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Town’s Baptist Churches

Footnotes to Long Island History

date

Town’s Baptist Churches

 

by

Thomas R. Bayles

 


      The First Baptist Church in Suffolk county was organized and a “meetinghouse” built in 1747 at Coram on the site of the present Methodist church.  The records of the activities of this church are wrapped in obscurity, but upon ground across the road from the church, are inscribed the names of many of the forefathers of Coram.  Among these is “Rev. Noah Hammond, Minister of the Gospel and Pastor of the Baptist Church at Coram, born Feb. 24, 1718, died Nov. 4, 1774.”

      This  old meeting house was probably owned by individuals in shares, as was sometimes done in those days, and an item from a local in those years states that Samuel Bishop, for the consideration of two pounds, sold his interest in the Baptist meeting house at Coram to David Overton and Isaac Smith.

      In 1847 the old Baptist church was torn down and sold to Alanson Overton, who used the material in the construction of a house at Port Jefferson.

     In 1853 a number of the surviving members formed a church and built a house of worship at Yaphank.  The ceremony of laying the cornerstone was held on December 29, 1853.  The certificate of this incorporation is recorded in the Suffolk County clerk’s office at Riverhead. Preaching services were held on alternate Sunday afternoons between Yaphank and Setauket. 

      On July 31, 1861, the members living on the north side of the town met at Setauket and adopted the following resolution: “Whereas, we believe that the time has come when the cause of Christ may be better served by having a separate and independent organization, resolved. That the members of the

 Brookhaven Baptist Church, be requested to ask for letters of dismission from the parent church at Yaphank for the purpose of forming a new and independent church in Setauket and Port Jefferson.”

      On October 2, 1861, 31 members organized themselves into the First Baptist Church in Setauket and Port Jefferson.  Charles Hawkins and Adolphus Bayles were elected deacons of the newly formed church.  This church was officially received into affiliation with the New York Association of Baptist Churches on October 16, 1861 at a service held in Port Jefferson.  The first pastor was the Rev. Lanson Steward who assumed his duties on November 30, 1861.

      The church building was purchased from the Congregational society in 1861, which had been built in 1355 by that denomination but fallen into disuse.

      The certificate of incorporation of the Baptist church was recorded in the certificates of Religious Corporations at the county clerk’s office in Riverhead on July 23, 1866.

      In October 1951, the ninetieth anniversary of the church was held at Port Jefferson in a very impressive ceremony.

      In 1876, the Baptist church in Patchogue was reorganized after having been inactive for many years and a church was built on the lower end of South Ocean Avenue. On September 12, 1888, the First Baptist Church of Patchogue was organized.  A lot on Academy Street was purchased in 1891, and a new church was built there and dedicated in 1892.  This building was moved in 1910 to it’s present location on North Ocean Avenue.  A Carnegie organ was given to the church in 1910.

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