Frewsburg First Baptist Church Turns 175
FREWSBURG – A church which was founded in 1838 is proud to celebrate its 175th anniversary this year.
The First Baptist Church of Frewsburg has endured the test of time and, despite a few relocations and remodels, still meets every week for service.
To give some context as to how long 175 years is, other events which took place in 1838 were: the coronation of Queen Victoria, the discovery of proteins by Jons Jacob Berzelius and the forced migration of the Cherokee Nation along the Trail of Tears.
According to church records, the first organizational meeting for the church was held on Feb. 14, 1838. Upon the conclusion of that meeting, the Second Baptist Church in Christ of Carroll was officially recognized. The church would eventually change its name to the First Baptist Church of Frewsburg.
However, at the time, a church was not built. As far as can be determined from records, the 62 members of the congregation held meetings in private homes. The Rev. Arza Stone was the first pastor, with Phineas Annis and John Curtis serving as the first deacons. August Howards served as the first clerk.
A church was built in 1847 with Annis as head carpenter. The building was finished and dedicated in 1848, with additions to the rear built in 1892 and a basement added in 1934.
Structurally, the building has remained the same since 1934, with only slight modifications being made. One such modification was made in 1962, when the basement was redecorated.
As part of the redecoration, fluorescent lighting and wall-to-wall carpeting was added to the basement. To commemorate the church’s 125th anniversary, new silverware was dedicated as well.
Over the church’s history, a few members have shown steadfast dedication to it. One such member was Mrs. Bertha Few Hunt, who served as church organist for more than 75 years. She lived to play the new electric organ which was dedicated to the church in 1958. She passed in 1959.
To celebrate 175 years, the church will hold two services on Sunday, and Pastor Nick Cultrara said all are welcomed to attended. The first service will take place at 10:45 a.m. and the second will occur at 2 p.m.
During the services, historian Mack Woody will discuss in-depth the history of the church, as well as the impact the church has had upon its surrounding community. Additionally, the Verhague family from Buffalo will provide musical entertainment.
Scheduled between the services will be a dinner, which is offered free of charge. Guests are not required to attend both services to enjoy the meal.