THURSDAY – 12 JUN 1890
The Baptist church in Cambridge celebrated the 30th anniversary of its organization, Wednesday June 4th. It was an occasion full of interest and brought out a large number of the resident members and letters from quite a number who now reside at a distance or who are temporally absent. During the forenoon, in addition to devotional exercises, an address, The Past and its Blessings, was given by Deacon Jacob Smith; a paper read by Deacon E.F. Green, The Future and its Hopes; an address by Rev. B.Y. Siegfried, giving many reminiscences, he being the first settled pastor of the church, beginning his work in 1852 and a history of the mission Societies of the church by Mrs. L.B. Moore. Two hours recess was given during which those present took dinner in the house in picnic style.
The afternoon exercises, after devotional exercises led by Deacon Joseph Keepers, consisted of a History of the church since its organization by Mrs. Anna Moore, a synopsis of which we give our readers. Then followed the roll call of members and their responses, This was an exceedingly interesting feature of the programme. Eighty-nine of the 196 members were present and a number of letters were read from absent ones. Many gave in response a brief history of their church life. By this means the roll was corrected, the whereabouts of the membership ascertained and a very much better knowledge of each other obtained.
After a short address by Pastor Moore, an adjournment was had to evening when Mr. Amos delivered an address, and the audience were entertained by recitations and songs by members of the Sunday School and a recitation by Miss Clara Weyer. During the afternoon and evening the choir sang a number of anthems.
HISTORY OF THE CHURCH.—BY MRS. ANNA MOORE.
Every book whether history or biography, has a preface, so has the Baptist church in Cambridge. In 1825 Rev. William Sedgwick found seven other Baptists in, or near to this place, and they formed themselves into a church. The majority of the members lived south of town, and it was found nearly impossible to keep up the organization here, so the place of meeting was changed to the Nicholson settlement, where they still prosper, known as the Cambridge Baptist church. After that there seems to have been no effort to establish a church in town till the year 1851. In the meantime several families had moved in who were Baptists, and feeling the want of a church home began to talk and pray over the matter. It was then decided to ask a council of ministers and brethren of other Baptist churches to visit and organize a church. So we find that on June 4th, 1851, the Baptist church in Cambridge was constituted. The council met in the Methodist Protestant church and was composed of ten ministers and twelve laymen. The ministers names were: Rev. Wm. Sedgwick, who was Moderator; Benj. Wharton, Clerk; Revs. David E. Thomas, Hugh Broom, Jas. Herbert, J.B. St. Clair, R.H. Sedgwick, Wm. Mears, Geo. C. Sedgwick, and Benjamin Thomas. The laymen were as follows: A. Jordan, J. Hollicay, J. Hill, D. Masters, W. Rollins, I.S. McKinney, A. Wallace, D. Williams, J. Hughes, H. Storer, B. Castor, and A. Allen. Public service was held at ; Rev. Geo. C. Sedgwick preached from acts 20th chapter, and 28th verse. “Feed the church of God which he hath purchased:” after which they organized for business by electing Rev. Wm. Sedgwick, Moderator and Benj. Wharton, Clerk; Elders Hugh Broom, Geo. Sedgwick, D.E. Thomas, R. M. Sedgwick, and Wm. Mears, were appointed a committee to examine into the propriety of organizing a church at this place. Adjourned till Council met at and Rev. Hugh Broom, in behalf of the committee, presented the report recommending the organization of a church in Cambridge. The report was unanimously adopted. Letters of dissmission were read recommending the applicants, and the declaration of faith in which they were united was read, after which the Moderator gave the hand of fellowship followed by the other ministers present.
The church called Rev. Wm Mears as pastor. Geo. C. Sedgwick gave the address to the pastor, and Wm. Sedgwick to the church, on the responsible and important duties they had assumed. We find there was 24 members who constituted the church. Only one of the twenty four remains with us to-day, Jane Ambler Wages. Rev. Wm. Mears served the church 2 years and 3 months; during that time he received by letter 14, and one by baptism, making 39; of this number there are only three remaining, Mrs. Sigman, Mrs. Wages and Mrs. Murray. He was an Englishman by birth; an earnest, good man, but did not have a winning way. He never talked with any one five minutes without asking if they were Christians; of the answer was “no” he then exhorted them to repent, or they would be condemned forever.
The first deacons were Wyatt Hutchison and David Meek. T. T. Sarchet was chosen clerk. Just after the church was organized the Methodist Episcopal church decided to build a new house, having outgrown the old one. The Baptists felt that they were not able to build, so they bought the old Methodist church, (which stood where the foundry warehouse is,) for $300 and used it till about 1867, when they sold it to brother Simons for a warehouse. A lot was bought at the corner of Eleventh and Main streets, but it was thought that was too far from the center of town, and the lot this house stands on was bought and the other sold.
In 1853 Rev. B. Y. Siegfried was called to the pastorate of the church. He served six years and was the means in god’s hand of building up the cause. Soon after he came the church enjoyed an expensive revival; thirty persons were baptized by him the first half year, and additions were frequent. One hundred and thirty-one were received by him during his pastorate. Of that number but ten remain with us today. Some have moved away, other have gone out from us because they were not of us. But the greater number have gone home. After brother Siegfried resigned in 1859 we were without any pastor till March, 1860; then a call was given to C.H. Gunter, (then a young man,) which he accepted, and served the church faithfully for two years. Nineteen were received into the church by him; only three of the number are here now. The excitement caused by the war was so great that nothing more could be done than keep the flock together. After this the church was without a regular pastor for a number of years, only having a supply once in a while. The business meetings were kept up and the Sunday School and prayer meeting did not die out.
In 1866 Rev. Alfred Earl became pastor with the understanding that he might practice medicine. His connection with the church only lasted six months and was of no benefit to us in any way.
In March, 1867, Rev. G. W. Chruchill was called to the pastorate; he served the church eight years and four months; his ministry was successful in building up the interests of the church; while he was here we began to build this house, In 1870 or “71, and while he was here the house was finished but not paid for. Up to this time after we sold the old church we had our meeting in the court house and the old town hall. About 100 names were added to the church while he was here; of his number 40 remain.
Nest comes Rev. Allen Darrow, in 1875, who set to work to pay off the church debt contracted in building; it was a big job, but with the assistance and co-operation of the church he succeeded in removing the load that so nearly crushed the life out of the struggling faithful hand. Aside from this the church grew in numbers and spiritual graces the young people were entertained by the pastor and his wife every week as (unreadable) They were both (next two lines are unreadable) persons were added during the six years he labored with us. In May, 1882, John R. Pendell became pastor, but the arrangement was not satisfactory and his relation with the church terminated after six months. Rev. B.Y. Seigfried for the second time became pastor in 1883. Thirty years had passed since he took charge of the church the first time, and was the means of doing such a grand work for the Master, and now he if permitted to renew the associations of other years, and also in find that those who worked with him in other years are nearly all gone and others have taken their places. In 1885 he resigned. Fifty-six were received by him at this time; 36 are still members with us, and he has returned to Cambridge, we hope to spend the remaining years of his life.
Our present pastor, Rev. L.B. Moore, accepted a call to this church, Nov. 15 1885, and entered heartily into the work; the first three years the church did not think they could raise his salary for full time, so we had only half time preaching; but the last two years we have had preaching twice every Sabbath, and find that it can be done and is so much better. We are sure that the cause will grow and strengthen in this place if we are only faithful. Ninety-two persons have united with the church since brother Moore has been here. We have three Mission societies—Woman’s Mission Society, young girls, call “The Gleaners,” and the Cheerful Worker’s Children’s Band. Our Sunday school was organized in 1853 and is in a flourishing condition. We also have our young people’s meeting which we hope is doing much good. This church was aided by the Ohio Baptist Convention in supporting its pastors for man years; in 1881 it resolved to dispense with further assistance and after warmly thanking the Convention for its generous aid during its time of financial stringency, it began its career of self support.
It might be interesting to some to know what salary our pastors have received; brother Mears received two hundred and fifty dollars per year for full time, and in the same proportion for half time; the incidental expenses was provided for by each male member paying fifteen cents per month and the sisters five cents per month, brother Siegfried’s salary was two hundred and twenty-five dollars a year for half time. The first Janitor was paid $15 a year for taking care of the house.
Brother Gunter received two hundred dollars a year for half time.
Alfred Earl was to have had three hundred for half time.
I am not sure about Brother Churchill’s salary, as the book can’t be found, but I think he received three hundred for half time, two from convention.
Brother Darrow was recommended by the state convention with the understanding that they would pay four hundred, if the church would raise five hundred for full time.
Brother Siegfried received four hundred dollars a year for the three fourths of his time.
Brother Moore received four hundred and fifty for half time, and eight hundred for full time and pays $50 of that himself.
The Clerks of the church have been T. T. Sarchet, two years; M. McPeek, six months; Jeremiah Reynolds, four years; Wm. Rollins, one year; C. H. McCarty, seventeen years; Mrs. Samuel Moore, six years; Geo. Dillon, six mos.; W.K. Gooderl, two years; Robert McKahan, three years.
Wyatt Hutchison, John B. Ambler, David Meek, David Marshall, Jonathan Deets, John Simons, Peter Mears, A. W. Halliday, Ezekiel McCollum, Frank Mathews, Jacob Smith, Joseph Keepers, John Huffman and E. F. Green.
Two ministers have been ordained in this church, A. S. Dennison in 1855 and C. H. Gunter in 1860. C. C. Erwin was licensed here and is now pastor at Coshocton and Dresden.
We have 196 members at present. In the past 39 years we, as a church, have had our dark and gloomy days as well as our bright ones; but through it all we have been led by the strong arm of the Almighty; and God has been with us in all our troubles and owned the labors and answered the prayers of his servants. Many have fallen by death, but other s have been raised up to take their places and the work has gone on. And now, dear friends, this is no time to stop; we are still to go on and do with our might what our hands find to do, knowing that when we are called to our account others will be found to take our places. Let us then seek to be about our Father’s business, knowing that if we continue faithful to the end we shall enter into his joy.
How can we promote the cause of the Master best? One way is to always be found in our places in the house of God. Nothing will so discourage the pastor and retard the progress of the work as indifference by the members of the church. Another way is to take pleasure in having our house of worship in good order and comfortable; to this end we must give of our means, and we want to have heaters of some kind put in before another winter; and we women want to have a band in it, so we each one propose to earn one dollar between now and the first of September to assist the brethren in making the arrangement. We hope that every sister in the church will gladly earn a dollar for this project.
THE SUNDAY SCHOOL.
We have at present about 125 members enrolled in our Sunday School with nine teachers. Mrs. L.B. Moore has the little ones, about 35 in number; these are the flowers of the flock. Our pastor has the Bible class. Our present superintendent has the interest of the school at heart, and does a good work, but for what of teachers has to teach a class and can’t give as much time to the school as he would like to. We hope the time is not far distant when this can be remedied.
We expend between fifty and sixty dollars every year in helps and papers for the school; this is made up by the collections in the classes; the collection on the first Sabbath in each month we reserve for library purposes and by that means we keep up our library.
I don’t think I can name all the superintendents, as I have no record to turn to, but will name all I remember; Wyatt Hutchison, I. W. Simons, C. H. McCarty, A. W. Halliday, Ezekiel McCollum, Russell Barnes, Prof. Williams, W. K. Gooderl, J. M. Amos.
Our great need is more teachers who are willing to give their time to this work, for we know it is a very important part of church work. It is mainly from the Sunday school that we get our church members; how desirable, then, that they be rightly instructed.
Any now as church and school let us praise God for what he ahs done for us in the past, and resolve that we will do more for His cause in days to come than we have in days that are past.