay and reduce the time for Elder Nathan Wright's next term to eleven months. This motion passed. A second motion was made and seconded that we give Elder Nathan Wright a call for one year, his third. The vote was 35 for, 15 against. This was a rather large negative vote and a harbinger of unpleasant things to come for Elder Wright and especially puzzling when just two months before the Church was very generous in raising money for Rev. Wright. Perhaps there was a gender gap in attitude towards Rev. Wright. The women raised the money, while some of the men were dissatisfied with his performance as Pastor.

In September of 1868, the Onondaga Baptist Association Meeting was held in
Manlius. "We bid the Association Christian welcome, praying that your meeting with us may by the blessing of God, be the means of inciting us to more activity. We have finished repairing our house of worship, having received sufficient contributions in money and pledges to pay the entire cost of repairs."

On Sunday, January 31, 1869, Elder Wright requested the members to tarry after church to attend to business. At the meeting the clerk offered a resolution that a special meeting be held Tuesday next at 2:00 p.m. to consider the subject of supplying the pulpit for the ensuing year and to take such actions as may be deemed necessary. In that meeting on February 2, 1869, with Dr. Harvey as chairman, a resolution was offered: "Resolved, that we deem it inexpedient to engage Mr. Elder Nathan Wright to continue his services as Pastor of this church after the First Sabbath in May next, at which time his engagement with us expires. H. Smith Church Clerk." Discussion was followed by a ballot taken of male members present. Forty-eight approved the resolution, two were against. The Deacons were to form a Committee to inform Elder Wright of the result.

A copy of the resolution made and adopted in the Church Meeting of February 2, 1869, was entered into the Church Record (minute book for annual meetings, etc.). Also entered was a record of a duly notified meeting of the Trustees of the Baptist Church and Society of Manlius. The Trustees present were A.P. Lamb, Deacon F. H. Dewey, Dr. T. A. Moore and G. J. Champlin. (G. L. Adsit was absent.) George Cole was the Clerk. They met at the H. Smith Shoe Shop. ( The Trustees often met in local stores for their evening meetings. The stores were heated and fuel was saved by not having to heat up part of the Church.) The purpose of the meeting was to ratify the proceedings of February 2, 1869, Church Meeting and to adopt the following resolutions: "Whereas resolved that we concur (A. P. Lamb, F. H. Dewey, G. J. Champlin) in this action of the Church and we hereby notify Reverend Wright that his official relations with us together with his salary as minister and his acceptance of the Parsonage will cease on the first Sabbath of May next." Geo. Cole, Clerk. Dr. T. A. Moore did not concur nor would have G. L. Adsit had he been present. Both Dr. Moore and Mr. and Mrs. Adsit left the Church as a result of the treatment of Elder Wright. We have no inkling of why the Church wanted to get rid of Elder Wright, but as stated previously, a large number voted (men only) and the vote was overwhelmingly against Elder Wright.

This lack of approval must have hurt Elder Wright rather badly, since at the March 6, 1869, Covenant Meeting, having been given the bad news, he said that feeling as he did, he should not administer Communion on the morrow (it being our regular Communion season) and so on March 7, 1869, there was no Communion. On May 2, 1869, after what must have been two very difficult months for both the Pastor and the Church, elder Wright preached his farewell sermon, but did not administer the Lord's Supper. Elder Wright wished to join the Delphi Baptist Church, but there was a problem in the method of transfer of membership. The Manlius Church gave Elder Wright a letter of commendation and based on that letter Delphi received Elder Wright as a member. According to the rule, however, a letter of commendation is not the same as a letter of
dismissal, which had not as yet been asked for by Elder Wright or the Delphi Church. How the problem was resolved was not recorded, although it was at approximately this time that Elder Wright became Pastor of the Pompey Baptist Church. (Reverend Wright was Pastor of the Pompey Baptist Church for approximately two years. In the Delphi news column in the Weekly Inquirer for January 20, 1870, it was reported that a donation for Rev. Wright was a very successful one and certainly well bestowed. It is possible Reverend Wright become the Pastor of the Delphi Baptist Church.)

In September of 1869, much of the good feeling in the Church was gone, along with Elder Nathan Wright and his wife. The Church reported in the Fall 1869 Onondaga Baptist Association Meeting that "during the past year we have had many joys and sorrows. We have passed through trials and difficulties. We have been without a Pastor since May last. Have somewhat weakened, financially and spiritually by a want of harmony between the Church and some individuals in the Society."

Although only two men voted against dismissing Elder Wright, some other members apparently were upset with the treatment of Elder Wright and there were repercussions as late as February, 1873. Dr. Moore, largely involved in the remodeling of the Church, felt he had been misused in the matter of dismissing Elder Wright and had withdrawn his support of the Church. Mrs. Moore related that she could not come to Church either if she could not contribute to expenses. Brother Adsit and his wife thought the Church did wrong in dismissing Elder Wright without advising with the Society, but the large vote at 2:00 p.m. on a Tuesday afternoon must have meant most of the Congregation was aware of the proceedings.

From May until September 1869 the pulpit was filled many Sabbaths by the Pastors of sister Churches, by Rev. Dr. Harvey and others. (Letter to Onondaga Baptist Association Meeting September 1869.)

1869-1873 (Elder Joseph Wanton Taggart)

On September 19, 1869, Brother Melancthon Stilwell and the Trustees were appointed to call on Reverend J.W. Taggart for the purpose of ascertaining whether he would supply the pulpit for the remainder of the year or until April 1870. The Committee reported even better results, "that Elder Taggart would indeed supply the pulpit and take Pastoral charge of the Church." The Church then gave him a unanimous call to become their Pastor. Reverend Taggart was one of our older Pastors, when he came to serve the Church at the age of 64. On October 2, 1869, at a regular Church and Conference Meeting, Reverend Taggart and his wife, Harriet, were received as members from the First Baptist Church of Wheeling, West Virginia. A cordial and warm welcome was given them. Apparently, Reverend Taggart had forgiven us or forgotten that in 1833 we paid him $3.00/Sunday for supplying our pulpit when he asked for $4.00.

At the same Church Meeting and Conference, the members present resolved “hereafter we hold regular Church Meetings for business every alternate month, on the Saturday before the first Sabbath of the month, at which time all business matters related particularly to the Church shall be attended to. Also on every alternate month on the Saturday before the First Sabbath we will hold our regular Covenant Meeting for religious exercises only.” The new system was to start in November with a Covenant Meeting.

Joseph Wanton Taggart was born in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1805. He entered the Hamilton Seminary in 1828. He was called to the Fayetteville Baptist Church in 1832, where he was ordained on July 2, 1833, the same day he was married to Harriet M. Stilwell of Manlius. The Pompey and Manlius Baptist Church participated in the ordination. He stayed in the Fayetteville Church two years. His pastorates included Homer, First Baptist of Syracuse, 16th Baptist of New York City, Detroit, Michigan, without charge from 1861-66 (Civil War Duties?), and First Baptist of Wheeling, West Virginia.

There is a question about where Reverend and Mrs. Taggart lived during their stay in Manlius. Our letter to the Onondaga Baptist Association meeting of September 1870 reports that Reverend Taggart came here with the intention of making Manlius his home, but Mr. Mary Avery Woodworth does not mention him as occupying the parsonage after Elder Wright's stay. "Then came a reign of young men and bachelors and the old house had to be rented."

On March 5, 1870, Miss Yettie Loomis related her Christian experience and was received as a candidate for baptism. Miss Loomis was baptized, probably by Reverend Taggart, and later became the wife of Charles E. Harris, our pastor from 1877-1879.

Although there was no information given in the Church minutes about a change, apparently the pews, for which members paid money and received deeds saying the pew was theirs and their survivors for eternity, reverted to the ownership of the Church. In the April 1, 1870 edition of The Weekly Recorder (Fayetteville), there was printed the following notice: "Renting of the Pews. The Baptist Society rent the pews of their Church on Monday next at 1 o'clock P.M. All interested are expected to be at hand."

The report of the Pompey and Manlius Baptist Church to the September, 1870, Onondaga Baptist Association Meeting told about a series of evening meetings held in the Church for which we have no other record. "We were blessed by the gentle outpouring of the Holy Spirit at a series of evening meetings. A number were converted. This was at a time when darkness seemed to be resting down on us... (we were) few in numbers and depressed in spirit. We bowed before the Lord, our prayers were answered in ways we least expected." The Clerk was pleased with the appointment of Reverend Taggart as Pastor. "His labors have been blessed. Sabbath School and Bible Classes (are) in successful operation.”

The practice of a Church renting pews was distasteful to the Manlius correspondent to The Weekly Enquirer (Fayetteville). He was pleased when the Church changed its policy. On May 4, 1871, he reported on the subject: "The Baptist Church Society in Manlius Village has made a very important and desirable arrangement in the seating of their Congregation. The seats are now all free and the clergyman is sustained by a liberal subscription of the members and patrons of the Society. This is a move in the right direction; all seats should be free in a house of worship, consequently, none will consider themselves intruding upon another in the house of worship. The wealthy and the lowly are equal in the sight of God, and all that seek him in faith believing shall truly find him."

The report to the September 1871 Meeting of the Onondaga Baptist Association was hopeful. "Although few in numbers, we enjoy faithful ministrations of the Word by our Pastor (Elder J. W. Taggart)." The Sabbath School was described as excellent. Members of the Church, old and young, were interested in Bible Classes. The Clerk ended the report with the hopeful statement, "We are not discouraged for we serve a Master who says, `Lo! I am with you always.'"

Reverend Taggart completed his pastorate here early in 1873. Reverend and Mrs. Taggarts' memberships were transferred to the First Baptist Church of Syracuse on August 17, 1873.

Reverend Taggart became Pastor of the Euclid Baptist Church in Clay, New York, and served from 1877-1880, until he became an invalid and moved to Syracuse. He died on September 3, 1893, at the age of 88. (Mrs. Taggart preceded him by two years into the "better land.") Reverend Taggart's passing was lamented in the Association Meeting of 1893. He was remembered for his wise counsel, kind sympathies, a devoted consecration to Christ and His Kingdom, and an unfailing courtesy and genial spirit which marked his Christian Character.

More  financial details were beginning to find their way into the minutes. The Treasurer's Report for 1873 was as follows:

Balance for 1872 $ 20.59
Rec'd during 1873 $ 116.44
Total Rec'd $137.03
Spent 1873 $136.08
Balance $ .95

This must have been exclusive of the money paid to Rev. Taggart.

1873-1874 (Brother Corydon S. Crain)

There was no record of the Church having appointed a Pulpit Committee to search for a Pastor. However, on April 20, 1873, Brother Crain was given a unanimous call by the Church to be its Pastor for one year at a salary of $800.00 per year (a record). On May 2, 1873, he was received as a member of this Church with a letter from the Stockbridge Baptist Church.

Brother Corydon S. Crain was born in Lenox, Massachusetts on December 21, 1848. He graduated from the Hamilton Seminary in 1870 and came to Manlius from the Stockbridge Baptist Church in Stockbridge, New York (approximately twelve miles north of Hamilton, N.Y. in Madison County. Corydon Crain apparently was not ordained, since he was called "Brother Crain." This meant, of course, that he could not perform Baptisms or serve Communion, which must have caused some problems for the Church.

While the Church was struggling to fill its pulpit, the Presbyterians across the street were apparently in even deeper trouble.  On May 31, 1873, the Baptists resolved that we "cordially invite the members of the Presbyterian Church and Society to meet in our house of worship whenever in the providence of God they are destitute a minister to preach to them in their house of worship."  Brother Corydon Crain and Deacon Dunham were resolved to be a Committee to present the above invitation to the offices of the said Church and Society.  While this offer to share our services was probably an unselfish desire to help a struggling sister Church, there could also have been some hope of gaining members from a Church that might eventually have to close its doors.

There is an interesting parallel with the situation that existed later on in Fayetteville. There, as in Manlius, the Presbyterian and Baptist Churches were across the road from each other. They started meeting together because of a shortage of coal in 1918. In our case the Churches could have started meeting together because of a shortage of ministers. In Fayetteville the ultimate result was the formation of a United Church in 1933. In Manlius the Presbyterian Church simply closed its doors for five years from 1900-1905, then permanently in 1932.

At any rate, there was no indication that the offer was accepted.  Ironically, the Baptist Church was coming into a period when they were experiencing just as serious difficulties of their own in filling the pulpit.  Brother Corydon C. Crain was one of several revolving door preachers we had during these times.  When the farewells were written in the Church minutes, the ink with which the welcome was written had scarcely dried. There was not enough time for the Pastor to get to know his Congregation or the
village well.

On August 17, 1873, Hiram Smith, the Church Clerk since February 2, 1833, and during the 15 year gap in Church minutes, offered  his resignation. Action was deferred until the next Lord's Day, August 24, 1873; then again to "some week day,"which turned out to be Saturday, August 30, 1873, at 2 P.M.  His resignation was accepted, and I. N. Loomis, brother of Yettie Loomis, was elected the new Church Clerk.  Hiram Smith had served as Clerk for 40 years.

There is some information on Brother Crain's life after Manlius. He apparently was called to be Pastor of the Delphi Baptist Church. In the Delphi News section of The Weekly Recorder for Dec. 8, 1879, it was reported that a pound party at the Baptist Parsonage was held for the Benefit of Rev. Crain. There was a goodly number out. The ladies made Mr. Crain a very nice present of a cashmere dress pattern. Although the night was dark and muddy, they were disappointed in the number that were present. On January 15, 1880, it was reported that the members of the First Baptist Church (of Delphi) met to make arrangements for a donation for the benefit of Reverend Crain on January 23, 1880. All were invited to come and have a good time. Later, according to the Colgate University Seminary Alumni Record, he became an evangelist in the eastern and middle states, Canada, England, Ireland and Scotland. Later he lived in Boston, Massachusetts and was the editor of The Shepherd's Voice from 1890-1896.

Brother Crain's resignation as Pastor was read in Church on February 7, 1874, less than a year after he was called.  The Church voted acceptance with the understanding that his resignation take effect at the expiration of the time for which he was engaged to serve.  A Pulpit Committee consisting of Deacons Dewey and Dunham and Brother Hiram Smith was immediately appointed.  On March 29, 1874, a letter of dismission was granted to Brother Crain.

The Manlius letter to the Onondaga Baptist Association Meeting in September 1874 reported that "prospects were not encouraging.  We need a Pastor who will hunt up and reclaim the wandering and bury the dead.  For such a man some will double their subscriptions."  The delegates to that meeting were Clinton L. Scoville, a Church member and a licentiate, and Mary Avery.  Mary Avery (later Mary Avery Woodworth) was the first woman that we have a record of attending Association Meetings from the Manlius Church.  Discussions of Mission, Christian Education, and Children's organizations were becoming an important part of the Association programs.  There were areas for which Church women were taking a large part of the responsibility and it was important that they be there to take part in the denominational planning of the activities.

1874-1876 (Reverand A. C. Ferguson)

On February 1, 1874, a Pulpit Committee was appointed to find a replacement for Brother Corydon Crain. The members were Deacons Dewey and Dunham and Brother Hiram Smith. By the Fall of 1874 they had found Reverend A. C. Ferguson, Pastor of the Union Springs, New York, Baptist Church. Although it is not mentioned in the records, the Church must have heard him preach and found him satisfactory. He was called as Pastor and he accepted. The Church agreed to pay him $12.00/ Sabbath and for him to use the name of (and facilities of) the Church for lectures in his own behalf. On January 2, 1875, Rev. Ferguson was received as a member on receipt of his letter from Union Springs, New York (near Auburn), Baptist Church. There was no mention of a Mrs. Ferguson, or Reverend Ferguson's birthplace, age, education or experience. (We do not even know his first name!)

Although there is very little information concerning Reverend Ferguson's Pastorate in Church Records, information found in the Fayetteville newspaper, The Weekly Recorder, indicates that he was a very active Pastor, both in his own Church and in cooperation with other Manlius Churches and Civic Leaders in the Village of Manlius. One of Reverend Ferguson's first activities was to organize a Young People's Literary Society late in the fall of 1874. The group included members from all denominations. They met often and the members entertained each other (and audiences) with music, readings both serious and humorous, and, at times, lectures.

On the last Sabbath evening in December, 1874, Pastor A. C. Ferguson delivered an illustrated address at a praise and promise meeting which also featured a Sabbath School Concert. Just a few days before Christmas Reverend Ferguson presided over the marriage of Miss Ella Champlin, a member of the Church, to Mr. John S. Hyman. He was said to have performed the ceremony "most impressively and beautifully."

On January 17, 1875, Reverend Ferguson exchanged pulpits with Reverend Shrimpton, the Baptist Minister from Fayetteville. On January 21, 1875, the ladies of the Manlius Baptist Church "put on" an Oyster Supper for the public at Smith Hall. They promised to serve their customers (un)conditionally, tenderly, faithfully, joyfully and smilingly. At the February 21, 1875, Sunday Evening Service the Congregation enjoyed a Sabbath School Concert and a Praise Meeting.

In its first months of existence the Literary Society was responsible for several evenings of entertainment for the citizens of Manlius. On January 28, 1875, the audience was entertained with dramatic and humorous recitals, ("The Two Graves at St. Helena" was recited beautifully and impressively by Miss Yettie Loomis), piano solos, and vocal solos by Reverend Ferguson. On March 10, 1875 the Literary Society met to hear a talk on "Items in My Trip to California" by Rev. M.S. Hard, Pastor of the Centenary Church of Syracuse. There was music by the Baptist Church of Fayetteville Choir, Rev. A. C.

Ferguson and others. The author of the report of this concert in The Weekly Recorder gave Rev. Ferguson "much due credit" for the untiring energy displayed in laboring for the Literary Society and giving to the people so rare a treat. On Wednesday Evening, March 24, 1875, the President, Rev. A. C. Ferguson, lectured the Literary Society on the subject of Physiognomy and the Signs of Character. (Physiognomy is the art of determining character or personal characteristics from the features of the face or the form of the body.) These concerts and lectures were given at meetings of the Literary Society to which outsiders were invited. Although Rev. Ferguson was permitted to arrange for paid entertainments on his own to augment his salary, there was never any mention of audiences paying to attend the Literary Society programs. In the absence of movies, radio and television people looked to live entertainment to brighten their lives. In the late 1800s the spelling bee became popular. In 1875 the "spelling fever" reached Manlius and several spelling bees (not just for children in those years) were held in the Manlius Baptist Church (April 17, May 1, May 5, 1875).

The Church as always was concerned with the plight of unfortunate people all around the world. On Sunday evening April 20, 1875, the Church united with other denominations (Presbyterian and Methodist) to hear of the need of those Kansas farmers whose crops were entirely destroyed by an invasion of hordes of grasshoppers. Forty three dollars was raised for their aid.

April was the customary time to renew a Pastor's contract. The Trustees "called and engaged A. C. Ferguson to be Pastor and Preacher of said Church during one year from April, the first Sabbath, to the first Sabbath of April 1876. And we engage him on the following terms, viz; we promise to pay him $12.00/week. Full arrangements to be made the first Sunday after the last Sabbath of each month." As an extra enticement "we also give him the use of our church edifice to the number of four times a year, on any occasion he may appoint that does not conflict with our regular Church meeting for a concert or lecture in the name of our Church interests. He is to take the responsibility of the said entertainment, and is to have all the profits of the same." On April 4, 1875, the above arrangements were ratified by the Church and Society.

July 4, 1875, fell on a Sunday. On Sunday Evening all of the Manlius Churches held a union service in the Baptist Church. Although it was announced as a praise meeting, it assumed another phase, that of the celebration of patriotism. Although Rev. Mr. Ball was supposed to speak, he became weary and asked Rev. Ferguson to take his place. Reverend Ferguson, apparently prepared, compared our nation with others in past history. Ours, he said, enjoyed Liberty, religious and secular, Independence of the individual citizen, Faith in the perpetuality of republican institutions, and Education for the masses. The first letters of the emphasized words spelled LIFE, which is dearest to every immortal being. The address of Reverend Ferguson was reported to have been “stirring, eloquent and brim full of patriotism.”

Our September 1875 Onondaga Baptist Association Meeting letter reported that under the labor of Pastor A. C. Ferguson, "We have been blessed. The Church has been revived and souls converted." The letter commented on the special concerts and lectures arranged by Pastor Ferguson. "The monthly concerts have been occasions for filling the house. During a portion of the year literary social gatherings have been held which were unusually interesting and profitable." Delegates to the Association Meeting were Reverend A. C. Ferguson, C. L. Scoville and wife, Deacon Dewey and wife and again, Mary Avery. There were few if any all male Manlius delegations to the Association meetings from then on.

In 1876 the nation celebrated its 100th birthday. It was reported in the January 12, 1876, Weekly Recorder that the quiet village awoke from Friday night's (December 31, 1875) slumber and gave 1876 an uproarious reception with the whistle of the paper-mill screeching, the church bells ringing, half-a-hundred boys (more or less) yelling accompanied by an anvil chorus. "We had rather an ear-splitting din for a time over the great centennial year." Some over-zealous young men entered the Baptist Church and rang the bell of that edifice so violently that it dropped from its perch to the floor, doing no serious damage, except breaking the pulley wheel.

The Baptists inspired by the leadership of Rev. Ferguson seemed inclined to celebrate as often as possible. They gave a Centennial Supper in Smith Hall on Wednesday, March 1, 1876. Although a fierce storm had hit the Manlius area, the hall was nearly filled. The event was described in the February 25th, 1876, Syracuse Journal and in the March 9, 1876, Weekly Recorder. The Hall itself was well decorated for the occasion. On the left side was a museum of antiquities including books and articles from revolutionary and older days, among them military arms in service during the revolution (“all to remind the guest of God‘s loving care in the past; He has not dealt so with any [other] nation). On the right side were items expressing our confidence in God for the present, “In God We Trust.” As part of the program thirty men, women, and children in costumes representing characters of the olden times appeared before the audience while the band played “The Star Spangled Banner.” Each character was introduced commencing with the Goddess of Liberty, Uncle Sam, Miss Columbia and General and Mrs. Washington. When supper was announced, Reverend A. C. Ferguson read a Psalm from a 230 year old Bible and gave thanks for the blessings of the Christian Republic. A series of tableaux were presented after dinner. A highlight was “The Wedding of Uncle Sam to Miss Columbia” with General and Mrs. Washington attending the Bride and Groom. The newspaper reported that the entertainment received the highest commendations from all in attendance and would long be remembered. The entertainment was so successful that the whole program was repeated on March 3, 1876.

Although not much was written about them, Brother C. L. Scoville and his family were members of the Manlius Church from an unknown date to December 24, 1876. Brother Scoville was a Licentiate (from a different Church) and when the Scovilles left the Church, the Trustees voted their thanks to him for his labors of love in preaching occasionally and for his untiring zeal in the cause of his Master. (The Scovilles returned to the Church from September 19, 1880, to May 30, 1886. He may have been serving a Church or Churches in his absence.) Brother Scoville was listed in the Onondaga Baptist Association's yearly directory of area ministers and licentiates until 1898.

Humorous stories were often put in the local papers to relieve the tedium of bad news. In one of the Weekly Recorders for the fall of 1876, it was reported that the latest thing in churches was a slate, left hanging in the church vestibule on which young ladies could register their names, number of pew and information as to whether they had company or not (brothers and parents did not count.) "The convenience of this plan must at once be evident to every young man."

Mosquitoes still abounded and their soothing music was heard to lull the wearied to gentle sleep. Mark Twain learned of the invention of a portable mosquito net and wrote "that the day was coming when we shall sit under our nets in church and slumber peacefully, while the discomfited flies club together and take it out on the minister. Happy day!”

No doubt the Baptist Church of Manlius and the citizens of Manlius were disappointed when Rev. A.C. Ferguson's stay became another of the short variety. On March 26, 1876, a letter was granted to Rev. A. C. Ferguson to join the Baptist Church of Pittsford Village near Rochester, New York. He closed his labors with the Manlius Church on Sunday, April 6, 1876. Representatives from all the other Church Societies were present. The "Independent Order of Rechabites" appeared in a body. The Weekly Recorder wrote that "his efforts in town, his energy and spirit will be sadly missed. He leaves with the benedictions of his many friends." No information has been found concerning Rev. Ferguson's life after his stay in Manlius.

1877-1879 (Charles Edwin Harris)

Charles E. Harris was first mentioned in the Pompey and Manlius Baptist Church and Society records as part of the delegation from the Church to an Onondaga Baptist Association Meeting on July 1, 1877. Although not ordained, he was called Reverend Harris in Manlius. The Manlius letter to the September 1877 Association Meeting stated, "We have no settled pastor. Our pulpit is supplied by Rev. E. E. Harris of Hamilton. These are dark days; pray for us that there be light ahead." (Hopefully Rev. Harris did not see a copy of the letter.)

The Church, as always, felt the need of a full-time ordained pastor. While Rev. Harris was "supplying" the Church, he was a full time student in the Colgate Seminary. Hamilton was approximately 30 miles away and in those days Rev. Harris could hardly journey back to Manlius for every need that a regular full-time pastor would fulfill. However, it appeared that the Congregation was grateful for what Rev. Harris could accomplish.

While the adults were commiserating about "dark days," the youth were alleviating the heat in the sultry days of early August with an Ice Cream Sociable. A young Baptist named Katherine reported the event in the August 9, 1877 Weekly Recorder: "The weather has been so sultry that the ice cream sociable under the auspices of the Baptist Society, held at Mrs. Chapman's on Pleasant Street last Tuesday evening, was very much in order. The evening was very favorable, being considerable cooler than several of its predecessors. The yard was well lighted with Chinese lanterns and reflectors; equally well furnished with camp stools and the Watervale Band discoursed sweet music. Under such pleasant circumstances with delicious cream to tempt the appetite, all ought to have been entertained. Thanks are due the band for their kindness in favoring us. It is a rather youthful band, for almost all are beginners and they have not practiced long. It is their custom to meet each Saturday evening to practice; and having attended several of these rehearsals we have greatly enjoyed them; in fact, we have not heard a village band in a long time that can surpass them. The young people of Manlius were largely represented, and particularly those of other denominations who came over to "Damascus" to help us. There was a lady and her brother from Fayetteville and several ladies from Pompey with somebody else's brother. We can but note that the gathering was in every way a financial success. We expected to see more of the good people of Fayetteville but were disappointed. Perhaps the Methodist picnic on the same day made some difference in their attendance. Undoubtedly we will give them a chance to attend some time when they can have no excuse for not coming." Katherine.
 
On February 10, 1878, at a Sunday Evening Service "considerable excitement was created at the Baptist Church by the falling of the chandelier. No other damage was done, however, than the breaking of several lamps and shades. The congregation dispersed in a hurry." Weekly Recorder- 2/14/1878.

In March 1878 the Church voted unanimously to invite Rev. Harris back to “preach with us the ensuing year,” his second. In addition, whether the Church was recognizing a Congregational desire for a lighter summer schedule, or giving Rev. Harris more time for his studies, it was resolved "that Rev Harris have a four to six week vacation and that he preach but once a Sabbath and all the other services on Sunday be dispensed with."

In September 1878 the Church Letter to the Onondaga Baptist Association stated, "We have carefully corrected our list of names and now know something or hear from all who belong to the Church. We have a good Sunday School." In the minutes of a Church Meeting held previously on October 6, 1877, the Clerk, I. N. Loomis, Jr., elaborated on the reasons for the correction. "The Church voted unanimously for a resolution that stated `Whereas many whose names are on our Church book as members of the Church do not meet with us or manifest any interest in the affairs of the Church and whereas we are taxed by the Association for certain purposes in proportion to the number of members reported by us, it was therefore resolved: If any member fail to meet with us or to communicate with us by letter, or to contribute to the support of the Gospel among us during any associational year (September to September), such person shall by such neglect forfeit his or her membership.'"
Our membership:       

  1875 94
  1877   86
  1878 58

Because of the constant difficulty in finding and keeping Elders, the early Church depended to a large extent for survival on the extraordinary efforts of some of its members, who came to be called “pillars” of the Church. Usually there was very little information available concerning their lives and works, especially for the earlier ones. An exception was William Fillmore. Because of his work for local governments as well as for the Church, and his stature in the community, The Weekly Recorder for November 7, 1878, published a long and informative biography of his life as an obituary. William Fillmore was born in the town of Milton, Saratoga County, New York, on June 8, 1786. The Fillmore family moved to Manlius in 1794 as some of the very early settlers. As a young man William was interested in military matters and became an Ensign in the local regiment. He married Mary Clark in 1812 with whom he had 12 children (a boon for the Sunday School.) William was highly respected in Manlius and was elected Constable for 13 years, and acted as Deputy and tax Collector. According to his obituary, in the fall of 1812, he “became impressed with religious convictions and made a profession of faith.” About a year later he was baptized and united himself with the Baptist Church, of which denomination he remained a consistent member until his death.” During his 65 years as a member he was an active participant in the programs of the Church, both spiritual and practical. He was Moderator of the Church Meeting in 1822 for the purpose of forming a Religious Corporation, and was one of the five men elected as Trustees for the new Corporation. As Trustee he was part of the Committee to circulate subscriptions for building the new church in 1828. He was the auctioneer when the pews were sold to the highest bidders and represented the Church at Association Meetings. Later he was elected a Deacon, and, as was the custom, remained a Deacon for life. William Fillmore (1786-1878) died on November 16, 1878. He was 92 years, 5 months and 8 days old. In his obituary it was written “as a Church Member, William Fillmore was best known and his influence most widely felt. He remained a consistent member until his death. He has departed to receive the reward of a well spent Christian life.”

On Sunday, December 4, 1878, Reverend Harris preached his farewell sermon. It was reported that he had preached acceptably for the past two years and that he goes from among us with the best wishes of a large circle of friends.

In December of 1878, there appeared in The Weekly Recorder one of the earlier reports of a Christmas celebration by the Manlius and Pompey Baptist Church and Society. On December 31, 1878, The Church gave a supper for the Sunday School children instead of a Christmas Tree. "The tables were bountifully spread with the goodies provided for the occasion, in the parlors of the Church, and taken all together, it passed off very pleasantly to all present"

In February of 1879 Reverend Harris paid a return visit to Manlius (probably one of several since he was now actively courting Miss Yettie Loomis, preceptress in the Senior Department of the Graded School in Manlius.) He occupied the pulpit of the Manlius Baptist Church on February 23, 1879.  

On March 18, 1879, Reverend Charles E. Harris received a call to the First Baptist Church of Jackson, Michigan as Junior Pastor for one year. Reverend Harris graduated from the Hamilton Theological School in June 1879. He accepted the call to Michigan and was received as a minister on August 1, 1879, and on October 8, 1879, was ordained. The Manlius Church has a copy of his Ordination Certificate.

Ordinarily this might have been the end of our association with and knowledge of the future life of Reverend Harris, as has so often been the case with many of the younger pastors of the 1800s. This time things were different. After his ordination he came back to Manlius and on October 28, 1879, was married to Yettie Loomis, the eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. I. N. Loomis. The couple was married in the Loomis' home by the Rev. Dr. Harvey of Hamilton, New York. The Weekly Recorder noted that "they are both well and favorably known to our people. After receiving the congratulations and well wishes of their many friends, they departed for their future home in Jackson, Michigan. On December 5, 1879, Mrs. C. E. Harris was received into the Jackson Baptist Church by letter from the Manlius Baptist Church.

On May 5, 1880, the Jackson Baptist Church invited Brother Harris to become the Senior Pastor of the Church. He accepted but on October 10, 1880, he resigned. He and his wife were granted letters of dismissal to the Baptist Church in Port Huron, Michigan, where he served as Pastor from 1881-1888. According to the Jackson Baptist Church Records, Reverend Harris became the editor of the Michigan Christian Herald in Detroit, Michigan, probably in addition to his duties as Pastor of the Port Huron Baptist Church.

Charles E. Harris was born in Plattsburgh, New York, on November 11, 1848, to Thomas and Elizabeth Harris. We know something about the development of Charles E. Harris as a Christian, because of a Biographical Record he prepared for the Semi-Centennial of the Michigan Baptist State Convention while Pastor of the Port Huron Baptist Church. Asked about his early religious impressions, Reverend Harris wrote that they (and religious instructions) were received in Sabbath School. He wrote, “(I) can hardly remember the time when I did not find the necessity of and desirability of a hope in Jesus Christ.” Concerning Conversion and Baptism, he thought that he was hopefully converted at age 18 while living with the family of Reverend Levi Smith in West Plattsburgh, NY. He was baptized into the fellowship of the West Plattsburgh Baptist Church by Reverend Smith. Reverend Harris wrote that he had felt called to the ministry even before he accepted Christ, “but not till several years after my conversion did I finally yield (to) what I believe was the call of God, consent, and enter the work of the ministry.” Charles E. Harris was 23 years old when he entered Madison University and 27 years old when he entered the Hamilton Theological Seminary. He completed the Madison University program in 1876 and graduated from the Seminary in 1879.

From Port Huron, Michigan, Reverend and Mrs. Harris and family (Taylor Loomis and Rachel A.) moved to California where Reverend Harris accepted the Pastorate of the Baptist Church in Pasadena, California. He served there from 1888 until his death at the age of 45 on September 25, 1894. He left his wife Yettie Loomis Harris, and three children, Taylor Loomis, Rachel A. and Laura C. Harris. Laura was born on September 16, 1894, nine days before her father's death.

Yettie Harris brought Rachel and Laura back to Manlius where she and her family lived in the house on the north corner of North and Pleasant Street which she purchased from Reverend and Mrs. Barber and which is now the Newall-Fay Funeral Home. (Taylor stayed in California.) Mrs. Harris transferred her Church Membership back to the Manlius Baptist Church and will be mentioned many times in the future as part of Church history because she lived a long and active life (97 years) and made many contributions to the Church, personally as organist, Church Clerk, Sunday School teacher, leader of women's groups, and financially as a major contributor to the construction of the new Baptist Church in 1927 and for the expenses of the Church and the support of Missions.

Although she had an opportunity when she wrote the history of the Manlius Church for inclusion into the box of mementos placed in the cornerstone of the new church, Mrs. Harris did not elaborate on her husband's pastorate but modestly stated that "Reverend C. E. Harris was a student at Hamilton Theological Seminary who acted as supply for two years." We are indebted to Mary Avery Woodworth for insight into the character and personality of Reverend Harris. She wrote, "Rev. Harris came to us from the School of Prophets at Hamilton. A gifted young man having the courage of his convictions, a man of intense earnestness. If measured by years his life was short but if measured by sacrifice upon God's altar, then his life was rounded out to its completeness. He heard the home call and gladly going, left us a precious legacy of wife and children."

It is from information in Rev. Harris's handbook that we know he conducted his first marriage ceremony for Mary Avery and Alvah Woodworth on January 2, 1878, in Manlius. Our early Church Minutes do not mention or record marriages, and Mary Avery's was no exception. Mary Avery was our first woman delegate to the Onondaga Baptist Association meetings. As Mrs. Woodworth she served on many Church Committees, was a leader of Church Women's Groups and wrote a very important history of our second parsonage and gave us personal glimpses of those who occupied it. Rev. Harris conducted one marriage in Manlius (Woodward-Avery), 19 in Jackson, Michigan, 140 in Port Huron, Michigan, and 14 in Pasadena, California, for a total of 174 during his 15 years in the ministry. He also conducted 171 funerals during this time including one for an unnamed infant in Syracuse in July 1886. His last entry in his Pastor's handbook was for a funeral on January 27, 1894.

When Mrs. Harris came back to Manlius to live, she brought her husband's books with her. Eventually at least some of these were given to this Church and are kept in the Historical Room. All have been signed by C. E. Harris. One of the most interesting is Rev. Harris's personal copy of The Pastor's Complete Handbook and Register.  It was a gift from a friend at the Baptist State Convention in Kalamazoo, Michigan, on October 20, 1879. It contained everything a young minister should know about baptism, comforting the sick, burying the dead, and visiting the unchurched. There were forms and ceremonies for every occasion, including his own handwritten version for the wedding ceremony. Best of all were his personal records of baptisms, visitations, marriages, and deaths with which he was involved during his pastorates.

1879-1883 (Supplies)

Church Leaders from 1879 to 1883
Reverend W. N. Thomas 12/13/1879 to 7/24/1881
Reverend H.S. Steelman 11/01/1880 to 4/30/1881
Melancthon Stilwell 1/01/1880 to 7/1882
H. A. Buzzell 7/18/82 for 10 weeks
Reverend W. H. Hawley 12/1882 to 5/1883
Reverend E. M. Barber Supply 1883

With the departure of Reverend Harris, considered a full-fledged Pastor of the Church (perhaps in deference to Mrs. Yettie Harris), the Church experienced a difficult time supplying the pulpit from 1879-1883.. A Pulpit Committee was appointed in June 1879. The members were Deacons Dewey and Dunham and Isaac Newton Loomis, Jr., the Church Clerk. They were fairly successful in filling the Pulpit on Sundays with capable preachers. Some were ordained pastors, some seminary students and others Church leaders. When no one else could be found, the Clerk read a sermon. Only on rare occasions was the church closed. What the Church sorely missed was the day to day presence and leadership of a full time Pastor.

Reverend W. H. Hawley was born in Charlotte, New York, on January 27, 1846. He received his education in the High School at Schenectady, Charlton Academy and Rutgers Academy. He married Miss Anna C. Lawrence in 1867. He was ordained in Johnstown, NY, Baptist Church in 1869, and was their pastor for four and a half years. He was pastor in Fort Edward, NY, for three years, the Adams, NY, Baptist Church for four years, and the Fayetteville, NY, Baptist Church for six years, at which time he left the ministry for a career in business.

It was reported in the January 16, 1879, Weekly Recorder that the Reverend W. N. Thomas had assumed the duties of Pastor of the Baptist Church in Manlius. There was no biographical information given. He was a young man and very likely also a Colgate Seminary Student. (The Weekly Recorder reporter from Manlius complimented Reverend Thomas for preaching a very able sermon on Sunday Evening, July 27, 1879, from Luke 10:47. He felt that although Reverend Thomas was a very young man , he was destined to soon hold a position with the most eloquent of his calling.) Reverend Thomas joined the Church on December 13, 1879. He was dismissed on July 24, 1881.

In February 1879 it was reported that the interior of the Baptist Church was being "overhauled and repaired" (work that may have been inspired by the falling chandelier). In the Feb 27, 1879, edition of The Weekly Recorder the readers were told that "the frescoeing of the Baptist Church will not be finished this week. Consequently, there will be no service on Sunday."

On April 13, 1879, former Pastor Reverend George H. Brigham of Syracuse, NY, returned to lead the Evening Service. On June 8, 1879, his brother and successor in Manlius, Reverend Edward Preston Brigham from New Woodstock, New York, occupied the pulpit for the morning service, administered the ordinance of Baptism to five persons by immersion in Limestone Creek in the afternoon, and finally at the Evening Service led the observance of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper.

On August 13, 1879, The Baptist Congregation and Sunday School picnicked in
Loomis' Grove. August 17, 1879, must have been a hot and sultry day. The Baptist, Methodist and Presbyterian Churches decided to dispense with their Sunday Evening Services.

In the fall of 1879 the Manlius crop of peaches was ripe and juicy, and the ladies of the Baptist Church held a Peach Festival at Smith's Hall on Thursday Evening, September 18, 1879. The Watervale Cornet Band entertained the visitors. The affair netted the Women's Society about $50.00.

At times other Reverends substituted for Reverend Thomas. Among those who preached were Reverend B. Morly of Lansing, Michigan, Reverend H. Brown of Centerville, NY and Reverend Steele of Hastings, NY. Reverend C. N. Pettingill of the Fayetteville Baptist Church preached on several occasion in the afternoon when the Church could not find someone to lead the regular morning and evening services.

In the Church letter to the Onondaga Baptist Association in the Fall of 1879, the Clerk wrote that "the faithful labors of our present supply are not without good results. As a Church we are working together and our Sunday School is well attended.

The absence of a full time ordained Pastor was reflected, however, in the lack of information from Church sources from 1879-1882. (Much of our information comes from the column devoted to Manlius news in The Weekly Recorder.) Only three Church Meetings were reported in the minutes of 1879, two in 1880 and 1881, and five for 1882. These were low numbers for a Church that conducted most of its business in Congregational Meetings.

In 1880 the Clerk I. N. Loomis, Jr., (also a member of the Pulpit Committee) was discouraged. He wrote in the Church letter to the Association, "Our pulpit has been occasionally supplied but the prospects are truly discouraging. We can guarantee so little to the support of a pastor that no one is invited to come here, yet there is little doubt that a good pastor would soon have a fair Congregation, and receive good support."

Worship on Thanksgiving for 1880 found the Presbyterians and Methodists assembled with the Baptists in the Baptist Church for services "appropriate to the day". Apparently Reverend W. N. Thomas had left the Church as Reverend Steelman was reported in late 1880 to be regularly supplying the Baptist pulpit. On December 20, 1880, Reverend Steelman's son was the supply pastor. In December 1880 the Manlius
 
Baptist Sunday School was provided a Christmas Program by the Church. I. N. Loomis, long time Sunday School Superintendent (as well as Clerk), was in charge. "The children indulged in short and appropriate literary exercises, after which they were distributed presents. Santa Claus, drawn in a chariot by two little pages, caused much merriment on the part of the little folks."

In 1881 the pulpit supply situation improved. The Clerk reported to the
Association that "our meetings have been regularly maintained during the year. Reverend Steelman supplied the pulpit for five months from November 1880 to March 1881. On Sunday, March 27, 1881, Reverend Steelman preached his farewell sermon. Brother Stilwell preached occasionally when able and at other times sermons were read by the Clerk." The Clerk also wrote, "Our prayer is that God in his mercy may revive us and turn the hearts of his people again into this field of labor." It is believed he was lamenting the shortage of ministers which was also a problem for many other Churches in the Association. Many of the Church letters to the Association in 1881 contained messages of sympathy for President Garfield’s family. President Garfield died September 19, 1881.

The winter of 1881 was a hard one. The Annual Meeting scheduled for December 8, 1881, was adjourned to December 20, then to December 27, and finally was held on January 3, 1882. One of the problems surely discussed was that some miscreant had pilfered considerable quantities of coal from the Baptist Church coal bin. The identity of the guilty party was known and he was warned that if he continued his depredations he would fall into the meshes of the law. On January 10, 1882, K. H. Preston and C H. Wood were asked to look into the condition of the parsonage barn and attend to the necessary repairs.

Minutes of the Onondaga Baptist Association were not available for 1882. Our Church Records show that on June 18, 1882, the Church turned again to the Colgate Theological Seminary and hired H. A. Buzzell, a Seminary student for ten weeks at $10.00 per Sunday. On August 27, 1882, it was recorded that Brother H. A. Buzzell continued to supply the pulpit every two weeks. In the September 28, 1882, edition of The Weekly Recorder, it was reported that Rev. Buzzell had resigned because of poor health.

W. H. Hawley later contracted locomotorataxia, a degenerative disease of the spinal cord, marked by a loss of control over muscular movements in walking and otherwise, which caused his early death on February 19, 1903. Reverend Eli M. Barber of the Manlius Church made one of the funeral addresses, setting forth the spiritual life of the deceased brother. He was said to have had a large heart, to have been generous, cordial, kind, sympathetic and an attractive speaker. His last words were, "I am dying. The peace of God be with you all." Rev Barber wrote one of his poems for the occasion:

Friend after friend departs.
Who hath not lost a friend?
There is no union of human hearts.
That finds not here a friend.
Were this frail world our only rest
Living or dying, none were blest.

Late in 1882 the Baptist Church in Fayetteville came to the aid of the Pompey and Manlius Baptist Church, as we had for them in the early 1830s when Reverend Charles C. Morton preached half-time to their Congregation for about a year. Reverend W. H. Hawley preached Sunday afternoon (2:30 P.M.) in Manlius from December 1882 until April 1883. In the Manlius letter to the September 1883 Onondaga Baptist Association Meeting, Clerk I. N. Loomis, Jr., reported that Reverend Hawley had kindly supplied us with preaching for several months. To show their appreciation for Reverend W. H. Hawley's assistance, on January 30, 1883, the Baptist Society gave a social for him at Smith Hall. The purpose was to raise money as a gift for him (and to have a good time.) There was a good attendance and a liberal supply of edibles, as well as money, was furnished for the occasion. The attendees were also entertained with "fine " singing. The net proceeds of $60.00 were given to Reverend Hawley. (This type of entertainment was used frequently in the late 1800s to raise extra money for the pastors of the Churches, or for Church programs or repairs.)

In the June 1, 1883, Weekly Recorder it was reported that the Baptist Congregation was making a serious effort to get a regular pastor, and that a subscription was "going the rounds" to raise money for that purpose. In July of 1883 a few of the rebellious youth of the village were looking for ways to irritate their Elders (even as now in the year 2004). The Fayetteville Weekly Recorder reported that some of the Youth in Manlius were attending several churches on Sunday Evenings and discharging tobacco juice on the carpets during services "and committing other unnamed misdemeanors within the sacred edifices."

On July 12, 1883, it was reported that Reverend E. M. Barber would occupy the Pulpit on Sunday, July 15, 1883, for the morning and evening services. Reverend Barber came back to supply the Pulpit on July 8, 15, 22, August 12 and 19. It was then announced that Reverend E. M. Barber had accepted a call from the Manlius Baptist Church.

1883-1885 (Reverend Eli M. Barber)

Reverend Eli M. Barber of Fenner, New York, came to the Pompey and Manlius Baptist Church and Society as a supply pastor in May, 1883. This limited status may have been at his request because his health was a continuing problem during his long stay in Manlius. The Church, however, made an effort to settle him as a full-time pastor and was successful . On May 20, 1883, at a free conference after preaching, three women, Mrs. Armstrong, Mrs. Preston and Mrs. Morgan, were appointed a Committee to solicit subscriptions for the purpose of ascertaining how much could be raised for a salary for Rev. E. M. Barber. On September 23, 1883, during a Covenant Meeting and on a motion of Deacon Dewey, seconded by Deacon Dunham, Reverend E. M. Barber of Fenner was unanimously chosen pastor of this Church, date to be commenced about the middle of July last (July 15, 1883.) His salary for the first year was $400.00 and he received four weeks vacation. His pastorate, which lasted over twelve years, was to be one of the longest for a Manlius Baptist Minister.

Reverend E. M. Barber preached in the Manlius Baptist Church regularly from July, 1883 on. The Weekly Recorder’s Manlius correspondent , impressed by the increased activity in the Church, exclaimed with some exaggeration that the Congregation had increased 100 fold.

In 1883 monthly Covenant Meetings were still being held to prepare for Communion on the following Sunday. In addition  midweek Prayer Meetings were scheduled. Prayer Meetings were first mentioned in a Church Meeting on November 17, 1821, when the Congregation voted “to have a Prayer Meeting in the future the Thursday before the stated Church Meeting in each month at one of the clock in the afternoon at such place as shall be agreed upon from time to time.” They were later mentioned in our letter to the Onondaga Baptist Association Meeting of September 1875. “Our Prayer Meetings have been instructive and profitable and many more have attended than formerly.” Our letter often mentioned the Prayer Meetings from then on possibly because of the Onondaga Baptist Association’s recommendation that the program for a working Church include:

  1. Prayer Meetings
  2. Benevolent contributions
  3. A Young People’s Society
  4. A Sunday School

By 1883 the Church was doing very well in all these areas of Christian development.

On Sunday, July 6, 1884, many of the Baptists attended an ice cream social at the home of G. S. Morgan. There was reported to have been present a “large and pleasant gathering.” Besides the ice cream there was another special event planned. Reverend E. M. Barber was presented a “beautiful” silk quilt and sofa pillow by Mrs. Mary A. Woodworth. She presented it to him as “the work of our hands, hoping that when He giveth his beloved sleep only pleasant dreams may come.” Reverend Barber, a bachelor, responded. He felt that he could not appreciate the gift as it ought to be appreciated, that “it needed a woman on his side of the house to understand fully and fittingly to respond to the graceful and beautiful presentation to which you have listened.” As to the lack of a wife to help appreciate the gift, he noted that in his last 20 years on earth (he was 41 years old) he had received a few gentle hints, to say the least, concerning the truth that it is not good for a man to be alone, but never so broad a one as this. He thanked the women sincerely for the gift.  He said, “It shall be a reminder of my first year’s pleasant association and work in Manlius.”

On September 6, 1884, Reverend Barber presented his letter from the Cazenovia Baptist Church and was received as a member of the Manlius Baptist Church. In 1884 the Church continued the practice of sponsoring concerts for the enjoyment of the village of Manlius and also for raising money for the expenses of the church. A “grand concert” was scheduled by Mrs. E. F. Lake (who appeared to be directing the Baptist Choir at this time), assisted by Professor T. H. Hinton and other noted musicians of Syracuse and Manlius. Tickets were 25 cents and included refreshments to be served after the concert in the lecture room. The concert received mostly rave reviews in The Weekly Recorder. The reporter did feel that the tenor who sang while suffering from hoarseness didn’t have a very pleasing voice anyway. Another tenor, Mr. Rice, vainly attempted to sing “Let All Obey” but the accompaniment was written in a different key.

Easter Sunday (April 13, 1884) was clear and warm. It was reported that hundreds of Manlius citizens turned out to worship and be seen, “particularly the possessors of fine silks, satins and feathers.” The Weekly Recorder correspondent who couldn’t attend all of the services “assumed that the sermon in the Baptist Church was on the Resurrection of Christ and that Mrs. Lake sang the appropriate parts.”

Memorial Day, a day sacred to the memory of fallen soldiers, was formally observed in the village of Manlius for the first time in 1884. Because of the absence of the band on May 30, the services were postponed until May 31, 1884.

On Saturday, July 5, 1884, in the afternoon the Church held a Covenant Meeting. The Church was still hiring ministers one year at a time and at this meeting invited Reverend Barber to remain as pastor for a second year, at the same salary and with four weeks of vacation. Reverend Barber accepted the call. In the letter to the September, 1884 meeting of the Onondaga Baptist Association, the Church Clerk wrote that “while the car of time has moved us to the station one year nearer the end of the journey, we are favored with a conductor.” The people liked Reverend Barber so much that they prayed for him not to be coveted by any other Church. Their appreciation was evidenced by the fact that “attendance at preaching was greatly improved.”

On July 2, 1885, Reverend Barber baptized five persons in the creek. On the same day it was announced that after two years he would leave his charge at the Church and preach his farewell sermon on July 5, 1885. It was still customary to hire a pastor for one year at a time, and this would be the end of Reverend Barber’s second year in Manlius. The Congregation did not accept Reverend Barber’s resignation, and he bowed to their will and agreed to stay. He was given several weeks leave of absence to enjoy a time of rest with his parents in Fenner, NY. A candidate recommended by Dr. Harvey, Brother D. D. Forward of Bouckville, N. Y., was to supply the pulpit during Reverend Barber’s absence.

Reverend Barber returned to resume preaching on October 18, 1885. It was reported that the Church finances were in good condition, that the outlook was encouraging, and that the time off had renewed Reverend Barber’s health and strength. He was, however, still to preach only once on Sunday to lighten his preaching burden.
He was to be paid his former salary of $400.00 per year.

In the “things never change” category, The Weekly Recorder for Nov. 5, 1885, reported that a tattooing mania among the ladies has broken out in the city of New York. “An effort will be made to prevent the Manlius girls from giving their attention to the custom.”

On Tuesday evening, November 10, 1885, the Church presented to the village another evening of entertainment. Miss Ella Knight of Clyde, New York, presented a literary program. She was reported to be an elocutionist and impersonator of the first rank. The charge was 25 cents.
 
On Thanksgiving Day, November 27, 1885, the Presbyterian, Methodist and Baptist Churches held Union Services. This year was the Presbyterians turn to host the services and Reverend E. M. Barber’s turn to deliver the sermon.

At times the Baptists had worked with a Mission Sunday School in Eagle Village. Details are sketchy but during the 1885 Christmas Season the Manlius Baptist and the Eagle Village School children met in the Baptist Church for “exercises of an entertaining character and the distribution of presents from the tree.” Later on Christmas Day (evening) the two schools met for a “Christmas Service and bower.”

The Ladies Aid Society was meeting at least monthly at member’s homes. Mrs. T. A. Moore (again active in the Church) was the president in 1886, and the Society was thought to be “in a prosperous condition.” The Young People met weekly on Sunday evenings before or after the Evening Service. The Baptist Sunday School held an annual picnic in different picnic spots around the area. (Green Lakes was one of the favorite destinations.) In 1886 the picnic was held on “Cozy Island,” a new resort near the southern boundary of the village of Manlius. Cozy Island was described in The Weekly Recorder published August 7, 1890, as “an island encircled by high hills which shut out the rest of the world, and so by its seclusion brings to the mind `Cozy.’ The island, in Limestone Creek, is well dotted in evergreens, with a beech here, a basswood there. Its solitudes are usually unbroken, except by the playing of the waters on all sides as they hasten down the rocky bed of the stream. It was in this charming spot less than one quarter of a mile off one of our main streets that a large number of people (not all children) found recreations and entertainment without expense or labor.”

There is always more to be done in the church besides attending meetings, services and social events. The church and the old parsonage continually needed repairs. On June 5, 1886, it was the church chimney that needed attention. The women of the Church were challenged in a another area of expertise as Mrs. T. A. Moore, Mrs. George Armstrong, and Mrs. Oliver Moulter were appointed a Committee to get the job done. Although it would still be many years before women would be able to vote again and be elected to Church Boards, their talents would be used in the meantime on a number of important appointed Committees. The September 1886 letter to the Onondaga Baptist Association was glowing with its comments concerning Pastor Barber and the progress of the Church “happily reunited and prosperous under our present pastor.” These and similar words were found in all of the Association letters written during Reverend Barber’s twelve plus years as Pastor.

On December 12, 1886, the Baptist Sunday School (assisted by choirs from several Churches) presented a Cantata “Under the Palms” (“The Flower Feast”). The Cantata illustrated the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles after the Captivity. “Everybody (in the audience) seemed delighted with the admirable manner in which the Cantata was produced.”  The cost of admission was 20 cents.

Reverend Barber, still a bachelor, was held in high esteem by his Congregation. On New Year’s night, December 31, 1886, five gentlemen from the Church invaded his home and waited for him to return. (He was not living in the parsonage at this time. He had bought himself a home on the corner of North and Pleasant Streets, across from the parsonage.) At precisely 8:00P.M. Rev. Barber arrived to find his visitors. Brother Perkins rose to explain what was happening. He said he was not given to speech making but “we have come to thank you for the good you have done us by your kind words and your example as a clergyman, since you came among us, and in behalf of friends to present you with this slight token of our regard...... we hope you will be blessed with many Happy New Years.” Reverend Barber thanked the givers (representing a total of 35 people). He prized the gift not alone for the money but for their unexpected expression of regard, and for the spirit that promoted it. Later on the next Sabbath morning Reverend Barber was still glowing and spoke of the joy which came to him on the threshold of the New Year, a joy not equaled by any past experience. He hoped all of the names on the list of donors might be found upon the Lamb’s Book of Life, receiving at God’s hands the beautiful gift of eternal life. (The Congregation repeated the gesture on April 13, 1887, with another $25.00 gift.)

On Sunday evening, June 19, 1887, Reverend E. Barber preached a sermon to the Graduating Class of the Manlius High School in the Baptist Church. He spoke on “The Moral Beauty of Character” to a large Congregation. On October 9, 1887, Reverend Barber closed the fourth year of his ministry. He received a unanimous call to continue his labors and accepted.

At the Annual Meeting of the Church on December 12, 1887, the members made a determination to wipe out indebtedness. There was also concern about the possibility of Reverend Barber resigning . There apparently was a misunderstanding and Reverend Barber explained that what he had said was that he had resigned himself to stay another year. His explanation was said to have been “hailed with delight.”

“Christmas,” the writer in the holiday edition of The Weekly Recorder remarked, “of all Holidays, there is none so dear to all hearts as Christmas. It took years for the Christians in the Protestant Churches to warm up to the holiday, but when they did they went all out.” In the 1880s even Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus and their reindeer were imported to the festivities. The Baptists joined with the Presbyterians in December of 1887 and “all seemed to be in the merriest of humor.” “The church was crowded to its fullest capacity and a stranger could not distinguish between the `blue’ Presbyterian and the `hard shell’ Baptists, the latter who hadn’t allowed other denominations to commune with them except they have been `down into and under the water.’ ”

In 1887 and earlier the Manlius Church sponsored Young People’s Meetings held at 6:00 on Sunday before the Evening Church Service. January 17, 1888, however, the Church sponsored a meeting of the youth to discuss the possibility of organizing a chapter of the Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor. The Christian Endeavor movement was sweeping the country and even the world. The Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor was founded in 1881 by Francis E. Clock to promote “earnest Christian Life and to provide training for Christian Service.” Meetings were held weekly for devotions and monthly for “special considerations.” Their simple pledge was, “Trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ for strength, I promise Him I will strive to do whatever He would have me do.” The movement grew rapidly and by 1885 there was an international organization with 3.5 million youth, two-thirds of whom were in the United States and Canada. Christian Endeavor was non-denominational and included groups from most denominations.

In the early spring of 1888 diphtheria, a dreaded and very contagious disease, became a serious threat in Manlius and elsewhere. One method used to prevent the spread of this and other diseases was to quarantine the homes in which the disease was prevalent. In 1888 this included homes in the blocks on either side of the Baptist Church, and the church had to be closed for a time. The Presbyterians, with whom relations were very friendly (sharing Sunday night services, joint C. E. meeting, picnics and Christmas celebrations) offered the Baptists the use of their building for services until the disease abated.

On April 5, 1888, Mrs. O. Moulter and Reverend Barber were chosen a Committee to solicit funds to kalsomine and otherwise renovate the conference room of the church. On July 25, 1888, former pastor Reverend G. H. Brigham (Manlius Baptist Minister from 1856-59) of Cortland, New York, visited the Baptist Chapter of the YPSCE. The Weekly Recorder reported that if the saying “while we’ve youth in our hearts we can never grow old” is true, then in that sense, Reverend Brigham (65) was as young as any one else at the meeting. The group now called in Manlius the Christian Endeavor Society celebrated its first anniversary on February 2, 1889, with a supper at the home of Miss Sarah White. The Society was entertained with music, social games and conversation.

Second only to Christmas as a special time for the “little ones” was Children’s Day. The Weekly Recorder wrote “It is well that the Churches of our land have set apart a special day when the children may be taught in special lessons that Christ lived and died for them as well as their parents.” On Sunday, June 13, 1889, at the Baptist Church in Manlius the Children’s Day exercises took the place of the evening sermon., The stage was beautifully decorated with potted plants embanked in front of the pulpit. On either side cut flowers were arranged on stands. Crowning the pulpit were golden roses “suggestive of Him whose glory excelleth.” The program included prayer by the Pastor, a short message from the Sunday School Superintendent, singing, responsive readings, recitations by the children and a pleasing address by Pastor Barber. It was said that “the exercises of the evening, the sweet flowers, the singing birds and no thought of sorrow made one look beyond from our Sabbath home to the sweet endless Sabbath and wish that all might join in the universal chorus, Alleluia, Salvation, and Glory, and Power unto the Lord our God.(Rev 19:1)”

The people of the Church (and of the village) loved to get together socially in the summer and winter for parties, socials, entertainments and picnics. Hardly a week went by without an announcement in The Weekly Recorder of a social event or gathering of some kind in the Village. Picnicking was naturally a favorite summer event. On Tuesday, August 20, 1889, the Sunday Schools and the Knights Templar (a male benevolent society) enjoyed a picnic together in Green Lakes Park. Just four days later the unusual combination of the Village of Manlius Firemen and the Baptist and Methodist Churches organized an Everybody’s Picnic at Pleasant Beach on Saturday, August 24, 1889. It was announced in The Weekly Recorder that “the Firemen will go, the members of the Baptist and Methodist Sunday Schools will go ” (and the Episcopal Sunday School had been invited). “In fact, everybody who can go is going.” Transportation was by a train leaving at 8:41 A.M. The return left for Manlius at 6:00 P.M. from the picnic grounds.

The church buildings, inside and out, received considerable attention in 1890. The roof was painted on July 28, 1890. On September 19, 1890, the church was reported to have been renovated “inside.” The Ladies Aid Society decided to paper the inside of the church and Miss Sarah White and Mrs. C. W. Brown were sent to Syracuse to select the paper. Mr. Walrath of Fayetteville started papering on October 9, 1890, and promised to have the job completed by Sunday, October 12, 1890.

On October 1, 1890, Elder Eli M. Barber, Now approximately 51 years old, took the advice he had been given so often by friends, relatives and Church members (including Mrs. Woodward), and married Miss Ella Palmer (one of Fayetteville’s best known and popular young ladies.) The ceremony took place in the Palmer Homestead on North Burdick St. in Fayetteville and was conducted by Reverend A. C. Lyon of the Fayetteville Baptist Church. The couple honeymooned in Niagara Falls. The wedding was said to have been a notable event in this town where both the contracting partners were known and highly esteemed by everybody. Reverend Barber had lived in the Parsonage for a time. “Then,” according to Mary Avery Woodworth, “he bought a home where he could look askance at the old parsonage. The first thing he brought to make it look attractive was a Palm. The new species I believe is called a Palmer.” From then on Mrs. Barber became an active member of the Manlius Baptist Church. She worked with the Junior Christian Endeavor, the Women’s Groups and was a regular delegate to Onondaga Baptist Association. On December 6, 1890, Mrs. Barber was received into membership of the Manlius Baptist Church by letter from the Fayetteville Baptist Church.

In the Fall of 1890, the Evangelist Rev. John Fine held a two week Revival Meeting with the Baptist Church.  The Meetings closed on November 9, 1890. One tangible result was the baptism on November 16, 1890, of 18 Baptists by Reverend Barber in the Lower Limestone Creek after Sunday school. The Weekly Recorder for November 20, 1890, reported that “the weather had been cloudy up to one-half an hour before the service began but “it cleared off bright and pleasant and remained so for the rest of the day. The water was very clear for this season of the year and everything conspired to render the occasion a very pleasant one. The number baptized was the largest at any one time in many years.”

Just two weeks later, on Sunday afternoon November 30, 1890, also after Sunday School, “quite a number repaired to the Limestone to witness the baptism of a young lady.” This time the weather was different. “ We awoke on Sunday morning to find about 8 inches of snow had fallen during the night. It was a most unusual sight for the ground was covered with snow and the candidate was dressed in white.”

In November 1890 Reverend Barber apparently in good health, started a new series of Tuesday Evening Studies devoted to Bible readings. Prayer Meeting on Thursday evenings continued. Sunday Evening Services were held jointly with the Presbyterians with the ministers alternating their preaching.

In the winter of 1891 a correspondent of The Weekly Recorder castigated the Protestant Churches (Episcopal, Baptist and Presbyterian) for failing to have their churches warm for the morning services. Several parties were said to have left services because of the cold. Conversely, by evening “it is liable to be so hot that the windows are lowered, letting zero air in on the heads of the audiences.” The Weekly Recorder hoped to be able to report better things in the future.

On Sunday evening, January 11, 1891, Reverend Barber gave the right hand of Fellowship to twenty new members at an “impressive and beautiful ceremony.” Afterwards the Lord’s Supper was served.

 From time to time different diseases took a heavy toll, especially on the young, the weak and the old people of the community. In 1891 and 1892 the scourge called La Grippe hit the Syracuse area. The Weekly Recorder listed the names of many who were ill and some who had died. At times the churches were reported to be relatively deserted. Reverend Barber, whose health was already somewhat precarious was unable to preach at least two Sundays in January, 1892. It was announced that the Baptists would hold services, conducted by Pastor Barber if he is able, if not, by someone else. Reverend Barber was quoted as saying he had never felt so uncertain of himself after recovering from an illness as at this time.

Another donation meeting for Reverend E. M. Barber was held in Clark Hall on February 20, 1891. $101.06 was raised. Although the weather was anything but favorable, the Hall was so full one could scarcely elbow their way in or out.

The Baptist Chapter of the Christian Endeavor Society was finishing its third year and celebrated at the home of Hiram White on February 13, 1891. The Presbyterian Society was invited as well as all young people interested in joining the Society. The Baptist Society reported growing from 14 charter members to 48 active members and 32 associates. A Junior Society was organized on Sunday, May 3, 1891. Mrs. E. M. Barber, wife of Pastor Barber, was to organize and supervise the new group of 25 charter members between the ages of 6 and 13.

The old parsonage on North and Pleasant Street apparently had been rented for several years and was badly in need of repair. The Trustees were considering a plan of tearing down the old parsonage, building and replacing it with two or three houses to rent. The Trustees changed their minds and on December 17, 1891, were reported to have concluded to build one large double dwelling house for the purpose of renting it. Neither scheme came to fruition and in 1900-1901 a single family parsonage was built on the lot.

 The Church in 1892 was having trouble paying bills and sometimes meeting Pastor Barber’s salary was difficult. The Trustees were authorized by the Church to appoint a Finance Committee of Professor Bullis, H. H. Perkins and Will Monk to solve the problem. On June 9, 1892, the Congregation resolved to clean the church and particularly the windows.

In the Fall of 1892, O.W. Moulter, F. Barton, Mrs. Charles Brown, Mrs. Patrick and Mrs. Newman were appointed a Committee to ascertain the possibilities of cushioning the pews. The cost was to be held under $200.00. The Trustees appointed another Committee on December 23, 1892, of O.W. Moulter and G.H. Tripp to look into the situation. They investigated the possibility of shortening the side pews because some people thought the aisles were too narrow. There was no report from the first Committee but the Trustee’s Committee recommended shortening the side pews by one foot. The cost, they said, would not be over $10.00 and having shorter pews meant shorter cushions and that would save about $25.00. The Trustees rejected the report of their own brothers and voted to leave the pews as they were.

The Sunday School sponsored an unusual event to raise money for the Church Cushion Fund. It was a U.S. Apron and Ice Cream Social to be held at the home of James Dean on August 31, 1892. The “flag” feature scheme was to collect aprons from all over the United States that had been made either by women of note or by well-known former residents of Manlius. The aprons were to be auctioned off to the highest bidder. The proceeds would be added to the cushion fund.

Reverend Charles Harris and his wife Yettie and children visited Yettie Harris’s family, the Loomises, and friends in Manlius in September and October of 1892. He preached to the joint Presbyterian and Baptist congregations on Sunday evening, September 25, 1892. His subject was India and his sermon was said to have been “entertaining and instructive.” On October 2, 1892, he preached a sermon of “unusual interest and power” on the text “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth, giveth I unto you.” This sounded like a valedictory, and it turned out to be just that, as this was very likely Reverend Harris’s last visit to Manlius.

Hiram Smith, a long time Clerk of the Church (February 2, 1883 to August 30, 1873, which included the mysterious fifteen year gap in written Church Minutes) died on Sunday, October 2, 1892, at the age of 92. He was said to have been clear minded, vigorous and industrious to the last. He was a businessman engaged in the boot and shoe business. He was at one time Justice of the Peace and Postmaster of Manlius. In politics he was an “unswerving and loyal” Democrat.

From The Weekly Recorder for October 27, 1892, and November 3, 1892, we get a rare glimpse of how the political scene sometimes affected the life of the Manlius Baptist Church. The Congregation was very resourceful and inventive in finding new subjects for parties or celebrations. Eighteen ninety-two was a national election year  and Grover Cleveland (a New York Democrat and former youthful resident of Fayetteville), President William Henry Harrison (an Ohio Republican), and  Mr. Bidwell and Mr. Cranfell (No Whiskey, a Prohibition Party,) were running for President. It was advertised as a Campaign Cupper to be served on November 3, 1892. The Bill of Fare (everything on the menu had to start with a capital “C”) included Cutely Carved Cold Cuts, Crinkled Chips, Cucumbers, Cider-Cured, and other Curious Compounds by Competent Cooks. The Compensation was 10 Cents. Of special note were the decorations. The hall was trimmed with red, white and blue festoons. Each political party was represented by a decorated table. The Republican table featured a grandfather’s hat of mammoth proportions (a symbol for William Henry Harrison). The Democratic Table had a crib “of good size” in which was placed a doll signifying “Baby Ruth”.(Baby Ruth was born in 1891 to the Clevelands, a year before Grover Cleveland was elected to his second term. She was beloved by the country and the famous Baby Ruth candy bar was named after her.) The Prohibition Party’s table featured pictures of candidates Bidwell and Cranfell. (The Female Suffrage ticket, Mrs. Victoria Claflen Woodhull Martin and her unnamed running mate, was only recently announced and no pictures were available.) The entertainment was declared to have been “out of sight” (an expression rediscovered by our youth in the 1980- 1990 period, which may have been inspired by the success of U.S. and Russian Space Missions.) The proceeds were approximately $37.00.

As the years of Reverend Barber’s tenure as Pastor increased, it seemed that our relationship with the Presbyterian Church just across the road from us got closer and closer. Union Evening Services were now the standard procedure. On Sunday evening, December 25, 1892, Christmas was observed by a Union Praise Service at the Presbyterian Church. The Monday evening service was of a “more secular character and especially adapted to the juvenile contingent.” H. B. Ransier, a “rapidly rising Manlius pharmacist”, and D. W. Allen prepared for the stage an old-time fireplace with andirons, hanging crane and kettles. The imitation of flame, smoke and steam so impressed the reporter that he proclaimed H. B. Ransier “a worthy rival in coloring and imagination to Reubens, Correggio and Michael Angelo”. Santa Claus came, gifts were presented, and there were recitations and singing. It was “a pleasant occasion long to be remembered.”

The Big Entertainment Event of the Year 1893 for the Baptists was the Washingtonian Banquet. The unusual feature of the Banquet that was brought to the attention of The Weekly Recorder readers was that it was inaugurated and carried out with no help from the ladies. As early as 1893 the women were accused of invading the proper sphere of man. “The masculine element in this instance has retaliated by assuming the duties of a position considered generally as being essentially feminine.” There was a marked contrast between the serious straight-laced life of the Baptist Church depicted in the Church minutes and what happened in the 1893. The Trustees and “others” met at the Depot on February  8, 1893, and decided that the Church would engage in a major fund-raising project to be called the Washingtonian Banquet, which would be held in Clark’s Hall in Manlius, New York, on February 21, 1893. (The Manlius Historical Society has not heard of Clark’s Hall, but it must have been quite larger to have held the crowd of 400-500 people that came to be fed and entertained.) The event was thoroughly organized by the Trustees (the rule was that the men do everything) with Supper, Entertainment, Reception, Decorations, Advertising, and Hall and Peace Committees with over 60 men involved. Pastor Barber was a member of the Reception Committee along with 22 others. All of the information concerning the banquet was professionally printed on a broadside (which has been reprinted in the appendix.) The cost was 10 cents for the entertainment alone. For 25 cents the meal was included. The profit was $65.67 of which $15.00 was spent for dishes for the next dinner. In the broadside which probably also doubled as a program, wry humor was interspersed with facts. For example, Napoleon XX was listed as a dishwasher. Arrangements were made with Doctors Killemquick and Kureawl to secure the comfort of the patrons. Oleomargarine was served mixed (with coloring) and bald headed (as is). Entertainment included music by the St. John’s Glee Club, impersonations and drama.

On Sunday morning, May 25, 1893, the Baptists arrived at the church to find the sanctuary full of smoke. There was no fire. The smoke was blamed on a “disarrangement” of the furnace. The Congregation must have surprised and pleased the Presbyterians when they walked across the street to join them in their morning worship service.

In June of 1983, the church had new carpets installed as well as new cushions for the seats. The church was thoroughly cleaned and, in the opinion of out -of-town artists was one of the prettiest churches in this region. On June 30, 1893, the church was again opened for the usual services. On July 2, 1893, the Church had an new Church Clerk. Isaac Newton Loomis resigned and H. H. Perkins took over his duties.

The Weekly Recorder correspondent for the Village of Manlius did an unusually good job of reporting Church News in 1893. He wrote condensed versions of several of Reverend Barber’s Sunday Sermons. From them we get an idea of the content of his Sermons which were reported to have been widely accepted by the people of Manlius. The synopses of the morning and evening services for July 13, 1893, are reproduced here:

“On Sunday morning, Rev. E. M. Barber preached from Matt. 14:17. His subject was: `The Kingdom of Heaven and the way into it.’ Where there is a Kingdom, there is a King and subjects. Men make a mistake when they think this Kingdom is continued to the other world. The text says  `it is at hand.’ The purpose of Christ’s coming into the world was to form this Kingdom or Society, Himself the governing head and center, the members to follow where He points and be obedient to His word. The thought that the Kingdom is confined to the other world, will ruin any soul. The condition of entering is in repentance, or change in one’s mode of doing things. If we have thought sin a trivial thing, we are to change our mind on that, we must submit our views to His. It is humiliating to repent and confess one’s sin before men yet we expect to enter the Kingdom of Heaven when we die. He says, `Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things I say?’ It is one thing to be religious, another to be righteous.

In the evening, Mr. Barber preached in the Presbyterian Church. The theme was 'Summer in the Soul.’ The discourse was full of poetry and beautiful word picturing, comparing the lovely summer time, the sun bringing into life all things, with Christ in the soul making it beautiful, and productive of all good. There are afflictions, troubles, depressing seasons in the Christian life, but like the clouds of summer time they pass over, leaving us in the sunlight of God’s peace.”

One Sunday Evening Service a month, at least in 1893, was devoted to the causes of Mission. On July 30, 1893, Reverend Barber’s topic was the Indians of the United States. The needs of our red brothers and sisters were clearly set forth. Encouraging reports were read of the work already done for their benefit.

In the Late Fall of 1893, the gentlemen of the Baptist Church decided to try to repeat their Washingtonian Banquet’s success with a Marine Dinner. They advertised with a short poem:

Men-ny men of men-ny minds
Men-ny men of men-ny kinds
Men-ny fishes in the sea
Men-ny more for you and me

The Second Annual Banquet given by the men was held in the Baptist Church on November 30, 1893. It was a first-class marine dinner at very low rates.  The diners were entertained with a unique and interesting literary programme, a demonstration of the superiority of man, established by proofs extending back to the time of Adam (who was a man). It was all in good humor, of course. The net receipts were about $30.00.

In 1893 one of the Women’s Missionary Groups adopted Mr. Gibbud as a missionary, renamed themselves the Gibbud Mission Band and held a Pound Social for his support. (Everyone was supposed to bring a pound of something useful to send to Mr. Gibbud to aid him in his work.) The group was not unmindful of the poor in their own village and Committees were chosen to look after them on Canal, Smith, and Pleasant Streets. Seneca and Washington Streets had not yet been provided with care takers.

The men of the Church, encouraged by their first two successful Annual Banquets, decided to have a third. It was held on February 20, 1894, this time in the store building west of Phillip’s Flour Mill where two whole floors had been filled up at great expense for this event, described as “a men’s festival, banquet, fair, jubilee, exhibition, exposition, bazaar, social, anniversary celebration, feast, entertainment, show, supper, make-money or unnamable exercises.” The men promised a grand supper and entertainment by a cornet band, a champion accordion player, banjo and guitar players, foreigners who will sing songs in their native languages and Yonan Shabaz, a native of Persia, who will set up a booth where he would show an 800 year old Syrian Bible, photographs and curiosities. The admission for entertainment (the Persian Booth was 10 cents extra) and dinner was 25 cents. The evening was judged to be another great success both socially and financially for the men and the proceeds were about $100.

In the Spring on April 30, 1894, Melancthon Stillwell died at the age of 80 in his old homestead in Eagle Village. He was a graduate of Hamilton College and Principal of the Fayetteville and Baldwinsville Union Schools. “He eventually entered into the study of the ministry but owing to impaired health he was unable to continue the work which he believed he was called to do although he did not relinquish his work for His Master.” He preached to the Church, was a devoted Sunday School Superintendent (the first), and teacher (both in the Manlius Church and in Eagle Village.) He was described as a very estimable man who will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

The Tribune Fresh Air Fund was already in place to help send needy city children to the country. A Committee from the Churches of Manlius met on June 5, 1894, to make plans to find homes for the “little ones” who have never seen anything but busy city streets.

While the Church was losing what we call “pillars” of the Church (Hiram Smith, Melancthon Stillwell and others) on October 17, 1894, at a Prayer Meeting, William Nightingale was received into the Church on his experience and was baptized on Sunday, October 21, 1894. Mrs. Nightingale’s membership was transferred from the First Baptist Church of Baldwinsville. This was the beginning of as remarkable and unparalleled record of 67 years of service to his Lord and his Church . He too would become a strong pillar of the Manlius Baptist Church.
In 1895 the Congregation felt the need for extra space for small meetings, dinners and other activities. The addition was apparently also to include a kitchen. There is very little written about this project in the Church meeting notes. However, in the rare instance in the early Church where we have a record of a pastor’s opinion on matters of this kind, Reverend Barber wrote a poem, “Improvements” , which described his feelings and preferences. Reverend Barber was said by local historians to have been a prolific poet whose works were often found in local newspapers. In his poems, both humorous and serious , we gain an insight into the character of Reverend Barber not available in older newspapers or Church Records. “Improvements” (see pages 14-16) let the Church know of his determination to have the new church addition on “God’s green earth and not in some dank, dark cellar.” “Trolleyitus Suburbanmeningitus” demonstrated that Reverend Barber was blessed with a sense of humor. The poem described the controversy over the possible replacement of the trolley car with buses.  In a poem entitled “Dedicated to the Manlius Band”, we learn of Reverend Barber’s love of music especially as furnished by the Manlius Band on summer nights. “There is a place where we may go, on every Saturday night to throw our sorrows to the wind and troubles put to flight.” The Trolley Car and the Band poems are reproduced in the appendix.
When he first saw the inside of the church he wrote, “Walls were dark and bare, a dreary place for prayer. He felt a chill there of souls and place.” He did not want to come back again. Fortunately for the Church, he did, and then lived through the floor collapsing. This was apparently the worst thing that happened and from then on things improved. The question in 1895 was whether to build an addition in a remodeled cellar, which was characterized by Reverend Barber as “being dank and gloomy,” or to attach an addition to the east side of the church on the main floor - “on God’s green earth where all things lovely have their birth.” He felt that “it is a task we can assume, let us work with cheer and will and hold our faces to it, till it shall be fully done.” The Congregation listened to Reverend Barber, built the addition on the east side of the church, on God’s green earth. It was not built, however, until 1896, after Reverend Barber left the Church.

Manlius, June 5, 1895 E. M. Barber

Improvements

Room! more room! this is the cause.
Beneath the spur of Nature’s laws,
That brings us here tonight.
A kitchen to the room below!
Where things can come, where things can go
And willing hands, or quick or slow,
Can work with all their might.

2
All are indebted to the past;
We make no change, without we cast
A lingering backward gaze.
Twelve years! since the pastor followed where
They led him to that place of prayer.
The floors & walls were dark & bare;
A dreary place, he thought, for prayer,
Much more for heart-felt-praise.
3
He felt the chill of souls & place,
And did not care his way to trace,
Back to that room again.
But back he went; & through the years!
And through alternate hopes and fears,
Through mingled joys & smiles & tears,
And changes glad, since then.
4
Quite soon, one half the floor fell through:
And one long, silent breath we drew
At what would next occur.
But soon, a carpenter drew near;
New boards & beams our sight did cheer;
His hammer sounded strong & clear;
God bless the carpenter!
5
Then one good woman came & spread
“To ease the pastor’s knees” she said,
“When he should kneel to pray,”
A strip of carpet on the floor.
It eased his mind; it cheered him more.
The thoughtfulness was worth far more
Than any knew that day.
6
Then, on the sides, & overhead,
Good kalsomine & paint were spread,
To meet the earnest calls:
A paper border broad & neat,
Of apple-blossoms fair & sweet,
The lifted eyes with pleasure greet,
  Above the tinted walls.
7
This seemed to meet the present need.
Some years went by: & then indeed,
A project new was planned.
A carpet now for every knee.
Covering all the room should be,
And all must instantly agree,
To lend a helping hand.

8
A carpet firm, of woven strands
Torn off & sewed by patient hands,
Was laid upon the floor.
Tis seen to-day; while some who wrought,
And for the fabric planned & thought,
And gladly in the making talked
Are with us now no more.
9

Then. afterward, before we thought,
Some paper for the walls was bought:
And , stranger still to say,
The good old organ walked down stairs,
And the Endeavorers bought new chairs
And the old room seems otherwheres,
Than on that distant day.
10
Thus, one by one, improvements came,
Until the place seems not the same
The pastor saw at first.
Tis now, indeed, a place of prayer:
The Holy Spirit enters there,
Hallowed memories center there,
And Christian friendship sweet & rare,
To quench the soul’s deep thirst.
11
But still, improvement calls us on:
And what, & how, & when be done;
Facts for our common sense:
Would it be wise to build below,
When, as we all must clearly know
We should not just be pleased, although
Twere built at less expense.
12
We’ve room above, on His green earth,
When all things lovely have their birth
Beneath the quickning sun.
Then let us rise & build the room
Beyond the basement damp & gloom:
It is a task we can assume,
And let us work with cheer & will
And hold our faces to it, till
If shall be fully done.

On July 4, 1895, Mrs. Yettie Harris and her oldest daughter Rachel A. Harris were received into full membership by letter from the First Baptist Church of Pasadena, California. Rachel Harris had been baptized by her father on January 7, 1894. At this time, Laura was approximately one year old. (It appears that their son Taylor Loomis Harris stayed in California.)

 On September 8, 1895, Reverend Barber, at the relatively youthful age of 56, again tendered his resignation, to be effective on the second Sunday in October, 1895., Our letter to the Onondaga Baptist Association meeting of September 9, 1895, reported that our work still goes on and that our earnest prayer is that the Holy Spirit and our beloved pastor may remain and abide with us.

After receiving the resignation of Reverend Barber, the Congregation met on September 22, 1895, at the close of the morning service to take action. The Congregation apparently was reluctant to accept Reverend Barber’s offer to resign and a Committee of Deacon Dunham, H. E. Ransier (Chairman), H. H. Perkins and G. W. Tripp was appointed to visit Reverend Barber. They reported that if the Church gave Reverend Barber one or one and a half years and if the Church could keep up the regular interest, Reverend Barber would, if his health was restored, return to us if we wanted him. There was no further recorded discussion of the possibility of waiting for Reverend Barber’s health to return. Probably there were too many ifs involved. On Friday evening, Dec. 10, 1895, the Barbers were given a farewell at the home of H. D. White. All were cordially invited to be present.

Reverend and Mrs. Barber sold their home on the corner of North and Pleasant Street to Yettie Harris and moved to Fayetteville. On September 15, 1901, their membership was transferred to the Fayetteville Baptist church.  Of Reverend Barber’s years as pastor, Yettie Harris wrote: “For twelve years he faithfully served the Church. It was this long and successful pastorate that put new life into the Church and began an era of better times.”

Mrs. Barber died sometime in the Spring of 1904. On June 30, 1904, after the Covenant Meeting, the following memorial tribute was adopted by the Church:

In Memoriam
“We the members of the Baptist Church in Manlius desire in this informed way to memorialize our beloved sister, Mrs. Ella Palmer Barber, who so recently sought the Savior’s presence, and “entered upon the life of God.” Her sweet spirit was best expressed in the words of the Apostle Paul: “For to me to live is Christ but to abide in the flesh is more needful for our sake.” She lived among us with no thought of self-aggrandizement. She never sought to rule but just fitted so perfectly into all the emergencies and every day conditions of our Church life. ;Her creed, if it had been written out, would have been expressed in four words: to do, to love. In the home of the rich or poor, she was alike welcome. She knew no social boundaries, giving a happy consecrated service to all, hence, every one grieved at her going. In Sunday
School and Christian Endeavor both Senior and Junior, her life touched many other lives in a strong helpful way. In loving grateful hearts her memory will be enshrined. To our beloved brother who in his great loss has received it as from His hand unflinchingly and without a murmur and who has in doing this given us a beautiful example of loyalty. In the dense darkness we extend our sympathy, and pray that the everlasting arms may be felt in full support, until heaven and home are one.”
Mary Avery Woodworth

 

Reverend Barber, in spite of his ailments, outlived many of his contemporaries. He was an active member of the Fayetteville Baptist Church. He served on Committees, attended Association Meetings as part of the Fayetteville Delegation and supplied the pulpit when needed. Reverend Barber and Reverend J. C. Smith D. D. shared the pulpit from December, 1903 until September, 1904. Reverend Barber preached during the summer of 1907.

In Reverend Barber’s semi-retirement he continued to write poetry and also wrote two books, Home Memories and Margaret Ives. Home Memories was a simple tale of home life on his parents’ farm on Bingley Road just west of Fenner Corners. Pseudo names of local places were used, but many are recognizable to those who know the area. The book was published in 1908 by the Gorham Press, Boston, MA, and was said to have achieved “quite a sale.” A copy is available in the Syracuse Public Library. The forward to the book revealed Reverend Barber’s concerns with the trends of the early 1900s, i.e., congealed wealth (the massing of money by large corporations with monopolistic powers), and congested humanity (the abandonment of the simple country life for crowded city living.) He felt that the youth of the nation were being unconsciously robbed of the old-time values, i.e., honor, integrity, simplicity and contentment. He hoped that his picture of a simple healthful home life might inspire more of the young to remain in the country where “our work was out in the clean grass and clover, under cloudy and sunny skies, with lights and shade playing on the hillsides and in the hollows, and the chattering swallows and bubbling bobolinks coming close to us, and a thousand voices of fresh young life filling the earth yet new with each returning spring.” He asks, “Ye comrades of the woodland, stream, and schoolhouse green and travelled paths of hill and glen, whither have ye fled?”

In his introduction to Home Memories Reverend Barber also wrote enthusiastically about Theodore Roosevelt. He found in the new President, “some light shining in this darkness. The example of our sturdy, courageous, righteous President will be as a star in life’s way to many a youth of this land. He will appeal to the sense of hero worship so strong in the minds of the noble young, and be the recipient of the homage they are so ready to accord the true and the brave. He will be their ideal. He, and those who are like him, waging the warfare against organized greed anywhere in public affairs, will become a most powerful factor in forming their future course in life.... He will be enshrined in the thoughts and affections of the young, as a princely leader safe to follow, and through whom shall come to them a stronger and higher admiration for whatsoever things are true and honest and just and pure and lovely and of good report.”

Reverend Barber interspersed his narrative of Home Memories with poetry. Most was the work of some of the great poets of the day (Bryant, Hesperian, Field, Stowe, Tennyson, etc.), but two long poems written by Reverend Barber were also included. One was untitled, but was published elsewhere as “A November Dandelion.” In the poem Reverend Barber wrote about his feelings as he took a walk through the fields in late fall and came upon a late blooming dandelion which he described as
“A token of His Grace and Power,
 From Him who sends the little flower.“
Finding the dandelion reminded Reverend Barber of a similar experience with a beloved brother who died as a young man. Reverend Barber picked the flower, took it home, and sitting by the fire, gave himself to musing. “I lived over again the dead but cherished past, which this little flower had quickened into life.” He saw “the loved ones of enchanted days” and longed for the years to take him back again.

 The second of his poems was entitled “An Old Man’s Song,” which may have been somewhat autobiographical.  The old man was 87 years old and had “buried all that looked at me when life was in its morning.” He felt that:

“My days of toil and earthly gain
 Are now entirely over.
 And yet my days of joy go on-
 God is the changeless lover.
 I go on as in my youth
 With golden days before me.
 I must be true unto the best
 And highest in and o’er me.
 Hail and farewell! to you until
 The better country reaching
 I say `Good Morning’ on a day
 That has no night or ending.
 And with the fadeless tree of life
 In beauty o’er us bending.” (An excerpt from the poem)

Margaret Ives was the story of a young lady, orphaned soon after birth and brought up by Reverend John Ives and his wife Mary in an unnamed northeastern American state. Margaret, influenced by her adoptive father, became a Biblical Scholar, preached sermons, conversed and argued with friends and her future husband on the divinity of Christ. Besides getting a taste of what life was like in the farms and villages of the late 19th Century, the reader gets an excellent indication of what Reverend
Barber’s sermons must have been like when he preached in the Manlius Baptist Church. Margaret Ives was dedicated to Frank Barton, a Deacon of the Manlius Baptist Church, “the righteous man and steadfast friend, a tribute to the beauty of friendship.”
Reverend Barber enjoyed winters in Florida where he often visited friends. While in Florida he wrote two long letters which were published in The Fayetteville Bulletin (December, 1918 and May, 1919). They described the area and people which he visited, and, as a retired preacher, managed to include his thoughts on religion as well. He also wrote of his painful loss of Mrs. Barber. When he reached his friend’s home in San Mateo, Florida, he felt a sense of “getting home.” “Home! Home! you know how the words run, ‘ Be it ever so humble there’s no place like home,’ and no one knows the meaning of ‘home’ till his own home is broken up.” Reverend Barber was said to have enjoyed good health in his later years and an erect carriage as a result of the long walks that he took. He had intended to return to Florida in late 1921 but on November 4, 1921, Reverend Barber, walking west on Genesee Street, just outside of Fayetteville, was struck by a car. While he suffered only cuts and bruises from the accident, it was said that the shock following proved fatal. Reverend Barber died on November 6, 1921. He was eighty years old. In his obituary Reverend Barber was described as a clergyman of the old school, administering strictly to the needs of the Church. He was declared beloved by many in every Church in which he was connected. Services were conducted on Wednesday, November 9, 1921, in the Fayetteville Baptist Church. Reverend R. N. Rand, pastor of the Manlius Baptist Church officiated. The Church was “filled to the doors.” Reverend Eli Barber was buried in the Palmer family plot in the Fayetteville Cemetery next to his wife, Ella Palmer Barber. He was survived by two sisters and a brother, all of Cazenovia.
 Introduction to the Band Poem

At times in the early twenties the village of Manlius sponsored or encouraged the formation of a village band which would in the summer months perform on warm summer evenings for the villagers of Manlius. Reverend E. M. Barber was one of the members of their enthusiastic audiences. His poem dedicated to the Manlius Band was published in The Fayetteville Recorder of August 22, 1921.

Dedicated to Manlius Band

By One Who Appreciates the Music

There is a place where we may go,  When we want to give a social
  On every Saturday night;    The truth must be allowed;
To throw our sorrows to the wind,
  And troubles put to flight.

It is down on our own Main Street
  Where music fills the air;
With autos parked, as thick as flies,
  And maidens, young and fair.

Our little town is up-to-date,
  With everything at hand;
And we should all be grateful,
  To have a Manlius band.

Of course, there’s some to criticize,
  It’s natural as can be;
But never mind the sour grapes,
  The sweet ones let us see.

We cannot all be Sousas,
  We realize it, and yet;
The Manlius Band is good enough,
  They play for all they get.

There is a village, beautiful;
  With wealth at their command;
But when it comes to music,
  They hire our Manlius Band.

When we want to give a social
The truth must be allowed;
We have it on a Saturday night,
The band will draw the crowd.

Then give them our encouragement,
It helps a lot, you bet;
It makes them feel you want them,
And gives the music pep.

So come out to the concerts,
Give them a hearty hand;
For we should be “some lonesome,”
Without the Manlius Band.

For Introduction to the Trolley Car Poem

In the early twenties there was a controversy over whether a bus of the trolley cars should be used for transportation to and from Manlius. Reverend Barber wrote a humorous poem on the subject called Trolleyitis Suburbanmeningitis, which was published in The Fayetteville Recorder for February 11, 1921.

Trolleyitis Suburbanmeningitis

You may talk about you jitney bus,
Whether it be near or far;
In this cold weather, I prefer
  To go by trolley car.

Some towns may think a jitney bus,
  Puts the trolley out of sight;
But give to Manlius the Suburban,
  For we’re a trolleyite.

No doubt Mr. Allen has his faults,
  Or he would be crucified;
And so have other folks their faults,
  Or long ago they’d died.

So let us hope that by next spring,
  When the birds begin to peep;
Those other folks will wake up,
  From their Rip Van Winkle sleep.

I’m not to blame for what I write,
  It’s the disease of lots I hear;
Called Trolleyitis Suburbanmeningitis.”
  But the cure is very near.

The Antidote

The Suburban car,
  With plenty of power;
To be given in doses,
Every half hour.

1895-1897 (James Hall Benedict)

On Tuesday, October 22, 1895, Mr. H. H. Perkins, Church Clerk and official greeter for Reverend James Hall Benedict and his wife Ida C. Benedict, met them at the station and escorted them to their boarding place for the weekend. There is no information on what transpired but very likely Reverend Benedict preached as a candidate to the Manlius Baptist Church on Sunday, October 27, 1895.

On December 15, 1895, at the close of the sermon the Church Clerk, Mr. H. H. Perkins, made a motion that the members proceed to vote for a Pastor. The vote was taken and Reverend James Hall Benedict was declared the unanimous choice of the Congregation. Brothers F. A Barton, H. E. Ransier, and G. W. Tripp were appointed a Committee to wait on Reverend Benedict and inform him of his call, which he accepted. There was no record of his starting date in Manlius, except that he was in Manlius and preached at a Methodist revival meeting on January 17, 1896. Pastor Benedict and his wife Ida C. Benedict were received as members of the Church by letter on January 30, 1896. He was given the Right Hand of Fellowship on February 2, 1896, by Deacon Nelson Mills. On February 9, 1896, the Presbyterians canceled their Sunday Evening Service and Pastor and people walked across the street to the Baptist Church to welcome the new Pastor.

We do not know how many members there were on that 7th day of December, 1797 when the Baptist Church and Society of Manlius and Pompey first met. Approximately 100 years later in the Fall of 1897 there were 102 Church members, 142 scholars, and 19 officers and teachers in the Sunday School. The church property was valued at $4200.00. The expenses of running the church during the 100th year were:
$900.00 Current Expense (Salary, Building, etc.)
0.00 Improvements
2.00 Minutes for Onondaga Association
50.00 Miscellaneous
$952.00 Total

The Church gave $94.84 to Mission projects:
$25.42 American Baptist Publication Society
10.33 Mission Debt
7.00 Armenians
5.62 Home Missions
1.25 Chittenango Church
13.07 Education-Hamilton
9.00 Berea College
10.87 State Convention
12.26 Publication Society
       $ 94.84  (Mr. Nightingale's Arithmetic)

While we were hiring a new minister for the Manlius Baptist Church, one of our own brothers, George Casler, was starting the process of becoming a minister and would eventually become ordained and have a Church of his own. Two days before Reverend Benedict was voted Pastor, on December 12, 1895, at the close of the regular prayer meeting, Brother George Casler requested that the members of the Church grant him a license to preach. A vote was taken and the license was granted. Brother Casler was the ninth known member of the Church to have an interest in preaching the Gospel. The form used by the Church as a license is as follows:
"To all whom it may concern: The Baptist Church in Manlius, Onondaga County, Send Christian Salutations. The bearer hereof, our beloved brother __________, being a man of good moral character, real piety, and sound knowledge of divine things and having been called to the exercise of ministerial gifts of which we have had considerable trial both private and public we have judged him worthy and do therefore hereby license and authorize him to preach the Gospel whenever he may have a call not doubting but that in due time circumstances will lead on to a more full investiture of his ministerial office by ordination. In the meantime we recommend him to favor and respect praying that the Lord may be with him and abundantly bless him."

In September, 1897 it was reported that Mr. and Mrs. George L. Casler had left for Hamilton, New York, where Mr. Casler will attend the Theological Seminary preparatory to entering the ministry. On April 15, 1899, it was reported that Reverend George C. Casler has accepted the pastorate of the Baptist Church in Unadella, New York, and with his family would shortly take up residence in that town.

At the same time we were greeting a relatively young minister (41 years old) to replace an older man (Rev. E. M. Barber), some of our Diaconate leadership was also moving from one generation to the next. Deacons were appointed or elected for life. It was inevitable that some of these men would find difficulty in fulfilling their duties in their later years. In 1896 Deacons Rufus Dunham (70 years) and Nelson Mills (64 years), fell into this category. H. H. Perkins, Clerk on January 30, 1896, in a Church Meeting moved that "whereas the infirmities of age are
 
creeping steadily but surely upon the bodies of our dear brothers Deacon Rufus Dunham and Deacon Nelson Mills thereby hindering them in their official capacity and whereas we do not believe it to be for the best interest of the cause of Christ to allow them to resign the position they have so long and faithfully filled, wherefore, be it resolved that we select two younger men to the office of Deacon with the express understanding that they are the assistants to our present Deacons, that our Pastor, the Reverend J. H. Benedict, together with our Deacons Dunham and Mills are hereby appointed a Committee to nominate candidates to be voted as such Assistant Deacons at the next Covenant Meeting, if they choose, to be held February 27, 1896.
Done by order of the Church
Jan. 30, 1896 H. H. Perkins Clerk"

The Covenant meeting was held. Deacon Mills reported for the Committee and Brothers H. H. Perkins and O. W. Moulter were nominated and elected unanimously to the office of Deacon of the Church. Nothing further was said about their status as assistant Deacons. At the same meeting, Mrs. Jennie Curtis was elected Clerk of the Church, the first woman in this position and the first woman elected to a Church office. For unknown reasons, she resigned after recording one meeting. William Nightingale was elected to take her place on March 6, 1896.

In 1896-1897 another major improvement (the subject of Reverend Barber's poem "Improvements") was made to the exterior of the church building. The addition of the parlor to the east side of the church was under consideration for some time since in April of 1896 the Ladies Aid had already raised $275.00 of the $500.00 estimated cost. The Trustees accepted the money (no surprise) but stipulated that the Trustees raise the balance. Reverend Benedict was named to be a Committee to raise that amount (and allowed to ask anyone to help that he chose.) Reverend Benedict's Committee reported on May 26, 1896. Apparently the ladies had raised $200.00 more. The women were given an unusual opportunity by the Editor of the Manlius Eagle to use his type and press for a special edition the last week in May, 1886. The editing of the newspaper proved very successful for the ladies. They netted over $200.00, an amount sufficient to complete the payments for the new addition.

A Committee made up of Reverend Benedict, Mr. Barton, and Mr. Tripp was appointed to build the new parlors. The parlors were completed and used for the first time on October 18, 1896. The ladies of the Church served a chicken pie supper in their new rooms on Election Day in November from 4-9 P.M. The cost was 25 cents. Election Day in 1896 was said "to have passed off quietly." Hotel and saloon keepers were required to keep their doors locked while the polls were open, which pleased the "peaceable" people of the village.

The Church and its organizations continued to offer entertainment and fun for its members as well as worshipful and inspirational experiences. The Ladies Quartet of the First
 
Baptist Church of Syracuse gave an entertainment for the Baptist Young Men's Prayer Band at the Opera House on February 5, 1896. The Junior Christian Endeavor Society enjoyed a sleigh ride on February 12, 1896. The Senior Christian Endeavor Society was to have a Valentine Social on February 14, 1896, and on March 28, 1896, the boy orator, Ralph Bingham, held forth at a Baptist Church Service.

In May, 1896 the Manlius Editor for The Fayetteville Recorder took a swipe at the Presbyterian (and probably Baptist, also) farmers. It was a rainy morning and the Congregation was small. He complained that the farmers prayed to the good Lord to send rain to save their crops and when their prayers were answered the good farmers in gratitude for His blessing stayed home from Church.

The Trustees, while acting normally in working for the addition did a curious thing. They elected Frank Barton and William Nightingale Chairman and Secretary of the Board Of Trustees for their natural lives. We do not know if they were serious or jesting. William Nightingale was a Trustee for most of his years in the Church, but he had to be re-elected every three years, only Deacons were elected for life.

In the October 1, 1896, edition of The Fayetteville Recorder it was reported that Mr. H. E. Ransier, local druggist and active member of the Baptist Church, gave his Boy’s Sunday School Class a treat on Saturday, September 26, 1896, by taking them on a “romp in the woods.” He feasted them with good things and took many pictures. (He was a gifted photographer.) He was reported as being able to feast and teach them Biblical Subjects on Sunday and have them report a good time on that day as well.
 
On October 22, 1896, the envelope system was adopted for collecting monies. The number of offerings requested for benevolences was increasing steadily and the Church attempted to establish some order to the process. On December 3, 1896, the Congregation voted to take up the collections in the following order:
Foreign Missions October and November
Education Society December and January
State Convention February and March
Home Missions April and May
Publication Society June and July
Minutes and Ministers Home         August and September

The Church has been a member of the area Association of Baptist Churches since they were established. At first it was the Sullivan Association, then the Onondaga Association. It was the duty of the Clerk to write reports each year describing the state of the Church and to submit statistical information. The Secretary of the Association condensed the letters to a short
 
paragraph and this in addition to the statistics were printed in the annual report. Although the minutes often recorded appropriating a dollar of two for a copy of the proceedings, only a few were kept. No copies of the original letters were saved, but in 1897 Clerk William H. Nightingale started the practice of copying the annual letter and vital statistics into the minutes of Church Meetings. This was continued until 1907 (and once more in 1917).

Mr. Nightingale as Church Clerk wrote for the 1897 Association Meeting: "Another year has rolled and we meet in annual convention to compare notes as to God's dealings with us and our dealings with God. We are very apt to be encouraged or depressed according as God has poured out blessings upon us and especially as we have seen addition to our Churches. If this is to be the standard, our hearts will be made sad; for we have received five by letter, none has been received into the Church by baptism. Special meetings were held during the early first part of the year and we were very agreeably assisted by Brethren Naylor and Richmond. The life of the Church was renewed and a number professed to have found Christ as their Savior, but not as yet willing to follow Him in His appointed way. We are not willing, however, to call the year one of entire failure. Our morning and evening Congregations have increased in number and our Prayer Meetings are alive and full of the spirit. We have completed our church parlor and now have pleasant and commodious quarters for our Primary Department and for Prayer Meeting."

Reverend James H. Benedict's stay was to be another of the short variety. On Sunday, September 5, 1897, a letter was read. Mr. Nightingale only reproduced part of the letter in the Church Minutes. He left out Reverend Benedict's reason for such an early departure. Fortunately the original letter was saved and is reproduced here in full:

September 1, 1897
To the Deacons, Trustees , and
Members of the Manlius Baptist Church.
Dear Brethren,
About three years ago I suffered a financial loss which took away every dollar of my savings and left me in debt nearly two thousand dollars. Since that time, I have been reducing that indebtedness all that I possibly could each month. I have accomplished something in this time, but not enough to suit part of my creditors, who are now crowding me and I feel it my duty to them, as well as to myself and family to try and speedily liquidate my debts.
I have under consideration a proposition from a responsible business concern whereby I can earn nearly double the amount this Church is able to pay me.
  I therefore, herewith, tender my resignation as your pastor, to take effect October 1, 1897, at the same time praying that God may wonderfully bless you as a Church and as individuals.
As ever your affectionate pastor.
J. H. Benedict
 
At the meeting it was moved and carried that the Church lay the matter on the table for one week. On Sunday September 12, 1897, the letter at hand, (the Congregation) moved and carried that H. E. Ransier be Chairman of the Meeting. A motion was made and carried to accept the resignation of our Pastor (J. H. Benedict) to take effect on October 1, 1897. It was moved and carried that a Committee of three act as Pulpit Committee. The members were William Nightingale, Chairman, Mrs. Jennie Curtis and Guilburt Tripp. This is the first time a woman was chosen to be a member of the Pulpit Committee. (William Nightingale was now Church Clerk, Chairman of the Pulpit Committee, Secretary of the Board of Trustees, and about to become Superintendent of the Sunday School. He also taught a Sunday School class and sang basso in the Church Choir.)

The Church, now without a pastor, met for its Annual Meeting on December 9, 1897, but only temporarily. Someone had forgotten that the call for the Annual Meeting had to be read from the Pulpit for three consecutive Sundays prior to the meeting. It was therefore moved, seconded, and carried that "inasmuch as the call had only been read twice, we adjourn for one week that the call might be read again." The Church met on December 16, 1897, elected officers and there being no further business, the meeting adjourned. There was no recorded mention of the historical significance of the time and no recorded 100th anniversary celebration. There was to be no celebration until 35 years later when the 135th anniversary was modestly commemorated. This is surprising because the Church and its organizations in these years often made up reasons to have a dinner or picnic or party or "social". Indeed the Presbyterians, the Methodists, the Episcopalians, and our friends in the Fayetteville Baptist Church celebrated their 100 years with homecoming, speeches, dinners and impressive articles in the newspapers. The Fayetteville Baptists celebrated their 100th anniversary in style with a special commemorative book complete with pictures of former pastors and prominent members, a history of the first hundred years and a copy of the celebration day program with excerpts of speeches. Rev. E. M. Barber gave one on the development of the Sunday School.

1898-1956

1898-1902 (Earnest F. Ford)

The Pulpit Committee chosen on September 12, 1897, (William Nightingale, Chairman, Mrs. Jennie Curtis and Guilbert Tripp) led the search for a new Pastor. They turned again to the Hamilton Theological Seminary for a candidate. In the fall of 1897
Ernest E. Ford, a Seminary student, may have filled the pulpit on a part time basis or at least preached a sermon or two as a candidate. On Sunday, January 9, 1898, during a business meeting after the Church Service, the Congregation voted to extend him a call to serve as Pastor. Reverend Ford accepted the call. Reverend Ford lived in Hamilton, while he was completing his Seminary studies, and he commuted to Manlius to accomplish his pastoral work here on the weekends. According to the 1915 Church history written by Yettie Harris, Reverend Ford moved his family to Manlius and into the new parsonage (which would not have been ready until the late summer or fall of 1900.) On Sunday, March 6, 1898, Reverend and Mrs. Ford were accepted as members from the First Baptist Church of Kalamazoo, Michigan.

In our letter to the Onondaga Baptist Association Meeting of September, 1898, the Clerk William Nightingale lamented the loss of our Shepherd, James H. Benedict, but now know our prayers have been answered for we have a faithful, earnest, and loving Pastor (Ernest Ford) and wife to lead us on to greater victories.

Reverend Ford was the pastor mentioned by Mary Avery Woodworth when she had the old parsonage prophesy, "with a Pastor filled with the spirit, consecrated to his work, able to Ford you over all of the difficulties of your Church life and a boy preacher, your success will be assured."

In 1898 one of Reverend Ford's earliest duties was to conduct a Baptism for nine candidates on Sunday, May 8. Although cool May weather had not deterred previous ministers and candidates from a trip to Limestone Creek, the Deacons and Reverend Ford decided to use instead the inside baptistry of the Fayetteville Baptist Church. The Manlius delegation must have been impressed for within the year the Manlius Baptists built their own inside baptistry.

(Ernest E. Ford was born in Newark Valley, New York, on August 27, 1865. At the age of 28 he entered Kalamazoo College in Michigan (1893-1897). He graduated with a Ph.B. (Bachelor of Philosophy) in 1897. He was associated with the First Baptist Church of Kalamazoo at least part of this time as he was ordained by that Church in July 1897. Graduation and ordination have frequently been followed by marriage for several of our young Pastors, and with Ernest E. Ford there was no exception. He married Kathryn Bissell in 1897. Although already an ordained minister, he entered the Hamilton Theological Seminary in the fall of 1897, and from there became associated with the Manlius Baptist Church. He graduated from the seminary in the early summer of 1900. In the same year a son was born, Robert M. Ford.)

The Trustees met on August 15, 1898, and discussed the possibility of installing electricity in the church. Frank Barton, Herbert Ransier, and William Nightingale were chosen a Committee to get the lowest figures from Mr. Phillips for its installation. (The church was electrified in 1903.) At the same meeting the Trustees voted to recommend to the Church the building of a new parsonage.

While the Church was busy planning and building, many other important things were happening. On November 25, 1898, Reverend Ford and an Advisory Committee (Sisters Allen and Harris, Brothers Perkins and Nightingale) put into place a plan to divide the village into five areas each to be headed by an appointed brother and two sisters (plus the outlying areas of Eagle Village, Watervale and Oran.) Presumably the appointees were to watch over the Baptists in their assigned areas. This was the first of several plans that have been instituted during the second hundred years of the Church.

The phonograph, invented in 1877 by Thomas Edison and still a curiosity to most people, was exhibited by Reverend Ford at the church on 4 P.M. Saturday, April 7, 1899. A ten cent tea was served at the close of the entertainment.

After much study the Trustees made their recommendation to the Congregation on August 22, 1899 to build a new parsonage. The Church voted to use money in the bank and the "Bond" to partially finance the project and to raise the balance by subscription. The Trustee Board was named the Building Committee and was given "full power" to build a parsonage, the cost not to exceed $1500.00. Light refreshments were served after the business had been transacted.

In September of 1899, Reverend and Mrs. Ford and son returned to his school duties at Hamilton. They commuted to Manlius on the weekends.

On October 6, 1899, the Trustees nominated Frank Barton a Committee of one to sell the old parsonage and barn. W. W. Cheney bought the buildings for the lumber, which he intended to use for repairs on his farm in Oran. There is a photograph of the partly demolished building in the Onondaga Historical Society file on Manlius Baptist Church.

While busy with the work of planning for and supervising the building of a parsonage, the men continued their tradition and prepared a fourth annual Men's Supper to be served to the public at the local Opera house on November 19, 1899. It was pronounced a decided success, both socially and financially. The net proceeds were approximately $150.00.

Reverend Ford apparently was favored with a good singing voice (tenor). During the late 1890s the second Sunday of each month was devoted to a special music program instead of the usual preaching service. Among the choir members (eight) were Yettie Harris and her sister Mrs. F. H. Broadfield (sopranos), Reverend E. E. Ford and Mr. F. H. Broadfield (tenors) and William Nightingale (basso). They performed on December 5, 1899 and on many other occasions.

The Spanish American War, fought in 1898, was still in the minds of the American people (we were still trying to pacify the Philippines) and on December 17, 1898, the Evening Service was devoted to a talk by Reverend Mr. Hyde on YMCA missionary work during the war in Puerto Rico.

A new century began on January 1, 1900, but there was no information given that the Church recognized this event or celebrated it in any manner. In January of 1900 the Church voted to pay Reverend Ford $10.00 per week until July 1, and at that time to increase the amount to $12.00 per week or $624.00 per year, and provide a parsonage or equivalent. (Elder Morton was getting $550 a year and a parsonage in 1838.) The extra money apparently coincided with Reverend Ford's start as a full-time pastor in Manlius. In the letter to the Association Meeting in Baldwinsville on September 27-28, 1900, the Clerk, William Nightingale reported that "the Pastor has completed his studies and will henceforth devote his entire time to building the kingdom in our midst."

On January 18, 1900, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, William Nightingale, was authorized to use his judgment in purchasing a book of plans for the new parsonage to be submitted to the next meeting of the Board of Trustees.

Early in 1900 Pastor Ford sent out a letter inviting Fellow Christians to the Fourth Annual Roll- Call of the Manlius Baptist Church to be held Friday, March 2, 1900, and Sunday, March 4, 1900. Reverend Barber was called back to participate. With a "Roll-Call" the Church hoped to bring in most of the members of the Church to answer the "Call", and renew their acceptance of the Church Covenant.

The Trustees were concerned about paying for the new parsonage, and at their meeting on May 16, 1900, decided to sponsor a Strawberry and Ice Cream Festival for the Church and community. The Trustees did not report on the amount of the proceeds but we can be assured that a good time was had by all who participated.

The Trustee's Building Committee was working diligently and on July 2, 1900, its report was presented to the Church. Then the Trustees resigned as the Building Committee and a new Committee consisting of H. E. Ransier, Chairman, Frank Pervis and F.A. Barton was chosen. They were commissioned to draft plans, seek estimates, and report to the Church within two weeks. On July 24, 1900, plans for the parsonage were submitted. Two bids of $1700.00 and $1750.00 were received. We do not know which bid was accepted, but on July 31, 1900, the Trustees were authorized to borrow $500.00 so that the Building Committee could contract a party to build the parsonage.

Our letter to the Onondaga Baptist Association Meeting of September 28-29, 1900, stated that "the Pastor (Ford) having finished his studies is constantly with us." In another version, "The Pastor has completed his studies and will henceforth devote his time to building the kingdom in our midst." The Clerk did not report on the exact time that the Parsonage was ready, or if there was some kind of dedication or open house but it appears that the Fords moved in sometime in the fall of 1900.

On April 25, 1901, the Church elected two new Deacons to replace Deacons Perkins and Dunham, who recently died. The new Deacons were Frank Barton and William Nightingale.

On May 8, 1901, The Trustees voted for a second mortgage on the property to be assigned to the Trustees of the Horatio Chapman estate to secure said Trustees' loan for the $500.00 advanced by the estate to help pay for the parsonage. The mortgage was due in ten years.

On October 10, 1901, Mr. William Nightingale resigned his office of Clerk. Mrs. Yettie Harris was appointed to take his place. On December 9, 1901, the Trustees resolved to ask the Supreme Court to allow them to mortgage the parsonage property to H. E. Ransier, Treasurer, to secure a loan of $500.00 to aid in paying for the new parsonage.

In December of 1901 the envelope system was introduced for collecting money and the Church voted its adoption. No samples of envelopes have survived but they were likely much like the present day variety with numbers to identify the giver and spaces to record the amounts given for the different needs of the Church.

On December 8, 1901, after the morning sermon, the Clerk, Mrs. Yettie Harris, was called to read to the stunned Congregation a communication from Reverend Ford announcing his resignation:

To the Manlius Baptist Church and Society.
My dear people.

Four years ago you called me, under the direction of God, to become your Pastor. I feel that my coming to you was not your doings or mine, but His alone. He has blessed our union in the saving of souls and I trust in the strengthening of some Christian lives. The years have been freighted with many blessings to me. They have been the happiest, brightest best years of my life thus far. Twice I have had the opportunity to go elsewhere to larger fields, each time I refused because I did not hear the voice of God. This call comes as did the other two, without the slightest effort on my part. I have never wished to go from you. I do not now. My own heart says stay, but if my Master calls, I must obey. I therefore with heavy heart, resign my honored place as pastor of this Church, asking that I be released at the close of this year. I pray that our Father may send you an undershepherd who shall lead you wisely and be more worthy in every way to be Pastor of so loyal a people. Rejoicing that I have for four years been and am now your Pastor.

E.E.Ford

On December 15, 1901, after the morning sermon the Pulpit Committee made a report to the Congregation.

Last Sunday (December 8, 1901) immediately after learning of Brother Ford's resignation as Pastor, this Pulpit Committee held a meeting to discuss the matter and decide upon plans. A Conference was arranged to be held after the evening service at which Brother Ford and all the Committee were present. We regret to report that after conferring at some length that we saw no way of retaining him as Pastor, for he was called by a large (335 members) and wealthy Church, which is able to offer inducements quite beyond the ability of our own Church. Therefore, we are committed to recommend to the Church and Society that his recommendation be accepted.

W.H. Nightingale
H.E. Ransier
G.H. Tripp

The report was read and accepted. Mrs. Harris, Mrs. Moore and Mr. George Butts were appointed a committee to draw up a suitable resolution. The resolutions were read and adopted at a Church Meeting on December 22, 1901:

Manlius would only be the beginning of Rev. Ford's ministry. From 1901-1906, he served in Interlaken, New York, and then started work around the country. His responsibilities included: Associate Pastor, San Diego, California (1906-7) Pastor, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (1907-9) State Secretary of BYPU, Oklahoma (1909-11) (Baptist Young Peoples Union) Pastor, Escondido, California (1912-15) Pastor, Los Angeles, California (1916-19) Pastor- First Baptist, Glendale, California (1919-27) Associate Secretary, Los Angeles Baptist and City Missionary Society (1927-29) Pastor, Chevy Chase Baptist Church, Glendale, California (1929-36) On February 13, 1933, Reverend Ford received the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity from his Alma Mater, Kalamazoo College, during its Centennial Celebration. He died in Glendale, California, February 3, 1938, at age 72. (It is noted in his seminary alumni record that he had been a member of the Glendale California Rotary Club and Chevy Chase Golf Club.)

It has seemed best to our Pastor, the Rev. E.E. Ford, to sever the pleasant relations existing for four years between himself and the Church. Therefore, be it so.

Resolved: That his going from us is not of our doing nor according to our desires and not without sorrow do we contemplate the parting of Pastor from people,

Resolved: That we bear joyful testimony to his ability in this pulpit as an eloquent and gifted preacher of the Word; that we are witnesses to his zeal in all good works; to his fearless words denouncing all manner of evil among us; and that we recognize the uniform love and respect he has won among us and in the community as a minister of Christ.

Resolved: That a copy of these resolutions be presented our Pastor and also spread upon the Church records.

Reverend Ford led his last Covenant Meeting on January 2, 1902, and talked on a timely subject, "Go Forward." There were 35 members present. After prayer and testimony Mr. Barton was called to the chair. Reverend Ford asked for letters for Mrs. Ford and himself to unite with the Baptist Church of Farmer, NY. The letters were granted and it was voted that the Deacons have charge of the Prayer Meetings until this Church secure a Pastor.

The September letter to the Onondaga Baptist Association reported that we bade farewell to our Pastor Rev. E. E. Ford with heavy hearts. Concerning the parsonage "it had been painted, the grounds graded and a fine lawn adds beauty to the place."

 

1902-1906 (Charles Jewell Burton)

The search that brought Reverend Burton to our pulpit in the spring of 1902 began on December 15, 1901, when a Pulpit Committee (W. N. Nightingale, H. E. Ransier, and G. H, Tripp) was nominated and undertook an extraordinary effort to find a suitable Pastor for the Manlius Baptist Church. It was a far cry from a few years earlier, when the Clerk was lamenting a shortage of eligible Pastors (and the money to pay for one.) The exact order of events in securing a Pastor was confused because of conflicting reports. The Pulpit Committee found eight candidates and by March 16, 1902, all had been heard. The Congregation voted that they had heard enough candidates. The Pulpit Committee recommended Reverends Usher, Bailey and Burton as the best of the lot. The congregation asked to hear Elder C. J. Burton again, and as a result, on March 23, 1902, in a business meeting after the evening service , voted 39 yes, 3 no and one "spoiled" to call Reverend Burton. The call was made unanimous. On March 25, 1902, the Trustees voted to pay Reverend Burton $520.00 a year and an unspecified yearly donation. The Trustees also endorsed the call of the Church to Reverend Burton.

On April 17, 1902, Prayer Meeting Night, Reverend Burton was received by letter from the Baptist Church (Oxford and Greene), Brisben, New York. Mrs. Burton was received by letter from a Church in Gilbert's Mills on April 6, 1904. In her August 21, 1902, letter to the September 1902 meeting of the Onondaga Baptist Association, Yettie Harris, Clerk, reported "after three months candidating our present Pastor, Rev. Charles J. Burton, was sent us and he is already proving himself a wise leader, winning the respect of the community and the love of the Church. We are united in all good works and full of courage for the future." She also noted that "our new parsonage had been painted, the grounds graded and a fine lawn added...Thus in things spiritual and temporal the Lord has been with us."

At a Trustee meeting called for December 10, 1902, the chair of the Finance Committee was asked to investigate the probability of getting ladies to act on the Finance Committee. On January 6, 1903, Mrs. Jennie Curtis was appointed the new chair of the Finance Committee and was given the power to appoint her assistants. We do not know who she chose for the 1903 or 1904 committees (she was the chairman for both) but the 1905 members were Miss Louise Davis (of the Davis Baking Powder Family), Mrs. G. H. Tripp, Mrs. Kate Ransier, Mrs. Allen Patrick with Mr. William Nightingale, Chairman. (For 1906 the committee consisted of five men; the experiment was over for a time.) On February 20, 1903, a donation of $80.00 was given to Pastor Burton as promised, and, in 1904, $100.00, and in 1905, $57.00.

Yettie Harris, Clerk, in her July 30, 1903, letter to the Onondaga Association Meeting of September 1903, reported, "Our pastor has been actively at work. In addition to the regular work of the Church, he has often preached Sunday afternoons at Eagle Village, two miles out." She also reported that the Church was delighted with its electricity.

An important event occurred in 1903 with the publication of our first known newsletter, The Church Reporter, Volume 00, No. 0, November l, 1903, cost 10 cents. The editor was H. E. Ransier, Church Treasurer, whose main purpose was to bring the congregation's attention to the state of the Church finances for the first nine months of the year. He made some interesting comments about the many repairs and improvements made or in progress in the Church. He inquired, "How do you like the new electric lighting of the Church?" and answered his own question by writing that "our visitors say it is as near perfection as they have seen." He reported that redecoration of the Church caused a cancellation of services on October 25, 1903, and a relocation on November 1, 1903, when services were held in Smith Hall next door. Seventy five attended Church services and Sunday School. The prayer room was being papered and new curtains hung. "It presents a very pretty appearance." "A piece of carpet from the main room will be laid soon." Mr. Ransier also mentioned that the stove may be placed in a pit under the floor. The room would be "cleaner, more roomy, and more comfortable for the leaders and those in the `amen' corner."

Mr. Ransier told of how the canvas for Electric Lighting raised the whole amount needed. "Then the ladies thought that a new carpet was needed so they proceeded to see what could be done to secure one." "When the people had been seen, they had the whole amount necessary in cash. Others said that with the new lights and carpets, the old paper would look out of place, so they began soliciting funds with decided success. So that the work has been started and will be finished soon, possibly this week."

Cost of light $113.29
Cost of paper $80.57
Cost of carpet $131.00

The Church got a rebate for paying cash for the carpet; all improvements paid for. Mr. Ransier concluded with the plea, "Is it not within our ability and reasonable that a hearty effort be made to close this year (with) a clean record and a Jubilee? Unfortunately for us, this was Mr. Ransier's first and last known attempt at a newsletter.

It was "within the Church's ability" and a "hearty (and a successful effort) was made" and on February 1904 the Finance Committee chaired by Mrs. Jennie Curtis was appointed to arrange for a Jubilee Social. This was to celebrate what Yettie Harris called in her 1904 letter to the Association "a unique experience- every obligation (except for the parsonage mortgage) met, and a balance in the Treasury. A Jubilee was held and `not a few brethren from other places rejoiced with us.'"

1903 also saw the start of a new women's organization or club, comprised of the members of a ladies' Sunday School Class. The object was to promote the growth of the class, raise funds for the support of any or all projects of the Church now existing or to be undertaken, and to have a social time together at meetings, at homes, during the week with devotions, business, games, skits, music (and always delicious refreshments). The group kept a record of these activities up to June 10, 1906, skipped a page in its journal, and began the record again nineteen years later. The ladies voted to call themselves the Trojans, meaning workers. The motto selected was "My Father worketh hitherto and I work." The group organized by selecting officers and appointing committees (visiting, social and press, the latter look after the newspaper notices of the club). The group voted to retain 1/3 of the Sunday School offering collected from the class on Sunday to enhance its treasury.

Charles Jewell Burton was born in Westville, N. Y. on June 21, 1869. He entered the Hamilton Seminary as a special student in 1896 and graduated in 1901. His first pastorate was in Brisben, New York (1900-1902), where he was ordained on June 27, 1901, shortly after graduation. Charles Burton was married. His wife's name was Lydia Hollenbeck Burton.

In the August 15, 1905, letter to the Onondaga Baptist Association, Yettie Harris, Clerk, reported on a February, 1905, two week evangelical meeting conducted by Reverend Burton assisted by neighboring pastors with results so encouraging that the three churches (Presbyterian, Methodist & Baptist) held more union meetings conducted by the Evangelist Rev. W.L. Markland of Chicago. "Also at about this time, a number of Italians of the Waldenesian faith came from Sicily, one of whom preached to his countrymen in the Baptist Church, Sunday afternoons. Another, a young man (Francesio DeBartolo) was baptized by Pastor Burton and was to go to Colgate in the fall to prepare himself for work among his people either in this country or across the sea." In this letter of August 15, 1905, Yettie Harris praised the Pastor and his wife as "zealous workers much loved."

The Waldenses were a Christian religious body that believed in following the example of Jesus in the simple lifestyle, but they were most famous for their efforts to oppose and purify the Roman Catholic Church. By the 1800s they were strongest in Italy.

The Protestant Churches of Manlius continued their cooperative efforts by scheduling at times joint Sunday Evening Services. In December 1905 the Baptists and Methodists planned to hold union services the last four nights of 1905 for prayer, confessions and consultation , concluding with a watch night service on December 31, 1905.

In the Spring of 1906 Yettie Harris told of the Chapman Meeting, another series of evangelical services held in the Church. Eight were baptized and two members joined as a result of the meetings.

In 1905 the Church was 108 years old and already owned old things. The Congregation voted to send a tankard and two cups of the old communion service to the Baptist Church in Crest Bend, Kansas. On April 23, 1905, Laura Harris, daughter of Yettie and the late Reverend Charles Harris, was baptized. Laura was ten years old.

In 1904 and 1905 the last recorded removal of members for misbehavior occurred with the expulsion of a woman "who was no longer worthy of her place among us" and a man " whose conduct and language were unbecoming a Christian." This was a great change from earlier times when it appears that a major portion of time and effort of the Church was to make sure all of its members toed the straight and narrow line in all of their endeavors and much of their meeting time was devoted to that purpose.

The pastorate of Reverend Burton with the Baptists in Manlius, New York, was coming to an end. Rev. Burton's resignation was tendered to the Board of Trustees and read at the close of the Sunday Evening service April 15, 1906. At the Board of Trustees meeting on April 17, the presiding officer of the Board asked what should be done with or about the resignation of Rev. C. J. Burton. After due consideration it was voted that "in view of the fact that in all appearances a much broader field appears open and in need of his work, that the Trustees recommend to the Church and Congregation that his resignation be accepted- the same to take effect with the close of the service May 6, 1906."

On April 22, 1906, as recommended by the Board of Trustees, Rev. Burton's resignation was accepted by the Congregation. Yettie Harris wrote that Rev. Burton was "leaving for a larger field of usefulness." On May 3, 1906, letters were granted to Rev. and Mrs. C .J. Burton to unite with the Baptist Church in Catskill, New York. His resignation from his duties in Manlius took effect at the close of the service on the first Sunday in May, 1906.

Reverend Burton went from Manlius to the Catskill, New York, Baptist Church. From Catskill Reverend Burton was called to the Stroughton Street Church in Boston Massachusetts (1913-1918/19). During his pastorate in Boston, Mrs. Burton died on July 11, 1913. Reverend Burton was married to Ethel Sandell in 1915. There were two children from his second marriage, Charles J. Burton, Jr. (also to become a Hamilton Seminary Graduate) and Malcolm S. Reverend Burton's last charge was the South Street Church in Worcester, Massachusetts (1919-1937). He died there on January 5, 1937 at the age of 67.

1906-1907 (Reverend R. Jay Roberts)

Reverend R. Jay Roberts is another one of our pastors we know little about. He came from the Buffalo area. He was pastor of the Candersport Baptist Church in Pennsylvania before he came to Manlius. We have no information concerning his birthplace or birth date, where he went to school or whether he was ordained, or if he had a career in preaching after he left Manlius.

The Clerk, Mrs. Yettie Harris, wrote in the September, 1906, letter to the Onondaga Baptist Association that "the Church listened to candidates and supplies for two months and then extended a unanimous call to Reverend R. Jay Roberts of Buffalo, which he accepted. His pastorate began on the first Sunday of August, 1906. It was hoped that much good may result from this union of pastor and people." On August 30, 1906, Reverend and Mrs. Roberts were received as members on their letters from the First Baptist Church of Candersport. In the fall letter to the Association, Mrs. Harris noted that the parsonage debt had been paid.

One of Reverend Roberts' earliest efforts was to organize the Church. The minutes of the October 4, 1906, Business Meeting indicated that he appointed various Committees for Church work. The Clerk left a blank space, however, and we will never know his plan for organization or who was appointed to carry it out.

Reverend Roberts' talents as a dynamic speaker were appreciated. On November 1, 1906, a motion was made and carried to hold a series of evangelistic meetings. Reverend Roberts was to be the speaker, assisted by some other pastors from local Churches or the Association and by a singer. The time was to be determined by Pastor Roberts. The Church also signified its willingness to allow Pastor Roberts to assist some other Church in such meetings should the occasion arise. The possibility of holding Cottage Meetings was discussed. There was no further report on any of these activities.

The boys and girls of the Church were meeting together in the popular and worldwide Christian Endeavour movement. The need for a special group for girls only must have become evident. In 1906 a Farther Lights Society was organized and a "good interest was manifested. The Misses Ella Chapman and Florence Carr have given the girls interesting and helpful evenings." The Society took as its motto, "The light that shines brightest shines farthest from home." Like Christian Endeavour and the Philathea-Baraca Sunday School Program, the Farther Lights was nation-wide and interdenominational. A program originally for girls, it developed later into a Missionary Society for business women of all ages.

It was still not thought proper for anyone to leave the Baptist Church for any otherdenomination. In August 1907 two of our members wished to join the Presbyterian Church in Manlius. Although the two Churches cooperated in matters of use of the Sanctuary and in joint services, the two ladies were told that it is contrary to Baptist Church usage to grant letters to other denominations. They would have to join the Presbyterian Church; then the Baptists would remove their names from the roll.

In 1907 the Church recognized the need for a Music Committee, but instead of choosing musicians, it turned to the Board of Trustees. This was probably because the Church was in the process of financing and purchasing a pipe organ. There was no record of a discussion concerning choosing the organ or paying for the organ, nor was there a record of a vote for an organ. Nevertheless, an Esty Pipe Organ was installed in 1907. Mary Avery Woodworth was instrumental in the purchase of and payment for the organ. Mrs. Yettie Harris, organist as well as Clerk, wrote that "she made the new pipe organ possible with her liberal gifts. They were an incentive and an assurance of the future. The organ is a constant reminder of the loyalty of some gone before, as well as those who remain." In addition to Mary Avery Woodworth's contribution, the organ was financed by selling "shares" to other members of the congregation. The shares sold for $5.00 (or multiples of $5.00) for which the giver received a "stock" certificate. By December 7, 1908, the Church still owed $653.00 on the organ. (One of the certificates survived and is reproduced in this section of history.)

Pastor Roberts' preaching continued to please the Congregation. In her September 1907 letter to the Onondaga Baptist Association, Mrs. Yettie Harris wrote that "the preaching of our pastor is a spiritual force not lightly esteemed. He preaches at Eagle Village and held special meetings there in the spring when several professed conversions." Mrs. Roberts was Superintendent of the Primary Department of the Sunday School and "both pastor and wife are earnest workers among the young people of whom we have a goodly number." Mrs. Harris added a melancholy note to her letter. "It is something to have held our own in these days when the Churches in small country towns are continually giving of their best to enrich the Churches in the cities." She was referring to the migration to Syracuse from the villages and Country surrounding the city. In E. A. Hill's Centennial History of the Onondaga Baptist Association- 1825-1925 he noted that from 1825 to 1875 the work of the Association was principally in rural districts and outlying villages. After 1875, however, as Mrs. Harris lamented, the great movement was cityward, which made it difficult for many of the smaller country Churches to continue.

Pastor R. Jay Roberts resigned suddenly at a meeting on October 6, 1907. The Church Clerk read the resignation letter. We do not have a copy. The Clerk did mention that it was impossible for a Pastor and his family to live on the salary this Church can pay. There was no record of the Church attempting to help Pastor Roberts with his financial problem. Reverend Roberts' pastorate ended Sunday, October 28, 1907. The Roberts' letters were transferred to Buffalo (no Church mentioned) on October 23, 1908. The Church has no information of the further life of Pastor Roberts.

There is no doubt that many of the men and women of our early Church were outstanding members of the Congregation and Community and would have been appropriate subjects for a written appreciation of their lives. Unfortunately, information for such tributes is not generally available in our Church records or elsewhere. From the late 1800s to the present, however, this situation has improved markedly, for we have much better Church records and more sources of information. Therefore, as the history of the last 100 years unfolds, we will take time to pay tribute to some of those outstanding members who made our Church a 200 year survivor, rather than one of the many Churches that gave up and closed their doors to the future.

Mary Avery Woodworth was one of those members who made her presence a special one. She died on August 17, 1907, at the age of 65. Mary Avery was married to Alvah Woodworth by Rev. Charles Harris on January 2, 1878. She wrote the history of the Parsonage and the tribute to Mrs. Ella Barber (and perhaps many other things for which we do not have copies). Yettie Harris, Church Clerk, wrote that "she was identified with every good work for many years. She was the first president of the Associational Women's Missionary Society and always tried to arouse among us a deeper missionary interest." She attended many meetings of the Onondaga Baptist Association as a delegate and was very active in the Ladies Aid Society, The Trojans Sunday School Class, The Women's Foreign Missionary Society, and served on several important Church Committees. Her last interest was in the purchase of a new organ as reported earlier. Unfortunately, she may not have lived to see or hear the new organ played in the Church.

1907-1909 (Reverend Elbert Henry Conrad)

After Reverend R. Jay Robert's rapid departure on October 28, 1907, the Church Services for three Sundays were conducted by candidates or supplies, one of whom, Reverend Elbert Henry Conrad, seemed interested in serving in either capacity. Reverend Conrad turned to farming in Bridgeport for a short time after concluding his Pastorate at the Immanuel Baptist Church in Syracuse. After three Sundays the Church voted 28 yes, 2 no, to call Reverend Conrad to come on trial as a supply pastor for two months beginning November 24, 1907. We do not know how well Reverend Conrad did as a farmer. Serving as a supply, especially during the winter months, could have been helpful for him as well as the Church. If perhaps a season of farming made the ministry more desirable, then serving full-time as preacher for the Manlius Church could have been an attractive choice.

The Church was experiencing its usual financial problems in the fall of 1907 and the Trustees calculated that $204.23 would be required to pay all outstanding bills by January 1, 1908. The Trustees voted to sponsor an oyster supper in Smith Hall to help defray the deficit. F. B. Perry was appointed Chairman of the Supper Committee and the Ladies Aid, the Junior and Senior Christian Endeavors and all the Societies of the Church were asked to unite to make the supper a success in every way. Public suppers were held frequently as a relatively painless way of raising money for the Church. The Congregation and the village enjoyed the fellowship and the profits were helpful in paying Church bills.

The Annual Meeting of the Church was held on December 8, 1907. The Trustees were called to a special meeting on December 18, 1907. In those days the State Law required a Trustee's Meeting to be held within ten days after the election of a new Trustee.

On January 2, 1908, before a public decision had been reached on his future status as Pastor of the Manlius Baptist Church, Reverend Elbert Henry Conrad, wife Carlotta, and children, Paul and Carlotta, transferred their letters from the Immanuel Baptist Church to the Manlius Baptist Church.

On January 19, 1908, the Church and Pastor reached an understanding and Reverend Conrad was unanimously called to the Pastorate of the Church for an indefinite time with three months notice of change to be given by either the Pastor or the Church. Reverend Conrad left his farm and moved his family into the parsonage on April 1, 1908, and from then on gave the Church his full time (but not for long).

Isaac Newton Loomis, Jr. (his name was always written I. N. Loomis, Jr.) died on January 30, 1908, and was another of the pillars of the Church whose presence was greatly missed.) Mr. Loomis was the brother of Mary Broadfield and of Yettie Harris.) According to the obituary in a local paper (the Church has the clipping in its historical files), "Manlius has lost another old landmark." (We would call have called him a pillar of the church, a pioneer, a senior statesman, or a wise leader and reserve old landmark for ancient buildings.) Mr. I. N. Loomis Jr. was born on June 3, 1818. He graduated from Madison University (now Colgate) in 1845 and taught in several schools in Tennessee and Pennsylvania. He joined the Manlius Baptist Church in 1836 and was a member for 72 years (most of the first 24 in absentia). After returning to Manlius to take care of his parents in 1860, he became a Deacon, Church Clerk for 20 years, Superintendent of the Sunday School for an equal time and a member of the choir.

In the spring of 1908 the Church decided to purchase some real estate. It was a lot with a house and large hitching barn located on Franklin Street, at the rear of the Church and behind the house on 105 North Street, former home of Lawyer and Manlius Historian Henry Van Schaack. No reason was given for the Church's purchase, but the availability of the large hitching barn on the premises for sheltering Baptist horses on Sunday may have been an important factor. The possibility of using land for further church expansion was not mentioned. The Church bought the property from Bert Van Brocklin, and it was known in our records as the Van Brocklin property.

Reverend Elbert Henry Conrad was born in Farmersville, Michigan, on December 19, 1861. He attended Kalamazoo College in the years 1883-85, 1886-88, 1891-92. He was ordained in Reading, Michigan, on October 11, 1888. He was listed as a graduate of the Hamilton Seminary in 1898. Before coming to Manlius he preached in several Baptist Churches, i.e.,Watervliet, NY ,1898-1900; Arcade, NY, 1900-1901; Newark, NY, 1901-1904; Syracuse, NY, (Immanuel Baptist) 1904-1907. He was a farmer in Bridgeport, NY, when he came to preach at the Manlius Baptist Church in the fall of 1907.

After the purchase, William Nightingale and E.H. Baldwin, agents for the Church and parties of the First Part, and M. E. Reed, prospective Janitor and party of the Second Part, drew up an agreement for its management. Mr. Reed was to be our Janitor for one year from April 1, 1908. His duties were janitorial work and keeping the lawn and driveway in good shape, and for this he would be paid $1.50/week if furnace fires were required and $1.00 if they were not. An additional task for Mr. Reed was to take charge of renting the hitching barn and for this he would receive 1/2 of all revenues. The Church would pay the cost of advertising the hitching accommodations and reserved the rights to the manure and took the responsibility for having it
drawn away as often as necessary. Church members attending Church were to have free hitching privileges. The venture was a short one for some unexplained reason (perhaps no one wanted to serve on the Manure Removal Committee). Burt Van Brocklin bought the house and barn back on December 4, 1909, and was to have possession of the premises after January 1, 1910. After the fact, the Church empowered the Trustees to dispose of the Van Brocklin property on January 17, 1910. The Church has in its files the original agreement between the Church and the custodian, and the account book in which the record of transactions concerning the house and barn were kept.

The trend in the late 1800s was to establish branches of nationwide (and sometimes worldwide) Sunday School and Youth organizations in local Protestant Churches, regardless of denominations. The Christian Endeavour and Farther Lights Society were examples already mentioned. It was during the pastorate of Reverend Conrad that the Church also started a Young Women's Philathea Sunday School Class which was organized by Mr. Conrad and "from which we hope much good will result." Philathea was the female counterpart of Baraca, an international Sunday School Class for men which originated in the First Baptist Church of Syracuse in 1890. It was reported that from that Class between 1890 and 1914, 500 men joined the First Baptist church of Syracuse.

The Philathea Class also originated in the First Baptist Church of Syracuse in 1893. By 1914 there were over 500,000 Philatheans registered nationally, in a union with the Baracas called the Worldwide Baraca and Philathea Union, Inc., with a total of over one million participants. The headquarters of the group was for a time in Syracuse, New York. Philathea meant "lovers of truth" and their motto was "we do things." (Baraca meant blessed.) Emphasis was on the Bible, having a strong organization, and "intense" class spirit, an enthusiastic social life and a deep spiritual work.

The Baraca men's group was started in our Church later. We know that the two groups met together monthly for social meetings (on two occasions the groups were photographed together.) One photograph was of 16 men and 24 women, a second of 23 men and 35 women. We do not know if the groups met together on Sunday morning. It was normal in most of the first half of the 20th century for men and women and boys and girls to meet in separate Sunday School Classes.

According to the Trustees' Meeting notes, it was generally understood that Reverend Conrad was to be paid $800.00 per year (approximately $15.00 per week) by January 1, 1909. However, on August 30, 1908, the Trustees reported being able to pay him only $9.50 per week, $2.50 short of the $12.00 he had usually been paid, and $5.50 less than promised. On November 2, 1908, the Trustees decided it was not possible to raise $800.00 yearly for a Pastor's salary, and a Committee was appointed to confer with Reverend Conrad. It appeared that Reverend Conrad was not willing to accept a lower salary and on January 1, 1909, resigned as Pastor (but consented to act as a supply until June 1, 1909.) On May 27, 1909, letters of dismission were granted for Reverend Conrad and his family, but not to any specific Church as is the usual procedure.

Early in the spring of 1909 the Church held another series of evangelistic meetings. This time Association Evangelist, Reverend H. Clay Poland, soon to be Pastor of the Fayetteville Baptist Church, led the meetings and they were "productive of good" to the Church.

During the winter of 1908-1909 heating the church had been a problem. Early in June 1909 the Trustees met to inspect the church property with reference to heating requirements. The Trustees decided to buy two furnaces for the church. Bids were invited and five were received. The Syracuse Heating Company was the low bidder at $172.09. The low bid was accepted and the furnaces installed for the winter of 1909-1910.

The Trustees apparently believed in putting things in writing and in late 1908 had 1000 pledge cards printed for less than 100 members. This was followed by the purchase of 500 letter heads and envelopes and 100 circular letters printed with the name of the Church. No samples of the Church stationery have survived.

After leaving Manlius, Reverend Conrad preached to a large number of churches, never staying very long at any one place. His first call was to preach for six months in the First Baptist Church of Binghamton, New York, during the absence of the regular pastor who was on a six month sabbatical. In South Edmeston and Utica he established new Baptist Churches.

Acting PastorBinghamton, NY1909-1910
Field SecretaryCook Academy Binghamton, NY1910-1913
PastorJamestown, NY1913-1914
PastorSusquehanna, Pa1915-1916
PastorBerwick, Pa.1916-1919
PastorFactoryville, Pa1919-1920
Acting PastorBinghamton, NY1921-1921
Pastor* South Edmeston, NY1922-1923
PastorMeridian, NY1923-1926
PastorThree Mile Bay, NY1926-1927
Pastor* East Utica Baptist
(later Albany St. Baptist Church)
1927-?
*Churches organized by Reverend Conrad Reverend Conrad died in 1942, a resident of Watertown, NY.

Reverend Conrad closed his pastorate in Manlius on Sunday, May 30, 1909. The Church made full use of this last Sunday with the ordinance of baptism administered in the inside Baptistry after the morning sermon, and again at 3:30 o'clock in the creek near the lower bridge. A short vesper service was held at the Church at 4:45 and the Right Hand of Fellowship was given to the new members. It was not mentioned if Reverend Conrad was also asked to preach at the Evening Service. Reverend Conrad temporarily moved his family from the parsonage into a home on Pleasant St. and they left there on November 16, 1909 for their new home in Binghamton.

Concerning the early loss of Reverend Conrad, the Clerk, Yettie Harris, states the year just past "1909" has been one of joys and sorrows. She laments "we desire a pastor, but it seem to be impossible for us to give a salary sufficiently large to secure one, although we have a good parsonage." She explains that "while in numbers we have grown, many are too young to contribute largely to the support of the Church (24 members are non-resident and 36 under 21 years of age, our of a total membership of 152). "However," she says, "we are not discouraged but are hoping that we may soon be led to a right decision as to the one who shall be in all things spiritual our leader." E. E. Clemons, local historian, commented that in his short stay Reverend Conrad made many friends and took an active part in the welfare of the community.

1909-1911 - (Daniel John Bloxham)

On June 15, 1909, the prospects of filling the Manlius Baptist Church pastorate and the parsonage promptly were apparently not hopeful, and the Church voted 22 yes, 1 no, to give the Trustees power to rent the parsonage for one year. On August 22, 1909, a special Church Meeting was called to give the Pulpit Committee directions for future conduct. Mr. H. E Ransier spoke favorably of the work of Reverend C. M. Tower. Reverend Tower was well known in the Syracuse area. He was a District Missionary of the Baptist Missionary Convention and had led two week long meetings with the Immanuel Baptist Church in 1891 and 1905. The Congregation voted to call Reverend Tower as a candidate. Reverend Tower preached to the Congregation and on September 12, 1909, a meeting was held to consider a call to Reverend Tower to serve as pastor of the Manlius Baptist Church. Reverend Tower, for reasons not explained, was emphatically rejected. The vote was 30 no, 1 yes, and 2 blank. The Congregation may have rejected Reverend Tower at least partially for economic reasons. Reverend Tower would have been a full time pastor in need of a house and the Trustees were concluding that the Church needed to collect house rent on the parsonage to make ends meet, and that meant engaging another part-time pastor from the Colgate Seminary.

On September 26, 1909, Mr. Daniel John Bloxham from the Colgate Seminary preached to the congregation. The Church promptly voted to engage Mr. Bloxham as a supply pastor during his studies at the Seminary or "until relations with him are severed." The informal vote (women voting?) was 38 yes, 1 no and 1 blank. The formal or legal vote was 25 yes, 2 blank and was declared to be a unanimous vote.

Daniel John Bloxham was born in Derby, New York on January 14, 1884. He received an AB degree from Colgate University in 1907, was secretary of an organized charities society in New Rochelle, NY from 1907 to 1908 and studied in the Colgate Seminary from 1908 to 1910. Mr. Bloxham did not graduate from the Seminary nor was he ever ordained. Mr. Bloxham was married and had two children.

Mr. Bloxham's salary was to be $12.00 per week and his "entertainment over Sunday," which meant lodging and meals for Mr. and Mrs. Bloxham, at a cost to him not to exceed $2.00 each weekend. His services were to continue during the remaining two years of his time in Colgate and perhaps after, but to be terminated by either the Church or himself if so desired with a notice of one month. He was to arrive each weekend in Manlius on Saturday night and leave Monday, giving two sermons and other work that is possible " consistent with his strength." Every fourth week he was to come on Friday to conduct the Friday Night Prayer Meeting and Covenant Meeting. The other Weekly Prayer Meetings were to be led by "our brother, Deacon E. H. Hilts." The Parsonage was rented out to help meet "the heavy indebtedness of last year."

It was the general policy of the Baptist Church that only ordained ministers were allowed to administer the Sacraments of the Lord's Supper and Baptism. Some of the old Baptist leaders may have turned over in their graves when on November 5, 1909, the Church authorized Mr. Bloxham to administer the Lord's Supper.

At the Annual Meeting on December 6, 1909, the Church voted to accept the offer of the American Baptist Publication Society to furnish envelopes for 1910 giving (with the understanding that the Church would make a canvas to secure pledges for weekly offerings for missions.) This became known as the Duplex Envelope System. No examples have survived. A later version was two-sided with one side for Benevolence giving and the other side for Church expenses. The offer of free envelopes has long since expired.

Before the invention of methods of reproducing printed material easily and inexpensively in the Church office, and even before we had a Church office, the Church relied on the local printing shop to make needed copies. The Church has an example of a printed bulletin used when Rev. D. J. Bloxham was pastor. It was a standardized version, i.e., the same one would be used every Sunday. There were no dates, hymn numbers, special notices, etc., but it gave the worshippers the order of service, the general times of Church activities and the names of the Church Officers. The Doxology and the hymn "Holy, Holy, Holy" were sung every Sunday. There were notices read, offerings taken, a selection by the choir, and a sermon. Today's worshippers would not be uncomfortable if the same order of service were used.

Church was at 10:30 A.M.; Sunday School was at 12:00; Junior Christian Endeavor was at 4:00, Senior Christian Endeavor at 6:00, followed by the Evening Service at 7:00. (The Church had long since given up its afternoon service.) Every Thursday the members met for a Prayer Meeting and on the last Friday of the month before the first Sunday of the next month the Covenant Meeting was held. Communion was held on the first Sunday of alternate months. On the back page there was a list of the officers of the Church. The duplex envelope system for providing for the general expenses of the Church and Mission Offerings was explained, and a cordial welcome was extended to all to attend and participate in the services. The Bulletin is reproduced in the Appendix.

The purchase of the VanBrocklin property in 1908 was soon regretted. Perhaps the revenues from renting the house and the hitching barn were not as large as hoped and certainly there were expenses involved in keeping up the property and paying the mortgage. As early as May 1909 the Trustees were looking for buyers. B. W. VanBrocklin was asked to buy back the property, but he was not interested. The most promising offer was from F. Vasto, who owned property to the east of the Church on Seneca Street (later considered as a site for the new Church.) For some reason B. W. VanBrocklin objected strenuously to F. Vasto's purchase of the property. The Trustees felt that it would not be advisable to sell the property over the objections of B. W. VanBrocklin, who then changed his mind and bought back the property himself for $2200.00 in February, 1910.

The Janitor, Mr. Reed, lost his Church job of renting the horse barn, but was offered the job of Church janitor for another year (1910) at the salary of $1.50 a week and the use of a vacuum cleaner. (If necessary the Trustees were willing to offer as much as $1.75 per week.) The Church rented the shed for stabling horses in the winter until July 1923 at which time Mr. VanBrocklin desired to use it for other purposes.

On February 25, 1910, the Church again found itself out of debt (that was once as high as $1300.00), and fittingly celebrated its freedom with another Jubilee in the presence of a large and enthusiastic gathering at the Church. Papers representing the various sums aggregating the entire amount were burned by William Nightingale in behalf of the Church and Society. There was an entertaining musical and literary program followed by dainty refreshments served by the Baptist Church women.

At a March 1, 1910, Trustee meeting the Board resolved that "we adopt as our corporate seal a circular emblem bearing the words Baptist Church and Society in Pompey and Manlius." If this seal had actually been produced, it would have been our second. Azariah Smith procured a seal and presented it to Trustees at a January 23, 1829, meeting. The fate of both of the seals is unknown.

On March 6, 1910, the Church, apparently impressed with Mr. Bloxham's spiritual leadership, went a step further and authorized him to administer Baptisms. (Even though Mr. Bloxham was allowed to do everything an ordained minister could do, Mrs. Harris, Church Clerk, always referred to him as "Mr." Bloxham.)

On April 29, 1910. Pastor and Mrs. D. J. Bloxham were received by letter from the Salem Baptist Church in New Rochelle, New York. Mrs. Yettie R. Harris and Miss Rachel A. Harris were appointed delegates to the Northern Baptist Convention in Chicago, Illinois, May 6-13, 1910.

The Protestant Churches of Manlius joined forces again for their annual summer picnic outing, this time at Long Branch on July 20, 1910. All attendance and financial receipt records were broken. "Four crowded cars (trolley) left Manlius at 8:30 A.M. returning at 4.5 and 7 P.M. with no mishap of any kind to ruin the day's pleasure. "

The Church was apparently thriving under Reverend Bloxham's leadership, even if he was only present during the school year on weekends. He appeared to be a "very popular and respected leader." During the summer months, because of the heat, the Sunday Evening Services were shortened to 45 minutes duration (instead of the usual 60 minutes.)

In late July and August Rev. Bloxham was seriously ill with blood poisoning and was being taken care of at the home of Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Nightingale on Pleasant St. He recovered, but within the month, the Congregation was told of the death of the Bloxham infant son. Whether it was because of these misfortunes or other reasons, Reverend Bloxham decided to discontinue his studies at Colgate for the 1910-1911 academic year.

Apparently, Reverend Bloxham gave the Church his full attention for 1910-1911. One of the highlights was a Sunday Evening Union Service at which Reverend Bloxham gave an illustrated address (stereopticon slides- a first) on the subject "The Doctor."

The Sunday School Orchestra (4 violins, 3 cornets, 1 organ) was being drilled by Mrs. B. W. VanBrocklin. The Christmas Tree and Concert on December 17, 1910, was largely attended with Santa Claus as the leading feature. A local pharmacist, Herbert Ransier, delivered an illustrated lecture on the Crow Indian Mission to the Junior Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor Society. William Nightingale (running unopposed) was voted a village Trustee on February 21, 1911.

In 1910 the Ladies Aid Society of the Manlius Baptist Church published a "Choice Collection" of recipes. In the preface the ladies wrote in part "we believe each recipe has been tried and found true. Hereunto do we put our names, and give to our friends. The books were sold to raise money for the Ladies Aid projects. The price was not mentioned. In the preface there was also printed a short poem (authorship not known) extolling the status of the cook:

We may live without poetry, music, or art;
We may live without conscience, we may live without heart;
We may live without friends, we may live without books;
But civilized man cannot live without cooks.

Among the contributors of the 560 recipes was Mrs. D.J. Bloxham, wife of the current Pastor. She specialized in Shepherd's Pie and Coffee Pudding. Other contributors were Mrs. Carlotta Conrad, wife of the pastor before Rev. Bloxham, Ella Barber, Yettie Harris, Rachel Harris, Mrs. I. N. Loomis, and Louise Davis. There were advertisements from local merchants as well as many from the city of Syracuse. The Church has two copies of the cookbook in its historical collection.

The Episcopal Church was being repaired and with the usual spirit of cooperation between Churches still intact, we extended an invitation to the Episcopalians to use our "house" during the month of August, 1910. On October 10, 1910, the Church, evidently pleased with the work of Mr. Bloxham, voted to increase his salary from $12.00 to $15.00 per week (plus rent). However, in order to be able to pay the extra money, a Committee of three was appointed to canvass members not now paying for the support of the Church to secure the extra money needed.

The purchase of new hymnbooks had been discussed earlier and set aside for lack of money, but at the October 10, 1910, meeting the Church resolved that a Committee of Rev. D. J. Bloxham, Mrs. Yettie Harris, F. B. Perry and H. E. Ransier be appointed to act in selecting and securing a supply of Church Hymnals.

The village fathers established a curfew and depended on using church bells to announce the time of withdrawal from the streets of the village. The ringing of the Baptist bell during the Sunday Evening Service annoyed the congregation. At the same October 10th meeting, the Church resolved that the Clerk of the session be appointed to wait on the Village President (now called Mayor) to determine if some other bell could be used for the curfew, or at least that the bell not be run during Sunday Evening Services.

The Trustees in their December 12, 1910, meeting notes published a budget for 1911:

1911 Budget
Pastor's Salary $810.00
Janitor $84
Lights (Kerosene) $30
Coal $75
Insurance $31.36
Water $5
Incidental $50
Total $1,085.36

"From a careful estimate," the Trustees thought it probable that the Church would be short $85.00 at the end of 1910, unless some new pledges were made. At their January 30, 1911, meeting the Trustees reported pledges totaling $1020.29.

The village was trying to uphold its Sunday Blue Laws (no fishing within village limits on Sunday, no movies, and no sale of meat on Sundays.) The sale of groceries was prohibited after 10:00 A.M. (however, soft drinks, fruits, confectioneries and cigars could be sold all day long.

In the May 19, 1911, Fayetteville Bulletin an announcement was made of a special series of evangelistic tent services to be held for a duration of six weeks in the village of Manlius by Evangelist Ernest Crabill, starting on June 4, 1911. The Manlius Baptist Church Clerk was worried that the Church would not yet have secured the services of a new minister who would help to bring in new converts. The Crabill services were to be held in a large tent in the Manlius Village that would hold 700 people. For the week before the services a series of cottage prayer meetings was arranged with the Protestant Churches of Manlius to prepare the people for the crusade. Unfortunately, the tent was blown down in a serious storm that swept the area on Sunday Evening, June 4, 1911. The tent was "whipped to pieces" by the strong winds and driving rain. Undaunted, and determined to carry on his services, the Evangelist Crabill and his singer Mr. Moser directed the construction of a wooden tabernacle with the aid of 12 volunteer carpenters (with wood borrowed from S. Cheney and Son and returned to them after the meetings) in two days. (The Church has a picture of the interior of the wooden tabernacle.) To add to their difficulties, Reverend and Mrs. Crabill were called away at the beginning of the services because of the illness of his mother in Ohio.

The Meetings opened on Sunday, June 4, 1911, and closed on Monday, July 17. (On July 19 eight men razed the tabernacle to the ground, removed the nails from the lumber, completing the task in five hours.) There were nightly meetings for special groups: the Sunday School, Shopman's Night, Physicians night, Businessmen's night, a men only night, a Fraternal Organization night, and special afternoon meetings for women. A total of 123 converts signed cards for application for admission as members among the different village churches during the campaign. Thirteen of the converts were baptized in the Baptist Church, five were received by experience, and others were expected.

Although the success of his career as a Pastor seemed assured, Reverend Bloxham was not certain of what he wanted for his future and resigned as pastor of the Manlius Baptist Church effective June 1, 1911. He gave his reason as ill health. (On the same evening 30 Manlius Odd Fellows attended the Evening Service and listened to a forceful sermon by the Pastor on the "Good Samaritan." Rev. Bloxham's father was a leading member of the State Grand Lodge.)

Early in June, 1911, Reverend and Mrs. Bloxham and daughter Evelyn left for Angola, New York, where they were to spend the summer. In the fall Reverend Bloxham enrolled in the Cornell University Graduate School and became Principal of the Ovid High School.

From there he went to work for the Traveler's Insurance Company. This career was interrupted for one year in 1918 when he served as Executive Secretary of the Army YMCA. On April 18, 1912, Mr. and Mrs. Bloxham were given letters of dismissal, but no specific church was mentioned by the clerk. Manlius friends who remembered the Bloxhams were saddened to hear of the death of their daughter Evelyn at the age of 24. The Bloxhams were then residing in Rochester, NY. (noted in the Eagle Bulletin of December 12, 1935.)

1911-1917 (Theodore) Byron Caldwell

Beginning July 23, 1911, Reverend Caldwell was acting pastor of the Manlius Baptist Church. One of his first duties was to help gather in those converted at the Crabill Evangelistic Meetings who were interested in joining the Baptist Church. He was preaching on Sundays, visiting among the Congregation and leading the Prayer Meetings. According to Yettie Harris, Clerk, "He has been of great assistance. We hope soon to settle a permanent pastor. We do not enjoy these short pastorates, but they seem forced upon us."

On October 19, 1911, a special business meeting was called after Prayer Meeting. G. H. Tripp, a member of the Pulpit Committee, stated that the object of the meeting was to consider calling a pastor. He stated that Reverend Caldwell, who had acted as supply since July, could be engaged as pastor for $15.00 a week and a parsonage. A motion was moved and carried that the Church take a vote to ascertain whether we engage Reverend Caldwell, providing we could raise the necessary finances. The vote was 33 positive, 2 blank. (This time there was no second legal or formal vote.) It was also moved and carried that the Church canvass the members to see if money could be raised. The canvassers were to report on Thursday evening so that Reverend Caldwell could receive his answer by the next Sunday. The canvass must have been successful since on October 26, 1911, a unanimous call was extended to Reverend Caldwell. On November 1, 1911 Reverend and Mrs Caldwell and their three sons Truman, Ellsworth and Ethan were received into Church membership by letter from the Tabernacle Church in Syracuse.

On November 12, 1911, Reverend Caldwell read the following at the morning service:

"I was duly advised of you action taken on Thursday, October 26, 1911, extending to me a hearty and unanimous invitation to become your pastor at a salary of $15.00 per week and parsonage. After much careful and prayerful consideration, I hereby announce by acceptance of your call, with the sincere desire and earnest prayer that this new relationship may be mutually helpful; and that, through the blessing of God and the hearty cooperation of the people, we may have large success in advancing our Master's Kingdom both at home and abroad. If it meets with your approval, I should like to have the beginning of my pastorate reckoned from Nov. 1, 1911, the increase in salary, however, not taking effect till the present time. Trusting that I shall at all times have your perfect confidence and that I shall be constantly sustained by your love, sympathy prayers and earnest endeavors, I am faithfully yours.

Manlius, Nov. 12, 1911 T. Byron Caldwell"

Reverend T. Byron Caldwell was born in Pitcairn, New York, (near Harrisville, NY) on June 1, 1855. A graduate of Colgate University (1884) and Hamilton Theological Seminary (1887), he came to Manlius at age 56 from the Tabernacle Baptist Church in Syracuse (1907-1911. He brought with him his wife, Nellie North Caldwell, and three sons, Ethan, Truman and Ellsworth.

On February 1, 1912, Mrs. T. Byron Caldwell and Mrs. John Chappell were chosen to represent the Church on the Onondaga County Orphan Asylum Board. This was a task for women of most County Churches at this time and the Asylum or Home as it was called later was a favorite charity of the Church and Church groups through the 1940s.

On February 8, 1912, at a regular meeting of the Church, it was unanimously voted to unite with the Methodist Church in Manlius in a series of evangelical meetings to be conducted by their District Evangelist, Reverend H. D. Sheldon, beginning about the middle of March and continuing for two weeks, provided that the terms of such union meetings be agreeable to both the Methodist and Baptist Churches. The meetings were held. Yettie Harris, Clerk, in her 1912 letter to the Onondaga Baptist Association, reported "some have been baptized and some are waiting."

On Sunday, February 12, 1912, the temperature was very cold in Manlius. When the good townspeople woke up they found they had no water because, they supposed, the pipes had frozen. Attendance at Church was remarkably small that morning as many Church goers remained home to thaw out their pipes. One good Church member worked several houses with a torch and nearly melted his pipes. Then he went for a plumber. When the plumber told him that the water had been shut off at the main the night before, the churchman said things about water pipes that would not look well in print or sound well in Church. (From The Fayetteville Examiner of 2/16/1912.)

The winter weather, while vexing some, pleased others. Mrs. F. H. Broadfield hosted a sleigh ride party for her Sunday School Class and their wives at the Broadfield Farm on Friday, February 15, 1912. They enjoyed an elaborate supper and music and games. The members of the Christian Endeavor also enjoyed a sleigh ride to the home of Mr. & Mrs. Bull in Eagle Village.

In April 1912 following the Crabill and Sheldon Evangelistic Campaign, Reverend and Mrs. John H. Earle came to hold services, alternating between the Baptist and Methodist Churches, for four weeks starting on April 13, 1912. Reverend Earle was said to be a plain, forceful speaker and his wife a well trained soprano whose voice was remarkably sweet and powerful. The meetings were held every night (but Monday) and on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday afternoons as well, alternating between the churches. Large choruses sang at each meeting which were said to have been attractive, effective and most stimulating. A goodly number of the unsaved were led to the public confession of faith in Christ. The Baptists did not report on membership gained during the campaign. The Fayetteville Recorder gave excellent publicity to both the Crabell and Earle Services.

The Congregation apparently felt that their eighty-four year old church needed to be redecorated and upgraded again. At a May 24, 1912, Trustee Meeting F. E. Perry was asked to get a paper ready to present to the Ladies Aid Society at their next meeting in regard to having a new carpet or a hardwood floor, new seats or repairs to the old ones, and whether or not the church interior should be repapered. The Ladies Aid was asked because they generally earned from their projects much of the money for church improvements. The Ladies, as would be expected, recommended an all-out effort in redecorating, i.e., install a new hardwood floor, buy new oak church seats, and repaper the whole interior.

On June 13, 1912, the Church Members gathered in Prayer Meeting and voted to give the Trustees authority to make the needed repairs. The Trustees then set up a Committee to get a list of prospects ready for a solicitation of funds on July 23, 1912. The members were William Nightingale, G. B. Perry and John Chappell. Another Committee was given the task of "looking up and finding costs of repairs." Duties were:

  • John Chappell - Lumber for hardwood floor
  • G. H. Tripp, H E. Ransier - Cost of new Seats
  • Miss Kate Ransier, Mrs Yettie Harris, Mrs. John Chappell - Decorating

On December 18, 1912, the Trustees voted that the Chairman of the Board of Trustees (William Nightingale) be instructed to borrow money not to exceed $600.00 to pay for the new seats, etc., for the church.

The church auditorium was closed for nearly four months. The location of Sunday Services during this time was not mentioned. Early in January 1913 the redecorating was completed and the Church planned five days of re-opening ceremonies to show off the new look to their members and friends and neighbors in Manlius. Starting on January 26, 1913, Sunday Morning Reverend Caldwell preached on “Delighting in God's House,” Monday Evening Service was interdenominational. All of the Protestant Churches in Manlius were invited and all of their pastors participated. Tuesday was Sunday School Night. Wednesday was a service featuring the Young People's Societies. Thursday was for homecoming and a Roll Call of past and present members. The last evening January 30, 1913, was reserved for praise, thanksgiving and prayer. (The Fayetteville Examiner reported that the changes made greatly added to the beauty, harmony and worshipful appearance of the auditorium.) The entire cost was $1281.22 with a considerable amount of the work having been done or donated by members of the Congregation. Only a small balance remained to be paid.

In 1912 a new group was established in the Church for young ladies called the Light Bearers. This was a successor to the Farthest Light Society, which was no longer mentioned. In 1920 both the Light Bearers and Farthest Light Society appear to have been replaced by the Worth While Girls group, then in 1925 by the World Wide Guild.

In 1912 the office of chief usher was mentioned for the first time. Mr. E. C. Hilts was appointed to the post with the power to choose his assistants.

On April 6, 1913, the Manlius Baptist Church sponsored a three week series of Evangelistic Meetings led by Evangelist J. W. Cooper and his wife who were said to be remarkably gifted gospel singer. It was reported in The Fayetteville Examiner that on some evenings the auditorium would not hold all the people that entered in. "Interest is deepening, the devil is waking up, people are getting mad, sin is being uncovered, the truth is striking home, while the worldly Church members are setting up a tremendous howl. The Evangelist only smiles and keeps right on giving them the word of God." There was no mention of the number of conversions made during the meetings.

In June (6/22/13) Reverend T. B. Caldwell preached the Baccalaureate Sermon to the ten members of the Manlius High School Graduating Class in the Baptist Church, which was said to have been “filled to the doors.” Reverend Caldwell spoke on “The Arithmetic of Life” and the two rules that need to be applied. Addition (add that which helps) and Subtraction (subtract that which hinders such an achievement.)

Summer came to Manlius and once again one of the major events was the Union Church Picnic, this year at Sylvan Beach. Six hundred tickets were sold for the excursion. A train of seven coaches left the West Shore Station at 8:28 on July 22, 1913, and made its way to the beach by way of Rippleton and the Lehigh Valley arriving at the beach by 11 o'clock. The excursionists were reported to have immediately sought the tables in the grove and unloaded their lunch baskets. After dinner the picnickers were said to have rushed to the water like ducks, with the Methodists and Presbyterians as much at home in the water as the Baptists. Some thought that Reverend Fry of the Methodist Church could make a bigger splash than Rev. Caldwell of the Baptist Church. It was a fine day, with no accidents and all the people returned home tired but happy.

In the fall of 1913 the Baptists were experimenting with union with the Methodists. Small Group Prayer Meetings were held in homes, followed each week by a Union Church Prayer Meeting. In early October six evangelists visited the village of Manlius. Some like Mrs. Rice, billed as "The Broadway Girl Evangelist" preached on the Manlius Street Corners. Mr. and Mrs. Ward Mosher conducted their services in the Methodist and Baptist Churches throughout the month of October.

October, 1913 was a time of sadness in the Baptist Church. Harold, the 14 year old son and only child of Mr. & Mrs. William Nightingale, died suddenly of rheumatic fever on October 8, 1913.

The Pastor of the Baptist Church Reverend T. Byron Caldwell spent some time in early December, 1913, in Zanesville, Ohio, where he had served as pastor of the Baptist Church for ten years. The Baptist Church there had been badly damaged by a serious flood, and Rev Caldwell encouraged his former friends and parishioners to give financial aid for needed repairs and additions.

A Go-to-Church Sunday in Manlius was planned for January 18, 1914. It was a combined effort on the part of the Protestant pastors and Church members to get everybody out to Church. The results were not encouraging, however. There were 60 Episcopalians, 125, Presbyterians, and 323 Baptists and Methodist (Union Service), a little over 1/3 of the total population of Manlius. The Fayetteville newspaper reported that the remaining 2/3 stayed in bed or sat by the fire and read the Sunday newspapers utterly regardless of their future fate.

On July 28, 1914, the Baptist, Methodist and Presbyterian Sunday Schools joined forces for another train excursion to Sylvan Beach. It appears that most of the population of Manlius took off for a day at the beach and amusement park. Most of the stores and many of the shops closed down for the day. The cost for adults was $1.00, children $.50. Eleven coaches and a baggage car were required to hold all the passengers and their belongings. Although rain threatened 556 tickets were sold.

On August 13, 1914, the Church voted not to have Church Services for the lat two Sundays in August. The Sunday School remained open, however.

While the Baptists did not have a gym at this time, basketball was an important sport and there was a Church League in which a Baptist Team was an active participant. The Baptist men's group, call the Baptist Brotherhood gathered on Friday evening, September 3, 1914, to lay a cement walk from the chapel to the street. It was said in the announcement that at former meetings we have had lots of talk; now for a little business.

On September 16, 1914, the Church was invited to unite with our neighboring Presbyterian Church for evangelistic services from September 21 to October 11. At the Annual Meeting of the Trustees on December 16, 1914, Reverend Conrad shared his expertise on money-raising with the Trustees. He “gave a good talk on finance and different ways other Churches raise their money.” the Trustees appointed a special Committee to make a canvass of all the members of the Church and Society (to raise money for 1915.) the Chair of the Committee and Reverend Caldwell were to “get out” a letter on the subject.

On September 23 and 24, 1915, the Church was no doubt proud to host the Onondaga Baptist Association for its annual meeting in the newly redecorated church. There were 225 people present. The weather was cool and the ladies of the Methodist Church served dinner and supper. Yettie Harris, Church Clerk, wrote a Church History to be read to the association. It was also copied in the Church Minute Book. In her summary of her history Mrs. Harris wrote of some of the struggles the early church faced and how faith in God always carried them through the hard times. "Never financially strong there have been few years when the Church has been pastorless and never a time when the doors have not been open and services held and the Sunday School kept alive. Sometimes a member read a sermon. For several years the State Convention came to our aid for it has at times been difficult to pay a living salary. There have been times when the faith of the members has been severely tested but never a time when it failed. We have given generously to other churches of our numbers; death has taken efficient and loyal hearts from us, but we are hopeful for the future, believing there is need of our existence in this community, where our influence is for good." The theme of the meeting was evangelism and with special reference to the work of the most prominent evangelist of the times, Billy Sunday. Billy Sunday was about to hold meetings in the Syracuse Tabernacle in November 1915. The preparation in Manlius was to divide the village into districts, in which prayer meetings were to be held until Mr. Sunday came to Syracuse.

On October 28, 1915, Reverend T. Byron Caldwell, William H. Nightingale, Frank B. Perry and J. Allen Patrick were elected to represent the Church for the ensuing year in "The Onondaga Baptist Social and Missionary Union," another name for the Onondaga Baptist Association. On March 20, 1916, the Church began a series of evangelical meetings with the Methodist Church.

In their November 16, 1916, meeting the Trustees voted to purchase a stove to heat water for the Baptistry, and on December 13, 1916, (certainly the proper time of year to be concerned)

brought up the question of installing an inside toilet. Each Trustee was expected to have a plan of his own for the toilet for the next meeting.

Sometime in the winter of 1916-17 the Board of Deacons committed an unpardonable sin by criticizing one of Pastor Caldwell's sons. We do not know which of Pastor Caldwell's three sons was criticized or the reason for the criticism. Reverend Caldwell apparently was angered and read his resignation as Pastor to the Manlius Baptists on December 31, 1916, to be effective on the first of March 1917. The resignation came as a surprise to most people in the Congregation. A petition was prepared asking the Pastor to withdraw his resignation, and it was thought that it would be signed by a large majority of Church members. The Baptist Church and Congregation met on January 15, 1917, to take action on the resignation of Reverend Caldwell and voted 56 to 11 against acceptance. The vote was made a unanimous one. To make sure that Reverend Caldwell and all Church members and Manlius citizens got the message, the results were published in The Fayetteville Recorder as a paid advertisement. It was felt, however, by some that Reverend Caldwell had stayed in Manlius six years which was about his average tenure at most of his charges and he might have been leaving soon, anyway.

On the next Sunday morning, February 25, 1917, Reverend Caldwell again presented his resignation, made it final , and requested that the Church act promptly and favorably on his request. Another special meeting was called for March 26, 1917, and it was moved and carried that the resignation of Reverend Caldwell be accepted, now effective on the last Sunday in March. On May 3, 1917, letters of dismission were granted to Reverend and Mrs. Caldwell to unite with the Clayton Baptist Church of Clayton, New York. Ethan and Ellsworth Caldwell were given letters to unite with the First Baptist Church of Syracuse, New York. (Truman Caldwell was given a letter earlier on August 17, 1916.)

Reverend Caldwell served as pastor for 47 years in seven churches in Michigan, Ohio and New York State. New York State Churches were in Syracuse (Tabernacle Baptist Church 1910-1911, Manlius 1911-1917, Clayton 1917-1918, and Rochester 1918-1925.) The Sunday School in the Market Street Baptist Church in Zaneville, Ohio, was the second largest Baptist Sunday School in Ohio. Reverend Caldwell died in Racine, Wisconsin, on July 30, 1928, a few months after suffering a paralytic stroke while conducting services at a church in Alto Pass, Illinois, where he had been serving as a supply pastor. He was said to have been "an excellent preacher and a faithful, devoted, sacrificing minister of Jesus Christ, one who endeared himself to the people wherever he labored and one who was privileged to lead many into the `way of life'."

On Friday evening the Young People's Society of the Baptist Church gave a "largely attended" farewell social and supper for Rev. and Mrs. Caldwell at the Baptist Church. The Caldwells left for Clayton, NY, where Mr. Caldwell opened his pastorate on Sunday.

While in Manlius, Reverend Caldwell was chaplain of the Military Lodge No. 93 F.& A.M. His son Ethan was also a member. Ethan was a cornet player and led the Manlius Village Band before leaving to serve his country in World War I. (From a 8/23/56 letter to The Eagle Bulletin from Ethan Caldwell.)

E. E. Clemons, a local historian in commenting on the resignation of Rev. Caldwell stated that "the church had lost one of its most faithful and hard-working preachers, and Manlius lost a citizen who took an active part in its affairs."

1917 (Charles Burton Allnatt)

On April 18, 1917, in the same Church Meeting in which Reverend Royden N. Rand was called to the Pastorate of the Manlius Baptist Church, Reverend Charles Burton Allnatt was hired as a supply to fill the Pulpit until Reverend Rand assumed his duties in the fall of 1917. Reverend Allnatt was to be paid $15.00 weekly and was given the use of a few of the rooms in the parsonage, furnished by the ladies of the Church. (Mr. and Mrs. Balsley were renting the major part of the parsonage.) Reverend Allnatt’s letter was received from the First Baptist Church of Cherry Creek, New York on July 12, 1917. Other than his coming and dismission by letter, Reverend Allnatt was not mentioned in Church Records. According to the Fayetteville Weekly Bulletin, he was given a farewell reception on Saturday Evening, November 1, 1917, to which all members of the Congregation were invited. He must have made a very favorable impression in his seven months stay in Manlius, however as he was always included in the roster of the Manlius Baptist Church Elders and Preachers. Reverend Allnatt was dismissed by letter back to the Cherry Creek Baptist Church on April 25, 1918.

After serving many New York State Churches, one of which was the Baptist Church of Bainbridge, New York, where Reverend Whitt was Pastor before he came to Manlius in 1982, Reverend Allnatt and his wife retired in Lebanon, New York. A few years after Mrs. Allnatt died, Reverend Alnatt moved to live with his son and daughter-in-law in Little Falls, New York. He preached regularly as a supply until his 85th year and counted 188 churches in which he had conducted services during his long career. He was known for his memorable and moving sermons, often with nature themes; for the particular attention he gave to children; and as a minister who “always smiles.”

Charles Burton Allnatt was born in Sheridan, New York, on August 18, 1890. He grew up on his family’s dairy farm in Chataugua County, New York. He was said to have been interested in civil engineering, dairying, fruit growing and carpentry, but heeded what he remembered as a definite call to the ministry. He entered the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois, and graduated from there in 1915. “It’s what the Lord wanted,” he said, “ and I yielded.” He was ordained in 1918. He attended the Colgate Seminary. According to Seminary alumni records he was a member of the class of 1928. Other records indicate he graduated from the Seminary as a member of the Centennial Class of 1919. He married Honorine Watson Saunders in 1919. They had one child, Don Allnatt, who became a minister of the United Church of Christ.

The Manlius Baptist Church Records do not tell of any contacts with Reverend Allnatt after he left Manlius. However, in the Fall of 1990, when the Manlius Baptist Mission Board made its usual plea for donations to the American Baptist Missionary and Ministers (M&M) Offering, they asked for help for many of the retired men and women who “gave faithful and caring service on low salaries, lived in a succession of parsonages without the equity of owning their own homes, and gave unstintingly of themselves to enrich our spirits.” Nine upstate retired ABC ministers were to receive funds from the 1990 offering. The only one mentioned by name was Reverend Allnatt who at that time lived on Hatch Lake near Eaton, New York, with his son and daughter-in-law. Apparently the writer was not aware that Reverend Allnatt was a former pastor of the Manlius Baptist Church, so it was not mentioned that we would be helping one of our former ministers as well as many other deserving New York State ministers and missionaries and their wives.

Reverend Allnatt was 100 years old at the time of the M&M offering. He died in 1993 at the age of 102. It is unfortunate that the Manlius Baptists lost contact with Reverend Allnatt, especially since he lived so close to Manlius. He would have been a welcomed guest at any time, and especially during the 175th Church Anniversary Celebration.

Charles Burton was the Pastor of the Manlius Baptist Church from 1902-1906. It is not known if there is any significance in the duplication of names.

1917-1923 (Reverend Royden Nelson Rand)

The Manlius Baptist Church moved quickly to replace Reverend Caldwell. On April 28, 1917, a meeting was held to decide on calling Reverend Royden Nelson Rand as Pastor. The Church minutes for 1917 do not mention his candidating for the position, but a vote was taken. Out of 37 votes cast, 37 were in favor of calling him. A second affirmative vote was taken on a motion which set his salary at $1000.00 a year, plus house rent. Reverend Rand accepted the call. He was in Manlius in May for a short time and preached at the morning and evening services on May 6, 1917. He was given a reception on May 12, 1917, in the church parlors (about 50 people attended.)

It is not clear how the Manlius Baptist Church knew that a Baptist Pastor in Prince Edward Island was interested in a New York State Pastorate. According to the Colgate Seminary records Pastor Rand was a student there in the fall of 1917. It is likely that the Manlius Church contacted the Seminary in early 1917 after Reverend Caldwell announced his resignation, either to find another Seminary student to preach on Sundays as a temporary solution, or to find someone to serve as full-time pastor. Rev. Charles Allnot of Cherry Creek, New York, a Seminary student, was hired as in interim pastor while Reverend Rand completed his studies. Reverend Rand was called to serve as full-time pastor later in the fall of 1917. It is believed that after his reception in Manlius and a farewell visit to Dundas, PEI, Reverend Rand took his family to Hamilton and studied at Colgate Seminary until November, 1917.

Reverend Royden Nelson Rand was born in Moncton, New Brunswick, on October 1, 1887. He attended high school there. It was reported that he postponed most of his higher education until he could be married to Elsie Sterrit. According to her niece, Beverly Sterrit Curr, a 50 year member of the First Baptist Church of Manlius, they met when he preached occasionally to the Sterrit Meeting House congregation in Grey’s Mills, New Brunswick, from 1910 to 1912. They were married in 1912 in St. Johns, New Brunswick. (Several generations of the Sterrit Family were instrumental in building the church in Grey’s Mills and in keeping it open. Colgate University Seminary Alumni records show that Reverend Rand attended Gordon College in 1912-1914 and spent time at the Colgate Seminary in 1916-1917 and 1918 -1920.

Although Reverend Rand was originally expected to arrive in Manlius with his family in October, they did not appear until late November, 1917. He was reported to have conducted his first Prayer Service in Manlius on November 30, 1917. (All were invited to come and give Rev. Rand a hearty welcome.) His first Sunday Service would have followed on December 1, 1917. On December 18, 1917, a second reception was given for the Rands to which all the friends in the various Churches of the village were invited to attend.

Reverend Royden Nelson Rand and Mrs. Elsie Sterrit Rand brought with them to Manlius three children:

  • Grenfell Newton Rand - Born 1913
  • Anne Estelle Rand - Born 1914
  • Gordon Theodore Rand - Born 1917

A fourth child, Royden Nelson Rand, Jr., was born in 1925 in Albany, New York. Bessie Todd, then Bessie Miller and a member of the Manlius Baptist Church since 1916, remembers walking the carriage that carried the Rand’s boy and girl, which could have been Grenfell and Anne or Anne and Gordon.

Although there were no Church Bulletins or Newsletters and the minutes of Church Meetings reported only a minimum of information, the highlights of Reverend Rand’s pastorate were well documented, thanks to the information available in The Fayetteville Examiner. Some of the special Church programs were featured on the front page. News of Sunday School Class parties or vacationing pastors was often included in the Manlius Personal Columns. Almost every week a summary of past events and the program for the coming week was printed in the Manlius Churches’ Column. During Reverend Rand’s pastorate, full advantage was taken of the opportunity to publicize the Church and its activities.

In the Fall of 1917, according to an article in The Fayetteville Examiner , the Ladies Aid Society of the Manlius Baptist Church originated a new idea for making money to fund their Church projects: i. e., a curb market. In stands in front of the church on Seneca Street, they sold vegetables, fruits, buttermilk from the Burt farm, and baked goods, including appetizers and pumpkin pies from the Baptist ladies pantries. Potatoes and apples sold for $1.00 a bushel; green tomatoes were 25 cents a bushel. The curb market was a yearly event until 1926.

There was very little mention in the Church Record of the terrible World War being fought in Europe from 1914-1917. A number of Manlius Baptist young men were involved, but their names were not mentioned. Fortunately none of them lost their lives. On November 17, 1917, a special collection was taken by the Ladies Aid Society to buy a service flag for L. E. Randall. Ethan L Caldwell, son of Reverend T. Byron Caldwell, a member of the Church until 1917, also served. After the war was over the Church raised money to relieve some of the suffering in Europe.

On January 14, 1918, Reverend Rand, a Canadian citizen, spoke to the Christian Brotherhood in the Church about Canada’s part in the World War. On April 12, 1918, he gave an illustrated lecture on “England, Our Ally in the World War” before a well- filled house at the Baptist Church. His lecture was condensed and published in The Fayetteville Examiner.

Reverend Rand was found to be an outspoken person who would never be reticent about what he wanted the Church to accomplish in the way of attendance and giving, and equally insistent that the Church provide for him a salary adequate for the needs of his family and himself. (He was continually being called to serve other larger Churches that could afford higher salaries for their pastors.)

Times were indeed changing rapidly. It was just a few years earlier that Mrs. Harris was lamenting the fact that the Church could not pay enough money to attract a full time pastor. Reverend Caldwell was getting only $15.00 per week and he was an experienced man in his fifties. Now, only a year later, the Church was able to pay double that amount.

On April 26, 1918, Reverend Rand called a special meeting of the Church to consider his salary. He told the Congregation that he was offered a more substantial salary elsewhere, that $1000.00 per year (plus house) was barely enough to meet his expenses . He thought he ought to be paid $1400.00 yearly if he stayed. He stated that he was satisfied with the Church and spoke very highly of the cooperation he had received on the part of the members. Reverend Rand retired from the meeting and Mr. Nightingale and Mr. Perry told of the discussions they had had with Reverend Rand concerning his salary. Mr. Nightingale also related some of the changes in times in just the year since Reverend Rand was hired. The Church agreed with Reverend Rand and Mr. Nightingale and voted to increase Reverend Rand’s salary to $1500.00 per year, effective immediately. A Committee was appointed to canvass the Congregation for increases in their support of the Church.

On July 5, 1918, Reverend Rand’s thoughts turned to organization. With the approval of the Church, he appointed an Advisory Board and Baptism and Evangelistic Committees to oversee some of the work of the Church. (Keep in mind there were Deacons and Trustees, both all male, but no Mission or Christian Education Boards at this time.) The Advisory Board was to include the four Deacons, the Church Clerk, the Assistant Sunday School Superintendent and the Choir Director. (The Assistant Sunday School Superintendent was probably added because the Superintendent, W. M. Nightingale, was also eligible as a Deacon.) The Evangelistic Committee was made up of 6 men and 5 women, and the Baptism Committee of 7 men and 5 women. There was no mention of meetings of their Boards, advisors, or Committees in Church minutes, however.

Evangelist Committee Baptism Committee
  • Deacons
  • Harry Fillmore
  • George Reeves
  • Mrs. Nightingale
  • Mrs. Hefti
  • Mrs. Snook
  • Mrs. F. B. Fillmore
  • Mrs. Wm. VanBrocklin
  • Deacons
  • Harry Snook
  • Newell Fowler
  • Mrs. George Reeves
  • Mrs. Burt
  • Mrs. Kate Ransier
  • Mrs. VanDooser
  • Mr. and Mrs. John Chappell

In 1918 there was another village-wide effort to promote Go-To-Church Sunday- November 3, 1918. This time, at least in the Baptist Church, it was reported by Reverend Rand to have been a tremendous success with large congregations (morning and night) and “delightful and encouraging” new faces.

Earlier preachers had been hired on a year to year basis. Toward the end of Reverend Barber’s stay, the custom changed or at least yearly negotiations were not reported. With Reverend Rand, however, the practice again was to negotiate annually. On December 8, 1919, the Church voted to call Pastor Rand for 1920 (and to release him from attending prayer meetings on Friday and Saturday for a month.) On October 7, 1920, the Church voted to call Pastor Rand for 1921 at a salary of $2000 per year and a 2 week vacation. On December 5, 1921, the Church voted to call Pastor Rand for 1922. On December 3, 1922, the Church voted to call Pastor Rand for 1923, with 3 months notice to be given for any change by Church or Pastor.

It was during the pastorate of Reverend Rand that more meaningful and relatively complete financial reports became available. For example, the report for the financial year of 1918 (Dec. 1, 1917 to Nov. 30, 1918) for the Operating Fund Budget was as follows:

Receipts: Received from Financial Secretary   $1709.28
Received from Other Sources   184.22
Received from Loans   200.00
    $2093.50

Disbursements Budgeted Actual
Pastor $1000.00 $1328.00
Janitor 90.00 94.00
Water 10.00 9.46
Light 50.00 39.16
Fuel 100.00 74.57
Misc. 250.00 385.79
Loans 0 150.00
  1500.00 2045.98

Balance   $47.52

The Missions Budget was included separately but did not give specific information on where the money was sent.

Receipts: Received from Financial Secretary $266.41
Disbursements: Paid to Missions $238.75
Balance $27.62

Financial Reports were also included from the Trojan Sunday School Class, the Brotherhood, Junior and Senior Christian Endeavor and the Ladies Aid Society.

In 1918 Reverend Rand, always ready to try something new, ran advertisements in The Fayetteville Examiner for seven weeks. Messages like “God gave Himself for You: What have you given for Him?”; “Don’t Pray for the War to end and then dishonor God by never going to Church”; or “Sunday is God’s day, dare you use it as your own?” were used to encourage readers to attend the Baptist Church. Several of the advertisements are reproduced in the appendix.

Ex -president Theodore Roosevelt died on January 6, 1919, at the age of 60. On January 19, 1919, the Manlius Baptist Church hosted a “solemn and impressive: memorial service for the much-loved and respected former President. Reverend Rand spoke on “Lessons from the life of Theodore Roosevelt” and described him as “one who was beloved by all who believe in and hold to the truest principles of democracy and equality, the adored of those who worship at the shrine of fearlessness and truth, known wherever the language of civilization is spoken, a man whom posterity will call the Great American.”

A few days later on January 26, 1919, there was a Union Service to commemorate the passing of the infamous fictitious John Barleycorn, and this time the atmosphere was one of joy and jubilation. The Prohibition Amendment had been ratified by the states. The various speakers told of their satisfaction with the passing of the curse that had blighted homes throughout the centuries, of the benefits for businesses when wages would be used for food and clothing instead of booze. Reverend Rand said preachers would miss talking against the use and sale of liquor. Reverend Williams paid a tribute to those who fought against the “ vile” liquor traffic.

The WTCU (Women’s Christian Temperance Union) was a prime force for prohibition in Manlius. Many Baptist women supported the non-sectarian group and they often met in the Baptist Church. (The “Reachabites,” a men’s organization who fought against the use of liquor in the late 1800s, had long ceased to function as an organization in Manlius.)

On January 29, 1919, an impressive article appeared in one of the Syracuse newspapers with a picture of the Seneca Street Church and its Pastor, Reverend R. N. Rand. The text included a history of the church including its construction, changes and improvements over the years, as well as a listing of the current programs of the Church. There was only one problem, but it must have been a rather embarrassing one. The headline read “MANLIUS BAPTIST CHURCH 200 YEARS OLD, AT PEAK OF VARIED ACTIVITIES.” The Church was said to have been organized in 1719. The correct date was 1797. In 1919 the Church was only 121 years old. There were no settlers in the area in 1719. The article is reproduced in the appendix.

Missions giving increased substantially during Reverend Rand’s pastorate. The support for Missions grew from $266.41 in 1918 to $2,485.06 in 1924, an increase of 932.8% in six years. There was no reason given for this very substantial improvement, nor was it recognized in the Church Minutes. The introduction of the duplex envelope system and the agreement to canvass for benevolences as well as for the regular Church expenses must have helped. The income for Church expenses (salaries, heat, repairs, etc.) increased a modest 45% during the same time. In 1918 the Church was giving 11.3% of its income to Missions, in 1924, 45%. This was to be a percentage of total income never reached again. The dollar amount ($2485.06) would not be realized until 1953. The following table of giving for 1918=1924 shows how giving progressed during 6 years.

Table of Giving -1918 - 1924
  Missions* Building and Salaries
    Income Spent Balance
1918 266.41 2093.50 2045.98 47.52
1919 643.44 2661.09 2533.11 127.98
1920 1468.01 2364.16 2256.01 108.15
1921 1834.28 3865.57 3711.09 154.48
1922 1885.95 4095.22 3842.53 252.69
1923 2368.35 3079.03 2966.35 112.68
1924 2485.06 3038.17 2924.75 113.42

*Other groups (Sunday School, Sunday School Classes, Ladies Aid, Missionary Societies, etc.) gave money to Mission Projects and that is not included.

In the Spring of 1919 the Methodists and Baptists conducted two weeks of union evangelistic services, one week in the Methodist Church with the Methodist preacher delivering strong impressive sermons and the second week in the Baptist Church with Reverend Rand making an urgent, insistent appeal for the Higher Life. Reverend Rand (who apparently had an excellent solo voice) led the singing. It was said that there were no spectacular conversions but that many voices were heard for the first time in the praise of God and many lives were rededicated to God’s service. One of the important results was said to have been the splendid and earnest spirit of mutual interest and brotherly love which came to exist between the Methodist and Baptist Churches.

Reverend Rand never tired of trying new varieties of Church Services and finding different ways to attract old and new members to Church, especially for the Evening Services. In September, 1919, he presented a series of “songalogues.” The whole evening was “carried through” by the choir. On September 15, 1919, the subject was the “Life of Joseph” and on September 22, 1919, “Jacob.”

In 1919 the first of a series of Capital Fund Campaigns on the national level that the New York State Baptist Convention participated in was the New World Movement. The national goal was $100,000,000 and the state goal was $17,000,000 to be collected over a five year period. The money was to be used for assisting Baptist Churches in their building programs.. The Manlius Baptist Church under the leadership of Reverend Rand, entered into the program enthusiastically. The campaign started on November 16, 1919, with a Sunday night appeal by Mrs. H. E. Ransier on the “Vision of a Great Task,” a talk illustrated with stereopticon slides.

The World War was over on November 18, 1919, and Manlius welcomed its soldiers and sailors home in a “cordial manner.” There was a dinner for the 35 men, a parade (the streets were decorated), a mass meeting in Fowler Hall, and speeches of welcome and appreciation. Ice cream and cake were served to 800 people.

From late in the Fall of 1919 to the Spring of 1920 Reverend and Mrs. Rand spent time in Hamilton, New York, where both were to take special courses at Colgate. Reverend Rand came back to Manlius for the weekends to carry out his duties for the Baptist Church (and more often if the occasion required). The horse had been replaced by the automobile and travel between Hamilton and Manlius was much easier. Prayer meetings were scheduled for Friday or Saturday nights. The parsonage was rented out for the winter to Harry Fillmore. Reverend Rand moved his family back into the parsonage in April, 1920.

Most of the information concerning the Baptist Church and its members found in newspaper articles or recorded in the Church minutes is about sermons and meetings and building and mission projects and members gained and dollars given. The Church is made up of human beings, however, and sometimes they do things that are sad or foolish or funny or memorable or possibly delightful and these stories may be handed down from person to person or from one generation to another but are rarely recorded and eventually forgotten. One humorous story about a Baptist gentleman was recorded for posterity in the Fayetteville Weekly Recorder for April 9, 1920, entitled “Twas a Chill Easter Morn” and subtitled “Water Superintendent will accept a Faith without Baptism.”

“There is a vague rumor afloat that Water Superintendent George Deyo has forsaken the Baptist faith and has announced his intention of expounding any faith but one which upholds Baptism by immersion. The water superintendent’s change of faith is said to be all on account of a little untoward incident which occurred at 10:04 o’clock- at least that is the time that his watch stopped last Sunday morning.

At 10 o’clock on that eventful day George was looking forward to making the day a joyous one for the congregation of the Baptist Church and all mankind. He had busied himself all the morning in arranging the plants and flowers about the platform of the edifice. His good taste in the blending of colors had led to his being selected for the task by the exacting women of the congregation. He viewed his work with the air of a satisfied artist and then stepped upon the platform for still another view of the harmony of colors which his hand had wrought. The organist rehearsing at the organ, softly played that touching Easter anthem, “An angels came by night and rolled the top away.” Perhaps George was so engrossed with the scene of beauty that he didn’t sense the warning the music implied or that there was a large baptismal font filled with icy water four feet deep back of him. But George stepped back. Just then the organ pealed forth, in double fortissimo, “Alleluia! Alleluia.” The organist suddenly stopped. Strange sounds were coming from the icy depths. She put her fingers in her ears and ran to the door calling for help. Just then a dripping form emerged from the tank and hastily donning an overcoat ran rapidly up Washington Street.”

The pledge “drive” for the New World Movement was held during the week of April 23-29, 1920. “Minutemen” chosen to canvass the Congregation gave four minute speeches supporting the drive for several Sundays preceding the canvass. Reverend Rand had called for a general barrage to be laid down before the Congregation in the interest of the “Movement.” He told the Congregation, “If you are a Baptist and begin that word with a capital letter, then you will gladly hear these pointed messages.” The Church reached its goal in just five hours and raised $2000.00 in pledges over its quota (never specifically mentioned but must have been approximately $6500) for a total of $8560.00. This was an impressive sum for a Church whose giving for Missions in 1920 was $1468.01. There was no information on how well the Manlius Baptists honored their pledges. On the national level it was reported that although the pledging was successful, there was a tremendous shrinkage in actual payments. However, the money actually received was said to “have done much good in assisting Churches in their building projects.”

In July 1920, the Union Sunday School (now only made up of Baptists and Methodists) Picnic was held again, this time at Long Branch with transportation via the Long Branch Railroad. Interest was declining and only 200 attended.

The year 1920 was a leap year and in July the Women’s Missionary Society held a leap year party. Each member was to invite a gentleman friend (usually her husband) to accompany her on an auto trip to the home of Mr. and Mr. Fillmore on the Jamesville Road for a picnic dinner.

On September 30, 1920, the Church met for a special business meeting. Reverend Rand’s year had expired (his third). The Church had to decide if they wanted Reverend Rand for a fourth year. The Church was still hiring its pastors for one year at a time. There was no question about the desire of the Church to engage Reverend Rand for another year, and the Church was doing so well financially that they could afford to raise his salary to $2000.00 as he requested. The weather was bad, a quorum was not present and the meeting was postponed to October 7, 1920, at which time Reverend Rand’s requests were granted.

Reverend Rand continued to fight valiantly to keep up interest in the Sunday Evening Services. It was no longer possible to expect large Congregations with the usual type of sermon. Reverend Rand had the knack of devising special programs to bring the people out on Sunday evenings. (Later he wrote short plays to be given at Sunday Evening Services.) The attempt at Sunday Evening “entertainments” was criticized by some New York Baptist Leaders, who felt that the Congregations should be satisfied with a good sermon.

In 1920 several Sunday Evening Church Services were entitled “Books Which Live.” The talks were illustrated with images from slides projected on a screen. In the newspaper notices for the series, the prospective audiences were promised that a large number of slides would be used each evening and that “altogether the service will be very attractive” Three of the books discussed were In His Steps with 50 slides, Ben Hur with 100+ slides and The Other Wiseman with 60 slides.

Daylight Saving Time was enacted during World War I to save energy. Many people objected to changing from Standard Time (often called God’s Time). The farmers especially were upset. It was necessary to warn church members in the fall of 1920, as it still is eighty years later, to “remember to turn your timepiece back one hour next Saturday night, otherwise you will be an hour late for the service on Sunday morning.” The farmers in New York were delighted when the New York Legislature repealed the Daylight Saving Law in early 1921. To confuse things, however, cities of the state could opt for Daylight Saving if they wished. The local paper was pleased, noting that “cows do not respond to natural calls by clock, nor does the dew dry when the clock says it is time to.”

On January 9, 1921, Reverend Rand presented “The Better American Illustrated Lecture Series,” sponsored by the Men’s Booster Brotherhood of the Manlius Church, for five Sunday evenings. Among the topics were “Sanctity of Property as the Logical Influence from the Sanctity of Life,” and “Bolshevism in Russia” (it works ruin wherever tried.)

On January 18, 1921, The Sunday School teachers, the officers of the Church and officers of every society of the Church met at supper for a round table discussion of ways and means to increased the efficiency of their Church works. On Sunday, January 23, 1921, Marguerite Randall, on behalf of the Worthwhile Girls’ Society, presented the Church with a “beautifully” framed picture of “The Boy Christ” by Hoffman. The girls won the picture by successfully completing a prescribed Reading Course. Over one thousand societies engaged in the competition and only sixteen in the United States won the picture. (The picture with a note on the back is kept in the Historical Room of the Church.)

It was “revival” time again in the First Baptist Church. From February 27 until March 12, 1921, Reverend Rand preached every night and also led the singing. (Mrs. Rand played the piano.) The members were said to have been “most faithful in attendance and energetic in personal work and the result was nothing short of marvelous.” The Church reported more than fifty-five converts, thirty-nine baptisms, and the Hand of Fellowship was given to sixty. It was said to have been an inspiring sight to see when the sixty converts moved forward at the close of the morning service to receive the Hand of Fellowship. “Stretching across the entire front of the church in a double line, the new Christians listened to the words of instruction from the Pastor and then in turn received the hand clasp of welcome.” A total of one hundred persons had been received into the fellowship of the Church thus far during Reverend Rand’s pastorate.

In the Spring of 1921 the Church held its Semi-Annual Fellowship Banquet. More than 150 people attended and enjoyed the food, festivities, songs and speech making.

In 1921 the New York Baptist Convention was made aware of a lack of food in some areas of war-torn Europe and sponsored a special offering for The Relief of Starving Children. The Manlius Baptists contributed $305.00 for the Fund.

The Sunday Evening Service for June 5, 1921, was to be a Union Service. Each of the Protestant pastors was to have a part in the program. The subject was “The Kind of People Manlius Can Get Along Without.” Everybody was wondering who the pastors would decide should remain.

In June 1921 Reverend Rand attended the annual meeting of the Northern Baptist Convention in Des Moines, Iowa, as a delegate from the Manlius Church. All of his expenses were paid by the Church. In July Reverend Rand and his family motored to Gray’s Mills, N.B., where they spent their vacation.

In the Fall of 1921 Reverend Rand presented a series of Sunday Evening Sermons entitled “Road Signs on the Highway of Life.” Some of the individual titles were: “Slow Down to 15 mph;” “Dangerous Curve Ahead;” “Stop, Look and Listen;” and “Dangerous Detour.” Prayer Meetings were resumed. They were conducted by the Pastor in open forum style. Discussion was welcomed.

On Sunday, November 20, 1921, the Sunday Schools of Manlius united for a march through Manlius in the interests of peace. There was a Conference on Armaments meeting in Washington, D. C., called by President Harding. The Sunday schools sent a resolution to the President, assuring him of their heartfelt interest and prayers in connection with his great undertaking in the calling of the Conference. The Sunday Schools suggested that God should be recognized by starting each of the sessions with prayer and that the United States should set the example by lessening and limiting our own armaments.

The Onondaga Orphans’ Home and its children were a special interest of most of the Churches in the area. Our Baptist women continually worked with the management, serving on the Board of Directors, providing clothing for the children and periodically bringing a group of the children to the church for food and fellowship. The children often reciprocated with programs for the Manlius Baptists.

Easter Sunday Services on April 16, 1922, were reported to have been attended by the largest Congregations since Reverend Rand began his pastorate in Manlius. In May 1922 the indefatigable Reverend Rand, in addition to his duties in the Manlius Church, accepted the Pastorate of the Baptist Church in Delphi, New York. The Delphi Church changed their worship service time to 2:45 in the afternoon and held their prayer meetings on Wednesday evenings.

Children’s Day in 1922 was celebrated on June 11. For the evening service the Baptist children prepared a program of songs, recitations and exercises. Several children from the Orphans’ Home also attended and took part in the program. A film of the Home’s activities was shown to the Congregation. Offerings for the day ($110.00) were given to the Home.

The Church was apparently closed for several weeks in the summer of 1922. It was announced in the August 18, 1922 edition of The Fayetteville Examiner that the Baptist Church would reopen for services next Sunday morning (August 27, 1922) and that Reverend Rand would be home from his vacation.

The use of the automobile was, of course, in the ascendancy. This explains why group trolley excursions were less popular. On September 24, 1922, the Sunday School conducted a “sociability run” to the Delphi Baptist Church where Reverend Rand was preaching on Sunday afternoons. The cars were to leave the church at 6:00 and later. The folks were to eat supper at the Delphi Church and then the run would begin homewards. A secret time was to be set, and the owner of the car whose time was the closest would be given a valuable prize.

In the Spring of 1923 Reverend Rand started a Sunday School Teachers’ Class which met at the close of the Thursday night village prayer meetings (apparently the Protestant Churches were now holding group prayer meetings.) All village Sunday School teachers were invited to attend the class each week.

Although the Congregation was kept very busy attending prayer meetings, Sunday morning and evening services, and at times special evening revival meetings, there were a great many other opportunities for smaller groups to meet for work, for inspiration and for fun and fellowship. The younger children met Sunday afternoons in the Junior Christian Endeavor (changed to the Baptist Program of the Crusaders for a time and then back to Junior Christian Endeavor.) It was reported that “57 units of human activity and wiggle” attended the December 12, 1919 meeting and 65 on December 19, 1919. The older youth met sporadically in a group. Under previous pastorates the Senior Christian Endeavor had been an extremely active group. For part of Reverend Rand’s pastorate it was called the Young People’s Society. This group must not have been one of Reverend Rand’s priorities. The girls also met separately as the World Wide Guild, at times with a group for the younger girls, and a group for the older girls.

The women who wanted to work (selling fruits and vegetables, handsewn items, baked goods) were members of the Ladies Aid Society. They were very helpful in raising money for church repairs and improvements. Those women interested in missions belonged to the Women’s Missionary Society. They met afternoons to study, support and pray for the missions that the Church was involved with (some local projects, others in the United States and abroad as carried out by the Northern Baptist Association). Most women were part of both groups.

The men reorganized from time to time. During the Rand years they were the Baptist Booster Brotherhood. They met evenings, put on suppers, worked on special projects and sponsored Baptist athletic teams.

Many Sunday School classes were organized as well. Some met socially; others would have serious programs and undertake special projects to benefit the Church. These were the Baracca Class (female) the Philathea Class (male), and the Trojan Class (older women). Many of the younger classes also took on names and met for picnics and parties and recreation. There were enough Church related activities besides the regularly scheduled services and prayer meetings to keep a Church family fully occupied in their spare time away from work and school.

On May 13, 1923, the inevitable happened. Reverend Rand after the morning service read the following letter to the Congregation:

Dear Brethren: One of the hardest and most exacting duties of my life confronts me at this time. We have been joined together in a loving fellowship and service for the past five and one-half years, and with the speeding months have learned to love and to understand each other. The road of service for us has not been easy, but it has been joyous. The blessing of Almighty God has crowned our efforts together. I can truly say that my stay with you has constituted one of the happiest periods of my life, and I can never forget the eager and willing and sacrificial way in which you have responded to your pastor’s appeals. Under God’s hand I feel that we have come to the hour when we must say good-bye. The call which has come to me from the Fulton Church is so strong, and so manifestly the call of God to new service, that I dare not disobey it. As I came to you, so I go to them, believing that God’s hand is directing our affairs.

Believe me, my brethren, I would that our happy fellowship could go on forever, but for the present I must go on in the path of new light and service. Therefore, I ask you to please accept my resignation as pastor of this Church, same to take effect on June 10, 1923.

May the Lord Jesus bless you in all your future activities, and my prayer is that the new pastor who shall come to you, may be accorded the same hearty and unanimous support you have given me.

Signed: Reverend Royden Rand

The members of the Church voted unanimously to reject the resignation and asked Reverend Rand to reconsider. At a Prayer Meeting on May 17, 1923, they bowed to the inevitable and accepted his resignation. A new Pulpit Committee consisting of the combined Boards of Deacons and Trustees (all men) was selected by vote.

Later in May Reverend Rand attended the annual meeting of the Northern Baptist Association at Atlantic City as the guest- delegate for the Manlius Baptist Church. (In 1923 the Association represented more than ten-thousand Baptist Churches with a membership of nearly 1,500,000 Church members.)

Mrs. Yettie Harris traveled a great deal in her lifetime. In the summer of 1923 she and Miss Louise Davis of Los Angeles and Cazenovia set sail for a six week tour of Europe. They were to visit all of the principal cities and attend the International Baptist Convention in Stockholm, Sweden.

Sunday, June 17, 1923, was a full day for the members of the Manlius Baptist Church. It was to be a sad day for Reverend Rand would preach his farewell sermon at the evening service and a hopeful day as Reverend James Macpherson of West Henrietta, New York, was to preach as a candidate at the morning service.

Reverend Rand thanked the members of the Church and Congregation for their splendid spirit of friendship, fellowship and cooperation, and for their personal friendship. He felt that gigantic things had been accomplished during this period. The budget itself with its increase from $1500.00 to nearly $7000.00 was a noteworthy feat. He said that all that had been done is directly traceable to the fine cooperative spirit of the people and their willingness to follow their leader.

On June 28, 1923, Reverend and Mrs. Rand said good-bye to their many friends in Manlius and left for their new field of labor in Fulton, New York. Their membership was transferred to the First Baptist Church of Fulton on November 8, 1923.

While in Manlius, Reverend Rand was involved in a controversy concerning football. Specifically, he was accused of stealing signals from the local St. John’s School (a military academy) and passing them along to the Colgate University Freshman Football team, an accusation which Reverend Rand denied. The controversy was written up in The Observer Dispatch in Utica, New York. The thought that it would be unethical to study a future opponents team in action would, of course, be laughable today. The article is reprinted in this volume of Church History.

Reverend Rand left Fulton in 1925 and became Pastor of the Memorial Baptist Church in Albany until 1932 when he resigned to devote full time to radio broadcasting. Reverend Rand’s interest in radio began when he produced a series of his own Biblical Dramas over Radio Station WGY in Albany. Biblical Dramas were his answer for the problem of rapidly dwindling interest in Sunday Night Church Services. He wrote a book, It Happened This Way, on the subject with a collection of his plays and advice on how to produce them. In 1932 Reverend Rand took on the full time position of continuity director for stations WOKO and WABT and became a beloved radio voice known as “Doc” Rand to thousands of admirers in and around the Albany area. He became Father Knickerbocker, the Quick Quiz Conductor, Santa Claus, and announced baseball and bowling. Behind the scenes, he wrote and produce scripts.

It is hard to understand how a man who gave so much of himself to the cause of Christ would suddenly give it all up to become a radio personality. It may have been partly due to reasons of health. “Doc” Rand, only 50 years old, died suddenly of heart disease on December 18, 1937. His death was announced in two columns (with his picture) on the front page of the December 18, 1937, Albany Times-Union. The loss of “Doc” Rand, three hours before he was to play the role of Santa Claus, “a role which the jovial personality of the former clergyman had supplied to his radio public in a year-round way,” shocked and saddened the Albany area.

“Doc” Rand’s children had taken parts in his various radio productions. He had trained them so well that it was expected that the oldest son, Grenfeld, would take over his father’s duties in their entirety.

1923-1928 (Reverend James MacPherson)

When the Trustees learned of Reverend Rand’s decision to end his pastorate, they met with the Deacons on June 4, 1923, and decided that they would act together as a Pulpit Committee to fill the vacancy. There was a question as to whether Reverend Rand would be able to pay his local bills before leaving and Mr. Nightingale was appointed to investigate the situation. The Pulpit Committee met again on June 11, 1923, and voted to give Reverend Rand $95.00 for a vacation and took care of the “great deal of correspondence” necessary to arrange for Reverend Macpherson, pastor of the West Henrietta Baptist Church, to preach as a candidate on June 16, 1923. Mr. Burt and Mr. Fillmore were put in charge of Prayer Meetings in the interim. Mr. Van Brocklin and Mr. Reeves were in charge “in full” of visiting pastors. Mr. Broadfield and Mr. Reeves were appointed to get estimates for repairing the roof and redecorating the interior of the parsonage.

After Reverend Macpherson preached to the Congregation on June 16, 1923, the Church met and voted unanimously to call him as pastor. He accepted the call and wrote (in part): “Your unanimity of spirit in extending the call has compelled me to believe that there is a great Kingdom work awaiting our united effort and I come with the firm conviction that in the future undertakings of the Church for the extension of that Kingdom among men, I shall have your whole-hearted and loyal support. May the years ahead see a notable and worthy expansion of the cause of Christ through our cooperation with Him.”

Reverend James Macpherson was a graduate of the Dennison University of Ohio and the Rochester Theological Seminary. He served one and one-half years in the army during World War I. He was interested in YMCA work and at one time acted as a student secretary of the YMCA at the Universityof Idaho. He and his wife Dorothy Jean were the parents of two children, Jimmie and Ronald.

In the interim between Pastors Rand and Macpherson, a Congregational Meeting was called by the Board of Trustees (September, 1923) to consider buying the Vasto Block property which adjoined that of the church (on the West). Combined with the land already owned this would have possibly been an adequate site for a new church. This is the first time that a need or desire for a new church building was mentioned in the available Church records. Reverend Macpherson in his history wrote that “the achievement of building the new Baptist church had its birth in a dream. It would be hard to discover who it was that first dreamed and beheld the vision of a new church for the Baptists of Manlius. The dream may have come to some loyal Baptist heart ten or even twenty years ago. No one will ever know. But dreams, if they picture a worthy ideal, have somehow a strange way of finding expression. The soul who dreamed must have told it to another, and another, and yet another. And while Baptists forgathered to worship, and to work, this dream , like the leaven of our Lord’s parable, soon leavened the whole lump. Soon it became a topic of conversation in the home, the street, the market-place, the Church.”

The September 7, 1923, The Fayetteville Bulletin reported that the Vasto Block was “the scene of a recent double murder, a place of many fires and domestic difficulties, but that it might yet become a place for saving souls.” The brick building was two stories high with two living apartments below and a half-dozen apartments above.

The minutes of the September Congregation Meeting read in part as follows: “The Chairman Mr. Nightingale explained that the Vasto property was to be sold and he thought it could be bought by the Church from Mr. Harley Crane, attorney for the Vasto Estate, if the Congregation was in favor of the same. A motion was made and carried that the Trustees be empowered to investigate and purchase the Vasto Block at a reasonable figure. A second motion was made and carried that the Board of Trustees be empowered to finance the above proposition. The Board of Trustees met and Mr. Nightingale and Mr. Broadfield were elected to represent the Board in purchase of said Vasto Block.” (Signed) B.W. Van Brocklin, Clerk.

Reverend Macpherson began his pastorate on October 11, 1923. The story of the Reverend James Macpherson’s pastorate at Manlius Baptist Church and the story of the building of the new Pleasant Street Church are one. He served the Church during the planning and building process as General Secretary for the Building Committee. In that capacity he attended all meetings, took excellent notes (all typed by Reverend Macpherson- there was no Church secretary at the time), wrote and typed all of the correspondence to architects and contractors, wrote and sent publicity to the newspapers, and was responsible for communications concerning fund raising and invitations to the various dedication ceremonies. When he was finished he wrote a history of the whole endeavor to be included in the collection of material to be placed in a steel box in the cornerstone of the new church. He kept carbon copies of almost everything. We have more than 200 pages documenting the entire process. During the whole time of planning and construction the regular programs of the Church continued as before.

In addition to the materials prepared by Reverend Macpherson, the Church has the original copies of most of the correspondence sent to the Church at that time and the programs for all of the ceremonies (dedication of the site, cornerstone laying and dedication of the finished building), and copies of many of the blueprints showing the development of ideas that led to the final plans.

In October 1923 the four Protestant Ministers of Manlius, now including Reverend Macpherson, formed an association which they hoped would result in a closer fellowship and more efficient cooperation of community service. Apparently the church bells were being rung too enthusiastically and at the same time with an “unpleasant intermingling and clashing of tolling.” The Ministers agreed that five minutes of tolling previous to the opening of the services ought to be sufficient.

Attendance in the Baptist Sunday School in October 1923 was good with the total number of scholars being 144 ( the goal was 150.) The local Strand Movie Theater requested permission from the Manlius Village Board to show movies on Sunday evenings, and in deference to the Churches of Manlius, only after the evening Church services were concluded. At this point in time the Village Board turned a deaf ear to the pleas of the owners of the Strand and passed an ordinance prohibiting the showing of moving pictures on Sundays. Any infraction of the ordinance would have resulted in a $20 fine.

On February 10, 1924, Reverend Macpherson recognized the impending celebration of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday and preached on “The Gospel according to Abraham Lincoln.” A Junior Christian Endeavor meeting was cancelled because of a smallpox epidemic.

A great deal of Fayetteville newspaper publicity was given to a new Young People’s Society being formed in the Church. Previously, the older Baptist Youth Groups had been affiliated with the Christian Endeavor Society and according to all reports, it was a very successful program which attracted large numbers of young people. During Reverend Rand’s pastorate the Christian Endeavor affiliation was dropped, and much of the time there appeared to be no youth group at all. Now the Christian Endeavor banner was adopted again as the “Good Ship” Christian Endeavor. Fifty youth attended its first meeting on April 1, 1924, and enjoyed a “sumptuous” meal, contrary to expectations that some prankster might have celebrated the day by emptying the pepperpot in the meat pie or by flavoring the desert with vinegar. The youth then planned to begin a series of more serious meetings at which delegations of Christian Endeavorers from nearby Churches were to be welcomed as guests and to be invited to participate in the programs.

In June 1924, Miss Laura Cornelia Harris, daughter of Mrs. Yettie Harris was the only woman to receive the degree of Doctor of Medicine from the nine women studying in that college. She then began her services as an intern in the Syracuse Memorial Hospital.

Reverend Macpherson reported in his history of the building of the new church that “the months passed without any report from the Committee. Legal matters pertaining to the property under investigation had not been settled. Finally during the summer of 1924, the Committee was notified to attend a public auction at which the Vasto Block was to be sold to the highest bidder. The price at the auction soared above the limits which the representatives of the Church felt to be its value, approximately $7500, and they did not secure it. The sentiment of the Church was that the Committee had acted wisely. This first failure to secure a site merely intensified the desire of the members for a new church. The Committee was asked to continue its search for a desirable location and in the beginning of September 1924, one year after its appointment, the Pastor was notified that it was ready to make an report.

In almost every phase of the planning and building of the church, Reverend Macpherson anticipated the needs of the Church and Building Committee and wrote “unofficially” before being asked.

On September 10, 1924, seven days before the Church was to meet to hear the report of the Search Committee, Reverend Macpherson contacted Mr. Emery B. Jackson of the Northern Baptist convention who had written an article for “The Baptist” for January 5, 1924, on “How to Avoid Blunders in Building a Church.” Reverend Macpherson stated that he was writing unofficially that “we (the Manlius Baptist Church) are seriously contemplating a new plant here and have already appointed a site committee. It is likely that in the near future a site will be settled upon and we will proceed to study plans and take the necessary steps for building.” Reverend Macpherson wrote that he was keenly anxious to stimulate interest in the project and wanted to know if a stereopticon slide study or book study was available to help in visualizing our needs in Manlius. He also asked for material to help in outlining the functions of a Building Committee and its responsibilities.

Reverend Macpherson told Mr. Jackson that the population of Manlius was about 1500, that there were four Protestant Churches with the Methodists being the largest (350 members) and the Baptist second largest (200 members). Reverend Macpherson felt that we have a greater capacity for growth than the others. The Catholics had just built a $35,000 church and the Methodists were building their gymnasium. As was mentioned before, the biggest need was for more room for religious education and related activities. Reverend Macpherson said he was committed to the program as our Church School enrollment was over 250 and “we expect great growth in this branch of work.”

Mrs. Yettie Harris, Church Clerk, explained the need in the Church Letter from the Manlius Baptist Church to the Onondaga Baptist Association for 1925: “ For some years we have felt hampered through lack of room and facilities with which to work, particularly in the Sunday School and Young People’s Departments. Much inconvenience resulted, and additional effort was required to accomplish results. This we hope to remedy and we have at last launched our building project.”

At the time crowding in the sanctuary for Church Services was apparently not a problem since all of the pews (purchased in 1913 and relatively new) were to be moved to the new church Special pains were taken in planning the new building to ensure that the pews would fit properly and therefore save the expense of buying new ones.

The letter to Mr. Jackson was answered by George Earnest Merrill on September 16, 1924. He was Architect-Secretary of the American Baptist Home Mission Societies Department of Architecture located in New York City, New York. He enclosed leaflets or information sheets:

  1. First Steps in Church Planning
  2. Suggested Plan of Organization of Church Building Committees
  3. Seven Deadly Sins in Church Architecture
  4. Don’t Bury the Bible School

Mr. Merrill recommended the book Planning the Church Building by Henry E. Tralle and offered to send a stereopticon lecture on the matter of housing the Church School. He also sent a book entitled Department of Architecture which explained the purpose of the Department and how it functioned. George Merrill worked with the Church for several months in developing the plans so that when the Building Committee was ready to hire a local architect they knew exactly what they wanted in a church building. 

Reverend Macpherson wrote in his history: “Wednesday evening September 17th at 8:00 o’clock in the Church Parlor, the Committee made two suggestions: the first- the remodeling of the church on its present site with the possibility of building to the rear; the second- building on the site of the parsonage at the corner of North and Pleasant Streets, already owned by the Church. The parsonage lot appealed most strongly to the meeting. Approximately 100 by 144 feet it was thought that ample space would be available for both church and parsonage if the latter were moved to the south line of the lot, leaving the corner for the church. The old church site measured only some 77 by 67 feet.”

After considerable discussion it was decided to utilize the parsonage lot which would give an attractive corner for the church. The Church, at first, decided not to relinquish the present site but to remodel it to meet developing social, recreational and religious needs of an American village community. The meeting was very harmonious. The Committee was thanked for its labors and retired.

At the same meeting nominations were made for the nucleus of a general Building Committee:

  • Mr. F. H. Broadfield
  • Mr. J. F. Chappell
  • Mr. W. H. Nightingale
  • Mr. G. W. Reeves
  • Mr. B. W. Van Brocklin

and these gentlemen were subsequently elected to the task.

On September 29, 1924, a meeting of the Building Committee nucleus was called together by Reverend Macpherson for the purpose of electing a chairman. Mr. Nightingale was elected General Chairman, and taking steps to launch the new building project, appointment was made of the following sub-committees:

To help fill out the Committee, the Pastor read the membership roll of the Church and Society to insure consideration of every name. Each Chairman was to ask the members chosen to serve and all accepted.

Program Committee:

  • Mr. F. H. Broadfield - Chairman
  • Mr. John Burt
  • Mr. T R. Cleveland
  • Mr. Harry Fillmore
  • Mrs. Y. R. Harris
  • Mrs. Jessie Hefti

Construction Committee:

  • Mr. J. F. Chappell - Chairman
  • Mrs. F. H. Broadfield
  • Mrs. Harry Fillmore
  • Mr. Newell Fowler
  • Mr. Clarence Pease
  • Mr. G. H. Tripp

Financial and Subscription Committee:

  • Mr. G. W. Reeves - Chairman
  • Mr. Harold Goodfellow
  • Mrs. W. H. Nightingale
  • Mr. Russell Randall
  • Mrs. H. E. Ransier
  • Mr. Harry Snook

Publicity and Collection Committee:

  • Mr. B. W. Van Brocklin - Chairman
  • Mr. Louis Broadfield
  • Mrs. Charles Cathers
  • Mr. J. H. Couden
  • Mr. W. E. Kane
  • Mrs. William Towne

The membership of the General Building Committee included 26 members, counting Reverend Macpherson, who was chosen to serve as the General Secretary

In order to start work the Committee felt it should have some funds available. Mr. Reeves, who was chairman for Finance and Subscriptions, announced to the delight and gratification of all present that a check for $1000 had been received by him for the new project. The donor was Mrs. Yettie Harris.

Mr. Nightingale asked Mr. Broadfield and his Program Committee to fill out a questionnaire provided by the Baptist Home Missionary Society Department of Architecture to help the Church define its needs. The General Committee was to act on the completed survey before final delivery to Mr. Merrill (Baptist Architect.) The Pastor suggested securing the stereopticon lectures from the Baptist Department of Architecture to give the Building Committee some suggestions for church plans. He was delegated to secure them and present them to the Church. The first meeting of the General Building Committee was scheduled for Friday, October 10, 1924. The full Committee seldom met, and while the sub-committees met at times separately, there were no minutes of these meetings. What is constantly referred to as the Building Committee is made up of five Chairmen of the sub-committees, Mr. Nightingale, Chairman and Reverend Macpherson, Secretary.

On October 3, 1924, Reverend Macpherson wrote Mr. Merrill asking him to send the stereopticon lecture, five each of the leaflets mentioned earlier and asked Mr. Merrill to visit the Church for discussion. (He hoped Mr. Merrill would have another engagement in the vicinity so that the expenses could be “cut down a little.”)

On October 7, 1924, a colleague of Mr. Merrill wired Reverend Macpherson with the news that Mr. Merrill was returning from the West and would be able to stop at Manlius on the 10th of October and hold a conference and give the stereopticon talk if desired, all for $30 ($25 for the conference and $5 for expenses.) Reverend Macpherson wired back, “Gladly accept Mr. Merrill’s proposition for Friday the tenth.”

On October 10, 1924, at 8:00 P.M. (Baptists in the twenties started meetings late and stayed late- this one adjourned “about” 10:45 P.M.) the General Committee met ( 18 of 26 members.) The filling out of the questionnaire was progressing. An accurate survey of the parsonage was required and Mr. Broadfield was entrusted with the responsibility of getting it done. Mr. Merrill showed the stereopticon slides illustrating the development of a modern church especially as it related to religious education.

On October 24, 1924, the five chairmen of the Building Committees met to take final action on the questionnaire. A motion was made by Mr. Chappell that the committee state the sum of $40,000-$50,000 on the questionnaire as the approximate cost of the new building. The plans of the present parsonage and a survey of the lot, along with the questionnaire were sent to Mr. Merrill by the Pastor.

On October 29, 1924, Reverend Macpherson in a letter to Mr. Merrill wrote that it was difficult to come to a decision concerning some of the questions asked and that we would be amenable to professional suggestions from the Department of Architecture “in which we have entire confidence.” He enumerated some important points:

  1. “A worship auditorium with a main floor seating capacity of 250 would be ample for the present needs of the Church. If a gallery can be provided over the narthex to add to the seating space and at the same time could be utilized for Sunday School class room....so much the better. We are ready to be advised.”
  2. This point concerned the estimated cost. The estimate without furnishings was $40,00- $50,000. This number was based in part on what the Committee thought to be the financial ability of the Church. “The moving of the parsonage with provision for a cellar and the adaptation of our old church for community and recreational needs are items which we must not forget and which will of course add materially to the above figures.”
  3. The Committee hoped the parsonage could be moved to one side of the lot (the south side) without detracting from the appearance or serviceableness of the new building. Reverend Macpherson wrote, “We are a little apprehensive.”
  4. Reverend Macpherson also noted that the Seneca Church organ was an Estey in good condition and gave Mr. Merrill its dimensions. The pews, he mentioned, were practically new, and their re-use would save considerable money. As to building materials, the Church suggested tile with a brick veneer (but later settled on brick.)

The planning for the seating capacity of the sanctuary was based on the use of the existing pews in the Seneca Street Church. According to the blueprints prepared by our architect, Mr. Hallenbeck, twenty-two single pews and ten double pews were to be placed in the new sanctuary, the remainder in the balcony (supplemented by chairs,) somewhat less than earlier plans suggested. With 5 adults per pew (sometimes one too many for 1998 size people) the capacity would have been 210 for the sanctuary and approximately 50 for the balcony. Actual numbers would depend on the ratio of adults to children. (Attendance figures quoted also count choir members and children and workers in the nursery.)

George S. Merrill wrote that he would be agreeable to base the one percent fee for sketch plan study services on $40,000 and sent the proper agreement form to be filled out and returned. With the completed survey prepared by the Building Committee Chairmen in their hands, the American Baptist Architects promptly prepared sketches of Schemes “A” and “B.” Schemes “A” and “B” (and later “C” and “D”) showed the building housing the sanctuary much as we know it today. The style was early American, featuring a high steeple and a portico with four tall pillars. The sanctuary was to hold approximately 250-270 people including 70-80 in a balcony. This part of the church plan never seemed to be in question and there was no recorded discussion of alternative designs.

The Educational Wing was, of course, very important since adequate space for the Sunday School and Church Organizations was the major reason for building a new Church home. Again, there seemed to be little difference of opinion. The Church adopted the Departmental Plan for the Sunday School which was strongly recommended by the Baptist Architects. The Sunday School would be divided into four areas, one for each Department (Beginners, Intermediates, Juniors, and Seniors.) Adults were to meet in other areas of the church. Each area consisted of three small class rooms and one larger meeting room where each Department would have its own Departmental Meetings. Later plans differed in how the church and parsonage were to be arranged on the lot, and whether or not a social-recreational hall and a chapel or meeting room for the Ladies Societies could be provided.

The Building Committee Chairmen had hoped that Schemes “A” and “B” would be available for presentation to the Annual Meeting on December 8, 1924, but the plans arrived too late. (The Building Committee Chairmen and Reverend Macpherson made an outstanding effort to keep the Congregation informed and in doing so were in turn informed as well concerning the sentiments of the Church Members. This sharing of information and ideas surely had a great deal to do with the success of the financial campaign which was to begin in the Spring of 1925.)

We do not have a blueprint or any information on Scheme “A.” Scheme “B” was somewhat ahead of current Manlius thinking in that the parsonage and church were not shown on the same lot. The plans also included a large one-story social room which would have been attached to the rear of the educational wing, and which could have been added later if funds were not available at that time. The American Baptist Architects tried to show what they thought would be the best plan for the new church and hoped to influence the Church to build the best building possible, even if they had to raise more money to pay for it.

The Building Committee Chairmen at the moment were not convinced. They met on December 16, 1924, to consider Schemes “A” and “B.” There was a general discussion but no action. 

While the planning process was of great concern and interest to all members of the Church, the other activities continued unabated. In the fall of 1924 the Klu Klux Klan came into the news in the Fulton area. The incident was also newsworthy in the Fayetteville-Manlius area because it involved the former pastor of the Manlius Baptist Church, Reverend Royden Rand. He preached to his Sunday Congregation in Fulton (November 20, 1924) on “A Challenge to the Klu Klux Klan.” He raised some eyebrows (or hackles) by flaying the methods of those who opposed the Klan, and he did not accept the conclusions of those who decried it. He challenged the Klan, however, to live up to the standards of high principles published and enunciated as being the basic quality of the organization. Apparently, there was a growing difference between what was written and how the Klan behaved in many parts of the country. The Klan was mentioned in several Fayetteville Bulletins in 1925, which reported that one thousand auto loads of Klansmen had attended a meeting on Klu Klux Hill, one hundred and twenty at a meeting at Fullmore Corners, and finally a “watch” meeting in the stone School House in Manlius on New Years Eve, where it was reported than an interesting sermon was delivered by a noted but unnamed speaker.

On January 5, 1925, the Building Committee met again and after three hours of deliberation decided to ask the Baptist Architects for some revisions. Reverend Macpherson conveyed the opinion of the Committee Chairmen to Mr. Merrill in a lengthy letter on January 7, 1925. They wanted a sketch showing the church and parsonage on the present parsonage lot. Land to the south of the lot (on North Street) was not available, and the Committee Chairmen did not want to consider land to the east of Pleasant Street for economic reasons. They also wanted the cost not to exceed $60,000, the parsonage to face North Street, the church set further back on North Street, and an excavation under the auditorium. (They argued that since the parsonage had a full basement, the expense for an additional excavation for a full basement under the auditorium would not be much more.) They wanted to use the basement for Church Suppers and other social functions. Mr. Merrill graciously reported that making the alteration would be “a bit difficult” but agreed to make a study to see what could be done.

The Baptist Architects, led by George Merrill, had definite ideas about church architecture, especially concerning the design of church interiors, and were able to influence the plans of many American Baptist Churches, including ours, until the group was disbanded a few years later. Their ideas were presented in a pamphlet Seven Deadly Sins in Church Architecture by Harold E. Luccock which is reprinted in the appendix. The author felt that Satan himself in his travels on earth may have been responsible for some of the design and construction of certain churches which contain examples of his “Seven Sins.” The “sins” which the Baptist Architects were hoping to save us from committing were: 1. The Basement Sunday School: The author felt that using a church basement for Sunday School was almost an unforgivable sin (against light, against health, and against beauty.) Some of the basement rooms he had seen reminded him of the pit in which his brothers threw the young Joseph. 2. The second sin was the sin of Akron, Ohio, for this was where the sin of abandoning the Departmental Plan for the Sunday School started. The Akron plan was to have individual classrooms, adjoining a much larger room or auditorium where the whole Sunday School could meet occasionally. (If this sounds familiar, this is the way we operate our Sunday School today.) The Departmental Plan divided the space up into individual Departments (Beginners, Intermediate, Juniors, Seniors.) We followed this American Baptist Architects’ plan with no recorded opposition, although in his final letter of thanks to Mr. Merrill, Reverend Macpherson wrote that “your wise planning becomes more evident as the days go by” and “the light is gradually trickling into the minds of many who were either hostile to a Departmental program (for the Sunday School) or ignorant entirely of its meaning for the development of church life.” 3. The third sin to be avoided was to have a square sanctuary (which in itself was permissible) with the pulpit backed in a corner. (“Results are very distressing. the most uplifting worship does not proceed from a corner.”) Our sanctuary was to be rectangular, and we were not tempted to put the pulpit into a corner. 4. Another possible sin was for us to have displayed our brass organ pipes. Photographs of the Seneca Street church show them in all their glory. In the new church the organ pipes were hidden in the organ loft behind a wooden lattice. There was no recorded discussion of this arrangement and it is not known if there was any difference of opinion. 5. Sliding doors in the architects’ eyes made for a “rambling disjointed church with a loose sense of unity.” We were apparently not tempted by this sin. 6-7. These sins involved punishment in the pew and lack of air. The architects felt that some uncomfortable pews with high straight backs and narrow seats were the “devil’s masterpiece.” Our pews are more comfortable than that, especially since they were padded in 1987 and Church Services were somewhat reduced in time and in number per Sunday. (Before padding some of the pews had taken to sinning on their own. They had developed cracks and pinched a few people where they sat down.) The architects also felt that “in conduct of worship there abideth three things: art, music and air (but the greatest of these is air.) Neither the best art or preaching is any match for carbon dioxide.” The architects made sure that our sanctuary windows could be opened. The author felt that if his “faltering works” should come to the attention of Church Building Committees and they should be led to consult with the Baptist Architects in an effort to avoid these sins (ecclesiastical tragedies,) his efforts would be worthwhile.

The Building Committee Chairmen and Reverend Macpherson presented to the Congregation Sunday evening, January 11, 1925, a program of stereopticon slides illustrating a modern church building program and special slides of the current Manlius Church Schemes “A” and “B,” as furnished by Mr. Merrill (but not including any alterations.)

While the Building Committee Chairmen and Reverend Macpherson were mulling over the various building schemes, they took time out on January 16, 1924, for the Baptist Brotherhood Annual Chicken Pie Supper and served over two hundred people. The chickens were “well cooked” and the trimmings “most complete.”

The answer of Mr. Merrill to requests for changes in Schemes “A” and “B” was Scheme “C,” three copies of which were sent to us on January 26, 1925. This time the Associate Architect, Emery B. Jackson, author of How to Avoid Blunders in Building a Church, wrote the letter explaining the new plan. The parsonage was to be in the present parsonage lot (with the new church) and facing North Street. The church was set back a good distance from North Street. There was a large social hall on the main floor (according to Mr. Jackson, a severe critic of any basement room, “more attractive and inviting than any basement room could be.”) He felt that the cost would be close to $60,000, within the financial capabilities of the Church. (Drawings of the new church were included and copies have been included in the appendix.)

Mr. Jackson did not add the cost of excavating under the church auditorium. According to him, “Such space is very expensive when the psychological effect of a dark, damp, musty room is contrasted with a sunny well ventilated room above ground. The excavation under the parsonage can be disregarded. The expense of a basement is not in the excavation but in carrying down the walls and supporting the floor above with girders.”

On January 28, 1925, Mr. George Merrill visited with the Manlius Baptist Building Committee Chairmen for the last time in person and discussed Scheme “C” with them. In a letter of February 5, 1925, to Reverend Macpherson, he, as a check up on the Building Committee wishes, listed the items that he understood they wanted looked into concerning Scheme “C”:

  • Choir to face the audience
  • Basement plan showing boiler room & men’s toilet
  • Elevation study of scheme

On February 7, 1925, Reverend Macpherson replied to Mr. Merrill’s checkup with his own, and to the second item added - including excavation under the auditorium. (The Manlius Baptists were just as stubborn about including a basement under the auditorium as the Baptist Architects were about excluding one.) He also solicited advice on Syracuse area architects but Mr. Merrill was not able to suggest one. On February 12, 1925, the Building Committee decided to present sketches of Scheme “C” to the Church at the morning service on Sunday, February 15. All of the members of the Building Committee sat together on the platform and Mr. Nightingale presented a summary of the Committee’s work to date and Mr. Broadfield explained the main features of Scheme “C.” The Pastor provided a brief word on the spiritual approach. After the presentation the question was put to the Congregation by the Pastor concerning whether the Committee should proceed on the basis of the plans submitted. A motion was made by Mr. G. H. Tripp, seconded and carried (no vote tally was given) to authorize the Committee to proceed on the basis suggested by Scheme “C,” and have plans perfected for a final vote by the Church.

On February 18, 1925, George E. Merrill completed the required revision showing the excavation under the church auditorium, leaving an unfinished basement. He suggested that the Building Committee Chairmen now secure estimates from competent contractors.

In a letter of February 29, 1925, Reverend Macpherson thanked Mr. Merrill and praised the current plan highly. “Personally, I am delighted with the proposed composition. It embodies so beautifully our rich American Heritage and perpetuates in a dignified and worthy way the finest tradition of our godly forefathers. Such a structure would be a tremendous asset to this community inspiring its people to the loftiest idealism, teaching them by its mere presence reverence for God and love of country and best of all, furnishing a noble instrumentality for the healthy growth and expression of the Christian life.”

Proceeding as authorized by a vote of the Church meant looking for a local architect, hiring a contractor and raising money. Later in February, Mr. Broadfield, Mr. Chappell and their wives were enjoying the warm weather in St. Petersburg, Florida. In order to keep the process moving, and to involve the Florida Chairmen of the Building Committee, Reverend Macpherson wrote them to elicit their opinions. He included the latest Scheme “C” revisions, a copy of Mr. Merrill’s letter of February 18, 1925, (and Reverend Macpherson’s reply of February 29, 1925) and requested the names of some authorities on building costs “in order to give us a fairly concrete idea as to the goal we should aim our financial campaign.”

Mr. Broadfield replied on March 5, 1925, with some suggestions concerning the plans and included the names of some Syracuse contractors. Apparently, Mr. Yettie Harris, sister of Mr. Broadfield, was visiting at the time and Mr. Broadfield shared the plans with her, Mrs. Broadfield and Mr. Chappell, all members of the General Committee.

From March 1925 to June 1925, the development of the building plans had to take a back seat to the financial drive led by Dr. F. H. Divine, a hard taskmaster who insisted on nothing less than the full cooperation of and backing of the leadership of the Church in his intensive seven day financial campaign.

April 13, 1925, was Easter Sunday and the Protestant Churches cooperated in a Go To Church Easter Sunday Campaign. It was reported that over 1000 Protestants attended church (2 services) on Easter Sunday. The Baptist Church counted 200 in the morning, 125 in the evening. The Baptists dedicated their new Pulpit Bible which was opened and placed in a basket of flowers. Colored lights were focused upon it. Four girls enacted a beautiful ceremony while two others sang “My Mother’s Bible.” In May 1925 the Church was beginning to plan again for its Daily Vacation Bible School for the Church and general community.

On May 6, 1925, Reverend Macpherson submitted two names of local architects who were supposed to have wide experience in church work to Mr. Merrill for his advice: Professor Earl Hallenbeck, Syracuse University, Syracuse, N.Y., and Merrick and Randall, Syracuse, N.Y.. On June 10, 1925, Mr. Merrill reported to Reverend Macpherson that he had written to Mr. Hallenbeck and believed that “he is worth looking up in a serious way as a possible architect for your building project.”

The Financial Campaign

Reverend Divine was no stranger to the Syracuse area. He spoke at many meetings of the Onondaga Baptist Association when he was working for the American Baptist Home Mission Society in New York State. Later he started the Big Brother Financial Agency to fulfill his desire to be a Big Brother to pastors and churches with difficult financial problems. This was his personal aim for the remaining years of his ministry. He had recently conducted a successful campaign for the Tabernacle Baptist Church in Syracuse and some of the Manlius Baptists wintering in Florida had observed him in action in St. Petersburg and spoke highly of his “masterful genius.” The Manlius Baptist campaign would be his 305th, making a total of $17,000,000 raised.

Early in the Spring of 1925 Reverend Macpherson and the Building Committee Chairmen felt that the building plans had progressed to the point that it was time to start the financial drive. Reverend Macpherson contacted Reverend F. H. Divine of the Big Brother Financial Agency about the possibility of his coming to Manlius to take charge of our financial campaign. Reverend Divine answered promptly. He wrote that raising $60,000 would require a 6-7 day campaign, climaxing on a Sunday, and would cost $250 and necessary expenses (his traveling and hotel costs.) He would be glad to serve the Manlius Church if a date could be arranged. He sent folders which he said would answer most questions if read with care.

Reverend Macpherson was instructed by the Building Chairmen to find out the earliest time that Dr. Divine could come. On April 18, 1925, Dr. Divine announced that he was able to offer the Church June 1-7, 1925. Reverend Macpherson did not waste any time and sent an acceptance to Dr. Divine by night letter. Dr. Divine sent two folders with suggestions for preparation (“very important in every point.”) He asked the Church to do its best to get people out to meetings since “all hinges there.” He asked for a special afternoon for a “women only” meeting. He asked to meet, after the first night session, with 5-7 of the best men for foundation work. He sent more folders to pass out to people to promoter confidence and sent a sample copy sheet. On a personal note, he wanted to know if Manlius had a comfortable hotel or should he go to a private family.

Reverend Macpherson reported to Dr. Divine that at a meeting of April 28, 1925, a group of seventeen Church Leaders representing every department of the Church met and everyone present gave a personal testimony pledging himself and herself to work and pray for the success of the building campaign from June 1-7, 1925. He continued “you are to witness a spirit of loyalty on the part of the Manlius Baptist Congregation that cannot but promote abounding success.” The Ladies Aid Society was reported to be approaching the $1000 or more as a result of its splendid effort to make money.

The Church agreed to the following requests by Dr. Divine:

  1. During May three-minute speakers would address every meeting on some phase of the new building.
  2. Friendly visits will be made to every home of our Church constituency.
  3. Effective advertising by the publicity committee.
  4. Choir leader to consider a special building song sheet.
  5. Plan a Building Booster Banquet for the end of May or June 1st. (The June 1st possibility was rejected by Dr. Divine who said that he needed all the time available without giving a supper the right of way.)
  6. William Nightingale, General Chairman, was given the task of finding two good men to serve with the five Chairmen of the Building Committee subcommittees to form a seven man group for foundation work as requested by Dr. Divine.

Dr. Divine was still interested in his accommodations for the week. He said, “I have to have comfort at night.” Reverend Macpherson regarded accommodations in Manlius as being of mediocre quality and Dr. Divine stayed at a private home, possibly at the Van Brocklin’s, because Mr. Van Brocklin was in charge of entertainment which we assume included a place to sleep as well.

Another concern of Reverend Macpherson was the program for the last night, Sunday, June 7, 1925. June 7 was the first Sunday in the month and on that Sunday night the Protestants met together, and, as he noted, the Sunday Evening Church attendance habit is not very pronounced in the Manlius Churches generally (as noted earlier by Reverend Rand.) He asked Dr. Divine if he needed both services for Sunday, June 7, 1925. The answer came back immediately and forcefully as well. “Of course I must have the Sunday night service. It will be very vital to the campaign..” He suggested that the other Churches give up their evening service and come in and “watch you people go over the top. Even if your people are not strong in support of an evening service they should see the importance of making June 7 an exception to their habit.”

On May 26, 1925, on a Tuesday evening, a Baptist Booster Building Banquet was held in the Methodist gym in Manlius. The supper was prepared by the Methodists and cost 35 cents for adults, 25 cents for children under 14. Dr. Farrier of the State Convention spoke and “brought a fine message appropriate of the occasion.” On Sunday morning, June 1, 1925, Reverend Benjamin Starr, Stewardship Secretary of the State Convention, spoke to prepare the way further.

Although Reverend Macpherson mentions the “Christian Messenger” as having been also used other Sundays, unfortunately, we have no copies in the Church Archives.

Reverend Macpherson reported to Dr. Divine that he had prepared a special edition of the “Church Messenger” (the Church Bulletin) for Sunday and sent them out to all members and constituents beforehand. He said “the spirit continues to grow and I am sure that you are going to have a right royal welcome next Monday Evening.” (June 1, 1925.)

From here on the results of each evenings service are reported in letters which Reverend Macpherson wrote and sent to non-resident members and friends (along with pledge cards and stamped return envelopes) hoping that some of the excitement of the campaign would reach them and inspire their participation. Unfortunately, no one recorded for us an eye-witness account of what took place at the meetings. All we know is the total amount pledged at each meeting. The first meeting (June 2) with Dr. Divine resulted in $26,475.00 being subscribed. ($10,000.00 in pledges was conditioned on the Church receiving the whole $60,000.) Reverend Macpherson was so interested in positive responses from those to whom he was writing that he advised people to “wire their pledge at my expense if for any reason you fear that the mail will not reach us Saturday.” He prayed for each recipient that “God’s richest blessing be on you and yours today as you think of the Home Church and pledge your interest in its future usefulness in the Kingdom of God.”

After June 3, 1925, he reported to Mrs. Guilford of White Plains, New York, that on the second evening “the total was pushed a little over the $30,000.00 mark,” and he gave her a few samples of members and their pledges. This was apparently a second letter because he told Mrs. Guilford that he was writing again “not only because I know that you will rejoice with us to know the facts but because I also know that your affection for the old Church and memories prompt you and your husband to send a love offering for the campaign to be announced next Sunday, June 8.”

June 3, 1925, was also Ladies Day and it was carried out as planned. Mrs. Macpherson and Mrs. Harris had prepared the ladies of the Women’s Missionary Society at the May 6, 1925, meeting for the coming of Dr. Divine and the ladies agreed to give up their regular June meeting and meet with Dr. Divine at 3:00 P.M. on June 3, 1925. Twenty-one members of the Society and several guests listened to what was described in the Ladies Aid minutes as “a very interesting and instructive talk by Dr. Divine. Am sure that each one felt well repaid for going out into the sweltering heat.”

The total for Thursday was $33,000.00, for Friday $40,000.00, for Sunday morning for $51,000.00 and for Sunday evening a victorious $60,207.00. (We don’t know how many came from neighboring Churches to see us “go over the top.”)

The steeple bell was tolled at the close of the Sunday Evening Service to announce the victory to the community at large. The red ribbon on the huge thermometer on the platform had steadily climbed to the $51,000.00 mark by the end of the Sunday Morning Service. Leaving nothing to chance seven teams of two members each went out Sunday afternoon to canvas those of the Church membership and constituency who had not yet subscribed. The Fayetteville Bulletin reported that enthusiasm ran high at the evening service and many added to their already generous gifts. Then Mrs. Broadfield announced an additional gift of $2000.00 in memory of her parents Mr. and Mr. I. N. Loomis and the goal was assured. Reverend Macpherson wrote,” A fine spirit of determination and loyalty marked the entire campaign. Participation by practically one hundred percent of the resident membership has shown that the Baptists of the village are united and eager for a worthy advance program.” After the campaign was over H. Clarke Colebrook, General Director of the Baptist Missionary Convention, wrote that he had received a card from Dr. Divine stating that $60,207.00 was raised. He congratulated Reverend Macpherson and concerning Dr. Divine said “I felt sure that if anybody could raise the money, Dr. Divine could do it.”

After the excitement and euphoria of a victorious campaign came the challenge of collecting the money. Reverend Macpherson sent each of the pledgers a letter thanking them for making the victory possible, and suggested how their payment could be made (in special envelopes provided for their convenience.)

The collection of money was well documented. The Church still has the pledge cards, the ledger books used to record the payments, and even some of the adding machine tapes used to obtain the total of the contributions.

On June 12, 1925, the Building Committee Chairmen met to transact business relating to the recent financial campaign. Mrs. Lena Randall was appointed secretary to record all payments of the pledges, send out statements and keep the books up to date. The Finance Committee of the General Building Committee was asked to assume the responsibility of meeting at least one a quarter to review the progress of the fund and take necessary action to assure its successful completion. The group voted to pay Mrs. Randall $100.00 per year.

Included in the appendix are:

  1. Pamphlet from Dr. Divine
  2. Dr. Divine’s acceptance of the call to run the Building Fund Campaign in Manlius.
  3. A ticket to the Booster Banquet
  4. Copy of special song written for the campaign to tune of “Onward Christian Soldiers.”
  5. A pledge card. (Note that the pledges are for a five year period.)
  6. A copy of the Challenge to the Members.
  7. Calculation of the pledges on Sunday morning, June 8, 1925. 

In the annual report of the church to the Onondaga Baptist Association, Yettie Harris, Clerk, wrote that “we can recommend him (Dr. Divine) in the highest terms. Not only was the $60,000 goal reached but our hearts were opened and uplifted by the gospel message from his lips.”

Dr. Divine’s campaign for the Manlius Baptists was his 305th. In eleven years, he raised over $17,000,000. He declared the Manlius Campaign to be one of the most unique in his entire experience. He felt that it would be hard to find another country village church with 200 members in the eastern part of the United States that could do what the Manlius Church had done. He gave credit to the splendid Christian devotion and generous spirit of two fine women. (He was referring to the Loomis sisters, Mrs. Yettie Harris and Mrs. Frank Broadfield.) The specific contributions of specific people are not generally publicly commented on in Church Minutes. In this case , however, it was generally known that the “two fine women” contributed 25-30% of the entire goal. (The Church and community got an idea of the resources of the two Loomis sisters when Mrs. Broadfield died on May 16, 1928, after an illness of one year. The Eagle Bulletin reported on its front page that Mrs. Broadfield left to her husband an estate in excess of $600,000.)

There seemed to be some question about the mortgage. H. E. Ransier could not find his copy and apparently the Church could not find its copy either. H. E. Ransier obtained a new copy from the County Clerk and wrote on an attached piece of paper “this will convince the skeptics.”

The campaign was successfully completed and on June 16, 1925. The Building Committee Chairmen met to consider the mechanics of recording pledges and payments. The pledge cards were so highly regarded that they were “deposited” in the bank for safekeeping. At the same meeting the mortgage held against the parsonage by H. E. Ransier in 1901 was paid, twenty-four years later.

The Building Committee Chairmen then returned to their responsibilities in planning for the new building. The successful campaign helped to change the minds of the Congregation and the Building Committee concerning the use of the old church and restricting the new church and parsonage to the confines of the parsonage lot. The current consensus was that the old church should be sold (to help pay for the new church) and that there was not enough room on the parsonage lot for the church and parsonage. The Committee discussed the possibility of securing additional property on Pleasant Street east of the parsonage lot, and a sub-committee of Mr. Nightingale and Mr. Broadfield was asked to interview Mr. W. W. Cheney and Mr. T. McManus with a view to “giving the church the best possible setting in this corner.”

On July 27, 1925, the Building Committee Chairmen met to hear the report of the Committee. At some time between June 16, 1925, and July 27, 1925, the scope of the Search Committee must have been expanded. Mr. Nightingale and Mr. Broadfield not

only interviewed owners of adjoining property but purchased land and houses. This included land on the south side of the parsonage lot (but not on North Street) as well as on Pleasant Street. The properties investigated were:

  1. The Cheney property (east of the parsonage lot on Pleasant Street: This lot was purchased. The deed was passed and recorded. The purchase price was $2,500.00 of which Mr. W. W. Cheney donated $500.00 to the Church. The building on the property was sold to Mr. James Bullard for $125.00. Mr. Bullard donated $25.00 to the Church.
  2. The McManus property (east of the Cheney Property on Pleasant Street): The Committee contracted to purchase the property for $1,400.00. The previous owners were to remove the building by September 1, 1925.
  3. The Randall property: This was a smaller piece of property approximately 445 x 90 feet directly back of the Episcopal Church owned by Mr. Lena Randall. This property was felt to be valuable in that it would provide space for the parking of cars (we were now into the age of the automobile) and possible building extensions. An option was secured for $200.00. On September 21, 1925, the Committee was empowered to secure the property.
  4. The Tuttle property (in the rear of the McManus Property) and the Perrington property (East of the McManus property on Pleasant St.): Both were investigated. The Committee decided against their acquisition.

Now that adequate land was available, the Construction Sub-Committee (Mr. Chappell, Chairman) was empowered to proceed with the moving of the parsonage “as soon as possible.” Necessary arrangements were to be made to enlarge the kitchen.

On September 11, 1925, the Ladies Aid Society continued raising money to meet their $2000.00 pledge to the Building Fund with their annual Curb Market Sale of baked “stuff,” fruits and vegetables.

On September 21, 1925, the Building Committee Chairmen met. Some difficulties were reported. Clearing of the Cheney property (removing the house to another lot) would cost $1,600.00. The McManus property acquisition was still not completed. There had been no search done on the property and the previous owners had failed to pay their taxes. The Randall property acquisition was completed.

In a letter to Mr. Merrill of October 13, 1925, Reverend Macpherson reported that problems in clearing the Cheney Property would delay moving the parsonage until the Spring of 1926. He noted that the decisions to buy more property and move the parsonage would enable modification of the Scheme “C” plan. The Committee requested:

  1. A sketch plan showing the church to the best advantage on the parsonage lot which will be entirely given over to the new building.
  2. A basement under the sanctuary which would permit the playing of basketball, and which could also be used for social purposes.
  3. A room on the main floor that could be used for women’s groups and for

Sunday School that would hold 40 people or “thereabouts.” The Committee also wanted a kitchen and, if possible, toilet accommodations in the basement.

On October 15, 1925, Emery Jackson replied to Reverend Macpherson’s request, but argued against a recreation room under the church. He said that “it seems rather incongruous to put your recreation building under the church when you have acquired additional property which makes this unnecessary.”

Mr. Merrill replied later, on November 18, 1925, that the Baptist Architects had revised Scheme “C” to include a recreation room under the church auditorium, but, he informed the Committee, it would be too short for basketball games. He also drew attention to the heavy additional cost of providing three auditoriums. He couldn’t resist one more blast at underground rooms and said that “as I go about over the country, I find many deep basements under church auditoriums, no one of which have I ever found to be sweet and wholesome after they had been in use for a period of two or more years.”

Then he gave the Church Scheme “D.” It included a social room for recreation large enough and with a high ceiling for basketball, entirely above ground and a church parlor/chapel which would seat 75 people and could be a meeting room for women’s groups and Adult Sunday School Classes. Scheme “D” was drawn without a basement under the auditorium.

Mr. Merrill apologized in a way for his continued fight against underground rooms and asked the Church “not to look at us (the architects) as being overly persistent but to understand that we take our work very seriously and to be true to our calling we must give you in a positive way the benefits we have discovered by others in their buildings in the past. Every Baptist Church will do as it pleased, but we will at least have discharged our responsibility by thus politely, if vigorously, calling the situation to the attention of your Church.” He further championed Scheme “D” over “C” with a basement by saying that in Scheme “C” with a basement under the church, it would look as if the building were set up on stilts.

The Building Committee met on November 30, 1925, and discussed Scheme “D.” No definite action was taken that evening except to appoint the General Chairman William Nightingale to make a report of the Committee’s progress during 1925 at the Annual Meeting on December 7, 1925. This Meeting was reported to have been one of the best in recent years. The finances were reported to have been in a healthy condition with $400.00 in the Current Expense Fund and $8000 paid into the Building Fund. The major focus was, of course, on the building plans for the new church.

On January 19,. 1926, the Building Committee Chairmen met again. There was concern that Scheme “D” called for a flat roof with a balustrade over the church parlor. Some thought that a hipped roof would be more practical in the winter, but the flat roof prevailed at least for a time. Surprisingly, the group accepted, also for the moment, the

judgment of the Baptist Architects concerning a basement under the auditorium. The Committee also discussed the question of hiring a local architect to prepare inspections and oversee the construction of the building. (The Baptist Architects work ended with the planning stage.) Reverend Macpherson was requested to contact Mr. Hallenbeck and ask him to confer with the Committee on possible arrangements for further work on plans and specifications. January 19, 1926, was also the day that the WCTU celebrated the sixth anniversary of the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution (The Dry Amendment) with Sunday Evening Services in the Baptist Church.

On January 26, 1926, an informal conference was held with Mr. Hallenbeck. There was no record of the Committee choosing between Schemes “C” and “D.” Perhaps there was no contest between “a church appearing to be built on stilts” as Mr. Merrill described Scheme “C” (including a basketball court with a low ceiling under the auditorium) with a full size gymnasium on the surface under the educational wing. Nor was there any record of the Church accepting Scheme “D.” (They had already approved Scheme “C.”) There was no record of a further discussion concerning a basement under the auditorium or a flat roof over the parlors, but both the basement and hipped roof were part of the final plans, apparently with Mr. Hallenbeck’s approval.

A letter from Mr. Merrill to the Building Chairmen was read. Included was a bill for the final work done by the American Baptist Home Missionary Society Department of Architecture. Mr. Merrill wanted it understood, however, that his department was still keenly interested in the project and would consider it an honor to be called on for any service which was in their power to render (no further payment would be required.)

On February 8,1926, the Building Committee Chairmen met at the home of William Nightingale. Mr. Hallenbeck was there to discuss modifications and materials. The group approved of Mr. Hallenbeck and voted to engage him as architect for the new church and school. His fee was to be 4% of the cost of the building. (It would ordinarily have been 5%, but the Baptist Architects were paid 1% for their preliminary work.) He was requested to proceed immediately with the work of completing details and specifications for the new church, and although it was not mentioned in the minutes, he was to take the information to several area contractors and solicit bids for the construction work (exclusive of heating, lighting and plumbing).

On April 29. 1926, a contract was awarded to Mr. Steele to move both the parsonage and garage to their new location for $935.00. Reverend Macpherson and his family needed temporary headquarters, and the Committee in charge had just 10 days to find something suitable (where they stayed, and it must have been for several months, was not reported).

On May 14, 1926, the Building Committee Chairmen met to discuss the parsonage problem and hear the report of Mr. Hallenbeck on bids from six general

contractors. They ranged from $53,850.00 from Valentine and Purchase to $88,175.00 from Heuber Bros. The Committee took no action on the bids that evening but instructed Mr. Hallenbeck to keep in touch with Valentine and Purchase as a possible contractor for the work.

On May 25, 1926, the Baptists had their Second Annual Building Banquet in the Methodist gym. It was served by the Ladies Aid and “was enjoyed by a large gathering of young and old.” Mr. Nightingale reported on the progress of work on the new church and Mr. Reeves reported about the financial situation. The gathering was told that in order to begin actual work on the church $25,000.00 must be in hand.

Professor Hallenbeck spoke on the modern requirements of a church building, elaborating on beauty, durability and economy. Apparently the colonial type of architecture was criticized along these lines but the Professor said the colonial architecture lent itself most admirably to best results from all these stand points. De. H. C. Colehook, general director of the New York State Baptist Convention, analyzed the local situation and pleaded for quick action in getting the building project started. It would, he said, be the means of conserving to the church its fine group of growing youth.

Another informational session for Church Members was held on Tuesday, June 15, 1926, at 8:00 P.M. in the Seneca St. Church. The various sub-committees met in a rare general session to inform the Congregation of what had been accomplished thus far, and to answer any questions they might have in connection with the planning and construction.

The Fayetteville Bulletin reported that William Nightingale, the Building Committee Chairman, told the Congregation that “owing to the inability to get the work started in the season (1926) as desired, the Committee has decided to postpone the erection of the new church until next season”(1927) . The delay was caused by difficulty in planning and the time required to move the parsonage.

From the start of the building to the completion, progress was marked by three significant ceremonies. The first was the dedication of the site to the Service of the Almighty God on Sunday Morning, October 3, 1926. In an impressive ceremony the boys and girls of the Beginners and Primary Departments of the Church School removed soil with small trowels and placed it in a basket to be preserved and used for the growing of plants in the interior of the new church. Unlike the following ceremonies (Cornerstone Laying and Church Dedication) where many visitors were invited to participate, this was mainly a Congregational ceremony, conducted near the empty cellar of the removed parsonage and followed by a Service of Thanksgiving in the church. The program is reproduced in the appendix.

At a meeting of the Building Committee Chairmen on November 29, 1926, the main business was to consider how to finance the new church building. It was evident from the figures submitted by the Financial Secretary and Treasurer that if construction were to begin in spring of 1927 a special effort would be needed to be under taken to encourage subscribers to pay up their pledges in full by the end of the third year (summer of 1928). Many of the pledges were for five years. Although it was agreed that this would be impossible for some, the sentiment prevailed that a meeting should be held to give publicity to the need and the plans as soon as possible.

The meeting scheduled for December 13, 1926, was to be an all male affair (surprising since most of the pledges were from, Mr. & Mrs. and the largest of all came from a woman). It was to be a dinner meeting and the Ladies Aid (who pledged $2000.00 to the campaign) agreed to furnish a free supper.

A mimeographed statement (the first mention of a mimeograph machine- from now on the members would be informed with a deluge of information, only to be surpassed with the later invention of the Xerox machine) prepared by Mr. F. H. Broadfield gave the results of those who had pledged to complete their pledges in three years. (Mr. Nightingale and Mr. Broadfield had been asked to canvass as many subscribers as they could before the meeting with a view to securing definite pledges to report to the men, thus stimulating further action at the meeting.) With these receipts and money from other sources, including a $15,000.00 mortgage, $4,533,78 remained to be provided. The Pastor hoped that the yet to be provided amount would be subscribed at an early date so that the building could proceed. This was not to be the end of financial problems, however, and more pleas would have to be made to keep the contractors paid as the building of the church progressed.

Building the New Church

The Building Committee Chairmen met with Mr. Hallenbeck on February 22, 1927, to discuss letting the contract for constructing the new church. They had in hand six bids ranging from Valentine and Purchase’s bid of $53,850.00 to Heuber Brothers bid of $88,175.00. These had been submitted in the spring of 1926, however, and there was some doubt that the bids were still valid. The architect felt that prices of building materials had, in general, advanced since last spring. Of course, the Committee was interested in the lowest bid and was pleased when Mr. Hallenbeck gave the firm of Valentine and Purchase an unqualified endorsement.

The Committee felt it would be wise to accept the bid of Valentine and Purchase and voted to do so, pending the approval of two members, Mr. Frank Broadfield and Mr. John Chappell. They were, as usual, enjoying the warm weather of St. Petersburg, Florida, for the winter months.

Reverend Macpherson wrote them a long letter the next day, February, 23 ,1927, and urged them to vote, even though the motion to hire Valentine and Purchase could have been considered passed with three affirmative votes (William Nightingale, George Reeves and Bert Van Brocklin). In his letter he wrote, “Your vote is necessary and if it is possible to have it in the affirmative the morale of the whole Church will be strengthened that much more.”

The Florida Building Committee Chairmen did not respond immediately. On March 1, 1927, Reverend Macpherson sent an urgent telegram. He wired Mr. Broadfield and Mr. Chappell, “Owing to advance on original prices quoted for steel and mill work, Valentine and Purchases hesitant about contract. Firm’s possible acceptance of more building will be influential in (not ) withdrawing bid. Architect suggests prompt action. Wire endorsement of Committee’s action noted in minutes and Chairman will sign.” Reverend James Macpherson.

On March 1, 1927, the Florida Committee Chairmen sent a letter to Reverend Macpherson stating their positions (dictated by Mr. Broadfield, and written by Mrs. Broadfield). Mr. Broadfield and Mr. Chappell reminded Reverend Macpherson that they were in the construction business also and felt that construction material prices were lower than last year and therefore they would not consider it wise to accept last year’s bids. Mr. Broadfield thought that if the contract for the base building (exclusive of plumbing, lighting and heating expenses) could be lowered to the right figure, the whole cost could be brought within our budget. He also suggested that the Committee contact Jenks-Vinton as another possible contractor.

In a March 2, 1927, telegram, Mr. Broadfield rejected again Reverend Macpherson’s request to approve the bid of Valentine and Purchase and made a counter proposal. “We suggest other bids for new church unless heating, plumbing and wiring complete are provided for in the fifty-seven thousand dollar budget.”

In a long meeting on March 7, 1927, the three Building Committee Chairmen left in Manlius and Reverend Macpherson discussed the contracts again. Mr. Hallenbeck had been asked to compare the prices of building materials with those of a year ago and found that most had increased in price (cement, brick, pine and wire nails). Structural steel was an exception. Wages for carpenters had increased from $1.00 to $1.15/hr., painters’ wages had increased 10% and millworkers were also paid more. Valentine and Purchase had accordingly increased their bid by $600.00. The second lowest bidder found it impossible to lower his bid. (This was still the “Roaring Twenties” and in Syracuse the building boom was expected to be the greatest in years.)

The latest information on costs was sent to F. H. Broadfield in Florida on March 8, 1927, in a long night letter (telegram) that cost $3.07, Reverend Macpherson explained again that most building materials were more costly. He reported that Jenks-Vinton, the firm suggested by Mr. Broadfield, refused to bid. He warned them that cutting final costs would involve revising plans and specifications already accepted by the Committee and the Church and contracted for with the architect. He concluded that postponement would cost more later and that the sentiment among our people was for action now. He closed by asking for Divine Guidance. The night letter was signed by William Nightingale, George Reeves, Bert Van Brocklin and Reverend Macpherson.

With this final plea, and perhaps with the help of some of that Divine Guidance Reverend Macpherson was praying for, the Florida Committee Chairmen succumbed and wired their reply on March 9, 1927. “We regret necessity of larger budget. Provide full basement under auditorium. Approve Valentine- Purchase bid. Broadfield and Chappell.”

The contract was signed with Valentine and Purchase, Inc. just three days later on March 12, 1927, for the erection of the building at the cost of $53,700.00 ($150.00 less than the original bid of $53,850.00). The contract did not include heating, lighting, and plumbing. The first load of material was hauled to the site on March 21, 1927. On April 11, 1927, the excavation for the foundation was completed and on May 7, 1927, the pouring of concrete for the foundation walls was completed. The first steel was set up on May 25, 1927, and on June 3, 1927, the first brick was laid on the south-east corner of the social hall.

The rapid progress led the Church to the second significant service, the laying of the cornerstone. This was scheduled for Sunday afternoon on June 12, 1927. The cornerstone was discussed at several meetings of the Committee Chairmen. The architect, Mr. Hallenbeck, agreed to have the cornerstone ready in time. Reverend Macpherson began collecting materials for the cornerstone box which Mr. George Fowler of the Fowler Hardware Co. made of copper and gave to the Church. The dimensions were 10”x 5”x 4”. The contents of the Cornerstone Box are listed in the appendix. They include copies of historical documents, pictures of the old church, pictures showing the progress in building the new church, lists of organizations of the church and their leaders, newspaper clippings related to the progress of the church building, and much more. Reverend Macpherson cut short his History of the Building Project in order for it to be included and collaborated with the Publicity Committee (led by Chairman Bert Van Brocklin) to prepare the program.

While the church construction was proceeding rapidly and plans were being made for the Cornerstone Laying Ceremony, the Church was meeting for a Third Building Supper in the Methodist Church Gymnasium on May 21, 1927. The Building Committee Chairmen and Reverend Macpherson reported on the various phases of the building situation. The architect, Mr. Hallenbeck, was present and answered questions from the Congregation.

The Laying of the Cornerstone Ceremony was held as scheduled on Sunday, June 12, 1927, at 3:30 in the afternoon. Reverend W. S. Turell, President of the State Pastors’ Conference and of Syracuse Ministers’ Association , Reverend H. Clark Colebrook D.D, Executive Secretary of the Baptist Missionary Convention of the State of New York, and Reverend James Macpherson, addressed the gathering, which was held out-of-doors near the actual cornerstone of the church. The program is reproduced in the appendix and the event was covered in local newspapers. Reverend Macpherson had requested that The Journal American (Syracuse) send out a photographer. The newspaper’s reply in part was “ it is a policy of the Journal to work its camera men all hours of the night and day through the week but Sunday is their holiday. Only on very exceptional occasions are they called out, so unless you set the village on fire or rob all the banks between Syracuse and Chittenango, I see no possibility of having photos made.” The Church had some photographs of its own taken, however, and the paper was willing to use them with its accounts of the ceremony.

The other important contracts were soon let. The plumbing contract went to Mr. Nightingale (General Chairman) and Mr. N. L. Fowler (also a church member) for $13, 775.00, the heating contract to William J. Goff for $420.00 and the electrical contract to Harold Dye for $500.00.

Though the major decisions had been made, the responsibilities of the Committee Chairmen were in no way diminished. The construction proceeded rapidly and at every meeting (approximately every two weeks) there were new decisions to be made, i.e., steam versus vapor for the heating system (steam was chosen); heavier wire for areas where a kitchen range might be installed or heaters needed for an assembly room (heavier conduit was put in where needed if in the future heavier wiring would be required); asbestos shingles vs. Flintkote (asbestos was chosen); whether to brace the steel work of the steeple to keep it stable in high winds until the brick work was high enough to permit inserting the lateral I beams (the Committee Chairmen chose to be cautious and provided for the extra support); how to install the bell from the old church in the new church (which was more difficult than expected); buying insurance (the Committee wanted $10,000.00 in coverage “right away”); the height of the stair risers; the hearth construction for the fireplace in the chapel; and the installation of lightning rods.

There were also decisions concerning moving the organ, installing a buzzer system for the Church School, floodlighting the tower, and screening the open lantern of the tower to keep birds out. By September interior work was far enough along to consider colors for the woodwork (cream color on the body of the woodwork with a walnut trim). There was grading to be done, sidewalks to be laid, and many, many small problems too numerous to mention.

In the later part of the 1920-1930 decade the Editor of The Fayetteville Bulletin wrote articles called “Through the Mirror,” which profiled some of the important people of the Town of Manlius. The September 1, 1927, column featured the life of Frank H. Broadfield, husband of Mary Loomis Broadfield and brother-in-law of Yettie Loomis Harris. The Editor told of Mr. Broadfield’s farm life, of his services to the Town of Pompey and to the Baptist Church of Manlius, and of his winters spent in Florida where he enjoyed the mild weather and busied himself in the home construction business.

He was erroneously called the General Chairman of the Building Committee, a job held by William Nightingale.

The Editor wrote that “the experience gained in his building activities is proving to be a valuable asset in connection with his part in the construction of the new Manlius Baptist Church.” As Chairman of the Building Program Committee “he was a leading factor in getting the project underway and is now actively engaged in supervising the completion of the structure. The Church is his hobby and his fellow Church members say that, with the exception of the Pastor, to Mr. Broadfield, more than any one man, is due the erection of this beautiful edifice.”

As construction progressed, the need for money increased. The payments to Valentine and Purchase (and probably the other major contractors also) were to be paid in installments as parts of the work were completed. On May 10, 1927, the Building Committee Chairmen met to discuss the financial problems. Payments in June and July would be especially heavy as they would involve the greater part of the church structure. They decided to have Mr. Reeves’s finance sub-committee ask subscribers who promised to pay their subscriptions in full December 1, 1927 (or before) to pay 50% by June or July. As many others as possible were to be induced to do likewise. The Building Committee Chairmen apparently had the authority to borrow money as needed and in August, 1927, borrowed $8,000.00 from the bank to meet the September 1st payment on the general contract. At this time the Committee decided that $25,000.00 would be needed to complete the work, $36,000.00 having already been paid to Valentine and Purchase. On September 22, 1927, at a special meeting of the Church after Prayer Meeting, the Congregation voted to give the Trustees the authority to dispose of the old church property, the proceeds to be applied to the new church. On September 27, 1927, another special meeting was called to give the Trustees authority to mortgage the new church for at least $15,000.00, so as to enable the Building Committee Chairmen to take care of paying the remains of the contractor bills on completion of the building.

Another financial communication to the Congregation from Reverend Macpherson was a letter dated November 16, 1927, stating that the new church was almost completed. He congratulated the members for their loyalty and devotion thus far and informed them that the cost of the building and furnishings would be approximately $62,000.00. The pledges added up to a little over $60,000.00. The building was erected because some subscribers were willing to pay their entire pledge by December 1, 1927, and the Trustees were working to arrange for a $15,000.00 mortgage on the new building to be held by Mr. Frank Broadfield and Mrs. Yettie Harris. The bad news was that $10,000.00 more was required to finish paying the contractors. He asked the people “where shall it come from, how will we secure it?” and then gave the people a way out of the dilemma. “Pay all of the unpaid pledges. If they are not paid we will have to borrow a like amount.” He asked “Shall we permit the members of the Church to pay interest on unpaid subscriptions?” He invited all of the members to the Annual Meeting on December 5, 1927, and promised it would be an “historic” evening.

The December 5, 1927, Annual Meeting was an important one. The Congregation didn’t know it as yet, but it would be Reverend Macpherson’s last in the Manlius Church. Reverend Macpherson expressed his appreciation for the way the Church and Congregation stood back of him in the past year, and for the loyalty and cooperation shown by each one in construction of the new edifice. Them he spoke of the Loomis family and their connection with the Manlius Baptist Church for the past 90 years, 1837-1927. He spoke of Mr. Isaac Loomis, father of Mrs. Yettie Harris and Mrs. Broadfield, and how Mr. Loomis would read sermons and conduct the services on Sunday when the Church was without a pastor. He spoke of how Mrs. Broadfield taught Sunday School for years and how Mrs. Harris played the organ (she resigned as organist on December 6, 1926). (He didn’t mention it but Mr. Broadfield was a chorister and had also resigned at the same time, but his resignation was not accepted and Mr. Earl Kane was named as a substitute.) Because of the loyalty of the Loomis Family to the Church he suggested that the social hall (and gymnasium) be called the Loomis Memorial Social Hall of the Manlius Baptist Church. A motion to that effect was made, seconded and carried. The name was to be bestowed on the Hall at the time of the new church dedication.

At the meeting, Mr. Shulte brought up the question of a Constitution and By-Laws for the Church. (The Church abided by various rules and regulations, but had had no written Constitution and By-Laws.) He suggested they call a meeting and select a Committee to prepare the same. Reverend Macpherson was also in favor of a constitution, and suggested that this would also be a good time to change the name of the Church. (“The Baptist Church and Society in Manlius and Pompey” was seldom used as a name for the Church except legally and for the Annual Meeting Notes, and had been in practice replaced by “The Manlius Baptist Church.”) A motion was made and carried that the Reverend Macpherson be empowered to appoint a committee to draft a Constitution and By-Laws and to report on a date he might set. There was no mention of action on either the constitution or a name change, however, during the few months left of the Macpherson pastorate.

At the December 6, 1927, meeting of the Building Committee Chairmen, Mr. Purchase of Valentine and Purchase came to ask the Committee to formally accept the building from the contractors as all of their work, with the exception of a few details which would be taken care of before the end of the week, was completed. The Committee agreed that pending the completion of some projects to vote to accept the building. At this point Valentine and Purchase had been paid $45,000.00. $1,918.00 was due to make the payments 85% of the contract price (and an additional amount of $1,673.00 for extra work.)

On December 18, 1927, the Congregation bade farewell to the old Seneca Street church building with what The Fayetteville Bulletin called “a delightful farewell party.”

The parlors were filled to their capacity and a splendid program was given. The “Spirit of Christmas” was exemplified by everyone present and also by absent members. Many beautiful Christmas Baskets were to be carried to shut-ins as a result of the service.

Reverend Macpherson reported to Baptist architect W. E. Merrill on January 18, 1928, that we moved up from the Church of the Holy Acorn (his description of the old church steeple) on the Thursday before Christmas. The Church School attendance increased 75% after the move. The transition was not complete until April 1, 1928, however. The social hall (gymnasium) was used for a Christmas (1927) entertainment and for a play presented by the Women’s Missionary Society. The first service in the sanctuary was a prayer service on December 22, 1927. The organ installation had not been completed, however, and regular services were deferred until April 1, 1928, when the Baptistry was also used for the first time.

On January 3, 1928, the Building Committee Chairmen met. This was the last meeting for which we have Reverend Macpherson’s notes and may have been the Committee’s last meeting. The mortgage arrangement with Mr. Broadfield still had not been settled but was to be taken care of early in February. 1928.

On January 18, 1928, the County Court with the Honorable William L. Barnum, County Judge, presiding, gave the Baptist Church and Society in Pompey and Manlius permission to mortgage its real property for the sum of $15,000.00. Terms were that the rate of interest should not exceed 6% per annum and that the proceeds of the said mortgage be used to complete the payments of the said new church edifice described in said petition; to complete the equipment and furnishing thereof and the alteration and repairs to the parsonage therein. Signed William L. Barnum.

A Bond was drawn up in which the Baptist Church and Society in Pompey and Manlius was held and firmly bound with Frank H. Broadfield and Yettie Harris. The condition was that the Church pay Frank H. Broadfield and Yettie R. Harris $15,000.00 with interest at 6% until the whole of the said principle sum and interest was fully paid.

On February 6, 1928, at a special meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Manlius Baptist Church, it was resolved that the Church borrow of the Fayetteville Commercial Bank of Fayetteville, New York, a sum not to exceed $9,000.00 and interest. Be it further resolved that the Manlius Baptist Church execute a note payable on demand for $9,000.00 and the said Manlius Baptist Church and the President of the Board of Trustees of the Church are hereby authorized to execute the said note. Signed Harold Goodfellow. By October 1, 1929, the note was almost paid up. There was an unpaid balance of $250.00. A copy of the note signed by all of the Trustees can be found in the Appendix.

On March 18, 1928 a month before the Dedication of the new church building, Reverend Macpherson, Pastor of the Manlius Baptist Church since October 10, 1921,

submitted his resignation to the Church effective the first Sunday in May 1928. What was he like as a pastor of the Baptist Church of Manlius? His work as secretary of the Building Committee and unofficially the prime mover of the whole process is well documented because he kept excellent records. Very little is written in Church Minutes about the life of the Church during this period, although the activities of the Church as chronicled in The Fayetteville Bulletin, proceeded as usual.

Mrs. Harris, in her annual letters (as Church Clerk) to the Onondaga Baptist Association, described Reverend Macpherson as a preacher and a leader:

1924: “The new pastor is a good preacher, a wise leader, and has taken up the work with earnestness and enthusiasm.”

1925: “Seldom listened to better preaching nor received better pastoral care.”

1926: “Our pastor (is) a good Bible student and our prayer meetings are helpful to a good understanding of the word, while the sermons we hear are stimulating to a better living.”

1927: ‘Pastor Macpherson has been our guide and inspiration.” (She noted that the Seneca Street Church construction was started 100 years previously.)

Reverend Macpherson was able to take time out to attend as a delegate the Northern Baptist Convention in Washing ton DC from May 25-30, 1928.

Mr. Merrill (Baptist Architect) seemed to realize that Reverend Macpherson had thoughts of leaving Manlius and perhaps hoped to change his mind. In his last letter of January 21, 1928, to Reverend Macpherson, he wrote “You are going to have a great time as you go on with your work in the new building, and I hope you see your way clear to remain there for a considerable time" and thus demonstrate what a difference a satisfactory building makes in strengthening a Church from the smallest tot to the oldest member.” This was not to be, however. In his letter of resignation dated March 11, 1928, Reverend Macpherson stated that he had come to Manlius to build a church and now that it was completed he felt that “If the time for a change in leadership has ever come to the Church, I feel that that time is now.” (The entire letter is reproduced in the appendix.) In his letter to Reverend John Willis, pastor, First Methodist Church, Homer, New York (formerly pastor of the Methodist Church in Manlius), inviting Reverend Willis to return to Manlius to take part in the Dedication Services, Reverend Macpherson explained his resignation. He wrote “doubtless you have heard of our going to Lincoln, Nebraska. My last service will be on April 29th. It’s hard to leave this fine edifice with its opportunities for a developing program, but I feel we are doing the right thing. The Lincoln work is attractive in many ways not the least of which is the great educational institutions there with an aggregate of ten-thousand students. (Lincoln, Nebraska, was the home of Nebraska Wesleyan as well as Nebraska State University.)

Final ceremonies for the Dedication of the new church were held from April 7 to April 22, 1928. It was an ambitious undertaking with five different events scheduled. (The program for all of the events is reproduced in the Appendix.) The first event on Tuesday, April 17 was Community Night. All of the Protestant Manlius Church Pastors participated, and Reverend John H. Willis, former pastor of the Manlius Methodist Church spoke on “Community Religion.”

Wednesday (April 18) was Educational Night. Professor F. O. Erb, Ph.D., from the Rochester Theological Seminary and Chairman of the Commission on Religious Education at the Baptist State Convention, spoke on Religious Education and the local Church. The Church School was open for inspection. Dr. Erb was supposed to dine at the Macpherson home before the program, but because a case of mumps had developed in Reverend Macpherson’s family, other arrangements were made.

It was apparently a bad night in other respects for in his letter of thanks to Dr. Erb, Reverend Macpherson apologized for “the miserably small representation of the people.” He felt that the non-attendance was a result of a “smallpox scare,” which he thought was “abating somewhat,” but feared it would affect other services.

Thursday (April 19) was Building Night. The members and guests met in the gymnasium-social hall for a supper served by the Ladies Aid Society. This was the fourth (and final) building supper. The social hall was dedicated as the Loomis Memorial Social Hall. Reverend George H. Hobart, pastor of the Eastwood Baptist Church, spoke on “Bricks and Character.” Mr. Hallenbeck and the Building Contractors were invited as guests to this occasion.

On Friday and Saturday (April 20 & 21) the Congregation was allowed to rest. Sunday, April 22, 1928, was Dedication Day. The Dedication Sermon was entitled “The House of Prayer” and was given by Reverend Macpherson. The Building Committee symbolized the end of its work by presenting the keys of the church to the Board of Trustees. At 12:00 special dedication exercises of the Church School were held in each department in their assembly rooms.

On Sunday evening, April 22, 1928, the regular Union Evening service for the village was held with the local Churches participating. Reverend Albert Sears, D.D., of Syracuse spoke on “The Local Church and the World Field.”

Some of the joy and satisfaction in the completion and dedication of the new church must have been dampened by the year long illness and death of Mary Louise Loomis Broadfield on May 16, 1928. She and her sister, Yettie R. Harris, were said to have made the new church possible by their generosity. Mrs. Broadfield had for many years been a loyal and active member of the Church. She was recognized in 1925 as the only living active member who had been connected to the Church for 50 consecutive years. She sang in the choir and taught a men’s Bible class for a time (and other classes as well.)

On April 29, 1928, Reverend Macpherson preached his last sermon and shortly thereafter left with his family for Lincoln, Nebraska. Reverend and Mrs. Macpherson’s letters were voted to be transferred to the Second Baptist Church of that city.

1928-1938 (Reverend Derwood Lester Smith)

After Reverend Macpherson left, the Manlius Baptists turned to Dr. Albert Sears, a retired minister from Syracuse, to fill the pulpit until a new pastor could be found. (The Church was closed during the month of August.) There is no record of the number of candidates who preached to the Manlius Church, but apparently when the Church heard Reverend Derwood L. Smith of Malone, New York, the Congregation had found its candidate of choice. On October 29, 1928, at a special meeting, the Congregation met to take some action in regard to calling Rev. Smith. Mr. Nightingale, Chairman of the Pulpit Committee, explained to the Congregation that Reverend Smith would have to give thirty days notice to his Congregation in Malone, and that his salary there was approximately $2000.00 per year. After a question and answer period, a motion was made, seconded and carried to call Reverend Smith. His salary was to be $2000.00 per year with parsonage, garage, vacation and $100.00 for moving expenses. Reverend Smith wrote the Congregation accepting the call. The letter is reproduced in the Appendix.

Reverend Smith began his pastorate in Manlius on December 9, 1928, one day before his 30th birthday. Reverend Smith and his wife Elizabeth (Betty) were received by letter from the Malone Baptist Church on December 20, 1928. The Church in Malone, New York, regretted the loss of the Smiths. He left their Church “in good condition financially and (with) a harmonious spirit pervading. His work with the young people had been a marked success.”

Reverend Derwood Lester Smith (our second pastor named Smith) was born in Ballston Spa, New York, on December 10, 1898. He graduated from High School at the Troy Conference Academy of Poultney, Vermont, and received his Bachelor of Theology Degree from, the Colgate Theological Seminary in 1925.

Reverend Smith, like Reverend Macpherson, was not the showman that Reverend Rand was. There was only one series of meetings led by an outside evangelist. These special services appeared to have lost their appeal for the Churches. Evening Services were now mainly shorter versions of the Morning Services. There were no more slide or movie shows or special series of topics.

The midweek Devotional Services continued (Prayer Meetings). Morning Services were at 10:30 followed by Sunday School at 12:00. the Senior Christian Endeavor Society was strong and active. (There was no mention of Junior Christian Endeavor Meetings in 1928.) The girls were active in the World Wide Guild (a successor to Worthwhile Girls). The women divided their time between the Ladies Aid Society and the Women’s Missionary Society, and the men joined the “Brotherhood” (long before the days of the Mafia.) The Trojan Class for older women,. the Baraca-0Philathea Class for men and women, (which met separately on Sunday, but together for social times,) the Round Table Class (whose students met around a round table), and the Busy Bees were some of the Sunday School Classes available in 1929. The men and women still met separately.

During Holy Week in 1919, the Protestant Churches of Manlius joined for special observances on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday (Communion) and Friday. On Easter Sunday the Christian Endeavor Society took charge of a Sunrise Prayer Service held at 7:15 in the Church auditorium. After the service breakfast was served. Sixty-five CE members were present.

Reverend Smith enjoyed acting and when the Baraca Class (men) of the Sunday School entertained the Philathea Class (women) at a business and social meeting, they presented a short play,” The District School.” Reverend Smith portrayed a red-headed school marm and the men from the class played the scholars, four girls and four boys. Not to be outdone, the Busy Bee Class of the Sunday School (young people) later presented a comedy, “The Voice of Authority,” to an audience of the Congregation and Towns People and raised over $45.00.

As usual the Children’s Day Exercises were a major highlight of the year and the children of the Onondaga Home (orphans) were again invited to attend and participate in the program. A collection was taken for the benefit of the Home.

The Daily Vacation Bible School originated with the Epiphany Baptist Church of New York City in July, 1898.

The newest development in Christian Education was the Vacation Bible School. The Fayetteville Protestant Churches were organizing their first for 1929 as were the Churches in Manlius. The teachers were trained at a Vacation Bible Training Institute in Oneida on June 28, 1929. The Vacation Bible School opened at the Baptist (classes for children) and Methodist (Kindergarten sessions) Churches on July 8, 1929, for a two week session with over 100 children regularly attending. The classes for older children involved lessons in crafts (chair caning, basket weaving, coping saw work, painting, soap modeling, paper cutting, etc.) The craft work was said to benefit the children in that it taught them to think for themselves and work out each problem as they came to it. “They instill in the minds of the pupil habits of building and improvement which hold them in good stead later in life.” In the study of the Bible every Protestant denomination was represented in the teachers’ group. It was carefully pointed out that the subjects selected for the children’s discussions were not contradictory or offensive to any denomination. It was not all work. There was supervised play on the church grounds, story-telling, flag salutes, music, drills, marches, etc. The children were kept all day and the younger children were served lunch.

In June the Church sent Reverend Smith on a two week trip to Denver, Colorado, to attend the yearly meeting of the Northern Baptist Convention. he gave an “excellent” report to a “large and appreciative” Congregation on Sunday, June 23, 1929, that “warmly greeted him” on his return.

Sometimes the advertisers used the names of local people in their front page ads in The Fayetteville Bulletin. In the August 22, 1929 edition, the ad involved Reverend Smith: “Speaking about beverages, the Reverend Derwood L. Smith, pastor of the local Baptist Church, when officiating at a funeral up in the north country got to a place in the service where he announced: `We will now pass the bier!’ Chairs and tables were overturned and several were trampled on in the rush of thirsty mourners.” The advertiser went on to extol the virtues of the need for pure water in plentiful supply which could be furnished in the home or barn with a Meyers electric automatic water pressure system from Couden’s Hardware in Manlius. There was no recorded comment on Reverend Smith’s reaction to the advertisement. It is not known if Reverend Smith was amused or offended.

On July 24, 1929, the Baptists and Methodists enjoyed their annual Union Sunday School Picnic at Scott Noose Park on Oneida Lake. Trucks were provided for those who needed transportation but most people now had their own cars. (People were advised to go by way of Minoa to avoid very poor roads elsewhere.) Picnicking, swimming, organized games and fellowship were to be the activities of the day. About 300 members and friends. attended.

The Church was closed for one month in August while Reverend Smith and his family were on vacation. All of the Church activities resumed in the fall. The Church marked the beginning of the Manlius Public School year by inviting the Faculty of the Manlius High School to a reception on September 17, 1929, in Loomis Hall (decorated with lamps, rugs, easy chairs and flowers for the occasion.) “A general good time” and games to get acquainted followed, after which ice cram and cake were served.

The week of October 8, 1929, was Convocation or Rally Week in the Church with a program each night given by various Church Societies, a Church School Supper on Friday night, culminating on October 13, 1929, with special services on Rally Sunday.

In the October 8, 1929, newspaper the headline read, “Methodist and Baptist Men in Joint Meeting.” The Methodist men were to be the guests of the Baptist Brotherhood in Loomis Hall. A feature of the evening was to be a volleyball contest between picked teams from each Brotherhood. (The week before the Baptists, handicapped with two members crippled physically and two crippled mentally- all in jest, of course- defeated the Methodist, who were anxious to wipe out the stain on their reputation.) Games of “water polo” (in which contestants with water on the brain played polo), checkers, and quoits were played, also.

In November, Reverend Smith began a series of Fireside Sermons in the Sunday Evening Services. “is Love blind?,” “Chips from the Old Block,” “Till Death Do Us Part,” and “Journey’s End” were among the subjects on which he preached. Every month, one Sunday evening was devoted to a Union Service with the Methodist Church. The Union services were found to be very satisfactory with capacity audiences.

The 132nd Annual Meeting was held on December 2, 1929. It was reported that t the $15,000.00 mortgage held by Mrs. Harris and her brother-in-law, F. H. Broadfield, had been reduced by them to $7500.00. It was customary to praise the Pastor at the Annual Meeting and Louise Davis made the comment that “the name Smith means work and the Church could not help but advance under his (Reverend Smith’s) leadership.” It was noted by Mrs. Hefti and Reverend Smith that June 1, 1930, would mark the end of the five year building fund campaign program. Mrs. Hefti hoped the Church could have a dinner and at that time unveil the tablet that was to designate the Social Hall as the Loomis Memorial Hall.

On December 10, 1929, the Brotherhood of the Church sponsored a Father and Son Banquet to which 70 men and boys attended. They were entertained by the Church orchestra and “appropriate” songs were sung. Alfred Smith (no relation to the famous Al Smith or to Rev. Smith) was President of the Society for 1929.

Christmas in 1929 was celebrated “as was the first Christmas” with a glorious outburst of song. On Sunday evening, December 21, 1929, the 20 member choir sang and Reverend Smith told the Baptists stories of some of the well known Christmas hymns. On Monday the Sunday School held its Christmas Program and on Christmas Eve the young people went carol singing.

An inter-denominational Pulpit Exchange was in its third year in the Syracuse area. On Sunday, January 26, 1930, Reverend Smith preached in the Lafayette Avenue Church and the Manlius Baptists heard Reverend John R. Woodcock, Pastor of the Genesee Street Church.

On June 12, 1930, Mrs. Hefti’s hopes were fulfilled when a Fellowship Banquet was enjoyed by the Congregation in Loomis Hall. Five years after the laying of the cornerstone, a tablet was installed in memory of the Loomis Family, who had done so much for the Church for many years. The Treasurer reported that $90,000.00 had been paid to the Building Fund during the five years and that there was only a small debt left. (A newspaper account of the ceremony is reproduced in the Appendix.)

On September 25-26, 1930, the 105th session of the Onondaga Association of Baptist Churches met in the Manlius Baptist Church. The Church was proud to show the Association its new building. Mrs. Hefti described the meetings as “unusually good” and stated that our Church “responded in every way” to make the meeting a success. The Ladies Aid served all the meals and earned over $100.00 for their projects.

Radio was becoming an important means of disseminating information and entertaining its listeners. Reverend Smith was an enthusiastic participant in radio broadcasts of religious material. On November 6, 1930, he was in charge of a devotional broadcast from WSYR.

At the Annual Business Meeting on December 8, 1930, the Treasurer noted that while the mortgage had been paid, $6859.00 in pledges for the new Church remained outstanding. Some of them were probably never paid for the “Great Depression” hit the country in 1929 . Many people in Manlius were affected as well.

Jessie Hefti, Church Clerk, in her Annual Report to the Onondaga Baptist Association for the 1931-1932 Associational Year mentioned the hard times. She wrote “although we hear the word `Depression’ on every side, it has no place in our Church. The work has been carried on with gratifying results. The Church is in good condition financially.”

In January, 1931, one hundred Bibles were placed in the pews of the Church. On Easter Sunday, April 5, 1931, the Choir appeared for the first time as a vested Choir.

Sports were a very important factor in the Baptist Youth Program, made possible in part by the building of Loomis Hall. In March of 1931 the Baptists, Methodists, Episcopalians, and Catholic Churches got together for a Basketball Tournament. The admission to the games was ten cents per person. The outcome of the League play was not available. The games were played in the Methodist and Baptist Church gyms.

In 1931 the Protestant Churches were h olding monthly Sunday Evening Union Services. In May 1931 the Baraca-Philathea Chasses cooperated with the Manlius Chamber of Commerce in their efforts to beautify the Village of Manlius with attractive flower gardens. A plant and food sale was held on May 16, 1931, where plants were placed on sale at reasonable prices.

On May 28, 1931, the Masons met in the old Baptist Church on Seneca Street for their annual meeting and supper. On June 15, 1931, the 50th Semi-Annual Meeting of the Women’s Missionary Society of the Onondaga Baptist Association was hosted by the Manlius Baptist Women.

In 1931 it was still proper for public high schools to sponsor Baccalaureate Services for graduating classes and on June 21, 1931, Reverend Smith delivered the sermon to the Manlius High School graduating class and their parents and friends in the Manlius Baptist Church. On July 17, 1931, the first wedding in the new Baptist Church occurred when Leora Van Brocklin and Harold Wright were married by Reverend Smith. The wedding supper was served in Loomis Hall.

In July 1931 the Manlius Baptists held their third Vacation Bible School. It was said to have been the most successful so far with over 100 children enrolled. It is not clear if it was sponsored by all of the Protestant Churches or just the Baptist Church, but, of course, all children were welcome. July 24, 1931, was the day set for the annual Union Sunday School Picnic at Scott Noose Park, now attended only by Baptists and Methodists. About 225 people sat down to the picnic dinner, but an unexpected rainstorm dampened the afternoon activities.

September 27, 1931, was Rally Day at the Baptist Sunday School. A special program featured songs and recitations by the students, music by the Church orchestra, and remarks by Pastor Smith.

In 1931 the old church building on Seneca Street still belonged to the Baptists. The Masons in Manlius had been interested but apparently could not raise the money needed. The Manlius Chamber of Commerce and the Library Board were investigating the possible rental of the old church for a library. William H. Nightingale speaking for the Church told the Chamber that the Church would be willing to make several improvements to the old church building: i.e., two coats of paint, a lowered ceiling in the main room and adequate heating and toilet facilities. The library would only be charged a nominal rent, enough to defray the expense of the improvements and fixed charges such as fire insurance, etc. Nothing further was reported concerning the Chamber’s response.

In the November 11, 1931, issue of The Weekly Recorder, it was reported that the Manlius Baptist Church won second prize of $15 in a contest in which judges from “The Baptist,” the denominational paper of the Northern Baptist Convention, picked the most attractive Baptist Church in communities of less than 2000 population. First prize went to the First Baptist Church of Groton, New York. The contest was created to quicken interest in the beautification of small town churches.

The effects of the Depression were now being felt by many people in small villages like Fayetteville and Manlius. Apparently the people in small towns and villages had to help themselves. In Manlius, Mayor Nightingale, in 1931 appointed a Committee to raise money for the distressed and unemployed in the village. They were also to direct the collection of clothing, food and fuel and to assume charge of its disposition. The Committee met every Sunday afternoon in the Baptist Church. One of the early projects was to sponsor a benefit performance in the local Seville Theater.

On March 24, 1932, H. E. Ransier, from the Manlius Baptist Church, gave one of his illustrated Travel Talks to the community in the high school auditorium. Attendees were asked to make a donation to the Welfare Committee for funds to aid families in need. Reverend Smith took part in the appeal. The Committee had helped over 40 families whose heads were still unemployed or working only part time.

The summer of 1932 was made complete with the annual Vacation Bible School, running for eight days with enrollment of 125 children, and the Union Sunday School picnic held July 29, 1932, as usual, at Scott Noose Park on Lake Oneida with transportation in trucks and cars. The Church was closed, as usual, for the month of August. Reverend Smith and his family enjoyed their vacation.

In the fall of 1932, the Manlius Library had apparently decided against the Baptist offer to use their old church. The American Legion became interested and at a special meeting voted to acquire the old church as a permanent club-house. They intended using the Sunday School rooms as the actual club room and the main hall for meeting, dances, parties and large assemblies.

Earlier we reported on Reverend Smith’s name being used in an advertisement for beer. In the September 8, 1932, Fayetteville Bulletin the readers were told, “Next time you go by the Manlius Baptist Church take particular notice of the white paint on it. We want you to notice that this paint is just as glossy as glass and as white as the driven snow..... This paint was furnished by Paint Headquarters, which is Couden’s Hardware, Manlius....”

In the Fayetteville Bulletin for September 29, 1932, it was reported that “Legion Closes Deal for Clubhouse” and that the lease was already signed. The Baptist Church Trustees were relieved, but only for a short time. The Legionaires did accomplish the renovation of the kitchen and the lavatories, rewired the building and installed a new furnace. The Legion offered to make the rooms available for community affairs at very reasonable rates.

The Curb Market run by the Ladies Aid Society seems to have been replaced by a “Harvest Supper,” which was served every year as a major source of money for their causes. The 1932 dinner was held on October 11.

In November of 1932 the Presbyterian Church Body in Manlius dissolved as ordered by the Syracuse Presbytery. The 117-year old Congregation passed into oblivion. “Unable to support the expenses of an active existence, the old church has been dormant since last spring.” This was a sad time for the Manlius Baptists. The two Congregations had always worked closely together, at times joining together for Sunday Evening Services, Prayer Meetings, youth meetings and picnics. The possibility that the “magnificent old colonial building may be destroyed has spread consternation in the village.” There was also concern about the “fine old clock in the steeple tower which has served for many years as the village criterion of the passing of time (although on occasion it has been known to disagree with itself on its several faces.)” While the Presbyterian Church was lost to Manlius, the Baptist Church remained strong and on December 7, 1932, celebrated it 135th anniversary with special services and events.

On Sunday morning, December 4, 1932, the Reverend John W. Smith DD, Secretary of the New York Baptist Convention, was the guest preacher. In the evening the Reverend Derwood Smith preached his fourth Annual Anniversary Sermon. On Monday, December 5, 1932, the Church members gathered in Loomis Memorial Hall for its 135th annual business meeting. Reports were read and the 99 present responded to a Roll Call of Members. Many out-of-town members responded with letters of well wishes. Reverend Rand came back from Albany to give the major address of the evening. “His talk proved very interesting and brought back memories of his previous service here. Then were letters read from former Pastors E. E. Ford, C. J. Barton, E. H. Conrad, D. J. Bloxham and J. Macpherson commemorating the occasion.” The letters apparently were not saved.

The year 1933 was, as usual, a busy time for the Church. The Manlius Baptist Church held its fifth annual Vacation Bible School with Reverend Smith in charge, assisted by 18 teachers and helpers for two weeks in july. There were 110 children from all local churches registered. Reverend and Mrs. Derwood L. Smith entertained a group of friends at the parsonage on July 4, 1933. Among the guests were Reverend and Mrs. Lawrence A. Wheaton and family and children of Oneida ( Reverend Wheaton was to be our next pastor after Rev. Smith in 1938.) The Summer Baptist and Methodist Sunday School Picnic was held locally this time in Green Lakes Park on August 23, 1933, Wednesday afternoon and evening. The dinner was held this year in the evening, which meant working adults could participate.

One of the major events of 1933 took place at the Annual Meeting of the Church on December 4th. Reports were read, new officers selected, and the treasurer, Mr. George Reeves, announced that through the generous gifts of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Broadfield and Mrs. Y. R. Harris, the mortgage on the new church had been paid, leaving the Church free from debt. Following the business session, Pastor Reverend Derwood L. Smith presided over the program in recognition of the generous donors. The mortgage was burned and the people sang the Doxology and a prayer of thanksgiving was offered. William Nightingale delivered a brief history of the building of the new church, speaking in behalf of the men. Mrs. H. E. Ransier spoke for the women of the character and friendship of the three donors. Leslie Burt spoke for the youth. He acknowledged the great debt the youth owed those who made the new church possible. The Pastor spoke of the privilege that had been his for the past five years of working in such a beautiful church with people whose faith in the future was so far reaching.

In the Fall Mr. and Mrs. H. E. Ransier took over the reorganized Junior Christian Endeavor (now called the Junior League) and conducted the meetings every Sunday afternoon. Their Christmas program featured children bringing gifts, not for each other but for the children of the Bethany Sunday School in Syracuse. There were dolls, toys and games of every kind in perfect condition from over 50 children.

In May of 1934 Reverend and Mrs. Derwood L Smith, Charles Bowman, Florence Burt, Mr. and Mrs. Paul Hale and Mr. and Mrs. Harry Fillmore attended the Northern Convention in Rochester, New York. July 9, 1934, was opening day for the Sixth Annual Vacation Church School. In August the Church was closed as usual and the pastor took his vacation.

On Sunday, December 9, 1934, the Church commemorated the end of Pastor Smith’s sixth year as pastor. He was said to have served his Church well, that his sermons were always spiritual and showed careful preparation and study. He was also to celebrate his 36th birthday the next day and the Church presented him with 36 beautiful roses. He responded with the information that during those six years he had made 550 house call, conducted 50 funerals, 35 weddings, and baptized 65 people (12 more joined by letter). At the December 10, 1934, annual meeting, Clerk Jessie Hefti presented her history of the Church for the record. The reports showed the Church free of all debts.

In early 1935 the topic for discussion in the Village of Manlius was the fate of the Presbyterian Church property. The Village Board scheduled a poll of the taxpayers for February 5, 1935, to ascertain whether or not the village should buy the property for use as the site for a firehouse, village hall or library. There was no more talk of the loss of an historic old building which would later be razed to build the Municipal Building. The Eagle Bulletin urged everyone eligible to vote “yes” for the proposition with no reservations and apprehensions for the welfare of the community after doing so. The vote on February 5, 1935, was 51 for and 22 against.

Children’s Day was celebrated on June 9, 1935, with a group from the Onondaga Orphans’ Home assisting. The Baptists and Methodists joined forces again on July 29, 1935, for the annual Church Picnic, this year back at Scott Noose Park on Oneida Lake. The Seventh Annual Vacation Bible School was held at the Church from July 8-19 with a closing picnic on July 20th. The enrollment was 110 children. The Church was closed for the Pastor’s vacation again in the month of August.

In September of 1935, the Church was saddened by the death of Frank B. Fillmore. He was born 81 years earlier on the farm on which he died. He and Mrs. Fillmore left the Fayetteville Baptist Church when it joined with the Presbyterian Church. He had been a Deacon of the Manlius Church since 1919. In an impressive and moving service on November 23, 1935, Harry Fillmore, the son of Frank, was installed as Deacon to take his father’s place.

In the Fall of 1935 Mr. and Mrs. H. E. Ransier took charge of the Children’s Hour, later known as Junior Church. The children of the Congregation were allowed to leave the regular Church service following the Pastor’s Children’s Sermon to meet with the Ransiers where Biblical instruction by means of Pictures, stories, and songs was given and many valuable lessens were learned.

Rally Day in 1935 was planned for September 29th. Mrs. Derwood L. Smith was the director of the program. Parts in the program were taken by the Pastor, members of the Church School with music furnished by the Junior Choir.

In October 1935 the Baptist notes, as printed in The Fayetteville Bulletin, indicated that the Third Annual School of Missions would begin and continue for six consecutive Thursday evenings. Each evening a covered dish supper was followed by a devotional period and mission study. (Although this was the third annual school, there was nothing in the records available that indicate two previous schools.) Mrs. Derwood Smith and Mrs. Thomas Cleveland had charge of the Mission Study Books for the adult and young people’s classes. Attendance was nearly 100 at each meeting.

In 1935 the Church seemed to have largely abandoned the Sunday Evening Services. On October 24, 1935, it was announced that the Church was inaugurating a special Sunday Evening Service once a month, the first to be a Candle Light Communion Service.

On October 22, 1935, Miss Sarah H. White died at the age of 83. She was the oldest member of the Manlius Baptist Church. A small headline in the November 20, 1935, Fayetteville Bulletin read, “Manlius Church is Willed large Sum.” Miss White bequeathed $500.00 to the Manlius Baptist Church, $200.00 to the Oran Church and $5.00 to the Pompey Center Cemetery.

In a November 14, 1935, Church Meeting some members voiced a concern for elderly people who might want to join the Church but were physically unable to be baptized into full membership. It was proposed that they would be considered under the watchcare of the Church, but not members of the Church. On January 9, 1936, Mary Smith was voted to be accepted under the watchcare of the Church.

The 138th Annual Meeting was held on December 2, 1935. (In early days the meeting was held on December 8th to commemorate the beginning of the Church on December 8, 1797, regardless of the day of the week. In the 1900s the Church began to meet on the Monday after the first Sunday in December.) Everyone coming to the Annual Meeting was asked to bring a penny for each year of his age as a building offering. the gifts would be used to purchase a name plate for the outside of the building. $228.08 was collected.

To close the year 1935, the Manlius Baptist Church planned a watch night celebration for Tuesday night, December 31st beginning at 8:30 P. M. and lasting until midnight. The events opened with a program of music and drama provided by the young people. the Round Table Class presented “The Coming of Light,” a drama commemorating the 400th anniversary of the Miles Coverdale Bible. There were games to play, refreshments and at 11:30 Reverend Derwood Smith spoke on “A Spirited New Year” at the devotional service in the chapel (now the library).

The yer 1936 was a relatively quiet year with no new events planned. All of the Church organizations, i.e. Christian Endeavors, Baracas, Philatheas, World Wide Guild, Round Table Class, Ladies Aid, missionary Society, were active and meeting. There were Senior Choirs and a Junior Choir, Junior Church and Prayer Meetings. The Sunday Evening Service was mostly defunct and seemed to be the major casualty of the Church program. In retrospect it appears that Reverend Smith was winding down his leadership of the the Church.

Special Evangelistic meetings, although not as prevalent as they once had been, were being held occasionally and a series of six meetings with out-of-town speakers was held prior to Easter of 1936. “These meetings were well attended and a spiritual help to the Church.”

In 1936 our Church became a Forward Fund Church, which meant we had over subscribed our quota for mission-giving. In 1935-36 our quota was $1100.00. The Church gave $1300.00.

In the summer of 1936 the Church decided to put into effect the Unified Church Service and Sunday School Plan of the Baptists. It would start on Children’s Day, June 14th, and continue to Rally Day in September with the Church closed as usual in August. There was to be a combination of worship and study by the adults and the children. The sermon and the Sunday School lesson would be based on the same subject and material. The worship service was to start at 10:30. The children were to be dismissed for Junior Church after the Children’s Story at 11:00. Preaching would be for one half hour. At 11:30 the Congregation would proceed directly to their Sunday School classes for the study of the lesson. All classes would be dismissed at 12:15. (The usual schedule was 10:30-12:00 Church, 12:00-1:00, Sunday School.) The Eighth Annual Vacation Bible School was held in July and was, as always, very successful with 132 children enrolled in the program.

The Annual Union Sunday School Picnic with the Methodist was held on July 29, 1936, at Scott Noose Park. Trucks with fitted seats were provided for those without means of transportation.

In August Reverend and Mrs. Derwood Smith and daughter Ruth (and Mrs. Jessie Hefti) left by motor for Washington D. C. for a sightseeing trip of three weeks. the remainder of their vacation was spent at Lake George.

The beginning of the Fall Church Season was celebrated with Home Coming day on Sunday, September 27, 1936. Mrs. Charles Stark was a member of the Program Committee in charge. Although there was a member of the Program Committee in charge. Although there was no attempt a reviving the Sunday Evening Services, the Church planned for monthly Vesper Services to be held at 5:30. This would be a special music service with a short sermon by the Pastor.

On Tuesday, November 10, 1936, the Ladies Aid served their annual Harvest Supper to the public. It was advertised that the ladies had made their price so very reasonable that all can afford to attend. “Everyone is invited.”

On Tuesday, November 17, 1936, the Men’s Council (a new name for the men’s organization) met at the home of Harry Fillmore. The speaker was Reverend Lawrence Wheaton, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Oneida. Reverend Wheaton (our next pastor) was becoming well acquainted with many members of the Manlius Church.

In an unusual move Reverend Smith arranged a “beautiful” service for Christmas Day, December 25, 1936, at 6:00 P.M. in the church auditorium to which the entire community was invited. The object of the service on Christmas Day was to exemplify the real spirit of Christmas, that of seeking new blessings and power from the radiance of the Christ Child message, “Glory to God in the Highest, on Earth Peace, Good Will towards Men.”

The Church year of 1937 was a typical year to expect under the leadership of Rev. Derwood L. Smith. In general all of the Church programs that had worked well for several years were continued. The two week daily Vacation Bible School was in its ninth year with Reverend Smith still the general superintendent. There were 35 teachers and 135 children taking part. The annual Union Sunday School picnic with the Methodists was held on July 29 in Madison Lake, said to be an admirable place for bathing with an excellent beach. In the fall Reverend Smith organized a Boy’s Chub for boys 11 years and up. The girls had enjoyed their own organizations for years (World Wide Guild) and now the young men had one of their own.

On Sunday, December 5, 1937, Reverend Smith read his resignation to the Congregation. He announced that he had felt called to a larger field and accepted the call to the First Baptist Church of Vineland, New Jersey. The Annual Meeting was held on December 6, 1937. A motion was made, seconded and carried at that meeting to accept Reverend Smith’s resignation with regret. Reverend Smith replied to the acceptance with “words of comfort and encouragement to us all.”

The Junior Church was still going strong. In their report to the Annual Meeting the group represented by one of its members, Norma J. Richburg, mentioned that the Junior Church was in it third year and that the average attendance was 45. The group took part in the School of Missions and gave $45.00 to the Church. She invited “you older folks to come upstairs and visit our Junior church when you get tired of sitting through the preaching service down stairs and we will give you an interesting program.” The group had a new picture machine that “we are all enjoying” and wanted to share with the adults.

One of the last duties of Reverend Smith as pastor of the Manlius Baptist Church was to baptize his daughter, Ruth Frances Smith, along with ten other people on December 26, 1937. On Sunday evening, January 9, 1938, Reverend Smith preached his farewell sermon. It was a special union service and all of the Baptist Choirs sang. “Many voiced regrets at their leaving and yet all wished them success in their new field of labor.”

At a Prayer Meeting February 4, 1938, the Church voted to grant letters to Reverend Smith, Mrs. Smith and their daughter Ruth from the Church to unite with the First Baptist Church of Vineland, New Jersey. The Smiths left on January 12, 1938, for their new home in New Jersey. (On January 24, 1938, Reverend Smith rushed back to Manlius to officiate at the funeral of Mrs. Gertrude Ferguson who died suddenly.)

1938-1945 (Reverend Lawrence Albert Wheaton)

After Reverend Derwood Smith preached his farewell sermon on January 9, 1938, a Pulpit Committee (Mr. Leslie Burt, Mr. William Nightingale and Mr. Harry Fillmore) was chosen to secure new leadership for the Church. Some or all of these men had opportunities to meet Reverend Wheaton in his visits to Manlius and made up their minds quickly to present him to the Church as their candidate. Reverend Wheaton was invited to preach to the Manlius Congregation on January 23, 1938. A special Church Meeting was called after the morning service to hear the recommendation of the Pulpit Committee. Mr. Leslie Burt was elected chairman. He explained the purpose of the meeting and then asked the members of the Committee to give their versions of the character and abilities of Reverend Wheaton. Mr. Nightingale, Mr. Burt and Mr. Fillmore gave very favorable reports of their visit to the Oneida Baptist Church. Mrs. Ransier, although not on the Committee, knew Reverend Wheaton and spoke of the wonderful way in which he carried on his work. She also told of the abilities of Mrs. Wheaton. A motion was made by Mrs. Ransier, seconded by Mr. Randall that the Church accept the recommendation of the Pulpit Committee and extend a call to Reverend Wheaton. The call was made unanimous “upon a vote of uplifted hands.” Reverend Delos A. Abrams was hired for $120.00 to preach for six Sundays during the interim.

The Reverend Lawrence Albert Wheaton was born on December 31, 1896, in North Eaton, Massachusetts. He graduated from the Springfield, Massachusetts High School in 1915. After working three years as a public accountant, he entered the Coastal Artillery Corps, Co. A, 61st Ammunition Train, Boston, Mass. After leaving the Army he served as chief clerk of the Extension Service of the Massachusetts Agricultural College. He then entered the Colgate Theological Seminary. In his Junior year at Colgate he was given Phi Beta Kappa honors. He received the degree of Bachelor of Theology in 1923 and on July 3, 1923, was ordained to the ministry from the Park Memorial Baptist Church in Springfield, Massachusetts. During his senior year at Colgate, he gained practical experience by serving as Pastor for the Madison Baptist Church in Madison, New York. He received a M.A. degree from the Seminary in 1924, and in 1925 he was called to the Pastorate of the Hoosick Falls Baptist Church. During his Pastorate there the Church acquired a new parsonage, built an educational plant and installed a new organ. From Hoosick Falls he went to Oneida, New York, where he served the Baptist Church until 1938. The Church in Oneida reported that Reverend Wheaton had led in outstanding achievements, materially and spiritually. Mrs. Louise Wheaton was a graduate of Normal School and taught commercial subjects for several years. The Wheatons had two children, Hazel Janet and Howard Harvey.

On January 30, 1938, during the Sunday Morning Service, a letter was read in which Reverend Wheaton accepted the call from the Manlius Baptist Church. We do not have a copy of this acceptance letter, but on February 28, 1938, he sent another message to the Congregation. He wrote, in part: “You have been gracious to call me to the Pastorate of your Church. I thank you for your thought of me and desire your prayers that our fellowship together may be for the spiritual enrichment of many lives. The Lenten and Easter seasons are times of great worth in the life of every Church and we should make an effort this year to gather of their goodness. Be sure that whatever a brother’s fellowship, a friend’s comradeship, and a Pastor’ sincere devotion can do, I shall seek to enrich your life and enlarge your field of Christian Service.”

Reverend Wheaton began his Pastorate on March 11, 1938. On Sunday, March 14, 1938, a large Congregation greeted the new Pastor and his family. Reverend Lawrence A. Wheaton, Mrs. Louise Wheaton and their daughter Hazel Janet, were received into Church membership. (Their son Howard Harvey was too young for Church membership.)

On Tuesday, March 16, 1938, a special program of addresses, greetings and special music was presented in honor of the Wheatons in the Church Sanctuary after which twenty young people of the Round Table Class served ice cream and cake to 250 members and guests in Loomis Hall. The Manlius Thrift News described the reception as “one of the most successful events of its kind ever held in Manlius, and the most largely attended of any held in the Baptist Church.” The Reception Committee members were Mrs. H. E. Ransier, Chairman, Mr. Harry J. Fillmore, Mrs. Thomas Cleveland, and Mr. William Nightingale.

While Reverend Smith’s Pastorate was a time of consolidation and relatively few changes after the tremendous effort made in building the new church, it was during the Pastorate of Reverend Wheaton that the major transitions from the old Church organization to the new Church that we know today were made. During Reverend Wheaton’s Pastorate the Church was to have its first Constitution and By-Laws. The Diaconate was opened up to women, and the members were elected for three year terms instead of for life.

We are fortunate to have nine of his Bulletins in the Archives, 8 for the spring of 1938 and one for February 1, 1942.

For the Sunday Service on March 20, 1938, Reverend Wheaton prepared his first weekly bulletin for the Congregation. It was entitled simply “The Manlius Baptist Church Bulletin” and contained the usual information concerning the morning service and news of coming events. There was no Church secretary at the time and Reverend Wheaton (or perhaps Mrs. Wheaton) typed the Bulletins and mimeographed copies of them for the Congregation. In the first Bulletins it was mentioned that Reverend Wheaton was to attend a meeting on a Model Church Constitution in Syracuse and that the Philathea-Baraca, the Loyal Followers and Mrs. Perry’s Sunday School Classes were to have social meetings in March of 1938.

On March 29, 1938, an interesting and unusual meeting of the Deacons and Trustees was called by Reverend Wheaton. The two groups met at the Parsonage and their wives were also invited to meet separately with Mrs. Wheaton. The Deacons and Trustees organized themselves into an Official Board to keep an oversight of all Committees of the Church, and appointed three Committees to accomplish specific tasks:

  1. Membership Committee: to prepare an accurate membership roll ( Mr. & Mrs. William Nightingale, Mrs. Yettie Harris and Mrs. Jessie Hefti).
  2. Rules Committee: to consider a Constitution and By-Laws (Mr. Harry Fillmore, Mr. Leslie Burt, Mr. Charles Cathers).
  3. Christian Education Committee: to promote a School of Missions, and the Church Vacation School and to study the duties appropriate for such a Committee (Mr. Harry Fillmore, Mrs. Herbert Ransier, Mrs. Thomas Cleveland).

In the April 3, 1938, Bulletin there was important news from the Ladies Aid Society. They announced their officers and circle leaders for the next year. Ladies Aid meetings were mostly for working on projects. The ladies sold produce in the fall, made quilts and handiwork for sale and cooked and served suppers. They were very effective in raising money for special Church projects (especially for remodeling the old church and building the new church.) When the Missionary Society and later the Baptist Women’s Fellowship divided their groups into circles, they gave them names in memory of ladies who had unselfishly served the Church; later names of outstanding (and upstanding) women of the Bible. The Ladies Aid Group named their circles W, O, R, K, and in 1938 they were led by Mrs. Towne, Mrs. Everingham, Mrs. Goodfellow and Mrs. Fowler.

On April 12, 1938, the Women’s Missionary Society held a supper in commemoration of its 60th anniversary of promoting interest in Missions. The Society left minutes of their meetings from 1918- 1927 and 1940-1951. A typical meeting included prayer, the singing of hymns, a study of one or more of the missionary fields, sometimes a skit or a short play, special music and “delicious” refreshments. Occasionally there would be an all day meeting and the women would do White Cross work or make garments for the children in the Onondaga Children’s Home. (In 1924 the women furnished a room in the Home.) There were membership lists given for only a few of the total years the group was in existence. (In 1920 there were 31 active ladies; in 1924 there were 40.) Most of the women were also members of the Ladies Aid Society. (There was a hint of changing life styles when in 1937 the Women’s Missionary Society decided to try having evening meetings in the future. Evidently more women were working and not able to meet during the day.)

On Good Friday, April 15, 1938, the Community Chorus presented a Cantata, “The Crucifixion” by John Stainer, in the Baptist Church. A series of Union Lenten Services preceded Easter. On Easter Morning the Baptist Youth, led by Sid Mawson, arranged for a Sunrise Service at the church and served a breakfast of bacon, eggs, toast, donuts, and coffee (all for 20 cents) to those who attended.

The Membership Committee of the Church was active in preparing an accurate list of the members. From April 1938 to the end of the year, 27 people were removed from the Church roll with the permission of the people affected. The Rules Committee prepared a Constitution and By-Laws which were to be presented to the December 3, 1938, annual meeting for approval of the Congregation.

On Sunday morning, April 24, 1938, Reverend Wheaton arranged for the Church a “beautiful service” to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the building of the Manlius Baptist Church. The theme was “The Gate of Heaven.” The hymns were the same as sung ten years previously.

The Baptist College Course (School of Missions), organized by the Christian Education Committee, was convened on April 28, 1938, and continued for five additional weekly sessions. The evenings began with a fellowship supper (of the usual covered dish variety.) There were four study sessions:

  1. Better Baptist Churches (Adults)
  2. World Tour of Christian Fellowship
  3. A “Tour” - (Juniors)
  4. General Bible Class (closing assembly)

This educational program was continued for every year of Reverend Wheaton’s Pastorate.

In the May 1, 1938 Mother’s Day Bulletin, Reverend Wheaton inserted an appreciation of the work Mr. and Mrs. H. E. Ransier were doing for the Church:

“This Church is very grateful for having in her fellowship, Mr. and Mrs. H. E. Ransier, pilots and god-parents of the Junior Church. For many years Mr. Ransier has been an able leader and teacher of our youth. We like to claim Mrs. Ransier as our own missionary-at-large as she visits many Churches and groups to relate her experiences and to show the remarkable pictures which she and Mr. Ransier have taken and prepared for showing.

They close the third year as leaders of the Junior Church the last of this month. We have rejoiced to see this group grow under their watch and care. We appreciate this splendid contribution to our work. We hope the Ransiers will be able and happy to continue this work in the fall.

Mrs. Ransier is the President of the Women’s Missionary Society of the Onondaga Baptist Association. We are happy to compliment her on her recent election in Buffalo to the office of Western Promotional Vice-President of the Woman’s Baptist Mission Society of the State of New York.”

In the summer the ninth annual Vacation Bible School was convened with Reverend Lawrence A. Wheaton taking Rev. Smith’s place as general supervisor. He was aided by the new Christian Education Committee. The School in 1938 averaged 120 children daily and ended with a parade and a picnic on the last Friday and a public exhibition and exercise the following Sunday Evening. The Vacation Bible School was continued for every year of Reverend Wheaton’s Pastorate.

In the Fall Reverend Wheaton announced to the Congregation that on Sunday, September 11, 1938, the church bell would not be rung and that the young women would have to serve as ushers. He wanted all of the men to attend the Laymen’s Conference to be held on the Colgate Campus from Saturday, September 10, to Sunday, September 11, 1938.

The Official Board was invited to meet at the Summer Home of Reverend and Mrs. Wheaton at Friendship Corner in Vernon Center on September 14, 1938. They enjoyed a basket supper and made plans for the fall and winter Church programs.

In September 1938 Reverend Wheaton started a new Men’s Sunday School Class. The men were advised that they could reach the classroom (the Church Parlors) without going through the auditorium by using the Pleasant St. entrance. Dennison Richburg was elected President. They named themselves “Everyman’s Baraca Class.”

On October 19, 1938, the Ladies of the Church served a chicken pie supper. Family tickets were sold for $1.00 , which would admit both parents and all of their children under 12 years of age. (Individual tickets were 35 cents.) The Deacons were planning their annual visitation of the membership with Mr. William H. Nightingale in charge of the calling lists. The home visitors were to leave special invitations to a Church social to be held at the church from, 7:30-9:30 on Saturday Evening, October 29, 1938. A “grand good time” was promised with games, programs and refreshments.

Deacons already elected for life would be allowed to maintain their status. William Nightingale was made an honorary Deacon emeritus.

The Official Board met on Monday Evening, November 21, 1938, and appointed a Nominating Committee to report on a slate of officers at the annual meeting. With the help of Reverend Saunders of the Baptist Missionary Convention, the proposed Constitution was examined and found ready for a one-year trial by the Church. At the 141st Annual Meeting on December 5, 1938, new officers were elected. Mr. George Reeves was recognized for serving 21 years as Church Treasurer, and William Nightingale for 20 years as Sunday School Teacher, 40 years as a Deacon, and 45 years as a choir member, besides holding many other important offices in the church. The Moderator explained the new Constitution and Bylaws and the Church voted its acceptance, qualified by specifying a one year trial. Several changes had to be made right away, the most revolutionary of which was to the Office of Deacon. Prior to the new Bylaws and according to the custom which was prevalent in most Baptist churches, Deacons were men and elected for life. There was no indication that they had acted as a Board before (no minutes, no reports, no reported chairman, no referrals, no pronouncements, etc.) Now under the new scheme of things, Deacons would be elected for set terms. They would also be expected to meet regularly and make annual reports to the Church. An even greater change, and one that would not have been possible 100 years previously, was the establishment of the office of Deaconess and the election of six women to fill that office. For a few years the Board would consist of six men and six women, assuring that men and women would be always equally represented on the Board.

In the new Bylaws there was no distinction between the duties of Deacons and Deaconesses. The Bylaws read, “They shall advise and cooperate with the Pastor in the spiritual activities of the Church and shall assist in the administration of the ordinances.” In practice, however, it would be many years before Deaconesses would be allowed to serve Communion.

The first Deaconesses were:

  • Mrs. Yettie Harris 3 years
  • Mrs. Thomas Cleveland 3 years
  • Mrs. Harry Fillmore 2 Years
  • Mrs. Charles Cathers 2 Years
  • Mrs. H. E. Ransier 1 Year
  • Mrs. F. Dennison Richburg 1 Year

The Deacons were:

  • John Burt*
  • George Reeves*
  • Charles Cathers*
  • Harry Fillmore*
  • Ray Smith Term ends 1941
  • F. Dennison Richburg Term ends 1941

* Denotes Lifetime Deacons

Another major change was the establishment of a revised Official Board, which was to consist of the Pastor (as Moderator), Deacons and Deaconesses, Trustees, Church Officers and Heads of Committees and Organizations. Their duty was to have general advisory oversight of all matters pertaining to the life of the Church. At this time Christian Education and Missionary activities were taken care of by Committees. Therefore, only the Chairmen of these Committees were part of the Official Board.

The relative independence of the Sunday School with its own constitution and control over its curriculum and finances was normal for Baptist Sunday Schools in the early 1900s. Later, Churches elected Boards of Christian Education which operated through the Sunday School Superintendent a Sunday School as part of a wide program of education for the Church. (The Manlius Church elected its first Board of Christian Education in 1956.) See The Third Fifty Years, The New York State Convention 1907-1957 by Glen Blackmer Ewell (specifically the Christian Education Story 1907-1957 by the Reverend Albert W. Sheckells.).

The Sunday School was a separate organization known as the Manlius Baptist Church School. The School elected its own officers (except for the Superintendent who was nominated by the Church School and elected by the Church at the annual meeting) and was governed by its own constitution and by a Church School Council consisting of all of the officers and teachers of the School. Classes of the Sunday School were allowed to organize with a name and officers, subject to the approval of the Council. Presidents of these classes were allowed to sit with the General Superintendent on the Official Board of the Church.

Pastor Macpherson had suggested that the Church needed new name. The old “The Baptist Church and Society in Pompey and Manlius” was cumbersome, out of date, and seldom used except in writing minutes of the annual meetings. In the new Constitution the name was changed to The Baptist Church of Manlius. This was not a legal change, however, and in all legal papers the older name was required to be used.

In 1958 the name was changed legally to “The First Baptist Church of Manlius.”

In late 1938 the Methodists and the Baptists planned for a joint Evangelistic Campaign beginning on January 30, 1939, and running for three weeks. The leaders were to be Reverend and Mrs. Virgil P. Brock (“The Musical Brocks”), who were at that time leading the singing and doing children’s work in the Elmwood Presbyterian Church in Syracuse. The campaign was thoroughly planned with special committees and a special chorus. There was no report given on the number of converts gained by either Church.

On February 2, 1939, the women of the Church were organized into three different groups or circles under the direction of the Board of Deaconesses. They chose to name the circles after women who had been outstanding leaders in the church, i.e., Louise Davis (still alive at about 83 years of age), Mary Broadfield, and Mary Woodworth. The Deaconesses sponsored three luncheon meetings to promote the new fellowships and by the 1939 annual meeting each group had met five times. The Ladies Aid group continued its activities as did the Women’s Missionary Society, which met for monthly meetings.

In March 1939 Reverend Wheaton was invited to conduct a Preaching Mission in the Chittenango Baptist Church, beginning on Sunday Evening March 19 and continuing through Sunday, March 26 (with the exception of Saturday, March 25.) This joint venture with the Chittenango Baptist and Methodist Churches cooperating. The Manlius mid-week service was held with the Baptists in Chittenango.

On Sunday, June 11, 1939, there was a Special Evening Service. Children from the Onondaga Orphan’s Home were guests of the Church and participated in special exercises. This had been an annual event for many years.

In the summer of 1939 from July 30- August 5 the Round Table Sunday School Class enjoyed a delightful vacation on DeRuyter Lake. Reverend and Mrs. Derwood Smith and daughter Ruth of Vineland, N.J., were guests for dinner on Friday, August 4. The class motored to Lake George on Saturday, August 5, and stayed overnight there as guests of the Smiths. The Church was closed for Sunday Services from August 7- September 3, 1939, while Pastor Wheaton and his family took their vacation.

In 1939 President Roosevelt, with his New Deal legislation being enacted by Congress, was still making revolutionary changes in the lives of people and one of the most recent was the introduction of the Social Security Act. The Trustees were upset, and, in one of the rare instances where a Church Board would be concerned enough to write letters to Washington, a motion was made and carried to send a message to our Senators and Congressman, and to Robert D. Daughton, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, asking them to oppose the Social Security Act and to exempt religious bodies from taxation for old age pensions, and for unemployment compensation. Needless to say, their plea was not successful. (The New York State Baptist Convention in recognizing the problems of the aging supported Social Security.)

In 1939 The Diaconate Board reported a revision of the Church Covenant. The Church has a copy of the previous Covenant which was published as part of a pamphlet previously given to new members of the Church during Reverend T. Byron Caldwell’s pastorate and of the new Covenant which was published in Fellowship, A Year Book of the Manlius Baptist Church (mimeographed at the parsonage as a token to bear Christmas Greetings and Best Wishes for a Happy New Year to the Fellowship, which is the Church) and given to the members in the 1941 Christmas season. Both versions are printed in the appendix. One of the major changes was that the new version leaves out the admonition against tattling, back-biting and excessive anger and abstention from the sale and use of intoxicating drinks as a beverage.

At the annual meeting of the Church on December 4, 1939, the Constitution and Bylaws, by then in effect for one year, were accepted. There were no dissenting votes.

On Sunday, December, 31, 1939, during the Church Service, the Deacons presented Reverend Wheaton with a bouquet of rose buds. At the close of the official Board Meeting on Sunday Evening, the members brought out a birthday cake with a full complement of lighted candles (43).

In March of 1940 the new Evangelistic Committee campaigned for the Renewal of the Covenant. They got 128 of 268 members to sign the Covenant. The Committee stated that “in carrying our the campaign it looked up to God to see what to do, out to see

what was needed to be done and in to the heart to see what was the matter with the individual.” In the Spring of 1940 a beautiful table was given to the Church for the vestibule by Mrs. Rosa Martino in memory of her son Matthew, who died on June 1, 1936. (In 2004 the table is still beautiful and used constantly in the Narthex.)

Reverend Wheaton was Chairman of the local committee to place New York City children in homes in Manlius for two weeks in the summer under the auspices of the Tribune Fresh Air Fund. He urged the homemakers of Manlius and vicinity to consider inviting a small boy or girl.

In the Summer of 1940 it was the turn of the World Wide Guild Girls to enjoy a week long house party at Friendship Corner, the Wheaton’s summer home. There were morning classes daily in Guild Background and personal Christian Living, but afternoons were free for recreation or special events.

In August Rev. and Mrs. Derwood L Smith and daughter Ruth visited Mr. and Mrs. Charles Cathers and preached at the Manlius Baptist Church to a large gathering of friends. The Church was then closed until the first Sunday in September.

Sunday, September 29, 1940, was “Homecoming Day” for the Baptists. A special dinner was served the Congregation. Over 100 people attended. The Sunday School was now publishing its own newspaper and a special edition was distributed. (No copies were saved for the Church Archives.)

Released time religious instruction was available to sixth grades of the public schools (they needed consent cards signed by their parents) on Tuesday afternoons. On Wednesday afternoon Rev. Wheaton was the leader for the High School students who had permission to attend.

For the 1940 Annual Meeting there was a great improvement in the presentation of annual reports. There was a typed report from the pastor (the first), a typed order of the business of the annual meeting, a typed page of the Church Officials, a typed Treasurer’s Report and a suggested budget for 1941.

On Sunday, December 29, 1940, the Congregation was pleased to welcome Reverend Paul Conrad as guest minister. Paul was the son of Reverend Elbert Henry Conrad, pastor of the Manlius Baptist Church from 1907-1909. At that time he was the “boy” of the Parsonage.

Santa Claus was very much in evidence at the 1940 Manlius Baptist Christmas Party. Two hundred members and friends ate supper together, sang Christmas Carols, and watched Santa Claus come tumbling in through an open window “bringing merriment and glee to all who saw him.” He was said to have been in “fine fettle” as he distributed scores of gifts. His aerial blitz of candy boxes brought the audience to an uproar. Gifts included a beautiful coffee table, given by the Church to Reverend and Mrs. Wheaton.

Roller skating was becoming a popular indoor sport for young people. The Baptist gym was open for skating each Friday after school. The Church charged each skater 10 cents and had eight pairs of skates available for those who did not own a pair. The Methodist gym was also open for skating but only for members. Reverend Wheaton estimated that over 1000 hours of roller skating were enjoyed by individuals and groups in the Baptist gym in 1940.

For the Lenten season in 1941 the Sunday Evening Services were revived and alternated between the Methodist and Baptist Churches. For the Easter Evening Services a Pageant “The Altar and the Cross” was presented by a group of young Church ladies.

At a Trustee Meeting on November 10, 1941, it was reported that the Eagle Rock Wall Insulation Company offered to insulate the church for $597.00. They estimated that the Church would save 10 tons of coal yearly (annual use approximately 35 tons per year at $7 - $10 per ton. ) At their December meeting, the Trustees voted for the insulation of the church and parsonage for $766.00.

The Annual Meeting for 1941 was held on December 8, one day after the attack on Pearl Harbor and the news overshadowed all else at that time. Reverend Wheaton wrote, “We meet on a historic day marking the outbreak of war with Japan. The confusion of the world is reflected in our lives, but God is faithful and just and we must keep out faith pure and hold steadfast in our trust as we labor for the Master in the coming year.” At the meeting the Congregation voted to name the Prayer Room the Yettie Harris Memorial Chapel in recognition of the helpfulness and inspiration of Mrs. Harris to the Church through many years. A vote of appreciation was also given to Mr. Clarence Pease, who was redecorating the Chapel at the time. The Congregation concurred with the Trustees’ decision to insulate the church and parsonage, not only to save fuel but to protect the church roof from icicles and to save the interior from water and sweat marks, which had disfigured the plaster . (When John Baker arrived he thought the walls had never been painted, because they looked so discolored.)

In January 1942 the Women’s Fellowship entertained their husbands at supper. Nearly 100 people attended to hear Mr. Fix-it (Mr. Charles Macks in real life) of radio fame tell about his experiences and problems in carrying out his most helpful assistance to the needy in Syracuse.

In February of 1942 a new silk Service Flag was unveiled in the general assembly of the Manlius Baptist Sunday School. Mrs. Charles Cathers, youth counselor in charge of the service and maker of the flag, read the names of the soldiers from an Honor Roll:

  • Corporal James Couden
  • Raymond C. Chapman
  • Officer Candidate Loyal M. Pease
  • G. Roscoe Smith
  • Kenneth Goodfellow
  • Clyde H. Judge
  • Robert O. Brown

A red rose was presented each serviceman’s mother who was present. (By the time the war was over there would be 40 stars, only one in gold.) One star was for former pastor Lt. Derwood Smith, who served as a chaplain stationed at the Laurinburg Maxton Army Base in Maxton, North Carolina, another for nurse Letitia Robbins.

A tribute to Mrs. Yettie Harris and a history of her life (thus far) was written for the occasion by Reverend Wheaton and printed in the February 1, 1942, Bulletin. (A copy is printed in the appendix.) Mrs. Harris , although 87 year old, was still active in the Church.

In the summer of 1942 it was decided to hold Union Services with the Methodists instead of closing the Church during the Pastor’s vacation. The Services on July 28 and August 2 and 9 were held in the Baptist Church; those on August 16, 23, and 30 were in the Methodist Church.

July 13, 1942, was the 50th anniversary of the wedding of Mr. & Mrs. William Nightingale. All of the Deacons, Deaconesses and Trustees of the Church met to help them observe the occasion. “A history of the Church was read and many pictures of the past were brought to light, names, faces, places, and events being called to mind with interest.”

The Manlius School Campus was the site for the Ninth Annual Baptist Laymen’s Conference from September 12-13, 1942. Over 250 Baptist men attended. During 1942 and until the war was over the women were especially busy with scheduled White Cross Meetings. Because of the war, there was a huge demand for bandages.

The Church at this time did not have an elected Moderator who would lead the business meetings for a full year. The usual practice was for the Clerk to open a meeting and preside over the election of a Moderator for the evening only. The Moderator usually would be a prominent male member of the Church or the Pastor. For the December 7, 1942 , it was neither, as Mrs. Thomas Cleveland was elected Moderator, the first woman to hold that position..

On April 11, 1943, the Church showed its appreciation to a member who was approaching his 59th year of continuous membership in the Church which would be a record for the time. (He made the record having lived until November 29, 1943.) Herbert E. Ransier led the Junior Christian Endeavour for 30 years, the Junior Church for 5 years, was Church Treasurer for 17 years and taught a Sunday School Class for 30 years. (See the appendix for “An Appreciation” which tells of his “most useful and helpful life” and assures him of our appreciation of his Christian ‘service to his Church, his community and the world.) Fortunately, Mr. Ransier was honored in April, 1943. He died suddenly of a heart attack in his home on Smith Street in Manlius on November 29, 1943. He did complete his 59th year as a member, which was a record for its time.

We are fortunate to have the memories of one of our Church members who enjoyed Mr. Ransier as a youth leader. Rev. Paul Bailey talked with Bessie Todd Miller on March 18, 1997, and this is what Rev. Bailey shares from that meeting:

We are indebted to Mr. Ransier for sharing with the Church his talents as a photographer. We have many excellent pictures of both the Seneca Street and the Pleasant Street Churches and activities therein which he took developed, printed and gave to the Church.

Mr. Ransier played a very important role in the Church, as well as in Bessie’s life. He ran a drugstore in town, but was also a great naturalist and photographer. He led the JCES at 4:00 P.M. on Sundays. The program would include singing, a Bible lesson, prayer, and an activity. Ransier was known for his many slides, movies, and stereography of places around the world. For many years he kept a pet woodchuck in the store. He frequently played the coronet. A favorite event was when he would lead the 20-30 young people to the trolley. Ransier would carry his coronet and a bunch of red bananas. Bessie would carry the songbooks. They would stop at Cherry Springs near the orchard (near Sherbrook Drive), have an outdoor meeting and afterwards catch the trolley back to the Church on its return from Syracuse. Ransier was a bachelor most of his life, but married Anna Nelson in 1918. Anna helped out in the meetings. She had been a missionary to the Hopi Indians and was most remembered for her pictures and stories of the couple’s trip to Alaska. One day the radiator on their car ran out of water and they had to use juice from canned pineapple to keep going. Reverend Wheaton wrote of Mr. Ransier, “In things seen and unseen, in lives, in offerings, in interest and in many good works, he stands among the men who have done the most for this Church.”

During the 1943 Memorial Day services, Reverend Lawrence Wheaton was awarded the American Legion Medal of Honor for civic service in recognition of many services outside the profession, which he rendered to the community. Of special mention was designing and carrying through the building of Service Men’s rolls of honor. He also lead in the collection of old records, served as an observer at the aircraft observation port, was chaplain of the special police, served as emergency mail carrier during the holidays, and for several years headed the Tribune Fresh Air Program in Manlius.

In his report to the December 6, 1943, Annual Meeting, Pastor Wheaton reported writing a December 1942 Christmas Letter to Soldiers and Sailors and over 100 letters to them throughout the year. He found the times “troublesome” and “urged each one to make a special effort with extra patience to prosper the Church and Christ’s Kingdom.” He specifically commended the Choir, the Missionary Society, the Fellowship Groups, the Deacons and the Trustees for making splendid progress in face of unusual problems brought about by unusual times.

On April 4, 1944, Howard H. Wheaton, son of Reverend and Mrs. Wheaton, was baptized and became a member of the Baptist Church of Manlius. On December 4, 1944, in his 7th annual meeting with the Church, Reverend Wheaton submitted a typed report as usual. He had continued writing letters to “our people” in the armed services, averaging fifty a month. The mid-week prayer services were still held and were well attended. The Church Vacation School and the Church College were both very successful. The Junior Church program was continuing and young people were still enjoying rollerskating in the Social Hall. In a reference to the times, he again used the opportunity of his report to thank the Diaconate, Trustees, Church Choir and officials who have helped carry the burden in trying times when helping hands had been few. At this annual meeting the Diaconate suggested an amendment to the Constitution “relative to setting up Associate Memberships.” Any person already a member of some other Church and desiring to associate themselves with this Church and worship may do so by approval of the Diaconate and the vote of the Church, it being understood that such Associate Members shall not serve on the Diaconate or vote on matters pertaining to the settlement of a pastor. This amendment was accepted by the Church (but has been altered since). Seven people immediately joined the Church as Associate Members.

On December 17, 1944, Reverend Lawrence A. Wheaton, pastor for nearly seven years, read his resignation to accept the call to the Hyde Park Baptist Church of Cincinnati, Ohio. (His letter is reproduced in the Appendix). His resignation was accepted on December 31, 1944, to be effective after January 29, 1945. Although Reverend Wheaton planned to leave Manlius for Cincinnati very soon after January 29, 1945, Mrs. Wheaton became ill and was hospitalized for several days. She returned to her home on Tuesday, February 6, 1945. The Family then planned to leave for Ohio on February 20, 1945. Reverend Wheaton closed his ministry with a farewell sermon on February 18, 1945. Fuel (coal) must have been in short supply in February of 1945. In Reverend Wheaton’s Baptist Church column for the February 9, 1945, edition of The Eagle Bulletin, he announced that the weekly program of the Church would be determined by the fuel supply and would be announced in the Weekly Bulletin.

On March 8, 1945, the Church voted to dismiss Reverend and Mrs. Wheaton and son Howard to unite with the Hyde Park Baptist Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. Janet Wheaton was dismissed by letter to the Baptist Church of Wytheville, Virginia, on August 15, 1948.

After Reverend Wheaton and his family left for the Hyde Park Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, the people of the Village of Manlius and the Baptist Church did an unusual thing which indicated that Reverend Wheaton’s relationship with the people of Manlius as well as the Church must have been an unusually strong and warm one. They sent a message to the Hyde Park Church which was read at a reception for the Reverend Wheaton and his family in the Hyde Park Church parlor. The message read in part:

“After seven years of distinguished service to our people as pastor of the Manlius Baptist Church and fellow citizen during which he has earned the respect and friendship of all, the time has come for us to say good-bye to our pastor and friend and to commend him to you” and was signed by over two hundred people. (The total message from The Eagle Bulletin Newspaper, March 16, 1945, is reproduced in the appendix.)

A list of his works in the community and in the local and state Baptist organizations as reported in the Syracuse newspaper is as follows:

1. He was cited two times by the Archie Van Patten Post of the American Legion with the Legion Citizenship award for unusual service to the community outside of one’s profession.

2. President of the NYS Baptist Conference

3. Local Chairman- New York Tribune Fresh Air Committee

4. Chaplain- American Legion

5. President- Manlius Youth Council

6. Leader in collection of old records and waste paper for the war effort

7. Scout Leader

8. Supervised the construction of honor rolls in seven villages in addition to Manlius

9. President of Onondaga County Baptist Pastor’s Association

10. Member of Evangelistic Commission of the Baptist Missionary Convention.

Some financial and membership statistics for Church years 1937-1945 are given

in the Appendix.

Paying the bills was difficult during the years following the depression. It was quite common for the Treasurer to visit the Bank of Manlius after the bills had been presented at the Trustee meeting to take out a note, add to a note or extend payment on a note. For some examples, on June 20, 1938, the balance on hand in the General Fund (our operating fund) was $39.53; on December 12, 1938, the balance was $63.51 but with $214.75 owed. In October of 1941 there was $119.56 in the General Fund with $444.00 owed (for wallpaper, paint, a note with the bank, etc.) By 1943 times in the country were better and so were Church finances. In June 1942 the Treasurer reported a balance of $256.53 with all bills paid.

Budgets and Membership during Reverend Wheaton’s Pastorate
Church Membership: December 6, 1937 276
  December 4, 1944 288
     
Average Sunday School Attendance: 1941 112
  1943 88
     
Operating Fund Budget: Dec. 1937- Dec. 1938 Dec. 1943- Dec. 1944
Pastor’s Salary $2000.00 $2080.00
Janitor’s Salary 432.00 520.00
Fuel (Coal) 400.00 500.00
Lights, Water 125.00 125.00
Organist, Music 165.00 200.00
Insurance 150.00 150.00
Repairs & Supplies 228.00 550.00
Parsonage Taxes --- 75.00
Christian Education --- 200.00
     
Totals $3500.00 $4400.00
     
Mission Spending (no budget recorded for 1937-1938) Dec. 1937- Dec. 1938 Dec. 1943- Dec. 1944
Northern Baptist Convention $1429.32 $1200.00
Onondaga Orphan’s Home 10.08 10.00
Upstate Baptist Home 13.50 25.00
Onondaga Baptist Missionary    
and Social Union --- 15.00
White Cross Work --- 40.00
World Emergency Fund --- 100.00
Anti-Saloon League --- 10.00
     
Totals $1452.90 $1400.00

1945-1956 (Reverend John J. Baker)

John J. Baker was born on February 19, 1913, in Deer Valley, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Milton High School. In January 1933 he enrolled in the John Davis Practical Bible Training School in Binghamton, New York, and graduated in June 1935. He was ordained in June and married Lucy Skinner (also a graduate of the Bible School with a major in Christian Education.)

Reverend Baker was the pastor of four churches before coming to Manlius in 1945:

Reverend Baker's Previous Churches
Watervale Baptist Church June - December 1935 (Supply)
Dale Baptist Church 1936 - March 1937
Marion Baptist Church March 1937 - 1943
Madison Baptist Church 1943 - April 1945 (Student Pastorate)

While serving the Madison Baptist Church, Reverend Baker attended Colgate University from which he graduated Cum Laude in February, 1945, having completed the four year course in 2 ½ years.

On December 31, 1944, after the congregation regretfully accepted Reverend Wheaton’s resignation, a Pulpit Committee was chosen to start the search for a replacement.

Harry Fillmore Diaconate
Dennison Richburg Trustees
Annette Ferguson Young People
Ann Ransier Ladies of the Church

For the first time the members of the committee were chosen as representatives of different groups in the church.

At the February 14, 1945, meeting of the Board of Trustees, the Trustees voted to buy the departing Reverend Wheaton’s mimeograph machine for $90.00. Edith Schoonmaker and Annette Ferguson volunteered to print bulletins. (There was no church secretary at this time ant there would be none until 1956.) The Trustees, limited in time, rushed to do the usual “between pastorate” sprucing up of the parsonage. Rooms were repapered or painted, the kitchen linoleum replaced and the furnace repaired.

The Pulpit Committee made its report on Sunday morning, April 15, 1945, after Reverend Baker preached to the congregation at the morning service. The church was pleased and a unanimous call was extended to Reverend Baker, who responded with a letter of acceptance, which was read at the Sunday Morning Service on April 22, 1945.

Reverend E. O. Jessup was the supply minister during the interim between the Wheaton and Baker pastorates. The Diaconate appointed Mrs. Richburg and Mrs. Trivelpiece to ask Mr. Ransier to present a gift from the church to Reverend Jessup and to say a few words of appreciation for his interest and service. Reverend Jessup was paid $20.00/per Sunday. The cost to move the Bakers was $56.65.

May 8, 1945, was V. E. Day and the congregation was thankful and relieved that the war in Europe was over, but, of course, still greatly concerned about the war with Japan. On May 20, 1945, Reverend Baker began his pastorate and preached his first sermon as Pastor of the Manlius Baptist Church. A reception and dinner were given for Reverend and Mrs. Baker and daughter Patricia Louise in Loomis Hall on May 24, 1945. More than 150 people attended, including the pastors and wives of the Episcopal and Methodist Churches.

June 24, 1945, the three Women’s Fellowship Circles (Louise Davis, Mary Woodworth and Mary Broadfield) joined for their annual group picnic at Bingley’s on Chittenango Road out of Cazenovia. Reverend Derwood Smith and his wife came from Herkimer, New York, to visit the ladies of the church. After the war Reverend Smith was discharged from his duties as Air Force Chaplain and became the Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Herkimer, New York. On June 27, 1945, the letters of Reverend and Mrs. Baker were transferred from the Madison Baptist Church. On Sunday, July 1, 1945, the Bakers received the Right Hand of Fellowship from Deacon Emeritus William Nightingale.

On September 2, 1945, the war with Japan ended and soon members of the armed services would start coming home. One of our young men, Lt. Carl Alexander, was killed in action and memorial services were held for him on October 21, 1945. His was the only gold star out of 40 on the Service Flag.

In 1893, the youth of the church became part of the world-wide Christian Endeavor movement as were many of the youth in Baptist and other Protestant churches at that time. In 1893 there were 28 Baptist young people in the Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor and eight leaders. Soon after the Junior Christian Endeavor was organized and in 1912 there were 25 members in Senior Christian Endeavor, 45 in Junior Christian Endeavor. In 1921, at the urging of the Onondaga Baptist Association, an effort was made to replace the Christian Endeavor with a Baptist organization called the Baptist Young People’s Union or BYPU. (It was upsetting Baptist leaders that the :Christian Endeavor World,” a magazine for youth, was in the hands of more Baptist young people than the corresponding Baptist periodicals.) The young children became members of the Crusader Society. According to pictures we have of the Crusaders, emphasis was on raising money for missionary causes. Christian Endeavor was brought back for the older youth in 1924 and Junior Christian Endeavor in 1925. The Onondaga Baptist Association admitted that the Baptist program had not been very widely accepted. (The BYPU was dropped by the denomination in 1941.) In 1945 the new Baptist Youth Fellowship program replaced Christian Endeavor in the Manlius Church and has been a part of our organization ever since. Reverend Baker reported that the newly organized Baptist Youth Fellowship “promises to be one of the most active and enthusiastic of its kind in the county.

Reverend Baker’s first Annual Meeting with the Manlius church was on December 3, 1945, after a little more than five months of his pastorate. In a typed Annual Report, he reported on the two week Vacation Bible School and the reorganization of the Baptist Youth from a Christian Endeavor based program to the Baptist Youth Fellowship. Reverend Baker believed in visiting members and prospective members in their homes “to provide mutual understanding and cooperative effort.” He reported having visited the majority of the homes represented in the church in his first five months. (Reverend Baker remembers that he and Mrs. Baker “devoted many of their afternoons to what was called ‘drop in calling’.” The Bakers would visit home of members and prospects unannounced. There would usually be some member of the family at home Conversations usually centered around the church and the family’s participation in it.)

At the meeting, Mr. William Nightingale was honored and made a Life Honorary Trustee in recognition of his 51 uninterrupted years of service, many of them as Chairman of the Board. He is the only member to have been given this honor as well as having been made a Deacon Emeritus.

In December 1945, a custom was started that has lasted to his day. The Board of Trustees was asked to have one Trustee help the Financial Secretary and the Treasurer open the envelopes and count the collection after the Morning Service. As the collection grew so did the number of Trustees needed to help. Until recently, most Trustees gathered every Sunday around the counting table and it became a good time to talk about urgent business and the progress being made on various projects as well as to count money.

During January and February of 1946, the Christian Life Crusade Institute was the program for mid-week services. The Institute was conducted each Thursday evening for five weeks and designed to study the six major phases of church life and to re-emphasize their importance in building a strong spiritual church family (average attendance 53). An organized laymen’s calling program was conceived and called the Andrew League. The Institute was followed by four weeks of the Annual Church College (School of Missions). (Schools of Missions and Vacation Bible Schools were staples of our program during these years and will not be mentioned each time they happened.)

During World War II the church contributed to the Northern Baptist Convention’s World Emergency Fund. After the war, the denomination found a tremendous need for rehabilitation work in the Mission Fields around the world and set a goal of $15,000,000.00 for the USA toward the World Mission Crusade. The Manlius Church was given a quota of $7,500.00 and it was accepted by the church at the December 3, 1946, Annual Meeting. This was an ambitious goal for a church with an Operating Fund budget for 1946-1947 of $4,710.00. The Annual Reports for 1946-1947 and 1947-1948 indicated that the church was able to raise $4,135.88.

The Annual School of Missions was held in March and April of 1946 with an average of 65 people attending each evening. Easter of 1946 was a special time. The Church Clerk Mrs. Jessie Hefti declared Easter Sunday, April 21, 1946, “a day long to be remembered.” There were four services that Sunday with a total of 800 in attendance.

The wave of change that would later consolidate the women’s groups into the Baptist Women’s Fellowship and had already replaced the Christian Endeavor with the Baptist Youth Fellowship was also affecting the organized Sunday School classes. Organized classes had regularly scheduled social meetings in addition to the Sunday School sessions on Sunday morning. The Trojans (a women’s class organized in 1903) was able to muster 25 for a group picture in 1927 but was down to 8 members in 1948 and was not mentioned again. The Philathea Class was organized in 1907 or 1908, the Baraca Class later, and apparently at some time were combined. They posed for a group picture in 1924 with 16 men and 23 women, and in 1927 with 23 men and 35 women. In 1953 they were meeting for Sunday School in Harris Chapel (and socially as well.)

The Baraca-Philathea group was getting older and the JB Class for younger men and women was organized in 1946 or 1947. (Their teacher was John Baker.) The group had monthly fellowship meetings and were actively working on projects to improve the church. (In 1948 they sanded and refinished the gym floor, did several painting jobs, washed windows, bought supplies for the church and contributed to other groups in the church.) By 1952, the JB class members were also getting older and a new group was formed in April 1952 called the Kum Duble Klub. There were thirty active members in 1952. In December 1953, the group started the social year with a “fun-filled Folk Dance at the Odd Fellow’s Hall where the JB Class and the Kum Duble Klub “frolicked and fed until all were content.”

In November 1955, the Philathea and Baraca Class and the JB Class became on Sundays separate Men’s and Women’s Bible Classes. For fellowship meetings they called themselves temporarily the Adult Class Fellowship which was organized in November 1956. Later the Fellowship group became the Unity (Fellowship) Class. The new group voted to continue many of the projects of the late JB Class, i.e., sponsorship of the Young People’s Choir and Girl Scouts and providing transportation for children in the Westvale area to the Sunday School. The men contributed many hours of labor toward the renovation of the church parlor (to be used as Sunday School rooms.)

In 1956 the Kum-Duble Class became known as the Achaean Class (Achaean is the Greek work for builder.) The Achaean Class also met monthly for social meetings and continued the tradition of working and supporting projects to improve the church facilities. In 1957 the Unity Class was still divided on Sundays. The teachers were Esther Lamoreaux (women) and Carl Christensen (men). Ester Lamoreaux felt that she couldn’t continue teaching the women’s class. Carl taught the combined classes and that was probably the end of segregated Sunday School Classes in the Manlius Baptist Church.

The Church Sanctuary needed attention and according to the Eagle Bulletin of 8/2/46, the church was closed for the month of July during which the sanctuary was completely redecorated and the parsonage painted. The newspaper reported “this project makes a total of several thousand dollars that have been expended on property improvements during the year.” The Church School wing had been repainted during the winter months. On February 24, 1947, at a special meeting of the Board of Trustees it was reported that the church had received a check for $19,283.09 from the Louise Davis Estate. The Trustees voted to set aside $2000.00 for a memorial and to buy government bonds with the rest. At the same time the Trustees voted to rent a lock box at the Manlius Bank in which to keep their bonds and valuable papers.

At the March 17, 1947, meeting the Board, however, it was reported that the check should have read $17,783.09 and had to be replaced. On March 27, 1947, the congregation endorsed the Trustees’ plan for the inheritance. The interest from the bonds was to be used to help support the church just as Louise Davis had done for many years.

At the Annual Meeting on December 1, 1947, the Memorial Committee reported that their choice was a set of Mass Cathedral Chimes, which would be amplified through the church tower and played from the organ console. The chimes were played for the first time on Communion Sunday, January 4, 1948, and “all felt the solemnity of the occasion.” The chimes were dedicated on January 25, 1948, and Reverend Derwood Smith came from Herkimer, New York, to be the principle speaker. The chimes are still in place but seldom used.

In the spring of 1947, Mrs. Jessie Hefti gave the church a pair of floor standard candelabra and they are still used for weddings and sometimes loaned as props for spooky theatrical productions. In the summer of 1947 the Trustees reported that the church exterior had been painted. Also in the summer (July) the annual Sunday School picnic with the Methodist was held in Highland Park with 200 people in attendance. For a time this was an annual occurrence.

The major discussion in the Diaconate Board in September, 1947, was what to do about the midweek Prayer Service. Attendance for special programs was good but for an ordinary Prayer Service it was often less than ten people. The Diaconate voted to recommend converting the Prayer Service to a monthly Family Night service for evangelism, hopefully to begin in October 1947. Later Cottage Prayer Meetings were tried.

At the September 8, 1947, Trustee’s Meeting, Reverend John Baker was asked to see about having a telephone installed in the church. This must have been one of the last buildings in the town without a telephone and surely there was one in the parsonage.

At their April 19, 1948, meeting, the Board of Trustees (as recommended by the Diaconate) voted to purchase card and pencil holders to be place on the back of the church pews. (The Trustees must have forgotten about the project. The Achaean Class, in their annual report for 1956, listed as one of their completed projects the purchase and installation of card holders for the church pews.)

On February 15, 1949, the Trustees discussed the need for a stairway from the Narthex down to the Parlors. It was built and has been very useful ever since. On July 20, 1949, the Trustees reported that the Board of Education of the Manlius Public Schools had asked to use Sunday School rooms for two First Grade sections for the Fall of 1949. Apparently, the schools were becoming crowded. The church voted against the proposition. In 1949 the church entertained the “Safari,” a state-wide program for Baptist young people organized in 1936. Eighty-five attended a banquet at the church.

At the 153rd Annual Meeting on December 5, 1949, the Ministers and Missionaries (M&M) Retirement Fund was explained to the congregation by the Trustees. In the beginning 10% of the minister’s salary was to be sent to the M&M Board of the Northern Baptist Association and invested for the Pastor’s retirement. The church paid 7.5%, the minister 2.5% of the minister’s salary. For the first year, December 1948-December 1949, the cost of M&M to the church was $276.00.

In their February 13, 1950, meeting the Trustees voted to permit mothers of nursery school children to hold a day nursery at the church one day a week. On March 5, 1950, Mrs. Jressie Hefti, Church Clerk for 21 years, died.* Her notes and records and comments (and excellent penmanship) have been a great help to all those interested in the history of the church. Reverend Baker said of Mrs. Hefti: “Her contributions which serve as a memorial to a consecrated Christian life have left us stronger and richer.”

In May 1950, the Bakers had completed five years with the Manlius Baptist Church. On May 15, 1950, a special service was held in the church and it noted that 105 new members had been added in those five years. In July 1950, Reverend and Mrs. John J. Baker attended the Baptist World Congress in Cleveland, Ohio, and in October 1950, the New York State Baptist Convention in Albany, New York.

The Guild Girls, a program for the young girls of the church, was considered part of the Youth Fellowship Program. An organization especially for girls had been in existence in the Manlius Baptist Church at various times since at least 1906 when the Farther Lights Society was organized. This was followed by the Light Bearers and in 1925 by the World Wide Guild. In September 1950, the girls of the church were again organized into the World Wide Guild, an American Baptist program. The leaders were Margaret Vermilya and Helen Bays. The purpose was to bring the missionary aspect of the church’s life directly to the attention of our young girls. Reverend Baker thought the Guild “a most significant enterprise; for the church will lose its own life if it fails to possess a world-wide vision of preaching the gospel to all people.”

Four sisters transferred their membership from the Church of Christ in Pompey, New York, to the Manlius Baptist Church on May 5, 1913; Addie Dunn (Cathers), Lulu Dunn (TenEyk), Bernice Dunn (Wilcox) and Jessie Dunn (Hefti).

In his Annual Report to the congregation on December 4, 1950, reverend Baker found the Korean Conflict and economic conditions in the United States causing these to be “anxious and uncertain days for all people.” He urged the members to “plan our course carefully and be prepared for any eventuality.” He recommended that the Trustees hold the line where possible in the budget for the new year (no budget increases except where necessary for repairs and improvements to the property.) He was also concerned about ministering to the spiritual needs of the young men who were expected to be called into the military and felt we should organize a carefully planned program “at once.” At the same meeting, Charles Cathers, the last of the “elected for life” Deacons, gave up his life-time status and was elected instead for a three year term.

On March 25, 1951, Doreta Chapman resigned as organist after 14 years of service. Helen Jenks became organist as well as choir director. In April 1951, a brass altar set (cross and candlesticks) was purchased for the church by the Louise Davis Circle in memory of Jesse Hefti, a charter member of the Circle and President at the time of her death. The altar set is now kept in the chapel.

In June of 1951, some of the young mothers of the church formed a Mother’s Club. Their purpose was to promote religious training in their homes. They met bi-monthly to discuss ways to answer children’s religious questions and promote the use of religious literature. In addition, they provided baby-sitting for Family Night Suppers. The last report of the Mother’s Club was to the December 6, 1954, Annual Meeting.

Reverend Paul Conrad was the son of Reverend Elbert Henry Conrad, Pastor of the Manlius Baptist Church from 1907-1909. The Conrad family lived in the new parsonage which was then situated across the street from Mrs. Harris. At that time, Paul was old enough to have been a church member.

On July 27, 1951, Yettie Harris died. She was 96 years old on July 20, 1951. The church also lost Fannie Nightingale and John S. Burt the same year. During Reverend Baker’s pastorate, Mrs. Harris was physically unable to attend church services and activities but was still very interested in the work of the church. She lived in part of what is now (1997) the Newell-Fay Funeral Home on Pleasant Street across from the church. (Dorothy Benor helped to take care of her in her later ears.) Her generous contribution to the building of the new church has been noted as well as her service as Church Clerk, Sunday School teacher, organist, keeper of the Fellowship Fund and leader of women’s groups. It also appeared that Mrs. Harris was responsible for a large portion of both the Current and Mission budgets each year, and when she died there was a concern about making up for her lost contributions. Reverend Baker reported that in addition to Mrs. Harris’ support of Missions through the local church, she also gave a direct gift to the Foreign Mission Board of the American Baptist Denomination each year. She would annually summon Reverend Paul Conrad*, who was associated with the American Baptist’s main headquarters in Valley Forge, to visit her at her home. She would reward him with a sizable check for the Foreign Missions Board. (It had to be Reverend Paul Conrad because she knew and trusted him.)

The Diaconate reinstituted the regular Thursday Night Prayer Services. Attendance was low and they decided not to continue the program in the fall of 1951. Instead the second Thursday of the month would be a Church Family Night with a fellowship supper followed by a program of interest to families. The fourth Thursday was to be more like the regular Prayer Meeting with a 7:30 service in the Harris Memorial Chapel.

The Diaconate became concerned about the benevolent contributions of the church. As reported earlier, Mrs. Harris; contributions were a significant part of the total. It was noted that of all recorded church givers only 35 gave to missions. Part of the problem was that there was no Mission Board at this time, but instead a Missionary Committee. Its members were not eligible to be part of the Official Board (only the Chairman) and had to be elected annually.. In some years the Committee was not active. Because of their concern the Diaconate Board established an internal committee to keep abreast of missionary activities within the church and report back to Diaconate Meetings.

The church in 1951 was heated with coal, but coal was on its way out as a source of fuel for heating homes and buildings. It was getting hard to get, it was dirty, ashes were a problem, and keeping the fire going required a lot of attention. At their May 14, 1951, meeting, the Trustees started to investigate the conversion to gas heat. They found that the present boiler was designed for soft coal and was in poor condition. On June 14, 1951, they accepted a bid from the John Fraser Co. of $3,408.98 for the installation of an automatic gas furnace and agreed to pay within ten days for a 2% discount. At their August 13, 1951, meeting Chairman Robert Parslow reported there would be a $20.00 charge for dismantling the old boiler. J. Meachem of the Cheney Foundry was interested in buying the 7000 estimated pounds of scrap iron and steel and it was sold to him for $189.20. The Trustees cleaned out a wood shed near the parlors and cleaned and painted the coal bin (the room south of the kitchen which became a crib room but now contains the boiler used to heat the educational annex.)

The last annual Harvest Dinner and Sale under the auspices of the Ladies Aid Society was held on November 8, 1951. Margaret Vermilya was the General Chairman. The group earned $607.28.

At the October 22, 1951, Official Board Meeting, George Reeves was made a Deacon Emeritus because poor health kept him from attending Diaconate meetings. He was the second Deacon to be honored in this way. At the Annual Meeting on December 3, 1951, the By-Laws were changed to allow the Trustees to increase their membership from 6 to 9.

In his report to the church on December 3, 1951, Reverend Baker told the congregation that it was almost impossible to transmit his work into facts and figures for a published report. But, he noted, a recent survey revealed that the average minister spent sixty hours weekly in activities directly related to his work, plus additional hours on indirectly related activities. Rev. Baker wrote “your minister has never made such a strict accounting of his efforts, but we are safe in saying that most of us like to be considered at least average in our field of endeavor.” He went on to pay tribute to the hours spent by his unofficial assistant, his wife, Lucy. Although she was “essentially a housewife with the same responsibilities and demands on her time that belong to every conscientious mother and home-maker, she often needed to accompany her husband in pastoral calling and engaged in the activities of all the women’s groups and organizations in the church.”

Also at the December 3, 19512, meeting, the Guild Girls reported having expanded into two groups, the Ann Ransier Guild (named for Mrs. Ransier out of respect to her as our own church missionary and her work among the Hopi Indians) and the Barbara Galaska Guild named after a Japanese missionary who was a friend of leader Mrs. Ada Phelps.

On December 10, 1951, at the Trustees meeting, the members discussed a request from the Fireman’s Association to borrow the church dining room tables for a Fireman’s Dinner. We don’t know what actually happened but Lloyd Slentz moved that the tables borrowed by the Rod and Gun Club and not returned to the church be loaned to the Fireman’s Association.

When the Diaconate Board met in January 1952, they elected officers for the coming year. Mr. F. D. Richburg made a motion that the chairman of the Diaconate could be either a Deacon or a Deaconess, and that he or she automatically would become chairman of either the Deacons or Deaconesses. The motion was seconded by Charles Cathers and carried. As a result, Mrs. Lynn (Emma) Mapstone became the first woman chairman of the Diaconate. The second and last for many years was Mrs. F. Dennison Richburg, who wads elected chairman in 1954.

1952 Diaconate Board
Deaconesses Deacons
  • Mrs. Oliver Holt
  • Mrs. Carl Lamoreaux
  • Mrs. Lynn Mapstone (Chairman)
  • Miss Marjorie Randall
  • Mrs. Charles Potter
  • Carl Mapstone
  • Clarence Pease
  • Robert Vermilya
  • Charles Cathers
  • F. Dennison Richburg
  • Ralph Bays
  • William Nightingale (Emeritus)

On May 9, 1952, the 71st Annual Meeting of the Onondaga Baptist Women’s Missionary Society was held in the church. One hundred forty women attended. It was not mentioned but this may have been the last meeting for the Society since Baptist Women’s groups were about to be consolidated into the Baptist Women’s Fellowship.

On May 18, 1952, the congregation honored Reverend and Mrs. Baker for seven years of faithful service to the church. Reverend Baker was presented a pulpit robe and roses and Mrs. Baker an orchid corsage. On June 15, 9152, a committee was chosen to the official Board to select new pulpit furniture, a gift from the Cleveland family in memory of Thomas and Hadassah Cleveland.

In 1952, the Trustees decided to install gas heat in the parsonage. The Ladies Aid Society, in one of their last good deeds before consolidation into the Baptist Women’s Fellowship, donated $200.00 to pay for the conversion. At their August 11, 1952, meeting the Trustees and Reverend Baker moved outdoors to fill in the trench for the gas line from the church to the parsonage. By September 8, 1952, the parsonage gas furnace was fully installed and ready for chilly fall weather.

At the September 8, 1952, Trustee meeting, Reverend Baker reported that he had been approached by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Chittenango Baptist Church in regard to a loan of $7,000.00 to be used for an addition to their church. On October 13, 1952, the Trustees agreed to consult with Reverend Baker and if the Chittenango Baptists were still interested, a committee of Reverend Baker, Fred Hartman, Kenneth Jones, Comstock Lincoln and Robert Parslow was to meet with them and present their recommendation to our Official Board. No further action was reported.

In September 1952, to reflect what was happening at the State and National levels of the American Baptist Churches, the women’s organizations of the church (exclusive of the Sunday School) were consolidated. The Women’s Missionary Society (77 years in existence), the Ladies Aid Society (probably in existence in some form since the early days of the church) and the three United Fellowship Circles (The Louise Davis, Mary Broadfield and Mary Woodworth Circles, formed in 1939 under the leadership of the Deaconesses to support the Ladies Aid and to provide close Christian fellowship between the ladies of the church by meeting together and calling on one another) were combined to form a new Baptist Women’s Fellowship. An opening Banquet was held on September 16, 1952. Reverend Baker installed the following new officers:

  • President - Mrs. Robert Vermilya
  • Service - Mrs. Charles Potter
  • Projects - Mrs. Robert Parslow
  • Literary Chairman -  Mrs. Lynn Mapstone
  • Secretary - Treasurer Mrs. Comstock Lincoln

The Circles were re-organized at this time and were named after important women of the Bible: Naomi, Miriam, Lois, Deborah and Martha. Although the changes were great with long standing institutions of the church discontinued, they were accepted with very little resentment or resistance, according to Reverend Baker.

The Ladies Aid Society was no longer in existence but the Baptist Women’s Fellowship carried on the harvest Dinner Tradition and on November 16, 1952, served 583 suppers for a total profit of $756.32 from the supper and sale.

On October 15, 1952, a third choir (the Cherub choir) was started for children from ages 7-10. Mrs. Shirley Radley was director. The church now had an Adult Choir directed by Mrs. Helen Jenks (also the organist,) a Youth Choir directed by Gertrude Mawson and the Cherub Choir. On December 18, 1952, television was first mentioned in the records of the church. Station WHEN in Syracuse televised a program of Christian music sung by our Youth Choir.

On December 27, 1952, the church made headlines in the Eagle Bulletin. They read:

In 1949 the Trustees had purchased fire extinguishers and these may have helped control the fire.

Vandals Start Fire in Manlius Church, Explosion Averted

Vandals entered the church late on Monday afternoon and started a fire in the rear hall which was discovered by Mrs. Helen Jenks before it could do extensive damage. They also turned on the electric stove and several jets on the gas stove but fortunately the main gas valve had been shut off. Mrs. Jenks and Reverend Baker extinguished the fire before it had done much damage.

 

In their January 12, 1953, meeting the Trustees took an early position against smoking in the church. The Girl Scouts had asked permission to use the kitchen and Loomis Hall for a banquet in March. The Board approved the request but subject to an announcement that smoking would be allowed in the Boiler Room only. By January 23, 1953, the new pulpit furnishings had been installed and were dedicated in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Cleveland.

On February 1, 1953, forty-two church members cooperated with other churches in Manlius in taking a census of the entire community to determine the number in each family and their church affiliation. Also in February the Baptist Churches of Onondaga County were participating in a “Spiritual Life Crusade” for which Reverend John Baker was the general chairman. A rally was held in the First Baptist Church of Syracuse. On February 9, 10 and 12 the local Baptist churches were to do their part by calling on prospective members in their own neighborhoods. Reverend John Baker, in his 1953 annual message to the church, reported that forty-two calling teams from our church visited 132 persons and invited them into the fellowship of Christ and the membership of the church. The teams were fortified each evening with a dinner served by one of the women’s circles. According to Reverend Baker, he had already made contact at some time with each family.  "Assignments were given with some assurance that the callers would be cordially received and that there would be some commonality for easy conversation."

That calling ministry proved to be what Reverend Baker described as “most fruitful.” On February 15, 1953, Declaration Sunday, our new church clerk, Helen Ives, reported that as a result of the “crusade” 44 persons came forward in the morning service to signify their intention of becoming active members of our church. She said “it was gratifying indeed.” There were eight more that wished to join the church but could not attend Declaration Sunday.

On March 1, 1953, at a candlelight Baptism Service, 15 of the 52 were baptized. Another 33 joined through membership transfer. On March 8, 1953, 46 men and women were given the Right hand of Fellowship and were received into the church. Reverend Baker called this “an inspiring experience not to be forgotten.” Reverend Baker gave much of the credit to Diaconate members who were working for this day as the climax of several months of organized calling. On the first two Tuesday evenings of the month, twelve laymen made friendship calls on behalf of the church, thereby cultivating the confidence and interest of the prospects.

The Diaconate made an important decision at their September 19653 meeting. They found it clear that for the spiritual welfare of the church “we must return to the weekly prayer service” and established the Thursday evening “Hour of Power,” a theme developed by the first Baptist Church of Syracuse and used in Manlius with their permission. The “Hour of Power” helped to revive the spirit of the mid-week prayer service. Reverend Baker reported “we come together and pray for very definite things and each other. Some speak of this as the most helpful and inspiring service of the church.”

The choirs were thriving. Helen Jenks reported 30 members in the adult choir, 28 members in the youth choir, 29 members in the Cherub Choir (and 20 men in a Men’s Choir, organized especially for Laymen’s Sunday). She was pleased that almost ¼ of the membership sang in a choir.

At the December 7, 1953, Annual Meeting the church discussed changing the fiscal year of the church from December 1-November30 to coincide with the calendar year, but didn’t come to a conclusion. The Treasurer reported that part of the balance for 1953 included a $5,000.00 legacy from the Yettie R. Harris Estate.

The Northern Baptist Convention launched a new financial campaign, their third, called the Churches for New Frontiers. The purpose of the fund was to raise money to assist in the building of new Baptist churches in growing areas (the suburbs) where there were none before. The program was discussed at the 1953 Annual Meeting and the decision to participate was left to the Diaconate and the Official Board.

The Trustees reported that the Seneca Street property had been sold on a quit-claim deed to the Community Council (of Manlius) for $3,000.00 and that $1,000.00 was donated to the Community Council and the remaining $2,000.00 was to be paid to the church in cash. The sale took an incredible 23 years to accomplish and is a story in itself which will be found in the appendix.

In 1953 the Trustees started the Manlius Baptist Church Improvement Fund to cover the cost of the larger improvements or repairs to the church and parsonage. (We now call it the Capital Fund.) The Trustees also established the boundary lines of the church. Cull-Smith Associates made a survey and necessary maps of the property and attorney H. Bendixen secured signed agreements from adjoining property holders giving us definite boundary lines.

In his annual report for 1953, Reverend John Baker felt that “God had smiled on us and blessed us in the year 1953 making it one of the most memorable in the hundred and fifty-six year history of our wonderful church. Certainly each of us must be proud to claim it as his own.” It wasn’t just the numerical growth, but “the effectiveness of the service” that counted. He wanted “growing in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to be the motivating force back of our every effort” and for us to “strive to foster the moral integrity, mental health, spiritual and social well-being of everyone associated with us.” He felt we had learned that “more things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of” and that we have been more of a praying church during 1953 than in any year of his eight year pastorate. Reverend Baker gave credit for this memorable year to the coordinated teamwork of a consecrated church family.

On November 30, 1953, at the end of the 1952-1953 fiscal year, the balances in the Church Treasury were as follows:

* $ 5,000.00 was from the Yettie Harris Estate
**$15,000.00 was from the Louise Davis Estate

1953 Church Treasury Balance
General Expense Account $2,643.59
Property Improvement Account $1,162.00
Savings Bank Account $6,791.15*
Savings Bank $16,025.00**

Gone were the days when the Treasurer had to visit the bank after Trustee Meetings to borrow money to pay bills. Now the question was how to better invest some of the extra Money. On February 8, 1954, the Trustees discussed the alternatives and voted to take $6,000.00 from the Savings Bank Account and invest $2,000.00 each in common stocks of American Telephone and Telegraph, Boston Edison and Standard Oil of New Jersey. For some unrecorded reason the Board reversed its decision. The money in the Savings Account was still unspent according to the Treasurer’s Report of November 30, 1954.

At the first quarterly meeting of the Official Board on March 2, 1954, the Sunday School issued a report which must have started the church thinking about a future expansion of the Sunday School facilities. They reported a very good attendance and a need for more classrooms, chairs and clothes racks.

A discussion led by the Trustees concerning repair projects (new gym floor, new sidewalks, interior decorating, etc.) led to the fact that the $2,000.00 from the sale of the old church had not yet been put to use. The need for funds for “Churches for New Frontiers” was also discussed. The Board voted (10 yes, 8 no) to use $1,500.00 of the $2,000.00 for needed repairs and $500.00 for the “Churches for New Frontiers” campaign.

Leah Stark remembers that before there was an official church group, Francis and Sylvia Davison ( on Wednesday afternoons when the Barbershop was closed) with the help of church women would serve lunch to the “old folks” in the annex of the Seneca Street Church. The “Golden Age Group” grew rapidly and became the Christian Fellowship Society. Membership was extended to the Methodists and Episcopal Churches. Then the group became a non-sectarian community project sponsored by the Village of Manlius, and has been a huge success ever since.

At the second quarterly meeting of the Official Board on June 3, 1954, the Christian Education Committee, Esther Lamoreaux, chairman, reported on plans for the upcoming Vacation Church School and the “Golden Age Group,” established in 1953 “and already having proven its worth by the attendance of our old folks.” They also expressed the need for a Christian Education director and the responsibility for finding one was given to the Christian Education Committee.

The Missionary Committee reported that $1,000.00 had been sent to the American Baptist Association (the Northern Baptist Association had changed its name) for the Churches for New Frontiers campaign and that our church was listed on the Honor Roll for its contribution.

At the Fall Official Board meeting, September 6, 1954, the Trustees recommended that a committee be appointed to carry out the every member canvass and if possible “to run the canvass in conjunction with the other Protestant churches in the village in so far as a united appeal for Christian Stewardship can be made effective in this manner.” The Official Board approved and a committee with representatives from most of the major boards and committees of the church was appointed:

  • Trustees: Ray Heller
  • Diaconate: Robert Vermilya
  • Women’s Fellowship: Addie Potter
  • Young People: Martha Ives
  • Kum-Duble Willis Postma
  • Sunday School: Jean Clausen

At the same fall meeting, the Religious Education Committee recommended that “release time from school be given to Baptist Sunday School children from grades 1-6 each Monday at 2:00 P.M. to attend religious teaching at the church.” The Board voted to accept the recommendation. The enrollment for fall 1954 was fifty children. Five women taught the classes.

The Missionary Committee reported that the New Frontier quota had been paid. Our goal was $3,200. In 1954 the church paid $2,187.32 and in 1955 $1,024.62, so that the goal was oversubscribed.

The church voted to pay a gym leader to be in charge of youth recreation in the gym on Saturdays (John Baker had been supervising and found that most of the children were not from the church.) The Annual Meeting for 12954 was held on December 6, 1954. The recommendations for a change to the calendar year (and with it a necessary change in the Annual Meeting date from December to January) was voted on favorably and would be implemented as soon as the Association changed its Fiscal Year. (This was done in 1955 and as a result there was no annual meeting in 1955 and officers whose terms would ordinarily expire on December 1, 1955, were asked to hold office until December 31, 1955, an extra month.)

1955 was designated by the American Baptist Association as the “Year of Baptist Achievement” to YBA. All phases of church life were given standards to meet and points were given for achieving goals. According to Sunday School Superintendent Jean Clausen, it was “a plan to help us accomplish what we should have been doing all the time.” Reverend Baker described the YBA as an organized program for deepening the roots of our faith. He wrote that “decisions for Christ, personal spiritual enrichment, more effective leadership, wider use of the Bible and a great community witness were a few of the pronounced overtones of the YBA program.” The Diaconate Board was reported as having been greatly overjoyed at the success of our YBA program.

Part of the emphasis was for churches to organize themselves so that every church organization contributed to the nurture of the people affected by it. Denominational leaders were concerned that organizations such as the Philathea and Baraca Sunday School classes and the Christian Endeavor and even Boy and Girl Scout Troops (groups part of a nationwide organization) would develop a loyalty to their parent organizations rather than to the church. None of the above organizations, except the Scout Troops, were part of the church after 1956.

In February of 1955, Reverend John Baker was honored at a party celebrating his 42nd birthday. The theme was “This is Your Life, John Baker.” Mrs. Robert Vermilya was in charge of the arrangements and was Master of Ceremonies. She followed Ralph Edwards’ Television Sow format in revealing Reverend Baker’s life story before 60 guest and church members in the Church Parlors.

Just as was done in the television program, all arrangements were kept a secret from Reverend Baker and he was hopefully completely surprised. Reverend Baker remembers being taken ice-fishing on the day of the party to divert his attention. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Baker of Allenwood, Pennsylvania; his brother and sister-in-law , Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Baker, also from Allenwood; Mrs. Baker’s mother, Mrs. Marie Skinner from Trumansburg, New York; and special friends from New York and Pennsylvania were brought into town secretly and housed in various church members; homes.

According to Reverend Baker “On the night of the program the surprise guests appeared one by one to reveal some secret (and some not so secret) happenings in my past.” Margaret Vermilya concluded the program by presenting the Bakers with the keys to a new set of luggage. Then she “recommended” that the Bakers “get out of town” for a winter vacation. The Bakers did what they were told and had their first family visit to Florida. After the presentations the guests were served a smorgasbord supper in Loomis Hall.

In 1955 the Pfohl property, a house and lot located directly south of the church on North Street in what is now the church parking lot, became available for purchase. The Trustees called for a special meeting of the Official Board on March 20, 1955. They hope to get a vote of approval to proceed with negotiations to purchase the property. The Official Board gave the Trustees their blessing and appointed Dennison Richburg and Howard Eckerlin to work with them in acquiring the property.

On April 21, 1955, the Official Board met again and authorized the Trustees to purchase the Pfohl property for $12,000.00. The money came partially from the Savings Account ($6,000.00, of which $5,000.00 was from the Harris Legacy) and the remainder from the Savings Bonds ($5,000 from the Davis Legacy and $1,000.00 from the White and Moore Funds.) Thirty-one of the thirty-five members present approved of the acquisition. No mention was made of a congregational vote. The extra property made it possible to expand the parking lot and to provide an exit on North Street, but gave the Trustees one more building to keep repaired, rents to collect, and tenants to keep satisfied. In the summer of 1955, the Trustees sold the old parsonage garage (for $250.00), and built a new one.

At the September 14, 1955, Official Board Meeting, a committee was appointed to “inquire and get information in regard to an Assistant Pastor.” Charles Cathers (Chairman) and Esther Lamoreaux and Charles Allen were chosen. The Official Board voted that the second Monday in January would be the date for the Annual Meeting.

The Annual Meeting was held on January 9,1956, ad voted. (The change to the second Monday in January was made official by a constitutional amendment.) Robert Parslow (Sunday School Superintendent) spoke about the increasing membership of our fast growing church and the need for thought about the enlargement of our facilities and the possibility of establishing a found for that purpose,. No action was taken. The church voted to accept the Official Board’s recommendation to purchase 200 new hymnals (Christian Worship, A Hymnal) at $1.75 reach to be paid for by personal solicitation.

A budget of $17,221.20 was accepted. In those days it was customary for the Trustees to present a budget to the Congregation at the Annual Meeting, where it could be approved if desired, and then accepted by vote. Then the financial campaign would start with budget sand pledge cards sent to the congregation. (The 1956 letter is reproduced in the appendix.) There were usuallly no budget adjustments made to fit the pledges.

On February 5, 1956, Reverend Russell Raker Jr., Mrs. Russell Raker (Elmina), Russell Raker III and Gilbert Raker were received by letter into the membership of the church. (Their daughter Margaret Elmina was received into the church by baptism on April 14, 1957.)

At the Official Board meeting of April 20, 1956, the head usher reported an average attendance of 273.7 for the first three months of 1956. The Church Clerk reported on another unusual period in the growth of the church. Twenty-eight people were received by letter, seventeen by baptism, a total of 45 new members.

A Future Planning Committee was proposed by the Diaconate to look into the future growth of the Community as well as into the expansion of the facilities of the church. Appointed were:

  • Reverend Russell Raker
  • Carl Christensen
  • Robert Parslow
  • June Allen
  • Jean Clausen

The Diaconate also announced that there would be two services on Sunday morning during May for a period of two weeks, one at 8:30 for 45 minutes followed by Sunday School, and then the regular 10:30 service. Because a number of people had expressed a desire for an early service, this would give the Diaconate an opportunity to observe how great the need was. There was no report on the experiment. They also reported that money had been received for 160 hymnals.

Reverend Baker spoke concerning the hiring of an assistant. The Committee appointed to look into hiring an assistant had not been able to find one. Reverend Baker felt that a full time janitor and secretary would relieve him of many responsibilities and would be more helpful at present than an Assistant Pastor. Robert Vermilya and Gordon Jackson were appointed a committee to look into Reverend Baker’s suggestions.

The church couldn’t have found a better person to explain the Sector Plan than Rev.Raker. He was a Field Counselor assigned by the American Baptist Convention to promote the raising of money for Missionary Programs in NYS Baptist Churches. He worked directly with the NYS Baptist Convention, whose headquarters were in Syracuse. In the 1940s there had been a growing insistence on the part of Baptist lay people as well as pastors for the Baptist denomination to come up with a financial program that would assist the churches in raising their own as well as benevolent budgets. The Convention came up with the Sector Plan, an eight-step Every Member Canvass. According to Rev. John Baker, the influencing factor that led the Manlius Church to accept the plan at this time was that the statewide director of the plan, Rev. Russell Raker, was a member of the Manlius Baptist Church. Before Reverend Raker joined the church, the Trustees rejected the Sector Plan. They voted on May 10, 1954, to purchase a Sector Plan workbook and after a discussion of the plan’s merits, voted unanimously to return the Sector Plan material.)

At the July 5, 1956, meeting of the Official Board, the Trustees reported that Workman’s Compensation had been taken out on all salaried employees of the church, and a special meeting of the Official Board was called August 16, 1956, to hear Reverend Raker* present the new Sector Plan, an eight step every-member canvass, designed by the American Baptist Convention to meet the financial needs of growing churches and expanding mission fields.

Except for the intense (and extremely successful) campaign led by Reverend Divine and Reverend Macpherson to raise money for building the new Pleasant Street Church,. The attitude of the congregation and pastors toward raising money was expressed the booklet The Manlius Baptist Church.

This Church has become noted for the absence of direct public financial appeals. Finance is seldom mentioned or discussed from the pulpit. Such discretion in these matters is highly appreciated by the worshippers who respond all the more generously and sacrificially. In fact the personally assumed obligations of all members of the church family is the thing that makes possible the continuation of this policy. It is our profound wish of all that our Church shall always be supported in the sound spirit of Christian Stewardship.

The letter accompanying the pledge cards for 1956 stated that “everyone agrees that the discussion of money matters in the Manlius Baptist Church is held to a minimum, not because they are unimportant but because when a need is presented you and others accept the challenges without necessitating endless pressures.” (Board of Trustees)

Despite these policies, there was felt a need for more money for programs, for assistance for the pastor, for more space for an expanding Sunday School, and for more support for growing Mission Fields.

At the August 16, 1956, meeting, Reverend Raker explained the Sector Plan but there were only 18 members present (out of a possible 36) and it was decided that such an important vote should involve more of the membership. A second meeting was scheduled for August 23, 1956, but only 15 members attended. After much discussion, Ray Heller moved that the Official Board adopt the Sector Plan and added an amendment stating that “every member of the Official Board will cast a ballot voting for or against the motion.” The motion was seconded and carried. The balloting was to bone by letter.

On September 9, 1956, at a BWF sponsored all-church picnic at Highland Park, the Official Board took time out from the festivities to hear a report that the Board had voted 26 to 8 in favor of adopting the Sector Plan for immediate use in planning for the church program and its objectives for 1957. A committee was appointed:

  • Charles Potter - General Chairman
  • Raymond Heller - Publicity
  • Robert Vermilya - Proposal
  • Sidney Mawson - Appraisal
  • Gamble Huffaker - Advanced Pledges

We don’t have a copy of the Sector Plan but the basic steps have been repeated thousands of times in fund drives for charitable institutions of every kind. The first step had to do with the determination of giving potential of the congregation. Time was taken from a Church Service to give adults a list of the church members. The members were asked to write down what they thought everyone (including themselves) might be able to give in light of their assessment of that persons ability to pay., Emphasis was on percentage giving with the hope that a tithe would be the standard. This step was supposed to encourage the members to reconsider their own thinking concerning their own contributions. The individual results were kept confidential but the total results were tabulated. Usually it was found that the giving potential as perceived by the congregation was much larger than everyone had thought. This step was probably the major reason the Sector Plan was somewhat unpopular. Some people thought that the assessment was an invasion of personal and private information and it was often deleted from the program for that reason.

With the figures of potential giving in mind, the next step was to ask the congregation in small groups (i.e., Boards, Committees, Circles, Sunday School Classes) to discuss the programs of the church and what they would like to see done in the future. The proposals would be put together in a proposed budget which would be presented to a congregational meeting for approval of all the members. With a budget that would echo many of the hopes and dreams of most of the members, and as determined by their calculations, one they felt the church could afford, the vote would be overwhelmingly positive. For the first few years of the Sector Plan, the budget was professionally printed in color and with photographs of the various activities of the church included. These were probably done with the aid of the New York State Baptist Association.

Now the time was ripe for the commitment phase. Callers were carefully chosen and trained. They had to be committed to the work of the church and the prepared budget, and ready to back their commitment generously with a percentage giving of their own resources. The total of their pledges combined with that of the pastor and leaders of the church would be announced to the church collectively as Advance Gifts, the amount of which should be impressive enough to encourage the rest of the congregation to follow suit.

After all kinds of positive publicity for the activities and programs of the church (present and future, especially those involving children), and for the advance gift total, the workers would be called together on a Sunday after church (designated as Pledge or Commitment Sunday), given a fine meal by the Baptist Women’s Fellowship, a pep talk and sent out in pairs to the home of the members to bring back the signed pledge cards. Again, the emphasis was to be on % giving.

The callers would report later in the afternoon to the church. The results would be tabulated and there would be a victory celebration at the next Sunday church service, with a follow up for those who escaped the pledging process.

Reverend Baker remembered the plan as a “bold new approach to the Stewardship emphasis of the church and its missions. While the plan generated considerable confusion and resistance for some, it ultimately came to be recognized as the method that transformed the approach to Christian Stewardship planning throughout the country.” As for our church, “in a very few years the Manlius Baptist Church budget was significantly increased and the church became one of the top mission giving churches among American Baptist Churches of New York State.”

This was probably the first year in which the church had two yearly budget campaigns. The normal campaign was run for the 1956 Budget in January 1956. The Budget was discussed and accepted at the January 9, 1956, Annual Meeting, where all the members had been invited to “ lend your voice in the matters of church planning and policy making for the year 1956.” The budget adopted was “an ambitious attempt on the part of our people to see before themselves a challenging goal of Christian stewardship.” A letter with a “personal enlistment” card (a new name for pledge cards) was sent to each member. Those who didn’t return the card could expect a visit from a Trustee. There was no further official adjustment of the budget to match the pledges.

The Sector Plan campaign for the 1957 Budget was carried out during the time we would do our Financial Campaign today with the preparation of the Budget and the drive for pledges in the fall of 1956. Trustees with input from all of the participating boards prepared an adjusted budget for presentation and adoption at the Annual Meeting of January, 1957.

The Budget for 1957 was very ambitious and included goals for Baptist World Missions as well as for the local church. A copy is reproduced in the appendix. This Budget was prepared before Reverend Baker’s resignation and was printed with his picture representing our Pastoral Ministry. The goal for the local church was an ambitious $27,675.55 and for Baptist World Missions (and local missions as well) was a modest $4,400.00. (In 1956 the actrual expenditure for the local church was $15,481.96 and for Missions was $4,241.32.) Little was said about the actual campaign in the church minutes but you can be sure it was properly done under the watchful eyes of the Reverends Baker and Raker.

In the Trustee’s meeting of September 10, 1956, pastoral assistance was again discussed with Reverend Baker. Previously Official Board discussion had centered on hiring a Christian Education Director or an Assistant Pastor (professionally trained persons.) Pastor Baker now asked the Trustees to waive these suggestions in favor of hiring a person with “ingrained dedication for church work and service.” He said “he had found such a person and she is available for half-time service.” The Trustees authorized Reverend Baker to hire a Pastor’s Assistant at a salary not to exceed $35.00/week. At the Official Board meeting November 1, 1956, it was reported by the Christian Education Committee that the Released Time School had a registration of 180 children. Reverend Baker told the Official Board that Margaret Vermilya had been hired as a Pastor’s Assisstant and was “a great help doing a fine job.”

On October 28, 1956, at the close of the church service, Reverend John J. Baker shocked the congregation by announcing his resignation to be effective December 31, 1956. He had accepted a call from the First Baptist Church of Rome, New York. The Rome church was a large church which listed 1,000 members and employed three full time Christian workers.

The Trustees met on November 2, 1956, and voted to buy folding doors to divide the Parlors into three Sunday School rooms. This was to provide more space for the growing Sunday School. On November 6, 1956, the question of children taking Communion was brought up. Reverend Baker stated that anyone who belongs to the Household of Faith is eligible for Communion, and that parents should use their discretion.

Reverend Baker’s was the third longest pastorate. Reverend Elias Barber served a little longer than 12 years and Elder Nathan Baker approximately 21 years (and perhaps longer.)

Later in the year the local newspapers (Post Standard, Herald Journal, Eagle Bulletin) all told of Reverend Baker’s leaving and of the various local and area capacities served during Reverend Baker’s nearly 12 years. He was moderator of the Onondaga Baptist Association, a member of the Board of Directors of the Upstate Home for Children in Oneonta, New York, Secretary for three years to the New York State Baptist Pastor’s Conference, Adult Leader of the Onondaga Baptist Youth, President of the Manlius Chapter of Commerce for two years and Chaplain of the Masonic Military Lodge #93 for seven years.

After nearly twelve years of remarkable growth in the church, both in numbers and spirituality, and many more years of service to other Baptist Churches and the American Baptist Convention, Reverend Baker remembers that his time here was “a challenging yet wonderful time in the life and development of the Manlius Baptist Church” and that he was “proud to be a part of it.”

1957-1989

1957-1961 (Reverend Harry Guckert)

At Pastor John Baker’s last Official Board Meeting on November 1, 1956, and after Reverend Baker’s explanation of his call to Rome, New York (“God directed him”), the church went directly to the business of selecting a Pulpit Committee to find a new leader. This time the Official Board decided to send each one of its members a letter with a list of the eligible Board Members (Associate Members were excluded) and each person was asked to select five members who would best serve on the Pulpit Committee. The results were presented to an Official Board Meeting on Sunday, November 18, 1956, for further discussion and action.

The five leading vote-getters were (in order of votes received):

  1. Kenneth Greene
  2. Esther Lamoreaux
  3. Charles Cathers
  4. Ada Phelps
  5. Robert Vermilya

They became the Pulpit Committee.

The selection of an Interim Pastor was not mentioned in the Church Clerk’s minutes, but according to the records of the Pulpit Committee, they discussed with Reverend Russell Raker Jr. conditions for his employment on November 29, 1956. They found he would be able to preach every Sunday except for one a month, and would make hospital calls. His salary was to be $25.00/week. His appointment was announced on December 20, 1956, and his pay was raised to $45.00/week.

At the January 14, 1957, Annual (159th) Meeting of the church, the congregation voted that five members of those present be nominated to form a committee to study the Constitution and By-Laws of the church and present their findings at the 1958 Annual Meeting. Reverend Russell Raker Jr., Herbert Meyer, Marjorie Lincoln, , Spencer Greene and Kenneth Phelps were appointed. A suggestion was made to have a box placed in the church for members to put suggestions in for the committee to consider and this was done.

The brochure contained information that we have for no other pastor. Reverend Guckert was 5’11” tall and weighed proximately 165 pounds.

After an intensive effort to find, interview and assess several possible candidates, the Pulpit Committee brought their choice, Reverend Harry E. Guckert, Pastor of the First Baptist Church of San Anselmo, California, to the First Baptist Church of Manlius as guest preacher and candidate on February 14, 1957. A special brochure continuing a biography of Reverend Guckert and featuring a picture of the Guckert family was distributed to the congregation.*

Biographical Information from the brochure

Reverend Harry E. Guckert, who comes to us from the First Baptist Church of San Anselmo, California, is forty-two years of age, five feet eleven inches tall and weighs approximately one hundred and sixty-five pounds. He graduated as valedictorian from Pompey Academy and received his Bachelor of Theology degree from the Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1939. He then completed two years of post-graduate work at the International School of Languages.

Reverend Guckert, a native of Central New York, has served in five churches in the areas of Central New York, Pennsylvania, and California. He was ordained in 1939 into the Onondaga Baptist Association at Tully, New York. His successful ministry in California includes the Bronze Achievement award for his present church, with a significant increase in Missionary giving to the Unified Budget of the American Baptist Convention every place he has served. During the last ten years he has received over one thousand persons into church memberships. His two years at San Anselmo saw a greatly expanded youth program, the starting of two Guilds, and the Choirs increased from one choir to four.

Mrs. Guckert has been a school librarian, a church secretary, a secretary for the Christian Education Department of the Southern California Baptist Convention. She is particularly interesting in theWomen’s Mission Society, and Guild, and instituted and supervises the nursery at San Anselmo. We understand she is a most gracious hostess, a prime requisite for the First Lady of Manlius Baptist Church.

The Guckerts have two lovely girls, Karen and Stephanie- ages 5 and 6 ½ .

After the service the congregation (325 people were present) remained. The Pulpit Committee announced that Reverend Guckert, if called, would be paid $5,600.00. He would be provided housing (the parsonage), full M&M payments, all utilities, $500.00 car expense, and all moving expenses ($1,400.00). The congregation voted unanimously to call Reverend Guckert, who then came to the meeting to tell them that a decision would be made as soon as possible and that he was very much interested.

The Trustee’s minutes contained many references to the work done to keep the parsonage in good condition. By 1957, however, the need for repairs apparently outdistanced the ability of the Trustees (and the Treasury) to keep up. On February 17, 1957, a special Trustee’s meeting was called for the purpose of obtaining the views of the Board concerning the possibility of building a new parsonage. The Trustees voted to recommend to the next Official Board Meeting that, in the opinion of the Board of Trustees, “We should take necessary steps to buy a plot of ground and erect a new parsonage.”

On Sunday, February 24, 1957, a special Official Board Meeting was called (30 members present) to decide if a new parsonage were needed. Lloyd Slentz, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, led the discussion. Kenneth Phelps moved that the Planning Committee meet with the Trustees and decide the important needs and bring a plan to the next Official Board Meeting for discussion. The motion was seconded and carried.

On February 27, 1957, another Trustee meeting was held to set up a proposal for a new parsonage to present to the Congregation at the Family Night Supper on February 28, 1957. The Trustees went to the parsonage to investigate possible remodeling for renting or occupation by the pastor and decided that minor repairs ($3,750-$4,000), a significant amount for a house valued at approximately $15,000-$20,000 at the time, were required for continued pastoral use or use as classrooms. On Thursday, February 28, 1957, Mr. Meyer, from the Board of Trustees, presented the need for a new parsonage to the congregation and asked everyone to be thinking about it. He also suggested that church members inspect the parsonage so as to be more familiar with its condition.

On March 14, 1957, the Official Board met after Prayer Meeting for their first quarterly meeting of the year. Herbert Meyer presented for the Trustees the reasons for the need for a new parsonage. An important factor other than the condition of the parsonage and not mentioned in the minutes was that a parsonage next to the church, while being convenient in some ways, left the Pastor and family on constant call to unlock the doors for someone, to turn off forgotten lights, to furnish information for a meeting, to supervise and unsupervised activity, etc, which resulted in a lack of privacy and time to get away from church problems, if only for an evening. After much discussion, Charles Cathers moved that we secure a parsonage not to exceed $24,000 and recommend this to the Congregation. Carl Christensen seconded the motion, and the majority of the Official Board was in favor.

Each member of the congregation was to be informed by letter of this recommendation, and it was also to be announced in the Sunday Bulletin. On March 24, 1957, after the church service, the congregation met to vote on the parsonage. Herbert Meyer again presented the plan. After a discussion, Sid Mawson moved acceptance of the recommendation of the Official Board and that the Trustees be empowered to proceed in that direction. Ray Heller seconded the motion. Donald Jenks moved that we vote by ballot, a motion which Mildred Dopp seconded and which was carried. The vote on building a parsonage was 61 for and 58 against. The whole procedure from the Trustee’s suggestion to affirmative vote took only thirty-five days and six meetings.

At the March 28, 1957, Official Board Meeting, the Building Committee members were announced: Jean Clausen, Esther Lamoreaux, Ray Heller, Robert Lyon, Charles Stark and Archie Adsit. Early pledges of $6,350 had been received and it was suggested that a letter be sent to each church family with a pledge card enclosed. Because of the closeness of the vote, the response was to be voluntary with no calls involved.

In the spring of 1957, the Prayer Meetings were held weekly in Member’s homes and were called Cottage Prayer Meetings. Thursday night Family Suppers were held monthly with special programs.

The third of the American Baptist Quarterly offerings appeared. (The first was America for Christ and the second the World Fellowship Offering.) the Ministers and Missionaries Board asked churches to give one Communion offering a year to those retired Ministers and Missionaries who had not been able to participate in the new Baptist Retirement Plan and the church agreed. Later it became the offering for the fourth quarter of the year and became known as the Retired Ministers and Missionaries Offering (RMMO).

In March, 1957, the Diaconate adopted the Parish Zone Plan. The areas in which the members lived were to be divided into zones, each containing 6-8 church families. Each zone would have a leader (about 30 were hope for) who would call on the families quarterly to bring them up to date on the affairs of the church and keep the church informed of the concerns of the families as well. Robert Vermilya was the leader. The Diaconate was concerned about the possible need for a minimum age for baptism. They decided to let the Pastor decide whether or not the child was ready.

In the late winter or early spring of 1957, Reverend Guckert accepted his call. He began his ministry in Manlius on May 12, 1957. An installation ceremony and welcoming reception were held on Sunday evening, May 19, 1957, at 7:30 in the church.

Reverend Guckert and his wife, Marjorie, were received by letter from the First Baptist Church of San Anselmo, California, in May, 1957. The new parsonage was not ready and the Guckerts with their two daughters Karen and Stephanie occupied for a few months the old parsonage on Pleasant Street.

Harry Edwin Guckert was born on September 17, 1914. He was raised in the home of U. S. Representative Walter Riehlman of Tully, New York. He graduated from The Pompey Academy as valedictorian. He attended Eastern Baptist College for two years and the Eastern Theological Seminary for three years, graduating in 1939 with a Bachelor of Theology Degree. He was ordained in June 1939 by the Baptist Church of Tully, New York, in the Onondaga Baptist Association. He then took a two year course at the International School of Languages. He served five churches before coming to Manlius:

  • 1934-1939 - Student Pastor, Calvary Baptist Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • July 1941 - July 1943 Pastor, Baptist Church of Central Square, New York
  • July 1943 - August 1945 Associate Pastor of Tenth Avenue Baptist Church, Los Angeles, California
  • August 1945 - June 1955 Pastor, First Baptist Church, Whittier, California
  • June 1955 - April 1957 - Pastor, First Baptist Church, San Anselmo, California

Mrs. Marjorie Guckert was a school librarian, a church secretary, and a secretary of the California Baptist Convention, where she and Reverend Guckert met.

In early 1957, Helen (Mrs. Donald) Jenks, the Church Organist and Choir Director, resigned and she and Mr. Jenks left the church. Mrs. Jenks was also active in Women’s Groups and the Christian Education Committee and was leading the Released Time Weekly Church School. We are indebted to Mr. Donald Jenks for the excellent photographic record of the church and its activities during the time of their membership.

Doreta Chapman (who had resigned the position in 1951 after fourteen years of service) became the new organist and Rhoda Edwards became the new choir director. The Trustees voted to have the organ (deemed in poor condition) repaired by the Estey Organ Co. The cost was to be $375.00 and the repair could take 32-34 weeks.

At the Official Board Meeting of July 11, 1957, two new committees were formed, the Music Committee and the Church Service Committee, which because of their usefulness still exist today. (the Church Service Committee, whose purpose was to provide food for families in distress because of illness or death in the families is now part of the Diaconate function.)

The Board of Deacons reported that the Church Covenant had been printed and placed in the new hymnals (Christian Worship-a Hymnal). There was no mention of a change in Covenants,. The Covenant in use from 1939-1957 was replaced with the Covenant used before 1939, which contained the admonitions to avoid all tattling, backing and excess anger, and to abstain from the sale and use of intoxicating drinks.

Lloyd Slentz, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, reported that the Board recommended a unified treasury for the Church and Sunday School for 1958, and that the Sector Plan be used again for the Financial Campaign for 1958. The Official Board voted its approval

The 160th Anniversary of the church was to be December 7, 1957. Both the Deacons and Trustees were interested in a celebration. The question was asked, “Should we celebrate in some way?” A committee with members from each Board and headed by Doug Clausen was appointed to answer the question. (Unfortunately, the answer turned out to be no. At least there was no mention of any celebration in the church records.)

The new Manlius Baptist Church parsonage was dedicated on Sunday, September 22, 1957. On December 30, 1957 the church obtained a mortgage on the house and lot from the Marine Midland Bank for $10,300.00 at 5% interest.

In the Fall of 1957, the Baptist Youth Fellowship was divided into three groups: Junior Boys and Girls, Junior High Youth and Senior High Young People. They met every Sunday from 6:30P.M. to 8:00 P.M. There was some serious study or discussion, recreation and refreshments. According to the 1957 report, there were over 60 young people in attendance each Sunday Evening.

The Released Time School, for which Reverend and Mrs. Guckert took responsibility for the remainder of the 1956-1957 school year, was discontinued in the Fall of 1957 because of the difficulty in providing leadership.

At the Third Quarterly Meeting of the Church on October 23, 1957, the starting time for the Sunday Morning Service was moved from 10:30 to 10:45 A.M. to permit a full hour of Sunday School and to eliminate “unnecessary commotion” prior to the service.

The Church decided to renovate the old parsonage for the Pastor’s Study, the Church office and a Nursery and classrooms for the younger children. Lloyd Slentz reported on the renovations to the old parsonage. Furniture for offices and the library had been purchased. The Christian Education Committee reported an average attendance of 128 at the weekly Leader’s Training Classes. The Released Time enrollment was 125 students. There were now three Guild Girl Groups, each with 8-10 girls attending weekly. Plans for the Annual Harvest Supper were underway by the Baptist Women’s Fellowship.

A Motion was made, seconded and carried that beginning in January, 1958, the Sunday School Budget and monetary needs were to be unified with the regular budget. Changing the name of the church legally was discussed. The legal name in 1958 was still The Baptist Church and Society of Pompey and Manlius. The unofficial name used was The Manlius Baptist Church. The Trustees proposed to have the church name legally changed to the First Baptist Church of Manlius and purchase a seal with the new name that could be used to mark church records and official documents.

The Trustees were asked to present their reasons for the change to the various chairmen of the Boards of the church so that the change could be discussed and understood before any action was taken at the next Annual Meeting in January. However, at a Family Night Supper on December 21, 1957, the change of name was explained by the Trustees and the church voted for the new name without opposition.

At the January 13, 1958, Annual Meeting, the 161st, the Constitution Committee reaad the present Constitution (The first church Constitution was adopted for trial on December 3, 1938,m during Reverend Wheaton’s Pastorate), and then the proposed new Constitution. Many questions were asked by the members and further changes were proposed. People with suggestions were asked to write them down, sign their names and give them to the Constitution Committee within ten days. The meeting was extended to January 30, 1958, and at that meeting, the new Constitution was accepted by a vote of the congregation. Since the new Constitution required more officers, the Nominating Committee was given until the first Quarterly Meeting (April 24, 1958) to recruit new people. The Official Board was now and Advisory Council with much the same duties, the Diaconate was split into the Board of Deacons and Board of Deaconesses (no reason was given) and the Christian Education and Missionary Committees were given Board status. The Sunday School was no longer a separate entity with its own constitution but became part of the responsibility of the Board of Christian Education.

At the April 14, 1958, Trustees meeting, the status of the organ was discussed (again). Despite the 1951 repairs, the organ was again found to be in poor condition and this time the repairs were expected to cost $2,600.00.

At the April 24, 1958, Quarterly Business Meeting, the church voted to adopt a 12 month program for the church and Sunday School by a vote of 21-19, and to enlarge the Board of Deacons by three members (from 6 to 9), as recommended by the April 23, 1958, Advisory Council meeting. In addition, the slate of officers for 1958 approved by the April 23, 1958, Advisory Council was elected at the Quarterly Business Meeting. The Boards were very slow in getting started in 1958.

Herb Meyer gave a thorough report on the status of the organ to both the Advisory Council (April 23, 1958) and the Quarterly Business Meeting (April 24, 1958). Then, at a Family Night Supper in May, the Quarterly Business Meeting was continued and the members present voted to purchase a Conn Classic Model organ. A Trustees Committee (Lloyd Slentz, Robert Lyon and Treasurer Kenneth Phelps) was appointed to investigate the financing of the $4,500.00 organ. Letters were sent to the membership explaining the problem and the need for pledges. Dr. Laura Harris read the letter and decided to present the organ to the church as a memorial for her mother, Mrs. Yettie Harris, who had served for many years as the church organist. Another letter had to be sent to others who had already pledged to tell them that their pledges would not be needed. The organ was dedicated with a concert on November 9, 1958, followed by a reception in Loomis Hall.

The Trustees had a lot of work to do to get ready for the new electric organ. There was no mention of the disposition of the old organ, but it had to be removed as well as the organ pipes from the room above the choir loft. A new door was cut into the north side of the choir loft to improve access for the choir. Wall panels behind the old organ had to be replaced, the old organ console platform removed and a new one built on the sanctuary floor for the new organ. The blower room was converted into a storage room for the custodian. If you look closely at the back of the choir loft you will notice that the two sides are not symmetrical because of the need for a passageway for the air from the pump in the basement, one reminder we have left of the old pipe organ.

The Sunday School celebrated Christmas as usual with a Sunday School Party on the Sunday preceding Christmas, this time on December 321, 1958. After a family buffet supper, the “Surprise Package” program was presented by the children. Santa Claus was welcomed and brought a gift of a “beautiful plastic star” for each child to put on the family Christmas tree at home. Many brought mittens for “children with cold hands” and gift of food for the less fortunate in the community.

After a discussion in their May 28, 1958, Board of Deacon’s meeting, the Deacons announced at the 2nd Quarterly Meeting of the church on July 24, 1958, that the church would participate in the Baptist Jubilee Advance and the CHEC (Christian Higher Education Challenge) program. Little information was given concerning the BJA program but CHEC was a three year American Baptist Convention program to raise several million dollars on a national scale for a national program to improve Baptist Colleges and Seminaries. Ray Heller was to be on a committee to promote the CHEC program in our church. Previous ABC programs in which the Manlius church participated were the World Emergency Fund, World Mission Crusade and Churches for New Frontiers. There was no mention of a formal campaign with an organized attempt to obtain pledges. However, the 1962 financial report indicated that the congregation pledged $8,262.00 to CHEC.

The Trustees continued their efforts to save the elm trees which rose majestically around the front of the church and made a perfect setting for the colonial steeple. The trees were sprayed and pruned, but in the end succumbed to the Elm Beetle Disease.

The Christian Education Board reported that for the first time in many years, Sunday School and Junior Church continued through the summer of 1958 and that the attendance of teachers and pupils was very good. The director of the Vacation Bible School, Esther Lamoreaux, reported on another successful Vacation Bible School and was commended for the fine job she had done as Director during the last five years.

At the July 24, 1958, Quarterly Business Meeting, the Trustees requested permission to use the Sector Plan for raising money for the 1959 budget. Many people suggested trying other plans but the vote was 14 to 6 in favor of the Sector Plan. The proposed budget for 1958 was $35,813.00 for the local church and $7, 040.00 for World Missions. A second professionally printed budget with special photographs (this time showing Reverend Guckert and his family) was distributed.

Robert Vermilya reported from the Board of Deacons that there would be a Bingo Referendum on July 29, 1958, and that the Protestant churches were very much in opposition. He urged church members to vote no. On September 28, 1958, the Deacons held open house (in their own homes) for members of the church. The attendance was disappointing and was blamed on poor weather. The Deacons planned on visiting all those who did not come.

On December 2, 1958, Rhoda Edwards asked to be relieved of her duties as Choir Director as of June 1959. On February 1, 1959, Abdiel Lorente, our Cuban student making his home with the Lynn Mapstones “brought our Communion meditation” and on February 8, 1959, a new Cable Studio Model piano was dedicated in memory of Fred J. Goddard, Harry Goodfellow and Nevin Shankweiler.

At the April 15, 1959, Quarterly Business Meeting, the Board of Christian Education reported that a scholarship fund had been established for Abdiel Lorente’s college education and that “all contributions are welcome.” The Board of Christian Education also announced that a full Christian Education Program would continue through the summer of 1960, in addition to the usual Vacation Bible School.

Ray Heller, a staunch supporter of the Sector Plan, made a presentation for the Plan. He noted that of the nineteen Baptist Churches in the Onondaga Baptist Association, the Manlius Church was first on the list in per capita giving to the United Budget and 25th in the state. He reported that the Trustees have checked out other plans but that the Sector Plan best answered the needs of the church.

At the same meeting, Sid Mawson was commended for his faithful attention and service regarding the tape recorder by Mrs. Goodfellow, who had been privileged to hear the services every week through the recordings. The recorder was purchased in May 1953 by the J.B. Sunday School Class and installed between then and October 1953. In 1954 the J.B. Class note reported that “the recorder is very much appreciated by all who use it and listen to it.” Five to eleven people a week were said to listen to the tapes. Sometime after 1954 Sid Mawson took over making the tapes and continued to do so for many years. (Sid sat in the balcony tending the tape recorder and Gertrude sat next to or at the piano. She and the organist would actionably the hymns together and sometimes would play memorable duets.)

At the May 11, 1959, Trustees’ Meeting, Lloyd Slentz moved that the Sector Plan be used for raising money for the 1960 budget. The motion was seconded and carried. Robert Lyon was chosen chairman of the Sector Plan for the 1960 Budget and asked the Trustees to prepare their 1960 budget by May 30, 1959, a very early date. A problem came up with the rental payment for the rental annex. The Trustees voted to sue the recalcitrant renter. Failure of tenants to pay the rent was a recurring problem with the Phofl house and later with the Newall house.

At the July 16, 1959, Quarterly Business Meeting (conducted after a family picnic on the annex lawn,) it was announced that Mrs. Rhoda Edwards had withdrawn her resignation request and would conduct all four choirs in the fall of 1959 (Cherub, Carol, Concord and Adult).

The church was advertising its Services in the Post Standard on Saturdays. On September 9, 1959, Mrs. Marjorie Guckert was honored at a Stork Shower (planned by the Board of Deaconesses) in Loomis Hall. Eighty-five women attended. On October 6, 1959, David Jeffery Guckert was born.

A planning retreat was held on September 19, 1959, for 30 church officers in Tully, New York. During the morning the Boards met in the Tully Baptist Church for program planning sessions. After a lunch served by the women of the Tully church, the group “retreated” to Congressman Walter Riehlman’s camp on Tully Lake for “a time of relaxation and fellowship.” The programs planned earlier were approved and placed in the church calendar for 1960. The day ended with a dinner also served by the ladies of Tully Church with their Pastor, Reverend Peacock “bringing us an inspiration in the thoughts he shared with us.”

At the September 28, 1959, Deacons’ Meeting, the Baptism and Worship Committee complained of an “improper atmosphere” in the sanctuary between 10:30 and 10:45 A.M. because of “talking and gossip.” The proposed remedy was to have the Minister mention the situation from the pulpit, to put a notice in the Bulletin and to have Sunday School Teachers and BYF leaders talk to the young people.

At the Advisory Council Meeting on October 8, 1959, the Trustees reported that the church, the education annex (old parsonage) and the rental annex were to be painted at a cost of $620.00, $550.00 and $225.00 respectively with the church furnishing the paint. Also, in 1959, the Trustees arrange to have a dual heat control system installed in the church to conserve fuel at a cost of $325.00 (one zone for the sanctuary, a second for Loomis Hall and the class rooms.)

The Deacons were concerned about the BYF program as well as with a lack of reverence in the congregation on Sundays and at their October 28, 1959, meeting, they decided to take turns attending the BYF meetings “to be aware of church life and the nature of the religious concepts being presented to the youth of our church,.” At the February 2, 1960 Deacon’s meeting, Gamble Huffaker reported on the activities of the Junior and Senior BYF, After a discussion a committee of three Deacons was appointed to investigate in more detail the program problem and leadership of the BYF. On March 1, 1960, the committee reported to the Board. Apparently things were not too bad because the Deacons disbanded the committee and charged existing committees to be more aware of possible problems of this nature in the future.

The 162nd Annual Meeting of the First Baptist Church of Manlius was held on January 21, 19660. Gamble Huffaker, chairman of the Board of Deacons, reported that the Secret Place was to be sent to all church families. It was reported that contributions for CHEC had reached $9,180.00.

The Trustees reported removing a partition between two small rooms in the Junior Department to make one “useable room.” This was the first of what would be the removal of many of the small cubicles in the education annex. (Small rooms connected to a larger assembly room for each department was the favored style of division of classroom space in the 1920-1930s when the church was built.)

At an Advisory Council meeting on July 14, 1960, the Trustees reported n the project of providing shade screens for the three south sanctuary window. Enough screen was purchased to cover the lower square windows next to the organ which Charles Stark installed. The company that made the shade screens either stopped making them or went out of business. Comstock Lincoln, who was in the business of building supplies, searched all over he country but no more of the screen was available.. That is the reason only one window is partially covered.

At the same meeting, the Board of Deacons presented a resolution that “A Building Program Committee be appointed to make a survey to determine the advisability of immediate expansion of the existing Church and Church School facilities.” In addition, they recommended that the church appoint a Pastoral Relations Committee with members chosen from various groups and Boards of the church. The Advisory Council approved of both resolutions but was very slow to fill the new positions. The establishment of a Pastoral Relations Committee was one of several recommendations to come out of the Baptist Jubilee Advance Program.

At the 2nd Quarterly Meeting on July 21, 1960, held after a picnic supper, plans for the Fall campaign to raise money for 1961 were discussed. Lloyd Slentz made a motion, seconded by Thomas Clute and carried, to prepare an adequate plan other than the Sector Plan for money raising in October. In addition, as recommended by the preceding Advisory Council, the congregation voted to establish a Building Program Committee and a Pastoral Relations Committee.

The Board of Christian Education reported on a Teacher’s Appreciation Dinner held on May 20, 1960, at Lake Meadows for Teachers in the Church School and their spouses. It was also reported that 348 children attended the Vacation Bible School headed by Mrs. Shirley Radley.

The choirs were reported as doing well:

Choir Attendance
  Services Average Attendance
Sanctuary Choir 11 22
Concord Choir 3 15
Carol Choir 3 36
Cherub Choir 3 17

At the Advisory Council meeting On October 20, 1960, the Board of Trustees reported that the resignation of Margaret Vermilya as Church Secretary was regretfully accepted. Beryl Grubel was hired to fill the position. (The pay was $1.375 an hour for 20 hrs/week.)

The Every Member Enlistment Committee for the 1960 fall financial campaign was announced:

  • Tom Clute - General Chairman
  • Ralph Grubel - Research
  • Peter Mudge - Planning and Publicity
  • Gamble Huffaker & Ken Greene - Enlistment

During Youth Week members of the BYF were appointed Junior Members of all the Boards and were invited to join their meetings during the month of February. For March 22-24, 1961, a preaching Mission for the church was arranged by the Board of Deacons. The Reverend Leo Peacock, pastor of the Tully Baptist Church, was the preacher and the meetings were “well attended.” On April 2, 9, 16 and 23, the usual School of Mission was held and was “very successful.”

A new Boy Scout Troop (Troop #215) was organized with the Board of Christian Education as the sponsor and Louis Nash as Scoutmaster. The Troop started meetin on April 24, 1961.

It as safe to say that William Nightingale’s record of service to the Church has not been matched by any other member. William Nightingale and his wife, Fannie, were received into the church by experience on October 17, 1894. Nr. Nightingale was baptized on October 21, 1894. He was Church Clerk from 1896-1901, Sunday School Superintendent from 1898-1928, a member of the Board of Trustees for 51 years from 1894-1945 (many as chairman) and a Deacon from April 25, 1901, to December 5, 1938, approximately 37 years. He also taught Sunday School, sang in the choir and served on pulpit Committees and other committees of the church. The most important job of all was as Chairman of the Building Committee which planned and directed the construction of the new Pleasant Street Church. On December 5, 1938, Mr. Nightingale was made a Deacon Emeritus and on December 3, 1945, a life Honorary Trustee. In addition to his church duties, he served as a civic leader. He was elected President (an early name for Mayor) of the Village of Manlius in 1913 and from 1928 to 1931. According to Reverend John Baker, Mr. Nightingale suffered financial losses during the depression and was forced to become Custodian for the church in order to make ends meet and to continued in that job through most of the years Reverend Baker was pastor. Reverend Baker stated that in his later years, Mr. Nightingale was physically unable to do all of the work and that the congregation was “most generous in its assistance and support.” (Reverend Baker didn’t say so, but it seems that one of Mr. Nightingale’s most loyal helpers was Reverend Baker himself.) If there ever was a person whose church was indeed his family (his only child, a son, died at age 20, his wife Fannie in 1951, and according to his obituary he had no known survivors), it was Mr. Nightingale. To show their gratitude for his lifetime of service, and in recognition of their responsibilities for a fellow member, the church voted to assume Mr. Nightingale’s funeral expenses.

William Nightingale died on July 25, 1961. Services were held in the Manlius Baptist Church and burial was in the Manlius Cemetery. He had fallen in his home on 517 E. Seneca Street in the village and was taken to the University Hospital for a short time and then brought to the Maple Lawn Nursing Home where he died. Nr. Nightingale was 92, the oldest member of First Baptist church in both age and years of membership. He was also a charter member of the Manlius Senior Citizens.

Harry Guckert read a letter to those present at the Weekly Prayer Service on August 17, 1961, announcing his resignation effective on September 10, 1961. The letter was also read at the Second Quarterly Business Meeting on August 17, 1961, and the congregation voted its acceptance. (The church does not have a copy of the letter.) The church voted to give letters of dismissal to Reverend and Mrs. Guckert and daughters Karen and Stephanie to join the First Baptist Church of Paradise, California. The Deaconesses sponsored a farewell party for the Guckerts in September, 1961.

1962-1963 (Reverend George Hammond)

On Thursday evening, August 24, 1961m a special meeting of the Advisory Council was called for the purpose of nominating a Pulpit Committee. The procedure was different this time. Eleven people were nominated by the Advisory Council. Each Advisory council member present voted for five choices, and the five people with the highest number of votes were to be presented to the next church Business Meeting (with the sixth and seventh persons as alternates).

The five nominees with the highest number of votes were:

  • Esther Lamoreaux
  • Gamble Huffaker
  • Kenneth Greene
  • Mrs. Burl (Teddy) Ferguson
  • Raymond Heller
  • Ralph Grubel- Alternate
  • Robert Vermilya- Alternate

On August 31, 1961, following the Prayer Meeting, a special Congregational Meeting was called for the final election of the Pulpit Committee. Thirty-three church members present were qualified to vote (associate members were not qualified).

Ralph Grubel was nominated from the floor to be added to the five members nominated by the Advisory Council. The following five received the most votes and were elected as the Pulpit Committee:

  • Esther Lamoreaux
  • Mrs. Burl (Teddy) Ferguson
  • Gamble Huffaker
  • Kenneth Greene
  • Ralph Grubel

On September 6, 1961, the group organized and elected Gamble Huffaker as their Chairman and Mrs. Burl Ferguson as their Secretary.

This time the records of the Pulpit Committee were not saved, which is partly why the group was later humorously referred to by Reverend Charles Schmidt, our Interim Pastor, as the “Secret Service.” Later in the Fall of 19671, the Committee reported having met regularly and that they had completed their background work prior to visiting and interviewing candidates. They were also working to establish what the church needed in a minister and were looking for an Interim Pastor.

Ray Laning, from the Board of Deacons, reported that Reverend Peacock, Pastor of the Tully Baptist Church, would take care of our Thursday Evening Prayer Service until an Interim Pastor could be found. The Deacons were also responsible for supplying the Pulpit on Sundays.

In a letter dated November 9, 1961, the Pulpit Committee announced to the congregation the selection of the Reverend Doctor Charles H. Schmidt D.D., as our Interim Pastor.

Reverend Schmidt had been for the past ten years Radio and Television Broadcast Training director for the National Council of Churches. He was Pastor of the Calvary Baptist Church in Syracuse from 1944-1951. He also wrote two books, “Windows Toward God” and “Security From Above.” Reverend Schmidt died in November 19, 1995, at the age of 91 in Syracuse, NY.

The congregation was asked to meet Reverend and Mrs. Schmidt at a tea sponsored by the Board of Deaconesses and the Social Committee in Loomis Hall on Sunday, November 19, 1961, from 3 to 5 P.M.

Reverend Schmidt was not the usual interim pastor whose duties would have been limited mostly to preaching on Sunday and visiting the sick. In the beginning, he was hired to spend three days a week with the Church (Friday through Sunday evening after the BYF meetings). Later this was increased to full time one week, half time the next. Besides preaching on Sunday, he now led the Prayer Meeting, attended Church meetings, some Board meetings and had regular office hours. He made a great many useful suggestions to the various Boards and spent a lot of time on Saturdays on the phone talking to church members and urging them to attend church on Sunday,. As one might expect from his background, he was a dynamic speaker and set a high standard for the Pulpit Committee in its search for a Pastor.

In November, 1961, Reverend Schmidt recommended to the Trustees that the front of the church be lighted at night and that we install a lighted bulletin board that would tell the public who we were, who the Pastor was, and the times and topics of the sermons. Both of these suggestions were accepted and implemented. The church has been lighted ever since and the bulletin board is still in use. Another one of Reverend Schmidt’s major concerns was that the area was growing rapidly with people moving into the suburbs and he wanted the church to be concerned about reaching out to the new people. A Constitution Committee was also working with Reverend Schmidt to determine, what , if any, changes were needed to improve the new 1958 Constitution.

In the Fall of 1961, Doris Dudley, a member of the Board of Christian Education, organized an Adult Forum, a group that would periodically meet on Sunday evenings to discuss community and international issues with new Baptist Frontier Magazine as their guide.

The 164th Annual Meeting was held on January 18, 1962. In its report, the Pulpit Committee listed their qualifications and requirements for a pastor:

  1. Love and concern for people
  2. Warm and reverent worship service
  3. Active interest in youth
  4. Evangelism in a growing community
  5. Development of church lay leaders

They reported having received 24 names of pastors to be considered from the membership, the New York State Baptist Office, former Pastors and Seminaries. Each suggestion was prayerfully considered.

Interviewing and visiting began on October 8, 1961. Eleven pastors were visited. The Committee expected to reach a final decision and present a candidate “in the near future.”

At the Annual Meeting, a letter to the church considering the licensing of Raymond Heller and Robert Vermilya as Lay Preachers was read. The church responded by voting that the licenses should be granted in accordance with State office Regulations. The encouragement of church members to achieve lay Preacher status was part of the Program of the Baptist Jubilee Advance (BJA).

On January 28, 1962, the Pulpit Committee announced the selection of a candidate. They told us when the candidate would be presented but not who he was. The suspense mounted. Then, on February 4, 1962, the Committee announced that the candidate was the Reverend Kurt Klingbeil from the first Baptist Church of Goversvile, NY. Reverend Klingbeil, his wife Lois, and daughters, Carol Ann, Beth Ann and Barbara Kay were to be our guests at a Family Night Supper on February 8, 1962. Preceding the supper a brochure was sent to the membership with information concerning the candidate and his family. (The church does not have a copy of the brochure.)

The dinner proceeded as planned with Reverend Klingbeil preaching his sermon as a candidate to the congregation afterwards. Fortunately, for some reason, the usual custom of voting directly after the candidate’s worship service was not followed.

The congregation instead met to vote on Reverend Klingbeil’s candidacy on Sunday, February 11, 1962, after the church service. The vote was not recorded, but in a rare show of rebellion, the congregation voted no to the Committee’s choice. The congregation, used to an Interim Pastor who was a dynamic speaker with excellent sermons, apparently found the candidate wanting.

The Committee, probably surprised and disappointed, had the unenviable task of informing Reverend Klingbeil of the negative result. (In addition, Moderator Lloyd Slentz made a trip to Utica shortly afterward to apologize for the action of the congregation.)

Reverend Schmidt found it necessary to report in the February 18, 1962, bulletin that “I am definitely not a candidate to be Pastor of this Church. I will serve you as Interim Pastor, such service to be terminated at a time mutually acceptable to all concerned.” (A rule had been cited that Interim Pastors were not to be considered for the permanent job, but in the Baptist scheme of independent churches, who would enforce such a rule (and how) if the church insisted on breaking it?)

The Pulpit Committee was undaunted, at least publicly, and cheerfully went on with their task. They put a notice in the February 25, 1962, bulletin reiterating their requirements for a pastor and assured the congregation that “we do not plan to bring a ‘second choice’ for your consideration.”

Reverend Charles Schmidt preached his last sermon as Interim Pastor on April 19, 1962. He was allowed to store his belongings in the parsonage until June 1, 1962. The Trustees then redecorated the parsonage for its next occupants. Reverend Schmidt thanked the church “for the privilege of being your Interim Pastor for six months. It has been a good and meaningful experience.”

The pulpit was filled with a variety of preachers including our own newly licensed Lay Preacher, Robert Vermilya, and a visitor from California and recent pastor, Reverend Harry Guckert.

In April of 1962 the Advisory Council voted to approve the appointment of a Church Historian and expected to make the position an addition to our list of elected officials. Mabel Richburg was appointed, but didn’t feel well enough to serve and was replaced by Leah Stark. The duties of an Historian were to display pictures, document books, literature, etc., keep and provide proper protection for these items, bring together and keep items of current interest and provide simple chronicle records. The office was never made an elected or appointed one, however.

A Growth and Development Committee was also appointed:

  • James Webber
  • Lloyd Slentz
  • Rose Huffaker
  • Charles Potter
  • Raymond Heller

The job of the Committee was to look into the growth of the surrounding area and determine how the church could take part in that growth.

In May, 1962, the monthly newsletter was revived as recommended by the Board of Trustees in an effort to bring about closer harmony and cooperation between the church membership by keeping them fully informed of the happenings of the church and the church family.

Beryl Grubel, Secretary, with Lydia Doubleday and Dorothy White acting as the Publicity Committee, published the First Edition in May 1962. Ken Phelps volunteered to be the “Complaint Editor.” The motto for his section of the newsletter was “He has a right to criticize who lends a hand to help.” (Abraham Lincoln.) The new newsletter was in part an answer to the Baptist Jubilee Advance Program’s emphasis on Christian Social Relations in the Church Community in the year 1962. In the June newsletter the results of a contest to produce a distinctive name for the “newsletter” was announced. “The Christian Carrier” was submitted as a name by Lynn Gaudio, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Tony Gaudio. The name is still with us today.

On June 25, 1962, Mrs. Beryl Grubel, Church secretary, submitted to the Trustees her resignation as Church Secretary, but softened the blow by offering to stay until September with Mrs. Kuhneman filling in during Mrs. Grubel’s vacation period. The Trustees’ Committee (Elwin Richardson, Burl Ferguson and Comstock Lincoln) interviewed at least 14 candidates and chose Mrs. Bahner, who immediately, because of health, declined to serve. On September 10, 1062, after a further search, the Committee hired Molly Cordes, wife of Arthur Cordes, a lawyer who worked with the church on legal affairs for many years.

By June, 1962, the Pulpit Committee had reached a conclusion in the second phase of its search for a Pastor. In a letter of June 21, 1962, the congregation was asked to reserve Saturday evening, June 30, 1962, to hear the Reverend Hammond conduct the worship service. A meeting after the service was called for the purpose of hearing the report of the Pulpit Committee and to vote on their second candidate for Pastor.

A second letter followed containing information concerning Reverend Hammond’s birth, education, churches served and offices held. Reverend Hammond met the people, preached his sermon, and the congregation, pleased with the results, overwhelmingly voted 147 yes, 1 no, 1 abstention, to accept the candidate of the Pulpit committee.

The congregation also approved the arrangements for salary and other benefits that the Pulpit Committee had tentatively made with reverend Hammond:

  • Salary up to $7000.00
  • Travel & Auto expenses: $800.00
  • Moving Expenses
  • M&M- 100%
  • Parsonage and Utilities
  • Convention & Conferences- Reimbursement of Expenses

After the business was concluded, the Hammonds were told the results of the meeting and they returned to the congregation to accept the call.

Reverend Hammond preached his first sermon on September 2, 1962. The Advisory Council wrote a letter to the congregation to make certain that the entire church body was aware of the arrival of the Hammond Family, and Reverend Hammond’s assumption of his pastoral duties.

The Hammonds wrote a note of appreciation to the congregation in the September 2, 1962 Sunday bulletin. “The whole Hammond Family would like to express their delight and gratitude for the beautifully redecorated parsonage. I wish you could have seen the little boys, Stephen and George, when they found the food shower you had assembled in the kitchen shelves. Thank you.” Reverend Hammond was installed on September 23, 1962, at 7:30 P.M. followed by a reception in Loomis Hall.

In the fall of 1961 (October 6, 1962), the Hammonds celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. The church gave an open house for them in the parsonage with “all the trimmings.” Glenna remembers that she and George were presented by the church a Paul Revere bowl with the name of the church and the date. In all of their moves she made sure the bowl was with them and she still has it in her room in Landsdale.

At the November 27, 1962, meeting of the Board of Trustees, Reverend Hammond recommended that Miss Lynnette Martin from the State Office be hired to make a survey of our church and office building to determine if they were being used to our best advantage. The Trustees voted to authorize Reverend Hammond to hire Miss Martin(who was to be pain on a donation basis).

There was, in 1963, a growing momentum toward some kind of building program that was not to be stopped. The Growth and Development Committee which started meeting in 1962 was now known as the Long Range Planning Committee and was chaired by Reverend Russell Raker. One of the Committee’s first suggestions was for the Board of Trustees to look into purchasing adjacent properties for possible expansion. The Trustees ad already discussed the need, however, and on February 26, 1963, Comstock Lincoln was asked to report on the owners of the houses on the East and South sides of the church. The owners of the properties directly to the East were Robert Davison (previous owner William Nightingale) and Mrs. Dorothy Goodfellow, and one of the owners to the south was Mr. Hall, whose house was second from the east of the Episcopal Church on Seneca Street and formerly known as the Newell House. It was found that only Mr. Hall’s house was available, but it would be an important acquisition because the lot was long and extended between the church property and that of Mrs. Goodfellow (and part of Mr. Davison’s lot). This end of the Hall lot later became the basis for a large part of what is now the church playground, and the Hall “summer house” moved slightly to the north became the church storage shed.

In February, 1963, Lynette Martin from the Baptist Stat Office visited the Sunday School to evaluate our present facilities. The Board of Christian Education found her visit most helpful and was able to make several useful changes based on her recommendations.

On March 10, 1963, the Trustees were asked by Rev. Raker, the Chairman of the Long Range Planning Committee, to pay the Sweeny and Burden Architectural Firm $25.00 for a survey of our church facilities on Saturday AM March 16, 1963, a survey meaning to take a general view of, or to appraise). The Trustees agreed.

The Long Range Planning Committee:

  • Russell Raker, Chairman
  • Robert Vermilya
  • Lloyd Slentz
  • Ethel Lyon
  • Beth Greene
  • Burl Ferguson
  • Marge Lincoln, Secretary

The committee met on march 11, 1963. They discussed topics such as a Sunday School Membership Contest, a Sunday School Class in the summer for college students, a request for the Boy Scouts to make a map of the vicinity with markers for church members, etc., but would soon be spending much of their rime on serious discussions on expanding our church facilities.

At the Quarterly Business Meeting on May 2, 1963, the Long Range Planning Committee made its first report to the church and it was said to have been enthusiastically received. The congregation gave the plans a unanimous vote of approval.

  1. That a 2-step program of building and renovation be started.
  2. Construction of a new educational building and the remodeling of our present education rooms begin as soon as possible.
  3. Remodeling of our present sanctuary at a future date, to expand the seating capacity to 450 people.
  4. That a building committee be appointed as soon as possible to follow through with plans to accomplish the above.

The church then requested the Advisory Council to meet on Thursday evening, May 16, 1963, to appoint a Building Committee.

On May 16, 1963, the Building Committee was appointed by the Advisory Council. The Building committee met on May 23, 1963, for the first time for organization. Robert Lyon was elected Chairman, JoAnne bock, Secretary.

  • Robert Lyon- Chairman
  • George Hammond- Pastor
  • JoAnne Bock - Secretary
  • Ray Heller- Publicity and Public Relations
  • Comstock Lincoln- Financial Planning
  • Elwin Richardson- Trustees
  • Lloyd Slentz- Deacons

The Committee was charged by the Advisory Council to begin implementing the recommendations of the Long Range Planning Committee which was to secure and work with an architect in the remodeling and enlarging of the church.

Bob Lyon was an excellent choice for Chairman of the Building Committee. He was a Chief Mechanical Designer for Bristol Laboratories and had a wealth of experience in preparing plans and working with contractors. He spent many hours with the Building Committee in the planning stage and when that was completed, took most of the responsibility of watching over the construction and making sure that everything was done properly, according to plans. There were many letters to write, calls to make, and conferences held with the architects and builders.

During the first meeting the Building Committee discussed remodeling the old Sunday School rooms, moving the old parsonage (now the Educational and Office annex) to another lot for possible sale, buying land for expansion and asking the congregation for their ideas about architects to interview.

At the second meeting of the Building Committee, on June 6, 1963, the Committee looked over the blueprints of the present church building and projected plans by Sweeney-Burden Architects who prepared them for the Long Range Planning Committee. (A comment was made that the drawings were much more extensive than expect for a $25.00 fee. Reverend Russell Raker indicated to Mr. Lyon later that Burden had not been asked for such extensive plans.)

Reverend Hammond was looking ahead to financing the new addition and suggested that the church adopt the rigorous full 8 step Sector Plan for the Fall campaign in 1963 to help discipline the congregation towards giving to a Building Fund. He also suggested we start on a five year tithing program. Reverend Hammond asked the Building Committee members who were members of various Boards to emphasize that this might be the one time in a lifetime we will be called on to build. About the building, the consensus of the Committee was that we should retain the attractiveness of the church, i.e., any addition should be architecturally in harmony with our present building.

In the beginning, there were thoughts about expanding the sanctuary as well as providing for an educational wing, but later it was felt that having two services was a more practical solution than the very difficult problems involved in an actual auditorium enlargement.

The Building Committee decided to send letters to various architects who had been suggested, telling them that we had some preliminary sketches and asking them if they were interested in the project. Appointments were made with those who responded favorably.

At the fourth meeting on June 14, 1963, the Building Committee discussed the process for interviewing architects. Different members of the group wee to interview different architects. The Chairman and the Secretary (who took excellent notes) interviewed all of the candidates.

Those individuals or firms to be interviewed were:

  • Mr. Gordon Schopfer
  • Mr. Stephany and Mr. Gere
  • Sargeant, Webber, Crenshaw (Arthur Friedel)
  • Mr. Robertson
  • Mr. J. Thomas Morton
  • McNight and Kirmmse
  • Burden and Sweeney

Mr. Burden and Mr. Sweeney told the group that they thought they had been talking to the Building Committee when they met with the Long Range Planning Committee and that they had in good faith sent to Mr. Raker a contract for his signature but he had not returned it. Mr. Lyon explained that only this Building Committee had the authority to sign a contract (and then only by prior vote of the church).

Mr. burden felt that our church was “nice on the outside” but on the inside “a disgraceful hodgepodge” (a statement that didn’t win him any friends on the Committee) and that the sanctuary was much too small. (By “hodgepodge” he apparently meant the condition of the Sunday School rooms with each department consisting of several small rooms adjoining a larger room used as a meeting room for the entire department. This was, we were assured by the Baptist architects in 1925, the only intelligent way to design classroom space.)

On July 16, 1963, with Reverend William Keyes, the summer youth director sitting in, the Building Committee asked the Secretary to read the reports of all of the meetings with the architects. The Committee than discussed the merits of each firm, and compared the services each firm offered in relation to the needs of our church. In this light, four firms were chosen from the seven investigated. The Committee’s choices were: McKnight & Kirmmse, Burden & Sweeney, Gordon Schopfer and Sargeant-Webster.

The next step was for members of the building Committee to visit churches the four surviving firms had designed and report on July 30, 1963. There are no minutes available from that meeting, but it appeared that the results of inspections led to the elimination of two more architects, Gordon Schopfer and Sargeant-Webster.

On September 3, 1963, the Committee was given a list of Proposed Building Committee Objectives to arrange in priority, and the results were as follows:

  1. Select an architect (and go before the September Advisory Council for approval.)
  2. Obtain a topographic map of the property showing outlines, floor levels, building outlines, and underground services.
  3. Arrange for a gathering of thoughts and ideas of interested Church Boards and Committees.
  4. Define goals: limits of alterations, materials of construction, etc.

The Building Committee’s final and unanimous choice of architect was McKnight and Kirmmse.

On September 15, 1963, the members of the Building Committee met with Pastor Hammond, Mrs. Helen Fardig, Mrs. Doris Dudley and Mrs. Margaret Vermilya. The group first discussed ideas gleaned from a tour in June of Christian Education Additions in various Syracuse and Dewitt churches. The placement of rooms was discussed and areas for the crib room, the 2 year old room, bathrooms, choir and Boy Scouts were determined. Mrs. Dudley commented that we want Sunday School Classes out of the gymnasium, the coal room and the kitchen.

At a special Congregation Business Meeting on September 22, 1963, the church voted to accept the recommendation of the Building Committee and hire McKnight and Kirmmse as architects. Mr. Robert Lyon then invited Mr. Kirmmse to meet with the Building Committee in the Church office on September 30, 1963. Mr. Kirmmse agreed to have the first schematic drawings ready for the church by January 3. 1964. The architects’ fees were discussed as well as building costs. Mr. Kirmmse felt that with building costs ranging from $15.00-$17.00 a square foot and our estimates for an 8000 square foot building (4000 sq.ft/floor), the cost should be in the $150,000 to #180,000 range, tentative limit’s the Committee had already set. Mr. Kirmmse requested from the Committee information concerning the desired arrangements of classrooms and other rooms and a meeting for Mr. Kirmmse to meet with the Board of Education was arranged.

It appears that when Burden and Sweeney got their “we are sorry but” letter from the Building Committee, their answer was to send the church a bill for $1,429.65 for the work they had done. Burden and Sweeney had prepared a set of schematic drawings so that a fairly accurate estimate of costs could be presented to a congregation. The problem was that neither the church, the Building Committee nor the Long Range Planning Committee had asked for the drawings.

On October 7,m 1963, the problem was discussed at a special Trustees meeting. The Building Committee was concerned that without a release from Burden and Sweeney, a contract couldn’t be signed with McNight and Kirmmse. A meeting was held with Reverend Raker but no satisfactory explanation for what had happened was given.

The Trustees sought legal advice from Arthur Cordes who met with the Board and suggested that the church return the sketches to gether with a check for $44.65 and a letter from Mr. Cordes, and await the outcome. At the next Trustee’s meeting a letter was read from Reverend Raker notifying the Board that he had arranged for a settlement with Burden and Sweeney and asked that the matter be closed. Reverend Raker and his wife Elmina then withdrew their membership from the church.

Two of the Building Committee’s objectives had been taken care of: architect selection and approval and arranging for a gathering of thoughts and ideas of interested Boards and Committees. (The latter objective would be an ongoing process and would continue until plans were finalized.) The third objective, to arrange for a topographic map of the church property, was to be done personally by Robert Lyon with the help of Richard Waterman.

On December 3, 1963, the Building Committee met again. Mr. Kirmmse gave the group four sets of preliminary sketches to study, i.e., ABCD. Plans C & D were eliminated as they did not meet the Committee’s favor “at all.” Plan B was most like what the Committee had in mind and the architect was asked to develop Plan B further with a rough sketch to show what the exterior would look like.

The Year of 1963 was a remarkably busy one for the church in addition to all of the planning activities. The church had a choir for everyone to participate in. Mrs. Doreta Chapman was organist and Mrs. Rhoda Edwards led the Sanctuary and Chapel Choirs. Mrs. Jessie Mapstone led the High School Choir and Mrs. Shirley Mapstone the Cherub and Carol Choirs. (On rare occasions, the Men’s Choir would sing.)

On March 10, 1963, the church started holding two services on Sunday, one at 8:30 A.M., the second at 10:45 A.M., with Sunday School in between from 9:30-10:30. On march 17, 1963, a group of Cadets in their colorful uniforms from the Manlius Military School worshipped with the church. This happened frequently until the school was merged with the Pebble Hill Day School in 1971.

In the April 21, 1963, bulletin, the congregation was informed that Reverend Hammond was a surgical patient in the Syracuse Memorial Hospital (for arthritis) and hoped to be home by midweek. Reverend Russell Raker filled the pulpit for three Sundays, April 21, 28 and May 5, 1963. Reverend Hammond was to have serious problems with arthritis (of the knees) during his stay in Manlius.

The School of missions was held in March to keep the congregation informed on what was happening in the Mission Fields. In March, 1963, “Rim of East Asia” was the subject for study, Esther Lamoreaux was the leader, and “the excellence of the program was indicated by record attendance.” On April 7, 1963, Palm Sunday, the entire church service at the Rescue Mission was conducted by the Senior High BYF with the help of Raymond Heller who preached the sermon).

During the summer, we joined as usual with the Methodists for a 9:45 A.M. service, five Sundays in the Baptist Church and five in the Methodist Church. The Baptist Sunday School was in session again all summer from 8:45 to 9:30 A.M. In July, the Vacation Bible School was in session for two weeks. It was led by Mrs. Dorothy Whit “very successfully.”

In the summer of 1963, the church was given the opportunity to rent its chapel to Wilbur Newell, undertaker, to use for funeral services if he should need to have two services in one day. Because he also wanted to include calling hours the Trustees voted no.

The highlight of the summer (and the year) for the Senior High BYF was a trip to Green Lake, Wisconsin, for eight of the members to attend a Mission Conference there. Bill Burt, Doug Lamoreaux, jean O’Brien, Gail Bock, John and Ruth Huffaker, Ruth Davies and Kay Brown were privileged to go. Mrs. Charles (Dorothy) White and Mrs. Leslie (Reva) Burt were chaperones and counselors. The younger groups were attending church camps as well. Eighteen Guild Girls went to Keuka College, 11 of the Junior BYF went to pathfinder and 2 attended a BYF Training Conference.

Reverend William Keyes was here for seven weeks to take charge of the Summer Youth Program. Under his leadership, the Senior BYF continued meeting during the summer. He helped the group plan for the coming year’s programs and showed them ways to improve.

In the fall (September 22-27, 1963) the Deacons and the Evangelical Commi8ttee sponsored series of six nightly meetings with Reverend Paul Jackson, a Preacher and Biblical Impersonator. Reverend Jackson first preached on scriptural background for his portrayal and the message which was in it for each one present. Then with his wife helping with the sound and lighting effects, impersonated several characters from the Bible, including the Blind Beggar, Pontius Pilate, the Scribe, Herod Antipas, Thomas and a Tomb Guard. The Deacons prepared for the special presentation with an intensive calling program. Each member of the church received a personal call by another church member. This was followed by another series of calls on non-members and inactive members of the church.

The series of performances were also well advertised and readers of the Bulletin in September were treated to some original “poetry.”

Come September’s Autumn Hue
Rev. Jackson will be due.
Be patient, watch and pray,
And hold vigil until that day.

Or

Opportunity is knocking, it has beckoned
And will arrive in September the twenty-second.
Impersonations such as few in the land,
Will bring alive the Bible word.
Be on Hand.

An invitation was given each night of the performances to the members of the audience to give their lives to Christ. Although there was no response to the invitations, the Deacons felt that the effects of the program would be “far-reaching and beneficial to the Spiritual Life of our church.”

Attendance was 304 the first night and averaged 162 for the five following performances. People from many other churches attended.

 

October 20, 1963, was Laymen’s Sunday, with Ray Heller preaching at the 8:30 service and Robert Johns at the 10:45 service. In October, an improved Reverend Hammond was in Philadelphia for the major part of a week to attend to his duties as part of the General Council of the American Baptist Churches. The Baptist Women’s Fellowship served their Annual Harvest Supper on November 6, 1963 (all you could eat for $1.50!). The Sunday School celebrated Christmas in a more traditional manner this year. There was a program by the youth choirs followed by a light sandwich supper, community carol singing, and Santa, after a few years absence, was invited back.

Letter sent to the Congregation to introduce Reverend George L. Hammond

June 26, 1962

Dear Friends:

On Sunday, July 1, 1962, the Reverend George L. Hammond will be presented as a candidate, recommended by the Pulpit Committee, to be the Pastor of our church. At the morning Worship Service, he will preach the sermon. On Saturday night, a picnic will be held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Greene at 6:00 P. M. so that all members may be able to meet Rev. and Mrs. Hammond.

Rev. Hammond was born June 9, 1914 in Presque Isle, Maine. He was graduated in 1936 from Gordon College of Theology and was ordained in Haynesville, Maine. The membership in the Baptist churches he has served has grown from 18 in the Haynesville Baptist Church to 1400 in his present church, the First Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas.

From 1935 t 1945, he served Baptist churches in Haynesville, Main, Mars Hill, Maine and Fairfield, Maine. He then became District Secretary of the united Baptist Convention in Maine. In 1947 he was made Director of Promotion for the Pennsylvania Baptist Convention. For eight years he served as Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Lansdale, Pennsylvania, where the membership of 820 built a new church at a cost of $555,000. While minister at Lansdale, he was elected President of the Pennsylvania State Baptist Convention. Since 1959 he has been Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas. During the past two years, he has helped that church reduce its indebtedness $100,000.

Rev. Hammond has held the following offices: Board Member of Philadelphia Association; Chairman of Evangelism from 1951-1956; Chairman of Stewardship and Missionary Promotion Board from 1957-1959; Vice-President of Pennsylvania Baptist Convention for two years and Board Member of the General Council of the American Baptist Convention. His community interests have included Rotary, Board Member of Community Nursing Service, and Boy Scout Director of God and Country Awards District.

The Pulpit Committee first heard Rev. Hammond speak to the Pennsylvania State Baptist Youth Convention at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on April 28. During the interview with him, he placed strong emphasis on pastoral calling. He feels that the total membership should be covered each year. Individual counseling is also of deep concern to him. His interest in youth is reflected by the fact that 35 young people from his previous pastorate in Lansdale attended the youth convention at Harrisburg.

Rev. Hammond feels that his service can be most effective in a church whose membership is similar in number to ours. After being shown the surrounding residential areas, schools, and villages, he forsees the possibility of our church doubling its membership in ten years. Your committee entertained Rev. and Mrs. Hammond May 27 and 28 at which time they were shown Manlius and the surrounding area and at that time met with the church boards and committee chairmen.

Mrs. Hammond is a graduate of Richer Classical Institute, one of our Baptist Schools in Maine. In addition to he family, she enjoys singing and shares in the work of the church.

The Hammonds have five children: Nancy, who graduated from college in May; Scott, who has attended college one year; Jeremy, who graduated this spring from high school; Stephen, 12 years old; and George, Jr., who is 6 years old.

The Moderator has called a special meeting to be held at the close of the Worship Service on July 1, 1962 for the purpose of voting on the candidate.

THE PULPIT COMMITTEE

Mr. Gamble Huffaker, chairman
Mr. Kenneth Greene
Mr. Ralph Grubel
Mrs. Carl Lamoreaux
Mrs. Burl Ferguson

P.S. For the picnic at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Greene, Fayetteville-Manlius Road, just north of the village limit, Saturday at 6:00. P.M., each family will be expected to bring cooked chicken for their own family, table service, rolls, children’s beverage and a dish to pass. In case of rain, the picnic will be held at the church.

1964-1971 (Reverend George Hammond)

On January 9, 1964, the Building Committee met with Mr. Kirmmse and Mr. Houseworth to look at a revised Plan “B” with a sketch of the exterior. Mr. Kirmmse estimated the cost at $154,000.00. Mr. Lyon was to show the exterior sketch to the Annual Meeting on January 23, 1964. There were four more informative meetings held before the Annual Meeting to inform Church boards, the Sunday School Superintendent and her teachers, and Helen Fardig with mothers and helpers.

At the Advisory Council Meeting of January 14, 1964, preceding the Annual Meeting, the Capital Funds Committee was officially recognized and was appointed to serve until the Building project was completed.

  • Robert Vermilya, Chairman
  • Mrs. Comstock Lincoln, Secretary
  • William Dudley
  • Charles Griffin
  • Oliver Fardig
  • Kenneth Phelps
  • Herbert Lang

At the Annual Meeting of January 23, 1964, there were questions concerning the Union Services with the united Methodist Church during the summer. For information on how the congregation felt, a questionnaire was sent to the members. (While we are presently in 1999 meeting with our Methodist neighbors two times in the summer, in 1963 there were ten union services.) The members were asked, among other things, if they wanted to continue the Union Services. Those who were not on vacation said they enjoyed the Christian Fellowship and worship together. In the summer of 1964 there were 8 Union Services.

In February and March, Mrs. Dorothy White headed the annual School of Missions with India as the subject of discussion. The average attendance was 153 “which was an indication of the interest and enthusiasm with which the congregation responded to the subject and the presentation.”

The Board of Trustees members for 1964 were:

  • Elwin Richardson, chairman
  • Comstock Lincoln, Secretary
  • Glenn Schmidt
  • Tony Gaudio
  • Foster Mudge
  • Charles Stark
  • Perry Burne
  • Charles White
  • Bruce Peterson

On March 10, 1064 a special meeting of the Board of Trustees was called by the Chairman, Elwin Richardson, to approve suggested plans for remodeling the Sunday School rooms on the second floor of the church. The Trustees voted to accept the plan, to proceed with the renovations, and to pay the amount over and above the $1,000.00 on hand to complete the project. (Herbert and Edna Lang had inherited money from her parents and wrote to the Trustees on January 12, 1964: “Realizing that the church is going through a period of growing pains…we would like to contribute the enclosed check for $1,000.00 in memory of my late parents, Mr. & Mrs. Henry G. and Marie K. Lang. We designate the money to be used to help in the renovation of the upstairs Sunday School Classrooms.”)

Remodeling the old Sunday School Rooms was the first phase of what was soon to be known as the Program for Progress. The project was strongly backed by the Board of Christian Education and the Building and Long Range Planning Committees. The renovation was to be done mainly by volunteer help. The rooms had been built in 1927 but the design recommended by Baptist architects in 1927 was now outmoded. The first task was to remove the unwanted walls. They were thick and the plaster was backed by a heavy steel mesh. Their removal was a back-breaking and dirty job. The Trustees hired the services of the Dempster Dumpster Company to haul away the debris. In the beginning the capacity of the Dumpster (weight-wise) was over-estimated and the Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Pastor George Hammond (despite his arthritis problems) could be seen inside the dumpster shoveling out the excess load.

With the unwanted walls and doors removed, the more skilled workers repaired the existing walls, ceilings and woodwork, and then the painters took over. The last two projects were the tiling of the entire floor and the installation of 54 new fluorescent light fixtures.

Trustee Tony Gaudio was in charge of the floor installation and Perry Burne, an electrician, was in charge of the electrical work. We were also fortunate in having two carpenters, Charles Stark (Trustee) and Archie Adsit (past and future Trustee) to do carpenter work and one gentleman who knew how to plaster.

The fluorescent light fixtures were paid for by donations from the congregation. A poster with 54 rectangles representing light fixtures was prepared and families were asked to adopt a light at $15.00 each. All were paid for in that manner.

The last call for workers to complete the project was given to the congregation on the June 28, 1964, Bulletin. Chairman Richardson asked for 30 men to help on June 29th and 20 for July 1st, 1964. The total cost of the project was $3,1129.00 with only $1,265.00 coming from the general fund of the church.

There were 35 scheduled work nights (and many more unscheduled). Ninety different people participated, eight of whom spent more than 20 nights each. Peter Seibel, custodian, not only ad extra work to do in cleaning up the mess but spent many extra hours, especially in helping to lay the new tile floor. Mr. Doris Dudley and a crew of women did a final cleanup of the rooms.

Reverend Hammond wrote enthusiastically about the project in his report for 1964 and called the renovation of the Sunday School facilities a major achievement and one which should go down in church history as the most important forward step of the year. “The fact that we completed the reconstruction of seven rooms and increased our useable space by such a large percentage, and paid for the project in the same year without a separate fund drive indicates the soundness of our finances and the wisdom of the Trustees.” The project did get many of the church people working together, and its successful completion played an important part in giving the congregation confidence and enthusiasm for tackling the bigger project to come.

On March 3, 1964, Reverend Hammond expressed to Charles and Addie Cathers our deep appreciation for their faithful service in our church (51 years for Addie, 48 for Charles). “They have not only contributed their talents and their tithes but have brought to us a spirit of devotion and of deep Christian commitment that has inspired and blessed the whole congregation.”

On March 15, 1964, the Superintendent of the Sunday School, Sarah Beams, reported that on Sunday, March 8, 1964, the Sunday School attendance was 221, the best ever on record. (The weather must have been better than usually expected for a day so early in March.) On March 29, 1964, Easter Sunday, the Men’s Fellowship served breakfast after the Sunrise Service (for $0.75).

On May 31, 1964, Reverend Harry Guckert was in town and preached the morning sermon. According to the June 28, 1964, Bulletin, the Vacation Bible School was having a good year with 290 registered children. The dates were June 22- July 2, 1964. Featured was Clementine, an amazing chicken (a product of the ingenuity of Mrs. Robert Lyon) that could lay 15 eggs at a time. (The Heifer Project for 1964 was to raise money for the children to send 40 chicks overseas.)

On August 20, 1964, the Capital Funds Committee and the Building Committee met with Mr. Richard Ice, the Home Missionary Society Director of Loans, one of seven divisions of the Church Extension and Loan Department of the American Baptist Convention in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, who explained various means of financing a building program.

Mr. Ice offered to double-check our preliminary plans free for us, as a full time architect was to be available in Valley Forge in the fall of 1964. During a discussion of finances, Mr. Ice told the group that the ABC felt a church should have at least 25% of the money required for a building on hand at the start of construction. He suggested that a Capital Fund pledging drive should be an intensive 2-4 weeks in duration with most other church functions suspended during this time.

He noted that a three year pledge with the average family pledging $400.00 was the national average. This church with 230 families could then expect to raise $92,000.00 such a campaign would stress “over and above” pledging and a strong follow up to make sure pledges were honored. For us he estimated the following financial requirements.

Capital Fund Financial Requirements
$154,000.00 New Building Cost
$7,500.00 Reserve Fund
$1,000.00 Loan cost, Search Fee. Etc.
$3,000.00 Interest during construction
$16,000.00 Furnishings
$181,500.00  


After hearing Mr. Ice’s talk, the group felt that the church should secure outside help to conduct its campaign.

On Sunday, September 13, 1964, Reverend Hammond and Reverend Baker exchanged pulpits. Reverend Hammond preaching at the First Baptist Church in Rome and Reverend Baker in Manlius. On September 15, 1964, the Building Committee met and discussed the location of rooms and offices. Mr. Lyon felt that he could take the results to the architect so that he could start on detailed drawings.

While the attention of the congregation must have been focused on what was happening in the old Sunday School rooms and on the plans of the Building Committee, the church functioned normally in almost all respects which meant that money had to be raised to pay the bills in 1965. In 1964 the finance campaign was called a Tithing enlistment Program and was led by Ray Heller.

In December 1964, the Building Committee met to look at the latest architectural drawings by Mr. Kirmmse. The layout of the Sunday School rooms, the chapel, and the pastor’s study and church office had been completed and were sent to Valley Forge for perusal by the ABC consulting church architect, who approved them.

The Committee was worried about a current lag in Sunday School attendance and how it might affect the attitude of the congregation toward building. The Building and Finance Committees got together just after Christmas and decided to recommend to the congregation the Denominational Program for the Capital Fund Campaign, a six week program beginning after Easter of 1965.

While the Building Committee had been worried about lower Sunday School attendance, the combined groups were worried that the appearance of a half-filled church during the early church service could have a poor psychological effect on people asked to support a building campaign. The group asked Lloyd Slentz to talk to the Deacons about this problem. (The early service was dropped January 24, 1965, and was resumed at Easter time.)

Pastor Hammond reported that in November he and the congregation had a special reason to be thankful. For the first time in his ministry he had no hospital calls to make for a month.

Dr. and Mrs. David Mason and sons Jeffrey and William joined the church in December 1964. Dr. Mason was Executive Secretary for the Lauback Literacy Foundation and an excellent speaker. He would preach to the congregation on many occasions during the next few years.

On January 19, 1965, and February 2, 1965, the Building and Capital Funds Committees got together to work on details for the presentation of the building plan to the congregation for a vote. They decided on flip charts with information on the need for expansion and the latest plans, both building and financial. These could serve for presentations which were planned for area home meetings, meetings of established groups, and finally the Advisory Council and Congregational Meetings. A small pocket size version of the flip chart was prepared for each member.

The leadership was concerned with the wording of the motion to proceed with the building plans .Arthur Cordes was enlisted to make certain that the motion was legal. Leah Stark, as historian, was asked to look into the historical background of the Church in regard to previous fund drives for building projects.

The Moderator, Gamble Huffaker, stated that his interpretation of the Church Constitution was that the calling of a special Congregational Meeting should be initiated by the Advisory Council. The presentation was accordingly made to the Advisory Council on February 18, 1965. There are no minutes of the meeting but they obviously approved that the vote of the congregation proceed as planned.

On February 25, 1965, the presentation was made to the congregation at a Family Night Supper. The purpose of the meeting was explained by Moderator Gamble Huffaker,. A program of short supporting talks followed:

  • Need: Doris Dudley
  • Plan: Robert Lyon
  • Capital Fund: Robert Vermilya
  • Summary & Questions: Ray Heller
  • Voting Procedure: Gamble Hufffaker

The vote was not to take place that night but during a four hour period in the Church Chapel on Friday, March 5, 1965 (4:00 P.M. -9:00 P.M.) The church was kept open all day for meditation and prayer. Members had to sign their names and use paper ballots to indicate their approval or disapproval of the plans. Poll officials took care of the voting and tellers came at 9:00 P.M. to count the ballots. Absentee ballots were available.

The vote was officially announced to the congregation in a letter written jointly by Robert Lyon and Robert Vermilya. One hundred twenty four (124) people voted and the result was 83 yes, 41 no. Although the vote was low for a 500+ member congregation, and the no vote weas substantial, the Committee Chairmen did what they had to do. They declared a victory and continued planning to build and pay for a Christian Education Wing for the Church.

While a majority no vote would have killed the project for the time being, a yes vote didn’t necessarily mean that the building would be constructed. There were several financial restrictions in the resolution that would give the Building Committee and the Capital Funds Committee problems in the future.

The next step was to raise money. Members of the Building Committee and the Capital Funds Committee met with Reverend Mould on March 15, 1965. Rev. Mould was a Capital Fund Raising Director for the Church Extension and Edifice Funds Division of the American Home Mission Societies.

Reverend Mould discussed some of the points the church would have to consider in a general fund campaign.

  1. Our Calendar would be very full.
  2. Committee heads should be chosen immediately.
  3. Since the church had already voted a $100,000.00 goal (which would be called a victory goal) the challenge goal should be set at $150,000.00. (The church decided on a challenge goal of $115,000.00.)
  4. There would be advanced gift calling first on the more affluent members of the congregation then on the Committee members. Canvassers would also have to make their own commitment efore they solicited pledges from others.

The cost for Reverend Robert Mould’s services would be $1,450.00 for a three week campaign and a follow-up period of up to three years if necessary. The whole procedure was familiar to the church members as the Sector Plan which had been used for several yeas by the Trustees to raise money to meet the Annual Budget.

Reverend Mould emphasized publicity, the need for a dignified and attractive brochure, posters, newspaper articles, church bulletin notes, and three minute speeches by respected church members. Reverend Mould left the room for a brief time. The committee members discussed Reverend Mould’s merits, and agreed that he seemed qualified to conduct the type of campaign that they wanted for the church. Reverend Mould was hired for the job.

It is interesting to compare Reverend Mould with our first fund raiser, Reverend Devine. Reverend Mould worked for the Denomination, Reverend Devine has his own Agency. Both knew exactly what they wanted done and insisted on their procedures being carried out. The outside fund raises have an advantage over local church leaders, in that they are highly experienced, paid professionals, and have a reputation to sustain, they have more authority over the campaign workers and the congregation and are better able to achieve the desired results. Reverend Mould was hired and was to arrive April 22, 1965, to direct the intensive phase of the campaign. In the meantime, a General Campaign Committee was established.

General Campaign Committee
General Chairman Robert Vermilya
Advance Gifts Chairman Raymond Heller
Committee
  • Kenneth Greene
  • Gamble Huffaker
  • Raymond Laning
  • Comstock Lincoln
  • John Moren
General Gifts Chairman Elwin J. Richardson
Division Chairmen
  • Anthony Gaudio
  • John Bock
  • Robert Martenson
  • Publicity Chairman Chester Griffen
  • Committee Robert Lyon
  • Ethel Lyon
  • Alice Mapstone
  • JoAnn Bock
  • Kenneth Phelps
Co-Chairmen Loyalty Dinner
  • Marjorie Lincoln
  • Elsie Bex
Building Fund Treasurer Herbert Long

Campaign Director Robert Mould keep in touch with all of the Committee Chairmen by letters with written instructions until his arrival.

There was an amazing effort to assure good communication among the leaders, the workers, and ultimately the congregation. A church member who was not going to be part of the organization received as many as nine letters (from Reverend Hammond, from Sara Beams, Sunday School Superintendent, Robert Mapstone, Board of Deacons, etc.,) Other publicity included notices in the bulletins and the church newsletter and the local newspapers. The workers got at least seven more letters. There was an impressive brochure given to everyone, entitled, The First Baptist Church Building Fund and at the Loyalty Dinner guests were also given a special program for the dinner.

Reverend Mould could not be in Manlius until April 22, so when the leaders of various tasks were chosen he wrote each one a letter with specific tasks to accomplish. Reverend Hammond reported back to Reverend Mould on progress made. (One of the instructions to the Publicity Chairman was to keep a scrapbook for the Campaign which would contain letters, newspaper clippings, brochures, i.e., everything connected with the fund raising activities. The Committee did and the result has been very helpful in compiling the history of the Program for Progress Campaign.)

Reverend Mould arrived on April 22, 1965, and the activities went into high gear,. The Loyalty Dinner was scheduled for May 1, 1965. The dinner was prepared for the church by the Methodist women. To make certain that people attended the Loyalty Dinner, the Dinner Chairmen, Marjorie Lincoln and Elsie Bex, had recruited 17 Dinner Hostesses, whose printed instructions told exactly how to call church members ( be friendly and cordial, don’t discuss pros and cons, provide for transportation if necessary, tell about the arrangements, invite the people to sit at her table, etc.) On the night of the Loyalty Dinner, the hostess was to arrive early, to introduce her guests to each other if necessary, and to report the attendees to the Hostess Chairman. Each hostess was expected to provide a simple inexpensive centerpiece for her table.

A program followed the dinner. Ten minute speeches on various topics concerning the building plan and fund raising were given.

Our History Leah Stark
Our Need Ray Heller
Our Plan of Campaign Elwin Richardson
The Way to Victory Reverend Mould
Program for Progress Reverend Hammond

In the mean time, Division Leaders of the calling campaign had chosen nine captains, and each captain had recruited five workers. As a result, a crew of 45 callers (already called upon for their contributions) were ready to call on the general congregation, after two training sessions and a dedication ceremony.

Many of the church organizations made pledges to the Building Fund. One pledge that was memorable was that made by the Junior High BYF. The young people voted to raise $150.00 (in addition to their own personal pledges) over three years. One third was already raised in 1965 by selling corn from Sid Mawson’s garden and peddling flyers for Ken Greene’s hardware store. The Senior High Group, not to be outdone, was cited in the October 1965 Baptist Crusader for their support. Reverend Mould was quoted as saying, “I have never seen a finer, more dedicated group of young people.” Twenty young people pledged $600.00 to their church’s building program (over and above $2,026 in personal pledges from 41 of the youth.)

It is interesting to note that more than fifty families were directly involved with the campaign and the Loyalty Dinner, and, of course, this would have been part of the plan, i.e. to get as many as possible of the congregation involved and interested in a successful outcome.

In addition to the listed adult callers, the High School Youth voted to enter a team of canvassers in the Program for Progress Campaign. They were briefed and trained along with the adult canvassing team. They were: Ruth Huffaker, Captain; Joyce Heller, Greg Bock, Doug Lamoreaux, Fred Goddard, Ken Phelps, Carol Heller, David Vermilya. Just as the contributions of Mrs. Yettie Harris and her sister and brother-in-law, Mr. & Mrs. Frank Broadfield, were crucial to the success of the 1925 campaign to raise money to build the Pleasant Street Church, so were the contributions of Dr. Laura Harris, daughter of Yettie Harris, a significant factor in building the Educational Annex.

The callers for pledges were asked to attend two training sessions with Reverend Mould. The first was a dessert meeting on April 23, 1965, for all campaign personnel, and the second, on Sunday, May 2, 1965, a final briefing session before the beginning of calling in the afternoon. On Sunday, April 25, during the Morning Service, the Canvassers were commissioned by Reverend Mould and Pastor Hammond.

On May 11, 1965, Reverend Hammond wrote a letter to the congregation reporting on hand $87,000.00 in cash and pledges. He saw Victory in sight and appealed to people who had not yet pledged to make an “act of faith” and change a “no” pledge to an act of positive commitment. To those who had already pledged he asked for increases to express a real sense of responsibility and a conviction that such an important venture had a rightful claim to more of their resources.

A Victory Report dinner was arranged for Thursday, May 13, 1965. This was to be a regular Family Night Supper sponsored by the Board of Christian Education, to be followed by the Quarterly Business Meeting. (Apparently at one time the law of averages broke down, and at a Family Night Supper there were too many salads and not enough main dishes, or vice versa. Families whose names began with A-K were asked to bring salads, L-Z main dishes.)

After dinner, Reverend Robert Mould spoke on “This is the victory.” It was a happy night. The goal of $100,000.00 was met with $105,000.00 reported in pledges. The challenge goal of $115,000.00 was not met but not all of the pledge cards had been returned.

The Bible tells us to “make a joyful noise unto the Lord” and that is what the congregation did that night. The highlight of the evening was the march to the balcony to ring the church bell to let the whole village know that the church had gone over the $100,000.00 victory goal.

A picture used to publicize the event shows Mr. and Mrs. Charles Cathers and Peter Seibel (church custodian) ringing the bell. It was said that they were present and ringing the same bell at a Victory Rally in the Seneca Street Church 41 years ago to celebrate the success of the fund drive to build the new Pleasant Street Church.

It was the same bell in a new setting. Although the police had been told about the bell ringing and gave not objection, one irate parent (a church member) came to complain that the noise woke up his children. According to another newspaper account, “the jubilant Baptists took turns to signify a startled community that the goal of $100,000.00 had been reached by ringing the church bell.”

Between the joint meeting of February 2, 1964, with the Capital Funds Group, there were no minutes of further Building Committee meetings until November 4, 1965.
Most of the Building Committee members were deeply involved with the Program for Progress drive for funds, and the architects were busy working on the blueprints for the new building.

The last meeting was with Mt. French, a new member of the newly named firm McNight, Kirmmse and French. The Committee studied the latest blueprints and was given the latest cost estimates. They had been revised upward to $214,506.00, a large increase which was explained by the architects as due to higher building costs. This was the beginning of a dilemma for the Committee. The church had voted for expenditures not to exceed $180,000. The only way to move forward would be for the church to vote to remove or revise upward restrictions.

Many other things of note happened in 1965 besides the financial campaign for the Program for Progress. The women were pleased that Mrs. Glenna Hammond was serving as the President of the Onondaga Council of American Baptist Women. The School of Mission was held on March 14, 21, 28 and April 4. The theme was Spanish Speaking Americans and “was very ably” carried out by Mildred Dopp.

The Trustees were coping with their usual problems with tenants in ythre two rented houses (the Pfohl house and now the Hall house). On April 24, 1965, they found it necessary to inform the occupants of one of the apartments (Pfohl house) that the insurance company would not honor their claim for damages incurred when they left food in the oven with the heat turned on and the outside door locked. The firemen, notified of the smoke, had to break a window to gain entry to the apartment. The Trustees denied responsibility and told the tenants they would be responsible for the cleanup and repair.

Children’s Day was celebrated in a different manner in 1965. Instead of a program put on by the children in the Sanctuary, the Sunday School held an “Open House” and parents visited their children in their classrooms to learn more about the teachers and their programs.

An exciting event for Reverend Hammond was a trip to Kenya with the Laubach Literary Foundation, whose headquarters were in Syracuse,. On July 12, 1965, Dr. Frank C. Laubach, Dr. David E. Mason, and 30 dedicated Christian Ministers and Laymen departed from new York City bound for Nairobi, Kenya, in East Africa, to spend their time “preaching, teaching, and witnessing the love of our Savior.” “Each one will teach one” to read in his own language with the understanding that the chain of teaching would never be broken. Reverend Hammond returned on July 29, 1965, with the knowledge of a peaceful Christian Mission “well done.” The cost was $1,400.00 and the Deacons invited the congregation to help defray the expenses. Reverend Hammond reported on his experiences as part of a Second School of Missions held in the Fall from October 17-November 7m 1965. The subject was “Emerging Nations.”

There was no Vacation Bible School in 1965. The Board of Christian Education blamed the late school closing date of the Elementary School, the early start of Summer School, competition from local recreation programs and plant vacation schedules that made it difficult to secure and train teachers for a really effective two week Vacation Bible school.

The church joined with the Methodists again in the Summer for 8 services. The Baptist Sunday School was open every Sunday from 10:00 to 10:45, Church Services were at 8:45 and 11:00 A.M.

Early Church Services were discontinued on November 7, 1965. At Christmas time the Sunday School celebrated Christmas with a sandwich supper followed by a “Hanging of the Greens” ceremony in the sanctuary with Margaret Vermilya in charge. The Baptist Youth Fellowship prepared a Nativity Tableau for Christmas Eve. Santa Claus (portrayed for years by Sid Mawson in his own Santa Claus suit) was not welcome at the Christmas Party. The Board of Christian Education wanted to emphasize giving instead of getting (but gave the children their usual Christmas tree ornament anyway).

On January 18,1966, the Building Committee met for the first time in the new year. The latest blue-prints were reviewed, floor by floor, to determine if any further changes or improvements were needed. One change was to add windows to the east side of the chapel “for a more pleasing look.” The architects had submitted their bill for $4,166.10 (60% of the total) and the Committee agreed it should be paid. The Committee then discussed what to say to the congregation about the increases in construction costs and the consequent rise in the estimate of the cost for our new addition.

On April 2, 1966, the Trustees, the Building Committee and the Continuation Committee (formerly the Capital Fund Commi8ttee) met to discuss several topics of joint interest:

  1. What to do with the annex (Pfohl house) badly damaged by a fire on March 11, 1966.
  2. The purchase of the Hall property on 413 East Seneca Street.
  3. The purchase of the Davison property on the corner of Clinton and North Streets.
  4. Future building.

Perry, Burne, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, informed the meeting that
Charles Stark was in the process of determining a cost for the restoration of the Pfohl house and would have the answer in three weeks. Reverend Hammond moved that the Trustees should make the decision on the Pfohl house when the estimate is received. The motion was seconded and carried.

Tony Gaudio reported that he and Perry Burne found that the Hall Property could be purchased for $19,000.00. The group voted for the Trustees to make a purchase offer but the actual purchase would require the approval of the congregation. Charles Stark, Chuck Marris, Lloyd Slentz and Tony Gaudio were to look into the purchase of the Robert Davison property, but Mr. Davison had not been interested before and had not changed his mind.

The Continuation Committee met briefly after the combined session to discuss the procedure to follow regarding calls to be made on delinquent pledges. It was estimated that $7,500.00 might be lost. Eleven callers were available and were to be trained before making the calls.

In their investigation of the possibility of restoring the Pfohl house, the Trustees found that the cost would be prohibitive and voted to demolish the house and make the area part of the parking lot, which would be a welcome increase of 25% more parking spaces. On July 5, 1966, the Trustees reported to the Advisory Council their decision on the Pfohl house and recommended to the Advisory Council and the Congregational Meeting that the Hall house be purchased. There were no notes of the meetings but the congregation must have approved since the Pfohl house was torn down and the Hall house was purchased.

In the first year of church ownership the church had the Hall house painted and sewers installed. (The house was rented in September 1966, and by November the tenant was already one month behind in paying the rent and had not paid his utility bills.) A mortgage had to be taken out but details were not mentioned. The Trustees depended on the rent to make the mortgage payments.

By September 28, 1966, the Building Committee was satisfied with the blueprints for the new Education Wing and asked for bids for the work. A fact sheet was prepared for an October 6, 1966, informative meeting for the congregation and included the following bids which were those preferred by the building Committee.

Building Committee Bids
General Contractor Dygert Construction $161,511.00
Electrical Contractor Jaquin Electric $12,099.00
Plumbing Contractor Redmond and Harte $12,990.00
Heating & Ventilating Contractor Raymond Heller $11,399.00
Demolition   $1,000.00
    $199,099.00

This was almost $20,000.00 over the previously stipulated limit of $180,000.00. At the October 6, 1966, meeting, the congregation approved a resolution which was to be voted on by the church members on October 13, 1966. The resolution read:

“Resolved: The First Baptist Church of Manlius, New York, will proceed with the building of an educational addition as proposed by the Building Committee.”

The congregation was told that a vote in the affirmative would rescind the previous stipulation that the building cost be limited to $180,000.00 and that $45,000.00 in cash be received and deposited in the bank prior to initiating building. Members of the congregation were sent an explanatory letter and a fact sheet showing current bids for the construction. The balloting took place on October 13, 1966, between the hours of
4:00 P.M. and 9:00 P.M. in the Chapel and Absentee Ballots were available as before. The vote was 67 for, 35 against. Although the vote was small and the against vote was significant, the majority voted to move forward and now the process was irreversible.

The Building Fund Treasurer, Herbert Lang, who made the original motion with the restrictions, felt the church was acting irresponsibly, and he and his family left the church. In his letter of resignation, he brought up an interesting fact concerning our handling of money in the 1950-1960 period. The church in earlier years, as has been mentioned before, often ran out of money during the year and borrowed from the bank to pay the bills. Usually giving would pick up and the bank note could be paid by the end of the year. In the 50s and 60s, when Mission giving became more significant, it was the custom for the Treasurer to borrow from the Mission Fund to pay current expenses, if necessary. Of course, the money was paid back before the end of the year so that the Mission commitments could be met. This upset the Mission Board, however, and they insisted on monthly contributions to the ABC Missions Board so there would be little money on hand to be borrowed. The same thing was happening to the Building Fund money as it was being accumulated.

The bulletin for October 16, 1966, reported that the Building Committee, the Trustees and our attorney, Arthur Cordes, were busy finalizing contracts for immediate action. The first step in the construction was the removal of the old parsonage (educational annex). The Christian Education Board was busy evacuating the old building and finding room in the already crowded main building. The Church Office and the Pastor’s Study had to moved as well.

The Trustees reported accomplishing the demolition of the old parsonage and thanked those (Red Chapman) who loaned equipment and those who worked on the project. An unforgettable set of pictures published in the Eagle Bulletin showed the destruction and one Senior Citizen’s distress in seeing the old house destroyed.

On October 17, 1966, after reading the Lang letter of protest and resignation, the Trustees took their own secret ballot on “a vote for acceptance or refusal of entering into a mortgage agreement for the construction of an addition to the present church.” The Trustees voted by secret ballot “to authorize a mortgage on the above mentioned church property for the purpose of financing a new education win as proposed by the Building Committee. “ The vote was 6 yes, 3 no. One Trustee, Bruce Peterson, wanted his name on record as opposing the mortgage under present circumstances.

Late in the fall construction was about to begin and it was time for the ground-breaking ceremony. On November 20, 1966, after church, the congregation met on the lawn on the east side of the present church to do some ceremonial digging with two gold plated trowels purchased for the occasion. Mayor Morgan of Manlius was there to represent the Village. The architects and the builders were also represented and Clarence Pease came from the Marine Midland Bank. A number of representatives from the church family also took part in the ceremonial ground-breaking:

  1. Senior Citizens - John Chappell
  2. Deacons - Robert Mapstone, Chairman
  3. Deaconesses - Mrs. Kenneth Bex, Chairman
  4. Trustees - Perry Burne, Chairman
  5. Missions - Mrs. Sidney Mawson, Chairman
  6. Youth for Sunday School - Robert Davenport

Reverend Hammond gave the benediction and the group sang “Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow.” The construction (excavation) began soon after, even as winter was approaching,.

If anyone from the congregation really wanted to get involved in the construction, a notice in the November 27, 1966, bulletin announced that “our builder, Mr. Dygert, will be employing help in the immediate future and has asked that any members of the congregation who would like to work to see the foreman.” On December 15, 1966, at a special meeting of the Advisory Council, Kenneth Phelps was appointed Treasurer of the Building Fund to replace Herb Lang.

As always, the church was busy on other fronts as well as working on the building program. On January 23, 1966,m the church congratulated two of its young men. Bill Burt, a student at Morrisville, who recently received a scholarship, and Doug Greene, who received an award for being “Soldier of the Month” in his company.

In February of 1966, Dorothy White started a series of monthly newsletters to young people from the church who were now in college or the armed forces. The first for February, 1966, contained a list of 28 young people. This was the time of the great blizzard and Mrs. White told about her experiences. She also included news of the church, of other young people, and like a good Sunday School teacher, a “lesson.” She wrote, “I hope you won’t mind if the Sunday School teacher in me overflows into our letters.” The church has a copy of the first letter, one for April 24, 1966 (written by JoAnn L,. Bock), and one for May 1966 (now called the “Christian Global Newsletter”) by Dorothy White. Circulation grew to as many as 80 copies. The papers were apparently discontinued after 1968.

On March, 1966, the Board of missions invited Reverend and Mrs. John Baker of Rome to bring the cast of their School of Missions play, “Between Yesterday and Today,” for presentation in our sanctuary.

In May the Trustees announced plans to paint the gymnasium. The Greene Sentry Hardware offered discontinued paint at $1.00/gallon. In the May 1, 1966, bulletin, Perry Burne, Chairman of thre Board of Trustees, asked for volunteers to paint during the week of May 9-14 when scaffolding would be available. Those who helped were thanked in the following bulletin. The gym was described as looking “so clean and fresh.” On May 29, 1966, Mr. Barbara Richardson was thanked for the bed of tulips at the end of the gymnasium. (Tulips and other flowers are still blooming there in 1998.)

According to the bulletin of June 5, 1966, “Your pastor is a patient at the New England Baptist Hospital where he is undergoing a series of tests.” These were for the Pastor’s arthritis. He was back in the pulpit on June, 19, 1966.

June 20, 1966, was Graduation Day in the Public Schools and 18 of our youth graduated from High school. On July 10, 1966, a Combined Summer Service with the Methodist Church started and continued for seven additional Sundays. In June and July of 1966, the Hammonds made a family project out of painting the parsonage. The Trustees furnished the paint and were very pleased and thankful for the effort.

The Vacation Church School was re-instated in 1967. The time was August 15- August 26, 1966, sponsored by the Protestant Churches of Manlius and Oran. There was more Methodist input this year as Mrs. E. Clayton Comstock, wife of the Methodist Pastor, was the leader. The opinion of the Christian Education Board was that the later time resulted in more interest and better attendance.

In the summer of 1966, the Trustees were confronted with the costs of a number of projects which were not provided for in the 1966 budget.

  1. The demolition of the annex and fill for the foundation& preparation of the lot for parking.
  2. Painting the trim on the church and the steeple.
  3. Sewer installation on the Hall property.
  4. A new roof for the church.

The Trustees felt that $5,000.00 extra money was required for these projects and on august 4m 1966, at 7:30 P.M., asked the Advisory Council to approve a three year $5,000.00 bank loan. Although there is no record, the congregation must have also approved the loan because all the projects were completed.

In the fall the church social action committee brought in a speaker to talk about the proposed Lottery for new York state. Dr. Robert Grim spoke on Sunday night, October 30, 1966, at 7:30 p.m. on “The Lottery and Your responsibility,” The speaker and the church were against the Lottery but apparently the general public was not. The BYF was busy raising money to pay its Building fund pledge and on October 30,m 1966, took (in Gordon Jackson’s truck) 7600 lbs of paper to the paper mill in Fayetteville.

At Christmas time, the Junior BYF (with sponsor help from Bob and Margaret Vermilya) came up with the special project of decorating the pine tree to the north of the sanctuary with 200 lights to be known as the Blessing Tree. Church members were asked to count their blessings and for each to contribute 25 cents to purchase a light for the tree. “May the Light of the Blessing Tree serve to remind us of the many blessings we enjoy this Christmastide.” This tradition was continued for several years. Christmas was observed by the Sunday School with another hanging of the Greens service, preceded by a sandwich supper and a Nativity Tableau.

In November, 1966, Glenna Hammond spent some time in the hospital. The bulletin of November 6, 1966, reported that she was in the Community General Hospital making good progress, and in the November 13, 1966, bulletin it was reported that “the men who reside at the parsonage are exceedingly grateful for the wonderful cooks and helpers of First Baptist and the neighborhood who have done so much during Mrs. Hammond’s hospitalization.”

Reverend Hammond, in his Annual Report for 1966, wrote that he had been handicapped with arthritis and said that “much of the church activity had been carried on by the officers and members in such an efficient manner that we were able to show both growth and, during January and November, a decided increase in church attendance.”

The major decisions had been made for the new building, the plans settled, the financial campaign over (for the time being) and the congregation could relax and observe the construction. In the words of Robert Lyon, Chairman of the Building Committee, “We watched our building advance from a hole in the ground to a nearly completed building.” The contractors had provided a Construction Schedule of events for the Bulletin Board and invited everyone to join the contingent of Sidewalk Superintendents who were keeping watch over the proceedings.

The Building Committee met regularly each month in 1967 (although there are no available meeting notes) along with the Chairman and the Treasurer of the Capital Funds Committee to review Contractors’ bills and make decisions regarding construction problems. A Color Coordinating Committee consisting of Peter Mudge, Helen Fardig and Alice Mapstone, cooperated with the architects on finish details. Most of the burden of the church involvement, However, fell on the shoulders of Bob Lyon. He was in constant contact with the contractors and the architects and had to make many “on the scene” visits to keep close watch on the construction.

Reverend George Hammond was serving his second term on the General Council of the American Baptist Church and attended a meeting of the group in January, 1967. He returned on February 2, 1967, with the firm belief that God speaks more clearly in the local church than he does in the Councils of the Denomination. In April, 1967, the pulpit was filled for four weeks by guest speakers (two times by Dr. Mason). Reverend Hammond was having trouble again with arthritis and it was difficult for him to stand during a sermon and to get in and out of his car.

On May 23, 1967, Niagara Mohawk turned the power off at the recently purchased Hall house and on June 27, 1967, our lawyer, Arthur Cordes, helped us to evict the tenant. The Trustees had reported that rent payments would carry the mortgage and decided to rent again. On August 25, 1967, the Merton Ladd family moved I and it appeared that this time the Trustees had found an ideal tenant.

On May 21, 1967, Reverend Wheaton visited Manlius and preached to the congregation on “Great Faith.” On June 4, 1967, Abe Lorente, the Cuban student the church had “adopted,” graduated from the Temple University Medical School. Reverend Hammond celebrated his 53rd birthday on June 9, 1967, and the 31st anniversary of his ordination and thanked the church for their kind remembrances.

The church met again with the Methodists for eight weeks in the summer. There were two services each Sunday. Reverend Hammond recruited Reverend Raker, Dr. Mason, Robert Vermilya and Ray Heller to preach four of the Baptist services. For the first time in many years there was no Baptist Summer Sunday School, not only had attendance been diminishing lately but there was a space problem because of the construction. Union Vacation Church School was conducted during the period of August 14-25, 1967, led by Mrs. Mary Squire of the Baptist Church, but had to be limited to the parlor because of the construction. Attendance was good, increasing daily to 153.

In the American Baptist Churches around the country, the newest nation-wide drive for funds was in progress. The latest was the World Mission Campaign, the funds to be used to enhance the Denomination’s missionary work around the globe. Because we were in the midst of raising money for the Building Fund, there was no formal drive to meet a quota in the Manlius church. A letter was sent to members explaining the need and an Advance Gifts Committee (Reverend George Hammond, Dr. David Mason and Mr. Lloyd Slentz) did some calling. As a result, the church members pledged $7,178.00 (of which $1,764 was already received in 1967.)

The church had a new organist in 1967. The Davenports moved away and Mrs. Linda Davenport was replaced by Mrs. Bertha Strauss.

During 1967, the Methodist, Episcopal and Baptist Churches conducted a census of the Manlius area and as a result found eight prospective new Baptist families (and hopefully for the other participants, new Episcopalians and Methodists as well).

The Sunday School fond 1967 an eventful year watching the new building grow and planning for its use and making adjustments as former classrooms disappeared or were made unusable by construction.

The pillars of the church had begun to deteriorate and the Trustees hired Gordon Noble to sand, point and paint them in 1967. The minutes said that he was the same fellow who painted the steeple in 1966.

Our original three year Program for Progress fund drive would be completed in 1968. It was part of the plan so it should have been no surprise to anyone that another campaign for three more years of payments would be necessary. The leaders of the church had liked the way Reverend Mould conducted the first campaign and decided to try to hire him for the second. Reverend Hammond wrote Dr. Mould requesting a meeting with him in January to discuss plans for a second campaign. Reverend Mould replied on December 11, 1967, that although it was unusual to work with the same church a second time “I feel honored to be asked to return to Manlius and will do everything possible to make this a meaningful experience.”

At the end of the second full year of collecting pledges, the Building Fund Treasurer reported on the financial status of the Program for Progress:

Building Fund Treasurer Report on Program for Progress
Checking Account:  Amount deposited $208,241.14
 
 
 
Amount spent $191,762.16
  Balance CA $16,478.98
Savings Account   $608.86
Securities   $5,674.16
Balance   $22,76200

Our church was mortgaged (the closing was on December 15, 1967) for $150,000 at 5 ¾% interest and our payments each month were $1,246.00 or $14,952.00 per year.

From the pledging standpoint:

Pledges
Total pledged through December 1967 $97,044.80
Paid through December 1967 $72,814.95
% of payment 75.3%

The Youth of the church were disappointed to find that with all of the new space available, they were relegated to the old parlor as their headquarters. They rebelled and wrote a convincing letter to the Board of Christian Education on October 16, 1967. The letter was written for the BYF by Elaine Fardig, The Habitation Committee that made the decision on space assignments was headed by Mrs. Helen Fardig, mother of Elaine. The Habitation Committee and the Board of Christian Education responded favorably to the BYF request and unanimously voted that the room in question (now the King’s Kid’s office) be granted to the 11 & 12 grade Sunday School class and the BYF. The Senior High group volunteered to paint the walls and to lay tile to make the room functional.

The Christmas program for the Sunday School was “A Christmas Crib,” a tableau with music by the cherub and Carol Choirs. The Sunday School reported 258 people present, the highest number ever for a Christmas party.

Robert Vermilya, Chairman of the Continuation Committee, wrote a letter to the membership on January 10, 1968. He reported that the Reverend Mold had been approved by the American Baptist Convention o direct our campaign and had met with the Finance committee to establish preliminary plans for the first debt reduction campaign, June 6 to June 26, 1968, all subject to approval of the congregation.

In the Annual Meeting of January 25, 1968, the budget for 1968 was presented by Lloyd Slentz, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, for approval. There was a discussion regarding the omission of raises for the Pastor during the last few years. (Reverend Hammond had adamantly refused to let the Trustees raise his salary for 1996 and 1967. He felt that it was not proper for him to receive a raise when he hoped people would give sacrificially to the Building Program.) Helen Fardig moved that Reverend Hammond receive a $500.00 for 1968. Dorothy Griffin seconded the motion and the meeting voted in favor of the raise.

Also in the Annual Meeting, the question about what had been done about the next phase of funding for the new building was asked. Reverend Hammond moved that Reverend Mould be retained to lead the second debt-reduction campaign. Ray Heller seconded the motion and it was carried.

Mr. Vermilya also stated that “the building has become a reality through our love and sacrificial giving to further the Lord’s work in our church and community.” He asked people to check their building fund records and reminded them that “their commitment is made to the Lord.”

In late January or early February, 1968, a car crashed into the front of the church and damaged the first step, a railing and one of the columns. Ernst and Cooper, our insurance agents, were taking care of the problems incurred.

On Thursday, February 1, 1968, at 7:30 P.M., the church celebrated the end of the first phase of the Program for Progress which began in 1963. The new Educational wing was dedicated in a special service in the Sanctuary. Reverend Baker came from Rome, New York, to preach the sermon. Dr. David Mason assisted in the service of Dedication led by Reverend Harry Guckert (then pastor of the Tully Baptist Church.) After the dedication, there was a processional to the new addition led by Robert Lyon, Chairman of the Building Committee. A special eight page brochure was prepared. Although it was discussed, there was no cornerstone or special plaque prepared to commemorate the new building. (In 1986 a plaque was installed in the new entrance. It reads: “1986 Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6.)

On Sunday, February 4, 1968, the celebration continued with a special morning service of personal re-dedication and communion served by another former pastor, Reverend Lawrence A. Wheaton. Reverend Raymond Beaver brought greetings from the American Baptist Convention. A special feature of the program was the presentation to Reverend Beaver of an original letter written by Adonirum Judson, a famous Baptist Missionary to Burma.

Adonirum Judson’s mother spent some time in Cazenovia visiting her sister when she received a letter from her son. In the letter he told her about arrangements with Luther Rice and the Baptists. Several years later the family discovered the letter and, recognizing its historic value, gave it to Mrs. Yettie Harris of Manlius, who was deeply interested in missionary work. Mrs. Yettie Harris, a member of the First Baptist Church of Manlius, decided the letter really belonged to the whole Baptist Church Family and presented it to the church with the understanding that it would be given to the Foreign Mission Society.”

(From the New York Baptist News Section of the Baptist Crusader of April 1968.)

Sometime, and somehow, in the next few years the framed letter made it way into the famous Baptist Basement Room known as the Glory Hole, where things not wanted were stored before eventual disposal, A Trustee noticed the letter, recognized the name, and brought it to the attention of Reverend Hammond, who arranged for its gift to the Foreign Missionary Society of the American Baptist Church.

On Sunday afternoon, the Sunday School held an open house in the new facilities from 3 to 5 P.M., with the Building Committee providing tours through the new wing. On Sunday Evening at 7:30 P.M. the Eastern Baptist College Choir presented a concert of excerpts from Handel’s Messiah.

On February 8, 1968, the church hosted an Evangelical Conference. Meals were to be served at the church but overnight accommodations (and breakfasts) had to be provided for 25 preachers. The church families evidently rose to the occasion and al of the visitor had a place to stay.

On February 18, 1968, the Unity Fellowship gathered at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Mapstone for a Soup and Slipper Party. (The name leaves out an important part of the evening which was a wide variety of home-made pies for dessert.) The cost was 50 cents/person. The outing was also called “February on the Farm.” this is another candidate for the “Things Never Change” Department as the party was still a favorite Unity Fellowship function in 1999.

The School of Missions was held on four Sundays in March for a study of Japan. The Carol Choir led by Mrs. Robert Mapstone sang for the group. A picture of the choir showing the children in their Japanese costumes was printed in the NYS Baptist magazine “The Crusader.”

Prayer meetings were sill being held on Thursday nights, but as noted in the mid-March 1968 newsletter, interest and attendance was lagging. To try to correct the problem, the format was changed with the leadership being transferred to different groups of the church (on March 14, 1968, the Achaean Class, March 21 the Unity Class, and on March 28 the BYF) in hopes that the group responsible would at least show up in full attendance.

On April 7, 1968, former Pastor Harry Guckert was installed as Pastor of the First Baptist Church, Tully, New York, after serving 6 ½ yeas as the Pastor of the Baptist Church of Paradise, California. Also in April, it was announced in the Church Bulletin that Dr. and Mrs. Abe Lorente would move to the area in July. Dr. Lorente would begin a four year residency in surgery at the Upstate Medical Center.

The Growth and Development Committee met to organize in April. One accomplishment was to recommend to Reverend Hammond that he take a week off. He took their recommendation and spent a week in Maine.

In the May 12, 1968, Bulletin, the church began to hear about the war in Vietnam. The Senior High Group was working for a county-wide project to contribute items needed by the soldiers (shaving equipment, insect repellent, writing materials, etc.)

By May, 1968,m the last payment on the Parsonage Mortgage had been paid and the Hammonds helped the church celebrate by holding an open house at the Parsonage on May 19, 1968, from 2:00 to 5:00 P.M. the mortgage was ceremonially burned, either at the morning church service or during the open house.

The Bulletins for Spring of 1968 instructed the congregation to “Enter in silence, Wait on Prayer, Worship in Reverence, and depart to Serve.” On June 1, 1968, the Board of Christian Education organized a Pie Day to show appreciation for the Sunday School Teachers. The members baked 37 pies for the teachers and their families. In June, 1968, twenty seniors from the church graduated from High School. (Pie Day is another tradition that has not outlived its usefulness.)

In the summer of 1968, we participated in 6 union services (as recommended by the Advisory Council) with the Methodist Church. There were two services each Sunday and this year there was a Sunday School for the Baptists. Mr. Leslie Strader, now pastor of the Methodist Church, was the summer Youth Pastor for the Methodists. A Vacation Bible School was held in 1968 in the Baptist Church starting on June 24th for two weeks, led by Mary Squire. The children’s offerings of $110.00 were used to send 11 hives of bees to India.

In August, Reverend Derwood Smith came east for a visit and stayed with Mr. Rose Dando. Reverend Wheaton also came and stayed with Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Murdock.

In August, Molly Cordes resigned as Secretary effectie august 23, 1968, after nearly 6 years of “successful and cheerful” service to join the staff of the Manlius School. Sara Beams was hired to take her place.

On Sunday October 13, 1968, Abe and Pam Lorente came forward to unite in fellowship with the First Baptist Church of Manlius. The newsletter of mid-October, 1968, commented that by hard work and great determination this young man has made great accomplishments, that Pam, a graduate nurse, shared with her husband great skills in the art of healing, and that a great part of both Pam and Abe’s skills stemmed from their warm Christian love of people.

At their October 15, 1968, meeting, the trustees discussed the possibility of selling the Hall house (minus its backyard). There was some thought of it use as a house for an Associate Pastor. No action was taken at the meeting. Reverend Hammond talked about his arthritis problem and the need to let up on some of his calling. He had written the Ministers and Missionaries Board concerning his condition but had not heard from them as yet. There was a discussion of having the Laymen doing more of the calling. It was also noted that Reverend A. Wayne Dexter, a member of our church who was on the staff of the ABC of New York State, had offered to help.

On October 29, 1968, the Trustees met with Mr. Calender from the Missionary and Ministers Board to discuss Reverend Hammond’s condition. He felt that the church might improve if Reverend Hammond taught the members to do the calling and take care of other responsibilities. Another alternative was to hire an Associate Pastor to work with the youth and do calling. Reverend Hammond would preach most of the time. The Trustees assured Mr. Calender that they wanted Reverend Hammond to continue as Pastor if he would slow down and take care of his health.

In 1968, the Baptist Women’s fellowship joined with the women’s organization of the United Church of Fayetteville to compile a Fayetteville-Manlius directory to be published in the spring of 1969. The Baptist women were to canvass each home served by the Manlius Post Office (approximately 2500 families) to obtain the information needed. Mrs. C. Winslow Skeele, President to the BWF, appointed Mrs. C. Comstock Lincoln chairman for the Manlius area, Mrs. Leonard Kuhnemann as chairman of the canvassers assisted by Mrs. John Ammann, Mrs. Melvin Benedict, Mrs. Robert Bullard, Mrs. L. Gordon Jackson, Mrs. Paul Watson and more than 50 members of the congregation. Advertising was solicited by members of the Fayetteville church.

The major event of 1968 was the Program of Progress: The Next Step. The financial campaign was run in about the same manner as was the First (except for fewer letters, less publicity and probably less anxiety since the congregation had already responded well to the first campaign, the building was built and in use, and everyone knew that it had to be paid for.)

Lou H. Billet, Jr. “(Bill, who had not been a member during the first campaign) was chosen as the Chairman for the second phase or the “Next Step” of the program of the Progress Campaign. In the May12, 1968, he announced his executive committee:

1968 Progress Campaign Executive Committee
Publicity Chairman Mrs. Arthur Mapstone
Hostess Chairman Mrs. Kenneth Bex
Building Fund Treasurer Mr. Kenneth Phelps
Advance Gifts Chairman Mr. Raymond Heller
Youth Chairman Mr. Fred Goddard
Division Chairmen
  • Mr. Charles Beams
  • Mr. Robert Lyon
  • Mr. Robert Mapstone
  • Mr. Lynn Lawless

The first meeting of the Committee with Reverend Mould was on May 3, 1968, for an evaluation survey. Reverend Mould asked Mr. Billet to carefully select 12-15 people to assist in a survey of the ability of church members to pledge. The results would give Reverend Mould a basis to recommend a goal for the Campaign. His next meeting was to be with all the Campaign leaders to distribute manuals and information kits and to firm up dates for the events in the Campaign presentation and intensive phase. The important dates were set for the Campaign:

  • Loyalty Dinner June 12, 1968
  • Kick Off Pledges June 13-15, 1968
  • Drive for the Church June 16, 1968
  • Victory Service June 26, 1968

The goal for the Campaign was set at $75,000.00 for a victory goal and $90,000.00 as a challenge goal. Speakers were selected to make short presentations during the church services. Those chosen were Robert Vermilya, Raymond Heller, Paul Watson and Sara Beams.

Tuesday, June 11, 1968, the callers were to meet for a general briefing. The Loyalty dinner was scheduled for Wednesday, June 12, 1968, for a time of fellowship, information and inspiration. There was a new brochure entitled “Program of Progress- Our Next Step.” A victory service was held on Wednesday, June 26, 1968, in the Sanctuary. Reverend Robert B Mould gave the message and a report on the Campaign.

On September 19, 1968, Bill billet sent to members of the church a report on the Campaign. While the victory goal was $75,000.00, the pledges equaled $65,421.00. Mr. Billet was not terribly discouraged, because he felt more pledges would come in later. He described the goal as ambitious and above the minimum needed to meet our mandatory requirements, i.e., meet the mortgage payments.

The Building Committee made one last report for 1968. All final payments were made to the contractors. The original contracts totaled $199,734.00. The total payments to the contractors were $200,025.22, an increase of $291.22. Most of the extra costs were for changes in sewer construction when existing lines were not where they were expected. The report concluded with the statement: “May 24, 1969, will be the end of the guarantee period for construction on that date the duties of the Building Committee will end.”

In January of 1969, Reverend George Hammond went to the Robert Brigham Arthritic Clinic in Boston for more tests and treatments. His doctors were to change his medicine from pain killers to something that might improve his condition. The Trustees were considering hiring an Associate Pastor to help with the calling and the youth work. It was noted that Reverend Hammond had already had help in calling from the Deacons, Deaconesses and Mrs. Hammond. The treatment must have been helpful. In his Annual Report for 1969, Reverend Hammond wrote that January, 1969, was a turning point which brought improvements “for which I praise God and thank you who bore me p in prayer and helpfulness.”

February 9, 1969, was Youth Sunday, and the youth led the entire service. Some of the Youth Services were not so pleasant in the Vietnam War years with the adults in the congregation being blamed for all that was not well with the world. On March, 2, 1969, the School of Missions began with a four week study of Southeast Asia, appropriate because of our country’s involvement in the Vietnamese War. The church had young men involved in the fighting and the unrest among students and other groups in the country was having an effect on our church as well.

The Christian Carrier frequently requested that readers with favorite thoughts, laughs, sermons or challenges bring them to the church office for inclusion in the newsletter. Poetry by Lucille Foote and Lydia Doubleday often appeared. In the mid-April 1969 issue, the oldest member of the church, John Chappell, was mentioned as having been hospitalized and listed some of his work for the church (he was a carpenter and President of the Village of Manlius, 1914-1915, 1921-1922 and 1924-1925) and whether coincidental or not, there was a poem “Age” included in the newsletter which is worth repeating.

AGE
No one is ever too old!
Remember age is a quality of mind
If you have left your dreams behind
If hope is cold,
If you no longer look ahead,
If your ambitions’ fires are dead--
Then you are old.

But if from life
You take the best
And in life you keep the jest,
If love you hold
No matter how the years go by,
No matter how the birthdays fly
You are not old!


(Taken from the Fairport Baptist Home News, April, 1969)

April 13, 1969, was another special day for the youth of the church. Reverend Robert Huff, a pastor-at-large in neighborhood Elmira, whom the youth had heard and admired at the youth Convention there, came to Manlius to preach at the morning service. He ate lunch with the youth of our church and surrounding churches, and spent the afternoon with them. There was a program of singing, worship and discussion.

In April, 1969, the Christian Carrier newsletter commented on the death of President Eisenhower. His claim to greatness was said to be in the quiet Christian applications of his faith. His death elicited “precious memories of trust and mutual care of the holiness of home and the sacredness of family. Just plain goodness seems to be the most fitting description of this man, President Dwight David Eisenhower, Ambassador of Goodness.”

There was “Music in the Air” at the Mother and Daughter Banquet on May 6, 1969. Mrs. R. Dean Schick talked about bells and displayed her private collection. The cost of the meal was $1.00 for adults, 50 cents for children. The women cooked the meal and the men of the church served.

In June 1969, the Christian Carrier editor commented on Sgt. Bruce F. Jamison, service man of the month, who went back to Thailand to marry a girl he met on his first tour of duty in that country. The editor went on to say that in spite of our current thoughtlessness, we are at war, our own boys are dying, suffering and fighting. It is high time we made a Christian’s recognition of such matters. Too long we have tried to ignore the facts and forget the frightful cost. Let us pray for these young men. They need our prayers, cards and letters.

On June 17, 1969, Mrs. Shirley Mapstone talked to the Trustees about Mrs. Rugh’s need for one large classroom for her morning nursery school (pre-schoolers). She had been renting space at Christ church but had run into problems and might need different quarters. Questions that the Trustees asked Mrs. Mapstone were for particulars about the current problem . They wondered if the church was willing to rent out space for outside use, and if this would over-burden the custodian, Pete Seibel. (By August 26, 1969, the word got back to the Trustees that Mrs. Rugh and the Episcopal Church had worked out their problems and that the school would not need a new home.) On August 26, 1969, the Trustees announced that the $5,000,00 bank loan borrowed in 1966 for the purpose of paying for several urgent repair projects was repaid.

Union services were again held in the summer with the Methodists, this time for eight weeks. Sunday School was held in our church as well as the Vacation Bible School. (The Bible School was for one week only in 1969.) There was only one service each Sunday. Ray Heller substituted for Reverend Hammond for one Sunday. The Bulletin noted that Ray had been away from church for the last few months supplying the pulpit in the Georgetown Baptist Church.

The Baptist Women’s Fellowship was continuing its work on the Fayetteville-Manlius Directory. The project would be completed in 1970. The BWF had also been guiding the re-decoration of the Harris Memorial Chapel. Shelves had been installed by Archie Adsit, the ceiling had been repaired, furniture and carpeting were put in, and “a lovely room for receptions and meetings resulted.”

On August 25, 1969, the church was taken by surprise when Dorothy White, a staunch member of the church, deeply involved in Christian Education, truly a “Pillar of the Church,” wrote a letter of resignation to the Board of Christian Education. She wrote, in part, that she “had been searching for eternal truths, had a deep longing for more light, read avidly, prayed searchingly and found what she wanted in the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints.” She felt that “the Mormon Church offered more than a religious faith… but a daily way of life that leads back to God’s presence, which I feel, I can follow more knowledgeably, more challengingly and more joyously.” Charles, Dorothy, son Greg and daughter Caroline left the church.

In 1969, parking was becoming a problem. The Trustees were upset with neighborhood people using the church parking lot but not coming to church services or moving their cars on Sunday morning. Warnings were printed and attached to the cars. (This is an item for the Things Never Change Department as this is still a problem in 1999.)

In late November, 1969, Robert Vermilya promoted a “Clean Plate Club” for the Manlius Church. In December, those people who had paid their pledges in full for 19659 would have their names printed on large clean paper plates which would be displayed in the Narthex For people who were considering how much to pledge to the church for the new year, a recent newsletter had some good advice. “Give according to your income lest your income be according to your giving.”

On December 24, 1969, Bulletin listed 15 of our young men who were serving in the armed forces, some of them in Vietnam. (All returned safely.)

  • Christopher Bex
  • Lee Gustin
  • William Beverly
  • Timothy Harrison
  • Rodney Burne
  • James Heckerman
  • William Burt
  • David Huffaker
  • William Edwards
  • Bruce Jameson
  • Arthur Egy
  • Norman Olsen
  • Richard Foringer
  • Edward Siegenthaler
  • James Stanton

In his report to the congregation Reverend Hammond wrote, “This (the year 1969) was a time of crisis for every family in our congregation. Not one of them is untouched by the shifting morals of our day.” He wrote of the problems of student revolt in schools and colleges and youth rebellion. He found war’s ominous clouds overshadowing everything we do and the very foundations of our society shaken. He felt that nothing short of a world awakening to real Spiritual Values could save man from self destruction.

In 1970 the health of Reverend Hammond improved measurably. In his report for the year, he said he was able to expand his personal effort in reaching out to the community. “I am so grateful for the measure of health and strength God has given to me.” He reported that at present (December 1970) he was making 25 calls a week and planned to increase the number when the weather got warmer. He reported being able to sit through a whole meeting and being comfortable to go home after it was over.

On January 25, 1970, the church welcomed Reverend and Mrs. John Baker back into the fellowship. Reverend Baker retired from full time ministry after serving the First Baptist Church in East Aurora, New York, for ten years and came back to live in Dewitt.

In the Trustees meeting of January 20, 1070, Reverend Hammond made a request that the Trustees consider new carpeting for the sanctuary and the choir loft (only the aisles were then carpeted) and new hymnals for the church services. The Trustees also considered carpeting for the Pastor’s office, the Secretary’s office, the Narthex, the old Chapel (soon to balled the Library) and the Youth Room.

Bill Billet was put in charge of a carpet committee. The Music Committee (appointed by the Advisory Council) was looking into new hymn books. They wanted a better liturgy, tune selection and Bible readings. A new Baptist Hymnal was to be out on March 1, 1970. They considered the Methodist Hymnal but to leave the Methodist name off the cover would cast $1.00 extra per book.

Since there wasn’t enough money in the Treasury for the carpets, the Trustees adapted the “buy a light” campaign (used to buy new lights for the remodeled Sunday School Rooms) to the carpet. Jerry Hammond made a poster for the rug campaign. The Trustees were asking for $2,000.00 (200 square yards at $10.00 a yard.)

On February 165, 1970, Youth Sunday was once again observed with the youth preparing the whole service. Lois Vermilya preached the sermon. Beginning February 22, 1070, and continuing through March 15, 12970, the Mission Board led the School of Missions. The topic was the very timely subject of ‘Reconciliation in a Broken world.” Part of the program for the first evening was a ministers panel with Reverend George Hammond, Reverend Jack Buskey, Reverend Morgan Silbauh, with Reverend Peter Winnewisser leading the discussion. On March 25, 1970, the Chancel Players of the Drama department of Easter College presented “The Terrible Meek,” a production of an imaginary conversation at the foot of the cross.

On April 5, 1970, there was an ecumenical service in the Baptist Church (with no explanation) and with all local ministers (priests) taking part.

  • The Rev. S. Bowen (Matthews Eastern Hill Bible Church)
  • The Rev. Jack Buskey (United Methodist Church)
  • The Rev. George L. Hammond (First Baptist Church)
  • The Rev. John Harrison (St. Ann’s Church)
  • The Rev. Morgan (Silbauh Christ Episcopal Church)

Part of the Prayer for a Universal Church given by Reverend Silbauh stated that “in God’s earthly family there is neither Jew nor Greek, male or female, bond nor free, but only children standing in equal need and equally sharing thy fatherly care.”

The first Lay Witness Mission (sometimes called Macedonian Ministries) for the Manlius Baptist Church was planned for May 1-3, 1970. The forty members of the Mission included Methodists and Baptists, with both youth and adults participating. A covered dish supper was planned for Friday, May 1, 1970, for the congregation to meet the visitors. Later the young people would get together for their own introductory meeting.

On Saturday, May 2 at 10:00, there were coffee hours at individual homes with visiting witnesses as guests. At 12:30 there was a luncheon at Stonecrest, at 2:00 a Pizza Party for the Senior High, at 7:30 P.M. an evening service for all at the Methodist Church. On Sunday, May 3, witnesses visited the Sunday School Classes and participated in the morning service. In the evening, there was an evaluation and discussion of the Lay Witness Mission. Several people from our church were deeply involved in the Lay Mission Program and were part of teams that went to several churches in central New York State. Ray Heller, Robert Vermilya and Millie Skinner were some of the early participants.

The Prayer Meeting n May 7, 1970, was visited by Ann Lamoreaux, one of the younger members of the church. She made a plea for us to write our government officials, expressing our feelings with regard to the Vietnam situation, so that they be certain of the feeling of their constituencies.

Another one of the concerns of the church in the 1970s was the opening of stores on Sunday. The Christian Carrier for may 1970 carried a condensed version of a speech given to a Lord’s Day Alliance meeting by a Mr. James J. Bliss, president of the National Retail Merchant’s Association, who urged the members of the religious community to express their dismay and disapproval of the spread of commercialism on Sunday.

In the June 21, 1970, Bulletin, it was reported that Mrs. Hammond suffered broken ribs from a bad fall and was a patient at the Community Hospital. She was home in a few days and “doing well.”

In June, 1970, the Trustees voted to order carpet for the Library, office rooms and the Narthex. The cost was $1,224.00. The Trustees were also concerned with meeting the mortgage payments for the new building. The second three year pledging period would be up in June 1971. In 1968 it was thought that a third intense pledging campaign might be held. This was not now seriously considered. The consensus of the Trustees in 1970 was that pledging for the new building mortgage should be included with the Every Member Canvass for 1972.

The church continued its summer services with the Methodists in 1970. There was one 10:00 service with 5 services held at the Methodist Church and 5 services at the Baptist Church. Vacation Bible School was held for 8 days in 1970. This year it was truly ecumenical as the children from St. Ann’s Church joined the group. As a result, there was a record enrollment of 312 children. (176 came from St. Ann’s.*)

A Manlius Protestant Christian Education Committee made up of representatives of the Baptist, Episcopal and Methodist Churches, was set up to make decisions regarding such ecumenical undertakings as the Daily Vacation Church School, Baccalaureate Services and Graduates’ Luncheons. The purpose was to promote Christian Fellowship and cooperation among the Protestant Churches as well as to promote Christian Education. Shirley Mapstone was chairman of the group for 1968-69 and Paul Watson, Dorothy White, and Reverend Hammond also represented our church. In 1970 the group invited St. Ann’s Church to join. They accepted and the name was changed to The Christian Education Organization of Manlius and Vicinity. The Catholics agreed to join the Protestant Churches in sponsoring the 1970 Vacation Church School.

On June 21, 1970, one of the highlights of the church service was the dedication of four babies: Trent Addison Dwelly (son of Mr. & Mrs. Richard W. Dwelly, Nancy Jean Ferris (daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Erman Ferris, Amy Christine Lorente (daughter of Dr. & Mrs. Abdiel Lorente, born Thursday, May 21, 1970), and Derrick Duane Marris (son of Mr. & Mrs. Claude Marris.)

On July 3, 1970, the Lorentes were driving home after eating supper with the Mapstones and were involved in a serious automobile accident. According to Ramona B. Bowden, a resident of Fayetteville who wrote religious news for the local newspaper, the two young people, Abe and Pam, lay torn and mangled in the road and their thirty-three day old baby was dead.

Although Dr. Lorente tried very hard to get his parents, the Reverend doctor and Mrs. Pascal Lorene (a retired Baptist Preacher) and his sister, Hulda, out of Cuba, the Cuban officials refused permission. Later, after the Lorentes experience their tragic accident, the attending physician telephoned the Cubans to explain the urgency of the situation. Dr. and Mrs. Pascal Lorente and their daughter, Hulda, were allowed to come to the United States, but they had to leave all of their belongings behind. Reverend Hammond was in contact with the Ministers and Missionaries Board to try to get help for the Reverend Lorente and his family. An apartment was found for them in Syracuse, and the Manlius Baptist Church members were asked to help furnish the rooms.

There were approximately 2,000 Spanish speaking people in Syracuse at the time. Although the large majority were Catholic, there were enough Protestants for Reverend Lorente to start services for them in Spanish. The First Baptist Church opened its doors to them for a series of services from October 4, 1970, to December 27, 1970. Bulletins were printed in Spanish, and advertisements for the services were placed in the Syracuse newspapers. A total of 45 people attended the first service.

The Trustees chose to repeat the PGP (Percentage Giving Participation Campaign) used in 1969 again. The Committee was:

  • Charles Beams - General Chairman
  • Ray Heller - Planning
  • Doris Dudley - Communications
  • Bill Billet - Commitment/Visitation
  • Erman Ferris - Commitment/Visitation

On August 9, 1970, Mrs. Gordon Henderson, daughter of Charles and Addie Cathers, announced that there would be a reception for her parents on August 20th, 1970, at the church to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. On October 9, 1970, Charles Cathers died. A memorial service was held on October 31, 1970, in the church. In the Sunday Bulletin for November 1, 1970, it was mentioned that Mr. Cathers had held every office in the church and had endeared himself to the whole community. Reverend Baker said in 1998 in commenting on people he remembered in the church: “I would like to mention Charles, Cathers, who could qualify as ‘Mr. Baptist.’ He never missed anything going on in the church. Even when it was occasionally necessary to have two Sunday morning services, Charles would attend both. No visitor in church would ever escape Charles’ warm welcome. His hobby was raising beautiful roses. From late spring until well past Thanksgiving , Charles would appear each Sunday morning at the parsonage with a gorgeous rosebud for the pastor’s lapel.”

The recovery of the Lorentes was slow. Pam recovered first from her injuries. It was not until November 8, 1970, that Abe was able to join Pam and his family for a weekend at home away from the hospital.

Reverend Lorente continued his Spanish Mission in the Manlius church until February 1971, and then moved its activities closer to its people in the Delaware Street Baptist Church, which “received us lovingly and with open arms.” He was appreciative of the help of Reverend Hammond, Robert Vermilya of the Board of Deacons, and Ellen Mapstone, who played the organ.

In their February 3, 1971, meeting, the Trustees discussed the use of our new Education Facilities for a play school. Mrs. Rugh, who had been using the Episcopal Church for her Hillside School, was about to sell. Mrs. Shirley Mapstone and Mrs. Doris Dudley were among those interested in buying the school for the church. The Trustees Board voted its approval and asked some of the interested women to investigate further and bring a report back to the Trustees. The Board of Christian Education also discussed School. They hoped the school would be a service to the community. Mrs. Irene Whittington was appointed their representative for the project. On February 9, 1971, Mrs. Shirley Mapstone and Mrs. Doris Dudley presented their plan to the Trustees, and the Board was “in agreement.” Ray Heller was asked to contact Arthur Cordes for legal advice and to investigate any added insurance costs.

A major event was planned for the church for the weekend of February 19-21, 1971. It was to be a trial of the new Discipline and Discovery Program, patterned after the Lay Witness Program but to “reach a much deeper depth.” Erman Ferris was the over-all chairman, assisted by Ray Heller and Bob Vermilya. Unlike the Lay Witness Program all of the leadership came from our own church.

The Program included training for team members, a 24 hour prayer vigil, a Friday Night all-church dinner, a Saturday morning mini-breakfast and coffee hour, a women’s luncheon, a Saturday evening meeting, a Sunday service, and a Sunday evening evaluation session. The Program was intended to help each of our members grow spiritually by the development of a deeper awareness of God through a new dimension of Christian Commitment.

From March 7 to 18, 1971, the Board of Missions presented another School of Missions. The title was “The Americans: How Many Worlds.” On March 14, 1971, Dr. Abdiel Lorente and his sister, Hulda, spoke to the church about “Cuba, The Revolution and What the Revolution has Meant to the People.” Abe Lorente must have taken leave from the hospital for his talk. (The April 25, 1971, Church Bulletin reported that he was now home from the hospital, and getting more active each day.)

A special meeting of the First Baptist membership was called for March 18, 1971. The first item of business was to discuss the purchase of Mrs. Rugh’s Nursery School for $850.00 (to be paid out of tuition fees when the school becomes operative). The church voted to purchase the school.

The church also voted to accept the recommendations of the Trustees to handle the next phase of debt reduction without professional help. They also voted that the building fund pledges should be continued for the remainder of 1971, and that a way should be found to incorporate the payments into the annual budget for 1972.

The Advisory Council and the Quarterly Business Meeting also endorsed the plan of the New York Baptists to raise money to refurbish and expand the Pathfinder and Vick Summer Camps. It was called the Camps, Conference Center and Church Extension Campaign. Their challenge goal was $400,000.00. Our share of the challenge goal was $8,580.00. Robert Lyon and Ellen Mapstone were selected as Co-chairmen to raise money from the Manlius congregation. It as a low key campaign because of the large Building Fund debt but the church did raise $2,122.00 for the cause.

During the last weekend of March (26, 27, 28), 1971, a group of nine members of our church journeyed to the Baptist Church in Pleasant Valley, Connecticut, for a Lay Witness Mission. Robert and Margaret Vermilya, Glenna Hammond, Erman Ferris, Ellen Mapstone, Margo Marris, Mitch Marris, Gordon Adams and Barbara Foringer were the participants. Later, on April 25, 1971, several of the witnesses spoke in the morning service of their experiences.

On May 23 and 24, 1971, Reverend Hammond wrote letters to the congregation telling them that he was submitting his resignation to become effective on June 27, 1971. He was to begin a new ministry with “Help Line,” a New York City Telephone Ministry. The Constitution requires an acceptance by the church of the resignation; therefore, Reverend Hammond called a congregational meeting on June 6th after the church service for that purpose. Reverend Hammond first preached on the theme:; “God takes care of His people and His plans for our church will be carried out.” The people in his previous churches had been well led after his work with them and he was confident that we would be also. After the service a “most thoughtful” congregation met to regretfully accept Reverend Hammond’s resignation. On June 20, 1971, Reverend Hammond preached his last sermon as Pastor. On June 1245, 1971, Reverend and Mrs. Hammond were given a farewell reception at the church.

In the mid-June Christian Carrier, Reverend Hammond wrote a farewell message to the congregation.

“We wish to express our great appreciation to this Church and its officers. These have been nine years filled with many experiences; the memories of which we shall cherish. We fully expect God to direct you to the kind of leadership and singleness of purpose which shall make Manlius first Baptist the most outstanding church in New York. Thank you for your loyalty. May God bless you and prosper you in all things spiritual.”

George L. Hammond.

Mrs. Hammond was presented with a beautiful oil painting of the church, painted by Alice Mapstone, as a going away gift from the Women’s Fellowship. Later she wrote to Dorothy Ammann:

“Will you say many, many thanks to the girls of Women’s Fellowship for this beautiful painting by Alice? It is truly wonderful and we shall treasure it all of our lives. Thanks, too, for the nine years I have been a part of the fellowship with each of them. I know I will miss the life of the church but feel confident I will find a place somewhere to serve. God grant you the joy and peace you so generously give to others.

Sincerely, Glenna.

After leaving the First Baptist Church of Manlius, Reverend Hammond served as a Counselor for the Marble Collegiate Dutch Reformed Church in New York City and was Supervisor of their Help Line Telephone Ministry, which involved the scheduling of
telephone conversationalists, personal direct contact with persons heading up the Service Agencies, and the follow-up on individuals seeking help. Over 90% of the people asking for help were unchurched. A real effort to help these people identify with a church was indicated. It was an entirely new ministry with need of the development of new skills,and offered a wide range of additional opportunities.

The letter for Reverend Hammond was transferred to the Marble Collegiate Church. He later became pastor of the United Baptist Church of Ellsworth, Maine, and retired from the ministry as their Pastor Emeritus. Reverend and Mrs. Hammond moved to Lansdale, Pennsylvania, where they again became members of the Lansdale Baptist Church.

Reverend and Mrs. Hammond celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary on October 6, 1998. Reverend Hammond died on November 2, 1998. He was survived by Mrs. Glenna Hammond, daughter Nancy, sons Scott and Stephen, and nine grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. Unfortunately, Reverend Hammond died before the history of his pastorate was written. It would have been illuminating to have been able to share his memories of his years in Manlius, but that was not to be.

Mrs. Glenna Hammond wrote that the new educational building was probably the high point of their pastorate. “The good that the building has and will accomplish toward the Christian training and fellowship of the church members will last for years.” A member of the Building Committee agrees and remembers that no one worked harder for the dream of an Educational Building to come true than Reverend George Hammond. Glenna also wrote about George’s illness (arthritis) and remembered “how good the people were to us, helping me especially to care for him.”

Reverend Kenneth E. Phelps, in a letter written on the occasion of the Homecoming Celebration of 1993, was asked to share some thoughts about the influences that the Manlius Church had on his life. Part of his memories were of the ministry of Reverend Hammond during his “formative years.”

“I remember will his vivid illustrations involving people and situations here in Maine. While sitting in the last seat of the Balcony, ‘the Phelps’ seats, I heard many stories of people from Mars Hill, Maine. The place took on an almost mythical quality as George made the people and the place come alive. Little did I know that some day I would be the Chaplain of the Hospital/Nursing home in Mars Hill, Maine.”

1971-1975 (Reverend Frank E. Clayton)

On June 2, 1971, the Church Moderator, Sidney Mawson, the Chairman of the Board of Deacons, Robert Vermilya, and the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Elwin Richardson, sent a letter to the members of the Advisory Council asking them to convene after the Church Business Meeting on June 6, 1971, for a short meeting. On Thursday evening, June 10, 1971, at 8:30, the Advisory Council met again to appoint a Pulpit Committee. Those appointed were:

  • Charles Beams
  • L.H. “Bill” Billet, Jr.
  • Raymond Heller
  • Edith Laning
  • Cathy Lyon
  • Olga Schmidt

The Moderator, Sidney Mawson, then called another Church Business Meeting for June 20, 1971, after the church service to elect the Pulpit Committee. On the same day Peter Seibel, custodian since 1960 or 1961 (the records are not clear), announced his resignation in the Sunday Bulletin:

Dear Friends: My sincere thanks and deepest appreciation for all the kindness and thoughtfulness you’ve shown me during the years I have served as your custodian. I especially wish to thank Reverend Hammond and the Board of Trustees for their help and understanding. It is my desire to continue to worship with you each Sunday. You’ve become very much a part of my life. Very Sincerely, Peter Seibel

Peter Seibel was a very special custodian. He helped build the new church in 1927 as an electrician and therefore knew all about the electrical system. This was very helpful at times. He attended church services and sang in the choir, and was very much a part of church life. (You have already read about his work far beyond his custodial duties in remodeling the old Sunday School Rooms.) The new addition and its daily use by the new Hillside Play School added greatly to his work load and Peter found this a good time to retire. He was missed.

In 1971, Margaret Vermilya came up with a plan in which women of the church were to cooperate in sharing, in some way, their time one day each month with one of their favorite senior members, Foster Mudge. She called it the “Foster Plan.” (It was similar to a plan devised for William Nightingale. For him the plan was to give him a Sunday Dinner and an automobile ride around town, and preferably, past a farm he once owned south of Manlius.)

In 1971 there must have been stories going around about alcoholic beverages being allowed in the Keuka College dormitory (a Baptist College). The Advisory Council voted to send a resolution to the Baptist State Office stating the church’s disapproval.

On June 23, 1971, the Moderator called the first meeting of the Pulpit Committee to order and they elected Ray Heller Chairman and Cathy Lyon Secretary.

Reverend Robert Williams attended the meeting representing the State Office (Baptist) to give advice and counsel to the Committee. The group mailed a questionnaire to each family of the congregation on Friday, June 25, 1971, to determine what the church was looking for in a Pastor. The Committee asked for the continued prayers of the congregation so that they might have Divine guidance and direction.

On Sunday, June 27, 1971, Reverend John Baker preached the sermon. It was announced that for the present Reverend Baker would make pastoral calls, and if Reverend Baker was not available, Reverend Raker would take his place.

In the summer of 1971 we closed our Sunday School and again held church services with the Methodists for 10 Sundays in July, August and September with Reverend Buskey preaching for the Methodists and a variety of preachers for the Baptists. Vacation Bible School was to be ecumenical again in 1971, with the Baptist, Methodist, Episcopal and Catholic churches participating. Sister Stephanie of St. Ann’s Church was director. Sessions were held in all four churches. The dates were August 16-19 and 23-26, 1971.

In the July Trustee’s meeting a motion was made for Lloyd Slentz to make an informal offer for a small piece of property on our south border which would straighten out our south property line. The motion was seconded and passed. Mr. Slentz found that Mrs. Ryan would sell the land for $1,000.00. The land was eventually purchased but not from Mrs. Ryan. A survey of the property involved is reproduced in the appendix.

The church family in 1971 made a three year pledge of $2,879.00 to the Home Mission Board project to provide funds for Camping, Conferences, and Church Extension (CCC). Robert Lyon was the Chairman for the church.

On July 25, 1971, Mrs. Robert Mapstone, Director of the Cherub Choir and the Youth Choir, was in Green Lakes, Wisconsin, attending the American Baptist Music Conference. On August 8, 1971, the Pulpit Committee engaged Reverend Clarence B. Gilbert, a former Executive Minister of the New York State Baptist Convention, to start as the Interim Pastor on Sunday, September 12, 1971.

The Hillside Play School Day Care Center, Inc. was opened in September 1971 in the educational wing of the church. There were forty 3 & 4 year olds enrolled (full enrollment) and the school was directed by Mrs. Elizabeth Squires, with two full-time teachers and one full-time teacher’s aid assisting. The Incorporation papers were filed in Albany on October 4, 1971.

On October 17, 1971, the Trustees launched the Every Member Canvas Campaign for 1972 with Mr. George Davenport as the leader of a team of 15 men and women. As in the 1970 campaign, money had to be raised for the Building Fund Mortgage as well as for the regular programs and upkeep of the church.

In the Bulletin for October 24, 1971, the Pulpit Committee announced that they had found a candidate for Pastor of the church. “He will lead in the morning worship (October 31, 1971) and preach the sermon. Following the worship service, a special meeting of the church will be held to vote on issuing a call to the candidate.” The Pulpit Committee sent to the members of the congregation a very long resume which included facts concerning Reverend Clayton’s education, his service, his attributes, his attitudes and a summary of appraisals of Reverend Clayton by others. The resume is reproduced in the appendix.

The Board of Deacons arranged for a 24-hour prayer vigil from Friday, October 29, 1971, thru Saturday, October 30, 1971. They asked the congregation to “please sign up for the time of your choice and pray for guidance as we prepare for and decide upon a new pastor of our church.” This was to precede a get-acquainted informal reception on Saturday evening, October 30, 1971, for the congregation to meet Reverend Frank Clayton, his wife, Jean, and daughter, Lori. (Son Philip was in college and not available that weekend.)

On Sunday morning, October 31, 1971, Reverend Clayton visited with the Sunday School and then preached on “Called to Relationships” as his candidating sermon. After the service the congregation met and voted to extend Reverend Clayton a call. Reverend Clayton was “duly elected to the Pulpit” (134 voted yes, 5 no) and was to begin his pastorate in Manlius on January 30, 1972. (January 30 was a special day for Reverend Clayton. It was his birthday as well as the anniversary of his ordination.)

A vote of thanks was extended to the Pulpit Committee for their many hours of service and for bringing Reverend Clayton to us. (In order for the ladies who would ordinarily be working in the nursery or with the younger children during the service to hear Reverend Clayton, women came from Eastern Hills, Christ Church and the Music Department of the Fayetteville-Manlius Elementary School to take their places.)

Reverend Gilbert became hospitalized in late November or early December, 1971, and was no longer able to act as Interim Pastor. A “beautiful” nativity set was given to the church by the Davison family and has been enjoyed every Christmas since. At a special meeting of the Board of Trustees on December 5, 1971, it was announced that the church had received a purchase offer of $17,500 for the Seneca Street property. The Trustees voted to accept the offer. On December 12, 1971, a Special Meeting of the church was called by the Moderator, Sid Mawson, to ratify the decision of the Trustees. There is no record of the meeting but the house was sold. The church retained the playground area and the garden house. The garden house had to be moved several feet to the north to remain on church property.

In the January 16, 1972, Bulletin, the women of the church announced that they were sponsoring a pantry shower for the Claytons. “Please bring non-perishable items to the church by Thursday, January 20.” The Mid-January Christian Carrier reported that the parsonage was ready for the new pastor and family to move in. “The Trustees have been busy putting it in good shape.” The outside was repainted in the fall. Inside, all the hardwood floors were sanded and varnished, and all rooms painted. Members of the Unity Class painted the cellar walls and new tile was laid on the kitchen and bathroom floors.

Reverend John Baker, Dr. Calvin Thompson, former pastor of the Delaware Baptist Church, and Reverend Harrison Williams, Executive Minister of the New York State Baptist Convention, filled the pulpit until Reverend Clayton arrived to preach his first sermon on January 30, 1972, on “Responsible Membership.”

Since January 30 was also Reverend Clayton’s 44th birthday, a Birthday Dinner was served for the congregation after the church service. Mrs. Robert Lyon and helpers prepared the meal and Mrs. Bud Hapeman provided the table decorations. (Mrs. Hapeman had a special talent for making decorations and they were appreciated on many occasions.)

Reverend Clayton’s Installation Service was scheduled for February 13, 1972, at 7:00 p.m. Dr. Thorwald Bender, Dean of the Faculty of the Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary (and Professor of Philosophy of Religion and Theology) delivered the Charge to the Ministers. (He also preached the sermon at the morning service.) Others attending the Installation were Keith Morgan, Mayor of Manlius, Holland Maughn, representing the Iroquois Association, Robert Williams representing the New York State Convention, and Reverend J.R. Buskey representing the local clergy. A reception in the Chapel followed the Service of Installation.

Reverend Clayton introduced himself to the congregation in his Pastor to People Column which would be a feature of every Christian Carrier published during his stay in Manlius. His first introductory column was sub-titled “I Am a Person” and answered some questions typically asked a new pastor.

“ I Am A Person”

Usually the arrival of a new pastor to a church brings a little uneasiness on the part of some members. “Am I going to like him?” “Will he recognize me or will he cater to a special few?” “What shall I call him?” “Can I confide in him?” On and on go the questions in our minds.

Let me set you at ease in regards to some of your questions. First of all whatever makes you the most comfortable in addressing me will be accepted. But I am a person and I do have a name. So please do not just refer to me as Reverend. If you want to use this at least attach Frank or Clayton on to it to identify me as a person. My preference would be to address me just as Frank.

Secondly, you can be assured that whatever is spoken to me in confidence shall remain in confidence by me. I have been trained as a counselor and will be happy to counsel with anyone at anytime about any personal problems.

Thirdly, I am different than any previous pastor of this church. I am a different person. So please do not expect me to be like your previous ministers. There will be things that I do differently. I will make changes from time to time. But I will seek out the counsel and guidance of all church boards in any changes that are made.

Fourthly, I am open to any suggestions, comments, or criticism from anyone at anytime. Please feel free to come to me with your feelings and express them openly. Together we can work them out and be closer because of them.

Fifthly, I will try my best to be impartial in my relationships to each person. But remember that I also am human and just as you become more closely attached to a special friend even so I may become a little more closely attached to a few members.

I seek your prayers as I begin my pastorate with you. You can be assured that my prayers will also be with you and I will try to give my best effort on your behalf.

Frank E. Clayton

In the same newsletter, Reverend Clayton introduced his Five Sweet P’s which describe a good church member. They were:

  1. Prayerful
  2. Present
  3. Participating
  4. Paying
  5. Peaceful

 

The School of Missions followed on Sunday nights from February 27, 1972, to March 19, 1972. Computers were making their mark in modern civilization and the topic of discussion for the School was “Missions in the Computer Age.” Among the leaders were Dr. Abe Lorente, who spoke on the Biological Revolution, and Reverend Clayton, who spoke on “Technology in the New Age.”

In February of 1972, the Board of Deacons and the Board of Deaconesses, separated since 1958, were combined into a single Diaconate Board as recommended by Reverend Clayton and supported by both Boards. For the first year Robert Vermilya and Anna Slentz were elected co-chairmen but for the second and ensuing years, only a chairman (later to be known as a chairperson) was elected.

In the Bulletin of March 19, 1972, the Trustees announced plans for the complete redecoration of the Sanctuary to take place shortly after Easter. It was to be a “do it ourselves” project and the Trustees asked for the help and cooperation of the whole congregation. They wanted the church to look its best for the 175th anniversary.

The project started on May 8, 1972. The walls and ceiling and the woodwork were painted, carpeting was installed, the oak pews stripped and re-finished (a major undertaking led by Frances Davison and Mrs. Charles Whittington), the pulpit furniture was upholstered and the chancel was given a brand new look with draperies, blue velvet, and a cross made of white ash by Lynn Mapstone. In the rest of the church, the “old” Sunday School Rooms, hallways, parlor, the church office, and the Pastor’s study were painted by the custodian.

It was “Show and Tell Time” on April 23, 1972, for the Mother and Daughter Banquet. Margaret Vermilya asked the women to bring handmade items for a Fashion Show, and desserts, also homemade, for a Bakery Window Display. (The desserts were to be eaten at the dinner.)

In the summer of 1972, the Baptists and Methodists met together for 9 Sundays. The Baptists held Summer Sunday School all summer long for all ages in the “air conditioned” chapel at 9:00 a.m. (Church at 10:00 a.m.). Vacation Bible School was held for one week only in 1972, sponsored by the Baptists and Methodists with very little fanfare.

The Church was to be 175 years old in December 1972. It was disappointing that other anniversaries (100, 150, 160) came and went with little notice. For the 175th things were to be different. A 175th Anniversary Committee was chosen by the Advisory Council:

  • Raymond Laning
  • Leah Stark
  • Gertrude Mawson
  • Gene Davies
  • Margo Marris
  • Nancy Bishop
  • Cathy Lyon
  • Robert Lyon
  • Raymond Heller
  • Frank Clayton

They met first on June 7, 1972, to elect a Chairman (Raymond Laning) and Secretary (Leah Stark). Program, Publicity, Hospitality and Transportation Committees were also appointed.

In his Pastor to People column for the Mid-June 1972 Christian Carrier, Reverend Clayton made sure that the church knew it was not just celebrating a birthday but an anniversary. “A birthday comes about because a person has been able to live that long, but an anniversary comes about because people have learned to live together in mutual respect and trust - loving and being loved - forgiving and being forgiven; sharing our sorrows and joys - our failures and successes; and, fulfilling each other as we mature in Christ’s likeness.”

The immediate task of the Committee was to compile the data for a Pictorial Directory. This was a first for the church. 20th Century Publications, Inc., took pictures of the church members. They made money by selling enlargements to those who wanted them. The church received a ten page letter size directory with several pages devoted to church history, complete with pictures, and a pictorial directory of all the members who had pictures taken.

The Committee also decided to have commemorative tiles made with a picture of the church to sell to all who wanted one. The profits would be used to defray expenses of the Celebration. Eighteen dozen (216) were ordered.

In the summer of 1972, the First Baptist Church, The United Methodist Church and Eastern Hills Bible Church arranged for a series of six Sunday evening ecumenical “Community Campfires for Christ.” The services were directed toward the youth and designed for family participation. The programs featured special musical groups, personal testimonies from prominent people as well as local people, and group singing. According to the Deacons, the services “served to foster a spirit of fellowship with other Christians in our community and to bring Christ to the attention of those who may not have met Him.” Rain was at times a problem but the estimated total attendance for six nights was 2,800 people.

Everybody was invited to the Baptist Sunday School, starting July 2, at 9:00 Sunday mornings, to be held in the air-conditioned Baptist Chapel. (“Big ones, small ones, everybody come to the Baptist Sunday School. We’ll have lots of fun.”)

The Lorente Funds obtained from gifts of church members and friends of the Lorentes were used at their request to start a Scholarship Fund and the Deacons were to establish guidelines for its use. (The Fund is still in existence in 1999.)

On August 27, 1972, at the morning worship service Ann Mapstone was commissioned by the First Baptist Church of Manlius as an Ambassador for Christ in Haiti. In September, Ann flew to Haiti to spend a year serving as a practical nurse for the Good Samaritan Hospital in Limbe, Haiti. The Board of Missions set up a fund to aid in her support ($75.00 a month was needed.)

On September 15 and 16, 1972, Reverend Clayton, Norma Dougherty, Robert Vermilya and Charles Beams attended the Key ‘73 Planning Retreat in Marcy, New York. (Key ‘73 was an Evangelical endeavor led by the American Baptist Churches to bring the gospel of Christ to the attention of every person in North America in 1973.)

After the inside redecoration was completed the Trustees turned to the outside of the church. Gordon Noble was hired to paint the steeple, and the east half of the roof on the gymnasium was reshingled. On September 24, 1972, it was reported in the Bulletin that the parking lot had been resurfaced and that Art and Bob Mapstone had removed most of our dead Elm trees. The Trustees moved the garden shed and finished roofing the Parsonage.

On September 29 and 30, 1972, the Board of Christian Education sponsored a retreat for members, Sunday School Teachers and any other interested persons at Vanderkamp on Lake Oneida. Nineteen persons attended this “significant” event. The attendees considered their concerns for the church and Christian Education and explored ways in which they could be more creative in their planning and teaching.

The opening event for the celebration of the 175th anniversary of the founding of the church in 1797 was scheduled for Sunday, October 15, 1972. The Committee started at the top in New York State with their invitations and invited Governor Nelson Rockefeller, Reverend Norman Vincent Peale, Congressman James M. Hanley, and County Executive John Mulroy to participate. The invitations were sent rather late for busy people like the Governor and Reverend Peale, and both sent their regrets because of previous commitments. Fortunately, Congressman Hanley was able to accept. All of our living former pastors were invited. Reverend James MacPherson (Pastor 1923-1928), who was instrumental in building this present church, could not attend, nor could he send a vocal message because he had lost his voice. His grandson, Ronald MacPherson came and read a message from his grandfather. This event, and many other happenings in the church, were well publicized, thanks to Mrs. Ramona Bowden, neighbor of our Secretary Sara Beams and Religion Editor for the Post Standard and its Sunday Empire Magazine.

The 175th anniversary celebration continued on Thursday, October 19, 1972, at the Anniversary Family Night Supper. The program was “In This Our Church,” a play and picture presentation. Mr. Britton Van Auken, Town Supervisor, was a special guest. On Sunday, October 22, 1972, former Pastor and Mrs. Reverend Lawrence A. Wheaton (1938-1945) were guests of the church and Reverend Wheaton spoke on “Joy in Religion.” The Hammonds sent regrets that they could not be part of the celebration on Sunday, November 5, 1972, as planned, but sent best wishes and love to everyone and flowers to the Church Family for the Sunday Service.

On November 19, 1972, a “Thanksgiving For Our Heritage” dinner was served to the church family following the morning service at which Reverend Russell Raker spoke of his association with our church as Interim Pastor and member. Reverend Robert Williams, Area V Minister of the New York State Baptist Convention preached the morning sermon.

The new hymnbooks were in the pews and the Church Family expressed its thanks to the family and friends of the late Charles Cathers for “the lovely new hymnals.” “They will long be a source of joy and inspiration as was the one whose memory we are commemorating.” The hymnals were the New Baptist Hymnal, published in 1972. The Deacons revised the Covenant and it was added to the Hymn Book. The new covenant did not contain the admonition against tattling and gossiping and use and sale of alcoholic beverages.

The year 1972 was a time to reflect on our long history and the members of the church enjoyed looking back at our past and marveling that our church’s ancestors had endured and accomplished such great things. Pastor Clayton’s message in the report for 1973 referred to Paul’s message to the Christian Church in Phillipi, “I leave this part behind and with hands outstretched to whatever lies ahead, I go straight for the goal - my reward, the honor of being called by God in Christ.” Reverend Clayton wrote that “It is very easy to become tied down to the past with its memories. It is necessary that we accept the advice of Paul and meet the demands and challenges of today and look forward to new victories tomorrow.” And so the church moved on.

There was one more Sunday of “looking back” on January 28, 1973. It was the last of the planned events for the 175th anniversary Celebration and Reverend John Baker tied it all together in his sermon “By Hook or by Crook.” (This was to have taken place in December, 1971, but because of the illness of Reverend Baker’s wife, Lucy, it was postponed.)

At the January 18, 1973, annual meeting, Robert Vermilya, representing the Diaconate, asked that the arrangement for one Diaconate Board be continued even though the constitution had not yet been revised to accommodate the reunion. The congregation approved. There was no record of the church being asked for its approval or disapproval but on one of the Communion Sundays in 1973 the women joined the men in serving communion, for the first time in 176 years. There had also been an experimental reduction of the Advisory Council (from a possible 45 members) to a much smaller group which included the Chairman and Vice-chairman and representatives to the Iroquois Association from the four Boards (Trustees, Deacons, Christian Education and Missions), the Moderator, the Church Clerk, and the Pastor (a 15 member Advisory Council). The idea was to make the Advisory Council more efficient and to give more importance to the Iroquois Association, but some members were reluctant to have membership representation vested in a group of 15 which did not include youth and women’s groups. The congregation voted for the Advisory Council to revert to its former configuration.

Another motion was made, seconded, and carried, at the Annual Meeting, that was to reactivate the Constitution Committee. The original Committee members were:

  • Gertrude Mawson
  • Raymond Heller
  • Lloyd Slentz
  • Reverend George Hammond

They had made some recommendations at the Annual Meeting in January 1963, but there was no action at that time. The Committee regrouped with Al Fowler and Irene Whittington replacing Reverend Hammond and providing a fifth member. Ray Heller was retained as Chairman.

In the January newsletter the women of the church were told that the Fayetteville Manlius Directory was ready for delivery. Each woman was to be asked to deliver books to a street or block. Delivery dates were to be on two weekends, January 12-14 and 19-21, 1973.

In the same January, 1973, Newsletter, Reverend Clayton used his Pastor to People column to expand the meaning of his 5 Sweet P’s:

At the beginning of a new year it would be helpful for us to be reminded of our responsibilities as members of 1st Baptist Church. I call these responsibilities the 5 sweet P’s of church membership.

  1. We expect that you will be praying members. Prayer is the life & strength of every Christian. Therefore it is necessary for us to cultivate our prayer life. Pray for your needs & needs of others. Pray for your church.
  2. We expect that you will be present members. Your presence is needed at every worship service & activity of our church. We need you & you need what we have to offer.
  3. We expect that you will be participating members. Each of us has some talent to offer in the service of Christ. We can serve on a Board; or just call on newcomers & shut-ins.
  4. We expect that you will be paying members. The sharing of our income in the work of the church is vitally important to the kinds of programs & activities we can offer. Every Christian ought to accept, as the minimum standard of giving, 10% of all income. If we all gave a tithe, or 10%, there would never be any financial problems in the church.
  5. We expect that you will be peaceful members. That you will work at maintaining the unity of our fellowship. Under no circumstances will you stir up trouble in order to divide or fragment our church into friction. But will always be forgiving & patient looking to Christ for strength and guidance. If we all would strive to adopt these five P’s of church membership - what a great church we would be!

While some of the best words to describe a good church member begin with the letter P, it is equally true for words describing bad behavior, and some of the people’s imagination went so far as to make a list of sour P’s. Some examples were:

  • Parsimonious
  • Pessimistic
  • Pernicious
  • Petty
  • Pallid

There is one kind of member we should all strive to be, but of course won’t succeed in being, and that is a Perfect member.

On February 11, 1973, the Coffee Hour was invented in our church and the members and visitors were advised that starting on February 18, 1973, coffee would be served in the church kitchen from 9:30 to 10:00 a.m. on Sundays for all who would drop in. Weren’t the people supposed to be in Sunday School classes?

Ann Mapstone sent many interesting letters describing her work and life in Haiti and these were published frequently in the Christian Carrier. With her letter for February she sent a poem:

When you get to Heaven
You will likely view
Many folks whose presence there
Will be a shock to you.
But be very quiet
Don’t even stare
Doubtless there will be many folks
Surprised to see you there.

On March 4, 1973, the School of Missions began its 4 week study of “India, One Sixth of All the World’s Peoples.” March 11, 1973, was Youth Sunday with 24 of our BYF presenting the program “Praise the Lord.”

 

Many people, at various times in 1973, continued to be active in the Lay Witness Program and groups from our church went to the Central United Methodist Church of Utica, New York, to the First Baptist Church of Kingston, New York, the United Methodist Church in Greenville, New York, and the United Methodist Church in Verona, New York. Among the participants were Robert Vermilya, Norma Dougherty, Sue Mapstone, Abe and Pam Lorente, Barbara Forringer, Ray Heller, Fred and Roger Strauss, Erman Ferris, Betsy Siegenthaler, Bill Billet, Bill Burt, Helen Fardig and Ann Mapstone.

On April 22, 1973, an offering was taken in the morning service to provide an electric generator for Haiti. The generator was to be dedicated at a service in Hinche, Haiti, and Bob and Shirley Mapstone, visiting their daughter, Ann, were to deliver the money as our representatives.

On May 13, 1973, it was announced that Mrs. Frank Clayton had been named as Chairman of Special Interest Missionaries for the American Baptist Women of New York State. On June 17, 1973, sixteen of our young people graduated from high school.

The Constitution Committee met several times in the Spring of 1963. They divided the Constitution and By-Laws into separate sections and each Board and Committee of the church was asked to review and revise, if desired, the part that came under its jurisdiction. Questionnaires were also sent to interested members of the congregation. From the information gathered, a rough draft was assembled, which was reviewed by legal counsel and executive members of the State Convention.

 

A final draft was prepared and made available to the membership. The revised Constitution and By-Laws were presented on June 21, 1973, to fifty members at a special 4-hour Business Meeting. This was an unusual meeting with Kenneth Phelps as Moderator and Reverend Clayton as Parliamentarian. There was much discussion and further amending. Many votes were taken and some amendments passed and others were discarded. In the end the congregation approved a revised constitution which with the Trustees’ approval was printed and mailed to all church families.

Several of the major changes (already suggested by the 1963 Committee) were:

1. Separation of the Constitution and By-Laws. New rules made it easy to amend the By-Laws but difficult to amend the Constitution.

2. Associate members were no longer described as such. He or she could now serve on the Diaconate Board but could not serve on a Pulpit Committee or vote on matters pertaining to the church’s relationship with the denomination.

Apparently Article 5 on membership created the most discussion. There were some in favor of excluding the classification of associate membership and others in favor of leaving it. Several amendments were proposed and voted on with almost a 50-50 division on each amendment. It appeared that a stalemate had occurred and the constitution might not be passed. The Pastor asked for a little compromise on both sides so that harmony and unity could prevail. A substitute amendment was proposed and after discussion it passed by the necessary 2/3 vote, and then the revised By-Laws and Constitution, as amended, also passed.

The amendment read:

By letter a person who is in substantial accord with the faith and principles of this church as taught in the pastor’s Class, may be received by letter from any Christian Church; it being understood that any person not being baptized by immersion shall be so noted on the official membership records of the church and he/she shall be ineligible to serve on a pulpit committee to call a new pastor, or vote on matters pertaining to the church’s relationship to its denomination.

Reverend Clayton felt that this was a worthy compromise and to those not satisfied he made assurances that he would faithfully present our Baptist views and principles (especially believer’s baptism by immersion) to every person desiring membership in the church. He also promised to challenge those who have not been immersed to seriously consider immersion before bringing their letter from another Christian church. At least they would understand our Baptist beliefs and practices.

Reverend Clayton asked the congregation to now lay aside its differences and to fully cooperate and work together for the cause of Christ in this community. (One member, Lou H. “Bill” Billet, whose wife was apparently an associate member, felt that she had somehow been insulted by some of the comments made. The Billets left the church and we lost a devout, hard-working family.)

The Baptists and Methodists got together again for ten Sundays of joint worship with Reverend Buskey preaching in the Baptist Church and Reverend Clayton in the Methodist Church. There was a Cooperative Vacation Church School for one week held in the Baptist Church from August 20-24, 1973. There were 160 students, plus 30 teachers and helpers. Shirley Mapstone was the director. The school raised $95.00 to send 380 baby chicks to Haiti for the Heifer Project International.

The First Baptist Church of Manlius cooperated again with the Methodists, the Eastern Hills Bible Church and the United Church of Fayetteville for special outdoor services (near the former American Legion Hall Building back of the Fire House) from 7:45 - 9:00 p.m. on July 22, 29 and August 5 and 12, 1973. A choir sang and a special band played music for each night of activity.

 

“Foster Care” wasn’t enough to take full care of Foster Mudge and he left Manlius on August 22, 1973, for the Fairport Home. Forty friends gave him a farewell dinner before he left. He was to celebrate his 84th birthday on September 11, 1973.

Limestone Gardens was called “a dream about to come true.” It was announced in the Bulletin for August 22, 1973, that there was to be a ground breaking for Limestone Gardens on July 31, 1973, at 10:00 a.m. near the Manlius Fire Barn. Limestone Gardens was to be a non-profit housing complex for the well-elderly. (Several of our church members in 1999 live in Limestone Gardens.)

On October 1, 1973, Ann Mapstone spoke to the congregation regarding her work at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Limbe, Haiti. In the Fall, new Pew Bibles were purchased and placed in the Sanctuary. They were purchased with Tom Clute Memorial Funds and dedicated to his memory. There was no Every Member Canvass in the Fall of 1973, in that none of the members were canvassed, but were instead mailed their pledge cards. The members were expected to fill them out generously and send them back to the church without being cajoled or prodded, and for the most part they cooperated.

In October of 1973, the Diaconate instituted a program of communication and fellowship involving every family of the church called The Undershepherd Program (very similar to the Parish Zone plan set up in 1957 for the same purpose). The basic unit was a group of eight families with one family as group leader (called the undershepherds). A group of 5-6 undershepherds would report to a shepherd who would report to Robert Vermilya, the Coordinator. (The Shepherds were usually designated are couples.) We did not have a prayer chain at the time. Any concerns or announcements could be sent up and down through the system. The undershepherd groups were encouraged to meet together at times for a covered dish supper or a picnic or for Bible Study. The program was dropped in the spring of 1974 with no reason given.

Early in 1974 Pastor Clayton, in his People to People article in the mid-February Christian Carrier, wrote about “loosening up” the worship service “a bit.” He felt the Baptists had gone through an evolution from a very informal type of worship experience to a very formal-structural type of worship. He thought we needed a blending of the two. It seemed to him to be necessary for an opportunity to be allowed for spontaneous expressions of joy and concern as well as an opportunity for formal expressions of love and devotion. As a starter, he suggested that we use the time before the service begins to quietly and reverently talk with our neighbor or to go to someone whom we know is a visitor and welcome him and introduce ourselves to him (before the organ prelude).

In 1974, for the first time in many years, there was no School of Missions. A long-standing tradition and by all accounts, a highly successful one, came to an end. The Mission Board intended to extend their efforts at educating the congregation throughout the year. They brought Reverend and Mrs. Harold Heneise to the church on March 3, 1974, to talk to the Sunday School and to lead the morning service. They were given a reception in the church. The Heneises had given 22 years of dedicated service as Missionaries in Limbe, Haiti.

In the mid-April 1974 newsletter, the One Great Hour of Sharing Offering was taken for the first time. It was described as a “special” offering taken by all Christian Churches to alleviate hunger around the world, and became the fourth of the major American Baptist Quarterly Offerings (America for Christ, The World Mission Offering and the M & M Offering).

During the weekend of April 26, 27, 28, 1974, the church was privileged to have Mr. Galo Viteri, a student at the Baptist Judson College in Elgin, Illinois, with us to present three concerts. On April 26 he presented to the congregation a concert of sacred music, on April 27 he sang to the combined Unity and Achean Fellowship, and on April 27 he sang during the worship service and gave a personal testimony.

April 28, 1974, was Bertha Strauss’s last day as church organist. She had served faithfully since 1967. Andrea Knapp was hired as the new organist to begin on Sunday, May 5, 1974.

In May Bob and Margaret Vermilya invited the whole church to attend their daughter Lois’ wedding on Sunday, June 9, 1974, at 2:00 p.m. in the Merril House on the Colgate University Campus in Hamilton, New York, and to the buffet picnic on the lawn after the ceremony. Also in May word reached the Manlius Church that Reverend James MacPherson, pastor of the First Baptist Church from 1923-1928, died on May 7, 1974, in Denver, Colorado.

May was declared Upstate Home Month and church members were asked to donate to the Upstate Home Capital Funds Drive. They were asking for $500,000.00 for a new facility to house and educate retarded children at the home. A May 19, 1974, family night supper was scheduled as an informational meeting. Church members were to receive materials in the mail and were asked to pledge “as the Lord leads you.”

In the mid-May 1974 Christian Carrier the church was introduced to a new neighbor, the ABC (A Better Chance) House at 411 E. Seneca Street (formerly Jo Ryan’s home). The ABC offered ten students, economically disadvantaged but academically motivated, an opportunity to attend the Fayetteville-Manlius High School. ABC was a national program with a 10 year history of giving more than 1300 boys and girls the stimulation of learning in highly motivated environments not normally available to them. (The church has supported the ABC House since its beginnings through the Mission Funds.)

Mrs. Squires resigned as Director of the Hillside Play School effective July 1, 1974. In the mid-June Christian Carrier the new Hillside Play School Director was introduced. Mrs. Julia Tien was born in Shanghai, China, coming to the USA in 1958. She received her BS and MS in Elementary Education with concentration in Early Childhood from Eastern Michigan University. She had been head teacher at the First Presbyterian (Syracuse) Nursery School and a Sunday School Teacher for five years at the University Methodist Church. Her husband was Dr. Chi Tien, Chairman and Professor of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at Syracuse University. Their two daughters, Anita 12 and Ellen 9, attended Manlius Pebble Hill School. Mrs. Tien was interested in reading, music, sports, politics, science, arts and crafts, but “above all, children.”

During May Reverend Frank Clayton was in Atlanta, Georgia, attending a Basic Skills Training Conference (Lay Witness Program). The Vietnam War was over but the wounds were not healed. The F-M Churches sponsored a Week of Reconciliation, Amnesty and Returned Veterans’ Programs. On May 17, 1974, at the United Church in Fayetteville, there was to be a film, “Amnesty in Exile.”

On Children’s Day, June 6, 1974, the Carol Choir, under the direction of Mrs. Robert Mapstone, sang the musical “It’s Cool in the Furnace.” On June 16,1974, to celebrate the beginning of the Summer Season, the church families enjoyed a Chicken Barbecue on the lawn after the church service.

It was noted in the June 16, 1974, Christian Carrier that Foster Mudge, now a resident of the Fairport Home, had written a book, The Rocking Chair Ramblings of an Octogenarian. Copies could be bought from the Church office for $3.00 each. On several occasions excerpts from his writings were published in the Christian Carrier.

On June 30, 1974, the church said goodby to the now Major Abe Lorente, wife Pam and their two children, Miguel and Christine. Abe was serving in the Air Force Hospital in Honshi, Japan, for two years. Abe and Pam were commissioned by Reverend Clayton as missionaries from our congregation to the Japanese. That evening, at 7:30, Leah Stark gave a reception at her home for the Lorentes (and the Andersons, another church family moving away at that time).

From August 5-9, 1974, there was another Ecumenical Vacation Church School sponsored by the Episcopal, Methodist, Lutheran and Baptist Churches, led by Mrs. Shirley Mapstone, and with all of the classes at the Baptist Church. The theme was “Market Time” with a Palestinian market place featured as the center of student activities. There was a special program in the evening for the older children in the 8-12 grades led by Father Armani of St. Ann’s and Reverend Silbauh of the Christ Episcopal Church.

On September 8, 1974, the worship service was definitely out of the ordinary and would involve quite a bit of moving around. At 10:45 the congregation met at the church for communion, then moved to Beard park in Fayetteville for an Ecumenical outdoor worship service. After the service, the Baptists gathered at Pratts’ Falls for an all-church picnic.

A Meal-on-Wheels program was established in 1974 for the Fayetteville-Dewitt area. The program was to be supported by the Fayetteville, Manlius and Dewitt churches. It was a program designed to feed people in their homes (lunches and dinners) who were unable to prepare meals by themselves and would either suffer from poor nutrition or would have to leave their homes for a nursing facility.

The meals were to be prepared in the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church by volunteers under the direction of a paid supervisor and delivered to the homes daily by volunteer drivers. The recipients of the food paid a modest fee for the service. Comstock and Marge Lincoln represented our church at the formation meetings, with many of our church volunteering time once the program was underway in the fall of 1974. Some of the early helpers were Margaret Vermilya, Beth Greene, Katherine Jackson and Doris Dudley.

In the September 1974 newsletter, Reverend Clayton announced to the congregation that September 8, 1974, marked his 20th year in the pastorate. He said that one of the priorities he had set for himself was that he would keep his mind alert to the advances of knowledge and had tried to do that through continuing education, reading and listening. He announced that he felt a need to take another step in sharpening his mind and accumulating a little more knowledge and was entering a program of study leading to a Doctor of Ministry Degree from the Drew Theological Seminary. It was to be done mostly in addition to his duties as minister, but at times would require extra time away from his duties. The schedule was:

Fall & Winter 1974-1975 Weekly 4 Hour Seminars/30 Weeks

January 1975 & February 1975 1 Week each Month at Drew Theological Seminary

in Madison, New Jersey

Summer 1975 6 Weeks at Drew Theological Seminary in

Madison, New Jersey

The degree would take 2 years minimum. After the class work, he would have to write a professional project paper of 125 pages in length.. He hoped the church would bear with him the next two years “as I strive to further equip myself for a more effective ministry.” The Diaconate Board and the Advisory Council supported Reverend Clayton in this endeavor.

On October 9, 1974, the Sunday School Teachers were honored at an all-church Breakfast. The teachers were all given apple pies to take home after the church service.

 

The Financial Campaign for the 1975 Budget began in earnest on October 10, 1974. The theme was “Getting the Message Through,” devised and carefully thought out by our Circuit Riding Preacher Frank Clayton. The dinner and collection of pledge cards centered around the techniques used in 1860 to get the mail delivered between St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California, via the Pony Express. Chester Griffin, who owned and raised horses, rode up to the church (but not in) on Sunday morning on his favorite horse, dressed as a cowboy. His saddle bags were full of messages (pledge cards) for the congregation. Of course, the children (and even the adults) loved to see the cowboy and the horse.

Mr. Griffin delivered the “mail” to eight Circuit Riders (Myrna Benedict, Irene Whittington, James Dopp, Gordon Jackson, Douglas Greene, John Bock, Glen Schmidt and Bill Croshaw, who successfully dropped the mail through their two circuits. Those who got the “mail” were supposed to fill out their card and send the “mail” on to the next people on the list within one hour. Theoretically, the whole church should have been covered before the afternoon was over (if everyone had stayed at home to receive the mail).

In 1974, Dr. Harris gave a fire-proof file cabinet to the church in which to keep its priceless old records, some dating back to the early 1800s. Also in 1974, the Unity Class announced that it had adopted a “son,” K. Jonathon, who lived in the ABC orphanage in Kavail, India. They sent $12.00/month for his support and various members wrote him letters monthly.

In January and February 1975, Reverend Clayton began his new educational experiences by studying one week in January and one in February at the Drew Theological Seminary in New Jersey as requirements for his Doctor of Ministry Degree.

In the Spring of 1975, small groups were being emphasized by the Diaconate for the Lenten Season. Evangelistic Life Style was the Denomination’s 3 year program and the Diaconate organized three study groups. These were:

1. Monday Sermon Study (This must have been Reverend Clayton’s favorite group.)

2. Wednesday Bible Study

3. Sunday Prayer Group

For Holy Week the Diaconate planned a Festival of Life with special programs every weekday evening, Monday through Friday.

Monday - Work and Leisure Fair - Members would provide displays showing what they do at work or at home with their hobbies.

Tuesday - Fun and recreation with games for all ages.

Wednesday - Music Night - all who had musical talents were asked to perform (an earlier version of the Coffee House)

Thursday - A night for the congregation to eat together (although the theme “Eat Less, Enjoy It More” didn’t sound like it was to be like a normal church supper). Communion followed the supper.

In March the Youth For Christ organization (our custodian, Frank Bishop, was the Area Supervisor) requested the use of one of our rooms for office space from the Trustees. Permission was granted. In the Quarterly Report for the church it was noted that the church facilities have had an increase in use and seem to be performing a Christian service for our community.

The BWF women were planning a Bazaar for the fall. It would be called “The Bountiful Barrel Boutique” featuring handmade items. In April the women were already working on items to be sold. Each Thursday evening they met for a workshop to do sewing and patchwork. For the summer, the women were asked to make a few extra jars every time they made preserves or pickles. They were also asked to start small house plants so they would be ready in the fall. (The last Harvest Supper, or Turkey on the Table Supper, as a fund raiser for the BWF was served in 1966.

In May the Diaconate discussed how to provide substitutes for Reverend Clayton during his absence while attending the Drew Theological Seminary for 6 weeks in the summer and during his regular vacation. Erman Ferris reminded the Diaconate that pastors improving their skills and knowledge spending time in school should not have to use their vacation for that purpose.

The Trustees arranged for a covered entry way for the southwest entrance to the Educational Wing of the church (Dick Forringer and Chuck Skinner did most of the work). Frank Bishop resigned as custodian.

One of the major events of 1975 was the ordination of Kenneth Earl Phelps as an American Baptist Minister on June 15, 1975. He was born on July 24, 1950, in Syracuse to Kenneth and Ada Phelps. He was dedicated in the First Baptist Church of Manlius, was baptized and became a member in 1960. Ken was educated in the Fayetteville-Manlius Schools, Eastern Baptist College and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He was to graduate from Seminary in May 1975 and asked to be ordained in his home church. Mr. Phelps met on Saturday, April 5, 1975, with the Iroquois Baptist Association Ordination Committee, and on Sunday, May 17, 1975, with the Ordination Council of the Iroquois Association. (After the Council meets with a candidate it deliberates and votes. While the public is invited to the meeting, only the Pastor and one lay representative from each church can vote. Reverend Clayton and Robert Vermilya represented First Baptist Church of Manlius.) After deliberating and voting the Council unanimously recommend Mr. Phelps to the church for ordination. A Service of Ordination was scheduled for Sunday, June 15, 1975, at 3:00 p.m. Mrs. Robert Davies, Church Clerk, read the Statement of the Council on Ordination, Reverend Clayton preached on the subject “A Genuine Ordination,” Reverend Paul Thompson, Area V Executive Minister, gave the Charge to the Candidate, and Reverend Jerry Miller, Moderator of the Iroquois Association welcomed Reverend Kenneth E. Phelps to the Ministry. Reverend Phelps closed the meeting with the Benediction. A reception followed.

Although the church had ordained at least two other ministers (Charles C. Morton in 1827 and G.W. Devoll in 1854) Kenneth Phelps was the first to have been born to church members and to have been a part of the Manlius church since birth.

In the summer, because of Reverend Clayton’s absence, we reverted to a full 8 weeks of union services with the Methodists. The Vacation Bible School, again ecumenical with the Catholic Church participating, was held from August 4-8, 1975. Mrs. Robert Mapstone was again the Director. The sessions were split again with younger children coming in the morning and Junior and Senior High young people coming in the evening. The theme was “Jesus and His Followers.”

In the summer of 1975 the Trustees received an evaluation statement from the Town Assessor’s Office. The value of the church, including the educational wing, was set at $493,920.00 and the parsonage at $34,125.00.

In September Sandra Walton began her duties as Director of Music. The Music Committee reported that the organist, Millie Becker, was having problems with the organ. (In their yearly report for 1975 the Music Committee informed the congregation of the debilitated state of the Sanctuary Organ and warned them of the upcoming need for a replacement.)

In the fall, the Unity Class became the Unity Fellowship. Since members enjoying the “Fellowship” meetings were coming from more than one adult Sunday School class, to call the group a class was no longer appropriate.

The American Baptist State Convention was attempting to raise $7,500,000.00

from New York State Baptist Churches to be used for the education of minority groups. Because of the Mortgage Reduction Program, the church decided not to make a commitment but would send a letter to the congregation explaining the program and those who felt able to give extra were urged to participate.

Preparations were underway for the “Faith Alive” weekend scheduled for September 17-19, 1975. Erman Ferris had to be away and Ken Bex was added as a third co-chairman along with Leah Stark. A brochure was prepared and people invited from other churches far and near to participate.

There were at least 25 of our church members who were responsible for parts of the program and the brochure, Faith Alive listed 25 adults and 2 youth who came from Kerhonkson, Greenville, Perry, Greene, Schenectady, Oakdale, Mass., Carlisle, Pa. and from the Methodist Churches in Manlius and Fayetteville to lead and participate in the three day program. The themes were:

Friday - Getting to Know You - Family Night Covered Dish Supper

Saturday - We Really Do Need Each Other - Coffee Hour, Men & Women’s Luncheon, Visitation to Shut-ins, Family Night Supper

Sunday - We Need Jesus Christ - Sunday School, Church, Evening Evaluation.

The Church Clerk, Gene Davies, judged the weekend to be a “real success.”

On Sunday, November 16, 1975, in the morning service, Rhoda Edwards was honored for her 18 years of service as Director of the Sanctuary Choir. There was a reception for her in the Fellowship Room for the congregation and friends after church.

The women of the church brought their handiwork and plants and baked goods to the church for sale to the public late in the fall of 1975. The Bountiful Barrel Boutique was a resounding success. The women raised $1,172.66 for the Upstate Children’s Home Building Fund. (The profit from the sale of food went to the Kitchen Fund.)

Foster Mudge died in 1975. His personal creed was published in the 1975 Annual Report of the Church.

My Desire Perfection

My Regret Human Frailty

My Fault Fear

My Realization Others Love Me

My Peace Acceptance

Reverend Clayton gave some illuminating statistics in his annual report to the congregation, which was unusual for a pastor but a good idea. Most members of the congregation (except for his wife) have no idea of the number of calls, the number of meetings and activities that a conscientious pastor is involved in.

1975: Hospital Calls 142

Counseling Sessions 136

Home Visits (Members) 120

(Visitors) 35

Bible Study Groups 38

Sermons 43

Baptisms 14

New Members Received 18

New Members Attending 18

Weddings 7

Funerals 7

Church Meetings Attended 98

Outside Meetings Attended 78

Hours in Office-Study 830

Reverend Frank Clayton designed the cover of the Annual Report for 1975. He used the symbol of a butterfly, once a lowly caterpillar, now beautiful, now free to fly wherever it wanted. Looking at the butterfly from a Christian perspective he saw it “as a live symbol of the Christian life. Birth from captivity to sin and self. Here is symbolized the change, the miracle of new birth, that the Christian experiences in Christ.” He asked that these symbols of the Butterfly, ie.,

Freedom

New life

Love

Growth

Witness

Peace

Liberty

Joy and

Service

be our experience as we celebrate the bicentennial of our nation and the one hundred and seventy-ninth anniversary of our church.

 

 

1976-1981 (Reverend Frank E. Clayton)

The Christian Carrier thought for the New Year was: If at first you don’t recede, diet, diet again. The Trustees, on January 27, 1976, authorized the Kitchen Committee to start remodeling the kitchen. The women had already earned $2,000.00 toward the project. The consensus of the Trustees was that the work should progress as far and as fast as the funds would permit. On February 15, 1976, Ethel Lyon reported to the Trustee Board (she was a member) that about $1,500.00 more was required. The Trustees voted to guarantee the payment for the work, anticipating reimbursement from the congregation and/or the BWF. Chuck and David Skinner did the work. On its completion the kitchen was called a “beautiful and functional room.”

The men of the church were meeting for breakfast each Wednesday morning at 6:30 (15 men were present the 2nd weekend in March). The cooks were said to be “the best.”

The Trustees were working on purchasing a Fire and Smoke Alarm system for the church and were given $1,000.00 from the Hillside Playschool to help defray the cost. (The alarm system was required for the school to become accredited.)

The Trustees were still negotiating for the purchase of a small piece of land now owned by the ABC Board. The eight member Organ Committee, with the Choir Director and Organist as ex-officio members and chaired by Erman Ferris, was looking for a replacement for the 18 year old Conn organ which was showing its age and requiring an unusual amount of service to be kept functioning. The Choirs were re-organized. Sandra Walton, Choir Director, led the Sanctuary and Chapel (grades 6-12) Choirs, Shirley Mapstone, the Junior Choir (grades 2-5).

On April 15, 1976, Maundy Thursday, the Family Night Supper was a celebration by the church family in remembrance of the bi-centennial of our nation (and the 179th anniversary of the church) and in thankfulness for God’s love which made it all possible. The meal was to include foods found on the tables of our forefathers at the beginning of our nation.

Work was already in motion for the 2nd annual Bountiful Barrel Boutique (Nov. 13, 1976). Ethel Lyon was the general chairman. Weekly work nights to prepare items for the sale started in April 1976.

In the May Christian Carrier, Reverend Clayton announced that he had completed all the requirements for his Doctor of Ministry degree with the acceptance of his Project Paper by the Drew Theological Seminary. He graduated on May 29, 1976. Reverend Clayton expressed his thanks to the congregation for the permission to pursue his Doctorate and to all who helped in his professional project. On Sunday, June 27, 1976, Darrel Walton presented Dr. Clayton with a check from the church family to be used to buy a new robe and hood.

In the mid-May Christian Carrier, the BWF reported on their White Cross Work, a vital part of the mission of the American Baptist Women. In early 1976 the National and International Ministries made their wants known and quotas were given to the churches. In 1976 the Manlius women sent overseas five blankets, rolled bandages and money for medical supplies. In the USA and Puerto Rico, they furnished baby layettes, dresses, tee shirts, material, 8 hand puppets, 11 boxes of clothing and money for two blankets.

On June 12, 1976, the Village sponsored a Bicentennial Historic Walking Tour. Our church and its historical artifacts were part of the tour, and the Women’s Fellowship was to serve lunch for whoever would require it. The ladies served chicken salad, a hot roll and a drink for $1.00, pies at 75 cents/slice, or a hot dog, chips and punch for 60 cents. The women served over 300 people and made $327.00 for their projects.

The Diaconate planned a very special service for Sunday, July 4, 1976. The service was patterned after those of the early days of the church. Men and women sat separately. The hymns were sung without music. The words were read one line at a time by Darrel Walton, and the congregation sang one line at a time. The congregation stood for prayer, and an appropriate sermon was followed by “A Bicentennial Proclamation.” Pictures were taken on the steps after the service of those who attended in appropriate 1776 costumes. At two o’clock in the afternoon our church bell was rung, joining others around the nation to let the sound of freedom ring and signify our nations unity.

The New York State Legislature appointed a New York State American Revolution Bicentennial Commission to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the American Revolution. One of the Commission’s concerns was the preservation of historically significant records from New York’s Colonial, Revolutionary and early Statehood years. As part of its work, it sponsored a program to microfilm all significant historical records. Barbara Rivette, Manlius Town Historian, brought the program to the attention of Leah Stark, Church Historian. As a result, many of our old records were microfilmed and the film is on file at the New York State Library in Albany. An attractive feature of the program was that the filming was done on the premises and the old documents didn’t have to be sent away.

In the fall of 1976 the women again met for weekly workshops to prepare items for the Bountiful Barrel Boutique. They earned $1,072.94. Half of the proceeds went to complete the payments for the new kitchen and the other half went to an Agricultural Project in Thailand.

The Hillside Play School was in its 6th year with 82 children enrolled (62 in five morning sessions, 20 in three afternoon sessions). Julia Tien was in her third year as director.

In the fall, Reverend Clayton started an eight week course study for the congregation on Theology and Christian Experience. There was to be a formal presentation each week, after which small groups would discuss, question and evaluate their theology, followed by a whole group summation. In addition, there was to be an afternoon Women’s Bible Study Group, a morning Women’s Prayer Fellowship Group, and on Thursday afternoon, a Bible Study and Prayer Group for men and women.

The Board of Christian Education sponsored Single Parent Group Meetings two times a month in 1976. There was a Summer Sunday School Program in 1976 and the 21st annual Vacation Church School. The theme was “Save a Sheep” and the offerings were to be used to send a sheep overseas through the Heifer Project International.

The Financial Campaign in the fall was headed by Ken Bex. He and his committee were said to have had “a good degree of success.” The church was continuing to meet its mortgage obligations for the new educational annex. At the end of 1976 the church still owed $62,666.19, but the end was in sight. The final payment was to be made October 1, 1981.

Christmas was celebrated with a Plum Pudding Festival at 7:00 p.m. on December 5, 1976, with all choirs participating. The Sunday School also celebrated Christmas with a party for all members and families with a short play, refreshments and presents for the children.

On January 23, 1977, Reverend Baker and wife Lucy left for a one month mission tour of South India with stopovers in Greece and Egypt. They shared their experiences with the congregation on Mission Emphasis Sunday, March 27, 1977.

At the Annual Meeting on January 20, 1977, the Diaconate recommended a change in the time of worship from 10:45 to 11:00 to give more time between church and Sunday School. It was decided to try the change on a trial basis through Easter. The vote was a close 22 for, 21 against. In the March 6, 1977, Bulletin, the congregation was invited to a fellowship time in the library for a cup of coffee, tea, or cocoa between church and Sunday School. On April 21, 1977, the church voted to change back to the normal 10:45 starting time.

In the February 2, 1977, meeting of the Diaconate, the women were concerned with the communion service. They did not ask to help serve communion but wanted to share in the practical arrangements, before and after the service. It was not too long before the women were doing most of the arranging and helping to serve as well.

For a brief time in 1977, when Dorothy Griffin was secretary for the Board of Trustees, the Trustees became gender neutral. Charles Skinner became the Trustee’s Chairperson and Larry Schemmerhorn Vice-Chairperson. The change was apparently a difficult one to make and within a very short time the Chairperson became a Chairman again.

In May 22, 1977, Dr. and Mrs. Abdiel Lorente were back for a visit. They told of their experiences in Bangladesh and Japan at a Sunday Evening dessert meeting.

The Trustees needed help in painting the trim of the church and had the following notice printed in the Bulletin: The Good Book does not say “I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the freshly painted house of the Lord.” But the Board of Trustees would like to think it would be more inviting to newcomers if it were touched up a bit. The Trustees made paint and brushes available to anyone who would like to “buddy up” with one or two others to do some outside trim painting on their own time.

The June 5, 1977, Bulletin included a Psalm of Summer:

Forget not thy church in the days of summer, when the road doth beckon and miles flit by, and new vistas all pleasant before thee; when the sun and the light, the moon and the stars shine with brilliance, and the clouds pass over thy picnic witholding their rain. Let thy heart cheer thee in these days and remember that thy God doth provide all that maketh thee feel glad. Remember also thy covenant with the church not only to be faithful in divine worship but with joy and regularity to make thy contributions to its good work all seasons, yea, even in summer.

Selah.

On June 19, 1977, the Music Committee brought the organ that they were recommending for purchase to the church so that the congregation could see and hear the new instrument, an Allen 301 Digital Computer Organ. After the morning service the congregation met and voted, 72 yes, 4 no, to purchase the new organ at a cost of $10,500.00 with the trade in of the old Conn organ. Raising the money was no problem. It was reported that several large gifts were made for the purpose as well as a matching funds gift for moneys raised from within the congregation. In fact, the organ fund was over- subscribed and the excess funds were used to buy a two octave set of Schulmerich Bells. They arrived in time to be played at the Christmas Eve service.

Also in the June 19, 1977, Bulletin, the congregation received an invitation from the United Church of Ellsworth, Maine, to attend a reception on July 1, 1971, to celebrate Reverend Hammond’s 40th year in the ministry and the Hammonds’ 40th wedding anniversary. Mrs. Marjorie Guckert visited from California from July 2 -15, and on Sunday afternoon on July 10, 1977, the Slentzes invited the church to an open house in her honor at their camp on DeRuyter Lake.

On August 14, 1977, Enos Heisey, an ordained minister in the Church of the Brotherhood and a member of our church and Diaconate Board, preached the sermon. On October 2, 1977, there was a “walk for money” drive, one of the first “walks” our church was involved in. The “Walk with the Hungry” was an “opportunity to share our plenty with 1/2 billion hungry people,” a predecessor to today’s CROP Walk.

While Reverend Clayton in 1974 advised the congregation to “loosen up a bit” the worship service, and to talk quietly and reverently with neighbors and visitors before the service, the congregation may have gone too far. In September 1977, the Diaconate was making suggestions to stress quiet in the sanctuary before services.

On October 16, 1977, Ed Doubleday completed 11-1/2 years as Church Treasurer and he was honored at a dinner in Loomis Hall. On February 27, 1977, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Chuck Skinner, reported that the piece of land that the church had been trying to buy for several years, first from Mrs. Ryan, then from the ABC Board, finally belonged to the church. The cost was $1,000.00.

Reverend Clayton reported having made 157 home calls, 274 counseling sessions and 185 hospital calls among his activities for 1977. He also had completed a three year term as director for the Fairport Home (Baptist) and was elected to serve another three years. He was also Chairman of the Evangelical Committee for the New York State Baptist Church. The Trustees and the Church Treasurer were pleased that 1977 was the sixth straight year in which the church had ended in the black with all its bills paid.

There were changes in the Music Department in 1977. In October, Sandra Walton resigned as Director of Music, and later Millie Becker resigned as Organist. Charles Struwing was hired as Director of Music and Charles, wife Arlene and daughter Katrina were welcomed at a reception on November 17, 1977. On December 18, 1977, another Plum Pudding Festival was the Christmas program. All choirs participated and plum pudding was served.

By January 15, 1978, the organ had been installed and was ready to be dedicated. At 3:30 in the afternoon, Theodore J. Purchla demonstrated what the organ could do, and afterward Geoffry S. Waite, organist and Choir Director for the Redeemer Covenant Church in Liverpool, New York, gave a concert. The organ was paid for by June 1978. Beginning February 9, 1978, nine different Lenten Bible Study Groups met in the homes for a five-week study, sponsored by the Diaconate Board.

On February 19, 1978, the church welcomed Kyle Denzer as the new church organist. Kyle was a student at LeMoyne College, majoring in Political Science. He had studied piano for 11 years. During the past year he had served as substitute organist for five area churches. The Music Committee, in their introduction of the new organist to the church wrote: “You will find Kyle to be a very personable young man who will work hard at developing his skill at the organ.”

On February 24-26, 1978, the highly promoted Young Adult Weekend called Christ Jesus 1978 took place. Friday night at 8:00 there was a volleyball game, on Saturday from 2:00 - 5:00 the First Annual Snow Sculpture Contest (also for the children). At 6:00 in the gym there was a pot luck supper for the Young Adults and the children. And at 8:00 in the library (the children went home to babysitters) the theme was Christ Jesus of 1978. A fire in the fireplace was promised and participants were asked to bring favorite records, tapes and musical instruments.

Sunday morning was Breakfast Time, 9:30 Sunday School, 10:45 Church with young adults participating and at 6:00 Dinner again, this time with the members of the Gordon College Choir who presented a concert at 8:00 p.m. Leah Stark was chosen to be the mother and the hostess for the dinner. The Young Adult Committee was Jill Davis (now Mrs. Robert Doss). Nancy Verro, David Skinner, Robin Schermerhorn and Carol Bellefeuille.

The trips to the Mission Fields continued and on March 14, 1978, Elmina and Russ Raker talked to the Family Night Supper sponsored by the Women’s Fellowship about their trip to Haiti. The women were supposed to wear peasant type dresses.

On Sunday, March 5, 1978, the guest speaker was Reverend Bill Brown, who brought with him a musical group called “The Now Dimension.” Reverend Brown stayed all day and had a “rap session” with the youth at 2:00 and an adult session at 4:00. All participants were asked to bring an uncooked casserole, which would be cooked in the church kitchen for a covered dish supper at 6:00. At 7:30 the “Now Dimensions” gave a concert in the sanctuary.

In March part of the old church ceiling was insulated and eight people helped. The committee noted that “There are many awards for doing work for the Lord.” (The work was completed on December 30, 1978.)

In April and May of 1978, the Salt City Playhouse was featuring Bob Brown as the lead in their presentation of Jesus Christ Superstar. This was mentioned in the church bulletin because Bob Brown grew up in this church and sang or played for many special programs in our sanctuary.

At the May 16, 1978, Diaconate meeting, plans were discussed for two wheelchair ramps for the handicapped, disabled and elderly of our congregation and community.

Many feelings were expressed pro and con on the clapping of hands during the service. Other channels for expressing thanks and gratitude were mentioned, such as saying Amen, Praise the Lord, Alleluia, etc. It was agreed that no single plan would make everyone comfortable and it was decided to give the matter more thought and much prayer.

The Trustees were conscious of the need to save energy and having added insulation above the sanctuary and old Sunday School Rooms were now desirous of supplying storm windows for all of the windows of the old church (except for the large sanctuary windows). They asked for donations and received $945.00 by May 14, 1978. The windows were installed by Bob Siegenthaler.

The Board of Education had been interested in a Christian Education Director for years. In the May 14, 1978, bulletin there was a large “legal sized” copy of an interview with Joe Nichols who had apparently been hired to work with the youth of the church, for three months in the summer of 1978.

In May 1978 it was announced that John Baker had retired again, this time as Interim Executive Minister for the New York State American Baptist Churches. On June 11, 1978, Reverend John Baker accepted a position as Associate Pastor of the First Baptist Church in Syracuse, effective June 20, 1978. The Manlius Church offered “our love and best wishes to Reverend Baker and Mrs. Baker as they begin this new stage of their lives.”

On June 11, 1978, the Carol and Cherub Choirs, directed by Shirley Mapstone, presented a musical for the celebration of Children’s Day called Jonah’s Tale. Helen Fardig created the whale and the boat. The women were making plans (and things for sale) for the fourth annual Bountiful Barrel Boutique scheduled for November 4, 1978.

The Baptist Women’s Fellowship had been, during the last two years, babysitting for the Fayetteville-Manlius Welcome Wagon Club, not only to raise money for their projects but to possibly interest some of the newcomers in our church. The Welcome Wagon Club leaders expressed their delight in the quality of care given the children.

In June the Board of Trustees hired David Skinner to be the new custodian. This was the beginning of a long period of dedicated and conscientious service to the church by one of its younger members. Also in June, 1978, the Diaconate was making preliminary plans to install wheel chair ramps for two entrances of the church for the handicapped, disabled and elderly of our community.

In the July 1978 Christian Carrier, Reverend Clayton announced a plan to organize the congregation into a Caring, Ministering, Congregation Model. Reverend Clayton’s role was to be preacher, teacher, trainer and equipper of lay persons for this ministry.

Reverend Clayton, assisted by three lay leaders, Ray Heller, Enos Heisey, and Bob Vermilya, would have twelve lay persons reporting to him. They were to be well trained in twelve sessions and a weekend retreat. Each lay person was to be in charge of 3-4 communicators, each communicator to be responsible for four church families. The lay assistants were to be the contact persons for those families assigned to them and to be responsible for helping them to receive ministry. When the plan was first announced from the pulpit, the 12 lay persons mentioned were exclusively male. One of our active, outspoken and very capable younger members, Doris Dudley rose from her seat in the congregation and voiced her displeasure with the exclusion of women from the list of 12. Reverend Clayton heard the message and in the Christian Carrier announcement listed 5 men and 5 women as lay leaders, later increased to 6 men and 6 women. Each lay leader was to have four lay assistants and each lay assistant was to be responsible for four church families. The lay assistants were to be the contact persons for those families assigned to them and to be responsible for them to receive ministry. It was hoped that every family of the congregation would be in personal touch with the church in some way. This was similar to previous plans (The Parish Zone Plan and the Shepherding Plan) which were of very short duration, probably because there were too many layers between the families and the pastor (licensed lay leaders, lay leaders and assistant lay leaders). In most cases of need, families want a direct contact with the pastor. (This brings to mind a favorite game of those years when pieces of information were sent verbally but quietly from one person to another around a circle. The message is usually garbled in a hilarious fashion when the last circle member repeats it vocally.) From this plan did come the telephone prayer chain where news of our members (misfortunes usually) would be disseminated by telephone to interested members. Even this chain was not totally effective because people involved in the chain were not always home to receive the calls and pass the information to others. Now, with the computerized system devised by Dave and Sandy Haase, and the proliferation of message recorders in the homes, the system works very well.

Reverend Clayton set up a School of the Bible to provided training for Christian Leaders in the fall of 1978. It was an ambitious program with 52 sessions (two 55 minute sessions each Sunday evening) for the fall, winter and spring terms. There were to be courses in Bible and Doctrine, Practical Christian work, Systematic Theology, Biblical Language, and more. Examinations would be given and certain combinations of courses would be required to earn a Certificate of Learning. It sounded like college but there was no tuition. There was no mention of the number of students involved. The school was apparently not resumed in September 1979.

Lucia Ernst took a trip to Pakistan in the summer of 1978 to visit her daughter’s family (she had married a Pakistani). Lucia came back to tell of her adventures as “a pampered American in Pakistan” to the BWF meeting on September 12, 1978.

The old boiler failed and, in September 1978, Lloyd Slentz and his crew broke it up into manageable pieces so that it could be taken out on the street for disposal. A new boiler was promised in time for cold weather. Finishing touches were done on a Saturday, and that night, Lloyd Slentz and Ray Heller kept watch all night to be sure the church would be warm for Sunday morning services. Since the cost of the new boiler had not been budgeted, prayerful contributions to a boiler fund would be “most appreciated” by the Trustees.

On September 17, 1978, the Diaconate discussed the use of wafers for the Communion Service instead of bread. Reverend Clayton brought some samples of wafers to the meeting (cost $8.50/1000). In their October 17, 1978, meeting the Diaconate voted unanimously against using wafers.

In October the women were warned not to let Jack Frost “get” the plants they were raising for the Bountiful Barrel Boutique. In the Diaconate meeting of October 17, 1978, it was reported that Evangelist Larry Taylor from Texas was to conduct a campaign in our church from Sunday morning, September 16 to Friday night, September 21, 1979.

The congregation responded to the call of the Trustees for help, and by October 22, 1978, $3,023.25 had been donated to the Boiler Fund. (The congregation was very generous in 1978. The organ, the storm windows, and the boiler, all special projects, were paid for by extra giving.)

Friends from the First Baptist Church painted the home of Mrs. Rena Sutliff on November 11, 1978. She was grateful to know that there are those who still care for their fellow man and who show their love for God through their love for others. She wrote that she “would never forget your concerns and actions.”

On Sunday, November 18, 1978, from 1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. the Board of Christian Education extended an invitation to the parents of Middle School and Senior High Sunday School students to lock themselves in with their children for

  • A Happening
  • A Family Sharing
  • A Family Experience
  • An Experience of Love.

It was to be an opportunity for families to “Lock IN” their hearts, actions and thoughts together with Christ Jesus for a day of commitment, reflection and love.

In their November 21, 1978, meeting, Reverend Clayton introduced “Ritual of Fellowship” pads to the Diaconate. “What Ritual of Fellowship” had to do with people registering their attendance was not explained. The Diaconate voted to give them a trial. They have been used at different times since then, but considered a nuisance and ignored by many of the congregation.

The women’s Bountiful Barrel Boutique was another success. They reported a profit of over $1,200.00. Their report for 1978 did not mention how the money was to be used.

In the 1978 Annual Report the Board of Christian Education reported on a ministry to a group of retarded boys. Linda MacLennan was employed as house-mother for these boys living in a neighborhood home. Linda, with the assistance of Caroline Wenck, brought the boys to part of several church services and introduced them to the Sunday School atmosphere. The Board of Christian Education felt that this was a good experience for the boys and helped make them feel wanted again.

The church started the New Year with a Family Fun Night Supper on January 10, 1979. Families brought chili for the pot and a salad to pass. For entertainment the families had a choice of volleyball in the gym or a fire-side song fest in the library.

The wooden frame for the bell was broken and our church bell could not be rung for a time. Lynn Mapstone repaired it and the bell was ringing again on Sunday mornings.

Reverend William Carlsen and his wife Gail and sons Mark and Andy joined the church. Reverend Carlsen was in the Field Counselor Division, World Mission Support, Syracuse office, ABC, USA.

On March 4, 1979, the Sunshine Award was given to Don Ebersol. In the citation written in the March newsletter quotes from seventeen different unnamed people testified concerning his character. He was “gentle,” “giving,” “quiet and compassionate,” “there when needed,” “a Christian at work,” has an “interest and concern for other,” “he radiates God’s love around him” and “he does things quietly” were several of the reasons people felt strongly that Don Ebersol was a deserving recipient of the award.

It was announced that Marjorie Guckert had been accepted for missionary service with the Mission Aviation Fellowship at the home office in Fullerton, California, as Manager of General Services. MAF provided air transportation for missionaries serving in remote parts of the world.

Sunday, May 12, 1979, was designated Blanket Sunday. Four dollars would provide a blanket for people in need overseas. (Blanket Sunday has been observed ever since.)

In June, 1979, the church received notice that it would be receiving $20,000.00 from the Lucretia Davis Jephson Estate. $15,000.00 was set aside for church projects and $5,000.00 given to the Mission Board for use in support of mission.

The 23rd annual Vacation Church School was held August 13-17 with the Christ Episcopal, United Methodist, First Baptist and St. Ann’s churches participating. Shirley Mapstone and Pat Connor were co-directors. The mission project was to send 10 rabbits to Central America (Heifer Project, Int.) The children, with their contributions, had over the years sent sheep, bees, heifers, rabbits and goats overseas.

The Every Member Canvass Committee for 1979 was chaired by Carol Bellefeuille, with Ray Heller, Robin Schermerhorn and Charles Skinner on the Committee. The level of pledges obtained was the highest in the history of the church.

At some time during Reverend Clayton’s ministry (the minutes available have not yet revealed the exact year), he sent all of the members a round TUIT, a wooden disk the size of a silver dollar with TUIT printed on one side and First Baptist Church of Manlius, NY on the other. Reverend Clayton explained what it was for:

[TUIT Piece here] TODO

Reverend Clayton defined “revival” as a stirring up of religious faith among those who have become indifferent. The Diaconate Board provided the church with an opportunity for having its faith revitalized during the week of September 16-21, 1979. The church was to hold a Crusade For Christ with Reverend Larry Taylor of San Antonio, Texas, as guest preacher. To prepare for the revival, the church was open from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. every day for prayer in the Sanctuary from August 27, 1979, until the time of the revival. Cottage prayer groups were also set up two weeks before the Crusade and there was to be a 24 hour prayer vigil starting on September 14th at 6:00 p.m.

Reverend Taylor spoke at the morning service on September 16 on “The Road to Revival” and every evening from Sunday to Friday at 7:30. By Thursday night 30 first-time decisions for Christ had been made, and 22 people came forward for assurance of salvation and rededication.

In 1979, a fire alarm system with a direct line to the Police Department was installed. The Hillside Play School contributed $1,500.00 and $3,000.00 was used from the Jephson Estate. On November 4, 1979, a Certificate of Recognition was awarded to Lloyd Slentz at the annual meeting of the Iroquois Association for 25 years of faithful service. On Saturday, November 10, 1979, the lid came off the Bountiful Barrel Boutique and it was a success again with $1,051.97 profit to be used for missions, local needs and the Bacone College Rehabilitation Fund. (Bacone is the Baptist Indian School in Muskegee, Oklahoma.)

In the 70’s and 80’s, the church lost many of its retired members to the South because of better weather and lower taxes. Among those leaving were Bob and Jean Davies, Chet and Dorothy Griffin, Bob and Ethel Lyon, Charles and Sara Beams, Bill and Betty Croshaw, Enos and Jane Heisey (south to Pennsylvania), Stan and Lydia Olsen, and John and Lucy Baker. They were all very active members and were missed.

Christmas in 1979 was celebrated with all of the church choirs participating in the traditional Plum Pudding Festival. This was to be the last in a series that started in 1976.

On January 27, 1980, the First Baptist Church of Manlius celebrated the 25th anniversary of the ordination of Dr. Frank Clayton. The sermon for Sunday morning was delivered by Reverend Dr. Arthur L. Whitaker, Executive Minister for the American Baptist Churches of New York State. After a reception in the Chapel, Loomis Hall was filled to overflowing for the dinner and program. Dr. Clayton was presented with a “Memory Book” of letters of congratulations, a “wishing well” offering from the Sunday School children, and a purse from the church families. Member of Reverend Clayton’s family were here, including brothers, sisters and his father. According to the January newsletter: “It was a day of joy, pride, fellowship and sharing.” Carol Bellefeuille, chairman of the committee wrote a poem commemorating the occasion.

[POEM HERE] TODO

Carol also wrote a “Portrait of a Pastor” for the occasion which gave a little more personal information about Frank Clayton than was given in his resume presented to the congregation by the Pulpit Committee in 1972. She reported that Reverend Clayton had ten brothers and sisters: Minnie Jane, Marie, William J., Martha, Mary Louise, Charles, Ethel, John, Robert and Henry L., a twin to Reverend Clayton. Carol also wrote that some of Reverend Clayton’s favorite past-times were golfing, oil painting, woodworking, scuba diving, canoeing and camping.

Congressman James Hanley was responsible for the insertion of a tribute to the First Baptist Church of Manlius and its Pastor, Frank Clayton into the Congressional Record. There is a copy of his remarks in the Historical Collection of the church. This was on the occasion of celebrating Reverend Clayton’s 25 years in the pastorate. Congressman Hanley made the interesting observation that it was in 1927 that the cornerstone of the new Baptist Church in Manlius was laid, and that in 1927 Frank Clayton was born. Congressman Hanley remarked that while this could be called a mere coincidence, an examination of the love and admiration which the church flock and pastor have for one another today, it seems they were made for each other. (It was this kind of attention to the interests of his constituents that made the Democratic Congressman Hanley invincible in this usually Republican Congressional District.)

In his People to People column in the February 1980 Christian Carrier, Reverend Clayton reminded us of his 5 P’s of church membership and suggested 5 F’s of “Christian Maturity” for helps in this decade of the 80’s.

They were:

  • Faith
  • Family
  • Fortitude
  • Friendship
  • Fruitfulness

Hillside was taking steps to have its legal name changed from Hillside Play School Center, Inc., to Hillside Nursery School, Inc., a name which more correctly described the Hillside program. According to Millie Skinner, a Christian Day Care Center was in its formation stages and the congregation was asked to fill out information sheets.

In March, the BWF provided the food service for the annual Manlius Historical Society Antique Show of March 29-30, 1980. This was a fund-raising project for the BWF. Women were already preparing items for sale at the 1980 Bountiful Barrel Boutique. Edith Laning recaned some of the church’s old caned chairs. Catherine Sperry celebrated her 97th birthday. Peter Seibel, former custodian, was found dead in his home early in March. Sara Beams (Church Secretary) wrote that “Peter went to work at the age of 12, knew hard times and worked hard all his life. He saved his money by doing plumbing, electrical work and carpentry. His values and standards were high.” She learned to admire and feel very close to this “sometimes gruff, critical but kindly old gentleman.” “After retiring Peter seemed to withdraw - would not come back - several of us kept in touch. He lived alone many years but I do not feel he was lonely. I sensed contentment and a biding of time. I feel the loss of a good friend.”

In the spring of 1980 window boxes for the front of the church were made and installed by David Skinner. They were a memorial given by the Unity Fellowship for Comstock Lincoln who died in May of 1979.

In June 1980 it was announced that the United Methodist Church and the Baptists would share Sunday School as well as ten worship services during the summer. The 24th annual Ecumenical Vacation Bible School was held for two weeks in August 1980, with Shirley Mapstone as the director and 181 students and teachers participating.

The church was still concerned about its early history and it was noted in the Christian Carrier that Mr. Stillwell was nominated and elected unanimously Superintendent of the Sabbath School The first time Sunday school was mentioned in the church minutes was on August 5, 1848, 132 years ago.

The Trustees came forward with plans to replace the floor in the gym, install new lighting fixtures and paint the walls and ceiling. The projects were to be paid for from their $15,000.00 share of the Lucretia Davis Jephson legacy that was received in 1979.

For several months preceding the Diaconate meeting of November 10, 1980, the Diaconate Board and Pastor Frank Clayton had been in agreement about the value of having some directional signs erected in the village to let visitors know just where the church was located. By November 10, 1980, the Village Board had not yet responded to the request of the church for permission to erect the signs. Reverend Clayton was upset with the lack of response and indicated to the Diaconate that he would advise the Mayor that the church intended to put the signs in place in the absence of an official denial. In December the Diaconate Board decided to go ahead with the procurement and erection of two signs at the corner of Pleasant Street and Route 92.

In December Reverend Frank Clayton received the Silver Beaver award from the Hiawatha Council of Boy Scouts. This is the highest award a local Council gives. He also received a pin the same week from the Red Cross for donating a total of 9 gallons of blood.

Douglas Cunningham, a student at Andover Newton Theological Seminary in Newton Centre, Massachusetts, was voted by the church a Certificate to Preach the Gospel at the October Business Meeting. He was to deliver the sermon on January 11, 1981, while Reverend Clayton was away on vacation.

By February of 1981, Reverend Clayton had received a letter from the Mayor of Manlius, “Arkie” Albanese, denying the church permission to erect a sign (more than a year after the request was made). Reverend Clayton reported to the Diaconate on February 9, 1981, that he had written a reply to the Mayor, informing him that the church had already ordered a signs and when they came the church would put them up and if the Village took them down the church would bring suit against the Village for discrimination and an unlawful interpretation of Department of Transportation regulations.

On March 9, 1981, it was reported that the signs had arrived. Lloyd Slentz was to put them up on a post already in place at the corner of Pleasant and Fayette Streets. The last report was that the signs were not yet in place on June 8, 1981. This is a story that we don’t have an ending for, although the signs were likely put up and at some time rusted away and were removed.

On Boy Scout Sunday, February 8, 1981, the Charters for Troop and Pack 215 were presented to the church and then Mr. James Dopp, Commissioner for the Limestone

District, called on Mr. David Wendel, Executive Director of the Hiawatha District, Mr. David Tessler, Cub Master of Pack 215, and Elwin Richardson, member-at-large of the Limestone District of the Hiawatha Council, to assist him in presenting the Good Shepherd Award (given to Baptist clergy or lay-persons for distinguished service and leadership in physical, spiritual and moral programs of Scouting) to Reverend Frank Clayton. (Reverend Clayton was an earlier recipient of the Silver Beaver Award and had been active in Scouting since 1939.) He was described as “a man who cares, who is concerned, who is sharing, and truly evident of all the principles of Scouting.”

In February 1981 the Rescue Mission held its annual Pie Festival. Over 100 men and women enjoyed homemade pie after their prayer service. Women from the First Baptist Church of Manlius contributed 22 homemade pies.

A Macedonian Ministry weekend was held March 6,7, & 8, with the theme (borrowed from the Telephone Company) “Reach Out and Touch Someone.” Coordinators for the weekend were Ruth and Ward Bailey of Schenectady, New York. General Chairpersons were Garry Roorda and Bill Lyon. Dr. Laura C. Harris was honored on April 24, 1981, by the award of an honorary degree from her alma mater, Dennison University in Granville, Ohio, on the occasion of Dennison’s 150th anniversary.

In April of 1981, after 12-1/2 years of service, Sara Beams decided she would like freedom from the commitment of a working week and resigned as Church Secretary. (This was a long time. While she was secretary she worked with two ministers, an interim pastor, three choir directors, four organists and seven custodians.) Sara wrote that the church had been a very special part of her life and that there was no way she could tell us how much the church meant to her. She wrote movingly about the special place that is the church on weekdays when it is alone.

”If you really want to know your church, drop in some bright, sunny morning - walk into the Sanctuary and listen - it talks to you - tells of memories of those who worshipped long ago - it breaths - it sighs, creaks and groans. I love sounds - and know most of them in the building - like listening to the water fill the baptistry in preparation for a service, hearing the muffled sounds of the pastor counseling with a bride and groom, the sound of the floor polisher, the basket ball bouncing, the organist practicing, Hillside children singing, the aroma of good food from the kitchen - this is part of the church to me - it’s the feeling that God lives here and so do I. It’s the people - it’s my home. I have given you my talents and my love - but have received so much more - so much more. It is part of my life that I will always cherish.”

Sarah Poff was hired as Church Secretary. Like Sara Beams, the new Sarah was from the south and also retained a bit of Southern accent in her speech.

On Sunday, May 24, 1981, Reverend Clayton announced his resignation as pastor to become the Minister of Evangelism and Churchmanship for the American Baptist Churches of Maine. According to Carol Bellefeuille, Reverend Clayton, in a voice broken with emotion, said simply to the congregation: “On September 1st I leave you to follow His will in my life. I love each one of you and because of this love it will be hard to leave you.” He followed up his verbal resignation with a letter in the Christian Carrier:

[first letter here.] TODO

He followed that letter with a message in the August Christian Carrier in which he told about some of the strengths of growth in the last 9-1/2 years.

[2nd letter here] TODO

Reverend Clayton preached a farewell sermon on August 9, 1981, on “Objectives in Christian Living.” The church programs continued during the summer. Combined services were held with the Methodists during July and August, an ecumenical Vacation Church School, the 25th annual, was held for one week. Shirley Mapstone was again the director. The project was to send pigs to Central and South America.

The August 1981 Christian Carrier noted that a Christian Day Care Center was to open in the Community Covenant Church beginning on September 1, 1981. The seed for this school was said to have been planted by Millie Skinner and she worked and prayed for its establishment.

On August 13, 1981, the congregation gathered for a Clayton Recognition Dinner. The Claytons were given an original oil painting of the church as a farewell gift.

Statistics from Reverend Frank Clayton’s Pastorate 1972 - 1981
  Church Members Average Church Attendance
January 1972 463 191
January 1977 481 170
January 1981 490 177

*included Jephson Legacy In addition, the congregation met its $14,952.00 yearly payment for the mortgage.

Giving/Member
  General Fund Missions
1972 91.31 33.87
1977 101.13 39.59
1981 131.09 53.80*
Mission Giving - 1972
ABC Basic Missions $10,585.80
Iroquois Association 500.00
NYS Council of Churches 100.00
Protestant Community Ministry 100.00
Psalm 500.00
Bacone College 100.00
Benedict Mather 100.00
Eastern Seminary 350.00
Fairport Home 800.00
Upstate Children’s Home 500.00
Rescue Mission 600.00
Local Missions 50.00

Women’s Love Gift $338.66
America for Christ 811.58
World Fellowship 978.00
One Great Hour 759.35

Unity Fellowship - Orphan $130.00
Haiti - Rev. Heneise 103.15
Upstate Home Appeal 159.00
Jamestown Flood 5.00
Fund of Renewal 80.00
Tab Magazine 260.00
Haiti 440.00
Eastern College Choir 135.00
Thailand 557.85
TOTAL $19,043.89
Mission Giving - 1981
ABC Basic Missions $12,000.00
Psalm Fund 1,200.00
Tab Magazine 315.42
Rescue Mission 520.00
Iroquois Association 260.00
  87.00
ABC House 173.79
Contact Counseling Ministries 173.79
Bacone College 173.00
Benedict Mather College 173.00
Eastern Seminary 347.00
Fairport Home 694.00
Upstate Home 433.00
America for Christ 938.08
One Great Hour 826.65
World Fellowship 1,644.47
Thank You Offering - M&M 772.04
Women’s Love Gift 340.40
Haiti 240.00
Mission Care 555.00
Evangelical Seminary, P.R. 1,000.00*
Camping ABC/NYS 2,408.55*
Bibles - Zaire 500.00*
Pastors, E.Europe, Books 500.00*
TOTAL $26,362.19

1989 (Reverend Paul. Bailey)

There was a gap of approximately four and one-half months between Reverend Johnson’s surprising announcement on May 16, 1988, of his impending resignation as Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Manlius, and his departure from Manlius on September 26, 1988. This unusually long time gave the Church a head start in its efforts to find a new Pastor to succeed Reverend Johnson.

The transition process began very early with Sumner Grant of the Baptist State Office in Syracuse attending a May 26, 1988, meeting of the Church Advisory Council. He offered to consult with and guide the Church in forming a Pulpit Committee and to help them begin their search for an interim Pastor, and ultimately a full time Pastor.

The By-laws of the First Baptist Church of Manlius directed that the Search or Pulpit Committee be comprised of one member chosen from each of the four Boards (Diaconate, Trustees. Christian Education, and Mission) by the members of each Board, and three from the Church-at-large, to be chosen by the Advisory Council.

In order to enable the choice of effective Pulpit Committee members, the Boards and the Advisory Council were asked to consider how the prospective members measured up to the following criteria:

  1. The depth of the individual’s Spiritual Life through the operation of the Holy Ghost.
  2. The level of the individual’s commitment to the Church.
  3. A willingness to commit the time necessary to complete the long and   sometimes difficult process.

The Committee should include the following:

  1. Older people who know the history of the Church and its traditions.
  2. Younger people who represent the new life of the Church, and hopes for the   future.
  3. Men and women, i.e., all dimensions of Church life.

The Boards had anticipated these requirements and had already chosen their representatives, however, one can be assured that the members chosen readily met all of the proposed standards. The members chosen by the Boards as their representatives were:

  • Diaconate: Ken Wales
  • Trustees: Raymond Heller
  • Missions: Grace Short
  • Christian Education: Kathy Clements

In addition to the Board members the Constitution required that three at-large members be chosen by the Advisory Council to complete the seven member Committee. Ray Heller moved (Lloyd Slentz seconded) that a Sub-committee comprised of the Church Moderator and the Chairs of each Board be appointed to receive and screen the at-large nominations for the three vacancies. The motion was carried. Six names were eventually submitted to the Sub-committee. Three were rejected: Rick Heller because his father was already a Committee member, and two others because they asked to have their names withdrawn. The remaining three, Ross Binder, Betsy Burt and Sandra Haase, were unanimously selected to complete the membership of the Pulpit Committee.

Pulpit Committee
RAYMOND HELLER TRUSTEES- CHAIRMAN
KEN WALES DIACONATE
GRACE SHORT MISSIONS
KATHY CLEMENTS CHRISTIAN EDUCATION
ROSS BINDER AT-LARGE
BETSY BURT AT-LARGE
SANDRA HAASE AT-LARGE

There were several optional pathways available for the Church to take in choosing its new leadership, but the first step was to choose an interim Pastor. The traditional method was to find a free-lance Baptist Pastor (usually retired) from the area. The other possibility was to join the Ministry-at-Large program of the ABC/NYS. He or she would be provided housing by the local Church and would lead the Church until a permanent replacement could be found. The salary and conditions of employment would be arranged by the ABC/NYS. The Manlius Baptists were fortunate to be able to hire a local retired Baptist Pastor, who would not have to be moved to the area and provided housing, and with whom the local Church could make its own financial arrangements.  

The next step was to search and find a candidate who would serve as a full-time and, hopefully, a long term Pastor. A new procedure developed by the Denomination involved gathering data, arranging the data in a format which placed the needs of the Church next to the gifts of the candidate being considered. This would be done under the guidance of Sumner Grant.

Another alternative was to work with Hazel Roper in a longer process involving a series of Church Group Meetings and Workshops. The history of the Church would be considered as well as the identity of the Church. Both procedures would require from the Committee Members and the Church much time, patience and prayer.

In discussing the options it was apparent that the Church was anxious to proceed as rapidly as possible. One comment made was that “the First Baptist Church of Manlius is of significant worth and would not want for Pastoral Candidates. Our only problem will be narrowing down the possible candidates to the one most appropriate candidate.” The Committee chose to pursue the option of working with Sumner Grant.

The first major effort of the Pastoral Search Committee was to engage an Interim Pastor to serve the Church while the search for a full-time Pastor continued. The Committee was successful and announced in the October 30, 1988, Bulletin that the Reverend Kenneth Hardy was given the approval of the Advisory Council to serve as Interim Pastor, starting on Sunday November 17, 1988. (Reverend Hardy actually began his service to the Church on November 10, 1988.) Reverend Hardy was well known as Staff Director for Youth Work and Camping for the American Baptist Churches (New York). After retiring from that position he served as Interim Pastor for several area Baptist Churches before coming to Manlius.

In the January, 1989 Christian Carrier, the Pulpit Committee reported on their efforts thus far. The Committee had met every Wednesday evening since its inception and most Sundays after Church also. Sumner Grant provided 34 profiles of possible candidates for the Committee to evaluate. The Committee narrowed the list down to eight “highly qualified” finalists, and asked the Lord’s guidance and direction for their final choice. The Committee promised great things in store for the Church in the coming year. “Our prayers will be answered.”

While the Search Committee was busy looking for a new Pastor, activity in the Church continued unabated. The Sunday School teachers met in the Chapel in February, 1989. Unfortunately, the heat in the room had been shut off and some of the teachers referred to the meeting as an re-enactment of Valley Forge. In April, 1989 the old gas stove in the kitchen was removed and replaced by a new Garland Gas Stove, given in memory of Elizabeth Benedict by her daughter Myrna. This was a very appropriate dedication as the efforts of her mother in the church kitchen to help prepare food for Church Dinners (especially for the Harvest Dinners to which the community was invited and participated in large numbers) were legendary.

Reverend Hardy wrote about his first few weeks in Manlius for the 1988 Annual Report of the Church. He thanked the Church for its welcome, said his life was enriched by ”getting to know so many of you...saints, prophets, angels; that the community is enriched by the Christian programs and services you provide, and the ministry of mission is strengthened by your concern and generosity.” He ended his report with a quote, “For I am a stranger and a pilgrim, I can tarry but a night.”

In early 1989 the Pulpit Committee became aware that the Reverend Paul Bailey might be interested in a call to another Church and traveled to Sand Lake Baptist Church in Averill Park, New York, to hear him preach and to confer with him. The Committee was impressed with Reverend Bailey and he apparently became interested in the possibilities in Manlius.

As a result, Reverend Bailey agreed to visit the First Baptist Church of Manlius as a candidate for Church Pastor from March 31-April 2, 1989. A full weekend of activities was planned. A brochure with pertinent information concerning the Bailey’s was mailed to the Congregation. Members were enlisted to take part in a Prayer Clock extending from March 31 to April 2 with a different member scheduled every half hour to pray for the success of the Search Committee’s efforts.

Reverend Bailey may have been able to receive some advance information concerning the Manlius Church from his parents Ward and Ruth Bailey as they had served as coordinators for a weekend of a Macedonian Ministry at the Manlius Baptist Church on March 6 to 8, 1981. The theme was borrowed from the Telephone Company, i.e., Reach Out and Touch Someone. 

On Friday night, March 31 during Reverend Bailey’s first evening in Manlius, he was to meet with the Manlius First Baptist Executive Committee at its regular meeting. According to Jean Jurick, Church Clerk, Reverend Bailey witnessed a complete meeting of twelve members of the Executive Committee representing all of the Boards of the Church (Diaconate, Trustees, Christian Education and Missions) and leaders of the King’s Kids and Hillside Committees, Men’s and Women’s Fellowship, the Church Treasurer and the Financial Secretary. The Executive Committee went through the usual agenda, replete with a discussion of the problems facing a normal, active Church. At the conclusion of the Business Meeting, Reverend Bailey was introduced by the Search Committee. Reverend Bailey asked about the accomplishments of the Church and different members responded. They spoke of the number of children for whom we have programs, the extensive use of the building, the services rendered to the youth of the community including Kings Kid’s Latch Key Program, Hillside Pre-School, Boy Scout Troop, basketball, the ministry of music, use of church for music lessons, strong missionary works, the sponsorship of Cuban and Cambodian families- all a “tangible expression of the love and sense of belonging which flows forth to both the stable and transient members of the community.” Reverend Bailey asked questions concerning the vision which the Church has for itself during the next eight years, leading up to the two hundredth anniversary of the Church. The response from Baptist Church leaders included the statement that theirs was an innovative congregation, willing to try new things. The Committee wanted to attract more young adults to its membership; to take time to reach out to new people, and , concerning the long time necessary to solve the problems of the Church at the current meetings, restructure the by-laws of the Church to make Boards and their meetings less cumbersome.

On Saturday evening the Church planned a Family Night Supper in the gym where Church families could eat with and become better acquainted with the Bailey family. On Sunday morning, April 2, 1989, Reverend Bailey met the combined Adult Sunday School Classes in the Chapel, after which he preached to the Congregation at the Church Service. The prayers of the Pulpit Committee and very likely of most Church members had been answered. The Church members were pleased with Reverend Bailey’s personality, his preaching ability, the content of his sermon, and his family. In a Congregational Meeting after the service they voted unanimously to call Reverend Bailey to serve as their Pastor (a quorum of 75 people voting and 55 aye votes was required to call a minister.) The call was accepted enthusiastically by Reverend Bailey and a very important new chapter in the history of the First Baptist Church of Manlius had its beginning.  

In the May, 1989 Christian Carrier the Search Committee sent its final message to the Congregation:


“We here at the First Baptist Church are about to embark on a new venture. In June we will welcome our new Pastor, Reverend Paul Bailey and his family to our midst. It will be exciting, stimulating and interesting to become a part of the changes that will be inevitable. But are we ready? We are certainly ready! We have been waiting for many months for this... We can hardly bear the waiting any longer. What then do we expect from this Pastor? Miracles? Wait- we can have miracles; but they come from Heaven, not from Reverend Bailey. They come from all of us working and praying together to find out God’s will for us, the First Baptist Church, and doing it.. All of us together.
What is the specific thing God has in mind for you to do? Are we ready? Let’s each do our part to be sure that we are!
The Search Committee

Biography of Paul Lawrence Bailey

On July 1, 1955, Paul Lawrence Bailey was born to Ruth and Ward Bailey in Schenectady, New York. Paul was joined two years later by his new brother James.
Paul’s father was a design engineer for General Electric. His paternal grandparents were American Baptist Missionaries to Western China. At one time the Bailey family lived in Syracuse where Paul played the trumpet in the West Genesee Junior High School Marching Band. The family then moved to Scotia, New York, where Paul graduated from the Scotia-Glenville High School in June, 1973. During his teen years Paul experienced a “lightning bolt” type conversion which was to shape his life for years to come. Paul was a member of the Boy Scouts and achieved the highest rank of Eagle Scout.

After High School Paul attended Eastern College in St. Davids, Pa., where he studied Sociology and Religion under Dr. Anthony Campolo. It was during his college years that he met Phyllis Holbrook, courted her for two years and married her during his Junior year. Phyllis had already graduated in her chosen profession of nursing. Paul graduated from Eastern College, St. Davids, Pa., with a BA in sociology and religion in May 1977. He then entered the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Mass. and graduated in 1980 with a Masters of Divinity Degree. While in the Seminary he was at times Director of Youth Work at the Kittery Point Baptist Church in Maine, part of the Field Education Staff at Gordon-Conwell Seminary, and was said to have preached in churches and nursing homes, visited patients and participated in worship services for the Home for Incurables in Philadelphia.

After graduating from the Seminary in 1980 Paul was called to Pastor his first Church, the Sand Lake Baptist Church in Averill Park, New York. He became ordained by the Emanuel Baptist Church in Schenectady on June 29, 1980. He was welcomed into the Christian ministry and presented a Certificate of Ordination by Reverend Wesley Smith. Both Paul’s father, Ward Bailey, and his brother James participated in the service with Ward administering the vows of ordination and James relating his personal experiences with Paul as brothers growing up together.

Reverend Bailey had many things to accomplish before he could fully take over his new responsibilities in Manlius. He needed to inform the Church in Sand Lake of his plans and say his farewells to a Congregation he had been close to and an important leader of from 1980 to 1989., find a place to live in Manlius, move his family and belongings, and to consider his plans and goals for his new Congregation.

Reverend Bailey was one of the new breed of ministers who became aware of the value in owning their own homes. Protestant Church owned parsonages were becoming rare. Reverend Bailey and his family did live in our Baptist Parsonage for a short time until they could find a suitable home to purchase. (The Parsonage was listed with Coldwell Bankers at $107,900.00 on September 25, 1989. An offer of $96,000.00 from Mr. and Mrs. S. Pratt was accepted. Net proceeds were $88,000.00, for which a special bank account was opened. The Trustees were happily relieved of their major responsibility of maintaining a parsonage in good condition.)

Reverend Paul Bailey returned to Manlius on May 31, 1989, for a short time to meet with the Board of Deacons and to look into purchasing a home for his family. He was a guest at the home of Ken and Beth Greene.

The Church experienced a very full schedule of events to celebrate and people to thank in the spring and summer of 1989. Jan Green, our former assistant pastor, was ordained. Bill Carlsen celebrated with the Church the twentieth anniversary of his ordination at a Church dinner on May 7, 1989. Reverend Hardy preached his last sermon as interim pastor on June 4, 1989, and was honored at a farewell reception by the Church. Reverend Kenneth Phelps, son of Ken and Ada Phelps, received a Doctor of Ministry from the Gordon Conwell Seminary.

Reverend Bailey returned to Manlius and lived alone in the Parsonage until his children finished school and his wife completed family business in Maine. In the meantime Reverend Bailey hopefully ate well as Church Members were given the special opportunity to invite him to dinner and to get to know each other better. Trudy Siegenthaler, Hospitality Chairperson for the Diaconate Board signed up interested Church Members.

Reverend Bailey preached his first sermon after accepting his call to the Church on June 11, 1989. His topic was the very appropriate, “It’s Time For a Change.”

Mrs. Bailey and the children and their furniture and belongings soon joined Reverend Bailey in the Parsonage. They found a suitable house for sale at 124 Vanida Lane in Fayetteville and purchased it. The Baileys were helped by many Baptists to move their belongings from the Parsonage to their new home.

An early request of Pastor Paul to the Diaconate Board was that full Church Services be conducted in the Baptist Church in the summer of 1989. For several years the Baptists and Methodists had combined services for July and August, with each Church being closed for a month on Sundays for the summer. Both Reverend Bailey and Reverend Courtney (Methodist Minister) realized that closing either Church for a month in the summer was not in the best interests of either congregation and the Churches agreed on a compromise where the combined services were held for one Sunday only in each Church. (This agreement was still being honored in the summer of 2005.)

In his first weeks as Pastor, Reverend Bailey shared with the Congregation some of his plans and hopes for our first year together. He said he needed to watch how the Church was run, learn its traditions, get to know the people and get settled. He wanted to know the needs we had, as a Congregation and as a part of the Manlius community. A question he sometimes asked was, “Who in the Church has the power to get things done?” He wanted to organize a group of men with whom he could meet weekly for thinking and praying, to encourage and maintain a strong lay leadership, to be able to reorganize the worship service, to make the Church and its programs more inviting, and to establish weekly evening programs for all ages. He also became interested in our by-laws and eventually proposed several changes to bring them up-to-date and more applicable to changing conditions.

Ellen Everly, our Church Secretary for five years and sometimes called our Secretary-Pastor by Reverend Bailey because of her knowledge of the Church and its members, resigned on June 30, 1989, to become a teacher in the Fabius-Pompey School District. Ellen attended the Green Lakes Leadership Conference with Sandy Haase in August 1989. The Church as a farewell thank you helped to pay her expenses. Ellen Everly was replaced temporarily by Linda Martin, and permanently by Lorraine Hall in October, 1989. In the fall of 1989 the Church office was brought into the Computer Age with the help of Erman Ferris.

As the public schools closed during the summer, now also did the Baptist Sunday School. For many years, however, a great effort has been made by Baptist women for the success of the week long Vacation Bible School, which was, and continues to be, a very popular program for the young children of the Church and community. In 1989 the VBS leader was Betsy Burt. The school was open from August 14-21 and a total of 85 students, teachers and helpers were involved.

Reverend Bailey was a firm believer in good planning. He had arranged for the Church Officers to meet at the Federated Church of New Woodstock from 2:30- 8:30 P.M. on August 27, 1989, to get better acquainted with their new Pastor and to set goals and programs for the 1989-90 Church year.

The King’s Kids Latch Key Program reported a good year in 1989 with enrollment growing to 65 children. The King’s Kids Committee credited this to their “wonderful Director Sue Crayton and her staff.”  

The Sin family was still in Manlius making good progress. The parents were working; the children were in school. The Church remained concerned for their welfare and well-being and Gertrude Mawson and Barbara Richardson continued to work with
them as needed.

Bible Study remained important with many members of the Congregation. Three groups met most Wednesday nights led by Gordon and Ginny Noble, Millie Skinner and co-led by Sandy Haase and Betsy Burt. They were joined by Pastor Paul for four weeks in December, 1989, who led the groups in a teaching of the Messianic prophecies. Some of the women of the Church met Friday mornings in the church library to study the Bible and its application to their lives. The Church actively supported the Fayetteville-Manlius Meals on Wheels program with financial contributions and volunteers to work in the kitchen and to deliver the meals. Boy Scout Troop 215 sponsored by the Church, met in the Church weekly and enjoyed an active program.

Although our new pastor preached regularly after Reverend Hardy left, Reverend Paul Bailey was not installed as our 37th Pastor until September 24, 1989, at 3:00 P.M. In the first part of the Installation Service, the Pulpit Committee made its recommendations for Reverend Bailey, which was followed by the litany of installation and a prayer of installation. The newly installed Pastor Bailey was welcomed by the Iroquois Association, the area clergy, and by the community leaders of Manlius. The Installation Service was concluded with three dramas. “Picking a Pastor” was followed with a charge to t