1833-1983 South Creek Sesquicentennial
Reprinted on Tri-Counties site with permission of June SMITH Mickley
ReTyped by Paul Newell
Fassett Baptist Church.
FASSETT BAPTIST CHURCH
Fassett Baptist Church was organized in 1895. It was the outgrowth of cottage prayer meetings which succeeded camp meetings held at Burke’s Grove which was located down where Betty Austin lives. Services were conducted by Rev. W.A. Grover, assisted by Evangelist Evans and Prof. H.B. Cox who probably directed the music. After a congregation was organized, meetings were held for a time in the Fassett Schoolhouse. Rev. Grover continued as pastor for several years.
Some of the charter members include:
James and Jane Ameigh, W.H. Andrews, Angeline Andrews, James and Elizabeth Birney, Rachel Crane, Isaac P. Mahaffee, Elizabeth Mason, F.H. & Mollie Smith, Chester and Elizabeth Wilcox.
The original church building was built in 1896 by the Hunt Brothers (Fred and Harry) of Fassett with assistance of Lynn Congdon, Sr. and others. The foundation was put in by Mason Oldroyd. The building committee consisted of Rev. Grover, W.H. Andrews, S.M. Johnson, Simeon Updike and James Birney. In 1896 the pastor’s salary was $4.00 per week.
Over the next 75 years the following pastors have served at Fassett
Rev. Grover – 1895
Rev. A.A. Lawrence
Rev. Francis Sherer – 1899
Rev. E.M. Wadsworth – 1901
Rev. J.W. Roberts
Rev. H.E. Space
Rev. J.L. Bogue
Rev. L.J. Reynolds
Rev. L.L. Grover – 1906
Rev. E.B. Dwyer – 1907
Rev. Thomas C. Davis – 1911
Rev. A.C. Osborne – 1913
Rev. George Orton – 1918
Rev. A.J. Booth – 1919
Rev. H.A. Whitehead – 1921
Rev. J. Sydney Kane – 1925
Rev. Allen Douglas – 1935
Rev. Hubert Boles 1943-45
Rev. Charles Boot 1946-54
Rev. Luther Parker 1955-60
Rev. Joseph Leichliter 1963-66
Pastor Donald Rockwell 1966 to now
In 1933 Rev. J. Sydney Kane was pastor; the Sunday School had 50 members and was very proud that Sunday School had been conducted every Sabbath Day for 36 years without fail at that time. The church observed its 40th anniversary in October 1935 with morning and evening programs including supper. The records show that the church was full with standing room only for both services.
Seven ministers were present. Rev. Kane spoke in the morning and Rev. Booth in the evening. Letters of greeting from former members as well as from other churches of the Bradford Baptist Association were read. Many special musical numbers were enjoyed including violin, musical saw and vocal selections. Some of the performers included Lloyd Ames, Rev. Hardy of Canton, Betty Tears, Rev. Douglas, Willard Porter, William Beechey, Jesse and Betty Strong, Blanche Crandle, Mrs. Kane with accompanists being Mrs. Fannie Benson and Mrs. Strong.
The belfry of the Fassett Baptist Church house a bell which came from the old Universalist Church near Burlington. It was purchased and given to the church in 1928 or 1930 by Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Benson and installed by Mr. Ed Andrus.
1953 saw another highlight for the church – its purchase and installation of a Hammond organ. The dedication service for the organ took place July 12, 1953 featuring an organ recital by Mrs. Florence Peet, special music by the youth choir and William and Paula Beechey. Rev. Charles Root was pastor at the time.
September 26, 1970 the Fassett Church celebrated their 75th anniversary and the dedication of their new annex. 1982 saw completion of the basement renovation by Norman Harkness Construction. Sunday School rooms were remodeled and new tables and chairs added. Storm windows were installed by Leon Updike and ceiling fans were installed last winter.
Gillett Baptist Church.
May 24, 1840 – Group dismissed from the Southport and Elmira Baptist Church to form a church in South Creek. The following letter, gleaned from the earliest records of the church tells us of the event:
This may certify: That brethren John Hilman, Gilbert D. Colman, Samuel Pettingill, Ira Crane, and sisters Sally C. Pettingill, Loreina Comfort, Lydia Fassett, Marium Fassett, Maria Colman and Sarah Rodgers, are members, in good standing, of the Southport and Elmira Baptist Church of Christ, and as such, would commend then to the fellowship of the Baptist Conference at South Creek, with the view of being constituted with them into a church.
Done by order and in behalf of the church in Elmira, May 24, 1840. G.I. Booth, Church Clerk.
There were 24 members, 17 newly baptized, and some from Columbia and Wells.
1843 – The church aided in forming the Chemung River Association.
1858 – In August, the first meeting house was erected at Gillett’s station. 30 were received by baptism in 1853, 13 in 1859, 14 in 1871, 18 in 1873. In all, 132 and a total of 195 members in 37 years.
May 26, 1876 – Church incorporated as The First Baptist Church and Society of South Creek, Pa. The names of S.B. Pettingill, W.L. Smith, E.C. Andrus, Fred Chancey, Levi Stone, W.O. Gink, W.E. Chase, John G. Gillette, Ira Crane, A.P. Brink, C.S. Berry, and John Fosburgh appear on the Charter of Incorporation, together with the following church officers: Trustees – S.B. Pettingill, E.C. Andrus, G.O. Gink, John F. Gillette, Daniel Chase, and Julius M. Berry. Clerk – Ira Crane. Treasurer – Andrew P. Brink. The charter bears the following signatures: G.O. Turk, Julius M. Berry, A.P. Brink, John F. Gillette, S.B. Pettingill, E.C. Andrus, and M.S. Patterson.
1877 – The second structure was built on the same location. The land was donated by John F. Gillette who was the most liberal financial contributor towards the house of worship. Levi Stone, the pastor at the time, also gave largely of his money, time and effort toward the building. The people of the community gave freely in money, material, and labor. Civillius Stocking Berry, Thelma Oldroyd’s grandfather, cut the logs and took them by team of horses to Elmira to have them cut for lumber for the church and then helped build the church.
1897 – The parsonage was built where Vargsons live now. The present parsonage was built around the same time by C.P. Dewey.
Sept. 12, 1908 – Church withdrew from Chemung Association and united with the Bradford Association.
May 30, 1926 – Golden Anniversary celebrated.
June 26, 1929 – Dedication of the church annex under the direction of Rev. J. Sydney Kane.
May 20, 1951 – Diamond Jubilee Anniversary celebrated.
June 27, 1971 – New annex and education building dedicated.
1976 – Centennial Anniversary celebrated.
Pastors and Dates of Settlement
1842 – James H. Noble, E.A. Hadley, D.T. Lockwood, J. Kitchell, L. Lowe,
I.B. Lake, T. Mitchell.
1876 – Levi Stone, George H. Melotte, Frank Day.
1892 – W.A. Grover, David Van Fradenbury, W.A. Grover (second pastorate), Samuel Welch.
1899 – Francis Shearer
1901 – E.M. Wadsworth
1902 – Philander Reynolds
1906 – L.L. Grover, A.A. Lawrence
1907 – E.B. Dwyer
1911 – T.C. David
1913 – A.J. Osborne
1918 – G.A. Orton
1919 – A.J. Booth
1921 – H.A. Whitehead
1925 – J. Sydney Kane
1935 – Alan Douglas
1943 – Hubert Boles
1946 – Charles Root
1955 – Luther Parker
1961 – Thomas M. Shreve
1963 – Joseph Leichliter
1966 – Dwight Anderson
1975 – Charles W. Long
1980 – John Valiant, Jr.
INTERESTING TIDBITS FROM GILLETT CHURCH
In 1926, the minister received $14.43 for his weekly salary.
In 1927, the janitor received $5.00 for his monthly salary.
In the 1930’s, the church paid $2.00 for a cord of wood.
In 1944, for communion, the church paid 15¢ for a bottle of grape juice and 13¢ for a loaf of bread.
In 1937, the church paid $1.25 for March’s electric bill.
In 1939, the church paid $30.68 for taxes on a valuation of $725.00.
In 1936, the Baptist Youth People’s Union performed the drama entitled “The Time of His Life”. They performed in Burlington, Sylvania, Wellsburg, East Smithfield, and Mosherville under the direction of Lucy Chase Updike.
50TH ANNIVERSARY OF GILLETT BAPTIST CHURCH
May 30th through June 2, 1920
The pages of history were turned back at the First Baptist Church of Gillett, when Dr. H.F. Fitch of Elmira, placed upon the Gillett family pew a golden plate in memory of his ancestor, Deacon John F. Gillette one of the founders of the church in the community.
The Rev. J. Sydney Kane, the pastor, delivered a sermon on the three needs of a family, “A Good Home, A Good Church and A Good School,” and then called attention to the profound influence exerted upon the religious life of Gillett by one of its most prominent men whose earthly form reposed in the cemetery adjoining the church. He called attention to the fact that the golden plate on his pew bore the facsimile signature of Deacon Gillette and then introduced, Dr. Fitch, grandson of the man being honored.
In an interesting manner Dr. Fitch reviewed the early history of the Gillette family and their invasion of the virgin timberland then surrounding the present community. He recalled that Asa Gillette. A lumberman, was born between Sidney Plains and Unadilla, in Delaware County, N.Y. and in late life migrated to Binghamton and then up the Chemung River in a packet boat as far as Wellsburg, N.Y. He was accompanied by his two sons, Daniel G. and John F. Daniel settled in Wellsburg while Asa and John F., lured by the wealth of the virgin timberland over the mountain, cut their way through the dense wood from Centerville near Bentley Creek, to the present site of Gillett.
At this time there was a little used trail between Elmira and Gillett, but later the Gillettes cut through a road that their lumber stocks might be transported to Elmira by ox teams. This opened a ready market, some of the lumber was shipped to distant points in the boats operating on the Chemung Canal.
Asa Gillett was Postmaster and Justice of the Peace of the town bearing his name. As families commenced to join their community he felt the need of proper religious instruction and proper observance of the Sabbath day. In the Asa Gillette home services were held regularly and here the Baptist church was organized. For a time the rooms were large enough for the worshippers but ultimately the need for a larger building was felt and meetings were conducted in the log schoolhouse.
John F. Gillette, whose schooling had ceased when he was 10 years of
age, was self-educated and as keen a businessman and as devoted a Christian
as his father. For years they associated in the lumber business and upon
Asa Gillette’s death, March 7, 1864, his son assumed the entire burden,
also becoming Justice of the Peace and Postmaster. He was twice elected
to the State Legislature of Pennsylvania. At the conclusion of his first
term as a legislator he told his friends if they cared to return him for
a second term he would pay his own expenses, give his salary, about $1,500,
toward the erection of a church. He not only kept his word but also furnished
the lumber for the edifice.
Rev. J. Sydney Kane, Sr.
|Bereans Class – September 1933 at Joe Welch’s
(now the Forrest Oldroyd residence).
Top Row: Lilly Hatch, Josephine Blodgett, Ora Holcomb, Irene Craig, Blanche Andrus, Adelaide Brougham (in front of Blanche Andrus), Ruth Vandermark, Leona Craig, Pauline Sterling, Neva Wright, Pearl Brown.
Second Row: Sadie Welch, Elizabeth Ayers, Lucy Passmore, Leda Lewis, Helen Berry, Nevah Kane, Iva Curren, Minnie Harkness, Grace Husinger.
Children: Marion Vandermark, Glenna Hunsinger, Alice Brown, Alberta Hunsinger, Marian Brown.
Charter members in March 4, 1921 were:
Bessie Amiegh, Blanche Andrews, Jesse Andrus, Etha Argyle, Youlan Boughton, Pearl Brown, Hattie Dunning, Lucy Passmore, Ruby Pettingill, Blanche Servis, Grace Smith, Fannie Whitehead.
Other members listed for March 1921:
Bertha Ames, Frankie Berry, Minnie Cease, Eva Chase, Elizabeth Faulkner, Bertha Hakes, Marguerite Marsh, Ruby Petty, Julia Thompson, Della Vernier, Sadie Welch, Ada Wheeler, Pearl Youmans.
Class Members on Roll 1933-1934:
Blanche Andrews, Elizabeth Ayers, Helen Berry, Josephine Blodgett, Yulan Boughton, Leila Bristol, Adelaide Brougham, Anna Brown, Pearl Brown, Inez Carmon, Irene Craig, Lena Craig, Ivah Curran, Maude French, Mabel Furman, Jane Gordon, Alma Harding, Minnie Harkness, Lillian Hatch, Ora Holcomb, Rosamond Holton, Grace Hunsinger, Gladys Inman, Nevah Kane, Bessie Kerrick, Mildred Kerrick, Ora Kerrick, Blanche Lewis, Harriett Lewis, Hazel Lewis, Leda Lewis, Marguerite Marsh, Elizabeth Mason, Lucy Passmore, Berdena Porter, Nellie Richmond, Winifred Robbins, Grace Smith, Lorena Smith, Dorothea Solometo, Pauline Sterling, Mabel Strong, Lucy Updike, Ruth Vandermark, Florence Watson, Sadie Welch, Neva Wright, Pearl Youmans.
The Guild Girls of the Gillett, Fassett area was organized in the late
1950’s. Charter members were:
Linda Fink, Darlene Gee, Shirley Holton, Rosalie Holton, Gail Hurd, Darene Mickley, Linda Root, Mary Root,.
The Guild Girls were a part of the Ladies Missionary Society and as such, did White Cross work and other projects that pertained to mission work. Polly Boughton served as their counselor.
|Ladies’ Sunshine Circle of Gillett Baptist Church. (Identified by
their husband's names only)
Bottom row from left: Nancy Chase, Mrs. Alonzo Brown, Mrs. William Gordon, Mrs. Bertha Batterson Ames, Mrs. David (Helen Shelton) Bryan.
Second Row: Mrs. Wilmot Gordon, Mrs. Layton Maynard, Mrs. Dora Pitt, Mrs. Merton Pitt.
Third Row: Mrs. Owen Pitt, Mrs. Ephraim Batterson, Mrs. William Fletcher, Mrs. Stuart (Mrs. Owen Pitt’s mother), Mrs. Frank Pitt.
|Friendly Class – 1930’s.
Standing: Bernice Ameigh Teribury.
Front Row: Grace Sackett Saunders, Bertha Batterson Ames, Elizabeth Berry Newell, Julia Viele Palmer, Margaret Saunders Carney.
Back Row: Ida Lewis Chase, Josephine Furman Califf, Nettie Petty Updike, Minnie Chase Cease, Nettie Queal Tears.
|Philathea Women’s Sunday School Class – 1911.
Bottom Row: Mrs. Harry (Ora Barnes) Kerrick, Elizabeth Berry Newell, Mrs. Albert (Neva Maynard) Wright, DeEtta Terwilliger, Mrs. Emma Kerrick Smith, Bertha Youmans.
Middle Row: Hattie Berry Dunning, Mrs. John (Lucy Loomis) Passmore, Mrs. Nettie (Petty) Updike, Leda Loomis VanValkenburg Lewis, Mrs. Rose Dewey, Ruby Joralemon, Mrs. Bertha Batterson Ames, Aileen Turk.
Top Row: Mrs. Hazel Seymour Bolt, Mrs. Etta Barnes, Mrs. Frankie Berry, Mrs. Katherine Relyea Maynard, Minnie West Ameigh, Mrs. Lena Craig Kerrick, Mrs. Harry (Julia) Thompson, Mrs. Kinney (Harriet) Thompson. [See Joyce's Flagholder Section for more on Philathea]
|Baraca Men’s Sunday School Class in 1911.
Bottom row from left: Harry Craig, Elmer Dewey, __, Merton Pitt, Charles Dewey, Bert Barnes.
Middle Row: __, __, __, Berry, Curt Petty, __, Perry Barnes, __.
Top Row: Roy Harkness, Dalton Craig, Dan Ameigh, Samuel Pettingill, __, William Pettingill, Roy Brown, William Holton, John Updike, Harry Kerrick, Harry Corey.