As Enfield was part of the town of Ulysses
until March 16, 1821, for a few years the church was called the First Ulysses
Church. On April 5, 1817, a meeting of Baptist brethren was held at the home of
Judah Baker. Elder John Lewis was chosen moderator and Chester Colburn, clerk.
Other meetings were held May 3, 1817 and May 17, 1817. A council met July 2,
1817, at the home of Elder John Lewis. It voted into membership the following
Elder John Lewis, Isaac Beach, Chester
Colburn, Jonathan Rolfe, John Hanford, Obadiah Baker, Stephen Mead, Israel
Mead, Foster Updike, William Boughton, Susannah Lovell, Jerusha Burgess, Poly
Hanford, Eliza Colburn, Nancy Updike, Hila Cuykendall, Olly Burgess, Rachael
Osburn, Sally Burgess,
Sally Putman, Mary Cuykendall, Ada Sage,
Lucinda Lewis, Betsy Beach, Anna Boughton, Sarah Lyon. The church held its
first covenant meeting July 5, 1817, and voted to adopt the 12th Chapter
of the Epistle to the Romans as its church covenant. Chester Colburn was elected
clerk and John Lewis was invited to become the first Pastor.
It was voted that if any member failed to
attend the covenant he should be dealt with as a transgressor. A meeting was
held August 6, 1817, at the home of Jonathan Rolfe, when Isaac Beach and
Chester Colburn were elected Deacons.
The church united with the Cayuga Association in 1817. It
united with the Seneca Association in 1824. The name of the church was changed
May 5, 1830, to the First Baptist Church of Enfield.
In 1842 a comfortable house of worship was
completed in Enfield Center at a cost of $1 , 300.00. The first church bell in
the town of Enfield was hung in the belfry in April 1870. The parsonage was
built in 1877 at an expense of about $1,500.00. In 1881, the church was moved across
the road and rebuilt where it now stands.
At a covenant meeting held on April 9, 1887, the Reverend
L.M. Gates was invited to become Pastor. The salary was to be $35.00 per month,
the use of the parsonage, a sociable for his benefit, and all the butter he needed for his family use.
the regular covenant meeting on January Il, 1902, there were just Il present.
"The meeting was one of unusual interest and spirituality, and throughout
there was a strong feeling of unity, although there were but eleven present."
After the covenant meeting there was held the annual business meeting. Deacon
Whipple was elected chairman and Edgar Brewer clerk. The treasurer reported
taking in $ 13.55 from a special entertainment (moving pictures). Later in the
meeting, "After due deliberation it was unanimously voted for the clerk to
inform Brother Woodbury that it was the opinion and the vote of the church that
the present Pastorate cease at the close of the year May 20, 1902, and that
this action was taken not from any unfriendliness of the church toward him but
for the good of the cause. And that the action was taken thus early so as to
give him ample time to secure another field of labor."
the monthly covenant meeting held August 8, 1914, the Ladies Missionary Society
was organized. In 1917, the church entertained the Seneca Baptist Association
to commemorate its one hundredth anniversary. At the first annual meeting,
January 17, 1917, the following were elected to office:
Trustees - Leon
Tucker, Dana Tubbs, Frank Stevenson
Treasurer - Frank
Stevenson; Clerk - Charles F. Smith
Organist - Mrs.
Fred D. Rumsey; Chorister - Merill Curry
Deacons - E.C.
Curry, Leon Tucker, Harvey Stevenson
Mrs. Charles F. Smith, Mrs. Fred D. Rumsey
significant measure that was adopted at this meeting was that of an associate
membership of the church. The church voted to accept a member from another
denomination into associate membership. There were 59 members of the church in
1927, when Reverend Dutton S. Peterson was Pastor at Enfield, the Enfield
Baptist and Methodist churches began holding joint services, meeting six months
of the year in each church. These united services were held until 1960. Since
then separate services have been held, each church having its own
1928, during July and August, we cooperated with some neighboring churches in
putting on a series of vesper meetings at the Enfield Falls State Park(Robert
H. Treman State Park). The attendance averaged over 100 per Sunday. The first
Sunday, after the close of the services, the attendance both Methodist and
Baptist was over 100.
1942, the sheds for protection of horses and carriages, which stood across the
road and also north of the church, were removed. This was the church's 125 th
anniversary. The officers were as follows: Clerk - Pearl Rolfe; Treasurer
- Harvey Stevenson; Financial Secretary - Thomas Brown; Missionary Treasurer -
Irene Brown; Trustees - Frank Stevenson, A.G. Boberg, Walter Griffen, John
Deacons - Ward Spencer, Frank Stevenson; Deaconesses - Cora Rumsey, Susie
Hansen Finance Committee - Mazzare Spencer, Harvey Stevenson, Gladys Carpenter,
Roger Brown, Tom Brown, Warena Ramsey; The Reverend Crippen was Pastor.
parsonage was sold in 1947 for $4,000.00 The total net profit from the sale
after expenses were taken out was $3,762.94.
1954, some of the money from the sale of the parsonage was used to modernize
the church. A new ceiling, hardwood floor, electricity and oil furnace improved
the appearance and made the church more comfortable.
October 2, 1960, the Enfield Methodist Church sent a letter to the Baptist
Church announcing that they were once again becoming independent. The letter
was signed by Frances Knapp, Harold Laue, and Jake Smithers, a committee
elected by the Methodist congregation.
October 16, 1960, the Baptists called their first meeting since the breakup. It
was decided that Mrs. Michener would see to the purchase of 25 hymnals and that
she and Mrs. Lovelace would launch the Sunday School. It was decided that,
although the church worship and Sunday School were going on their own, the
young people should feel free to attend a joint youth group with the Methodists
and they should alternate churches. The youth counselors were Mr. and Mrs.
Krayniak from the Baptist Church and Mr. and Mrs. Knapp from the Methodist
Church. The meeting was closed with Pearl Rolfe reading a prayer and all
joining in with the Lord's Prayer.
In 1967 the
church celebrated its 150th anniversary, the sesqui-centennial. The
church Service was led by the Reverend Eddie Husted. He served as Pastor from
1966-1971 and again in 1972-1973.
was well attended with a full church of members and friends. During the
service, those with special memories of the church shared them. After the
service a dish-to-share was enjoyed at the nearby Grange Hall. Everyone
interested came dressed in 1817 costume.
At the quarterly
business meeting of July 12, 1970, Gilbert Lee reported that the bulletin board
in the church yard had once again had the glass knocked out of it. He said he'd
heard that Corning Glass was now making a clear glass that unbreakable.
Reverend Husted said he would check into it.
In 1972 the
church pews were dipped and stripped at a business owned by John Jackson
located next to the church. For several weeks afterward the congregation held
worship services at Sarah Jane Michener's home while the pews were painted and
varnished by church members at the church building.
congregational meeting held June 10, 1973, proposed that the James
"Chip" Willis memorial funds be used to renovate the upstairs of the
church, creating two rooms, as well as making the upstairs safer (the flooring
was in danger of coming down under too much weight). The work was done and two
Sunday School classes could use the upstairs at the same time.
At the July 31,
1977 meeting, it was decided to put up a sign on the church itself out of funds
from the Irene Brown memorial fund instead of repairing the bulletin board
way-sign yet again.
In 1985, the
emergency food distribution held at the church had grown to the point of
serving 80 families regularly. Pastor Cynthia Ikuta moved here from Ithaca home
to one on Bostwick Road. Many church members furnished trucks and labor to help
her move. We all shared in a dish-to-pass on their new front lawn after the
move was complete.
distribution moved out of the church to the nearby Enfield Community Building
(the former Firehouse) in 1990 when the number of families being served rose to
the level that 10,000 lbs of food was distributed to nearly 60 people per
In 2019, the church
ceased to meet and worship in the church building located at 174 Enfield Main
Rd. due to its deteriorating structure. At present, we have returned to the
original practice in 1817 of meeting in our homes. A plan is developing to
build a new church building.